Monday Morning Book Buzz

Welcome to the Monday Morning Book Buzz, a preview of notable books being released this week. Some of them will be added to the Academy Library collection; if you read about a title that you would like added to the collection, let me know by either commenting on this post or by contacting me directly at the Library.

There is lots of buzz around several books on this week’s list, including:

  • Best-selling YA author John Green’s latest The Fault in Our Stars, about a 16-year-old girl battling terminal cancer
  • Sally Bedell Smith’s new biography on Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch
  • A Million Suns, the next book in the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis, about passengers on a spaceship traveling across the galaxy to colonize another planet

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This week’s releases are listed by category: Young Adult Fiction, Graphic Novels, General Fiction and Nonfiction. On-sale dates are indicated in parentheses.

Notable New Releases for the week of January 9th:

Young Adult Fiction

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (1/10/2012) — Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
  • Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (1/10/2012) — The highly anticipated sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. When evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation.
  • A Million Suns (Across the Universe Series #2) by Beth Revis (1/10/2012) — The sequel to Across the Universe. The spaceship Godspeed, hurtling through space with colonists bound for a distant planet, was fueled by lies — now it is ruled by chaos. It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. When Elder assumes leadership and discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed.

Graphic Novels

  • Annotated Sandman Vol. 1 by Neil Gaiman (1/10/2012) — New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent Sandman series is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title — and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. This new annotated edition is a panel-by-panel journey through every issue, beginning with #1-#20, including commentary, historical and contemporary references, hidden meanings and more, presented side-by-side with the series’ art and text.
  • Naruto: The Official Character Data Book by Masashi Kishimoto (1/10/2012) — It’s Shippuden homework time! Study up with this book and you’ll pass the test for “most knowledgeable shinobi of all time” — at least until the next update! This handy, huge guide covers all the way to Volume 43 of the best-selling manga!

General Fiction

  • American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar (1/9/2012) — Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes. “Through Hayat’s struggles to find a stable religious identity against the cultural backdrop of a pluralistic society pre-9/11, first-generation Pakistani American Akhtar shows that multiple factors, including social marginality, complicate the Muslim American experience.” — Library Journal
  • Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Series #16) by Elizabeth George (1/10/2012) — Inspector Thomas Lynley is mystified when he’s sent undercover to investigate the death of Ian Cresswell at the request of the man’s uncle, the wealthy and influential Bernard Fairclough. The death has been ruled an accidental drowning, and nothing on the surface indicates otherwise. But when Lynley enlists the help of his friends Simon and Deborah St. James, the trio’s digging soon reveals that the Fairclough clan is awash in secrets, lies, and motives.
  • The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau (1/10/2012) — In 1537 England, an aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father—and preserve the Catholic faith from Cromwell’s ruthless terror.
  • Gideon’s Corpse by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (1/10/2012) — A top nuclear scientist goes mad and takes an innocent family hostage at gunpoint, killing one and causing a massive standoff. A plume of radiation above New York City leads to a warehouse where, it seems, a powerful nuclear bomb was assembled just hours before. Sifting through the evidence, authorities determine that the unthinkable is about to happen: in ten days, a major American city will be vaporized by a terrorist attack.
  • The Jaguar (Charlie Hood Series #5) by T. Jefferson Parker (1/10/2012) — New York Times bestseller T. Jefferson Parker, crime fiction’s most critically acclaimed and award-winning writer continues “the most ground-breaking crime series in decades.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) with another gripping tale of the Mexican border.
  • Lunatics by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel (1/10/2012) — Two top humorists team up for a hilarious adventure. Philip Horkman is a happy man-the owner of a pet store called The Wine Shop, and on Sundays a referee for kids’ soccer. Jeffrey Peckerman is the sole sane person in a world filled with jerks and morons, and he’s having a really bad day. The two of them are about to collide in a swiftly escalating series of events that will send them running for their lives, pursued by the police, soldiers, terrorists, subversives, bears, and a man dressed as Chuck E. Cheese.
  • The Secret Crown by Chris Kuzneski (1/12/2012) — Hidden among the crates in a recently discovered World War II bunker are documents stamped with the insignia of the murdered King Ludwig II of Bavaria. According to legend, Ludwig stockpiled a massive treasure in the years before his death, but no one has found any evidence that Ludwig had hidden anything — until now. Jonathon Payne and David Jones are pulled into the mystery and quickly find themselves in a life-or-death struggle to uncover the truth about Ludwig’s murder and his mythical treasure.
  • Star Wars: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno (1/10/2012) — Darth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right, he destroys his Master—but vows never to suffer the same fate.
  • The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak (1/10/2012) — From award-winning author Eva Stachniak comes this passionate novel that illuminates the early life of one of history’s boldest women. This is the epic story of Catherine the Great’s improbable rise to power—as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne.


  • Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith (1/10/2012) — Drawing on numerous interviews and never-before-revealed documents, acclaimed biographer Sally Bedell Smith pulls back the curtain to show in intimate detail the public and private lives of Queen Elizabeth II, who has led her country and Commonwealth through the wars and upheavals of the last sixty years with unparalleled composure, intelligence, and grace.
  • Girl Land by Caitlin Flanagan (1/12/2012) — Caitlin Flanagan’s essays about marriage, sex, and families have sparked national debates. Now she turns her attention to girls: the biological and cultural milestones for girls today, and how they shape a girl’s sense of herself.
  • Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun by Paul M. Barrett (1/10/2012) — The Glock pistol has been embraced by two-thirds of all U.S. police departments, glamorized in countless Hollywood movies, and featured as a ubiquitous presence on prime-time TV. It has been rhapsodized by hip-hop artists, and coveted by cops and crooks alike. Based on fifteen years of research, Glock is the riveting story of the weapon that has become known as American’s gun.
  • Heinrich Himmler: A Life by Peter Longerich (1/13/2012) — Heinrich Himmler was Hitler’s top enforcer, in charge of the Gestapo, the SS, and the so-called Final Solution. In the first comprehensive biography of this murderous enigma, Longerich interweaves the story of Himmler’s personal life and political career with the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship, showing how skillfully Himmler exploited and manipulated his disparate roles in the pursuit of his far-reaching and grandiose objectives.
  • The Obamas by Jodi Kantor (1/10/2012) — Kantor, the Washington correspondent for the New York Times, takes us deep inside the White House as Barack and Michelle Obama try to grapple with their new roles, change the country, raise children, maintain friendships, and figure out what it means to be the first black President and First Lady.
  • A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss (1/10/2012) — “Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing?” Pioneering theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss’s provocative answers to these and other timeless questions in a wildly popular lecture now on YouTube have attracted over a million viewers. Now, in a cosmological story that rivets as it enlightens, Krauss explains the groundbreaking new scientific advances that turn the most basic philosophical questions on their heads.

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