Check This Out! — Young Adult books

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There’s one more month of summer left, so if you’re looking to squeeze in some reading, you should check out some of our young adult (YA) titles! YA books are written for a teenage audience, but are enjoyed by readers of all ages (check out this article from The Guardian on why so many adults enjoy YA books).

Below are some of the YA books we have at the library, but you can also explore this list of other titles we have. Click on the covers to get a quick summary in the “Description” section of the record, or to place a hold on the book:

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—Becca

Becca

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Check This Out! — Maria Sibylla Merian

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If you’ve passed by our leisure reading section in the last week, you may have noticed the oversize book we have on display titled Maria Sybilla Merian, Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium. Mary Sybilla Merian was a naturalist who illustrated and researched insects, plants, and other creatures during the 1700s, and this book features her work from a trip to Surinam. This is a great item to browse while you’re cooling off in the library, especially since it also includes a short biography of Maria Sybilla Marian and information on how her art was colored and reproduced with printing presses.

For more information, and to watch some cool videos about the book, check out the publisher’s site here. You can also place a hold on this book (yes, you can check it out!) in the library catalog here.

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One page from the book

—Becca

Becca

Check This Out! – Queer: A Graphic History

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51qxEZud3kL._SX343_BO1,204,203,200_Not sure what the Kinsey scale, heteronormativity, or polyamory are? Want to know more about identity politics, gender, or the LGBTQ* movement? Looking for an introduction to queer theory, but aren’t sure where to start? Want to learn more about all these topics (and more) in a non-judgmental, fun, and easy to understand format? Never fear – the library has a solution!

Queer: A Graphic History is a great starting guide for all these topic and more! This book breaks down complex topics from queer theory into illustrated, easy to understand, 1-page summaries (see image below). This book has value for those just starting to learn about these topics, as well as those with some background knowledge looking for more in-depth information. To learn more, or to place a hold on this title, visit the library catalog here, or click the book cover above!

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Image from http://www.juliascheele.co.uk/queer-a-graphic-history/

–Becca

Becca

How about an audio-book for your travels this Summer?

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As the summer travel season kicks into high-gear, how about listening to an audio-book while you hit the roads? Whether it’s a drive to Niagara Falls or a ride to Cape Cod, you can pop a ‘Book on CD’ into your car’s player, and escape into a great story.  We have access to thousands of titles – from memoirs to mysteries, best-sellers in fiction and non-fiction. Stop by the library, give us a call at ext. 6125 or email us at circdesk@bryant.edu – we will be happy to make suggestions and find the book you’re interested in!

 

Check This Out! – Margaret Atwood

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Season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale is over, but if you need more from Margaret Atwood, we’ve got you covered! Check out some of the other books she’s written available at Bryant library (click the links or cover photos to place a hold):

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Alias Grace
is a great next-book choice, especially because it’s also being made into a tv show! It’s going to be a limited-run show on Netflix–check out the trailer here.

This book is based on a true story about Grace Marks, who was convicted of killing the man she worked for. In this retelling, Grace cannot recall the murder, and a doctor’s help is enlisted to find out what really happened.

 

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Another book by Margaret Atwood you should check out is Oryx and Crake. Similar to The Handmaid’s Tale, this book is a dystopia, focusing on the world after scientific and ecological disasters. This book switches perspective, showing the reader the current state of the world as well as how it became that way. This is the first book of the MaddAddam trilogy, so if you like this book we can order you the other books in the series as well (they’re told from the perspective of other people in the world to give you more information about the world).

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If you’re looking for something a bit different, you can try The Door, a book of Margaret Atwood’s poetry. These poems span a variety of different topics, including loss, love, and the life of the poet.

 

 

–Becca

Becca

Check This Out! – Books by Bill Nye

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Those of us who grew up in the 90’s are familiar with Bill Nye (The Science Guy) thanks to his delightfully cheesy and over-the-top science show we watched in our elementary science classes. In case you didn’t have the pleasure, check out this episode of his show on the brain:

Bill Nye has returned once more for his Netflix show, Bill Nye Saves the World, where he covers relevant scientific topics like GMOs and artificial intelligence. If you’re looking for more simplified, fun science, look no further! Nye’s also written some books that we have available at the library. Check these out to read inside in the air conditioning away from the heat or at the beach! Click the books below to get more information or to place a hold:

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–Becca

Becca

Check This Out! – Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

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97808129953431George Saunders is not an author with whom I was familiar prior to reading Lincoln in the Bardo.  What drew me is the title, being both a Lincoln/American Civil War enthusiast (I’ve never really liked the term “Civil War buff” though I certainly meet the criteria) and dabbler in eastern religions and spirituality.  The term “bardo” refers to a state of consciousness between death and rebirth.  The story focuses on the death of President Lincoln’s eleven-year-old son Willie in February, 1862 during the first term of Lincoln’s presidency and America’s escalation into its nearly year-old Civil War.

I have read, in various forums, that readers’ preferred format for this novel is the audio-book.  I can easily understand this as the story features a cacophony of character voices—graveyard residents—whose souls retain a variety of personalities so diverse that it seems a shame to deny one’s ears the pleasure.  Saunders creates a dialog between characters that is, in many ways, more reminiscent of a play than a novel.  Truncated, rapid-fire responses mixed with monologue.  The character dialog is interspersed with citations from the many, many books (of which I have read a number) written about Lincoln himself, his administration, the Todd family (Mary Lincoln’s kin) and the Civil War era.  Generally speaking, my first impression of this book was not positive.  The quirky writing-style was so alien to me that I felt it a bit too bizarre for my taste.  In fact, I reluctantly abandoned it early on but it was my love of all things Lincoln, along with the understanding that beneath the literary quirk was a truly talented writer, that brought me back to its pages for another try and, ultimately, I am pleased that it did.

Saunders’ portrayal of Lincoln’s grief and heart-wrenching loss; his visits to the cemetery—allegedly, to exhume and caress his son’s entombed body—in the days after Willie’s death was, at times, emotionally overwhelming.  It felt almost intrusive to be reading something so personal and emotionally weighted.  In scenes both reviling and beautiful, the author takes you to places you ordinarily believe you would surely decline to go.  Until you go.  And it becomes the tragic sight from which you can’t avert your eyes.  It is by no means a light, fun read.  There is wonderfully creative and talented prose as well as a good dose of humor in some of his many characters but for anyone who has suffered a loss of such magnitude, an emotional ride awaits you in this book.

–Wendy Smith-Stenhouse