Friday Reads (3/28/14 Edition)

Friday Reads (3/28/14 Edition)

We've got some all-star picks for today's #FridayReads:

WAR! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots by Ian Morris
“War!.... / What is it good for? / Absolutely nothing,” says the famous song—but archaeology, history, and biology show that war in fact has been good for something. Surprising as it sounds, Morris argues that war has made humanity safer and richer.

“Drawing on the work of Jared Diamond and Steven Pinker and myriads of others, Morris relentlessly develops his thesis, which never decreases in discomfort, though it does become more convincing. A disturbing, transformative text that veers toward essential reading.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“...erudite yet compulsively readable... Throughout this rare mixture of scholarship, stunning insight, and wit, Morris cites the widely divergent opinions of past philosophers and scholars, and, though he makes his case convincingly, future (and, oh yes, the future is projected) students, readers, and critics of this book are likely to continue the fascinating argument Morris raises here. WAR! WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? appeals to (indeed, may broaden) the large audience that has made Jared Diamond’s GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL, much quoted in it, a modern classic and should join it on personal and library bookshelves.” — Booklist, starred review 


LIFE OF THE AUTOMOBILE
by Steven Parissien
The first all-encompassing narrative history of how the car—and the flamboyant entrepreneurs, shrewd businessmen, and gifted engineers behind it—shaped the world. 

“This elegant and authoritative work demonstrates the historical links among people, machines, and cultures on a global scale. For readers who enjoy investigations into social, intellectual, business, technological, or transportation history—as well as dedicated car buffs.” Library Journal, starred review

From the Ford Model T to the Chevrolet Volt, Parissien covers every detail, including the sketchy safety and environmental record and a nod to the future of green technology.” Booklist, starred review

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Friday Reads (3/7/14 Edition)

Friday Reads (3/7/14 Edition)

Today's #FridayReads are two fabulous new debuts we're loving:

Talia is totally impressed with THE HOLLOW GROUND by Natalie S. Harnett

Hollow Ground jacket“We walk on fire or air, so Daddy liked to say. Basement floors too hot to touch. Steaming green lawns in the dead of winter. Sinkholes, quick and sudden, plunging open at your feet.”

Inspired by real-life events in now-infamous Centralia and the equally devastated town of Carbondale, PA, THE HOLLOW GROUND tells the coming-of-age story of Brigid Howley, a young girl struggling to keep her family together as underground mine fires force her family to move around—not to mention the family "curse" laid upon them generations earlier. When Brigid makes a grisly discovery in a long-abandoned bootleg mine shaft, secrets from decades past threaten to prove just as dangerous to the Howleys as the burning, hollow ground beneath their feet.

“This cursed Irish-American clan will grab you by the brisket and not let go.” — Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY

DRC button - Hollow Ground 
E-galley available for download

Anne is still enraptured after reading THE SPARK AND THE DRIVE by Wayne Harrison

Spark and the DriveHarrison is an award-winning writer of short fiction, who also worked for six years as an auto mechanic—an experience that's clear in his devastatingly powerful first novel of hero-worship, first love, and betrayal.

Justin Bailey is an out of place seventeen-year-old when he finds comfort and companionship in the shop of legendary muscle car mechanic Nick Campbell and Nick's home with his captivating wife Mary Ann. But when Nick and Mary Ann’s lives are struck by tragedy, Justin’s own world is upended. Suddenly Nick, once celebrated for his mechanical genius, has lost his touch. Mary Ann, once tender and compassionate to her husband, has turned distant. As Justin tries to prop up his suffering mentor, he finds himself drawn toward the man’s grieving wife. Torn apart by feelings of betrayal, Justin must choose between the man he admires more than his own father and the woman he loves.

“There's nothing I enjoy more than entering a fictional world over which an author demonstrates complete mastery. That's exactly what Wayne Harrison offers his lucky readers in THE SPARK AND THE DRIVE.” — Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of EMPIRE FALLS

“This novel vividly renders the cult-like world of muscle car enthusiasts, but the author's ultimate concerns are the sparks and misfires of the human heart. Wayne Harrison is an exciting new voice in American fiction.” — Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of THE COVE

 
E-galley available for download

What are you reading this week? Share your #FridayReads with us @MacmillanLib

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