The Uplift Saga

Science Fiction

Science Fiction

 

The Uplift Novels by David Brin

David Brin is a Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction author.  His Uplift series is set in a future world where humans have been joined by genetically enhanced dolphins and chimps as they explore a universe full of superior alien races, many hostile to those from Earth.

Sundiver

Sundiver

In all the universe, no species has ever reached for the stars without the guidance of an alien patron – except perhaps humans. Circling the sun, in the caverns of Mercury, Expedition Sundiver prepares for a journey into the broiling inferno of the sun to find out more about humans' place in the cosmic order.  But mysterious ghosts and murderous passengers threaten the ship's mission.

 

Startide Rising

Startide Rising

The Terran exploration vessel Streaker has crashed on the uncharted water world of Kithrup, bearing one of the most important discoveries in galactic history.  Above, in space, armadas of alien races clash in a titanic struggle to claim her.  Below, a handful of her human and dolphin crew battles armed rebellion and a hostile planet to safeguard her secret – the fate of the Progenitors, the fabled First Race who seeded wisdom throughout the stars.

 

The Uplift War

The Uplift War

As galactic armadas clash in quest of the ancient fleet of the Progenitors, a brutal alien race seizes the dying planet of Garth.  The various uplifted inhabitants of Garth must battle their overlords or face ultimate extinction.  At stake is the existence of Terran society and Earth, and the fate of the entire Five Galaxies. 

 

 

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters

Student Review: Scratch Beginnings

Memoir - Poverty

Memoir

 

Jeffrey Liao  provided this student review of the non-fiction memoir Scratch Beginnings by Adam Shepard.

Scratch Beginnings

If you’re a teenager who is wondering what it’s like to be poor, read this book.

If you’re a liberal and believe the American Dream doesn’t exist, read this book.

If you’re a conservative and believe the homeless are just lazy, read this book.

If you haven’t heard or read Scratch Beginnings by Adam Shepard, you’re missing out.

Shepard’s memoir of his journey from “rags-to-fancier-rags” is a very enlightening book that I, admittedly, had trouble putting down.

Will you receive cultural insider knowledge on how the other half lives after reading this book?

Yes. Will you become a financial guru? Probably not. The point is, the purpose of this book is to prove two things: 1) that the American Dream does exist. 2) People who complain about what they don’t have are just whiners.

The book begins with Shepard providing context to his little social experiment. He states the motivation behind his wanting to do this (which was to prove the American Dream does exist), and how he made sure his experiment was controlled and unbiased. He chose a random city, only took an initial amount of $25 to spend, a sleeping bag and the clothes on his back. He establishes that his goal is to get a place to live in, own a car, and become a regular citizen of society, all within a year. Shepard then takes the train to Charleston, where he soon finds a homeless shelter called Crisis Ministries, but not before having several tense encounters with homeless people. At Crisis Ministries, he’s able to get a job, however, it pays very little, and it isn’t even a secure job (as every day is a new job somewhere else). While he still looks for ways to get closer to achieving his goal, he starts to form friendships with the people at Crisis Ministries, often hanging out with them and watching movies together. He discovers more about the personal lives of the homeless, and how they ended up in their poor situation.

As Adam progresses, it is very interesting to see how his attitude changes. See, in the beginning, Adam was absolutely determined to keep a low profile. He did not want to attract attention to himself, either by fighting or doing something illegal. However, after he finishes a stressful and abusive shift at a clothing store, he gets tired of Planet Plump’s (the manager of the store) mistreatment of Adam and his friends and decides to confront her. He transitioned from a very cautious man to a person who just did not care anymore. Adam wanted to just be himself.

Later, Adam discovers that he has a solid opportunity to land himself a job at a carwash, but declines since the wage was slightly smaller than he had wanted. Still though, it was a significant step towards official employment. In the end, he does get hired as a mover for furniture, and considered himself lucky that he got paired with “one of the best movers on the planet.”

In the end, Shepard succeeds in finding a secure job, a place to live, and fitting into society. He also accomplishes more than that, and in lesser time than he had expected.

