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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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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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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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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
“Recommended”

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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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Weekly Deal: Beer

This week, through May 28, 2017, get 20% off all books about beer when you use the coupon code HOPS!

Yuengling: A History of America’s Oldest Brewery

Bootleggers and Beer Barons of the Prohibition Era

The Nation’s Capital Brewmaster: Christian Heurich and His Brewery, 1842–1956

Beer 101 North: Craft Breweries and Brewpubs of the Washington and Oregon Coasts

Beer in Maryland: A History of Breweries Since Colonial Times

Alcohol and Opium in the Old West: Use, Abuse and Influence

Alcohol in the Movies, 1898–1962: A Critical History

 

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Weekly Deal: Arthur, King of the Britons

This week, through May 14, 2017, get 20% off all books about King Arthur when you use the coupon code ARTHURIANA!

Warriors and Wilderness in Medieval Britain: From Arthur and Beowulf to Sir Gawain and Robin Hood

Religion in Britain from the Megaliths to Arthur: An Archaeological and Mythological Exploration

The Chivalric Romance and the Essence of Fiction

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

The British Heroic Age: A History, 367–664

The Glory of Arthur: The Legendary King in Epic Poems of Layamon, Spenser and Blake

Perceval and Gawain in Dark Mirrors: Reflection and Reflexivity in Chrétien de Troyes’s Conte del Graal

Hengest, Gwrtheyrn and the Chronology of Post-Roman Britain

King Arthur’s European Realm: New Evidence from Monmouth’s Primary Sources

The Holy Grail on Film: Essays on the Cinematic Quest

Evidence of Arthur: Fixing the Legendary King in Factual Place and Time

Arthurian Animation: A Study of Cartoon Camelots on Film and Television

Origins of Arthurian Romances: Early Sources for the Legends of Tristan, the Grail and the Abduction of the Queen

Glastonbury and the Grail: Did Joseph of Arimathea Bring the Sacred Relic to Britain?

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

Chrétien de Troyes and the Dawn of Arthurian Romance

Medieval Arthurian Epic and Romance: Eight New Translations

Cinema Arthuriana: Twenty Essays, rev. ed.

Historic Figures of the Arthurian Era: Authenticating the Enemies and Allies of Britain’s Post-Roman King

Arthurian Figures of History and Legend: A Biographical Dictionary

Arthurian Legends on Film and Television

Movie Medievalism: The Imaginary Middle Ages

The Historic King Arthur: Authenticating the Celtic Hero of Post-Roman Britain

Sir Gawain and the Classical Tradition: Essays on the Ancient Antecedents

The Grail Procession: The Legend, the Artifacts, and the Possible Sources of the Story

King Arthur in Popular Culture

The King Arthur Myth in Modern American Literature

The Holy Grail: The Legend, the History, the Evidence

 

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Weekly Deal: Zombie Studies

If you couldn’t wait to see [SPOILER REDACTED] on The Walking Dead last night, then this Weekly Deal is for you! Through October 30, 2016, get 20% off all books about zombie studies when you enter the coupon code SPOILER!

“We’re All Infected” Essays on AMC’s The Walking Dead and the Fate of the Human

How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century

Zombifying a Nation: Race, Gender and the Haitian Loas on Screen

Zombies and Sexuality: Essays on Desire and the Living Dead

…But If a Zombie Apocalypse Did Occur: Essays on Medical, Military, Governmental, Ethical, Economic and Other Implications

Great Zombies in History

Unraveling Resident Evil: Essays on the Complex Universe of the Games and Films

The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia

The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia, Volume 2: 2000–2010

Generation Zombie: Essays on the Living Dead in Modern Culture

Race, Oppression and the Zombie: Essays on Cross-Cultural Appropriations of the Caribbean Tradition

Zombies Are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the Walking Dead

American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture

Back from the Dead: Remakes of the Romero Zombie Films as Markers of Their Times

White Zombie: Anatomy of a Horror Film

 

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Weekly Deal: All Hallow's Read

All Hallow’s Read is a new tradition, started by the great Neil Gaiman, that encourages gifting a scary book during the week of Halloween. If you’re curious about its origins, read this blog post, helpfully titled “A MODEST PROPOSAL (THAT DOESN’T ACTUALLY INVOLVE EATING ANYONE).” Rather than selecting a handful of our more than 100 books about horror in popular culture and literature, we’re putting ALL of our horror books on sale, this week only! Order now for delivery in time for your All Hallow’s Read gift, and get 20% off when you use the coupon code HALLOW!

