Who Killed Christopher Goodman?

Mystery

Mystery

 

Who Killed Christopher Goodman? by Allan Wolf

 

Everybody likes Chris Goodman.

Sure, he's kind of weird.  He wears those crazy bell-bottoms and he really likes the word ennui and he shakes your hand when he meets you, but he's the kind of guy who is always up for a good time and is happy to lend a hand.  Everybody likes Chris Goodman, which is why it's so shocking when he is murdered.

A multi-voiced narrative that includes the perspective of the killer and is inspired by a true and shocking crime from the author's own past, the book endeavors to answer the first question that comes to mind in moments of unthinkable tragedy:

How could a thing like this happen?

 

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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

The Ladys Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

 

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

Felicity Montague is through with pretending she prefers society parties to books about bonesetting – or that she's not smarter than most people she knows.

Felicity has returned to from a whirlwind tour of Europe spent evading highwaymen and pirates.  She has two goals in mind – avoid marriage with a persistent suitor and enroll in medical school.  But the administrators who see men as the sole guardians of science thwart her second goal, requiring a trip to Germany where a more forward thinking physician might be willing to take her on.

But making the trip involves impersonations and secrets that threaten not just her plans but her life.

 

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More Happy Than Not

More Happy Than Not

 

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

In the months after his father's suicide, it's been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he's still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he's slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron's crew notices, and they're not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can't deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can't stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is. Why does happiness have to be so hard? 

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Grunt

Grunt cover image

Military, Science, Nonfiction

 

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach

Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you'll never see our nation's defenders in the same way again!

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 US Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat.  She visits the fashion design studio of US Army Natick Labs and leans 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.  At Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security.

The author samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee.  She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks?  How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit?  Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks?  

 

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Last Seen Leaving

Cover - Last Seen Leaving

Mystery

 

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

His girlfriend has disappeared. 

How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing.  The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up.  All eyes are on Flynn — as January's boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own.  And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's dasappearance, he must also face the turth about himself.

 

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Throne of Glass Series

Thone of Glass

Fantasy

 

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the king's champion and be released from prison. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing she never thought she'd have again: a friend. But something evil dwells in the castle–and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.

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The series continues in the following volumes:

Throne of Glass - Crown of Midnight

Throne of Glass - Heir of Fire
Throne of Glass - Queen of Shadows

Throne of Glass - Assassins Blade

A World Without You

Mental Illness, Teen Suicide

Mental Illness, Teen Suicide

 

A World Without You by Beth Revis

Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time.  When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him.  So when his worried parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he's actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have "superpowers."

At the academy, Bo falls in love with Sofia, a quiet girl with a a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility.  But even the strength of their love isn't enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression.  After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she's not actually dead, that she's stuck somewhere in time – that he has somehow left her in the past, and that now it's his job to save her.

 

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The Enemy

Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies

 

Can't get enough news about the zombie apocalypse?  We now have all five books in the series The Enemy by Charlie Higson.

Book 1 – The Enemy:  In this dystopian thriller set in London, everyone over 16 is dead or diseased, and youngsters are in constant danger of being eaten by boil-infested grown-ups who roam the streets like zombies looking for children to kill. 

Book 2 – The Dead:  This prequel takes place just over a year before the events in The Enemy and describes the beginnings of the disease that took everyone over the age of 16. Many people were killed outright but others became mindless cannibals.  Ed, Jack, Bam, and their mates are overmatched by these horrors but must try their best to protect the younger kids around them as well as scavenge food and water in a world with no functioning power supply, distribution network, or media. 

Book 3 – The Fear:  The crew, in search of the friends they lost during the recent attacks and fire, set off on a deadly mission from the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace and beyond, as the sickos lie in wait. 

Book 4 – The Sacrifice:  Small Sam and his unlikely ally, The Kid, have survived. They’re safe with Ed and his friends at the Tower of London, but Sam is desperate to find his sister, which means they must cross the forbidden zone. And what awaits them there is more terrifying than any of the horror they’ve suffered so far . . .

Book 5 – The FallenThe Holloway crew are survivors. They've fought their way across London and made it to the Natural History Museum alive and looking for a cure. All they need are medical supplies. To get them means a journey down unknown roads. Roads where more than crazed, hungry sickos hide in the shadows.

Book 6 – The Hunted: Ella is out in the country, alone now except for her silent rescuer, Scarface, about whom she knows nothing, while Ed leaves London on a dangerous quest, determined to find Ella and keep his promise to Small Sam that he will reunite sister and brother.

 

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Nemesis

cover picture for Nemesis

 

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

It has been happening since Min was eight.  Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood.  But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown – alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

On her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough.  

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else.  But he's not.  Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs.  But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life.  

For the planet has a bigger problem – an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth.

 

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Goldfish

Friendship, Competition

Friendship, Teen Life

 

Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema

 

I am Lou Brown

Social outcast, precocious failure.

5' 10" and still growing.

I was on the fast track to Olympic Superstardom.

Now, I'm training boys too cool to talk to me.

In a sport I just made up.

In a fish tank.

My life has quickly become very weird.

 

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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.‚Äč

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.

 

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Original Fake

Teen Life

 Graphic Novel, Teen Life

 

Original Fake – written by Kirstin Cronn-Mills, with art by E. Eero Johnson

 

A tale for anyone who's ever felt invisible.

 

An escalating sibling rivalry train wrecks and vengeance is a street-art act of war in this illustrated novel.

Frankie Neumann's always felt like the black sheep of his family.  compared to his tutuwearing nightmare of a sister and his parents, Bridget and Brett – Frank sinatra and Dr. Frank-N-Furter impersonators – he's the odd man out in a very odd family.  He's the introvert nobody ever sees.  

But Frankie's got his own secret artistic aspirations, and they're about to get him swept up in the art adventure of a lifetime.

When Frankie's approached by David and Rory, cousins and errand runners for the notorious and anonymous street artist Uncle Epic, they make him the offer of his dreams, giving him the chance to strike back at his sister and to hang out with the hottest girl in school.

But soon, the lines between art and real life start to blur, and Frankie has to find a way to rein in the chaos before things spiral out of control.

 

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Just Fly Away

Family, Romance

Family, Romance

 

Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy

Ever wish that you could just fly away?

When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a child from a brief affair, an eight-year-old boy who lives in her own town, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her home and her life. 

As her father's secret becomes her own, Lucy grows more and more isolated from her friends, her family, and even her boyfriend, Simon, the one person she thought understood her.  When Lucy escapes to Maine, the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather, she finally begins to get to the bottom fo her family's secrets and lies.

 

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Challenger Deep

Cover - Challenger Deep

Mental Illness, Teen Life

 

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

 

Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.

Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.

Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images.

Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.

Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.

Caden Bosch is torn.

 

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The Suffering

Supernatural Horror

Supernatural Horror

 

The Suffering by Rin Chupeco

      Not all that is lost should be found . . . 

Seventeen-year-old Tark knows what it is to be powerless.  But Okiku changed that.  A restless spirit who ended life as a victim and started death as an avenger, she's groomed Tark to destroy the wicked.  But when darkenss pulls them deep into Aokigahara, known as Japan's suicide forest, Okiku's justice becomes blurred, and Tark is the one who will pay the price.

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The Trouble in Me

The Trouble in Me

 

The Trouble in Me by Jack Gantos

This fiery autobiographical novel captures a pivotal week or two in the life of fourteen-year-old Jack Gantos, as the author reveals the moment he began to slide off track as a kid who in just a few years would find himself locked up in a federal penitentiary for the crimes portrayed in the memoir Hole in My Life . Set in the Fort Lauderdale neighborhood of his family's latest rental home, The Trouble in Me opens with an explosive encounter in which Jack first meets his awesomely rebellious older neighbor, Gary Pagoda, just back from juvie for car theft. Instantly mesmerized, Jack decides he will do whatever it takes to be like Gary. As a follower, Jack is eager to leave his old self behind, and desperate for whatever crazy, hilarious, frightening thing might happen next. But he may not be as ready as he thinks when the trouble in him comes blazing to life.

This book is the prequel to Hole in My Life, Gantos' story of the events in his life that result in his time in federal prison.

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The Bitter Side of Sweet

Child Slavery, Fiction

Child Slavery, Fiction

Fifteen-year-old Amadou counts the things that matter. For two years what has mattered are the number of cacao pods he and his younger brother, Seydou, can chop down in a day. This number is very important. The higher the number the safer they are because the bosses won't beat them. The higher the number the closer they are to paying off their debt and returning home to Moke and Auntie. Maybe. The problem is Amadou doesn't know how much he and Seydou owe, and the bosses won't tell him.

The boys only wanted to make some money during the dry season to help their impoverished family. Instead they were tricked into forced labor on a plantation in the Ivory Coast; they spend day after day living on little food and harvesting beans in the hot sun–dangerous, backbreaking work. With no hope of escape, all they can do is try their best to stay alive–until Khadija comes into their lives.

She's the first girl who's ever come to camp, and she's a wild thing. She fights bravely every day, attempting escape again and again, reminding Amadou what it means to be free. But finally, the bosses break her, and what happens next to the brother he has always tried to protect almost breaks Amadou. The old impulse to run is suddenly awakened. The three band together as family and try just once more to escape.

 

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Aspergers and Other Superpowers

Aspergers and Other Superpowers

Memoir, CHS Author

 

Aspergers and Other Superpowers; The Autobiography of an Oddly Blessed (and Cursed) Child by Maximillian Marciel

A memoir written by a graduate of CHS about his experiences growing up in Hawaii, in Camas, and with Asperger's.

What awaits the curious reader who ventures into these strange pages is a coming-of-age sort of thing – a story about a young boy and his mental disability, Asperger's Syndrome.  It can be sad at times, and perhaps happy at others, but I at least guarantee that it will somewhat entertain you.  But hey, who am I to judge?  See for yourself, you crazy animal.

– Maximillian Marciel

 

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. 

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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.

 

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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.

Gem & Dixie

Family relationships

Family relationships

 

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr

Gem has never know what it is to have security.  She's never known an adult she can truly rely on.  But the one constant in her life has been Dixie.  Gem grew up taking care of her her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table, and definitely not their father, whose intermittent presence is the only thing worse than than his frequent absence.  

When their dad returns home for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie, on their own in Seattle and beyond. 

But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she's tried so hard to keep.

 

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His Majesty’s Dragon

Alternative History - Fantasy

Alternative History – Fantasy

Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain's defense by taking to the skies . . . not aboard aircraft but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons.

When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Capt. Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future – and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France's own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte's boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.

Book one in the Termeraire series by Naomi Novik.

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Tomboy

Graphic Memoir

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 Little League baseball coach exiled her to the outfield instead of letting her take the pitcher's mound. Liz was somewhere in the middle, and Tomboy is the story of her struggle to find the place where she belonged.

Tomboy is a graphic novel about refusing gender boundaries, yet unwittingly embracing gender stereotypes at the same time, and realizing later in life that you can be just as much of a girl in jeans and a T-shirt as you can in a pink tutu. A memoir told anecdotally, Tomboy follows author and zine artist Liz Prince through her early childhood into adulthood and explores her ever-evolving struggles and wishes regarding what it means to "be a girl." From staunchly refuting anything she perceived as being "girly" to the point of misogyny, to discovering through the punk community that your identity is whatever you make of it, regardless of your gender, Tomboy is as much humorous and honest as it is at points uncomfortable and heartbreaking.

 

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: 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.

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

Very in Pieces

Very in Pieces

 

Very in Pieces by Megan Frazer Blakemore

A straight-A student in a family of free-spirited artists must face the hard truths about those she loves most.  Very has always been the dependable, responsible one–until her grandmother becomes terminally ill, causing all of the pieces of Very's once-structured life to come crashing down. Now she's cast aside her steady boyfriend and started an unexpected fling with Dominic, a rebellious art student with a bad reputation. Things at home have also taken a turn. Very's mother drinks all day, her father is never around, and her sister Ramona is constantly skipping school. And that's when the sculpture appears. Out of nowhere, a bottle cap design starts climbing up the stucco walls of the Sayles-Woodruff house, mysteriously growing by the day. With her grandmother nearing death and things heating up with Dominic, Very is tired of always being the responsible one.  If everything else can fall to pieces, why can't she?

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.

The Sports Beat Mysteries

Sports, Mystery

Sports, Mystery

 

The Sports Beat mysteries by John Feinsein

Teen sportswriters Susan and Stevie Carol just iintend to cover sporting events – the players, the coaches, the competitions – but shocking truths and dark crimes keep putting the two in dangerous situations where they must solve the mysteries and save their own lives.

      

Vanishing Act

Rush for the Gold

Change-up

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

UnBound

Dystopia, Short Stories

Dystopia, Short Stories

 

UnBound by Neal Shusterman

Set in the world of the UnWind Dystology, this collection of short stories by author Neal Shusterman shares more of what happens to Connor, Risa, and Lev after the destruction of the Proactive Citizenry.  Will they be able to live freely in a peaceful future?  Or will the dark forces of society that found it acceptable to "unwind" out-of-control teens by using them as transplant sources rise again?  Find out what is left for those once destined to be unwound.

 

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

Hidden Girl

Nonfiction

Memoir

 

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 from her job for stealing, Shyima's parents made a deal with her sister's employers.  In order to repay the debt, Shyima would take her sister's place.

This began Shyima's life as a slave.  Her captors, a wealthy couple, referred to Shyima only as "stupid girl" and forced her to wait hand and foot on their family.  Any money she was paid for her work went directly to her parents, with whom she had very little contact. Two years into her bondage, Shyima's captors moved to the United States, and illegally trafficked Shyima in with them, keeping her enslaved.  

This is Shyima's harrowing true story of life as a child slave, and her long, inspiring road to freedom.

 

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

Before We Go Extinct

Friendship, Death

 

Before We Go Extinct by Karen Rivers

Since watching his friend fall (jump?) from a skyscraper, JC, nicknamed Sharky, has been holed up in his room, obsessing about sharks and climate change, and texting his dead friend.

When his mom sends him to a remote island in Canada to visit his dad, Sharky meets a girl who just may show hiim how to live – and love – again.

 

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

We Are the Ants

 

Science Fiction, Teen Angst

Teen Life

 

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

 

Henry Denton has 144 days to save the world.

Henry Denton knows his family is struggling to stay together. He knows his boyfriend committed suicide last year. What Henry doesn't know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and why they keep coming back to take him again. Henry is informed by his erstwhile captors that they will end the world in 144 days unless he stops them by deciding that humanity is worth saving.

The problem is, Henry isn't sure if he wants to save the world.

 

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

Running With Lions

Soccer, Friendship

Soccer, Friendship

 

Running With Lions by Julian Winters

As the Lions' star goalie, Sebastian Hughes should be excited about his senior year: his teammates are amazing, and he's got a coach who doesn't ask anyone to hide their sexuality.  But when an ex-best friend shows up at summer training camp, Sebastian realizes he needs to repair the relationship to save the team's success.  Setting out to regain Emir's trust, he is surprised to realize that their bonding efforts may be sparking more than just friendship between them.  

 

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.

Dear Rachel Maddow

Dear Rachel Maddow

Teen Life

 

Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner

Brynn has been writing – but never sending – emails to Rachel Maddow about personal problems for a long time, about her brother's death, her awful stepfather, and why she is thinking about dropping out of school.

When she's confronted with a moral dilemma in the form of an ex and an archnemisis, she has to ask herself:  What Would Rachel Maddow Do?

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.

Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly

Seventeen year-old dirt-bike-riding daredevil Arlo Santiago catches the eye of the U.S. military with his first-place ranking on a video game featuring drone warfare, and must reconcile the work they want him to do with the emotional scars he has suffered following a violent death in his family.  Author Conrad Wesselhoeft takes readers from the skies over war-torn Pakistan to the dusty arroyos of New Mexico's outback in this young adult novel about daring to live in the wake of unbearable loss.

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

Author News – Terry Pratchett

Pratchett

Author Terry Pratchett, who died in 2015, chose an unusual method of ensuring his unpublished novels would remain unpublished.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/30/terry-pratchett-unfinished-novels-destroyed-streamroller

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.

Dream Things True

Romance, Immigration

Romance

 

Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt

What did it mean to be free, she wondered, when she lived in constant fear that the people she loved would go to jail?

Evan and Alma have spent fifteen years living in the same town, connected in a dozen different ways but also living worlds apart – until the day he jumps into her dad's truck and slams on the brakes.

The nephew of a senator, Evan seems to have it all – except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two, surrounded by a large, sometimes smothering, Mexican family.  They both want out of this town.  His one-way ticket is soccer; hers is academic success.

When the two fall in love, they fall hard, trying to ignore their differences.  Then Immigration and Customs Enforcement begins raids in their town, and Alma knows that she needs to share her secret.  But how will she tell her country-club boyfriend that she and almost everyone she's close to are undocumented immigrants?

 

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 Unlikely Hero of Room 13 B

Unlikely Hero of Room 13 B

 

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13 B by Teresa Toten

Adam Ross has made a list:

1. I  believe that I fell in love with Robyn Plummer last Monday.  This feeling is extremely uncomfortable.  I would stop it if I could.