So, with that summary in mind, I think that Adam’s journey to find the American Dream was very fruitful and was filled with revelations. It may have had its flaws, as Adam himself points out in his book, but I believe that while he may have gotten lucky at times, his story cannot just be ignored. It does have a lot of merits. He did as much as he could to keep his experiment random and as close to a regular homeless man’s situation as possible. And yet, he was still able to get a job and home in less than a year. In general, I recommend this book for anyone. The American Dream theme relates to everyone in different aspects. Like I said at the beginning of this review: If you think the American Dream does not exist, read this book. Adam provides a relatively concrete case that the A.D. is within America’s reach. You will be thoroughly intrigued by how he got so far with so little. If you’re a conservative who believes homeless people just can’t get a job because they’re lazy, you will be surprised when you read how much Adam’s homeless friends eagerly talk about getting a job. You will discover that they don’t spend all their money on drugs. Some of them were just a victim of circumstance.

This book is certainly comparable to Ehrenrich’s Nickel and Dimed, where she concludes that the American Dream does not exist. Adam’s purpose, as he stated in the beginning of his book, was to prove her wrong, essentially serving as a rebuttal to her book. These two authors were people who were trying to discover if the illusive America Dream truly existed. Personally, I think that Adam has a better argument, since his process of starting low and coming out high was a lot more controlled and more realistic than that of Ehrenrich, who allowed herself to use her credit card. Ehrenrich didn’t really have a consistent, legitimate process, so I do not believe her conclusion is supported by her experiment.

But that is all just my opinion. Everyone has their opinions. For me, Adam’s book made quite an impact on how I see the unfortunate victims of circumstance, who are out there in the world, trying to become better people but just can’t seem to find the right chances to do so. Adam has also boosted my confidence that the American Dream could actually be tangible, if not already tangible. Therefore, after considering that he started out with so little, and came out with a lot, I proudly give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Student Review: Black Like Me

Memoir - Civil Rights

Memoir – Racial Identity

 

Erik Brainard provided this student review of Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin.

Black Like Me Review

Most people know of the hardships that blacks faced throughout most of American history, from enslavement in the 1700’s and 1800’s, to facing oppression to this day even after being freed in the late 1800’s. However, for a long time, whites had no idea what it was like to be of African descent in America, and none were brave enough to go against the grain and discover what it was like. However, this all changed when in 1961, white author John Howard Griffin published his book Black Like Me, documenting his experiences playing the societal role of a black man in the south during the late 1950’s and 1960’s. Using various dyes and exposure to UV lights, Griffin successfully changed his skin color from Caucasian to African American. Griffin writes in a diary style, with each chapter being a new day, with a date for each. Griffin accurately describes his experience as a black man and his information stays relevant even to this day.

The book begins with Griffin pondering the idea of living as a black. He questions; what adjustments would a white man need to make to live as a black in the south? Griffin then goes on to describe the steps that he took to prepare himself for this change, including how he got his family on board, and his experience finding a dermatologist who would help him. When Griffin finally starts his treatments, he finds them painful, and they often cause him nausea. However, because of his dedication, he pulled through and completed the process. The first time Griffin looks at himself in the mirror after his treatment is a major event in the book, showing one of the main themes: losing and regaining identity. When Griffin looks in the mirror, he doesn’t recognize the man staring back at him, and he feels scared. This foreshadows how different his life is about to become, and symbolizes his departure from the white community and his entrance into the black one. Throughout his experience as a black man, Griffin finds the condition of living to horrible. He is constantly on the receiving end of racial slurs and at one point a white man almost attacks him before Griffin chases him away. It is also very hard for Griffin to find a job, and to even find a restroom to use. Obviously, most educated people today already know that blacks had a very hard life before the civil rights movement, but Griffin’s firsthand view and white man’s perspective are really a nice change from other accounts, simply because Griffin is able to make comparisons between these two different lifestyles, something that genetic blacks can’t do. Griffin then goes on to describe his time after his six-week experiment. When he first publishes an article in 1960 describing his experiences as a black man, Griffin receives huge amounts of praise from around the world, and is invited to appear on multiple major television shows to be interviewed. However, he doesn’t quite get as much praise in Mansfield, TX, his home town. The overall attitude there remains racist, and Griffin and his family feel threatened, so they move to Mexico.

In the book, Griffin does a superb job of keeping the story pretty interesting and entertaining, while also keeping it historically accurate and informative. The blending of these two aspects really make Black Like Me a special book to read. Because of it being an interesting story, the book can be read for pleasure, and can be assigned to high school students and it won’t bore them to death. On the other hand, because of its historical relevance and accuracy, this book can be used for anyone looking to study the life of blacks in the 50’s and 60’s, and can be considered a primary source from this era. Whatever the reason for reading may be, chances are Black Like Me will satisfy the reader. However, the book is not flawless. The main issue is that Griffin’s writing style is not the most exciting. He doesn’t use much imagery when describing, and this occasionally makes reading feel like a chore. Another flaw is the way that the chapters are set up. Each chapter is one day, which in theory sounds like it would work, but doesn’t work quite so well in the book. Since on some days more things happen than on other days, the chapter length can vary quite a bit, and this disrupts the flow of Griffin’s writing.