 

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Books about Outlander

The Symbolism and Sources of Outlander: The Scottish Fairies, Folklore, Ballads, Magic and Meanings That Inspired the Series
Valerie Estelle Frankel

Outlander is much more than a television romance about a World War II nurse and a Jacobite soldier in a fetching kilt. The series—and the massive serial novel on which it is based—has been categorized as a period drama, adventure saga, military history and fantasy epic. Inspired by the Irish legends of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the prophecies of Brahan Seer, the storyline is filled with mythology and symbolism from around the world, from the Fair Folk and the Loch Ness monster to wendigos, ghosts, zombies and succubae.

Literary references abound, from the Bible to the classics, to Shakespeare and the English romantic poets. The series is also rich with its own symbolism: heather and white roses, the dragonfly in amber, Claire’s blue vase and wedding gown, her wedding rings and pearl necklace. This book untangles the myriad of myths, legends, symbols and literary references found in the series.

 

Adoring Outlander: Essays on Fandom, Genre and the Female Audience
Edited by Valerie Estelle Frankel

What is behind Outlander fever—the hit television drama’s popularity? Is it author Diana Gabaldon’s teasing posts on social media? Is it the real history reimagined? The highly emotional melodrama?

Or is it the take-charge heroine and the sweet hero in a kilt? One of the show’s biggest draws is its multigenre appeal. Gabaldon—whose Outlander novels form the basis of the series—has called it science fiction, fantasy, romance, historical fiction and military fiction, depending on her audience.

This collection of new essays explores the series as romance, a ghost story, an epic journey, a cozy mystery, a comedy of manners, a gothic thriller and a feminist answer to Game of Thrones, and considers the source of its broad appeal.

 

 

Outlander’s Sassenachs: Essays on Gender, Race, Orientation and the Other in the Novels and Television Series
Edited by Valerie Estelle Frankel

A time travel epic featuring history and romance, Outlander—unlike most adventure series—is aimed at women audiences. The kilted male characters, the female narrator, the fantastic period costumes are atypical of male-gendered television. Both the show and the novels on which it is based address issues most series shy away from, like breast feeding, abortion and birth control. Role reversals are common—the powerful Claire rescues her virginal husband Jamie from sexual abuse. When the villainous Black Jack Randall displays his genitals to the heroine Jenny, she laughs.

This collection of new essays examines Outlander as an exploration of what it meant and means to be a capable woman, in the 18th century and in the modern world. As Claire explores different models of strength in both periods, Jamie comes to understand the nuances of male honor, power and alternative sexuality through the contrasting figures of Black Jack and Lord John. As the heroes negotiate the complications of marriage and life, they make discoveries about gender that resonate with modern audiences.

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Weekly Deal: James Bond

As Spectre tops the box office for the second consecutive week, we’re reading about Ian Fleming’s superspy in film, literature and video games. Through November 22, 2015, get 20% off the following books with the coupon code BLOFELD! Or, pick two or more books and get 30% off with the coupon code HOLIDAY2015!

James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy

The Signs of James Bond: Semiotic Explorations in the World of 007

The Legend Returns and Dies Harder Another Day: Essays on Film Series

Albert J. Luxford, the Gimmick Man: Memoir of a Special Effects Maestro

Film Fatales: Women in Espionage Films and Television, 1962–1973

Game On, Hollywood!: Essays on the Intersection of Video Games and Cinema

 

 

 

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The Mission of Comic-Con

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Comic-Con International San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.

McFarland is getting ready to do its part at Comic-Con this week.  Create awareness—check.  Appreciate comics and related popular art forms—check.  We’ll also copiously document all the spectacle that is this event: stay tuned.

 

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Fan Studies and Comic-Con

With San Diego Comic-Con International commencing in just a few days, it is a timely moment to take another look at recent fan studies explorations by Ben Bolling and Matthew J. Smith (It Happens at Comic-Con), Bill Schelly (Founders of Comic Fandom), Kristin M. Barton and Jonathan Malcolm Lampley (Fan CULTure), and Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse (Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet).

