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Newly Published: Alternate Worlds

New on our bookshelf today:

Alternate Worlds: The Illustrated History of Science Fiction, 3d ed.
James Gunn

Alternate Worlds was first published in 1975 and became an instant classic, winning a Hugo award. This third edition brings the history of science fiction up to date, covering developments over the past forty years—a period that has seen the advent of technologies only imagined in the genre’s Golden Age.

As a literature of change, science fiction has become ever more meaningful, presaging dangers to humanity and, as Alvin Toffler wrote, guarding against “the premature arrival of the future.” The world has begun to recognize science fiction in many different ways, incorporating its elements in products, visual media and huge conventions.

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Newly Published: Longfellow in Love

New on our bookshelf today:

Longfellow in Love: Passion and Tragedy in the Life of the Poet
Edward M. Cifelli

After four years travelling through Europe and a yearlong romance with Giulia Persiani in Rome, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow came back home in 1829 and fell in love again, this time with Mary Storer Potter, whom he married in 1831. They travelled together to England and Scandinavia in 1834 but their happiness was cut short when she died in 1835.

In 1836, traveling in Switzerland, he met the woman who would become the grand passion of his life, 18-year old Fanny Appleton of Boston. But she, a wealthy textile heiress, was not interested in settling down with a Harvard professor. She rebuffed his advances for six years—then suddenly changed her mind and married him on July 13, 1843. For the next 18 years they were “America’s couple,” and Longfellow became America’s poet—and then tragedy struck once again.

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Newly Published: A Dune Companion

New on our bookshelf today:

A Dune Companion: Characters, Places and Terms in Frank Herbert’s Original Six Novels
Donald E. Palumbo

This companion to Frank Herbert’s six original Dune novels—DuneDune MessiahChildren of DuneGod Emperor of DuneHeretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune—provides an encyclopedia of characters, locations, terms and other elements, and highlights the series’ underrated aesthetic integrity. An extensive introduction discusses the theme of ecology, chaos theory concepts and structures, and Joseph Campbell’s monomyth in Herbert’s narratives.

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Newly Published: Gary Paulsen

New on our bookshelf today:

Gary Paulsen: A Companion to the Young Adult Literature
Mary Ellen Snodgrass

McFarland Companions to Young Adult Literature American novelist Gary Paulsen is best known for his young adult fiction, including bestsellers NightjohnSoldier’s Heart, and Woods Runner. From his trenchant prose in The Rifle and The Foxman to the witty escapades of Harris and Me and Zero to Sixty, Paulsen crafts stories with impressive range. The tender scenes in The Quilt and A Christmas Sonataspeak to his empathy for children, with characters who endure the same hardships that marred his own early life.

This literary companion introduces readers to his life and work. A-to-Z entries explore themes such as alcoholism, coming of age, slavery, survival, and war. A glossary defines terms unique to his work. Appendices provide related historical references, writing, art, and research topics.

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Newly Published: The Metaphysical Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton

New on our bookshelf today:

The Metaphysical Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton: A Critical Study of the Father Brown Stories and Other Detective Fiction
Laird R. Blackwell

G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories are widely considered to be some of the finest detective short stories ever published, offering vivid writing, brilliant puzzles, biting social criticism, and metaphysical explorations of life’s great questions. This book presents the first in-depth analysis of his works both as classics of the detective genre and as meaningful philosophical inquiries. The Father Brown stories are examined along with Chesterton’s less well known fiction, including the short stories about Mr. Pond, Gabriel Gale, Basil and Rupert Grant, Horne Fisher, Dr. Adrian Hyde and Philip Swayne, and the novels The Man Who Was Thursday and Manalive.

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Newly Published: Teaching Huckleberry Finn

New on our bookshelf today:

Teaching Huckleberry Finn: Why and How to Present the Controversial Classic in the High School Classroom
John Nogowski

Nearly all of the Gadsden County’s student body is black and considered economically disadvantaged, the highest percentage of any school district in Florida. Fewer than 15 percent perform at grade level.

An idealistic new teacher at East Gadsden High, John Nogowski saw that the Department of Education’s techniques would not work in this environment. He wanted to make an impact in his students’ lives. In a room stacked with battered classics like A Raisin in the Sun and To Kill a Mockingbird, he found 30 pristine, “quarantined” copies of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Abused by an alcoholic father, neglected by his own community, consigned to a life of privation and danger. Wouldn’t Huck strike a chord with these kids? Were he alive today, wouldn’t he be one of them? Part lesson plan, part memoir, Nogowski’s surprising narrative details his experience teaching Twain’s politically charged satire of American racism and hypocrisy to poor black teens.

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Newly Published: The Spectacle of Twins in American Literature and Popular Culture

New on our bookshelf today:

The Spectacle of Twins in American Literature and Popular Culture
Karen Dillon

The cultural fantasy of twins imagines them as physically and behaviorally identical. Media portrayals consistently offer the spectacle of twins who share an insular closeness and perform a supposed alikeness—standing side by side, speaking and acting in unison.

Treating twinship as a cultural phenomenon, this first comprehensive study of twins in American literature and popular culture examines the historical narrative—within the discourses of experimentation, aberrance and eugenics—and how it has shaped their representations in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Newly Published: Violence and Victimhood in Hispanic Crime Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Violence and Victimhood in Hispanic Crime Fiction: Essays on Contemporary Works
Edited by Shalisa M. Collins, Renée W. Craig-Odders and Marcella L. Paul

At the heart of crime fiction is an investigation into an act of violence. Studies of the genre have generally centered on the relationship between the criminal and the investigator. Focusing on contemporary crime fiction from the Spanish-speaking world, this collection of new essays explores the role of the victim.

Contributors discuss how the definition of “victim,” the nature of the crime, the identification of the body and its treatment by authorities reflect shifting social landscapes, changing demographics, economic crises and political corruption and instability.

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July Transportation Sale: Get 25% off ALL Transportation Titles

Some of you may share a guilty failing of our editors.  When they receive proposals and manuscripts, while reading about almost any car–learning how it took shape, its quirks and qualities, how it changed over the production run–desire starts to sprout.  Previously ignored vehicles (and even disliked vehicles) show their hidden appeal.  On more than one occasion, an editor has looked at ads and undertaken calculations (financial, emotional, marital) for said cars.
If you’re the same, peruse our transportation catalog with caution!  In addition to a broad range of books about automobiles, you’ll find offerings about aircraft, locomotives, bicycles, ships, military vehicles and transportation-related topics.  When you order direct from our website using the coupon code TRANSPORT25, print editions of all transportation books are 25% off July 16 through July 31. Happy motoring and happy reading!
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Author Stephen Knight Receives George N. Dove Award

Congratulations to author Stephen Knight, the 2018 recipient of the George N. Dove Award! Presented annually by the Mystery Area of the Popular Culture Association, the Dove Award recognizes an outstanding scholar in mystery and crime fiction research.

Knight is the author of four McFarland books: The Mysteries of the CitiesSecrets of Crime Fiction ClassicsTowards Sherlock Holmes, and Australian Crime Fiction.

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Newly Published: In Search of Elena Ferrante

New on our bookshelf today:

In Search of Elena Ferrante: The Novels and the Question of Authorship
Karen Bojar

Elena Ferrante—named one of the 100 most influential people in 2016 by Time magazine—is best known for her Neapolitan novels, which explore such themes as the complexity of female friendship; the joys and constraints of motherhood; the impact of changing gender roles; the pervasiveness of male violence; the struggle for upward mobility; and the impact of the feminist movement. Ferrante’s three novellas encompass similar themes, focusing on moments of extreme tension in women’s lives.

This study analyzes the integration of political themes and feminist theory in Ferrante’s works, including men’s entrapment in a sexist script written for them from time immemorial. Her decision to write under a pseudonym is examined, along with speculation that Rome-based translator Anita Raja and her husband Domenico Starnone are coauthors of Ferrante’s books.

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Newly Published: Edith Wharton and Mary Roberts Rinehart at the Western Front, 1915

New on our bookshelf today:

Edith Wharton and Mary Roberts Rinehart at the Western Front, 1915
Ed Klekowski and Libby Klekowski

By 1915, the Western Front was a 450–mile line of trenches, barbed wire and concrete bunkers, stretching across Europe. Attempts to break the stalemate were murderous and futile. Censorship of the press was extreme—no one wanted the carnage reported.

