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Posted on January 21, 2016 at 2:11 PM by Craig Jacobson
Did you make a resolution to “Read More” this year? Or perhaps you’re trying to expand your horizons and try different books. Check out the FLW’s 2016 Reading Challenge with a list of over 75 books to choose from over the next calendar year. Here are a few that we’re particularly excited to check out:
The Scorpio Races may sit in the young adult section, but don’t let that fool you. Every November, on an island with beautiful cliffs, surrounded by treacherous currents, tourists and natives alike come together for the Scorpio Races, held along the island’s treacherous edges using the island’s famed water horses. Puck is trying to hold her family together against all odds – she’s no jockey. But fate and desperation drive her to enter the Scorpio Races, even though riders don’t always survive.
Swashbuckling heroes spill from the pages of Alexander Dumas’s stories, but their real-life inspiration is little known and nearly forgotten: his own father, General Thomas Alexandre Dumas. Born the son of a slave and himself briefly enslaved for a time, he made his way to Europe, learned swordplay, and rose to command armies during the revolution. The Black Countis, all at once, a thrilling adventure, a window into 18th century France, and the story of the bonds between father and son.
When Rachel decides to spend summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, she’s looking forward to quality time together exploring the island. She’s not expecting his family home to look like a palace, a fleet of private planes, lightning-fast gossip networks, or the hostility that comes from being on the arm of one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors. Try Crazy Rich Asians if you want a hilarious romantic comedy, described as “an Austen novel set in Singapore.”
On February 18, 1930, a new planet was discovered: Pluto. In 2008, Pluto was demoted from planet to “dwarf planet,” amid a great uproar. In summer of 2015, NASA’s New Horizons probe sent back high resolution images of the icy body, the clearest pictures of it to date. What makes Pluto so captivating? Neil deGrasse Tyson explores its history and celebrated place in the popular imagination in The Pluto Files: the Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet. Written in a light, engaging style, this pop science book is an accessible overview of the former 9th planet.
Ireland’s history is as much mythology as fact – The Princes of Irelandrecounts it all in a sweeping historical saga from the days of Cuchulainn to Saint Patrick to the Great Famine. The city of Dublin becomes almost a character in its own right, shaped by the great tides of history and the forceful personalities sweeping through it as the years ebb and flow. Druids, smugglers, nobles, orphans, monks, rebels, and kings are etched into these pages in all their glory and tragedy.
Sherman Alexie recounts a more personal history with his semi-autobiographical novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which recounts the travails of Junior who grows up on the Spokane Indian Reservation and decides to go to the nearby white school where “the only other Indian is the school mascot.” Junior’s story is hilarious and poignant in turns, punctuated (but never overwhelmed) by Alexie’s clever cartoons and drawings.
Alex the African Grey parrot said goodbye to his owner Irene Pepperberg this way: “You be good. I love you.” For over twenty years, Irene and Alex had carried out studies on animal cognition, testing Alex’s ability to learn and understand. Alex and Meis their story, filled with Alex’s quirks and personality. He gets bored with repeating the same tasks over and over. He sulks when he feels neglected. He wants to go home when he’s sick. Together, they changed what we know about how animals think.
Want to give the 2016 Reading Challenge a try? Stop by the Reference Desk to sign up!
All images courtesy of Easicat.