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The MW Library added 70 novels to its collection in the last few days – just in time for you to check one (or more!) out to read over winter break.  Here’s a list of the new arrivals (alphabetic by title):

  • The accordionist’s son / Bernardo Atxaga (Basque land and language, 1930’s, 1960’s, and 1990’s)
  • Anthropology of an American girl : a novel / Hilary Thayer Hamann
  • The appointment : a novel / Herta Müller  (Communist Romania post ww2)
  • Babel-17 and Empire star / Samuel R. Delany (science fiction)
  • Ballad : a gathering of faerie / Maggie Stiefvater
  • The between : a novel / Tananarive Due (science fiction/horror)
  • Born under a million shadows : a novel / Andrea Busfield
  • The Calcutta chromosome : a novel of fevers, delirium & discovery / Amitav Ghosh
  • The cellist of Sarajevo / Steven Galloway
  • Charles and Emma : the Darwins’ leap of faith / Deborah Heiligman
  • Crabwalk / Günter Grass (WW2 maritime story)
  • The curse of the Wendigo / Rick Yancey (horror/suspense)
  • Cutting for stone : a novel / Abraham Verghese (writer of Indian descent, novel set in Ethiopia)
  • Dark corner / Brandon Massey (horror)
  • Dark water / Laura McNeal  (contemporary coming-of-age story, forbidden romance)
  • Desert / J.M.G Le Clezio
  • Eon : Dragoneye reborn / Alison Goodman
  • Factotum / D.M. Cornish
  • Far north / Marcel Theroux (postapocalyptic)
  • Finding Nouf / Zoë Ferraris
  • Foundling / D.M. Cornish
  • The gangster we are all looking for / Lê Thi Diem Thúy (Vietnamese-American immigration story)
  • The gifted Gabaldón sisters / Lorraine López
  • The girl who kicked the hornet’s nest / Stieg Larsson
  • God is in the pancakes / Robin Epstein
  • Going bovine / Libba Bray
  • A handbook to luck : a novel / Cristina García
  • How to ditch your fairy / Justine Larbalestier
  • How to read the air / Dinaw Mengestu (Ethiopian-American immigration story)
  • The hummingbird’s daughter : a novel / Luis Alberto Urrea
  • Island beneath the sea : a novel / Isabel Allende
  • Joplin’s ghost / Tananarive Due (supernatural)
  • Kaddish for an unborn child / Imre Kertész (Holocaust)
  • Kafka on the shore / Haruki Murakami
  • The king of trees / Ah Cheng ; translated by Bonnie S. McDougall
  • Lament : the faerie queen’s deception / Maggie Stiefvater
  • Lark and Termite : a novel / Jayne Anne Phillips (set in South Korea and West Virginia)
  • The last chicken in America : a novel in stories / Ellen Litman (Russian-American immigration story)
  • Linger / Maggie Stiefvater
  • Lost City Radio : a novel / Daniel Alarcón
  • Mockingjay / Suzanne Collins
  • The monstrumologist / Rick Yancey (horror/suspense)
  • Mosquito / Roma Tearne (Sri Lanka)
  • Muse and reverie / Charles de Lint (urban fantasy)
  • My abandonment / Peter Rock
  • My soul to keep / Tananarive Due (supernatural)
  • Nip the buds, shoot the kids / Kenzaburo Oe
  • The painted boy / Charles de Lint
  • Parable of the talents / Octavia E. Butler (science fiction)
  • Parrot and Olivier in America / Peter Carey
  • Perfect Peace / Daniel Black
  • Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen : a manifesto in 41 tales / Marilyn Chin
  • Ship breaker / by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Shiver / Maggie Stiefvater
  • Small island / Andrea Levy
  • Some sing, some cry / Ntozake Shange & Ifa Bayeza
  • Surrender / Sonya Hartnett (YA psychological thriller)
  • The surrendered / Chang-Rae Lee (Korean war refugee)
  • Telex from Cuba : a novel / Rachel Kushner
  • Tinkers / Paul Harding
  • A thousand years of good prayers : stories / Yiyun Li
  • Unbroken : a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption / Laura Hillenbrand
  • Under the feet of Jesus / Helena María Viramontes (Mexican-American immigration story)
  • The unnamed : a novel / Joshua Ferris
  • Velva Jean learns to drive / Jennifer Niven (Appalachian NC pre-ww2)
  • What the birds see / Sonya Hartnett
  • The white tiger : a novel / Aravind Adiga
  • The windup girl / Paolo Bacigalupi (science fiction set in future Thailand)
  • Wintergirls / Laurie Halse Anderson
  • The world to come : a novel / Dara Horn

Thanks to the English department, we have enjoyed visits this fall from two contemporary American writers whose book publishing careers began taking off fairly recently: Charles Shields, a former English teacher who published his first book, Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, in 2006, and Lisa Klein, a former English professor, who has published four historical fiction novels for young adults in the past four years, the first one being Ophelia in 2006.

Next week, as you may have learned through the related writing contest sponsored by our English department, a writer with a career that spans over 40 years with over 50 published works  in genres including poetry, plays, novels, memoirs, and Latin translations, as well as screenplays, teleplays, a writing manual (in which she credits, among other things, a strong background in Latin for her success as a writer) – and even a cookbook based on one of her mystery series – will be gracing the auditorium at MLWGS:  Rita Mae Brown.

Gaining writing renown in the early years of her career (the early 1970’s) for novels centered on women’s rights and other social issues,  Ms. Brown has since published several novels in two New York Times bestselling mystery series and is best known these days as a mystery writer, American foxhunting enthusiast, and protector of animals and the environment.  She lives on a farm outside Charlottesville, Virginia, and her talk will focus on writing and her recent memoir, Animal Magnetism: My Life with Creatures Great and Small.

Although her writing-related awards (including Emmy Award nominations and an NEA writing fellowship) and credentials (degrees in English literature, political science, and cinematography) are impressive, Ms. Brown finds the most fulfillment in her continued work protecting animals and the environment.   A long-time activist in many areas of social justice work, her focus over the past two decades has been in these areas.

So…whether you’re enthusiastic about writing, Latin, literature, political science, horses, cats, hounds, or social justice (especially related to animals and the environment), consider attending Ms. Brown’s one-hour talk during 5th block next Wednesday, December 8th from 12:30 until 1:30pm in the auditorium.  If you’d like to read up on her career between now and then, go to EBSCO’s Literary Reference Center database and type in Rita Mae Brown Critical Survey Fiction.  Those search words should lead you to the 2010 essay “Rita Mae Brown” by Dennis Weeks and Elizabeth Schafer published in Critical Survey of Long Fiction, 4th edition (Salem Press).

If you have any questions about the assembly, please see Mrs. Lisa Williams – and remember to say “Thank you!” to our English department for arranging all these wonderful author visits this semester!

Thank you to all students and teachers who submitted recommendations for our Kindle Library!  The following e-books will be purchased and available on the library’s pilot set of Kindles:

  • Animal Farm – Orwell
  • The Book Thief – Zusak
  • The Disappearing Spoon – Kean
  • The Gift of Rain – Eng
  • House Rules – Picoult
  • Leviathan – Westerfeld
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains – Kidder
  • My Sister’s Voice – Carter
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns – Hosseini
  • Triangular Road – Marshall
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Pirsig

Based on suggestions from the English department, the following classics available in a free e-book format will be downloaded to our Kindles too.

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Anna Karenina
  • Anthem
  • The Awakening
  • The Call of the Wild
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Dracula
  • Frankenstein
  • Moby Dick
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • Siddhartha
  • The Souls of Black Folk
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Up from Slavery

Kindles may be checked out for two weeks at a time beginning November 15, 2010.

How many of these 28 e-books could YOU read in two weeks?  Remember, before you can check out a Kindle, you must complete a Kindle Use form and submit it to Ms. DeGroat.  You’ll find the form (PDF) at the bottom of the Reading Den page of the MW Library Research Commons.

Please keep in mind that recommended books for our Kindle library should meet TWO guidelines:

  1. Be available for the Kindle (check at
  2. Be a book that “provokes thoughtful literary, scientific, historical, cultural, and/or ethical discussion” (as noted at the top of the recommendation form).

Please note that books not meeting these two guidelines will not be purchased for the Kindle.  However, I sincerely appreciate all recommendations that Dragons have taken the time to make and will still consider such books as possible additions to the library’s print collection.  The following is an unfiltered list of the books recommended so far:

  • Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  • Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
  • Miracle in Philadelphia by C. Bowen
  • The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
  • Any book by Jodi Picoult
  • Any book in L. Divine’s Jayd’s Legacy series
  • Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

Please keep your recommendations coming!  They will be accepted through Friday, Nov. 5th!

Just in time for summer…

Do you have an iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, or Mac or PC laptop?  Then you can get five e-books from bestselling authors for FREE from Barnes and Noble.  Two simple steps and the books are yours –

  1. Download the free B&N e-Reader to your mobile device.
  2. Stop by the store each week to get the code to redeem.

The first book is No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Andrew McCall Smith and is available through this Sunday (May 23, 2010).  The other four books will be:

Ahhh, let the beach reading begin!