New Books! 2/9/16

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Shylock Is My Name by Howard Jacobson (Top Shelf in February!)

9780804141321Shylock Is My Name, Howard Jacobson’s reimagining of The Merchant of Venice for the 21st century, is the second installment of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, in which many of today’s greatest writers will put their own spin on Shakespeare’s plays. The series launched last fall, with The Gap of Time, Jeannette Winterson’s take on The Taming of the Shrew. I’m not too far in to My Name is Shylock so far, but already, the ever-satirical Jacobson has peppered the text with risque jokes, introduced the theory that Shakespeare was originally a Shapiro, and summed up his entire style of writing in this quote attributed to Beaumarchais: ‘I hasten to laugh at everything for fear I might be obliged to weep at it.’”— Molly

What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biographyby Alan Light

9781101904879From the former Spin

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Things You Didn’t Know About the Pilgrims

Interesting topic about the Pilgrims in early America a journey into the new world.

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Just in: Want to read the book The Pilgrims FOR FREE? Check out our Free Book Giveaway. But hurry will end soon.

We typically think of the Pilgrims as British outcasts who set sail to America and settled in Massachusetts. But historical facts are a little more complicated than that; the original Pilgrims were fellows of the fundamental Puritan group of the Church of England named the English Separatist Church, which unlawfully split away from the main Church in 1607. The group initially settled in the Netherlands, where the laws were more tolerant towards religion.

As soon as they arrived in the Netherlands, the Puritans suffered financial problems as well as were afraid to lose their English heritage and language. This stirred, in the end, the commitment to their voyage to the New World, where they would be permitted to practice their religion and their way of life.

In September of…

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Things You Didn’t Know About the Pilgrims

A Short Analysis of Hopkins’s ‘Moonrise’

Very interesting

Interesting Literature

A summary of ‘Moonrise’, a lesser-known poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins

‘Moonrise’ is subtitled ‘June 19 1876’. It’s not one of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s best-known poems, and may have been left in fragment form; alternatively, it can be read as a short complete poem. We’re not sure what Hopkins himself intended to do with the poem, since, as we’ve revealed elsewhere, he didn’t see many of his own poems into print during his lifetime. Here is the poem, along with a few thoughts on the poem which might be considered ‘notes towards an analysis of the poem’.

I awoke in the Midsummer not to call night, in the white and the walk of the morning:
The moon, dwindled and thinned to the fringe of a finger-nail held to the candle,
Or paring of paradisaïcal fruit, lovely in waning but lustreless,
Stepped from the stool, drew back from the…

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A Short Analysis of Hopkins’s ‘Moonrise’

The Cover Wars

The Last Monster a book that needs to be on your list.

The Book Wars

last monster

Sofia has never felt special. Not at school, or with her track team, and especially not since she’s become sick.

She’s always been different, but this doesn’t make her stand out . . . it’s makes her invisible. Then something special lands right in Sofia’s lap. An ancient book that serves as a portal for the Greek philosopher, Xeno, one of Aristotle’s lost students. Sofia has been chosen to be the next Guardian.

Suddenly Sofia is not only trying to survive middle-school cliques and first crushes, she’s in charge of protecting grotesquely beautiful, lonely monsters that have roamed the Earth for centuries. Drawn into Xeno’s violent and unpredictable world of mystery, Sofia learns that loving outsiders has a price.

Janet: I am absolutely positive that we have done this before on Cover Wars, even if my searches turned up zero proof. I know it. I said that the wolf looked like Coyote…

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The Cover Wars

Jane and the Waterloo Map by Stephanie Barron Blog Tour + GIVEAWAY

Impressive, what a story, love the title.

Reflections of a Book Addict

Waterloo cover x 350When I was first asked to join the blog tour for Jane and the Waterloo Map by Stephanie Barron, I was super excited. It’s been a while since I’ve read the other books in the Jane Austen Mysteries series, but I remember loving the idea of Jane Austen as a sleuth. It’s obvious that Jane was observant in real life, as her observations and commentary on the societal events of the day were both astute and very progressive. Therefore it’s not exactly a stretch to think that she would be observant enough to solve mysteries. From the great success that Barron has had so far, it’s clear that many other people agree with me and have loved to see Jane in this new and exciting role. This time we follow Jane as she embarks on an exciting treasure hunt that has very dangerous and real implications. (Below the book blurb…

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Jane and the Waterloo Map by Stephanie Barron Blog Tour + GIVEAWAY

Heart, history and a hero: Getting from good to good enough by Pat Zietlow Miller

Excellent read.

Nerdy Book Club

quickest kid in clarksvilleWhen I sit down to write, I almost always begin with an idea.

But a lot can happen along the way.

And where I begin – even if the idea is good – isn’t always where I end up.

Which is exactly what happened in the case of THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE, my new picture book from Chronicle.

When I started, I had a simple idea. Two girls, competing to see who was more athletic. There was running. And jumping. And rope-skipping. An initial I’m-not-sure-I-like-you reaction, followed by shared interests and friendship.

It seemed zippy. Generally, I was pleased.

But, I wasn’t sure the story was strong enough to stand out on bookshelves full of other titles. The story was fine. Maybe even good. But I couldn’t shake the feeling it wasn’t good enough.

It needed something to make people want to choose it over other options. But…

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Heart, history and a hero: Getting from good to good enough by Pat Zietlow Miller

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

Very clear review of the book The Witches Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

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We’ve all heard of the Salem Witch Trials. In 1692, fourteen women, five men, and two dogs were convicted of witchcraft and put to death. Another man refused to confess and was crushed to death, probably within earshot of his wife, also imprisoned for witchcraft. In his classic “The Crucible,” Arthur Miller referred to this time as the “coming madness,” a warning to us of the chaos that can envelop a community when paranoia and persecution intersect.

It started with the kids. Puritan children in Salem were expected to be miniature adults, quiet and obedient to a fault. So when girls started making strange sounds, spreading their arms out like wings and pretending to fly (basically nothing babysitters today would blink at), to their community there was only one explanation-they must have been bewitched. Perhaps jealous of the attention these children were getting, more girls started acting bewitched. And their…

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The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff