Welcome to the second edition of Fast Five!
Fast Five is a new feature modeled on the Wall Street Journal’s book column “Five Best” and the website Five Books. Fast Five will highlight five similarly themed titles available in Saunders Family Library. You can check out the first edition of the series here. Feedback and recommendations are always welcome. Thanks for reading!
Today’s Fast Five: 2018 National Book Award Nominees, Finalists, and Winners
The “Oscars of the book world” took place last Wednesday night – the National Book Foundation announced the 2018 National Book Award winners. Five winning titles in five categories, each from a longlist of ten works winnowed to five finalists. You can see all the titles at the National Book Foundation’s website and will likely encounter them again on one of the “best books” lists that close out the year. Vox also has a nice survey of the 25 finalists.
Here are five nominees and winners in SFL’s collection.
From the publisher: “Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.”
Readers looking to explore the novels-in-verse genre might start with Book Riot’s list of “100 Must-Read YA Books in Verse.” It’s two years old but a great survey of this popular genre. This list from Epic Reads is more recent and features The Poet X as well as titles from genre stalwarts Jason Reynolds and Kwame Alexander.
From the publisher: “Elegiac and searching, The Friend is both a meditation on loss and a celebration of human-canine devotion.”
Read more about The Friend at the author’s website. Watch Sigrid Nunez discuss her life and writing process in a short video interview for the New York Foundation for the Arts. Listen to an interview with the author on WBUR Boston’s Here & Now.
3. Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (FINALIST – Young People’s Literature)
From the publisher: “Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family grappling with addiction, and finding the art that helps you survive.”
Jarrett J. Krosoczka is the author of the immensely popular Jedi Academy and Lunch Lady series of books. Visit his website. Krosoczka discusses Hey, Kiddo with Terry Gross on this recent episode of Fresh Air and in this interview at Comics Beat.
4. Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh (FINALIST – Non-Fiction)
From the publisher: “An essential read for our times: an eye-opening memoir of working-class poverty in America that will deepen our understanding of the ways in which class shapes our country.”
5. The Boatbuilder by Daniel Gumbiner (LONGLIST – Fiction)
From the publisher: “Written in gleaming prose, this is a story about resilience, community, and what it takes to win back your soul.”
Welcome to the first edition of Fast Five!
Fast Five is a new feature modeled on the Wall Street Journal’s book column “Five Best” and the website Five Books. Fast Five will highlight five similarly themed titles available in Saunders Family Library. Feedback and recommendations are always welcome.
Today’s Fast Five: New Science & Nature Non-Fiction!
1. The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Century by Deborah Blum
From the publisher: “From Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Blum, the dramatic true story of how food was made safe in the United States and the heroes, led by the inimitable Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, who fought for change”
Listen to a recent NPR interview with Blum discussing the book and the days before basic food safety protections here.
2. Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II by Liza Munday
From the publisher: “The award-winning national bestseller about the American women who secretly served as codebreakers during World War II–a “prodigiously researched and engrossing” (New York Times) book that “shines a light on a hidden chapter of American history” (Denver Post).”
Visit the Liza Munday’s website to learn more about the author, her work, and the fascinating story of the “Code Girls.” I found this recruitment brochure in the Code Girls gallery and wondered if any graduates of the Collegiate School for Girls in the City of Richmond might have been “Code Girls.”
3. The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age by David E. Sanger
From the publisher: “The Perfect Weapon is the startling inside story of how the rise of cyberweapons transformed geopolitics like nothing since the invention of the atomic bomb. Cheap to acquire, easy to deny, and usable for a variety of malicious purposes—from crippling infrastructure to sowing discord and doubt—cyber is now the weapon of choice for democracies, dictators, and terrorists.”
4. The Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West by John F. Ross
From the publisher: “A timely, thrilling account of a man who, as an explorer, dared to lead the first successful expedition down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon–and, as an American visionary, waged a bitterly-contested campaign for environmental sustainability in the American West.”
You can learn more about John F. Ross here and read more of his writing on John Wesley Powell here. Take a virtual tour of Grand Canyon National Park at the National Park Service website and at Google Arts & Culture.
5. Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking
The Saunders Family Library welcomes new and returning faculty and students to the 2016-2017 school year. As the song says, “We’ve only just begun,” but it’s never too early to start thinking about how to put your library to work for you.
We have an incredible collection of print, film, and digital resources, and are here to help connect you with what you seek.
To explore resources currently available join the Saunders Family Library Schoology Group:
And if there’s something you need that we don’t have you can request it.
Faculty: Drop a line or just drop by to request titles that might benefit your students, enrich their research, and improve their projects. We also encourage you to request titles of personal or professional interest to you and the faculty community.
Students: Stop by to request titles related to course work and/or independent study, to enhance an honors project, to fill gaps in our collection, or simply (and shockingly) for pleasure reading in your down time.
Recently purchased titles requested by Collegiate faculty and students include:
- Joe Sacco’s striking “illustrated panorama” The Great War for Vlastik Svab.
- The doorstop (read: large, heavy) history Chinese Ceramics: From the Paleolithic Period through the Qing Dynasty and the gorgeous children’s book Wabi Sabi for Mary Arzt.
- How to Make Books for Shayna Cooke’s.
- For Ling Fung-Wu, a selection of texts on the history of the Chicano Movement and a collection of Spanish language films.
- Books on the history of women’s education in the South for the Julia A. William’s Study & Archives Center.
- By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design for a student honors project.
- Various fiction titles for student’s free reading assignments.
Call, e-mail, or just stop by and let us know how we can put the Saunders Family Library to work for you this school year.