Articles tagged "Iraq war"

Friday Reads: Graphic Novels

TGIF! We’ve got four great graphic novels to kick off your weekend:

SHIRLEY JACKSON’S “THE LOTTERY”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman
Available simultaneously in trade paperback
Two starred reviews! Published in time for Jackson’s centennial, this graphic adaptation masterfully reimagines her iconic story with a striking visual narrative created by her grandson, Miles Hyman. “A stunning graphic adaptation of a chilling classic.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

ROLLING BLACKOUTS: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq by Sarah Glidden
In this graphic novel, cartoonist Glidden details her two-month long journey through Turkey, Iraq, and Syria as she accompanies two reporters while they research stories on the Iraq War’s effect on the Middle East and, specifically, the war’s refugees. “Glidden’s understated, face-focused illustration style gets under your skin—by removing her own personality from the writing, the author sucks readers in so deeply that you really feel present, seeing her journey through her eyes.”
Library Journal, starred review

BRIEF HISTORIES OF EVERYDAY OBJECTS by Andy Warner
Hilarious, entertaining, and illustrated histories behind some of life’s most common and underappreciated objects—from the paper clip to the toothbrush to the sports bra and roller skates. “Learning about the past can be fun, and if writer/illustrator Warner is the one teaching, it can also be very funny. Fans of Randall Munroe’s WHAT IF? and THING EXPLAINER will find Warner’s read both informative and hilarious.” — Library Journal readmoreremove

Teen Talk Tuesday (10/18/16 Edition)

Hey hey, YA librarians! We’ve got a bunch of new teen and YA-OK adult books for you this month. Check ’em out then share your favorites during today’s Early Word YA Galley Chat (hashtag: #ewgcya).

WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS by Anna-Marie McLemore
Ages 12 to 18
Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and three starred reviews! From Morris Award finalist Anna-Marie McLemore comes a second stunning novel tinged with magic, about a girl with roses that grow from her wrist who happens to be hiding the truth, a boy with past secrets who paints moons and hangs them in trees, and four sisters rumored to be witches, who could ruin them both. “With luminous prose infused with Latino folklore and magical realism, this mixes fairy-tale ingredients with the elegance of a love story, with all of it rooted in a deeply real sense of humanity. Lovely, necessary, and true.” — Booklist, starred review

MOON CHOSEN by P.C. Cast
Ages 12 to 18
#1 New York Times bestselling author, P.C. Cast, returns with a new epic fantasy. Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan; but she has cast her duties aside, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save her people. “While many fantasy series style themselves as epic, this one may actually be worthy of the description. Fantasy lovers who are fans of Cinda Williams Chima’s ‘Seven Realms’ novels will fall in love with Mari and Nik.”
School Library Journal

HOW TO KEEP A BOY FROM KISSING YOU by Tara Eglington
Ages 12 to 18
Aurora Skye is sweet sixteen and never been kissed—and that’s the way she wants it to be. But when she’s cast in her high school’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, she must avoid having her first kiss with Hayden Paris, her co-star, next door neighbor, and the bane of her existence. OR IS HE? “Eglington celebrates female friendship and loyalty, too, and Aurora’s sunny outlook will satisfy readers looking for a romantic comedy with a dash of Shakespeare.”
Publishers Weekly

MIDNIGHT HOUR by C.C. Hunter (Shadow Falls series)
Ages 12 to 18
In the conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shadow Falls saga, Miranda Kane is preparing to graduate when a near-death experience threatens to ruin it all.

ROLLING BLACKOUTS: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq by Sarah Glidden
In this graphic novel, cartoonist Glidden details her two-month long journey through Turkey, Iraq, and Syria as she accompanies two reporters while they research stories on the Iraq War’s effect on the Middle East and, specifically, the war’s refugees. “Glidden’s understated, face-focused illustration style gets under your skin—by removing her own personality from the writing, the author sucks readers in so deeply that you really feel present, seeing her journey through her eyes.”
Library Journal, starred review

SHIRLEY JACKSON’S “THE LOTTERY”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman
Available simultaneously in trade paperback
Two starred reviews! Published in time for Jackson’s centennial, this graphic adaptation masterfully reimagines her iconic story with a striking visual narrative created by her grandson, Miles Hyman. “A stunning graphic adaptation of a chilling classic.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review readmoreremove

We ♥ Sarah Glidden’s Graphic Novels

Sarah Glidden is many things: a progressive Jewish American twentysomething who is both vocal about and critical of Israeli politics in the Holy Land, a graduate of Boston University, and the author of an award-winning graphic memoir.

That book, HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS, which was a 2012 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection, is available now in trade paperback. Glidden used time during her Birthright Israel tour to ask people about the fraught and complex issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, only to come to terms with the idea that there are no easy answers to the world’s problems.

Her second highly anticipated graphic novel, ROLLING BLACKOUTS: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, details her two-month long journey through Turkey, Iraq, and Syria as she accompanies two reporters while they research stories on the Iraq War’s effect on the Middle East and, specifically, the war’s refugees. “Glidden’s understated, face-focused illustration style gets under your skin—by removing her own personality from the writing, the author sucks readers in so deeply that you really feel present, seeing her journey through her eyes.” — Library Journal, starred review
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The Giant 2016 Graphic Novel Roundup!

The saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and that’s certainly true of graphic novels. Thanks to comic book characters dominating pop culture, the format has been enjoying a boom and readers are coming to the medium in droves.

Publishers Weekly recently profiled graphic novel publisher Papercutz, which publishes between 50 and 60 books per year, mostly aimed at children ages 8–12. Their Super Genius imprint publishes books for teen readers and a new imprint called Charmz, aimed at pre-teen & early teen girls, will launch in May 2017.

Papercutz’s catalog includes bestselling licensed media properties, such as Barbie, Dennis the Menace, the Smurfs, Lego’s Ninjago and Bionicle series (though Lego moved the licenses to Little, Brown last year), a line of classic Disney graphic novels (DANTE’S INFERNO becomes MICKEY’S INFERNO, and X-MICKEY features X-Files-type supernatural escapades), as well as graphic novels based on a first-look deal with children’s TV network Nickelodeon.

Papercutz also rebooted select classics (WUTHERING HEIGHTS, THE JUNGLE, and THE INVISIBLE MAN to name a few) with artwork from acclaimed contemporary artists such as Rick Geary, Peter Kuper, and Gahan Wilson. Their first list in 2005 featured a manga-style graphic novel revival of the classic Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys adventure series, which are still in print and have together sold more than 800,000 copies.

Foreign imports are big, including France’s popular Ariol series by Emmanuel Guibert and Guillaume Bianco, and Antonello Dalena’s Ernest and Rebecca series. Italy’s bestselling prose series starring a time-traveling squirrel named Geronimo Stilton has done so well in the U.S. that Italy ran out of books and now Papercutz creates them.

Original graphic novels were an organic movement from the Geronimo Stilton books and Papercutz’s first original title was Deb Lucke’s THE LUNCH WITCH, followed by THE RED SHOES AND OTHER STORIES by Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers who create comics under the name Metaphrog. This November the house is publishing TRISH TRASH: Rollergirl of Mars, a YA SF graphic novel offering diversity—the book has a multiracial heroine—that was originally published in France but created by noted American cartoonist Jessica Abel.

