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A Testament To The Power of Second Chances…….
Praise for Becoming Ms. Burton
“Susan Burton is an angel among us. Her journey is a story of courage, compassion, and conviction. At turns harrowing and inspiring, Becoming Ms. Burton provides a valuable new perspective on the consequences of mass incarceration.”
— Howard Schultz, executive chairman, Starbucks Coffee Company
“Susan Burton’s life and work are a testament to the power of second chances and the impact one person can have on the lives of others. Her book is a stirring and moving tour-de-force–a beautiful inspiration for all of us to continue to fight for justice.”
— John Legend, actor, singer, and songwriter
“More than just a memoir, this account provides an intimate glimpse into the problems that plague the U.S. prison system.” — Library Journal
“Burton has helped thousands of formerly incarcerated and homeless individuals, and now, by telling her story, she continues to advocate for a more humane justice system guided by compassion and dignity.” — Booklist (starred)
“The book documents Burton’s tireless efforts to effect change—first helping individual women, released from prison with few resources, to make a new start, and then snowballing advocacy efforts at the state and national level to reshape how the United States treats those with criminal records.”– Publishers Weekly
“A dramatic, honest, moving narrative of how hard life can get and how one can still overcome seemingly insurmountable adversity to do good in the world.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Susan’s life story is one our nation desperately needs to hear and understand. This is a story about personal transformation and collective power. It is about one woman’s journey to freedom, and in the process helping to free us all.”
— Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
Hue 1968 by Mark Bowden
New York Times Bestsellers:
HUE 1968 / Mark Bowden (Atlantic Monthly / PGW)
#13, New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction
#10, New York Times Combined Print & ebook Nonfiction
Editors’ Choice: Staff Picks from the Book Review
Library Journal, Starred Review…. VERDICT……..this work provides a fascinating look at the challenges and horrors of urban warfare and is essential for anyone interested in the Vietnam War.—Joshua Wallace, Tarleton State Univ. Lib. Stephenville, TX
Booklist (06/01/2017): *Starred Review….. Best-selling Bowden… has created an epic masterpiece of heroism and sacrifice, and a testament to the tragic futility of the American experience in Vietnam. (Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)
Pulitzer Prize Winners 2017 -Congratulations to our authors!
World by Jim Morin has been selected for a Pulitzer for a distinguished cartoon or portfolio of cartoons, characterized by originality, editorial effectiveness, quality of drawing and pictorial effect, published as a still drawing, animation or both Editorial Cartooning
“We’re lucky to have one of the very best, waiting with pen in hand to carve up the phonies, blowhards, crooks and hypocrites who make headlines. They might not want to end up in a Jim Morin cartoon, but they will.” – Carl Hiaasen
“Jim Morin has all the attributes of a first-rate cartoonist. He has a clear idea how he feels about issues and he wants you to know about it. He then expresses himself clearly and concisely in a manner that is both exciting and explorative.” – Pat Oliphant
“Jim Morin is one of the great under-appreciated cartoonists of the last quarter century.” – The Comics Reporter
OLIO by Tyehimba Jess has won in the poetry category “For a distinctive work that melds performance art with the deeper art of poetry to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity.”
Matthew Zapruder, Editor-at-Large at Wave Books notes, “We are thrilled for Tyehimba, and truly honored to be his publisher. This feels like a victory for the entire independent publishing ecosystem, which supports exceptional artists like Tyehimba Jess and smaller presses like Wave Books, so we can continue to do this work and share it with readers.” OLIO weaves sonnet and song to examine the lives of the mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War to WWI. Congratulations to Wave Books on their stunning first Pulitzer Prize winner!
“Degrees of Inequality”
**LOWER ED is The Wall Street Journal’s April nonfiction book club pick. The club’s discussion, hosted on Facebook at the end of April, will be led by Roxane Gay.**
The Daily Show Interview
New York Times Book Review March 16, 2017
LOWER ED: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, by Tressie McMillan Cottom. (New Press, $26.95.) Some two million Americans are enrolled in for-profit colleges, up from 400,000 in 2000. They are disproportionately nonwhite and female. They graduate with more debt than students who have attended public and nonprofit institutions, and are more likely to default on their loans. Cottom, a sociologist, has written the best book yet on the complex lives and choices of these students. In so doing, she questions the fundamental narrative of American education policy: that a postsecondary degree always guarantees a better life.
Slipping by John Toomey – New York Times and Kirkus Starred review-
Starred Review- Kirkus 3/3/2017
The Rashomon effect is at work in this anatomy of a small-town murder, with even the perpetrator offering more than one version of events. Irish writer Toomey (Huddleston Road, 2012, etc.) plays with the sort of whodunit that reveals the who up front and goes on to explore the how and why. …..Toomey is aiming to do more than solve a mystery and achieves a psychologically intriguing, unnerving character study.
New York Times Book Review 3/26/17
This third novel by the Dublin-born Toomey is a sly, layered story about how a writer constructs a narrative, and how elusive the absolute truth always is. ….. Toomey has constructed an engaging weave of competing stories that unfurl in multiple parallel ribbons, some never destined to converge.
Full NYT review-
Being the Father My Son Deserves
Dreux “Lil Fizz” Frédéric of platinum selling R&B group B2K, thought he had it all; fame, fortune and millions of adoring fans at his feet. In the shadows of the bright lights is where he discovered the true meaning of having it all. On the day his son was born, Dreux then realized it was his son who made him whole. He’s learned that being a father is the ultimate reward.
It was easy for Dreux “Lil Fizz” Frédéric of platinum selling R&B group B2K, to think he had it all, when by society’s standards he did. Fame, fortune and millions of adoring fans had him convinced he had accomplished everything he ever wanted and more. He soon found out he was wrong. Even with all his success, he still felt incomplete and empty inside. In the shadows of the bright lights is where he discovered the true meaning of having it all. On the day his son was born, Dreux then realized it was his son who made him whole. Regardless of what he was going through or how he felt, he was a father first. The pain from the roller coaster ride of stardom was immediately removed when he looked into his son’s eyes. Dreux now knows that being a father is the ultimate reward and it is his responsibility no matter what.
No Excuses Trailer
The New Yorker Reviews Helen Garner’s Newest, Everywhere I Look
Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner collects essays and articles she’s written over the course of her long career. Offering a broad vision of a life long lived, the book follows her own established tradition of “savage honesty,” as The New Yorker calls it. Garner’s sparing and unflinching prose can cut deep, impressing upon the reader the pain of the moment. Her ability to convey the truth as she lived it startles at times, but in the surprise lays the enjoyment of her writing.
“‘Honesty’ is a word that, when thrown at journalism, unhelpfully describes both a baseline and a vaguer horizon, a legal minimum and an ethical summum. Too often, we precisely monitor the former and profligately praise the latter. In Helen Garner’s case, we should give due thanks for the former and precisely praise the latter. As a writer of nonfiction, Garner is scrupulous, painstaking, and detailed, with sharp eyes and ears. She is everywhere at once, watching and listening, a recording angel at life’s secular apocalypses—“a small grim figure with a notebook and a cold,” as she memorably describes herself. She has written with lucid anger about murder cases, about incidents of sexual harassment, about the experience of caring for a friend dying of cancer.” –The New Yorker, December 12, 2016
Other praise for Everywhere I Look:
“Her unsentimental, but not heartless, accounts demonstrate her range and capacity for emotional accuracy in the face of difficulty. Garner uses her powers of observation to confront unpleasant truths. Her graceful prose will challenge readers to look at the world around them.” –Library Journal, October 17, 2016
“On the page, Garner is uncommonly fierce, though this usually has the effect on me of making her seem all the more likable. I relish her fractious, contrarian streak – she wears it as a chef would a bloody apron – even as I worry about what it would be like to have to face it down.” –The Guardian, October 11, 2016
“Garner can write about everything for every reader…Her tone throughout is one of considerable charm and approachability. Five minutes in Garner’s company, you feel, and you’d be telling her your deepest secrets.” –Civilian Global, October 3, 2016
Helen Garner; Text Publishing Company; Trade Paper: 9781925355369, $16.95)
Hot News for Cold Weather: A Fidel Castro Reading List
Fidel Castro died three weeks ago, and regardless of your opinion on this polarizing figure, it’s important to learn more about him. To that end, we at Consortium have compiled a list of readings on El Comandante to expose differing opinions on the Cold War leader. Take a gander and see what comes up:
Castro: A Graphic Novel, published soon after the Obama administration’s announcement to normalize relations with Cuba, Castro follows the revolutionary’s life through the perspective of a German journalist. Packed with vivid illustrations, the graphic novel does not present a skewed image of the divisive figure, but instead illuminates Castro’s varied personality traits. Taking the view that the leader was human, the reader sees all of it: the trade embargoes, the Bay of Pigs, and Castro’s interactions with everyday Cubans. Castro does not hide its namesake’s crackdowns, but instead showcases the leader’s faults and failings along with his successes. This graphic novel is a great place to start for the novice reader of Castro; what could be better than a biography with such beautiful illustrations?
Fidel Castro Reader is one of the first anthologies of Castro’s writings to be published in English since the Sixties. This reader is the perfect way to hear from El Comandante himself, giving the reader access to Fidel Castro’s speeches. It includes speeches from Fidel Castro, including his response to Che Guevara’s death, the 9/11 attacks, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Even more, the Fidel Castro Reader comes with a timeline of the Cuban Revolution, a glossary, and many photos, grounding the text in the historical moment of Fidel Castro. No matter one’s opinion of the former leader, the Fidel Castro Reader provides the perfect opportunity for the reader to learn more about Castro’s own opinions, from the man himself. A new edition is incoming Spring 2017, so definitely check it out!
Psywar On Cuba: Declassified History of U.S. Anti-Castro Propaganda unveils newly declassified documents about the United States’ psychological warfare against Cuba throughout the Cold War. Perfect for the armchair historian or reader interested in propaganda, this book takes a different perspective than the previous two on Fidel Castro, expanding its scope to include the whole island-nation of Cuba. The C.I.A. and the U.S. Government collaborated on the decades-long campaign to discredit Fidel Castro, and Psywar on Cuba showcases their efforts to rumormonger. By compiling these documents into one volume, this book sheds new light on propaganda efforts by the United States and Fidel Castro himself.
Fidel & Religion details a conversation between Fidel Castro and Frei Betto about Marxism, liberation theology, and the possibilities of religion. Castro attended elite Catholic schools for much of his pre-university education; this book gives the reader a glimpse into the leader’s thoughts on religion and its connection to his own professed ideology. The 23 hour dialogue between Betto and Castro will hopefully give the reader a thought-provoking glimpse at Castro’s mind and thoughts on the possibilities of liberation theology. This book differs from the more general overview of Castro by giving insight to the more specific relationship between religion and politics.
De Fidel Castro A La Integración Latinoamericana is a Spanish-language book, third in a trilogy of books giving a history of Latin America. This last book provides a history of Latin America covering Fidel Castro’s ascent to power, claiming this moment as a turning point in Latin American history. Prieto further goes on to argue that Latin American unity became more and more an achievable concept throughout the Cold War. De Fidel Castro presents the geographic and political context of Fidel Castro’s rise in power, bequeathing to the reader a better and more general sense of Latin America at this time. This book helps anyone hoping to learn more about the former leader understand his role beyond the relationship between Cuba and the United States.
Executive Action: 634 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro, written by the former head of Cuba’s counterintelligence programs, presents quite the vivid view of the United States’ attempts to assassinate the Cuban leader. Providing over four decades of insight, Executive Action gives a more personal view into the United States’ actions against Cuba. The plans by the CIA to assassinate Castro oscillate between the comic and the dramatic, but never straying from their intent. Executive Action works perfectly as a thrilling look inside the CIA’s function during the Cold War, especially as the United States sought to undermine Cuba.
Latinoamericanismo Vs Imperialismo argues against what Fidel Castro considers neoliberalism and neocolonialism in Latin America. Published in the original Spanish, this book selects key speeches over four decades. Castro argues for a “second independence movement,” where Latin America should unite against a new imperialism threatening to overtake it. The original Spanish gives the reader full access to Castro’s thoughts and arguments, allowing the reader to formulate their own thoughts in response. Latinoamericanismo Vs. Imperialismo provides a fresh perspective in the U.S.-Cuba relations landscape, as Castro challenges preconceived notions of imperialism and Latin American unity.
The New York Times Book Review Features Rani Patel in Full Effect in the Latest in Realistic Fiction for Young Adults!
Rani Patel in Full Effect was recently reviewed in The New York Times Book Review! The YA novel follows heroine Rani Patel, a young 16-year-old Indian woman who loves to rap. After catching her father with a woman barely older than herself, Rani shaves her hair in an act of spiteful rebellion. One day, an older man named Mark comes to her parent’s store where Rani works; she goes along with him, a decision that ultimately leads her to spiral into a series of poorly thought-out decisions. Following Rani’s journey permits the reader to experience Rani’s painful and fruitful growth throughout the novel.
