NEW RELEASES FOR JULY 2016
The Gene, an Intimate
has written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant and illuminating as his
successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history and personal
narrative to tell of an important conceptual breakthrough, he animates the
quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives.
My Father and Atticus Finch,
a Lawyer’s Fight for Justice in 1930’s Alabama, by Joseph Madison Beck
terrific study of Harper Lee’s masterpiece and a similar rape case of the time.
Beck’s father was the defense attorney in that mysterious case, a staggering
example of racial injustice. In a town crackling with racial tension, Foster
Beck took on this dangerous case. The results were tragic, both for the
defendant and for Beck’s father. This is a dramatic, wrenching and touching
account of Atticus Finch’s real-life analogue.
Grunt: the Curious Science of Humans at War, by Mary Roach, Abby Elvidge
Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds... and much more.
View From the Cheap Seats, selected Non-Fiction, by Neil Gaiman
An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics—from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories—observed in Neil Gaiman’s probing, amusing, and distinctive style. An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction.
Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse, by Eric Jay Dolin
Beginning with our 300-year-old Boston Light and extending across to the West Coast lighthouses, this is a a work rich in maritime lore and brimming with original historical detail.
Underground Airlines, a novel by Ben H. Winters
This Orwellian allegory takes place in a United States where Lincoln was assassinated before becoming president, the Civil War never took place, and slavery still exists in 4 states (known as the Hard Four). Winters addresses issues such as the use of racial profiling, misguided white liberal politicians, and the influence of racism on the very young. Perhaps the most important book of the summer.
As Good as Gone, a novel by Larry Watson
the death of his wife, Cal Sidey abandoned his children for the life of a
solitary rancher in Montana. Years later, his son Bill asks his father to come
home to look after his grandchildren while Bill handles a family
emergency. But he finds the world no
longer has a place for his old-fashioned, violent ways. A grand Western
tragedy, spare and harrowing.
Van Gogh's Ear, by Bernadette Murphy
Murphy reveals the long misunderstood incident of Van Gogh, at his breaking point, cutting off his own ear and presenting it to the mysterious "Rachel". She re-opens one of art histories most famous cold cases and braids together a journey of Van Gogh's life in a sleepy Provincal town where he painted his greatest art, and re-constructs the world in which he moved.
How to Set a Fire and Why: a novel by Jesse Ball
Lucia Stanton gets kicked out of school for stabbing the star basketball player in the neck with a pencil. She is a delinquent, a philosopher, a shard of glass. She's also an aspiring arsonist who is vibrant and charming in a misanthropic way. Her father died; her Mom is in a mental hospital; Lucia lives in a garage bedroom with her aunt. A story of misguided friendship and destruction.
Vinegar Girl, a novel by Anne Tyler
Taming of the Shrew, retold in present time. Kate Battista keeps house for her
scientist father and younger sister, Bunny. When Dr. Battista’s lab assistant,
Pyotr, is being deported, a plan is hatched to marry him to Kate so he can
remain in the country. A thought-provoking look at the role of women in society
that is just as relevant today as it was 400 years ago!
Barkskins, a novel by
A dazzling, violent,
magnificently dramatic novel about the taking down of the world’s
forests. In the 17th century two penniless Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles
Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord for three years in
exchange for land, they become wood-cutters—barkskins. René suffers
extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He
is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman; their descendants live trapped between two
cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away to become a fur trader and
sets up a timber business. Proulx tells the stories of their descendants over
300 years—their travels across North America, Europe, China and New Zealand,
under brutal conditions—the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian
attacks, and cultural annihilation. They seize a presumed infinite resource,
leaving the modern-day characters face to face with possible ecological
SMOKE, a novel by
Imagine a world where every
dark thought you had was revealed by a wisp of smoke. Set in an alternative
England, this tale reveals what really lies behind this sinful soot through the
eyes of three teenagers who begin to question all they have been told. A
brilliant combination of fantasy and historical fiction, where layers of
mystery and glimmers of truth will keep you feverishly turning pages until the
FEATURING BOOKS About & By MAINE AUTHORS
The One In A Million Boy, by Monica Wood
This novel is fantastic. Beautiful writing, wonderful characters - the kind you want to be friends with yourself. Just quirky enough and not too sentimental with themes of love, loss and aging. This is a Hopeful novel of friendship based in Portland, Maine.Highly recommended!
Goodnight, Beautiful Women, by Anna Noyes
Interconnected stories set in coastal Maine, show women who yearn, stumble, get back up, make terrible mistakes, strive, keep dark secrets, take off and come back again. The stories are energetic, often mysterious and beautifully written. A quality of wildness animates all of them.
American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good, by Colin Woodard
Woodard examines the history of and solutions to the key American question of how to reconcile individual liberty with the maintenance of a free society. The struggle between individual rights and the good of the community, from the run up to the Civil War to the fights between the Federalists, the Progressives, the New Dealers and the civil rights movement, he traces these two key strands through four centuries of the American existence.
One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives, by Bernd Heinrich
A captivating account of the beloved author's encounters with individual wild birds. Each chapter focuses on a different bird, going into fascinating detail that will engage the reader immensley.
Rebel's Wrath, a historical novel by Christoper Morin
A tale of Private
Sherman Jackson, of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment,
who survived the deadly battle of Gettysburg. At the end of the war, Sherman
obeys a summons from his father to return to his home in North Scarborough, and
help save the family business, where he finds himself embroiled in town
troubles and suspected of unlawful activities. He must use all of his resources
to resolve the problems and save himself from destruction.
Finding a Way to Play: The Pioneering Spirit of Women in Basketball, by Joanne Lannin