The initial Charmz line (S’17) will simultaneously release the first four graphic novels in a planned series:
* CHLOE by Greg Tessier and Amandine, the story of a girl who is navigating life at a new school
* STITCHED by Mariah Huehner and Aaron Alexovich, a supernatural tale about a rag-doll girl who wakes up in a cemetery and must figure out who she is
* SWEETIES, based on Cathy Cassidy’s Chocolate Box Girls novels and adapted by Veronique Grisseaux and Anna Merli, about a girl who acquires four half-sisters when her father remarries
* THE GREAT COSMIC RACE by Amy Chu and Agnes Garbowska, a SF adventure story featuring an interstellar scavenger hunt, a smart girl, and an alien shapeshifter

Meanwhile, Library Journal offered their Graphic Novels Preview 2016 and noted many trends, starting with…
FEMALE CREATORS

Women writers and artists have historically been under­represented in graphic novels, but that seems poised to change based on the number of high-profile titles set for release in the coming year, ranging from humor to journalism to memoir and beyond. Among the most highly anticipated is Lynda Barry’s THE GREATEST OF MARLYS (Drawn & Quarterly, Aug.), a collection concentrating on one of best-selling Barry’s most beloved characters, eight-year-old Marlys. Through Marlys, Barry delves into the highs and lows of childhood and adolescence, capturing in unflinching detail the amusement and the horror of coming of age.

Lisa Hanawalt, perhaps best known as the designer behind the distinctive look of the animated Netflix series BoJack Horseman, moves fluidly between wit and pathos in HOT DOG TASTE TEST (Drawn & Quarterly, Jun.). While Hanawalt explores (and explodes) foodie culture in this new book, she also investigates relationships, identity issues, and more, all delivered in beautiful watercolors and an original and immensely funny voice.

Slightly less provocative but no less interesting an exploration of one artist’s quest for self-expression is Lucy Knisley’s memoir SOMETHING NEW: Tales from a Makeshift Bride (First Second, May), which details Knisley’s ventures in putting her own stamp on every facet of her wedding, from sewing her own dress to building the very barn in which the ceremony was held.

JOURNALISM AND NONFICTION

Riad Sattouf’s THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE, VOL. 2: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984–1985 (Holt, Sept.), the sequel to THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978–1984, continues the author’s experiences moving among France, Libya, and Syria as a child. The second book finds the Sattoufs settled in Syria and struggling against obstacles both local and political.

Also exploring the Middle East, specifically the legacy of the Iraq War, is Sarah Glidden’s ROLLING BLACKOUTS (Drawn & Quarterly, Oct.), in which the author describes her travels as a journalist in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria.

FROM ABROAD

Graphic novels in translation continue to be massively popular, especially those originally published in Japanese. While the late Shigeru Mizuki is not the legend that [Osamu] Tezuka is, he is an important figure in his own right, and fans should be excited about Drawn & Quarterly’s THE BIRTH OF KITARO (May), the first of six volumes that will bring the Kitaro character to the United States for the first time. readmoreremove

Happy #BookBday (6/7/16 Edition)

What a lovely day for a #BookBday!

THE GOOD LIEUTENANT by Whitney Terrell
This Iraq War novel begins with an explosion then unspools backward in time as Lt. Emma Fowler and her platoon are guided into disaster by suspicious informants and questionable intelligence, their very mission the result of a previous snafu in which a soldier had been kidnapped by insurgents. “Audacious… The book’s last line echoes the title of one of the first novels about modern warfare, Thomas Boyd’s THROUGH THE WHEAT, to which this novel is an entirely worthy successor. ”
Publishers Weekly, starred & boxed review

THEY MAY NOT MEAN TO BUT THEY DO by Cathleen Schine
Joy Bergman is not slipping into old age with the quiet grace her children would prefer, and when her husband dies, they offer solutions for their mother’s loneliness and despair. But there is one challenge they did not count on: the reappearance of an ardent suitor from Joy’s college days. “Schine is a master at limning family dynamics in all their messiness.” — Library Journal

THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL LIFE by Victoria Fedden
A real-life Arrested Development that could only unfold in Southern Florida, this hilariously funny and unexpectedly moving memoir tells the story of how a nine-months-pregnant Victoria lost her parents to prison and nearly lost her mind. “Fedden’s true story of crime, comeuppance, and toughing it out will appeal to all devotees of scandalous endeavors and tabloid tales.” — Booklist

Friday Reads: Starred Nonfiction

Kick off the weekend with these multi-starred nonfiction books!