“Rani pours herself into rap, finding heroes like LL Cool J and Queen Latifah, inspirations for her own slam poems. She joins a hip-hop crew, rapping as MC Sutra. The novel is punctuated by her raps, which express ‘the large and in charge person / I want the world to see.’…Though suffering is at the core of this debut novel, it’s also about living through pain by harnessing what brings happiness. And the dip into ’90s nostalgia, not to mention the awesome Rani persevering and conquering as MC Sutra — but more important, as herself — makes reading [the book] well worth it.” –The New York Times, Nov. 11, 2016
Other praise for Rani Patel in Full Effect:
“A powerfully particular, 100 percent genuine character commands this gutsy debut.”—Kirkus Reviews, Oct. 11th, 2016
“Patel sets her powerful debut novel in 1991, filling it with bygone rap references and an electric verbal blend of Gujarati, slang, Hawaiian pidgin, and the rhymes Rani crafts. Patel compassionately portrays Rani’s entangled emotions, lack of self-confidence, and burgeoning sense of empowerment as she moves forward from trauma.”—Publishers Weekly, Aug. 1, 2016
“[Rani] seeks love and acceptance wherever she can find it, and through rap she is able to express her struggles and discover a community that embraces her unreservedly…Verdict: A strong, unique choice for YA collections.”—School Library Journal, Oct. 11, 2016
“Rani’s voice, oscillating from righteous anger to thrilling pride, swooning crushes, and heartbreaking insecurity, will resonate with many…Vivid, bold, and passionate.”—Booklist, Sep. 1, 2016
“Sixteen-year-old Rani Patel is always the odd one out: she’s the only Gujarati Indian girl on the tiny Hawaiian island of Moloka’i, where she moved when she was 12, and the only girl she knows who writes rap…Readers will find a kindred spirit in Rani through Sonia Patel’s skillful crafting of her internal battle…Rani’s deeply felt but uneven rhymes, combined with the book’s effortless inclusion of Gujarati and Hawaiian pidgin, create a distinct adolescent voice.”—Shelf Awareness, Oct. 14, 2016
Check out Rani today! Sonia Patel; Cinco Puntos Press; Trade Cloth: 9781941026496, $16.95; Trade Paper: 9781941026502, $11.95)
CAT IN THE NIGHT in School Library Journal!
Madeleine Dunphy’s beautiful and educational book Cat in the Night (By Madeleine Dunphy; Illustrated by Joshua S. Brunet; 9780988330368; Web of Life Children’s Book; Trade Cloth, Picture Book; $16.95) has received a glowing review in School Library Journal! Cat in the Night follows Rusty the cat’s adventures through the night as his owner, a little girl named Gwen, is sleeping soundly back at home. Readers get to experience the nighttime through the eyes, ears, and nose of Rusty, and will learn even more with a “More About Cats” page in the back that explains more about feline senses.
“During his search, [Rusty] meets a skunk, raccoons, a mouse who turns into a midnight snack, and an opossum. Observant readers will delight in spotting the ‘intruder’ in a number of scenes, which builds suspense and anticipation. Brunet’s gorgeous, full-spread illustrations perfectly set the moonlit tone. The depictions of cats and other animals are realistic, with lots of details for readers to pore over and discover. The two felines finally meet, and the inevitable tussle ensues, with Rusty managing to successfully chase off the culprit. The sun is just coming up when we see Rusty making his way back home for a quick bite to eat before curling up in bed with Gwen again—the story satisfyingly comes full circle. This tale will speak to children’s imaginings of pets or toys having another life while they sleep. A quiet and suspenseful nighttime adventure that will appeal to cat lovers.” –School Library Journal
Other praise for Cat in the Night:
“Cat in the Night is the real deal. This is a great little book.” —John Bradshaw, bestselling author of Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet
“Realistic illustrations created with acrylic, oil, and colored pencil capture the drama of Rusty’s nighttime adventures. His taffy-and-white fur jumps out against the dark shapes and shadows of the backyard, highlighting his activities. Double-page close-ups and unusual perspectives invite a cat’s-eye view. A ‘More About Cats’ page reinforces the textual and visual focus on feline senses. Intriguing peek into the secret life of cats.”-Kirkus
“Deftly written by Madeleine Dunphy and charmingly illustrated by Joshua S. Brunet, Cat in the Night is an impressively entertaining story about a little girl falls asleep just as her cat wakes up. Children ages 5 to 9 who have ever wondered what their cat does at night will experience the night-time world through the cat’s eyes, ears, nose, whiskers, and feet as he travels the neighborhood, meeting up with other denizens of the night. Thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ and wonderfully entertaining from first page to last, Cat in the Night is very highly recommended for family, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.”-Midwest Book Review
“As Gwen sleeps soundly, her curious cat, Rusty, stalks the neighborhood using all of his feline senses to explore, in Madeleine Dunphy’s Cat in the Night. Bright stars and flashing eyes flicker across the deep blues and purples of Joshua S. Brunet’s nighttime illustrations, creating a hushed, peaceful tone for Rusty’s sniffing, slinking, stalking, and searching. Children are encouraged to look out for all the critters Rusty encounters on his way as well as instances of his heightened use of hearing, vision, touch, balance, and smell, all integral cat behavior, whether snuggling with a friendly little human or getting ready to pounce on a backyard predator.” (5/5 stars) –Foreword Reviews
Posted in Mini Pretzels, News Tidbits
by Elenita Chmilowski
Tagged Brunet, cat, cat books, Cat in the Night, Feline, Feline senses, foreword reviews, John Bradshaw, Joshua S, kirkus, Madeleine Dunphy, Midwest Book Review, School Library Journal, Web of Life, Web of Life Children's Books