978-0-7864-7694-7It Happens at Comic-Con: Ethnographic Essays on a Pop Culture Phenomenon
This “engrossing” (Midwest Book Review) collection seeks to expand fan studies, exploring Comic-Con International more deeply than any publication before it. Ben Bolling is a Jacob K. Javits Fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Matthew J. Smith is a professor of communication and director of cinema studies at Wittenberg University, where he teaches courses in media, including television criticism and graphic storytelling.

Founders of Comic Fandom: Profiles of 90 Publishers, Dealers, Collectors, Writers, Artists and Other Luminaries of the 1950s and 1960s
In the 1950s and ’60s, a grassroots movement arose to celebrate comic books and strips, which were becoming increasingly important to American popular culture. “Meticulously researched and thoroughly documented” (School Library Journal), profiled here are the people at the heart of the movement. Bill Schelly has been chronicling the history of popular culture since the 1960s, beginning with his magazine Sense of Wonder. He has written or edited several books, and is associate editor of the Eisner Award–winning magazine Alter Ego.

978-0-7864-7418-9Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century
This “highly recommended” (Choice) collection explores how present-day fans interact with the films, television shows, books, and pop culture artifacts they love. Kristin M. Barton is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Dalton State College in Dalton, Georgia. Jonathan Malcolm Lampley is a prolific contributor to many popular-culture periodicals and publications.

Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays
The essays in this “useful and thought-provoking” (SFRA Review) volume explore the world of fan fiction—its purposes, how it is created, how the fan experiences it. Karen Hellekson is a copy editor and independent scholar. She writes book reviews for Publishers Weekly and lives in Jay, Maine.  Kristina Busse teaches in the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Alabama and has previously written about fan fiction and fan culture. She is the founding coeditor of Transformative Works and Cultures.

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Ashe County: Where McFarland Resides

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Authors, customers, friends, and fans: if you’ve ever wondered what McF’s mountain town is like, have a look at this neat response about our area from a recent vacationer.  (A special nod, too, to our Boondocks friends who regularly support us in a number of ways.)  We love where we live!

 

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BOOKSIGNING: Reflections on the New River

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Reflections on the New River: New Essays, Poems and Personal Stories, edited by Chris Arvidson (of West Jefferson), Scot Pope (of Creston) and Julie E. Townsend (of Fleetwood).

From its headwaters in western North Carolina near the Tennessee line, the New River runs north 337 miles, cutting through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and West Virginia on its way to the Ohio. No big cities inhabit its banks—just a few small towns along the way—and it carries no significant commercial traffic. The age of the New is debated, but it is certainly one of the world’s oldest rivers, predating the Atlantic Ocean. This anthology assembles history, poetry, essays and stories by writers who have been inspired by the ancient and secluded stream, and from those whose lives are connected to its flow. Contributors hail from Ashe, Alleghany, Watauga and Wilkes counties in North Carolina, as well as Virginia and West Virginia

The creators are celebrating Reflections on the New River with a book launch party on Tuesday, June 16th at 5:00 at the Boondocks Brew Haus in West Jefferson, North Carolina.  Copies will be on hand for purchase and its editors and contributors will be there to sign books and read excerpts!  Drinks and appetizers will be available for purchase.  Join us for great company and great stories.  Direct publicity and other questions to Beth Cox at McFarland.

 

 

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The Symbolism and Sources of Outlander

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Many a McFarlander will shift attention to the Outlander series finale tomorrow evening, and we hope you will, too (9 pm on STARZ).  Dinna fash, Sassenachs—you’ll be especially prepared with this detailed tome in hand: Valerie Estelle Frankel’s  The Symbolism and Sources of Outlander.  Nous sommes prêts!  More McF titles are coming down the pipeline on both the books and television series, so stay tuned!

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TBT! McFarland author Heather Urbanski

11150536_10153216133551585_4968612151200992536_nWe’re looking back today…specifically, at the year 2007 when Heather Urbanski approached us with Plagues, Apocalypses and Bug-Eyed Monsters (“Impressive”—Film and History; “provocative”—Children’s Literature Association Quarterly; “insightful”—Science Fiction Studies); then at 2010 when Writing and the Digital Generation came down the pipeline (“Captured my heart and engaged my mind”—Science Fiction Studies), and then at 2013 when we received The Science Fiction Reboot.  Is the prolific Heather done?  Not even close.  Stay tuned for more great stuff on historical memory both in pop culture and in Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian Fiction. 

 

(Here she is in April of 2015, receiving a special faculty award at the National Popular Culture meeting in NOLA.  Keep up the good work, Heather!)

 

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OFF TO THE PRINTER: Symbolism and Sources of Outlander

978-0-7864-9952-6 As if the return of the Outlander television series for its second half of its first season (April 4, 9:00 p.m. EST) wasn’t enough excitement for kilt aficionados, we’ve just sent Valerie Frankel’s The Symbolism and Sources of Outlander: The Scottish Fairies, Folklore, Ballads, Magic and Meanings That Inspired the Series off to the printer!  In addition to its literary, historical and mythological references, Gabaldon’s writing is also rich with its own symbolism: heather and white roses, the dragonfly in amber, Claire’s blue vase and wedding gown, her wedding rings and pearl necklace. This book untangles the myriad of myths, legends, symbols and literary references found in the series.

The book is expected later this April…pre-orders now being accepted.

 

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Library Journal Review: JRR Tolkien, Robert E Howard and the Birth of Modern Fantasy

978-0-7864-9537-5About Deke Parson’s J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard and the Birth of Modern Fantasy , Library Journal says:  “Parsons discusses the influence of the 1930s on three writers … J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), Robert Howard (Conan the Barbarian), and Jerry Siegel (cocreator, Superman) … elegant and thought provoking … recommended for readers interested in the fantasy genre, as well as those who wish to learn more about literary criticism and pop culture.”

For more about the book, or to order your copy, see the book in the McFarland online catalog.

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AWARDS: 2015 Edgar Finalists Revealed

978-0-7864-7769-2Congratulations to Charles Brownson (The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis) and Jim Mancall (James Ellroy: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction) whose works were nominated by The Mystery Writers of America for the 2015 Edgar Awards’ Best Critical/ Biographical category.

The annual prize is named after beloved writer Edgar Allan Poe, awarded to the best authors in the mystery genre since 1945.  These awards recognize the following categories: novel, first novel, paperback original, fact crime, critical/biographical, short story, juvenile, young adult, play, and TV episode.

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Game of Thrones

978-0-7864-9416-3Game of Thrones Presentation at the Company Theater near Boston! Award-winning author Valerie Estelle Frankel discusses Game of Thrones, inspiration for her five books including Women in Game of Thrones. Learn how George RR Martin’s prophecies and the classic heroine’s journey foretell the ending. Daenerys’s surprising path becomes clear as she “wakes the dragon” and harnesses a surprising magic. Is Jon Snow destined to be her lover, her nemesis, her sacrifice, or all three? And what of Tyrion? Or Arya? What does Varys really want? Discover the deeper meaning of black dragons, golden roses, seasons, heraldic colors, and all the symbols of ice and fire. Share your secret longings and fears for the upcoming season, as we prepare for the oncoming storm. Saturday, February 28, 2015 – 8:00 pm. The event is on sale–tickets are down to $10 for a short time. http://companytheatre.com/game-of-thrones-a-look-beyond-the-wall/

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EXAM COPIES AVAILABLE: Language in the Visual Arts: The Interplay of Text and Imagery

 

Language in the Visual Arts: The Interplay of Text and Imagery by Leslie RossInstructors, to examine Language in the Visual Arts as a prospective textbook for your course, contact us using our exam copy request form.

Language in the Visual Arts: The Interplay of Text and Imagery by Leslie Ross — This book discusses text and image relationships in the history of art from ancient times to the contemporary period across a diversity of cultures and geographic areas. Focusing on the use of words in art and words as art forms, thematic chapters include “Pictures in Words/Words in Pictures,” “Word/Picture Puzzles,” “Picture/Word Puzzles,” “Words as Images,” “The Power of the Word,” and “Monumental and Moving Words.” Chapter subsections further explore cross-cultural themes. Examining text and image relationships from the obvious to the elusive, the puzzling to the profound, the minor to the major, the book demonstrates the diverse ways in which images and writing have been combined through the ages, and explores the interplay between visual and written communication in a wide range of thought-provoking examples.

 

 

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WEEKLY DEAL: Tolkien Studies

978-0-7864-6482-1McFarland & Company, at your service!  (Thank you, Bilbo, for teaching us proper etiquette.)  While we’d like to offer you all ale, seed-cake, mince pies, buttered scones, apple tarts and cheese, we do have some fine scholarship about Tolkien to share (links listed below).  And in lieu of burgling a dragon’s hoard for you, we’re extending a 20% discount with the coupon code HOARD.  This “weekly” deal is good through New Year’s.  (New deal coming January 2, 2015.)

Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essays

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

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

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

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

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

Tolkien and Shakespeare: Essays on Shared Themes and Language

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

Middle-earth Minstrel: Essays on Music in Tolkien

Tolkien’s Intellectual Landscape

BROWSE ALL BOOKS ABOUT INKLINGS

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Weekly Deal: Christmas

The office tree is decorated, and we’re sharing the Christmas spirit with this week’s deal – through December 14, 2014,  get 20% off the following books when you enter the coupon code WENCESLAS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christmas Encyclopedia, 3d ed.

Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas, Spanning 50,000 Years

A Christmas Carol and Its Adaptations: A Critical Examination of Dickens’s Story and Its Productions on Screen and Television

Holiday Parties for Children: A Complete Planning Guide

Encyclopedia of New Year’s Holidays Worldwide

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CALL FOR REVIEWERS: Tales of Superhuman Powers

talesofsuperhumanpowersAre you a book review editor, reviewer, or folklorist interested in receiving a media copy of Tales of Superhuman Powers: 55 Traditional Stories from Around the World?  McFarland has a supply of review copies available upon request.  Contact us via our review copy request form, filling out the form completely, to receive your copy.

Csenge Virág Zalka, a Hungarian storyteller, has collected 55 foltktales from around the world about supernatural abilities like superhuman strength, invulnerability, flying, heightened senses, speed, invisibility, healing, agility, precognition, telepathy, fire manipulation, teleportation, water powers, and shifting.  These tales represent powers that people have dreamed of, conjured up and strived for through the ages.   Many of the powers are present in popular culture, making the superheroes who wield them the direct descendants of characters such as the princess who could see through walls or the invulnerable Isfandiyar.  Zalka excluded stories about magic or about gods with divine powers, and focused on less well-known stories.  She included information on similar heroes, the ability in the story, sources of the powers, the origin of the story, teachings in it, the recommended age group, sources, variants, and comments.

#folklore #superheoes #comics #popculture

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THROWBACK THURSDAY: King Arthur for the Classroom

It was fall semester 1991 that I acquired two prized possessions:  Pearl Jam’s Ten and the “gray King Arthur book.”  Ever since the one-of-a-kind Dr. Dennis J. McKevlin, Jr., taught his Arthurian Legends class at Western Carolina University, I’ve treasured the gray book.  We used Arthur, King of Britain: History, Chronicle, Romance & Criticism, with Texts in Modern English, from Gildas to Malory (edited by Richard L. Brengle, Prentice-Hall, 1964) as our sole textbook, though generously supplemented by notes and handouts from McKevlin.  For the majority of us, it was our first time encountering persons and works such as Bede, Nennius, Gildas, Wace, Layamon, The Mabignogion, and the Historia Regum Britanniae.  Now, William W. Kibler and R. Barton Palmer have brought us a very useful book for the classroom, Medieval Arthurian Epic and Romance: Eight New Translations.   The just published book offers new translations from Latin, Middle English and Old French of texts that exemplify the most important traditions of Arthurian literature in the Middle Ages.  On my bookshelf, this one is going to line up right beside the gray book!  — Karl-Heinz Roseman, Vice President, Sales and Marketing

For more about Medieval Arthurian Epic and Romance,  go to the book’s page in McFarland’s online catalog.  For teaching academics who would like to examine a copy for possible use in their classroom, use our exam copy request form.

#tbt #kingarthur #books #wcu

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McFarland Celebrates 35 Years

mainofficeOn April 1st, 1979, founder Robert McFarland Franklin departed Plainfield, New Jersey, heading south in a Volkswagen bug towing a U-Haul.  With wife Cheryl behind the wheel, Robert began company operations on a yellow pad in his lap.

Thirty-five years ago, libraries provided almost the sole market (but a robust one!) for the heavily-researched books that McFarland made its specialty.  Over the decades, the company won ever-growing numbers of devoted readers who appreciated the care McFarland and its authors lavished on our books.  Our authors, a throng of thousands now, teach us something new every day.

We’re having an open house Friday, June 20, from noon until 5:00.  Join us for tours, conversation, punch, finger food, art and books.


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Call Your Mummy on Mother's Day?

978-0-7864-4880-7Ken Jeremiah, author of Living Buddhas: The Self-Mummified Monks of Yamagata, Japan and Christian Mummification: An Interpretative History of the Preservation of Saints, Martyrs and Others, was featured in a recent article by iO9 about how to mummify yourself.  As one might imagine, the monks of Yamagata did not decide to mummify themselves on the spur of the moment.  According to Jeremiah, there was “a 3,000-day training process for turning an ordinary ascetic’s body into a mummy’s. The key element of the process is dietary; Japanese ascetics would commonly abstain from cereals, removing wheat, rice, foxtail millet, pros so millet, and soybeans. Instead, they would eat things like nuts, berries, pine needles, tree bark, and resin (which is why the diet of the sokushinbutsu was called mokujikyo, or tree-eating.”  Go here for io9’s entire article about self-mummification.

And good for the month of May, there is a 20% discount on mummy books with the coupon code MUMMY.  Mummy Books from McFarland:

Living Buddhas: The Self-Mummified Monks of Yamagata, Japan

Christian Mummification: An Interpretative History of the Preservation of Saints, Martyrs and Others

Mummies in Nineteenth Century America: Ancient Egyptians as Artifacts

The Mummy Unwrapped: Scenes Left on Universal’s Cutting Room Floor

The Mummy in Fact, Fiction and Film

Modern Mummies: The Preservation of the Human Body in the Twentieth Century

The Corpse: A History

The Egyptian Pyramids: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Reference

Ancient Egypt in the Popular Imagination: Building a Fantasy in Film, Literature, Music and Art

Boris Karloff: A Critical Account of His Screen, Stage, Radio, Television and Recording Work

 

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BOOK REVIEW: Isabel Allende: A Literary Companion

978-0-7864-7127-0Allende, anyone?  Booklist recently reviewed Isabel Allende: A Literary Companion thusly: “an expertly crafted study guide and tribute…the entries are rich in relevant historical detail, insightful literary criticism, and reflections on Allende’s place among contemporary writers of serious fiction…engaging essays on specific Allende writings…an erudite, affectionate, and wonderfully rich treatment of Isabel Allende and her work.”

We couldn’t agree more.  Allende–”la Famosa” to her fellow Chileans–is the world’s most widely read Spanish language author.  Her bravura study of the interwoven roles of women in family history opens the minds of outsiders to the sufferings of women and their children during years of social and political nightmare.  Her powerfully honest, revelatory works touch the pulse points of humankind.  This reference work provides an introduction to Allende’s life as well as a guided overview of her body of work. Designed for the fan and scholar alike, this text features an alphabetized, fully-annotated listing of major terms in the Allende canon, including fictional characters, motifs, historical events and themes. A comprehensive index is included.

For more about the book, or to purchase directly from McFarland:
http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-7127-0

For more McFarland Literary Companions:
http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/book-categories/mcfarland-literary-companions/

 

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Celebrate 2014 with the best possible gift: books!

Our holiday sale ends today, Dec. 31st, so don’t delay!   Best wishes to all from your McFarland friends…happy reading!  Enjoy 20% off your order through today.  On the McFarland website, use coupon code HOLIDAY in the cart as you are checking out. Or, call toll-free 800-253-2187 (Mon-Fri 8:00am to 4:30pm Eastern Time). http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/2013/11/holiday-sale/

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Ashe County Literary Festival

Local folks: it’s a beautiful day in the mountains and we’re currently at the Ashe County Literary Festival here in town–come see us at the Ashe Arts Center.  While you’re at it, add this to tomorrow’s agenda–at 10:00 am our very own Stephen Shoemaker and Janet Pittard (Stephen Shoemaker: The Paintings and Their Stories) will be at the Ashe County Farmers’ Market with books on hand.  Be sure to stop by for a visit!

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Huffington Post Recognizes Author Tim Peeler

Last week we posted news of Tim Peeler’s recent reading in Boston, where he was the guest of the Boston Red Sox and read from Waiting for Godot’s First Pitch.  Now one of the people who helped make it happen, George Mitrovich, has published an appreciation of the poet, which can be found online at The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-mitrovich/of-baseball-life-poetry_b_3786811.html?utm_hp_ref=style.