CONSEQUENCE by Eric Fair
A B&N Winter 2016 Discover Great New Writers pick! “In this harrowing memoir, Fair, an interrogator at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, expands on his 2007 Washington Post editorial, in which he countered the claim that detainee abuse was a rare, isolated phenomenon. Fair is a gifted writer, and his capacity for self-examination makes this work both deeply insightful and moving. ” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

A startling debut from a haunted individual who wishes he had left Iraq earlier ‘with my soul intact.’” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

THE GLAMOUR OF STRANGENESS: Artists and the Last Age of the Exotic
by Jamie James

A PW Best Summer Books of 2016 pick with THREE starred reviews! “In this exciting book, novelist and critic James examines six artists (and many interesting secondary figures) whose travels allowed them to find inspiration and belonging far from their homelands in locations across the globe. [THE GLAMOUR OF STRANGENESS] is a sharp, thought-provoking contribution to the ongoing conversation about transculturation.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

[A] richly detailed, absorbing cultural history… Abundant primary sources inform James’ sharply drawn, sympathetic portraits.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“James is merrily entertaining in his exceptional erudition and nimble eloquence, and fluently and movingly insightful in his psychological, sexual, social, and aesthetic interpretations as he tells these astonishing, often tragic tales of intrepid self-creation and ardently chosen homelands.”Booklist, starred review

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Happy Belated #BookBday (2/18/15 Edition)

D’oh! We were so excited about our YA titles yesterday we forgot to wish happy #BookBday to these shiny, new books:

THE REBELLION OF MISS LUCY ANN LOBDELL by William Klaber
Journalist Klaber’s fictionalized memoir of the nineteenth-century woman known as both Lucy Ann and Joseph Israel Lobdell has two fabulous starred reviews:
“Covering the same period as Laird Hunt’s Neverhome and Kathy and Becky Hepinstall’s Sisters of Shiloh, this novel is similar to both titles in terms of exploring a woman’s journey of self-discovery in a time when women had little freedom or rights. This is an important book that will take its rightful place in the annals of quality historical fiction.” — Library Journal, starred review

“An early contender for the year’s ‘best’ lists.” — Booklist, starred review

BLUE STARS by Emily Gray Tedrowe
A penetrating novel about the Iraq War’s inevitable collateral damage: the lives of the mothers and wives left behind. “Tedrowe’s sensitive parsing of questions of loyalty, honor, and sacrifice illuminates the wrenching conflicts inherent in women’s lives and a nation at war with a clear, searching light and pinpoint humor, resulting in an enormously affecting novel guaranteed to generate much thought and discussion.” — Booklist, starred review
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Happy #BookBday (8/26/14 Edition)

Happy #BookBday to these fabulous new titles:

LOCK IN by John Scalzi
Scalzi’s near-future thriller landed on the August 2014 LibraryReads list and received three starred pre-publication reviews, like this one from Kirkus: “This SF thriller provides yet more evidence that Scalzi is a master at creating appealing commercial fiction.”

FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES by Michael Pitre
Early buzz has been building for Pitre’s incredible debut novel (it’s a B&N Discover New Writers pick, a Library Journal Best Summer Debut, a September 2014 Indie Next selection, a “Summer/Fall Indies Introduce Promotion” selection, and a featured Maximum Shelf Awareness title) and now major media is ramping up. Pitre will be interviewed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” (air date TBD), and reviews are coming in from USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, which called FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES, “an unblinking, razor-edged portrait of the war.”