Remakably, the Allied command gave two intrepid American women, Edith Wharton and Mary Roberts Rinehart, permission to visit the front and report on what they saw. Their travels are reconstructed from their own published accounts, Rinehart’s unpublished day-by-day notes, and the writings of other journalists who toured the front in 1915. The present authors’ explorations of the places Wharton and Rinehart visited serves as a travel guide to the Western Front.

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Four new titles are reviewed in the July issue of Choice!

Scenes from an Automotive Wonderland: Remarkable Cars Spotted in Postwar Europe
“Any car spotter will enjoy this book, and may find a 26 horsepower favorite. The book is presented in a pleasant, easily readable format and contains a useful index and excellent bibliography… recommended.”

Women in the American Revolution
“effective… enriches the breadth of scholarship published on this topic… Wike’s multicultural net captures the multifaceted roles of women… recommended.”

The First 50 Super Bowls: How Football’s Championships Were Won
“This readable book will no doubt be enjoyed by his intended audience of football and sports fans… recommended.”

Henry Green: Havoc in the House of Fiction
“Nuanced… one leaves this study with a thorough knowledge of Green’s oeuvre and full insight into his mastery of high modernism… recommended.”


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Newly Published: Growing Up with Vampires

New on our bookshelf today:

Growing Up with Vampires: Essays on the Undead in Children’s Media
Edited by Simon Bacon and Katarzyna Bronk

Vampire narratives are generally thought of as adult or young adult fare, yet there is a long history of their appearance in books, film and other media meant for children. They emerge as expressions of anxiety about change and growing up but sometimes turn out to be new best friends who highlight the beauty of difference and individuality.

This collection of new essays examines the history of vampires in 20th and 21st century Western popular media marketed to preteens and explores their significance and symbolism.

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Newly Published: Deadwood and Shakespeare

New on our bookshelf today:

Deadwood and Shakespeare: The Henriad in the Old West
Susan Cosby Ronnenberg

Set in politically unstable environments, Shakespeare’s history plays—Richard II, 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV and Henry V—and HBO’s Western series Deadwood (2004–2006) all stand as critiques of myths of national origin, the sanitized stories we tell ourselves about how power imposes order on chaos. Drawing parallels between the Shakespeare plays and Deadwood, the author explores questions about legitimate political authority, the qualities of an effective leader, gender roles and community, and the reciprocal relationship between past and present in historical narratives.

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Newly Published: I Am Legend as American Myth

New on our bookshelf today:

I Am Legend as American Myth: Race and Masculinity in the Novel and Its Film Adaptations
Amy J. Ransom

Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend has spawned a series of iconic horror and science fiction films, including The Last Man on Earth (1964), The Omega Man (1971) and I Am Legend (2007). The compelling narrative of the last man on earth, struggling to survive a pandemic that has transformed the rest of humanity into monsters, has become an American myth. While the core story remains intact, filmmakers have transformed the details over time, reflecting changing attitudes about race and masculinity.

This reexamination of Matheson’s novel situates the tale of one man’s conflicted attitude about killing racialized “others” within its original post–World War II context, engaging the question of post-traumatic stress disorder. The author analyzes the several film adaptations, with a focus on the casting and interpretations of protagonist Robert Neville.

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Newly Published: “The game’s afoot”

New on our bookshelf today:

“The game’s afoot”: A Sports Lover’s Introduction to Shakespeare
Cynthia Lewis

Like the age-old feud between the Montagues and Capulets in Romeo and Juliet, the enduring rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers makes for great drama. Macbeth’s career began with promise but ended in ruin—not unlike Pete Rose’s. Twelfth Night’s Viola’s disguise as a boy to enter into a man’s world is echoed in Babe Didrikson Zaharias’ challenge to the pro golf patriarchy when she competed in the Los Angeles Open.

Exploring parallels between Shakespeare’s plays and famous events in the world of sports, this book introduces seven of the best-known plays to the sports enthusiast and offers a fresh perspective to Shakespeare devotees.

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Newly Published: H.P. Lovecraft

New on our bookshelf today:

H.P. Lovecraft: Selected Works, Critical Perspectives and Interviews on His Influence
H.P. Lovecraft
Edited by Leverett Butts

This collection of H.P. Lovecraft’s most influential works presents several of his most famous stories, a sampling of his poetry and an abridgment of his monograph Supernatural Horror in Literature, with commentary providing background and context. Criticism is included from such scholars as S.T. Joshi and Robert M. Price, along with essays by writers Brad Strickland and T.E.D. Klein, and interviews with Pulitzer-nominated author Richard Monaco (Parsival) and award-winning novelists Cherie Priest (Boneshaker) and Caitlin Kiernan (The Drowning Girl).

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Newly Published: Postmodern Artistry in Medievalist Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Postmodern Artistry in Medievalist Fiction: An International Study
Earl R. Anderson

Focusing on modern-day fiction set in the Middle Ages or that incorporates medieval elements, this study examines storytelling components and rhetorical tropes in more than 60 works in five languages by more than 40 authors.

Medievalist fiction got its “postmodern” start with such authors as Calvino, Fuentes, Carpentier and Eco. Its momentum increased since the 1990s with writers whose work has received less critical attention, like Laura Esquivel, Tariq Ali, Matthew Pearl, Matilde Asensi, Ildefonso Falcones, Andrew Davison, Bernard Cornwell, Donnal Woolfolk Cross, Ariana Franklin, Nicole Griffith, Levi Grossman, Conn Iggulden, Edward Rutherfurd, Javier Sierra, Alan Moore and Brenda Vantrease.

The author explores a wide range of “medievalizing” tropes, discusses the negative responses of postmodernism and posits four “hard problems” in medievalist fiction.

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Newly Published: Don Quixote as Children’s Literature

New on our bookshelf today:

Don Quixote as Children’s Literature: A Tradition in English Words and Pictures
Velma Bourgeois Richmond

Cervantes is regarded as the author of the first novel and the inventor of fiction. From its publication in 1605, Don Quixote—recently named the world’s best book by authors from 54 countries—has been widely translated and imitated. Among its less acknowledged imitations are stories in children’s literature.

In context of English adaptation and critical response this book explores the noble and “mad” adventures retold for children by distinguished writers and artists in Edwardian books, collections, home libraries, schoolbooks and picture books. More recent adaptations including comics and graphic novels deviate from traditional retellings. All speak to the knight-errant’s lasting influence and appeal to children.

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Newly Published: Shocking and Sensational

New on our bookshelf today:

Shocking and Sensational: The Stories Behind Famous True Crime and Scandal Books
Julian Upton

Already part of a genre known for generating controversy, some true crime and scandal books have wielded a particular power to unsettle readers, provoke authorities and renew interest in a case. The reactions to such literature have been as contentious as the books themselves, clouding the “truth” with myths and inaccuracies.

From high-profile publishing sensations such as Ten Rillington PlaceFatal Vision and Mommie Dearestto the wealth of writing on the JFK assassination, the death of Marilyn Monroe and the Black Dahlia murder, this book delves into that hard copy era when crime and scandal books had a cultural impact beyond the genre’s film and TV documentaries, fueling outcries that sometimes matched the notoriety of the cases they discussed and leaving legacies that still resonate today.

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Newly Published: Modern Science Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Modern Science Fiction: A Critical Analysis: The Seminal 1951 Thesis with a New Introduction and Commentary
James Gunn
Edited by Michael R. Page

James Gunn—one of the founding figures of science fiction scholarship and teaching—wrote in 1951 what is likely the first master’s thesis on modern science fiction. Portions were in the short-lived pulp magazine Dynamic but it has otherwise remained unavailable.

Here in its first full publication, the thesis explores many of the classic Golden Age stories of the 1940s and the critical perspective that informed Gunn’s essential genre history Alternate Worlds and his anthology series The Road to Science Fiction.

The editor’s introduction and commentary show the historical significance of Gunn’s work and its relevance to today’s science fiction studies.

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Newly Published: Once Upon a Time in a Dark and Scary Book

New on our bookshelf today:

Once Upon a Time in a Dark and Scary Book: The Messages of Horror Literature for Children
K. Shryock Hood

Contemporary American horror literature for children and young adults has two bold messages for readers: adults are untrustworthy, unreliable and often dangerous; and the monster always wins (as it must if there is to be a sequel).

Examining the young adult horror series and the religious horror series for children (Left Behind: The Kids) for the first time, and tracing the unstoppable monster to Seuss’s Cat in the Hat, this book sheds new light on the problematic message produced by the combination of marketing and books for contemporary American young readers.

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Newly Published: Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld

New on our bookshelf today:

Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality
Sharon Paice MacLeod

Despite censorship and revision by Christian redactors, the early medieval manuscripts of Ireland and Britain contain tantalizing clues to the cosmology, religion and mythology of native Celtic cultures. Focusing on the latest research and translations, the author provides fresh insight into the indigenous beliefs and practices of the Iron Age inhabitants of the British Isles. Chapters cover a broad range of topics, including creation and cosmogony, the deities of the Gaels, feminine power in early Irish sources, and priestesses and magical rites.

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Newly Published: Psience Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

Psience Fiction: The Paranormal in Science Fiction Literature
Damien Broderick

Science fiction has often been considered the literature of futuristic technology: fantastic warfare among the stars or ruinous apocalypses on Earth. The last century, however, saw through John W. Campbell the introduction of “psience fiction,” which explores themes of mind powers—telepathy, precognition of the future, teleportation, etc.—and symbolic machines that react to such forces.

The author surveys this long-ignored literary shift through a series of influential novels and short stories published between the 1930s and the present. This discussion is framed by the sudden surge of interest in parapsychology and its absorption not only into the SF genre, but also into the real world through military experiments such as the Star Gate Program.

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Two Books Reviewed in May Issue of Choice

Bare-Knuckle Britons and Fighting Irish: Boxing, Race, Religion and Nationality in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Adam Chill
“Compelling…captures the mise-en-scène of the sport, from the pubs and gambling halls to the action in the ring…recommended.”

The Caribbean Story Finder: A Guide to 438 Tales from 24 Nations and Territories, Listing Subjects and Sources
Sharon Barcan Elswit
“Fills a gap…well-constructed…the bibliography is excellent…A valuable resource for folk life, world literature, children’s literature, and intercultural studies…recommended.”

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Newly Published: A Successful Novel Must Be in Want of a Sequel

New on our bookshelf today:

A Successful Novel Must Be in Want of a Sequel: Second Takes on Classics from The Scarlet Letter to Rebecca
M. Carmen Gomez-Galisteo

What happened after Mr. Darcy married Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice? Where did Heathcliff go when he disappeared in Wuthering Heights? What social ostracism would Hester Prynne of The Scarlet Letter have faced in 20th century America?

Great novels often leave behind great questions—sequels seek to answer them. This critical analysis offers fresh insights into the sequels to seven literary classics, including Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, the Brontë sisters’ Jane Eyre, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

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Newly Published: French in a Flash

New on our bookshelf today:

French in a Flash: Grammar and Vocabulary Fundamentals
Barbara Boyer

Combining concise grammar and vocabulary lessons written for non-linguists, this practical French study guide makes even the more difficult parts of the language easily understandable. Fundamentals are explained in simple terms with helpful tips, clear summaries, visual shortcuts and charts. A simplified pronunciation guide tailored to English speakers is provided, along with a chapter on spoken French for more advanced learners. Each lesson is combined with helpful review exercises and answer keys to evaluate progress and to fast-track language acquisition, for the classroom or for self-directed learning. Suitable for students of all levels, the content is designed to present the language structures of standard undergraduate French courses.

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Newly Published: Writing and the Body in Motion

New on our bookshelf today:

Writing and the Body in Motion: Awakening Voice through Somatic Practice
Cheryl Pallant

Based upon the author’s lifetime practices as a dancer, poet and teacher, this innovative approach to developing body awareness focuses on achieving self-discovery and well-being through movement, mindfulness and writing. Written from a holistic (rather than dualistic) view of the mind-body problem, discussion and exercises draw on dance, psychology, neuroscience and meditation to guide personal exploration and creative expression.

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Newly Published: Blood on the Table

New on our bookshelf today:

Blood on the Table: Essays on Food in International Crime Fiction
Edited by Jean Anderson, Carolina Miranda and Barbara Pezzotti

Written from a multicultural and interdisciplinary perspective, this collection of new essays explores the semiotics of food in the 20th and 21st century crime fiction of authors such as Anthony Bourdain, Arthur Upfield, Sara Paretsky, Andrea Camilleri, Fred Vargas, Ruth Rendell, Stieg Larsson, Leonardo Padura, Georges Simenon, Paco Ignacio Talbo II, and Donna Leon. The collection covers a range of issues, such as the provision of intra-, per- or paratextual recipes, the aesthetics and ethics of food, eating rituals as indications of cultural belonging and regional, national and supranational, and eating disorders and other seemingly abnormal habits as signs of “otherness.” Also mentioned are the television productions of the Inspector Montalbano series (1999–ongoing), the Danish-Swedish Bron/Broen (2011[The Bridge]), and its remakes The Tunnel (2013, France/UK) and The Bridge (2013, USA).

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Newly Published: Perilous Escapades

New on our bookshelf today:

Perilous Escapades: Dimensions of Popular Adventure Fiction
Gary Hoppenstand

Adventure fiction is one of the easiest narrative forms to recognize but one of the hardest to define because of its overlap with many other genres. This collection of essays attempts to characterize adventure fiction through the exploration of key elements—such as larger-than-life characters and imperialistic ideas—in the genre’s 19th- and 20th-century British and American works like The Scarlet Pimpernel by Orczy and Captain Blood by Sabatini. The author explores the cultural and literary impact of such works, presenting forgotten classics in a new light.

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Newly Published: Girls on Fire

New on our bookshelf today:

Girls on Fire: Transformative Heroines in Young Adult Dystopian Literature
Sarah Hentges

Under the threat of climate change, corruption, inequality and injustice, Americans may feel they are living in a dystopian novel come to life. Like many American narratives, dystopian stories often focus on males as the agents of social change.

With a focus on the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality and power, the author analyzes the themes, issues and characters in young adult (YA) dystopian fiction featuring female protagonists—the Girls on Fire who inspire progressive transformation for the future.

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Newly Published: British Chess Literature to 1914

New on our bookshelf today:

British Chess Literature to 1914: A Handbook for Historians
Tim Harding

A huge amount was published about chess in the United Kingdom before the First World War. The growing popularity of chess in Victorian Britain was reflected in an increasingly competitive market of books and periodicals aimed at players from beginner to expert. The author combines new information about the early history of the game with advice for researchers into chess history and traces the further development of chess literature well into the 20th century.

Topics include today’s leading chess libraries and the use of digitized chess texts and research on the Web. Special attention is given to the columns that appeared in newspapers (national and provincial) and magazines from 1813 onwards. These articles, usually weekly, provide a wealth of information on early chess, much of which is not to be found elsewhere. The lengthy first appendix, an A to Z of almost 600 chess columns, constitutes a detailed research aid. Other appendices include corrections and supplements to standard works of reference on chess.

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Newly Published: The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction

New on our bookshelf today:

The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction: Essays on Power, Consent and the Body
Edited by Ashton Spacey

Like other forms of fan fiction, slash fiction—centered on same-sex relationships between two or more characters—is a powerful cultural dialogue. Though the genre can be socially transformative, particularly as an active feminist resistance to patriarchal ideologies, it is complex and continually evolving.

This collection of new essays covers topics on real, “fringe” bodies and identities; the inscription and transgression of bodily boundaries; and the exploration of power, autonomy and personal agency. Considering the darker side of the genre, these essays discuss how systems of authority are both challenged and reiterated by the erotic imagination, and how the voices of marginalized groups are both raised and ignored within slash fiction and fan communities.

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Newly Published: Text & Presentation, 2017

New on our bookshelf today:

Text & Presentation, 2017
Edited by Jay Malarcher

Presenting some of the best work from the 2017 Comparative Drama Conference at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, this collection highlights the latest research in comparative drama, performance and dramatic textual analysis. Contributors cover a broad range of topics, from the “practical ethnography” of directing foreign language productions to writing for theoretical stages to the “radical deaf theater” of Aaron Sawyer’s The Vineyard. A full transcript of the keynote conversation with American playwright and screenwriter Lisa Loomer is included.

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Weekly Deal: Celtic Studies

This week, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with 20% off all Celtic studies books! Enter the coupon code CELTIC at checkout!

Celtic Myth and Religion: A Study of Traditional Belief, with Newly Translated Prayers, Poems and Songs

Celtic Astrology from the Druids to the Middle Ages

The Irish Vampire: From Folklore to the Imaginations of Charles Robert Maturin, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and Bram Stoker

The Druids and King Arthur: A New View of Early Britain

The Other British Isles: A History of Shetland, Orkney, the Hebrides, Isle of Man, Anglesey, Scilly, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands

Modern Druidism

Celtic Cosmology and the Other World: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality

British and Irish Poets: A Biographical Dictionary 449-2006

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Newly Published: Themes in Dickens

New on our bookshelf today:

Themes in Dickens: Seven Recurring Concerns in the Writings
Peter J. Ponzio

The Victorian age is often portrayed as an era of repressive social mores. Yet this simplified view ignores the context of Great Britain’s profound shift, through rapid industrialization, from rural to metropolitan life during this time.

Throughout his career, Charles Dickens addressed the numerous changes occurring in Victorian society. His portrayals of organized religion, class distinction, worker’s rights, prison reform and rampant poverty resonated with readers experiencing social upheaval. Focusing on his novels, nonfiction writing, speeches and personal correspondence, this book explores Dickens’s use of these themes as both literary devices and as a means to effect social progress.

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Newly Published: James Joyce

New on our bookshelf today:

James Joyce: A Literary Companion
James F. Broderick

Though he published just a handful of major works in his lifetime, James Joyce (1882–1941) continues to fascinate readers around the world and remains one of the most important literary figures of the 20th century. The complexity of Joyce’s style has attracted—and occasionally puzzled—generations of readers who have succumbed to the richness of his literary world.

This literary companion guides readers through his four major works—Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake—with chapter-by-chapter discussions and critical inquiry. An A to Z format covers the works, people, history and context that influenced his writing. Appendices summarize notable Joycean literary criticism and biography, and also discuss significant films based on his work.

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Newly Published: The Many Lives of Ajax

New on our bookshelf today:

The Many Lives of Ajax: The Trojan War Hero from Antiquity to Modern Times
Timothy V. Dugan

Ajax, the archetypal Greek warrior, has over the years been trivialized as a peripheral character in the classics through Hollywood representations, and by the use of his name on household cleaning products. Examining a broad range of sources—from film, art and literature to advertising and sports—this study of the “Bulwark of the Achaeans” and his mythological image redefines his presence in Western culture, revealing him as the predominant voice in The Iliad and in myriad works across the classical canon.

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Newly Published: The Collected Sonnets of William Shakespeare, Zombie

New on our bookshelf today:

The Collected Sonnets of William Shakespeare, Zombie
William Shakespeare and Chase Pielak

What if one of literature’s greatest poets was actually a zombie, writing in an Elizabethan world teeming with the undead hiding in plain sight? Inviting readers to see the sublime in the looming apocalypse, this book presents all 154 Shakespearean sonnets (with minor alterations transfigured into “zonnets”) in their horrifying glory, highlighting transcendent themes of love, death, beauty and feasting on the flesh of the living. Each sonnet portrays a zombie encounter, with accompanying vignettes revealing the struggles of undead life in early modern England. Original illustrations by Anna Pagnucci bring the nightmare to life. Shakespeare will never be the same.

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Two Books Reviewed in March Issue of Choice

Library World Records, 3d ed.
Godfrey Oswald
“Simply fun to browse…a tremendous resource for researchers and authors wishing to incorporate library facts and statistics into their work…recommended.”—Choice

The Morals of Monster Stories: Essays on Children’s Picture Book Messages
Edited by Leslie Ormandy
“A valuable resource for future analysis…recommended.”—Choice

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Newly Published: Chivalry in Westeros

New on our bookshelf today:

Chivalry in Westeros: The Knightly Code of A Song of Ice and Fire
Carol Parrish Jamison

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has sparked a renewed interest in things medieval. The pseudo-historical world of Westeros delights casual fans while offering a rich new perspective for medievalists and scholars.
This study explores how Martin crafts a chivalric code that intersects with and illuminates well known medieval texts, including both romance and heroic epics.

Through characters such as Brienne of Tarth, Sandor Clegane and Jaime Lannister, Martin variously challenges, upholds and deconstructs chivalry as depicted in the literature of the Middle Ages.

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Three New Titles Reviewed in February Issue of Choice

Egyptomania Goes to the Movies: From Archaeology to Popular Craze to Hollywood Fantasy
Matthew Coniam
“Informative and fun…provides much interesting detail…recommended.”

Player and Avatar: The Affective Potential of Videogames
David Owen
“An engaging book…approachable, topical, and well sourced…recommended”

P.D. James: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
Laurel A. Young

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Newly Published: Harry Potter and Convergence Culture

New on our bookshelf today:

Harry Potter and Convergence Culture: Essays on Fandom and the Expanding Potterverse
Edited by Amanda Firestone and Leisa A. Clark

Since the 1997 publication of the first Harry Potter novel, the “Potterverse” has seen the addition of eight feature films (with a ninth in production), the creation of the interactive Pottermore© website, the release of myriad video games, the construction of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, several companion books (such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), critical essays and analyses, and the 2016 debut of the original stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

This collection of new essays interprets the Wizarding World beyond the books and films through the lens of convergence culture. Contributors explore how online communities tackle Sorting and games like the Quidditch Cup and the Triwizard Tournament, and analyze how Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are changing fandom and the canon alike.

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Newly Published: Janet Frame in Focus

New on our bookshelf today:

Janet Frame in Focus: Women Analyze the Works of the New Zealand Writer
Edited by Josephine A. McQuail

 New Zealand author Janet Frame (1924-2004) during her lifetime published 11 novels, three collections of short stories, a volume of poetry and a children’s book.

   The details of her life–her tragic early years, her confinement in a psychiatric hospital and her miraculous reprieve–overshadow her work and she remains largely neglected by scholars.

   These essays focus on Frame’s autobiography, short stories and novels. Contributors from around the world explore a range of topics, including her mother’s Christadelphian faith, her relationships with two 20th century icons (William Theophilus Brown and John Money), and a view of Frame in the context of trauma studies. Two of the essays were presented at the 2014 Northeast Modern Language Association convention.

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Newly Published: A Dark California

New on our bookshelf today:

A Dark California: Essays on Dystopian Depictions in Popular Culture
Edited by Katarzyna Nowak-McNeice and Agata Zarzycka

Focusing on portrayals of California in popular culture, this collection of new essays traces a central theme of darkness through literature (Toby Barlow, Angela Carter, Joan Didion, Thomas Pynchon, and Claire Vaye Watkins), video games (L.A. Noire), music (Death Grips, Lana Del Rey, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers), TV (True Detective and American Horror Story), and film  (Starry Eyes, Southland Tales and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night).

Providing insight into the significance of Californian icons, the contributors explore the interplay between positive stereotypes connected to the myth of the Golden State and ambivalent responses to the myth based on social and political power, the consequences of consumerism, transformations of the landscape and the dominance of hyperreality.

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Newly Published: Another Me

New on our bookshelf today:

Another Me: The Doppelganger in 21st Century Fiction, Television and Film
Heather Duerre Humann

A figure from ancient folklore, the doppelgänger—in fiction a character’s sinister look-alike—continues to reemerge in literature, television and film. The modern-day doppelganger (“double-goer” in German) is typically depicted in a traditional form adapted to reflect present-day social anxieties. Focusing on a broad range of narratives, the author explores 21st century representations in novels (Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry, José Saramago’s The Double), TV shows (Orphan Black, Battlestar Galactica, Ringer) and movies (The Island, The Prestige, Oblivion).

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Four New Titles Reviewed in Choice

Winston Churchill, Myth and RealityThe January issue of Choice features four recommended McFarland titles!

Winston Churchill, Myth and Reality: What He Actually Did and Said
Richard M. Langworth
“Langworth fires a stunning barrage in the long-running battle over Churchill’s reputation…effectively demolishes many core myths…a required addition to any collection on Churchill…essential.”

The Lost Colony of Roanoke: New Perspectives
Brandon Fullam
“Persuasively written, coherent, and in-depth…fresh and well thought out…a fascinating account…well-researched…recommended.”

Science Is Not What You Think: How It Has Changed, Why We Can’t Trust It, How It Can Be Fixed
Henry H. Bauer

For the Gay Stage: A Guide to 456 Plays, Aristophanes to Peter Gill
Drewey Wayne Gunn
“Comprehensive…recommended for all theater and gay studies collections.”

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Newly Published: “We used to eat people”

“We used to eat people”New on our bookshelf today:

“We used to eat people”: Revelations of a Fiji Islands Traditional Village
R.M.W. Dixon

Living in a reed hut on Taveuni—the “garden isle” of Fiji—the author studied the native language and carefully observed their traditions until he was accepted as a (somewhat unusual) member of the village.

Despite five cyclones the summer of 1985, daily life was idyllic. Cannibalism has been abandoned, reluctantly, at the behest of the new Christian God. But the old religion survived beneath the facade and priests danced naked on the beach beneath the full moon. The village pulsated with factions and feuds, resolved by the stern but benevolent chief, whose word was law. Legends told of a princess born as a bird, who was killed and thus became a comely maiden—but the murderer had to be cooked and eaten.

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Newly Published: Writing Under the Influence

Writing Under the InfluenceNew on our bookshelf today:

Writing Under the Influence: Alcohol and the Works of 13 American Authors
Aubrey Malone

Writers and alcohol have long been associated—for some, the association becomes unmanageable. Drawing on rare sources, this collection of brief biographies traces the lives of 13 well known literary drinkers, examining how their relationship with alcohol developed and how it affected their work, for better or worse.

Focusing on examples like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Charles Bukowski and Raymond Carver, the combined biographies present a study of the classic figure of the over-indulging author.

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Newly Published: Freedom Narratives of African American Women

Freedom Narratives of African American WomenNew on our bookshelf today:

Freedom Narratives of African American Women: A Study of 19th Century Writings
Janaka Bowman Lewis

Stories of liberation from enslavement or oppression have become central to African American women’s literature. Beginning with a discussion of black women freedom narratives as a literary genre, the author argues that these texts represent a discourse on civil rights that emerged earlier than the ideas of racial uplift that culminated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An examination of the collective free identity of black women and their relationships to the community focuses on education, individual progress, marriage and family, labor, intellectual commitments and community rebuilding projects.

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Newly Published: Storytelling in Video Games

Storytelling in Video GamesNew on our bookshelf today:

Storytelling in Video Games: The Art of the Digital Narrative
Amy M. Green

Beginning with the structural features of design and play, this book explores video games as both compelling examples of story-telling and important cultural artifacts.

The author analyzes fundamentals like immersion, world building and player agency and their role in crafting narratives in the Mass Effect series, BioShock, The Last of Us, Fallout 4 and many more. The text-focused “visual novel” genre is discussed as a form of interactive fiction.

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Newly Published: James Lee Burke

New on our bookshelf today:

James Lee Burke: A Literary Companion
Laurence W. Mazzeno

James Lee Burke is an acclaimed writer of crime novels in which protagonists battle low-life thugs who commit violent crimes and corporate executives who exploit the powerless. He is best known for his Dave Robicheaux series, set in New Orleans and the surrounding bayou country. With characters inspired by his own family, Burke uses the mystery genre to explore the nature of evil and an individual’s responsibility to friends, family and society at large.

This companion to his works provides a commentary on all of the characters, settings, events and themes in his novels and short stories, along with a critical discussion of his writing style, technique and literary devices. Glossaries describe the people and places and define unfamiliar terms. Selected interviews provide background information on both the writer and his stories.

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Newly Published: Radio Drama and Comedy Writers, 1928–1962

New on our bookshelf today:

Radio Drama and Comedy Writers, 1928–1962
Ryan Ellett

More than 700 uncredited scriptwriters who created the memorable characters and thrilling stories of radio’s Golden Age receive due recognition in this reference work. For some, radio was a stepping stone on the way to greater achievements in film or television, on the stage or in literature. For others, it was the culmination of a life spent writing newspaper copy. Established authors dabbled in radio as a new medium, while working writers saw it as another opportunity to earn a paycheck. When these men and women came to broadcasting, they crafted a body of work still appreciated by modern listeners.

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Newly Published: The American Writer

New on our bookshelf today:

The American Writer: Literary Life in the United States from the 1920s to the Present
Lawrence R. Samuel

The American writer—both real and fictitious, famous and obscure—has traditionally been situated on the margins of society, an outsider looking in. From The Great Gatsby’s Nick Carraway to the millions of bloggers today, writers are generally seen as onlookers documenting the human condition. Yet their own collective story has largely gone untold.

Tracing the role of the writer in the United States over the last century, this book describes how those who use language as a creative medium have held a special place in our collective imagination.

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New in Softcover: Tech-Noir

Now available in softcover:

Tech-Noir: The Fusion of Science Fiction and Film Noir
Paul Meehan

This critical study traces the common origins of film noir and science fiction films, identifying the many instances in which the two have merged to form a distinctive subgenre known as Tech-Noir. From the German Expressionist cinema of the late 1920s to the present-day cyberpunk movement, the book examines more than 100 films in which the common noir elements of crime, mystery, surrealism, and human perversity intersect with the high technology of science fiction. The author also details the hybrid subgenre’s considerable influences on contemporary music, fashion, and culture.

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Four Books Reviewed in December Issue of Choice

The December issue of Choice features reviews of four new McFarland books!

Major General Israel Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution
Robert Ernest Hubbard
“This masterfully researched account is a solid contribution to American Revolutionary historiography as well as to the histories of Connecticut, New England, and the French and Indian War…highly recommended.”

Joseph Brown and His Civil War Ironclads: The USS Chillicothe, Indianola and Tuscumbia
Myron J. Smith, Jr.
“Excellent…thorough…a plethora of maps, illustrations, and charts…recommended.”

LGBTQ Young Adult Fiction: A Critical Survey, 1970s–2010s
Caren J. Town
“Important…deftly balances several elements to serve a variety of readers…recommended.”

The Culture and Ethnicity of Nineteenth Century Baseball
Jerrold I. Casway
“Excellent…This scholarly, informative, yet easy-to-read volume includes an excellent bibliography and will be a fine addition to academic library collections…recommended.”





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Newly Published: Henry Green

New on our bookshelf today:

Henry Green: Havoc in the House of Fiction
Peter Wolfe

By mid-career, many successful writers have found a groove and their readers come to expect a familiar consistency and fidelity. Not so with Henry Green (1905–1973). He prefers uncertainty over reason and fragmentation over cohesion, and rarely lets the reader settle into a nice cozy read. Evil, he suggests, can be as instructive as good. Through Green’s use of paradoxical and ambiguous language, his novels bring texture to the flatness of life, making the world seem bigger and closer. We soon stop worrying about what Hitler’s bombs have in store for the Londoners of Caught (1943) and Back (1946) and start thinking about what they have in store for each other. Praised in his lifetime as England’s top fiction author, Green is largely overlooked today. This book presents a comprehensive analysis of his work for a new generation of readers.

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Newly Published: Science Fiction in Classic Rock

New on our bookshelf today:

Science Fiction in Classic Rock: Musical Explorations of Space, Technology and the Imagination, 1967–1982
Robert McParland

As technology advances, society retains its mythical roots—a tendency evident in rock music and its enduring relationship with myth and science fiction. This study explores the mythical and fantastic themes of artists from the late 1960s to the mid–1980s, including David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Blue Öyster Cult, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Drawing on insights from Joseph Campbell, J.G. Frazer, Carl Jung and Mircea Eliade, the author examines how performers have incorporated mythic archetypes and science fiction imagery into songs that illustrate societal concerns and futuristic fantasies.

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New Catalog and Huge Holiday Sale

It’s our biggest sale of the year! Through the holiday season, get 30% off your order of two or more books with the coupon code HOLIDAY17! Need inspiration? Check out our brand new holiday catalog!

HOLIDAY17 is valid through January 2, 2018, and applies to any book on McFarland’s website. Browse our entire online catalog here

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Newly Published: Sherwood Anderson’s Pan-American Vision

New on our bookshelf today:

Sherwood Anderson’s Pan-American Vision: Letters in Pursuit of a Cross-Cultural Bond
Edited and with Commentary by Celia Catalina Esplugas

Based on an analysis of Sherwood Anderson’s letters, this study explores the novelist’s principal inspiration during his final years (1938–1941): his exposure to Latin America.

Thematically arranged correspondence traces his positive reception in South America—a place he saw as a source of fresh ideas and publishing opportunities—his desire to promote cultural relations between the two Americas, and his legacy among Spanish-speaking readers. The author discusses the political and economic climates of mid–20th century South American nations, their emerging liberal ideologies and the concerns Latin American readers had regarding societal upheaval, urbanization and the inequities of capitalism—all vividly depicted in Anderson’s works.

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Newly Published: John Updike Remembered

New on our bookshelf today:

John Updike Remembered: Friends, Family and Colleagues Reflect on the Writer and the Man
Edited by Jack A. De Bellis

Fifty-three individuals present a prismatic view of the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and his work through anecdote and insight. Interviews and essays from family, friends and associates reveal sides of the novelist perhaps unfamiliar to the public—the high school prankster, the golfer, the creator of bedtime stories, the charming ironist, the faithful correspondent with scholars, the devoted friend and the dedicated practitioner of his craft.

The contributors include his first wife, Mary Pennington, and three of their children; high school and college friends; authors John Barth, Joyce Carol Oates and Nicholson Baker; journalists Terri Gross and Ann Goldstein; and scholars Jay Parini, William Pritchard, James Plath, and Adam Begley, Updike’s biographer.

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Weekly Deal: Science Fiction Biographies and Memoirs

This week, get 20% off all science fiction biographies and memoirs when you use the coupon code SCIFI!

Star-Begotten: A Life Lived in Science Fiction

Saving the World Through Science Fiction: James Gunn, Writer, Teacher and Scholar

Forry: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman

Murray Leinster: The Life and Works

H. Beam Piper: A Biography

The Business of Science Fiction: Two Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg

Hugo Gernsback and the Century of Science Fiction by Gary Westfahl

C.M. Kornbluth: The Life and Works of a Science Fiction Visionary by Mark Rich

Judith Merril: A Critical Study by Dianne Newell and Victoria Lamont

Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzan: A Biography of the Author and His Creation by Robert W. Fenton

Buster Crabbe: A Biofilmography by Jerry Vermilye

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Newly Published: Star-Begotten

New on our bookshelf today:

Star-Begotten: A Life Lived in Science Fiction
James Gunn

Hugo Award winning writer James Gunn (1923–) has been called “the last Golden Age author” of science fiction. In a career of almost 70 years, he has written 28 books and dozens of short stories and participated in the production of films, radio and television programs and comic books.

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CALL FOR PAPERS: The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture



May 30 to June 1, 2018

Cooperstown, New York

The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, co-sponsored by SUNY Oneonta and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, examines the impact of baseball on American culture from interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives.

Proposals for papers are invited from all disciplines and on all topics. Papers on baseball as baseball are not encouraged. Submission is by abstract and one-page vitae (be sure to include complete contact information). Abstracts should be narrative, limited to three type-written pages. Presentations should be designed to fit into a 20-minute panel segment. The deadline for submission is December 15, 2017. Proposals can be sent via US mail or email to:

Jim Gates, Librarian
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326

For further information, please contact Symposium Co-Directors: Jim Gates at [email protected] or Bill Simons at [email protected]

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Newly Published: The Caribbean Story Finder

New on our bookshelf today:

The Caribbean Story Finder: A Guide to 438 Tales from 24 Nations and Territories, Listing Subjects and Sources
Sharon Barcan Elswit 

The Caribbean islands have a vibrant oral folklore. In Jamaica, the clever spider Anansi, who outsmarts stronger animals, is a symbol of triumph by the weak over the powerful. The fables of the foolish Juan Bobo, who tries to bring milk home in a burlap bag, illustrate facets of traditional Puerto Rican life. Conflict over status, identity and power is a recurring theme—in a story from Trinidad, a young bull, raised by his mother in secret, challenges his tyrannical father who has killed all the other males in the herd.

One in a series of folklore reference guides by the author, this volume shares summaries of 438 tales—some in danger of disappearing—retold in English and Creole from West African, European, and slave indigenous cultures in 24 countries and territories. Tales are grouped in themed sections with a detailed subject index and extensive links to online sources.

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Newly Published: Funny Thing About Murder

New on our bookshelf today:

Funny Thing About Murder: Modes of Humor in Crime Fiction and Films
David Geherin 

Focusing on crime fiction and films that artfully combine comedy and misdeed, this book explores the reasons writers and filmmakers inject humor into their work and identifies the various comic techniques they use. The author covers both American and European books from the 1930s to the present, by such authors as Rex Stout, Raymond Chandler, Robert B. Parker, Elmore Leonard, Donald E. Westlake, Sue Grafton, Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich, along with films from The Thin Man to the BBC’s Sherlock series.

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Newly Published: The Case for Fanfiction

New on our bookshelf today:

The Case for Fanfiction: Exploring the Pleasures and Practices of a Maligned Craft
Ashley J. Barner 

Challenging readers to rethink what they read and why, the author questions the aesthetic assumptions that have led to the devaluing of fanfiction—a genre criticized as both tasteless and derivative—and other “guilty pleasure” reading (and writing), including romance and fantasy. The complicated relationship between “fanfic” and intellectual property rights is discussed in light of the millennia-old tradition of derivative literature, before modern copyright law established originality as the hallmark of great fiction.

“Absorbed reading”—the practice of immersing oneself in the narrative versus critically “reading from a distance”—is a strong motive for the appropriation by fanfiction of canon characters and worlds.

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Newly Published: Patricia A. McKillip and the Art of Fantasy World-Building

New on our bookshelf today:

Patricia A. McKillip and the Art of Fantasy World-Building
Audrey Isabel Taylor 

From wondrous fairy-lands to nightmarish hellscapes, the elements that make fantasy worlds come alive also invite their exploration. This first book-length study of critically acclaimed novelist Patricia A. McKillip’s lyrical other-worlds analyzes her characters, environments and legends and their interplay with genre expectations. The author gives long overdue critical attention to McKillip’s work and demonstrates how a broader understanding of world-building enables a deeper appreciation of her fantasies.

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Newly Published: Charles Sweeny, the Man Who Inspired Hemingway

New on our bookshelf today:

Charles Sweeny, the Man Who Inspired Hemingway
Charley Roberts and Charles P. Hess 

Charles Sweeny (1882–1963) was the heir to a fortune. Renouncing a life of comfort, he became a warrior for causes he believed in. Twice kicked out of West Point, he fought in revolts against three Latin American dictators. He was a decorated officer in the French Foreign Legion and in the U.S. Army during World War I, a brigadier general in the Polish-Soviet War and a military advisor in the Greco-Turkish War. He led a flying squadron in Morocco’s Rif War, advised Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War and spied for French intelligence during World War II.

Before America entered the war, he dodged FBI agents and U.S. neutrality laws to recruit American pilots to fight the Nazis and became a group captain in the R.A.F.’s Eagle Squadron. After Pearl Harbor, he worked with “Wild Bill” Donovan to devise guerrilla campaigns in North Africa and Eastern Europe. This richly detailed biography draws on Sweeny’s personal papers, historical documents and photographs to chronicle the fascinating life of America’s most celebrated soldier of fortune—a lifelong friend of Ernest Hemingway and a model for his fictional heroes.

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Sara Paretsky Wins Macavity Award

Congratulations to Margaret Kinsman, whose book, Sara Paretsky: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction, won the 2017 Macavity Award for Best Nonfiction! Awarded annually by Mystery Readers International, Macavity Awards honor outstanding books in multiple categories related to detective fiction. For a full list of 2017 award winners, please click here

More information about the McFarland Companions to Mystery Fiction series is available here

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Weekly Deal: The Inklings

This week, get 20% off all books about the Inklings when you use the coupon code OXFORD!

Tolkien’s Intellectual Landscape

Chivalric Stories as Children’s Literature: Edwardian Retellings in Words and Pictures

The Fantastic Made Visible: Essays on the Adaptation of Science Fiction and Fantasy from Page to Screen

J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard and the Birth of Modern Fantasy

Politics in Fantasy Media: Essays on Ideology and Gender in Fiction, Film, Television and Games

Nature and the Numinous in Mythopoeic Fantasy Literature

The Hobbit and Tolkien’s Mythology: Essays on Revisions and Influences

Tolkien and the Modernists: Literary Responses to the Dark New Days of the 20th Century

A Quest of Her Own: Essays on the Female Hero in Modern Fantasy

The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays on Middle-earth Corporeality

Tolkien in the New Century: Essays in Honor of Tom Shippey

The Formulas of Popular Fiction: Elements of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Religious and Mystery Novels

Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essays

Ancient Symbology in Fantasy Literature: A Psychological Study

The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games

Middle-earth Minstrel: Essays on Music in Tolkien

Picturing Tolkien: Essays on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy

Lilith in a New Light: Essays on the George MacDonald Fantasy Novel

The Evolution of Tolkien’s Mythology: A Study of the History of Middle-earth

Fantasy Fiction into Film: Essays

Milton, Spenser and The Chronicles of Narnia: Literary Sources for the C.S. Lewis Novels

Tolkien and Shakespeare: Essays on Shared Themes and Language

The Scientifiction Novels of C.S. Lewis: Space and Time in the Ransom Stories

The Medieval Hero on Screen: Representations from Beowulf to Buffy

The Detective Fiction Reviews of Charles Williams, 1930–1935

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Newly Published: Goddess and Grail

New on our bookshelf today:

Goddess and Grail: The Battle for King Arthur’s Promised Land
Jeffrey John Dixon 

The early chroniclers of Britain presented the island as the promised land of the Roman goddess Diana. Later, when the story of Arthur was transformed by Christian mythology, a new literary concept of the island was promoted: the promised land of the Holy Grail. As the feminine enchantment of the Goddess gave way to the masculine crusade of the Grail Quest, the otherworld realms of the fays or fairy women were denigrated in favor of the heavenly afterlife.

The dualism of the medieval authors was challenged by modern writers such as Blake and Tolkien, as well as by the scholars of the Eranos conferences. This book explores the conflict between Goddess and Grail—a rift less about paganism versus Christianity than about religious literalism versus spiritual imagination—which is resolved in the figure of Sophia (Divine Wisdom).

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Newly Published: Action and Consequence in Ibsen, Chekhov and Strindberg

New on our bookshelf today:

Action and Consequence in Ibsen, Chekhov and Strindberg
Zander Brietzke 

Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov and August Strindberg—innovators of modern drama—created characters whose reckless pursuits of irrational objectives blind them to better options. Ibsen’s protagonists in A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler and The Master Builder try to bend the world to conform to their personal visions—with disastrous results. Chekhov’s characters refuse to do anything, instead dramatizing their lives as if they were actors in a play (which they are). Rehearsing the intractable squabbles between men and women in The Dance of Death and The Ghost Sonata, Strindberg suggests that only in life beyond death can humanity transcend the brutality of existence. Together, the lives of these characters offer a study of the individual’s struggle with modernity.

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Newly Published: Richard Yates and the Flawed American Dream

New on our bookshelf today:

Richard Yates and the Flawed American Dream: Critical Essays
Edited by Jennifer Daly 

Richard Yates (1926–1992) has been described as a “writer’s writer” but has never received the critical attention befitting that designation. Firmly rooted in the zeitgeist of 1950s, his work remains startlingly relevant, addressing themes of American identity, the nature of marriage and relationships between men and women, and what it means to get ahead in a society entranced by a flawed American Dream.

This collection of new essays is the first to focus on this under-appreciated author. It opens up his body of work for a new generation of readers, and positions Yates as a writer of significance in the American tradition.

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Weekly Deal: Locomotive History

This week, get 20% off all books about locomotive history when you use the coupon code RAILROAD!

Stephen Shoemaker: The Paintings and Their Stories

Military Trains and Railways: An Illustrated History

Rails Across Dixie: A History of Passenger Trains in the American South

Railway Travel in Modern Theatre: Transforming the Space and Time of the Stage

The Wilmington & Weldon Railroad in the Civil War

Grenville Mellen Dodge in the Civil War: Union Spymaster, Railroad Builder and Organizer of the Fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry

Bucking the Railroads on the Kansas Frontier: The Struggle Over Land Claims by Homesteading Civil War Veterans, 1867–1876

The Wilmington & Raleigh Rail Road Company, 1833–1854

Frank K. Hain and the Manhattan Railway Company: The Elevated Railway, 1875–1903

An Illustrated History of Mayer, Arizona: Stagecoaches, Mining, Ranching and the Railroad

The L&N Railroad in the Civil War: A Vital North-South Link and the Struggle to Control It

Great Railroad Tunnels of North America

Wells, Fargo & Co. Stagecoach and Train Robberies, 1870–1884: The Corporate Report of 1885 with Additional Facts About the Crimes and Their Perpetrators, revised edition

The Newfoundland Railway, 1898–1969: A History

The Jones-Imboden Raid: The Confederate Attempt to Destroy the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and Retake West Virginia

Major General Isaac Ridgeway Trimble: Biography of a Baltimore Confederate

The Railroad in American Fiction: An Annotated Bibliography


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Newly Published: Scripting Detention

New on our bookshelf today:

Scripting Detention: A Project in Theater and Autoethnography with Incarcerated Teens
Nandita Dinesh 

Documenting a theater project for incarcerated youth in a New Mexico juvenile detention facility, this book presents the script of a play about prison life, and interweaves the author’s creative, self-reflective text (autoethnography). The collaborative experience of writing and staging such a play enacted by prisoners frames a discussion of larger social and political themes in the criminal justice system, and of the complexities of getting juveniles to engage with variously positioned mentors.

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CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Gender, Death and Power in Game of Thrones

CALL FOR PROPOSALS for a new essay collection:

You Win or You Die: Performances of Gender, Death, and Power in Game of Thrones (tentative title)

Called “the world’s most popular show” by TIME magazine, Game of Thrones has changed the
landscape of serial narrative during an era hailed as the New Golden Age of TV. While an
adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy A Song of Fire and Ice, the television show has
taken on a life of its own, including creating original plotlines when the story advanced past the
books that Martin has published.

With the death of protagonist Ned Stark at the end of Season One, Game of Thrones launched
a killing spree in television: major characters die on popular shows every week now (for an
excellent analysis of this trend and a demographic breakdown of who’s getting killed off, see While many shows kill off
major characters for pure shock value, death on Game of Thrones produces seismic shifts in
power dynamics and resurrected bodies that continue to fight on in war.

War in early seasons is solidly the purview of men, but by Season Six, women are literally and
figuratively changing the battlefield, overthrowing the men who have dominated and controlled
them, and vying for thrones. For a show that’s been accused of mishandling rape, using it for
titillation and voyeurism rather than condemning it, the writers seem to be playing a different
game with female characters as the narrative rushes toward its conclusion.

The complex dynamics of how gender, death, and power are performed in Game of Thrones
warrants rigorous analysis by scholars in performance and media studies and beyond. Our
proposed anthology will be divided into overlapping sections on gender, death, power, and

Possible topics include:

– What kinds of performances of masculinity and femininity do we see in this show?
– Women as nurturers, women as vengeful assassins, women as queens
– Dany’s retinue includes two eunuchs and a dwarf, and by the time she arrives in
Westeros, none of her closest advisors are alpha males. What does this say about
gender and power?
– How does the show handle hypermasculinity?
– Jon Snow’s hair
– Sansa’s fantasies of marrying a prince, and her harsh realities
– The men who manipulate Cersei, and the way she takes her revenge
– The Sand Snakes and the trope of desert people being hypersexualized and violent
– Yara, Brienne, The Waif, and female masculinity
– Arya, marrying a nobleman, and “that’s not you”
– Gender, politics, and regionalism: how do politics and gender intersect differently north
of the wall, in Dorne, in the rest of Westeros, and across the sea?
– What’s the significance of the men of the Night’s Watch swearing a vow of chastity, and
why does Jon Snow get away with breaking it so easily? Why does Sam?
– Does the narrative critique the characters’ misogyny enough, or reify it?
– Motherhood (Cersei’s incestual children are all dead, Dany’s children are dragons)
– Sam’s gentle demeanor and academic nature

– What does the show seem to say about death, given that for so many characters, death
is not the end?
– What is the distinction between alive and not?
– What do the narrative’s rituals related to death say about its values?
– Wights as zombies
– The distinction between White Walkers and their army of wights
– The relation between those resurrected by Red Priests/Priestesses and those
resurrected by ice
– How does death often lead to new life or new dynamics of power (dragons, killer
zombies, a king)
– “In the light of the seven,” “the night is dark and full of terrors,” “what is dead may never
die,” and religion’s disposition toward death and resurrection
– Religion used to fight zombies and create them
– Arya’s list
– Supernatural and Faceless men, Three-Eyed Raven

– What’s the show’s attitude toward war and violence?
– How does the show represent war?
– How does the show braid together issues of gender, violence, power, and war?
– Endless war
– Religion used as a weapon, a justification for violence, a political tool
– White trash (Freys, Greyjoys) and inbreeding
– The dynamics of color; ethnicity and race; rehearsal of Western hegemony under a
slightly different name
– How does the show use accents to imply power and authority
– New languages–who speaks which language(s) and how does language interact with
– Low / no-tech world, pre-industrial society–does that give the show a pass on
contemporary values?
– The above ideas relate to power within the narrative, but what about the power of this TV
show? HBO’s budgets are some of the highest per episode of any television show in
history, and GoT has influenced not only serial television but also films and novels. What
kind of cultural and industry power does the show wield?

