As I mentioned yesterday, my birthday is close to Christmas, so I thought that I would show you what I was gifted over the past month!
How the World Thinks by Julian Baggini
Julian Baggini’s How the World Thinks is there to fill the Sapiens-size hole in your life’ Observer’s guide to Autumn in culture In this groundbreaking global overview of philosophy, Julian Baggini travels the world to provide a wide-ranging map of human thought. One of the great unexplained wonders of human history is that written philosophy flowered entirely separately in China, India and Ancient Greece at more or less the same time. These early philosophies have had a profound impact on the development of distinctive cultures in different parts of the world. What we call ‘philosophy’ in the West is not even half the story. Julian Baggini sets out to expand our horizons in How the World Thinks, exploring the philosophies of Japan, India, China and the Muslim world, as well as the lesser-known oral traditions of Africa and Australia’s first peoples. Interviewing thinkers from around the globe, Baggini asks questions such as: why is the West is more individualistic than the East? What makes secularism a less powerful force in the Islamic world than in Europe? And how has China resisted pressures for greater political freedom? Offering deep insights into how different regions operate, and paying as much attention to commonalities as to differences, Baggini shows that by gaining greater knowledge of how others think we take the first step to a greater understanding of ourselves.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.
So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.
And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
The Darkest Minds Quartet by Alexandra Bracken
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake
Three dark sisters rise to fight. Allegiances shift. Bonds break. Secrets surface.
Mirabella has returned to the capital, seemingly under a banner of truce.
Katherine maintains her rule over Fennbirn – for now – but at huge personal cost.
Arsinoe is lost, the responsibility of stopping the ravaging mist heavy on her shoulders.
As oldest and youngest circle each other, and Katharine begins to yearn for the closeness that Mirabella and Arsinoe share, the dead queens hiss caution. They whisper that Mirabella is not to be trusted. But even they are drawn to her power . . .
The fate of the island lies in the hands of its queens.
Five Dark Fates is the epic conclusion to Kendare Blake’s bestselling Three Dark Crowns series.
Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern
Set in early nineteenth-century Britain, Bloodlust & Bonnets follows Lucy, an unworldly debutante who desires a life of passion and intrigue—qualities which earn her the attention of Lady Violet Travesty, the leader of a local vampire cult.
But before Lucy can embark on her new life of vampiric debauchery, she finds herself unexpectedly thrown together with the flamboyant poet Lord Byron (“from books!”) and a mysterious bounty-hunter named Sham. The unlikely trio lie, flirt, fight, and manipulate each other as they make their way across Britain, disrupting society balls, slaying vampires, and making every effort not to betray their feelings to each other as their personal and romantic lives become increasingly entangled.
Both witty and slapstick, elegant and gory, Emily McGovern’s debut graphic novel pays tribute to and pokes fun at beloved romance tropes, delivering a joyous, action-packed world of friendship and adventure.
The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
A cursed book. A missing professor. Some nefarious men in gray suits. And a dreamworld called the Troposphere?
Ariel Manto has a fascination with nineteenth-century scientists–especially Thomas Lumas and The End of Mr. Y, a book no one alive has read. When she mysteriously uncovers a copy at a used bookstore, Ariel is launched into an adventure of science and faith, consciousness and death, space and time, and everything in between.
Seeking answers, Ariel follows in Mr. Y’s footsteps: She swallows a tincture, stares into a black dot, and is transported into the Troposphere–a wonderland where she can travel through time and space using the thoughts of others. There she begins to understand all the mysteries surrounding the book, herself, and the universe. Or is it all just a hallucination?
The Hand, The Eye, and The Heart by Zoë Marriott
Zhilan was assigned female at birth; despite an unusual gift for illusions, they know they will live out their life in the perfumed confines of the women’s quarters. But when civil war sets the country aflame, Zhilan is the only one who can save their disabled Father from death on the battlefield.
By taking his place.
Surviving brutal army training as a male recruit – Zhi – is only the first challenge. Soon Zhi’s unique talents draw them into an even more perilous fight, in the glittering court of the Land of Dragons, where love and betrayal are two sides of the same smile. The fate of an Empire rests on Zhi’s shoulders. But to win, they must first decide where their loyalty, and their heart, truly belongs.
Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal
The hilarious and wildly popular instagram comic about a world with no men
With her startling humor, it’s no surprise that Aminder Dhaliwal’s web comic Woman World has a devoted audience of more than 150,000 readers, updated biweekly with each installment earning an average of 25,000 likes. Now, readers everywhere will delight in the print edition as Dhaliwal seamlessly incorporates feminist philosophical concerns into a series of perfectly-paced strips that skewer perceived notions of femininity and contemporary cultural icons. D+Q’s edition of Woman World will include new and previously unpublished material.
When a birth defect wipes out the planet’s entire population of men, Woman World rises out of society’s ashes. Dhaliwal’s infectiously funny instagram comic follows the rebuilding process, tracking a group of women who have rallied together under the flag of “Beyonce’s Thighs.” Only Grandma remembers the distant past, a civilization of segway-riding mall cops, Blockbuster movie rental shops, and “That’s What She Said” jokes. For the most part, Woman World’s residents are focused on their struggles with unrequited love and anxiety, not to mention that whole “survival of humanity” thing.
Woman World is an uproarious and insightful graphic novel from a very talented and funny new voice.
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
Koushun Takami’s notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan—where it became a runaway best seller—Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world.
20th Anniversary Edition of Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts is full of new dangers. A convicted murderer, Sirius Black, has broken out of Azkaban prison, and it seems he’s after Harry. Now Hogwarts is being patrolled by the dementors, the Azkaban guards who are hunting Sirius. But Harry can’t imagine that Sirius or, for that matter, the evil Lord Voldemort could be more frightening than the dementors themselves, who have the terrible power to fill anyone they come across with aching loneliness and despair. Meanwhile, life continues as usual at Hogwarts. A top-of-the-line broom takes Harry’s success at Quidditch, the sport of the Wizarding world, to new heights. A cute fourth-year student catches his eye. And he becomes close with the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, who was a childhood friend of his father. Yet despite the relative safety of life at Hogwarts and the best efforts of the dementors, the threat of Sirius Black grows ever closer. But if Harry has learned anything from his education in wizardry, it is that things are often not what they seem. Tragic revelations, heartwarming surprises, and high-stakes magical adventures await the boy wizard in this funny and poignant third installment of the beloved series.
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Thirteen-year-old Min comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her. To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times.
Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.
When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.
Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.
When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her–freedom, prison or death.
With The Testaments, the wait is over.
Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” –Margaret Atwood
Milkman by Anna Burns
In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.
Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.
OtherEarth by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
Simon saved his best friend, Kat, from the clutches of the Company and their high-tech VR gaming experience, Otherworld. But it was at a steep price. Now he, Kat, and their friend Busara are on the run. They know too much. About the Company’s dark secrets. About the real-life consequences of playing Otherworld. And about Kat’s stepfather’s involvement in everything. The group is headed to New Mexico to find Simon’s old roommate, who is a tech genius and possibly the only person who can help them reveal the truth about the Company before it’s too late and the line between what’s real and what’s fantasy is erased . . . forever.
Imagine a future in which you can leave reality behind and give in to your greatest desires. That future is now. And the future is terrifying.
OtherLife by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
imon, Kat, Busara, and Elvis are on the run with the tech super-villains at the Company hot on their heels. The new VR gaming experience the Company created, OtherEarth, will change how the world experiences video games. Paired with the hardware the Company developed, it has the potential to change the world as we know it, altering our reality forever.
The Company is on its way to becoming the world’s newest superpower. And Simon is determined to shut them down forever. But to do that, he’ll have to survive OtherLife–the next phase of gaming, and a complete reality reboot.
Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth
Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth have grown up in enemy countries locked in a long-standing fight for dominance over their shared planet. When Akos and his brother are kidnapped by the ruling Noavek family, Akos is forced to serve Cyra, the sister of a dictator who governs with violence and fear. Cyra is known for her deadly power of transferring extraordinary pain unto others with simple touch, and her tyrant brother uses her as a weapon against those who challenge him. But as Akos fights for his own survival, he recognizes that Cyra is also fighting for hers, and that her true gift—resilience—might be what saves them both.
When Akos and Cyra are caught in the middle of a raging rebellion, everything they’ve been led to believe about their world and themselves must be called into question. But fighting for what’s right might mean betraying their countries, their families, and each other.
When the time comes, will they choose loyalty or love?
The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth
The lives of Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth are ruled by their fates, spoken by the oracles at their births. The fates, once determined, are inescapable.
Akos is in love with Cyra, in spite of his fate: he will die in service to Cyra’s family. And when Cyra’s father, Lazmet Noavek – a soulless tyrant, thought to be dead – reclaims the Shotet throne, Akos believes his end is closer than ever.
As Lazmet ignites a barbaric war, Cyra and Akos are desperate to stop him at any cost. For Cyra, that could mean taking the life of the man who may – or may not – be her father.
For Akos, it could mean giving his own. In a stunning twist, the two will discover how fate defines their lives in ways most unexpected.
Slay by Brittney Morris
By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only black kids at Jefferson Academy. By night, she joins hundreds of thousands of black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY.