THE FURIES by Natalie Haynes
Another Library Journal Best Summer Debut selection is Haynes’s “accomplished psychological mystery” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) about a drama teacher whose students react to Greek tragedies in dark and surprising ways. “Fans of suspense fiction with depth will especially enjoy this read.” — Library Journal

THE PHANTOM COACH: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Ghost Stories by Michael Sims
Sims’s collection of “delightfully creepy”* Victorian ghost stories from famous writers such as Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, Henry James, Thomas Hardy, and Arthur Conan Doyle is “a great collection for literature fans who enjoy lesser-known stories by famous novelists.” — *Booklist

Sneak Peek: September 2014 Indie Next list

The September 2014 Indie Next list was recently announced and we’re thrilled that it includes some of our favorite titles!

THE LONG WAY HOME by Louise Penny
Unsurprisingly, Penny’s tenth and most personal Chief Inspector Gamache novel yet made the list and the media coverage for her continues to ramp up. She’ll be interviewed by Linda Wertheimer for NPR’s “Weekend Edition” (air date TBD) and will be reviewed in the New York Times, Washington Post Book World, USA Today, and much more. All that’s in addition to the glowing, starred reviews THE LONG WAY HOME has already received.

ISLAND OF A THOUSAND MIRRORS by Nayomi Munaweera
We’ve been hyping this literary debut novel about two young women on opposite sides of the Sri Lankan Civil War, which won the Commonwealth Book Prize for Asia. Library Journal named it one of their Best Summer Debuts and Publishers Weekly said, “The paradisiacal landscapes of Sri Lanka are as astonishing as the barbarity of its revolution, and Munaweera evokes the power of both in a lyrical debut novel worthy of shelving alongside her countryman Michael Ondaatje or her fellow writer of the multigenerational immigrant experience Jhumpa Lahiri.”

FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES by Michael Pitre
Another Library Journal Best Summer Debut pick is former marine Pitre’s novel about three men from a road repair platoon in Iraq and the struggles they face in the war and at home. FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES was also picked for the “Summer/Fall Indies Introduce Promotion” at BEA, was named a B&N Discover Great New Writers pick, and was a featured Maximum Shelf Awareness title. “A war novel with a voice all its own, this will stand as one of the definitive renderings of the Iraq experience.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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Maximum Shelf: FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES

MaxShelf-Fives&TwentyFives

“I didn’t set out to write a book with a message or a moral. This really was just a story I had to tell. But along the way, I stumbled across the idea of people finding each other in their shared frailty. We’re at our most human when we can recognize our dread, and our weakness, in others.” — Michael Pitre

Perfect for readers who loved Karl Marlantes’s MATTERHORN and Kevin Powers’s THE YELLOW BIRDS, Iraq war veteran Michael Pitre’s debut novel, FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES, follows three men from a road repair platoon tasked with the dangerous job of filling potholes along the highways and byways of Iraq.

Buzzing since spring, FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES was picked for the “Summer/Fall Indies Introduce Promotion” at BEA, was named a Library Journal Best Summer Debut, as well as a B&N Discover Great New Writers pick, and was yesterday’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness title.

Fives and twenty-fives mark the measure of a marine’s life in the road repair platoon. When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. A bomb inside five meters cuts through the armor, killing everyone in the truck. Once clear, get out and sweep twenty-five meters. A bomb inside twenty-five meters kills the dismounted scouts investigating the road ahead.

Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank. Doc Pleasant, the medic, joined for opportunity, but finds his pride undone as he watches friends die. And there’s Kateb, known to the Americans as Dodge, an Iraqi interpreter whose love of American culture—from hip-hop to the dog-eared copy of Huck Finn he carries—is matched only by his disdain for what Americans are doing to his country.

Told in alternating first-person voices, the story switches between the present, when each man has either returned home or tried to create a new one, and their far more vivid past, in the Iraqi war zone, following these men as they struggle to find a place in a world that no longer knows them.

“Readers will be floored by Pitre’s spare literary style, the authenticity of each of his characters’ three different voices, and those mesmerizing characters themselves, who are not perfect but demand our compassion for their very reality. The story of FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES is sometimes difficult to abide, but is also necessary; we are lucky to have such a fine voice as Pitre’s to tell it.”
Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Michael Pitre on Shelf-Awareness.com.

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