All in all, John Howard Griffin’s book Black Like Me is still relevant to this day. Whether the reader wants a book to read just for pleasure, or they want a historically accurate book from the Civil Rights Era, Black Like Me will be satisfactory. Although it does have some flaws such as lack of descriptive language and unusual chapter structure, the positives certainly outweigh the negatives.

Student Review: Nickel and Dimed

Nickel and Dimed

Nonfiction

 

Bella Alexander provided this student review of the non-fiction memoir Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. 

Fickle and Timed

What is there to do when the living wage can’t actually be lived on? For most working Americans, it’s finding ways to cut back, even if that means making the decision between paying the rent or feeding their children. But for Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed, it resulted in a whole lot of complaining, some relatively minor stress, and an eventual return to her cushy upper middle class life. This book had an intended message that I found to be quite powerful, that is, the wages around the country that we expect working Americans to survive on, even utilize to pull themselves out of poverty, are extremely inadequate. However, although I commend Ehrenreich’s efforts regarding her going out and attempting to experience the life of a wage slave-might I add, when the economy was perhaps a better place for minimum wage workers than it is now-her writing style continually exuded a very detached, almost “holier-than-thou” perspective on what she went through. Even though Ehrenreich and I walked away with the intended message of her toils, what stood out to me more than the purpose of the composition itself was the attitude of upper class citizens towards those lower than them on the socio-economic ladder, represented by the subtle quips and snarky comments made throughout the book.  Ehrenreich was set on proving that the living wage is not livable. That is what she accomplished. But in my mind, Nickel and Dimed is not only a testament to how skewed our take on the minimum wage really is, but also a testament to the bias that the wealthy have towards the poor and the severity of social stratification between classes in our country, as told by someone who embodies the aforementioned phenomenon.

In Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich embarks on a mission to prove that the minimum wage simply isn’t enough. From serving in Florida to scrubbing in Maine to selling in Minnesota, we follow Ehrenreich on her pilgrimage through the life of a working class citizen and are with her as she experiences almost first hand the struggles and realities of situations simulated by her own. She pays special mind to the documentation, analysis, and observation of people she encounters throughout her brief time making it in the world of the working, and overall comes away with a reinforced understanding that the living wage is truly unlivable.

Ehrenreich makes it clear within the first few pages of her memoir that she did not want to do this experiment, stating that it was meant for “someone younger” than herself, “some neophyte journalist with time on her hands.” It is with this sentiment that Nickel and Dimed begins, and also with this sentiment that the entire book is written. Ehrenreich gets a taste, similar in fashion to how a child who does not like broccoli tastes broccoli, of the life of a working class citizen. Despite setting rules for herself regarding finances, jobs, and housing, she self-admittedly smashes each of these rules to pieces at one point or another, sometimes even more than once, which in my mind all but demolishes the scientific validity of her experience, which is ironic because she out rightly states in the beginning of her book that she wanted to make this as scientific an experiment as possible, and this is fitting that she should want this, I suppose, as she does have a PhD in biology that she refuses to let the reader forget.

In addition, Ehrenreich’s writing is chalk full of contradictions. For example, she states "The 'working poor' are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor to everyone else." However, she still, in my mind, fails to fully grasp this concept herself while she continually resents and reproaches all those who she was forced to serve. Another flaw within Ehrenreich’s writing is her at times too humanitarian based actions, as if she were some savior come to rescue her lower class work mates from their depths of despair, as when she was working at WalMart and talked with a fellow employee about improving their situation that perhaps they could have done it had she been able to afford working there any longer.

All in all, Ehrenreich is very aware that she has no place or right to be telling this type of story from the perspective of people she will never fully understand because she chooses not to. Her brief escapade into the world of the working poor was limited in both will and true insight, therefore making her personal experiences essentially irrelevant. However, despite her nauseating personality and upper class slander, the point was delivered with some rather valuable content to accompany it.