– Performances of gender, sexuality, and power
– What gets performed around the show—fandom, social media, criticism, ComiCon,
cosplay, watching parties
– The performance of the actors
– How do characters perform nobility, authority, power, family?
– Theater has a powerful impact on Arya Stark–how and why?
– The show has been criticized for the way it represents: sex, love, romance, same-sex
intimacy, race, and violence. How are these criticisms apt? What do these criticisms
– What stereotypes does the show trade in, especially in conflating region, geography,
accent, class, and race?

Please submit 300-word abstracts to Lindsey Mantoan ([email protected]) and Sara Brady
([email protected]) by Oct 1, 2017.

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Weekly Deal: H.G. Wells

This week, get 20% off all books about (and by) H.G. Wells when you use the coupon code WELLS!

The War of the Worlds: A Critical Text of the 1898 London First Edition, with an Introduction, Illustrations and Appendices

Things to Come: A Critical Text of the 1935 London First Edition, with an Introduction and Appendices

Man Who Could Work Miracles: A Critical Text of the 1936 New York First Edition, with an Introduction and Appendices

The Sea Lady: A Tissue of Moonshine: A Critical Text of the 1902 London First Edition, with an Introduction and Appendices

The First Men in the Moon: A Critical Text of the 1901 London First Edition, with an Introduction and Appendices

The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance: A Critical Text of the 1897 New York First Edition, with an Introduction and Appendices

The Island of Doctor Moreau: A Critical Text of the 1896 London First Edition, with an Introduction and Appendices

The Time Machine: An Invention: A Critical Text of the 1895 London First Edition, with an Introduction and Appendices

When the Sleeper Wakes: A Critical Text of the 1899 New York and London First Edition, with an Introduction and Appendices

H.G. Wells on Film: The Utopian Nightmare

The Utopian Vision of H.G. Wells

Waging The War of the Worlds: A History of the 1938 Radio Broadcast and Resulting Panic, Including the Original Script

Science Fiction from Wells to Heinlein

Human Prehistory in Fiction

The Vampire in Science Fiction Film and Literature

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Newly Published: Maigret’s World

New on our bookshelf today:

Maigret’s World: A Reader’s Companion to Simenon’s Famous Detective
Murielle Wenger and Stephen Trussel 

Georges Simenon’s 75 novels and 28 short stories that feature Chief Inspector Jules Maigret provide us with a great deal of information about the French police detective—but only in small, episodic doses. As readers become acquainted with Maigret one detail at a time, he slowly takes on a flesh-and-bone realism—not merely a character in a story, but someone we would like to meet in real life. This book presents all the canonical facts and details about the detective and his world in one place, presented with tabulations and analyses that enable a better understanding of the works and of Maigret himself.

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Newly Published: King Arthur and Robin Hood on the Radio

New on our bookshelf today:

King Arthur and Robin Hood on the Radio: Adaptations for American Listeners
Katherine Barnes Echols 

Before stories of King Arthur and Robin Hood were adapted and readapted for film, television and theater, radio scriptwriters looking for material turned to Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur (1485) and Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (1883). From the 1930s throughout the mid–1950s, their legends inspired storylines for Abbott and Costello, Popeye, Let’s Pretend, Escape, Gunsmoke, The Adventures of Superman and others. Many of these adaptations reflect the moral and ethical questions of the day, as characters’ faced issues of gender relations, divorce, citizenship, fascism, crime and communism in a medieval setting.

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Newly Published: Library World Records, 3d ed.

New on our bookshelf today:

Library World Records, 3d ed.
Godfrey Oswald 
Foreword by Joyce N. Church

Which are the oldest public libraries in the world? In what years were the first books printed in French, Thai, Japanese, Arabic, Turkish? What are the oldest extant texts written in Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish? When was the first major computer database used in libraries? What are the titles of the largest, smallest or most expensive books ever published? Where is the world’s busiest public library? Which three books were the first to contain photographs? In its updated and expanded third edition, this reference work provides hundreds of fascinating facts about libraries, books, periodicals, reference databases, specialty archives, bookstores, catalogs, technology, information science organizations and library buildings.

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Weekly Deal: The Solar System

At 2:38 p.m. today, McFarlanders will take a break to go outside and stare directly into the sun. Join us! In honor of the eclipse, take 20% off all books about the solar system with the coupon code ECLIPSE!

Nobody Owns the Moon: The Ethics of Space Exploitation

Moons of the Solar System: An Illustrated Encyclopedia

The Human Archaeology of Space: Lunar, Planetary and Interstellar Relics of Exploration

Developing National Power in Space: A Theoretical Model

Camp Cooke and Vandenberg Air Force Base, 1941–1966: From Armor and Infantry Training to Space and Missile Launches

Russian Exploration, from Siberia to Space: A History

The Space Shuttle Program: How NASA Lost Its Way

Extrasolar Planets: A Catalog of Discoveries in Other Star Systems

Visions of Mars: Essays on the Red Planet in Fiction and Science

Orbiting Ray Bradbury’s Mars: Biographical, Anthropological, Literary, Scientific and Other Perspectives

Mars in the Movies: A History


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Newly Published: W.D. Ehrhart in Conversation

New on our bookshelf today:

W.D. Ehrhart in Conversation: Vietnam, America and the Written Word
Edited by Jean-Jacques Malo 

W. D. Ehrhart, named by Studs Turkel as “the poet of the Vietnam War,” has written and lectured on a wide variety of topics and has been a preëminent voice on the Vietnam War for decades. Revered in academia, he has been the subject of many master’s theses, doctoral dissertations, journals and books for which he was interviewed. Yet only two major interviews have been published to date. This complete collection of unpublished interviews from 1991 through 2016 presents Ehrhart’s developing views on a range of subjects over three decades.

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Newly Published: The Morals of Monster Stories

New on our bookshelf today:

The Morals of Monster Stories: Essays on Children’s Picture Book Messages
Edited by Leslie Ormandy 

The simplicity of children’s picture books—stories told with illustrations and a few well chosen words or none at all—makes them powerful tools for teaching morals and personal integrity. Children follow the story and see the characters’ behaviors on the page and interpret them in the context of their own lives. But unlike many picture books, most children’s lives don’t feature monsters.

This collection of new essays explores the societally sanctioned behaviors imparted to children through the use of monsters and supernatural characters. Topics include monsters as instructors, the normalization of strangers or the “other,” fostering gender norms, and therapeutic monsters, among others.

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Newly Published: Matthew Arnold and English Education

New on our bookshelf today:

Matthew Arnold and English Education: The Poet’s Pioneering Advocacy in Middle Class Instruction
Brendan A. Rapple 

Poet and critic Matthew Arnold (1822–1888) was a prominent educator. One of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Elementary Schools for 35 years, he traveled abroad to report on foreign education. Though Arnold is recognized as an early proponent of comparative education, there has been little study of his work in the field.

The author examines Arnold’s writings and presents three related arguments—that England was well behind countries like France and Germany in “the civilization of her middle class”; that advances being made abroad were largely due to strong state education systems, and that it was essential for England to establish a system of post-elementary education modeled on foreign systems.