Category Archives: Book Review

New Month, New Books

Hey, Prep Hawks!

March has finally arrived and so have three new books at McShain Library. Yeah! Get excited! Take at look at what we have received.

Students, please keep in mind that all books in McShain Library are available for checkout. We love when you guys check out books!

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1) American Sniper by Chris Kyle (Autobiography)

Used as the basis for the award winning film American Sniper, Chris Kyle recounts his experience as a U.S. Navy Seal with the most recorded kills in American history.

2) Profiles in Courage by JFK (Historical, Biography)

Winner of the 1957 Pulitzer Prize, John F. Kennedy depicts the lives of eight extraordinary American Senators who defied  the majority by following their convictions.

3)The Rent Collector by Cameron Wright (Historical Fiction)

In order to provide for their family, Sang Ly and Ki Lim are forced to scavenge through Cambodia’s largest municipal waste dump for recyclables. With a chronically ill child to care for, life cannot possibly get any harder for the two. However, the discovery of a well-hidden secret about an unjust rent collector has the potential to change the family’s fortune.

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Books to get you ready for TED2015

TED Blog

T15_index_r2Counting the days ’til TED2015? Yeah: we are, too. Before the conference begins on March 16, dive into a great book written by one of our speakers.

Books from speakers in Session 1, “Opening Gambit”

National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear, by David Rothkopf. The foreign policy specialist examines the way U.S. leaders have coped with our unprecedented state of vulnerability, threat and crisis.

Marina Abramovic: 512 Hours, by Marina Abramovic. A catalogue of works from throughout the legendary performance artist’s career.

Books from speakers in Session 2, “What Are We Thinking?”

Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel, by Jason Padgett. Ever since a violent mugging, Padgett has seen the world in a completely new way. In this book, he explains how his brain injury gave him an unusual perspective.

Automotive Lighting and Human Vision, by…

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New Book Arrivals!!!

Students, it is that time of the month!!! The Junior Library Guild has sent a new shipment of books to McShain Library. Take a look at some of the titles we received:

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1) The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp (Fantasy/ Historical Fiction)

2) Monkey Wars by Richard Kurti (Science Fiction/ Action)

3) V for Vendetta by Alan Moore (Graphic Novel/ Science Fiction)

4) The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami (Fantasy/Graphic Novel/ Asian Literature))

5) In Darkness by Nick Lake (Historical Fiction)

6) Reality Boy by A.S. King (Contemporary/Realistic Fiction)

7) Press Play by Eric Devine (Contemporary/Realistic Fiction)

8) The Shining by Stephen King (Horror)

Book Review

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

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Book Review by William Ouligian

Check out William Ouligian’s review of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel-turned-movie, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. 

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a historical fiction novel that chronicles the struggles of Abraham Lincoln’s life. There is just one twist. Honest Abe is portrayed as a fit, axe-wielding, vampire exterminator. In this literary work the goal of our 16th President is to extinguish all vampires from American society. Written in the first person, the reader is given insight into the causes behind Lincoln’s political actions and his character as he develops from a boy to the President of the United States.

While reading this book I was mildly surprised at the length Seth Grahame-Smith went to preserve historical propriety while still retaining a coherent and exciting plot. The story contains some factual evidence. The falsehoods are written in such a way that they could be construed as believable because of how well they fit within the historical context of the book. Grahame-Smith has tied vampirism to various, unrelated events and persons throughout American history. Examples are the disappearance of Roanoke, Edgar Allen Poe, slavery, and the Civil War. Grahame-Smith has also made this story unique in another regard. He has introduced the popular portrayal of vampires within a new literary genre.

There are two issues I have with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. In the author’s attempt to mimic Lincoln’s writing style he overuses antiquated words to the point of redundancy (for example, ‘notwithstanding’). Second, I felt there was a pacing and action issue in the novel. Ironically, the Civil War (and a large part of Lincoln’s political career) receives minimal attention, despite being the single most important series of events in his life. Instead, the majority of the novel focuses on Lincoln’s childhood, early adulthood, and family life. The story would be complete if the author had given more attention to the Civil War.

This book should be very interesting to most students because the story carries so many intriguing qualities. I think it is best suited for those who are interested in historical fiction. The setting, characters, and absurd plot reinforce the mannerisms and events that were commonplace during the Civil War era.