No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm.
But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals.
Driven to save the only world in which she can truly be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto
In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.
Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.
Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And, meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.
Crown of Feathers is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save or to destroy. Throughout is interspersed the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider Queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands.
Gmorning, G’night! by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now, at the request of countless fans, Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection illustrated by acclaimed artist (and fellow Twitter favorite) Jonny Sun. Full of comfort and motivation, Gmorning, Gnight! is a touchstone for anyone looking for a lift.
Love & War by Melissa De La Cruz
1780. Albany, New York.
As the war for American Independence carries on, two newlyweds are settling into their new adventure: marriage. But the honeymoon’s over, and Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler are learning firsthand just how tricky wedded life can be. Alex is still General George Washington’s right-hand man and his attention these days is nothing if not divided–much like the colonies’ interests as the end of the Revolution draws near. Alex & Eliza’s relationship is tested further by lingering jealousies and family drama.
All For One by Melissa De La Cruz
1785. New York, New York.
As a young nation begins to take shape, Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler are on top of the world. They’re the toast of the town, keeping New York City buzzing with tales of their lavish parties, of Eliza’s legendary wit, and of Alex’s brilliant legal mind.
But new additions to Alex & Eliza’s little family mean change is afoot in the Hamilton household. When they agree to take in an orphaned teenage girl along with Eliza’s oldest brother, John Schuyler, Eliza can’t help but attempt a match. It’s not long before sparks start to fly…if only Eliza can keep herself from interfering too much in the course of true love. After all, she and Alex have an arrival of their own to plan for, though Alex’s latest case brings a perilous threat that may destroy everything.
The sweeping love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler comes to a close in All for One, the riveting final installment of the New York Times bestselling Alex & Eliza trilogy.
The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon – the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki – and the price he wants is very high.
The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
My name is Magnus Chase. These days, I’m one of Odin’s immortal warriors, but that doesn’t stop people trying to kill me all the time.
Loki the trickster god is free from his chains. He’s put together a crew of giants and zombies to sail Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, in a battle against the Norse gods. If he succeeds, the final battle of Ragnarok will extinguish all the worlds.
With help from Percy Jackson and my cousin Annabeth, and with friends by my side, I have to sail across the oceans to reach Naglfar before Midsummer’s Day. The only problems are the angry sea gods, hostile giants and evil fire-breathing dragon in the way.
But even if we survive the journey I’ll need more than just Jack, my talking sword, to beat Loki. I must find a magical elixir so deadly that it will either make me powerful enough to defeat Loki and put him back in chains for good … or destroy me entirely.
9 from the Nine Worlds by Rick Riordan
Travel the Nine Worlds with your favourite characters from the world of Magnus Chase in a brand-new series of adventures.
Find out why Amir Fadlan hates clothes shopping in Midgard, see how Mallory Keen learns in icy Niflheim that insulting a dragon can be a good idea, and join Alex Fierro as they play with fire (and a disco sword) in the home of the fire giants, Muspellheim.
But watch out for Thor, who is jogging through all Nine Worlds so he can log his million steps – and is raising quite a stink . . .
The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
The second book in the the latest series from Percy Jackson creator Rick Riordan. The god Apollo, stuck in the body of a teenage boy, must undergo the second of his trials to regain his immortality.
The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
I was a god, once. Until I was cast out by my father, Zeus.
Now I’m an awkward mortal teenager named Lester, bound to a difficult and dangerous demigod called Meg.
Thanks a lot, dad.
My way out? A series of scary and dangerous trials, of course.
For my third mission, I must:
Journey through the Labyrinth to free an Oracle who only speaks in puzzles.
Defeat a vicious and bloodthirsty Roman Emperor – the most vicious of three very vicious and bloodthirsty Roman Emperors.
Is that all? No, I’ve to do everything without any of my godly powers. Wonderful. Looks like I’ll be needing all the help I can get. From new friends, and old . . .
The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan
I am Apollo
I will remember
The former God Apollo, cast out by his father, Zeus, is having a pretty rough time of it.
Well, for one thing, he’s called Lester. But being an awkward mortal teenager is the least of his worries.
Though he and his friends (some of them) have emerged from the Burning Maze, rescued the Oracle and lived to fight another day, they can’t escape the tragedy that has befallen them, or the terrible trials still to face.
So, with heavy heart, Apollo (OK, Lester) and Meg have a triumvirate still to defeat, oracles to rescue, and prophecies to decipher, so that the world may be saved, and Lester may ascend into the heavens to become Apollo once again.
But, right now, Caligula is sailing to San Francisco to deal with Camp Jupiter personally, and they have to get their first. Or risk its destruction . . .