Friday Reads: New Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Here are a few of Danville Public Library’s recent Fantasy and Science Fiction acquisitions.

51137egj68l._sx339_bo1204203200_Moonrise: The Golden Age of Lunar Adventures edited by Mike Ashley

“Before the Apollo 11 mission succeeded in landing on the Moon in 1969, writers and visionaries were fascinated by how we might get there and what we might find. The Greeks and Romans speculated about the Moon almost two thousand years before H. G. Wells or Jules Verne wrote about it, but interest peaked from the late 1800s when the prospect of lunar travel became more viable. This anthology presents twelve short stories from the most popular magazines of the golden age of SF – including The Strand Magazine, Astounding Science Fiction and Amazing Stories – and features classic SF writers as well as lesser-known writers for dedicated fans of the genre to discover. Includes stories by Arthur C. Clarke, Judith Merril and John Wyndham.”–Provided by publisher.

51tgo30fdpl._sx329_bo1204203200_Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear

Halmey Dz and her partner Connla Kurucz are salvage operators, living just on the inside of the law. Theirs is the perilous and marginal existence—with barely enough chance of striking it fantastically big—just once—to keep them coming back for more. They pilot their tiny ship into the scars left by unsuccessful White Transitions, searching for the relics of lost human and alien vessels. But when they make a shocking discovery about an alien species that has been long thought dead, it may be the thing that could tip the perilous peace mankind has found into full-out war.

51skafo403l._sx329_bo1204203200_The War Within by Stephen R. Donaldson

“Stephen R. Donaldson, the New York Times bestselling author of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, returns to the world of his Great God’s War fantasy epic as two kingdoms– united by force–prepare to be challenged by a merciless enemy… It has been twenty years since Prince Bifalt of Belleger discovered the Last Repository and the sorcerous knowledge hidden there. At the behest of the repository’s magisters, and in return for the restoration of sorcery to both kingdoms, the realms of Belleger and Amika ceased generations of war. Their alliance was sealed with the marriage of Bifalt to Estie, the crown princess of Amika. But the peace–and their marriage–has been uneasy. Now the terrible war that King Bifalt and Queen Estie feared is coming. An ancient enemy has discovered the location of the Last Repository, and a mighty horde of dark forces is massing to attack the library and take the magical knowledge it guards. That horde will slaughter every man, woman, and child in its path, destroying both Belleger and Amika along the way. With their alliance undermined by lingering hostility and conspiracies threatening, it will take all of the monarchs’ strength and will to inspire their kingdoms to become one to defend their land, or all is lost…”– Provided by publisher.

40588294The Women’s War by Jenna Glass

When a nobleman’s first duty is to produce a male heir, women are treated like possessions and bargaining chips. But as the aftereffects of a world-altering spell ripple out physically and culturally, women at last have a bargaining chip of their own. Meanwhile, in a neighboring kingdom, young Ellin finds herself unexpectedly on the throne after the sudden death of her grandfather the king and everyone else who stood ahead of her in the line of succession.


40523931The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back … different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief–no matter what actually happens during combat. Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. And Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on. Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero–or maybe a villain; in war it’s hard to tell the difference.

91s3ct1utylBinti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor

“Binti, a young Himba girl with the chance of a lifetime: to attend the prestigious Oomza University. Despite her family’s concerns, Binti’s talent for mathematics and her aptitude with astrolabes make her a prime candidate to undertake this interstellar journey. But everything changes when the jellyfish-like Medusae attack Binti’s spaceship, leaving her the only survivor. Now, Binti must fend for herself, alone on a ship full of the beings who murdered her crew, with five days until she reaches her destination. There is more to the history of the Medusae-and their war with the Khoush-than first meets the eye. If Binti is to survive this voyage and save the inhabitants of the unsuspecting planet that houses Oomza Uni, it will take all of her knowledge and talents to broker the peace. Collected now for the first time in omnibus form.” — publisher’s description.


Note: All book covers are from Google Images and all descriptions are from the SHARE Catalog.

Book Review: True Grit by Charles Portis

true gritMany of us are familiar with the movie True Grit that came out in 2010, and some are acquainted with the original movie starring John Wayne, but many people have never read the novel. I have seen both movies and read the book just recently and find, despite the fact that the Duke is in the first movie, that the 2010 movie is the most faithful to the novel. In the book, Mattie Ross is a 14 year old girl that is full of moxie. She has a task to do and will not be deterred by her age. The language is very blunt and direct, just as you would suspect a 14 year old would be if she had taken it upon herself to find her father’s murderer. The language seams much older when spoken by a 14 year old actor, giving the character plausibility. Unlike Kim Darby who played the role in 1969, who was divorced with a child. Despite the differences in the two movies and the book, I do recommend to read and watch and see for yourself how the two media work together.

Review by Leslie B.

What’s New at the Library?




See what’s new this week at the Danville Public Library at:

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There are six new bestsellers, five new movies, six new children’s books, and 25 other new books.

The new bestsellers this week include “Redemption,” “Normal People: A Novel,” and “The Department of Sensitive Crimes: A Detective Varg Novel.” The new movies this week include “Bumblebee [Blu-ray],” “Bumblebee,” and “The Challenger Disaster.”

Book Review: Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

y648One of the few Discworld books that works as a standalone title, Monstrous Regiment is the story of Polly who dresses as a boy in order to enlist in the army and find her brother who never came back from the wars. And she’s not the only girl to enlist.  Sergeant Jackrum, who is near retirement but refuses to accept it, leads this particular recruiting party. Lieutenant Blouse is a paper pusher sent to the front who wants to be like the heroes he reads about in history books. This is the last regiment to be recruited because the war is going so poorly, but no one is allowed to admit that.

Pratchett used his books, as so many speculative fiction writers do, to comment on things in our real world. In this book, he tackles both gender politics and the stupidity of war. Polly is adamant that she doesn’t really belong in the army, though Jackrum believes she’d make a good sergeant. Discworld books are always full of laughs, and Monstrous Regiment is no exception. Aside from the big jokes, there is a lot of humor in the little moments. I love the Discworld series and this is one of the best the series has to offer. You can read it on its own or within the series (this is book 31). Either way, enjoy!

Review by Jessica A.

Friday Reads: National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. Established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month has become a worldwide celebration of poets and poetry. Please enjoy this list of books, both of and about poetry.

41uvncxxwdl._sx331_bo1204203200_The Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai (Li Po) by Ha Jin

“From the National Book Award-winning author of Waiting: a narratively driven, deeply human biography of the 8th century poet, Li Bai–also known as Li Po–one of the most beloved poets ever to emerge from China. With the instincts of a master novelist, Ha Jin draws on a wide range of historical and literary sources to weave the life story of Li Bai (701-762), whose poems–shaped by Daoist thought and characterized by their passion, romance, and lust for life–rang throughout the Tang Dynasty and continue to be celebrated today. Jin follows Li Bai from his birth on China’s western frontier through his travels as a young man seeking a place among the empire’s civil servants, his wanderings allowing him to hone his poetic craft, share his verses, and win him friends and admirers along the way. In his later years, he becomes swept up in a military rebellion that alters the course of China, and his death is surrounded by speculation and legend that continues to be spun to this day. The Banished Immortal is an extraordinary portrait of a poet who both transcended his time and was shaped by it, and whose ability to live, love, and mourn without reservation produced some of the most enduring verses in the world”– Provided by publisher.

9781472259356The Dark Between Stars: Poems by Atticus

“Atticus, has captured the hearts and minds of nearly 700k followers (including stars like Karlie Kloss, Emma Roberts, and Alicia Keys). In his second collection of poetry, The Dark Between Stars, he turns his attention to the dualities of our lived experiences–the inescapable connections between our highest highs and lowest lows. He captures the infectious energy of starting a relationship, the tumultuous realities of commitment, and the agonizing nostalgia of being alone again. While grappling with the question of how to live with purpose and find meaning in the journey, these poems offer both honest explorations of loneliness and our search for connection, as well as light-hearted, humorous observations. As Atticus writes poignantly about dancing, Paris, jazz clubs, sunsets, sharing a bottle of wine on the river, rainy days, creating, and destroying, he illustrates that we need moments of both beauty and pain–the darkness and the stars–to fully appreciate all that life and love have to offer”– Provided by publisher.

51jn1ic75tl._sx355_bo1204203200_On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old by Parker J. Palmer

“On the Brink of Everything is an exploration of Parker Palmer’s experience of living and aging, written in hopes of encouraging readers of every age to explore their life course. It is not a “guide to” or “handbook” for “getting old”–something all of us are doing all the time. Instead it’s a set of meditations in prose and poetry that turn the prism on the meaning(s) of one’s life–and on the importance of staying meaningfully engaged with life until the end. From beginning to end the book is packed with both humor and gravitas”– Provided by publisher.

the-poet-x-e1542251351500The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. But when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.




anderson_shout-195x300Shout: A Poetry Memoir by Laurie Halse Anderson

When she was thirteen years old, Anderson was a shy, bookish girl who was raped by a boy she trusted. She has since become known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed in the years since, she has written a poetry memoir that shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before.


81etsthe7-lTrees, Poems by Verlie Hutchins, Trees by Jing Jing Tsong

There are so many different kinds of trees in the world, and each has special qualities that make it unique. This lyrical, fanciful collection of poems celebrates the singular beauty of each tree, from the gnarled old apple tree to the tall and graceful aspen.



Note: All book covers are from Google Images and all descriptions are from the SHARE Catalog.

Book Reviews: New additions in the Children’s Room

51vtldm740l._sx258_bo1204203200_Today we have a special book review post from Nancy H. in Youth Services, featuring some new additions in the Children’s Room.

“Rock What Ya Got” by Samantha Berger is a delightfully colorful book about celebrating yourself.  Through various illustrations the reader learns that it isn’t necessary to change your hair, your body or where you are at.  All you really need to do is celebrate the individual you are just as you are.

71eekif2brhlFor those who like a good fairy story check out “Wicked Nix” by Lena Coakley.  Nix is left by the fairy queen to guard the forest.  One day out of the blue one of those wicked “peoples” arrive.  Nix devises various plans and schemes to rid  the forest of this new inhabitant.  However, the man states that it is his home and refuses to leave.  Finally, Nix offers a final bargain to make the man leave.  Instead the man chooses to tell a story about a lost older brother who was stolen by the fairy queen.  The two set off on one final adventure together.

51sbfblyapl._sx258_bo1204203200_61mbmms9kdl._sx258_bo1204203200_Also with the weather warming we have two new cookbooks “Kid Chef” by Melina Hammer and American Girl “Garden to Table”.  Some great new recipes to try with a new garden.