When there's a deal on a great book, we want you to know about it! Usually, we'll highlight Kindle books, just because they seem to have the best sales, but if there's a deal on a hard copy, we'll let you know about that, too. We will ONLY post sales for books someone on our staff has read and recommended (or, very occasionally, books that we really, really want to read but haven't gotten around to yet).
THURSDAY, JULY 27
HSL BOOK DEALS OF THE DAY
Nobody does smart-atmospheric-creepy like Frances Hardinge. In this book, the daughter of an amateur archaeologist/formidable reverend discovers a strange tree while trying to solve the mystery of her father's murder.
AUDIOBOOK: Work nerds, rejoice: This celebration of English's lost words includes expergefactor (better known as an alarm clock) and philogrobolized (waking up feeling like you have a hangover). Lots of fun!
AUDIOBOOK: Eccentric millionaire Samuel Westing is dead, and now his heirs—most of whom have no idea what their connection to Westing might be—must compete in a decidedly weird competition to see who inherits his fortune.
Suzanne kept telling me to read this post-apocalyptic novel about a very unusual girl, and—as usual—I should have listened a lot sooner. This book turns the zombie trope on its head and calls into question all our notions about what it means to be human. Good stuff!
Suzanne picked this hard sci-fi novel as one of our podcast reads: One part of a massive AI system survived an act of extreme violence and slowly works toward a long-planned revenge. This book does such cool things with ideas about gender and humanity, and it doesn't do that annoying trilogy thing where the first book doesn't wrap anything up.
David Foster Wallace tried to explain by Borges by saying that he bridges the gap between modernism and postmodernism, which I am not sure I completely agree with. I do agree, though, that Borges' complex, multi-layered, nuanced, books-within-books stories are not always easy to read but always rewarding when you do. This is a great collection.
Baldwin's first essay collection (written during the 1940s and 1950s, when he was just a young man) captures the dawn of the Civil Rights movement in powerful (and sometimes disturbing) prose. Team this book with a screening of I Am Not Your Negro to start or continue a conversation about race and racism in the United States.
AUDIOBOOK: Kate Winslet reads one of the all-time great Roald Dahl books: A story about a girl named Matilda who loves to read. Even though her family's awful and her school possibly even worse, Matilda's love of books (and unexpected mental powers) help her find a place where she belongs and a happily ever after of her own. Funny and charming.
OK, so technically this book is about Galileo, not really about his daughter Mary Celeste, who was a cloistered nun. But Mary Celeste's surviving letters were the catalyst for this history of the scientist, illuminating both the uneasy relationship between science and religion in the 16th/17th centuries and the social and political climate of his day. It's fascinating.
AUDIOBOOK: I raved about this book when it came out—it's one of those gorgeous, lingering books that stays with you after you've finished. Strands of different stories weave together as a girl who swallows magic after she's adopted by a kindly witch learns about her power and past.
AUDIOBOOK: We've mentioned Anderson's subversively brilliant Seeds of America trilogy on the blog before (see Carrie's thoughtful review), and this first book is a great place to start your American Revolution studies this summer. What does "freedom" mean to people who aren't, by definition, free?
AUDIOBOOK: People who are slightly obsessed with books (cough! me! cough!) will appreciate this book-based mystery/puzzle story, in which Emily and her new friend try to solve the clues in a famous puzzler's new challenge.
AUDIOBOOK: Shelli loves this Little House in the Big Woods-ish story chronicling the everyday, seasonal life of a young Ojibwa girl living on the shores of Lake Superior in the 1840s. Great listen-aloud for U.S. History students.
AUDIOBOOK: Tim Curry leads a full cast in the reading of this first book in the tragic life of the Baudelaire orphans, in which Violet, Klaus, and Sunny lose their parents in a suspicious fire and are sent to live with a not-so-benevolent Count Olaf, who plans to steal their fortune.
So Suzanne loves sci-fi and I am perpetually not-quite loving it, but podcast listeners will know that we both found plenty to love in this curious little fantasy about a scientific genius boy and a magical girl (who attends a secret witch school!) trying to stop the end of the world. It's kind of perfect for summer reading.