Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Family Circus, The Complete Comics From the Beginning 1960-61 by Bil Keane, 234 pages

The beginning days of Family Circus. I never knew Thelma was Australian.

Giants, The Dwarfs of Auschwitz by Yehuda Koren & Eilat Negev, 283 pages

During the 1930s and 40s the Lilliput Troupe, a beloved and successful family of singers and actors, dazzled with their vaudeville program and unique performances as the only all-dwarf show of the time. Their small stature earned them fame-and, ironically, ultimately saved their lives.
As Hitler's war descended, the Ovitz family-seven of whom were dwarfs-was plunged into the horrors of the darkest moments in modern history. Disembarking from the cattle train into the death camp of Auschwitz, they were separated from other Jewish victims on the orders of one Dr. Joseph Mengele, the "Angel of Death." Obsessed with eugenics, Dr. Mengele carried out a series of loathsome experiments on the family and developed a disturbing fondness for his human lab rats, so much that when the Russian army liberated Auschwitz, all members of the family-the youngest, a baby boy just 18 months old; the oldest, a 58-year-old woman-were still alive.
Based on exhaustive research and interviews with Perla Ovitz, the troupe's last surviving member, and scores of Auschwitz survivors, authors Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev deftly describe the moving and inspirational story of this remarkable family and their indomitable will to survive.
I came across this book on the clearance table at Barnes & Noble and had to buy it. The hard part was beating off my oldest so I could read it first.

A Tyranny of Petticoats Edited by Jessica Spotswood, 354 pages

Crisscross America-on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains-from pirate ships off the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today-an impressive sisterhood that includes Elizabeth Wein, Marie Lu, Marissa Meyer, and Kekla Magoon-on a thrill ride through history with American girls driving their own stories. They are monsters and mediums, bank robbers and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They're charting their own path in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenal, reckoning with murderers and marriage proposals. Along the way, they might kiss girls or boys-or no one at all, because they're too busy facing spies and spitfires, ghosts and goddesses. But one thing's for sure-they're going to have a hell of a story to tell.

Overdue by Gene Ambaum, Bill Barnes, & Chris Hallbeck, 200 pages

Unshelved entertains tens of thousands of library workers, teachers, and book nerds around the world with tales of what really goes on behind the desk, between the stacks, and in the staff lounge of your local public library. In this, the final collection, you'll find over two years of full-color comic strips including the third Unshelved graphic novella, Lights Out.
I love , they ripped my heart out when they stopped creating new ones.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wielding a Red Sword by Piers Anthony, 313 pages

In this continuation of the Incarnations of Immortality series, Mym was a dutiful son, but his father interfered in his love life too often. Rather than wed without love, Mym takes up the Red Sword, symbol of office of the Incarnation of War. At first he thought his efforts could ameliorate some of the suffering caused by Earth's constant petty wars. But he found that behind all his involvement were the clever traps of Satan. When seeming mischance placed him in Hell, Mym organized a great rebellion among the Damned. And Satan seemed to capitulate. But free again, Mym learned that Satan had been busy stirring up riots and war. Now it seemed things had gone too far and Satan must surely win. There was only one desperate chance....

The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey, 465 pages

When the 9th Duke of Rutland died alone in the cramped family archives on April 21, 1940, his son and heir, Charles, ordered the room sealed. Sixty years later, Catherine Bailey became one of the first historians allowed inside. What she discovered when she began reading through the duke's letters was a mystery involving one of the most powerful families in British society in the turbulent days leading up to World War I. The 9th Duke, who had devoted his entire adult life to organizing and cataloging several hundred years' worth of family correspondence, had carefully erased three periods of his life from the record. But why? Filled with fascinating real-life characters, a mysterious death, family secrets and affairs aplenty, The Secret Rooms is an enthralling, page-turning true story that reads like an Agatha Christie novel.

Mary Russell's War and Other Stories of Suspense by Laurie R. King, 300 pages

With this collection, nine previously published short stories and one never-before-seen Sherlock Holmes mystery are brought together for the first time. Following an "Appreciation" by noted Sherlockian Leslie S. Klinger, Laurie R. King blends vivid historical settings with narrative sleight-of-hand, from a novella composed of Mary Russell's teenage diaries to the story of how, in her nineties, Miss Russell came to send her Memoirs to Laurie R. King, and from Mrs. Hudson's own investigation to a tale of young Russell's beloved Uncle Jake-and, a Christmas investigation by Sherlock Holmes and his very young assistant.
I'm a big fan of the Mary Russell books, so I enjoyed getting to see her and Sherlock's first meeting through his eyes, the story of their wedding, and her early days.