There is a saying that goes something like, “Don’t judge someone till you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” In Ehrenreich’s case, she reluctantly decided to make the tumultuous journey into the world of the poor in their beat up sneakers, shuffled along for several steps or so, decided that her feet hurt too much and that the shoes were ugly, then sprinted back to her cushy life. If this attitude is commendable in our society, save for the overall message which in my mind could have been portrayed almost as effectively from behind a desk considering the overall invalidity of Ehrenreich’s little adventure, then what really is there to do for those trying to get by on the living wage that clearly can’t be lived on? If they’re not Barbara Ehrenreich, all there is to do is survive.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Soldier

Memoir

Memoir

 

Rock 'N' Roll Soldier by Dean Ellis Kohler

During a time when none of us knew for sure if we would live or die, I came to know the true power of music.​

Dean Kohler is about to make it big–he's finally scored a national record deal! But his dreams are abruptly put on hold by the arrival of his draft notice. Now he's in Qui Nhon, Vietnam, serving as a military policeman.

He keeps telling himself he's a musician, not a killer, and that he's lucky he's not fighting on the front lines. When Captain orders him to form a rock band, it's up to Dean to find instruments and players, pronto. Ingenuity and perseverance pay off and soon the band is traveling through treacherous jungle terrain to perform for troops in desperate need of an escape–even if it's only for three sets.

And for Dean–who lives with death, violence, and the fear that anyone could be a potential spy (even his Vietnamese girlfriend)–the band becomes the one thing that gets him through the day. During one of the most controversial wars in recent American history, this incredible true story is about music and camaraderie in the midst of chaos.

 

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters

On Two Feet and Wings

Memoir

Memoir

 

On Two Feet and Wings by Abbas Kazerooni

Abbas Kazerooni is not yet ten when, during the Iran-Iraq War, her is forced to leave his parents, his friends – his entire world – and flee from Tehran.

On his own in the often frightening city of Istanbul, Abbas grows up fast with little more than his wits to guide him.  Here, in a city where he doesn't speak the language, he must determine who is a friend and who is an enemy, walking a tightrope of survival.

His quick thinking, entrepreneurial spirit, and the unexpected kindness of of strangers allow him to make the best of his dire situation in surprising ways.  But does he have what it takes to achieve his parents' ultimate dream for him: a visa to England – and safety?

 

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters

Pope Joan

Biography

Biography

 

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

For a thousand years her existence has been denied.  She is the legend that will not die — Pope Joan, the ninth-century woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to become the only female ever to sit on the throne of St. Peter.  

Brilliant and talented, young Joan rebels against medieval social strictures forbidding women to learn.  When her brother is brutally killed during a Viking attack, Joan takes up his cloak — and his identity — and enters the monastery of Fulda.  As Brother John Anglicus, Joan distinguishes herself as a great scholar and healer.  Eventually she is drawn to Rome, where she becomes enmeshed in a dangerous web of love, passion, and politics.  Triumphing over appalling odds, she finally attains the highest office in Christendom — wielding a power greater than any woman before or since.  But such power always comes at a price . . . 

 

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters

Little Fish

Graphic Biography

Graphic Biography

 

Little Fish: A Memoir From a Different Kind of Year by Ramsey Beyer

Told through real-life journals, collages, lists, and drawings, this coming-of-age story illustrates the transformation of an 18-year-old girl from a small-town teenager into an independent city-dwelling college student. Written in an autobiographical style with beautiful artwork, Little Fish shows the challenges of being a young person facing the world on her own for the very first time and the unease–as well as excitement–that comes along with that challenge.

Ramsey Beyer is a comic artist and illustrator living in Philadelphia, PA. She self-published her autobiographical graphic novel, Year One , accounting for her first year in Philadelphia. Beyer has had illustrated and written work published in several books, including Fanzines by Teal Triggs, Make A Zine!, and Don't Leave Your Friends Behind. Little Fish: A Memoir From a Different Kind of Year is her first traditionally published book. Known for her pet portraits, she is also the illustrator of Daisy to the Rescue by Jeff Campbell.

 

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters

Some Assembly Required

Memoir

Memoir

 

Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen by Arin Andrews

Seventeen-year-old Arin Andrews shares all the hilarious, painful, and poignant details of undergoing gender reassignment as a high school student in this winning memoir. We've all felt uncomfortable in our own skin at some point, and we've all been told that "it's just a part of growing up." But for Arin Andrews, it wasn't a phase that would pass. He had been born in the body of a girl and there seemed to be no relief in sight… In this revolutionary memoir, Arin details the journey that led him to make the life-transforming decision to undergo gender reassignment as a high school junior. In his captivatingly witty, honest voice, Arin reveals the challenges he faced as a girl, the humiliation and anger he felt after getting kicked out of his private school, and all the changes – both mental and physical – he experienced once his transition began.

