DP Nightstand Titles

Posted on September 25, 2014. Filed under: Fiction, Nonfiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

During the fall “What’s on Your Nightstand” event at the Des Plaines campus, the following books were discussed.

Remember, if Oakton doesn’t own the book or our copy is checked out, you can order a copy to be sent from one of our consortium libraries for FREE! Most books take less than a week to arrive.

book cover for A Discovery of WitchesA Discovery of Witches
Series: All Souls Trilogy, Book 1
by Deborah Harkness

“A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Harper's QuineThe Harper’s Quine
Series: Gil Cunningham Murder Mystery, Book 1
by Patrick McIntosh

“This meticulously researched historical mystery is the debut of a medieval Scottish investigator. Gil Cunningham is a recently qualified lawyer whose family expects him to enter the priesthood. At the May Day dancing at Glasgow Cross, Gil notices an attractive woman who is subsequently murdered. When he finds the body of the woman in the new building under construction at Glasgow Cathedral, he is asked to investigate. The corpse was the runaway wife of cruel, unpleasant nobleman John Semphill. She had left him to live with a blind harper whom she bore an infant son. With the help of Maistre Pierre, the French master mason whose lovely daughter has captured his heart, Gil identifies a callous multiple murderer that no one would have suspected” (Barnes & Noble).

book cover for The New Executive BrainThe New Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes in a Complex World
by Elkhonon Goldberg

“In The New Executive Brain, Goldberg paints a sweeping panorama of cutting-edge thinking in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology, one that ranges far beyond the frontal lobes. Drawing on the latest discoveries, and developing complex scientific ideas and relating them to real life through many fascinating case studies and anecdotes, the author explores how the brain engages in complex decision-making; how it deals with novelty and ambiguity; and how it addresses moral choices. At every step, Goldberg challenges entrenched assumptions. For example, we know that the left hemisphere of the brain is the seat of language—but Goldberg argues that language may not be the central adaptation of the left hemisphere. Apes lack language, yet many also show evidence of asymmetric hemispheric development. Goldberg also finds that a complex interaction between the frontal lobes and the amygdale—between a recently evolved and a much older part of the brain—controls emotion, as conscious thoughts meet automatic impulses. The author illustrates this observation with a personal example: the difficulty he experienced when trying to pick up a baby alligator he knew to be harmless, as his amygdala battled his effort to extend his hand” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

One Plus OneOne Plus One
by Jojo Moyes

“Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them.

Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages. Maybe ever” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The Opposite of LonelinessThe Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories
by Marina Keegan

“An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world’s attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation. Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker.

Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash. As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her deeply affecting last essay for The Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. Even though she was just twenty-two years old when she died, Marina left behind a rich, deeply expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, capture the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. Her short story, “Cold Pastoral,” was published in NewYorker.com just months after her death. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories, which, like The Last Lecture, articulate the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be, and how we harness our talents to impact the world” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for RookThe Rook
by Daniel O’Malley

“‘The body you are wearing used to be mine.’ So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The School for Good and EvilThe School for Good and Evil
Series: The School for Good and Evil, Book 1
by Soman Chainani

“This year best friends Sophie and Agatha will discover what it is to be a student at the fabled School for Good and Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy-tale heroes and villains. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shape-less black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, among handsome princes and fair maidens in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are . . . ?

The School for Good and Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale . . . is to live through one” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Shadow of NightShadow of Night
Series: All Souls Trilogy, Book 2
by Deborah Harkness

“Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Shotgun LovesongsShotgun Lovesongs
by Nicholas Butler

“Welcome to Little Wing.

It’s a place like hundreds of others, nothing special, really. But for four friendsall born and raised in this small Wisconsin townit is home. And now they are men, coming into their own or struggling to do so.

One of them never left, still working the family farm that has been tilled for generations. But others felt the need to move on, with varying degrees of success. One trades commodities, another took to the rodeo circuit, and one of them even hit it big as a rock star. And then there’s Beth, a woman who has meant something special in each of their lives.

Now all four are brought together for a wedding. Little Wing seems even smaller than before. While lifelong bonds are still strong, there are stressesamong the friends, between husbands and wives. There will be heartbreak, but there will also be hope, healing, even heroism as these memorable people learn the true meaning of adult friendship and love” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Take This ManTake This Man: A Memoir
by Brando Skyhorse

“From PEN/Hemingway award winner Brando Skyhorse comes this stunning, heartfelt memoir in the vein of The Glass Castle or The Tender Bar, the true story of a boy’s turbulent childhood growing up with five stepfathers and the mother who was determined to give her son everything but the truth.

When he was three years old, Brando Kelly Ulloa was abandoned by his Mexican father. His mother, Maria, dreaming of a more exciting life, saw no reason for her son to live his life as a Mexican just because he started out as one. The life of “Brando Skyhorse,” the American Indian son of an incarcerated political activist, was about to begin.

Through a series of letters to Paul Skyhorse Johnson, a stranger in prison for armed robbery, Maria reinvents herself and her young son as American Indians in the colorful Mexican-American neighborhood of Echo Park, California. There Brando and his mother live with his acerbic grandmother and a rotating cast of surrogate fathers. It will be over thirty years before Brando begins to untangle the truth of his own past, when a surprise discovery online leads him to his biological father at last.” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Tapestry of the BoarTapestry of the Boar
by Nigel Tranter

“During the reign of Malcolm IV, King of the Scots, Hugh de Swinton and his fellow mosstroopers helped keep the rampaging Galloway rebels at bay. But it was for his expertise in the killing of wild boars, as protector of the Swintons’ sheep flocks, that young Hugh was brought to Malcolm’s attention. But Malcolm was a pious man much concerned with the well-being of his people. And he handpicked Hugh de Swinton to mastermind a very special project close to his heart: to establish Scotland’s first real hospital for the sick and poor, at Soutra in Lauderdale. Action, chivalry and romance in the 12th century: the story of Hugh de Swinton and his thrilling life that encompassed fighting, farming and the foundation of Scotland’s first hospital (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The WhipThe Whip
by Karen Kondazian

The Whip is inspired by the true story of a woman, Charlotte ‘Charley’ Parkhurst (1812-1879) who lived most of her extraordinary life as a man.

As a young woman in Rhode Island, she fell in love with a runaway slave and had his child. The destruction of her family drove her west to California, dressed as a man, to track the killer. Charley became a renowned stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo. She killed a famous outlaw, had a secret love affair, and lived with a housekeeper who, unaware of her true sex, fell in love with her. Charley was the first woman to vote in America (as a man). Her grave lies in Watsonville, California”(Barnes & Noble).

-posted by Gretchen Schneider

Advertisements
  • Oakton Community College Library’s Blog

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Oakton on Twitter

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: