“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”

-Mortimer J. Adler

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass are available together in one volume perfect for any fan or newcomer to this modern fantasy classic series.

These thrilling adventures tell the story of Lyra and Will—two ordinary children on a perilous journey through shimmering haunted otherworlds. They will meet witches and armored bears, fallen angels and soul-eating specters. And in the end, the fate of both the living—and the dead—will rely on them.

Recommended by: Tanisha Mantilla Cordero

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore

It’s a tale of books and technology, cryptography and conspiracy, friendship and love. It begins in a mysterious San Francisco bookstore, but quickly reaches out into the wider world and the shadowed past.

Recommended by: Isabel Padilla

The Lunatic, The Lover and The Poet by Myrlin A. Hermes

Laced with quotes, references, and in-jokes, cross-dressing, bed-tricks, mistaken identity, and a bisexual love-triangle, the novel too self-consciously repurposes elements from Shakespeare’s tragedy, rendering this a colorful if incidental prologue to the tragic events at Elsinore Castle.

Recommended by: Isabel Padilla

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

A thrilling and original coming-of-age novel for adults about a young man practicing magic in the real world. At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.

Recommended by: Tanisha Mantilla Cordero

The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee

F. C. Yee’s The Rise of Kyoshi delves into the story of Kyoshi, the Earth Kingdom–born Avatar. The longest-living Avatar in this beloved world’s history, Kyoshi established the brave and respected Kyoshi Warriors, but also founded the secretive Dai Li, which led to the corruption, decline, and fall of her own nation. The first of two novels based on Kyoshi, The Rise of Kyoshi maps her journey from a girl of humble origins to the merciless pursuer of justice who is still feared and admired centuries after she became the Avatar.

Recommended by: Tanisha Mantilla Cordero

Rebel Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino

In twelve-year-old Giacomo’s Renaissance-inspired world, art is powerful, dangerous, and outlawed. Every artist possesses a Genius, a birdlike creature that is the living embodiment of an artist’s creative spirit. Those caught with one face a punishment akin to death, so when Giacomo discovers he has a Genius, he knows he’s in serious trouble.

Luckily, he finds safety in a secret studio where young artists and their Geniuses train in sacred geometry to channel their creative energies as weapons. But when a murderous artist goes after the three Sacred Tools–objects that would allow him to destroy the world and everyone in his path–Giacomo and his friends must risk their lives to stop him.

Recommended by: Tanisha Mantilla Cordero

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff.

Recommended by: Michelle Nieves

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Anzaldua, a Chicana native of Texas, explores in prose and poetry the murky, precarious existence of those living on the frontier between cultures and languages. Writing in a lyrical mixture of Spanish and English that is her unique heritage, she meditates on the condition of Chicanos in Anglo culture, women in Hispanic culture, and lesbians in the straight world. Her essays and poems range over broad territory, moving from the plight of undocumented migrant workers to memories of her grandmother, from Aztec religion to the agony of writing. Anzaldua is a rebellious and willful talent who recognizes that life on the border, “life in the shadows,” is vital territory for both literature and civilization.

Recommended by: Gabrielle Armstrong

Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older

Carlos Delacruz straddles the line between the living and the not-so alive. As an agent for the Council of the Dead, he eliminates New York’s ghostlier problems. This time it’s a string of gruesome paranormal accidents in Brooklyn’s Von King Park that has already taken the lives of several locals—and is bound to take more.  The incidents in the park have put Kia on edge. When she first met Carlos, he was the weird guy who came to Baba Eddie’s botánica, where she worked. But the closer they’ve gotten, the more she’s seeing the world from Carlos’s point of view. In fact, she’s starting to see ghosts. And the situation is far more sinister than that—because whatever is bringing out the dead, it’s only just getting started.

Recommended by: Michelle Nieves

More Than Happy by Adam Silvera

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after a family tragedy leaves him reeling. He’s slowly remembering what happiness might feel like this summer with the support of his girlfriend Genevieve, but it’s his new best friend, Thomas, who really gets Aaron to open up about his past and confront his future.

As Thomas and Aaron get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that threaten to shatter his newfound contentment. A revolutionary memory-alteration procedure, courtesy of the Leteo Institute, might be the way to straighten himself out. But what if it means forgetting who he truly is?

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Sierra discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.