Some Assembly Required is a true coming-of-age story about knocking down obstacles and embracing family, friendship, and first love. But more than that, it is a reminder that self-acceptance does not come ready-made with a manual and spare parts. Rather, some assembly is always required.

 

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters.

VIII

Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction

 

VIII by H. M. Castor

Prince Hal is a young man with extraordinary gifts: astonishing warrior skills, sharp intelligence, and a fierce sense of honor.  His older brother will be the next king of England, but Hal knows that he is also destined for greatness – even if his father wishes he would disappear.

When his brother suddenly dies, Hal is thrust into further conflict as he becomes the heir to the throne. Upon his succession, Hal's obsession with regaining France and having an abundance of sons causes him to end marriage  after marriage, casting off and even executing his wives, breaking with the Catholic church, and turning from an honorable and idealistic young prince into the cruel and despotic ruler known as Henry VIII.

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters.

Prison Island

Graphic Memoir

Graphic Memoir

 

Prison Island by Colleen Frakes

The story of a perfectly ordinary childhood in a perfectly extraordinary place.

McNeil Island in Washington state was the home of the last prison island in the US, accessible only by air or sea.  It was also home to about fifty families, including Colleen Frakes's.  In this graphic memoir, Colleen tells her story of growing up on McNeil Island, where regular teenage activities like ordering a pizza or going to the movies became extremely complicated endeavors, and the small-town dynamics were amplified by living on the edge of a prison, in an isolated place where if you broke a rule, your family could be kicked off the island.

 

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters.

The Pregnancy Project

Memoir

Memoir

 

The Pregnancy Project, by Gaby Rodriguez, with Jenna Glatzer

It started as a school project . . . but turned into so much more.

Growing up, Gaby Rodriguez was often told she would end up a teen mom like her mother and sisters.  But Gaby had ambitions that didn't include teen motherhood.  Wondering how she would be treated if she "lived down" to others' expectations, as a school project she faked her own pregnancy to gauge  the reactions of her friends, family and community.  In her memoir, Gaby reveals all that she learned from the experience and how she came out from the shadow of low expectations to forge a bright future beyond the stereotypes.

 

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters.

The Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries

Historical Fiction - Mystery

Historical Fiction – Mystery

 

The Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries by Lindsey Davis

Ancient Rome under the rule of Emperor Vespasian is a dangerous place for Marcus Didius Falco, a private investigator with a knack for trouble, a tendency for bad luck, and a frequently incovenient drive for justice. 

Historical Fiction - Mystery Book 1 – The Silver Pigs

Marcus Didius Falco encounters the young and very pretty Sosia Camillina in the Forum and senses immediately that there is something amiss. When she confesses that she is fleeing for her life, Falco offers to help her and, in doing so, he gets himself mixed up in a deadly plot involving stolen ingots, dangerous and dark political machinations, and, most hazardous of all, one Helena Justina, a brash senator's daughter connected to the very traitors that Falco has sworn to expose.

 

Shadows in BronzeBook 2 – Shadows in Bronze

Informer and occasional imperial agent Marcus Didius Falco is miserable. The high-born woman he fell in love with, Helena Justina, has broken off their stormy, impossible affair. So when Emperor Vespasian assigns Falco a task that will take him out of Rome, he can't wait. Disguised as vacationer in the company of his comrade Petronius Longus, captain of the Aventine Watch, Falco travels south to Neapolis, Capreae and Pompeii where he discovers a conspiracy involving the Egyptian grain shipment to Rome. He also stumbles across Helena Justina, conveniently also on a trip out of town, who might, unwittingly, be enmeshed in this dangerous, treasonous scheme.

Venus in CopperBook 3 – Venus in Copper

Marcus Didius Falco is deperate to leave the notorious Lautumiae prison – though being bailed out by his mother is a slight indignity… Things go from bad to worse though when a group of nouveau riche ex-slaves hire him to outwit a fortune-hunting redhead, whose husbands have a habit of dying accidently, leaving him up against a female contortionist, her extra-friendly snake, indigestible cakes and rent racketeers. And, all the while, trying to lure Helena Justina to live with him, a dangerous proposition given the notorius instability of Roman real estate.

Iron Hand of MarsBook 4 – The Iron Hand of Mars

When Germanic troops in the service of the Empire begin to rebel, and a Roman general disappears, Emperor Vespasian turns to the one man he can trust: Marcus Didius Falco, a private informer whose rates are low enough that even the stingy Vespasian is willing to pay them. To Falco, an undercover tour of Germania is an assignment from Hades. On a journey that only a stoic could survive, Falco meets with disarray, torture, and murder. His one hope: in the northern forest lives a powerful Druid priestess who perhaps can be persuaded to cease her anti-Rome activities and work for peace. 

