Books That Caught Our Eye

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DragonLegendsAt Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

Serena

Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking @ Under My Apple Tree

Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues.

Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet—including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence—he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us.

Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history.

Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world.

“Hawking has always fascinated me, so this appeals to me.”

——–

BEASTIE BOYS BOOK by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz @ BemudaOnion

A panoramic experience that tells the story of Beastie Boys, a book as unique as the band itself—by band members ADROCK and Mike D, with contributions from Amy Poehler, Colson Whitehead, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, Luc Sante, and more.

Formed as a New York City hardcore band in 1981, Beastie Boys struck an unlikely path to global hip hop superstardom. Here is their story, told for the first time in the words of the band. Adam “ADROCK” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond offer revealing and very funny accounts of their transition from teenage punks to budding rappers; their early collaboration with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin; the debut album that became the first hip hop record ever to hit #1, Licensed to Ill—and the album’s messy fallout as the band broke with Def Jam; their move to Los Angeles and rebirth with the genre-defying masterpiece Paul’s Boutique; their evolution as musicians and social activists over the course of the classic albums Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and Hello Nasty and the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits conceived by the late Adam “MCA” Yauch; and more. For more than thirty years, this band has had an inescapable and indelible influence on popular culture.

With a style as distinctive and eclectic as a Beastie Boys album, Beastie Boys Book upends the typical music memoir. Alongside the band narrative you will find rare photos, original illustrations, a cookbook by chef Roy Choi, a graphic novel, a map of Beastie Boys’ New York, mixtape playlists, pieces by guest contributors, and many more surprises.

“Ever since I saw this on CBS This Morning, I’ve wanted it. Loved this band as a kid.”

Martha

When Stars Go Out found at Library of Clean Reads

The dawning of a new order casts a shadow across a whole nation. GRO, the government’s Great Reorganization Operation, is turning American society upside down as it seizes teenagers and throws them into compounds across the country. Behind the speeches and programs, a darkness stirs. Reed can feel it. Taken from his home and dropped into the compound of “The Hill” in central Virginia, he can’t escape the feeling that evil hangs over him night and day, watching his every move. Something is preying upon the teenagers of the Hill. An entire city lies paralyzed under the iron fist of a shadowy government agency and its cruel police force. Spies lurk among the crowds of frightened teens, ready to pounce at the first sign of dissidence. Fear keeps a choking hold on every soul–almost.

When he makes a new friend, Reed begins asking questions and stumbles upon a different side of this dark reality–a world of secrets where the light still lingers and hope burns in the hearts of a few. It’s a strange world where everyday teens are fugitives playing a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse with the secret police. But it’s fascinating, thrilling, and it all seems to revolve around a single figure–one man–who ties Reed’s parallel lives together. Though dangerous to be around, this man seems to hold the answers Reed needs to make sense of the insanity around him. But he is being hunted, and the secrets in his past may be darker than anything else that haunts the Hill.

Caught in a crossfire of warring ideals, Reed faces an agonizing choice and a single path of escape–but is it worth what it will cost him?

“This fits in with the dystopian/Christian genres that I like.”

——–

The Priestess and the Dragon by Nicolette Andrews found at ScaredyEngines End of Line Library

An arrogant dragon. A smart mouthed priestess. The fate of the world depends on them working together.
We’re doomed.

Suzume’s life was perfect. That was until she was exiled. Living in a remote mountain shrine, couldn’t get any worse. At least that’s what she thought before she awakened a dragon. Because when she frees the Dragon, she catches fire. But she doesn’t burn.

The Dragon, Kaito, has been trapped for five hundred years. Now he wants revenge. Suzume may not be able to control her new-found ability, just yet, but she’s willing to fake it, if it will get her back home.

With new powers come dangerous enemies. Someone wants Suzume dead. Her powers have made her a target. And getting back her old life will not be as easy as she thought.

A power-hungry monster is out to destroy the world. And they are the only ones who can stop it. But can they learn to work together before it’s too late?

Start the adventure today and watch the sparks fly.

“The cover caught my eye and the blurb makes it sound like a fun adventure.”

Leslie

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames at Silver’s Reviews

For Stella Fortuna, death has always been a part of life. Stella’s childhood is full of strange, life-threatening incidents—moments where ordinary situations like cooking eggplant or feeding the pigs inexplicably take lethal turns. Even Stella’s own mother is convinced that her daughter is cursed or haunted.

In her rugged Italian village, Stella is considered an oddity—beautiful and smart, insolent and cold. Stella uses her peculiar toughness to protect her slower, plainer baby sister Tina from life’s harshest realities. But she also provokes the ire of her father Antonio: a man who demands subservience from women and whose greatest gift to his family is his absence.

When the Fortunas emigrate to America on the cusp of World War II, Stella and Tina must come of age side-by-side in a hostile new world with strict expectations for each of them. Soon Stella learns that her survival is worthless without the one thing her family will deny her at any cost: her independence.

In present-day Connecticut, one family member tells this heartrending story, determined to understand the persisting rift between the now-elderly Stella and Tina. A richly told debut, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna is a tale of family transgressions as ancient and twisted as the olive branch that could heal them.

“When I saw the story began in Italy, it caught my eye. Plus it has a lot of the plot elements I look for in a novel.”

3 thoughts on “Books That Caught Our Eye

    • It does! I skim all the descriptions of the new books each week, and “Italy” was what first caught my eye. And then the story did sound like one that would hold my interest.

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