Recommended by: Michelle Nieves

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash. Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead, and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Drown by Junot Diaz

With ten stories that move from the barrios of the Dominican Republic to the struggling urban communities of New Jersey, Junot Diaz makes his remarkable debut. Diaz’s work is unflinching and strong, and these stories crackle with an electric sense of discovery. Diaz evokes a world in which fathers are gone, mothers fight with grim determination for their families and themselves, and the next generation inherits the casual cruelty, devastating ambivalence, and knowing humor of lives circumscribed by poverty and uncertainty. In Drown, Diaz has harnessed the rhythms of anger and release, frustration, and joy, to indelible effect.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So, when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her Mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid

Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright, A Small Place magnifies our vision of one small place with Swiftian wit and precision. Jamaica Kincaid’s expansive essay candidly appraises the ten-by-twelve-mile island in the British West Indies where she grew up and makes palpable the impact of European colonization and tourism. The book is a missive to the traveler, whether American or European, who wants to escape the banality and corruption of some large place. Kincaid, eloquent and resolute, reminds us that the Antiguan people, formerly British subjects, are unable to escape the same drawbacks of their own tiny realm—that behind the benevolent Caribbean scenery are human lives, always complex and often fraught with injustice.

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson

The rich and privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble. The inner city has had to rediscover old ways-farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother. She must bargain with gods and give birth to new legends.

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half-brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them. Chronicling three generations of an island family (the Bradshaw family) from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world.

Prospero’s Daughter by Elizabeth Nuñez

Cut off from the main island of Trinidad by a glistening green sea, Chacachacare has few inhabitants besides its colony of lepers and a British doctor who fled England with his three-year-old daughter, Virginia. An amoral genius, Peter Gardner had used his talents to unsavory ends, experimenting, often with fatal results, on unsuspecting patients. Blackmailed by his own brother, Peter ends up on the small island as England’s empire is starting to crumble.
On Chacachacare, Peter experiments chiefly on the wild Caribbean flora–and on the dark-skinned orphan Carlos, whose home he steals. Though Peter considers the boy no better than a savage, he nonetheless schools the child alongside his daughter. But as Carlos and Virginia grow up under the same roof, they become deeply and covertly attached to one another.
When Peter discovers the pair’s secret and accuses Carlos of a heinous crime, it is up to a brusque, insensitive English inspector to discover the truth. During his investigation, a disturbing picture begins to emerge as a monstrous secret is finally drawn into the light.

A Tempest by Aimé Césaire and translated by Richard Miller

Césaire’s rich and insightful adaptation of The Tempest draws on contemporary Caribbean society, the African American experience and African mythology to raise questions about colonialism, racism and their lasting effects.

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The Borrowers are introduced as story told to a child called Kate by Mrs May, whose brother had met them as a child. The Borrowers are tiny people who live underneath or behind different pieces of furniture in the house, living by “borrowing” different small items that they use for everyday furniture. The Borrowers in this story are called the Clock family – Pod, Homily and their daughter Arietty, whom they have shielded from the practicalities of borrowing. For her part Arietty would like to experience borrowing and pressures Pod to take her.

Recommended by: Gustavo Adolfo González

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

This is a story about Harry Potter, an orphan brought up by his aunt and uncle because his parents were killed when he was a baby. Harry is unloved by his uncle and aunt but everything changes when he is invited to join Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and he finds out he’s a wizard. At Hogwarts Harry realizes he’s special and his adventures begin when he and his new friends Ron and Hermione attempt to unravel the mystery of the Philosopher’s Stone.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

Meet Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, four siblings in World War II-era England who have been sent away to the countryside in order to avoid getting blown to smithereens during an air raid. It’s a sensible solution to an awful problem…but these kids are stuck in a large, dusty house owned by an old, fusty professor. They’re bored to tears. Some time later, all four children are forced to hide in the wardrobe to escape from the housekeeper, Mrs. Macready, and a group of sightseers touring the country house. All four children find themselves—surprise, suprise—in Narnia. Lucy takes them to visit her friend Mr. Tumnus, but they find that he’s been arrested by the White Witch’s secret police.

Recommended by Gustavo Adolfo González

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas and Helen Oxenbury

When it comes time for the three little wolves to go out into the world and build themselves a house, their mother warns them to beware the big bad pig. But the little wolves’ increasingly sturdy dwellings are no match for the persistent porker, who has more up his sleeve than huffing and puffing. It takes a chance encounter with a flamingo pushing a wheelbarrow full of flowers to provide a surprising and satisfying solution to the little wolves’ housing crisis.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carol

A young girl named Alice falls through a rabbit hole into a subterranean fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre. Its narrative course and structure, characters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer

For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason! Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams…

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry and translated by Richard Howard

A pilot stranded in the desert awakes one morning to see, standing before him, the most extraordinary little fellow. “Please,” asks the stranger, “draw me a sheep.” And the pilot realizes that when life’s events are too difficult to understand, there is no choice but to succumb to their mysteries. He pulls out pencil and paper… And thus, begins this wise and enchanting fable that, in teaching the secret of what is really important in life, has changed forever the world for its readers.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

Set in an exotic Eastern landscape peopled by magicians and fantastic talking animals, Salman Rushdie’s classic children’s novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories inhabits the same imaginative space as The Lord of the Rings, The Alchemist, and The Wizard of Oz. In this captivating work of fantasy from the author of Midnight’s Children and The Enchantress of Florence, Haroun sets out on an adventure to restore the poisoned source of the sea of stories. On the way, he encounters many foes, all intent on draining the sea of all its storytelling powers.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This war novel tells the complex arcs of two teenagers during World War II (WWII), one a blind girl in Nazi-occupied France, the other a German orphan boy pressed into service by the Nazi army. Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

An Artist of The Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro

In the face of the misery in his homeland, the artist Masuji Ono was unwilling to devote his art solely to the celebration of physical beauty. Instead, he put his work in the service of the imperialist movement that led Japan into World War II.