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters.

Winter

Fantasy

 

Winter by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles' final chapter is the story of Winter, the scared princess whose beauty rivals that of her stepmother, the Queen.

Winter despises her stepmother, and has been undermining her wishes for years.  Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long.

Other titles in the series:

  • Cinder
  • Scarlet
  • Cress
  • Fairest

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters.

Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow

Fantasy

Fantasy

Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell

"So now that you know I'm a vampire, for certain, you don't care?"

"Now that I know that you just sneak around, drinking household pets and legal game, yeah, I'm not too bothered.  It's not like I'm a militant vegetarian."

"And you still don't believe that I'm dead."

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen. That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right. Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here–it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.

This book wins my award for the most misleading cover on a YA book.  There is romance, and angst, but also monsters and death and misuse of magic and annoying roommates.  More of that needed to show up on the cover!

Want to know more? Use the Destiny Catalog to search for the title – click on the title and look for the Title Peek logo below the cover image to get more plot details, read reviews, and preview chapters.

Feb 09

The Uplift Saga

Startide Rising

 

The Uplift Novels by David Brin

David Brin is a Hugo and Nebula award winning science fiction author.  His Uplift series is set in a future world where humans have been joined by genetically enhanced dolphins and chimps as they explore a universe full of superior alien races, many hostile to those from Earth.

Continue reading »

Jan 30

Student Review: Scratch Beginnings

Memoir - Poverty

 

Jeffrey Liao  provided this student review of the non-fiction memoir Scratch Beginnings by Adam Shepard.

Scratch Beginnings

If you’re a teenager who is wondering what it’s like to be poor, read this book.

If you’re a liberal and believe the American Dream doesn’t exist, read this book.

If you’re a conservative and …

Continue reading »

Jan 28

Student Review: Black Like Me

Memoir - Civil Rights

 

Erik Brainard provided this student review of Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin.

Black Like Me Review

Most people know of the hardships that blacks faced throughout most of American history, from enslavement in the 1700’s and 1800’s, to facing oppression to this day even after being freed in the …

Continue reading »

Jan 26

Student Review: Nickel and Dimed

Nickel and Dimed

 

Bella Alexander provided this student review of the non-fiction memoir Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. 

Fickle and Timed

What is there to do when the living wage can’t actually be lived on? For most working Americans, it’s finding ways to cut back, even if that means making the decision between paying the …

Continue reading »

Jan 15

Rock ‘N’ Roll Soldier

Memoir

 

Rock 'N' Roll Soldier by Dean Ellis Kohler

During a time when none of us knew for sure if we would live or die, I came to know the true power of music.​

Dean Kohler is about to make it big–he's finally scored a national record deal! But his dreams are abruptly put …

Continue reading »

Jan 15

Tomboy

Graphic Memoir

Tomoby: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince

Liz Prince tells gender norms to eat dirt

Growing up, Liz Prince wasn't a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing Pretty Pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn't exactly one of the guys either, as she quickly learned when her …

Continue reading »

Jan 15

On Two Feet and Wings

Memoir

 

On Two Feet and Wings by Abbas Kazerooni

Abbas Kazerooni is not yet ten when, during the Iran-Iraq War, her is forced to leave his parents, his friends – his entire world – and flee from Tehran.

On his own in the often frightening city of Istanbul, Abbas grows up fast with little …

Continue reading »

Jan 13

Hidden Girl

Nonfiction

 

Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave by Shyima Hall

Shyima Hall was eight years old when her parents sold her into domestic slavery.

One of eleven children, Shyima lived with her family in poverty in Egypt.  When an older sister, a domestic servant in Cairo, was dismissed …

Continue reading »

Jan 13

Pope Joan

Biography

 

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

For a thousand years her existence has been denied.  She is the legend that will not die — Pope Joan, the ninth-century woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to become the only female ever to sit on the throne of St. Peter.  

Brilliant …

Continue reading »

Jan 12

Little Fish

Graphic Biography

 

Little Fish: A Memoir From a Different Kind of Year by Ramsey Beyer

Told through real-life journals, collages, lists, and drawings, this coming-of-age story illustrates the transformation of an 18-year-old girl from a small-town teenager into an independent city-dwelling college student. Written in an autobiographical style with beautiful artwork, Little Fish shows the …

Continue reading »

Older posts «