2. I believe that I should have been allowed to skip grade 4.  I would be in grade 11 now and my entire life would be different.  Better.  Somehow.

3. I believe that playing Warhammer games all these years with Stones (Ben Stone) has probably kept both our heads above water, but just barely.

4. I believe that my four-year-old half brother, Sweetie, loves me more than all the adults in our lives put together.  This does not stop him from being a considerable pain.

5. I believe that Group is mucho weirdo (except for Robyn). I can't see how it's going to help with anything, but the superhero stuff is not half bad.

Adam's goals are to: Grow immediately. Find courage. Keep courage. Get normal. Marry Robyn Plummer. The instant Adam Spencer Ross meets Robyn Plummer in his Young Adult OCD Support Group, he is hopelessly, desperately drawn to her. Robyn has an hypnotic voice, blue eyes the shade of an angry sky, and ravishing beauty that makes Adam's insides ache. She's also just been released from a residential psychiatric program–the kind for the worst, most difficult-to-cure cases; the kind that Adam and his fellow support group members will do anything to avoid joining. Adam immediately knows that he has to save Robyn, must save Robyn, or die trying. But is it really Robyn who needs rescuing? And is it possible to have a normal relationship when your life is anything but? 

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.

Scythe

Scythe cover image

Dystopia, Science Fiction

 

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

 

A World With No Hunger, No Disease, No War, No Misery

Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death.  Now scythes are the only ones who can end life – and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are about to learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.  They are chosen to apprentice to a scythe – a role that neither wants.  These teens must master the "art" of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

 

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 Female of the Species

Friendship, Lose, Violence

Friendship, Loss, Violence

 

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn't feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence. While her crime goes unpunished, she relegates herself to the shadows, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack sees her, and so does Peekay. Their lives are set on a collision course that will change them forever.

 

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.

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.

Jan 30

Running With Lions

Poppy War

 

Running With Lions by Julian Winters

As the Lions' star goalie, Sebastian Hughes should be excited about his senior year: his teammates are amazing, and he's got a coach who doesn't ask anyone to hide their sexuality.  But when an ex-best friend shows up at summer training camp, Sebastian realizes he needs to …

Continue reading »

Jan 30

Dear Rachel Maddow

Dear Rachel Maddow

 

Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner

Brynn has been writing – but never sending – emails to Rachel Maddow about personal problems for a long time, about her brother's death, her awful stepfather, and why she is thinking about dropping out of school.

When she's confronted with a moral dilemma in …

Continue reading »

Nov 19

A Blade So Black

A Blade So Black

 

A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney

The first time a Nightmare came, Alice nearly lost her life.  Now, with magic weapons and hard-core fighting skills, she battles these monstrous creatures in the dream realm known as Wonderland.  Yet even warriors have curfews.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn't always so simple, as Alice …

Continue reading »

Nov 19

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

The Ladys Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

 

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

Felicity Montague is through with pretending she prefers society parties to books about bonesetting – or that she's not smarter than most people she knows.

Felicity has returned to from a whirlwind tour of Europe spent evading highwaymen and pirates.  She has …

Continue reading »

Jan 08

Nemesis

cover picture for Nemesis

 

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

It has been happening since Min was eight.  Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood.  But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown – alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the …

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Jan 08

Renegades

Cover picture for Renegades

 

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies – humans with extraordinary abilities – who emerged from the ruins of a rumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned.  As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone . . . except the …

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Jan 05

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop

The Man Who Couldn't Stop picture of book cover

 

 

The Man Who Couldn't Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought by David Adam

What might lead a school girl to eat a wall of her house, piece by piece, or a man to die beneath an avalanche of household junk? . . . At what point …

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Jan 05

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Cover picture for Sing, Unburied, Sing

 

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man.  He doesn't lack in fathers to study, chief among them his black grandfather, Pop.  But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent white father, Michael, who is being …

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Aug 30

Author News – Terry Pratchett

Pratchett

Author Terry Pratchett, who died in 2015, chose an unusual method of ensuring his unpublished novels would remain unpublished.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/30/terry-pratchett-unfinished-novels-destroyed-streamroller

Apr 27

Who Killed Christopher Goodman?

Mystery

 

Who Killed Christopher Goodman? by Allan Wolf

 

Everybody likes Chris Goodman.

Sure, he's kind of weird.  He wears those crazy bell-bottoms and he really likes the word ennui and he shakes your hand when he meets you, but he's the kind of guy who is always up for a good time and …

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