Kameron Hurley has already won two Hugo Awards and a British Fantasy Society Award for her thought provoking essays. This book contains over 35 essays, nine new, with intriguing titles such as “When the Rebel Becomes Queen: Changing Broken Systems from the Inside” and “Where Have All the Women Gone? Reclaiming the Future of Fiction,” and the remainder republished mostly from her blog. She’s also been published in The Atlantic, Locus, and on Tor.com, to name a few places. This is “her manifesto and call to arms” according to the book jacket, addressing her personal experiences and ongoing conversations in the scifi community. Above and beyond that are universal themes thrown together with humor, seriousness, and joy.
In a serious and moving essay, “Terrorist or Revolutionary? Deciding Who Gets to Write History,” she states, “who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy can change depending on the day and the new enemy.” Think about Nelson Mandela, Saddam Hussein, and Jefferson Davis, to name a few. They were seen differently by different people at different points in time. How have you thought about them? She concludes by encouraging us to write our own stories, because if we don’t someone else will.
Show Me All Your Scars:
True Stories of Living with Mental Illness
Edited by Lee Gutkind RC464.A1 S563 2016 New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor
This searing collection of personal stories illuminates the struggles, triumphs, and everyday realities of living with mental illness, whether the authors’ own illness or that of a loved one. The stories here are raw, real, and moving–as the author of the forward writes, “with each essay, I met a new acquaintance who quickly felt like a good friend.”
Books like this one help protest the silence and stigma that surrounds mental illness. Living with mental illness is not easy but sharing our stories can only help to advance the conversation.
Australian Liane Moriarty’s recently released latest novel is about a barbecue and is also near the pinnacle of the New York Times Best Sellers list this week. It seemed a timely book worth investigating this week.
Barbecuing is a perfect summer activity. It’s fun, doesn’t heat up the house, and results in eating yummy grilled food afterwards. Unfortunately, the backyard barbecue happening here takes a turn for the worse. Seemingly happy couples and their children get together one afternoon in Sydney only to have tragedy strike. This fast-moving, intricately plotted novel follows three very different couples Erica and Oliver, Tiffany and Vid, and Sam and Clementine, interspersing the events of that day and those months later when they’re looking back at what happened, slowly revealing the details to us. The theme of guilt flows through the complexities of marriage, friendship, and sex as the novel proceeds to its end. You can read an excerpt here.
If you want to read Moriarty’s other novels (The Husband’s Secret, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, The Last Anniversary, Little Big Lies, Three Wishes, What Alice Forgot), some are available through UW Request.
Intrigued? You can Browse Inside the book on the Simon and Schuster website.
You may want to check out the book reviews on YouTube, as well as this video of Liane Moriarty answering five questions about the book.
Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, performance by Leonardo DiCaprio & Tom Hardy Browsing DVD Rev New Arrivals Island, DVD, 2nd floor
Every year I like to watch all of the films nominated for Best Picture at the Oscar’s (because I’m pretentious and also like movies). One of the last nominees I watched was The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This film was beautifully shot and gives an incredible portrayal of the fortitude of the human spirit. If you haven’t watched it yet and would like the chance to see Leo wrestle a bear, I highly recommend you stop by Andersen Library and check it out.
You can get these other 2016 Best Picture nominees at the Library, too:
Spotlight, winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture
This wonderfully moving novel was 10 years in the making and was well worth the wait. Doerr has won many awards over time, including the Pulitzer Prize and Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for this historical novel. It was also a National Book Award for fiction finalist. The novel is set in World War II era Europe and follows the lives of two children, Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a German boy with a talent for radios. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris. Blind since the age of six, her father builds her scale models their environs so she can learn how to navigate the streets. Eventually they have to flee and end up in Saint-Malo. Meanwhile, Werner’s technical abilities and expertise cause him to get involved with the Hitler Youth. Their paths cross and become intertwined when the Nazis come to Saint-Malo.
Intrigued? You can Browse Inside the book on the Simon and Schuster website.
There are also some great clips on YouTube, like this one where Anthony Doerr talks about his inspiration for the novel:
The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy
by Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber LB2331.7 .B47 2016 New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor
As August rolls in, the days shorten, and many of us would insist that the clock speeds along more quickly as well. Why do we always reach this point of the summer wondering why we haven’t accomplished all we “should”? Have we used our time as efficiently as possible? Have we met ever increasing goals set for us and by us? Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber challenge us to question this push towards a frantic pace, a symptom, they assert, that is a result of the corporatization and standardization of academia.
Forms of the Slow Movement philosophy have been explored in the context of Slow Money, Slow Medicine, have been researched in the context of information behavior and more. Berg and Seeber extend Slow principles to academia, emphasizing that professors and students need what they refer to as “timeless” time to above all think. Time for reflection and open-ended inquiry is not a luxury, but crucial to what academics are and do.
This encouraging 90-page volume speaks not only to professors, but all instructional staff, graduate students, and those in academia who balance precious student contact time with other institutional responsibilities and expectations.
Leviathan Behemoth Goliath
by Scott Westerfeld
F Wes Curriculum Collection, Juvenile Fiction, 2nd floor
Scott Westerfeld has written a lot of juvenile fiction, but his best, in my opinion is the steampunk Leviathan Trilogy: Leviathan, Behemoth, and Goliath. In case you’ve never heard of steampunk I’ll tell you a bit about it. Steampunk is essentially Victorian inspired science fiction, generally occurring either during the reign of Britain’s Queen Victoria (1837-1901) or during a later time period that still has Victorian sensibilities and uses the technology of the time period (steam and mechanical as opposed to gas and computers). From there you will find a myriad of variations like dieselpunk. Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea would be steampunk if it had been written these days instead of in 1869.
Here’s what Scott has to say about the story:
“Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.
Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.
With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected ways, taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.”
Watch the trailer for Leviathan here.
Leviathan Series by Scott Westerfeld and how you can get them:
1. Leviathan (2009)
2. Behemoth (2010)
3. Goliath (2011) – available through UW Request