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There there [large print book club kit]
2018
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New York Times Review
THE TRUTH ABOUT ANIMALS: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales From the Wild Side of Wildlife, by Lucy Cooke. (Basic Books, $16.99.) From the marvelous to the utterly bizarre, there's an astonishing diversity of life on display in this book. Cooke, a noted zoologist and documentarían, devotes each of her chapters to a misunderstood creature, upending our assumptions and beliefs about animals. THERE THERE, by Tommy Orange. (Vintage, $16.) This polyphonic debut novel is centered on a group of Native Americans as they travel to a powwow in Oakland, Calif. Structured as a series of short chapters featuring different characters, the book raises questions of identity, belonging and history's relationship to the present. "There There" was named one of the Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2018. IN THE ENEMY'S HOUSE: The Secret Saga of the FBI Agent and the Code Breaker Who Caught the Russian Spies, by Howard Blum. (Harper Perennial, $17.99.) Blum looks at the two men who helped track down Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and whose work uncovered a secret Soviet spy network. The book reads like a detective thriller as it describes their efforts, and offers a fresh consideration of Cold War-era history. LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE, by Celeste Ng. (Penguin, $17.) An Ohio town is rattled when the house of a wealthy white family is set ablaze. As Ng delves into the past to help solve the mystery, the town is further cast into turmoil by the disappearance of two newcomers, a mother and teenage daughter, and a custody battle springing from an interracial adoption. Our reviewer, Eleanor Henderson, praised the book's "vast and complex network of moral affiliations - and the nuanced omniscient voice that Ng employs to navigate it." TIGER WOODS, by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian. (Simon & Schuster, $18.) There's no shortage of biographies of Woods, but this one stands out for the new details it uncovers about the athlete's rise to become a champion - and his eventual fall from grace. As the Times critic Dwight Garner wrote of the book, "It has torque and velocity, even when all of Woods's shots, on the course and off it, begin heading for the weeds." MOTHERHOOD, by Sheila Heti. (Picador, $18.) The narrator of Heti's latest book, a female writer in her late 30s, wrestles with her ambivalence about having a child before time runs out. As the woman untangles her feelings - "I resent the spectacle of all this breeding, which I see as a turning away from the living," she says - the novel becomes a broader exploration of creativity, art and selfhood.
Library Journal Review
"[B]eing able to understand where we came from, what happened to our people, and how to honor them by living right, by telling our stories" could be goals for any community-but the words are especially resonant for debut novelist Orange's sprawling Native American cast: "the world is made of stories, nothing else, just stories, and stories about stories." Most important, "we should never not tell our stories," a dying mother urges her daughter. Orange presents more than a dozen men, women, and children confronting broken families, socioeconomic entrapment, cultural erasure, and tenacious reclamation who initially seem to share little more than their Oakland setting. Their Native connections will link their stories as Orange-of Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma-moves each toward the Big Oakland Powwow, an epic, explosive event that will both reunite and destroy. Narrator Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Kyla García, and Alma Cuervo help to keep characters distinct; that all but Cuervo identity as Native American/First Nations undoubtedly enhances their nuanced performances. -VERDICT While bearing witness to history (his piercing preface fiercely encapsulates a half-millennium of Native experiences), Orange commands urgent, immediate attention in this masterly montage of voices, lives, visions, tragedies, and dreams. ["A broad sweep of lives of Native American people in Oakland and beyond": LJ 4/1/18 starred review of the Knopf hc; a June LibraryReads pick.]-Terry Hong, -Smithsonian -BookDragon, Washington, DC © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Orange's commanding debut chronicles contemporary Native Americans in Oakland, as their lives collide in the days leading up to the city's inaugural Big Oakland Powwow. Bouncing between voices and points of view, Orange introduces 12 characters, their plotlines hinging on things like 3-D-printed handguns and VR-controlled drones. Tony Loneman and Octavio Gomez see the powwow as an opportunity to pay off drug debts via a brazen robbery. Others, like Edwin Black and Orvil Red Feather, view the gathering as a way to connect with ancestry and, in Edwin's case, to meet his father for the first time. Blue, who was given up for adoption, travels to Oklahoma in an attempt to learn about her family, only to return to Oakland as the powwow's coordinator. Orvil's grandmother, Jacquie, who abandoned her family years earlier, reappears in the city with powwow emcee Harvey, whom she briefly dated when the duo lived on Alcatraz Island as adolescents. Time and again, the city is a magnet for these individuals. The propulsion of both the overall narrative and its players are breathtaking as Orange unpacks how decisions of the past mold the present, resulting in a haunting and gripping story. Agent: Nicole Aragi, Aragi Inc. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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