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June 27

Book: The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan

Caitlín R. Kiernan is one of dark fantasy and horror’s most acclaimed and influential short fiction writers. Her powerful, unexpected stories shatter morality, gender, and sexuality.-Amazon [more inside]
posted by miss-lapin at 5:37 PM - 2 comments

June 24

Book: Binti: The Night Masquerade

Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:12 AM - 2 comments

June 20

Book: Catherine, Called Birdy

This is the first book to be discussed by the Nostalgic YA Book Club! Catherine, a spirited and inquisitive young woman of good family, narrates in diary form the story of her fourteenth year—the year 1290. A Newbery Honor Book.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:34 AM - 6 comments

June 17

Book: The Calculating Stars

On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process. Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:13 AM - 13 comments

June 15

Book: The Storm of the Century

In this gripping narrative history, Al Roker from NBC’s Today and the Weather Channel vividly examines the deadliest natural disaster in American history—a haunting and inspiring tale of tragedy, heroism, and resilience that is full of lessons for today’s new age of extreme weather. On the afternoon of September 8, 1900, two-hundred-mile-per-hour winds and fifteen-foot waves slammed into Galveston, the booming port city on Texas’s Gulf Coast. By dawn the next day, the city that hours earlier had stood as a symbol of America’s growth and expansion was now gone. Shattered, grief-stricken survivors emerged to witness a level of destruction never before seen: Eight thousand corpses littered the streets and were buried under the massive wreckage. Rushing water had lifted buildings from their foundations, smashing them into pieces, while wind gusts had upended steel girders and trestles, driving them through house walls and into sidewalks. No race or class was spared its wrath. In less than twenty-four hours, a single storm had destroyed a major American metropolis—and awakened a nation to the terrifying power of nature. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:18 PM - 3 comments

June 14

Book: Catch-22

Catch-22 is like no other novel we have ever read. It has its own style, its own rationale, its own extraordinary character. It moves back and forth from hilarity to horror. It is outrageously funny and strangely affecting. It is totally original. It is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him.... [more inside]
posted by Fukiyama at 7:44 PM - 5 comments

Book: Dancer from the Dance

One of the most important works of gay literature, this haunting, brilliant novel is a seriocomic remembrance of things past -- and still poignantly present. It depicts the adventures of Malone, a beautiful young man searching for love amid New York's emerging gay scene. From Manhattan's Everard Baths and after-hours discos to Fire Island's deserted parks and lavish orgies, Malone looks high and low for meaningful companionship. The person he finds is Sutherland, a campy quintessential queen -- and one of the most memorable literary creations of contemporary fiction. Hilarious, witty, and ultimately heartbreaking, Dancer from the Dance is truthful, provocative, outrageous fiction told in a voice as close to laughter as to tears.
posted by kalimac at 11:32 AM - 3 comments

June 11

Book: The October Man

Trier: famous for wine, Romans and being Germany’s oldest city. When a man is found dead with his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth. Fortunately this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything. Enter Investigator Tobias Winter, whose aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger and paperwork. With the help of frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he’s quick to link the first victim to a group of ordinary middle aged men – and to realise they may have accidentally reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:32 PM - 17 comments

Book: The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack

n his new book The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack, human paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall argues that a long tradition of "human exceptionalism" in paleoanthropology has distorted the picture of human evolution. Drawing partly on his own career—from young scientist in awe of his elders to crotchety elder statesman—Tattersall offers an idiosyncratic look at the competitive world of paleoanthropology, beginning with Charles Darwin 150 years ago, and continuing through the Leakey dynasty in Africa, and concluding with the latest astonishing findings in the Caucasus. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:04 PM - 2 comments

June 10

Book: Monstress Volume 3

Maika has spent most of her life learning how to fight, but how will she fare when the only way to save her life...is to make friends? Written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda.
posted by dinty_moore at 3:44 PM - 2 comments

June 8

Book: Cannibalism

Eating one's own kind is completely natural behavior in thousands of species, including humans. Throughout history we have engaged in cannibalism for reasons of famine, burial rites, and medicinal remedies; it's been used as a way to terrorize and even a way to show filial piety. With unexpected wit and a wealth of knowledge, American Museum of Natural History zoologist Bill Schutt takes us on a tour of the field, dissecting exciting new research and investigating questions such as why so many fish eat their offspring and some amphibians consume their mother's skin; why sexual cannibalism is an evolutionary advantage for certain spiders; why, until the end of the eighteenth century, British royalty ate human body parts; how cannibalism may be linked to the extinction of Neanderthals; why microbes on sacramental bread may have led to execution of Jews by Catholics in the Middle Ages. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 5:22 PM - 3 comments

June 4

Book: The Food Explorer

The true adventures of David Fairchild, a late-nineteenth-century food explorer who traveled the globe and introduced diverse crops like avocados, mangoes, seedless grapes—and thousands more—to the American plate. In the nineteenth century, American meals were about subsistence, not enjoyment. But as a new century approached, appetites broadened, and David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable lust to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:28 PM - 1 comment

Book: Rivers of London: Water Weed

When two of the less well-behaved River goddesses, Chelsea and Olympia, decide to earn a few quid on the side, Peter and Bev find themselves drawn into a sordid cannabis-smuggling operation, controlled by London's new queenpin of crime - the brutal and beautiful Hoodette!
posted by dinty_moore at 12:44 PM - 3 comments

Book: The Rook

"The body you are wearing used to be mine." So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her. [more inside]
posted by soelo at 12:00 PM - 32 comments

June 3

Book: The Black God's Drums

Creeper, a scrappy young teen, is done living on the streets of New Orleans. Instead, she wants to soar, and her sights are set on securing passage aboard the smuggler airship Midnight Robber. Her ticket: earning Captain Ann-Marie’s trust using a secret about a kidnapped Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon he calls The Black God’s Drums.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:55 AM - 2 comments

June 1

Book: The Mueller Report

The final report by Robert Mueller on Russian interference in the 2016 election, whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians, and whether the President obstructed justice by getting to limit the effectiveness of the investigation.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:00 AM - 16 comments

May 31

Book: Pigeons

Pigeons have been worshipped as fertility goddesses and revered as symbols of peace. Domesticated since the dawn of man, they’ve been used as crucial communicators in war by every major historical superpower from ancient Egypt to the United States and are credited with saving thousands of lives. Charles Darwin relied heavily on pigeons to help formulate and support his theory of evolution. Yet today they are reviled as “rats with wings.” Author Andrew D. Blechman traveled across the United States and Europe to meet with pigeon fanciers and pigeon haters in a quest to find out how we came to misunderstand one of mankind’s most helpful and steadfast companions. Pigeons captures a Brooklyn man’s quest to win the Main Event (the pigeon world’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby), as well as a convention dedicated to breeding the perfect bird. Blechman participates in a live pigeon shoot where entrants pay $150; he tracks down Mike Tyson, the nation’s most famous pigeon lover; he spends time with Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Pigeon Handler; and he sheds light on a radical “pro-pigeon underground’ in New York City. In Pigeons, Blechman tells for the first time the remarkable story behind this seemingly unremarkable bird.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:51 PM - 2 comments

May 29

Book: Nigel

When Monty Don's golden retriever Nigel became the surprise star of BBC Gardeners' World inspiring huge interest, fan mail and his own social media accounts, Monty Don wanted to explore what makes us connect with animals quite so deeply. In many respects Nigel is a very ordinary dog; charming, handsome and obedient, as so many are. He is a much loved family pet. He is also a star. By telling Nigel's story, Monty relates his relationships with the other special dogs in his life in a memoir of his dogs past and very much present. Witty, touching and life-affirming, Nigel: My family and other dogs is wonderfully heart-warming. Monty Don is a great writer coming out of the garden and into the hearts and homes of every dog lover in the UK.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:53 PM - 1 comment

May 28

Book: Rivers of London: Cry Fox

Child kidnapping is already an appalling crime, but in the latest case for Detective Constable Peter Grant--newly promoted in the ranks of London's Metropolitan Police, but with a lot still to learn about wizarding--things take a truly dark turn when the victims become prey in a homicidal hunt that Grant and the members of the Folly must stop!
posted by dinty_moore at 8:06 PM - 4 comments

Book: Furiously Happy

In Furiously Happy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. But terrible ideas are what Jenny does best. As Jenny says: "Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos ... [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 2:31 AM - 2 comments

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