Now, as the mature Ono struggles through the aftermath of that war, his memories of his youth and of the “floating world”—the nocturnal world of pleasure, entertainment, and drink—offer him both escape and redemption, even as they punish him for betraying his early promise. Indicted by society for its defeat and reviled for his past aesthetics, he relives the passage through his personal history that makes him both a hero and a coward but, above all, a human being

See the source imageMexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia

In Mexican Gothic, Noemí Taboada is a young and wealthy socialite, who receives a concerning letter from her newly-married cousin, Catalina. Catalina has written asking for help. She sees ghosts and believes that her husband, Virgil, is poisoning her. Virgil Doyle comes from a once-wealthy family that has run out of money. Noemí heads up to High Place, a mountainside mansion where the Doyles reside. Before long, she starts having visions, hallucinations and dreams of a golden woman in the walls. In town, rumors abound about the cursed Doyle family and their sordid past. In this atmospheric and creepy tale, Noemí finds herself faced with the secrets hidden in this inhospitable place and among this strange family.

32620332. sy475 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

The Youngest Doll by Rosario Ferré

The story deals with elements of the fantasy genre, magical realism and tendencies of feminism that are very characteristic in the writer’s essays. She the voice of the speaker in this story presents us with a woman condemned to isolation from society for having lost her beauty.

Recommended by: Tanisha Mantilla Cordero

Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Díaz

Ordinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author. While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz found herself caught between extremes: as her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was surrounded by the love of her friends; as she longed for a family and home, she found instead a life upended by violence. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz triumphantly maps a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be.

Recommended by: Gabrielle Armstrong

Little Things Are Big by Jesús Colón

Jesús Colón (1901-1974) was a Puerto Rican writer of African descent who moved to Brooklyn, New York, at age 16. Colón wrote about his experiences as an immigrant and discussed how racism influences American culture. In the short story, Colón recalls one such experience on a subway car during the 1950s.

Recommended by: Gabrielle Armstrong

Obatalá’s Bugalú: A Nuyorican Book of Sights and Sounds by Jaime Humberto Flores

By using poetry to “create change with living words,” Flores shows readers that the Nuyorican aesthetic is alive and kicking among today’s Puerto Rican writers. Flores bridges the duality of his worlds—Puerto Rican and African Diaspora—with a poetry packed with word play and musical intonations. When the beat drops, people nod their heads to Flores’ raw and visceral imagery. In these poems, we can smell the Sancocho; revel in darkly humorous Senryu; tackle the boogey man (el Cuco); and witness the trials and tribulations of a Puerto Rican in Massachusetts, Harlem, and the South.

Recommended by: Dr. Rosa Roman

I’m an English Major- Now What? by Tim Lemire

I’m an English Major – Now What? helps English majors and graduates understand their skills and talents so they can find satisfying jobs across a diversity of fields and dispels common fears and misconceptions that English majors will never make good money.

10 Things Employers Want You To Learn In College by Bill Coplin

A handy, straightforward guide that teaches students how to acquire marketable job skills and real-world know-how before they graduate—revised and updated for today’s economic and academic landscapes.

Recommended by: Isabel Padilla

Arguing About the Mind by Brie Gertier and Lawrence Shapiro

This book is an accessible, engaging introduction to the core questions in the philosophy of mind. This collection offers a selection of thought-provoking articles that examine a broad range of issues from the mind and body relation to animal and artificial intelligence. Topics addressed include:

  • the problem of consciousness
  • the nature of the mind
  • the relationship between the mind, body and world
  • the notion of selfhood
  • pathologies and behavioral problems
  • animal, machine and extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Recommended by: Tanisha Mantilla Cordero

Leading Every Day: 124 Actions for Effective Leadership by Joyce Kaser (Editor), Susan Loucks-Horsley, Joyce S. Kaser, Susan E. Mundry, Joyce Kaser

Effective leadership exists in everyone. The authors describe how readers can tap their greatest leadership potential to meet today’s complicated challenges. This classic leadership resource provides the information needed to build trust, spark innovation, and learn what it really takes to support a community of learners and leaders.

Recommended by: Dr. Rosa Roman

On Writing : A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Stephan believes most people have at least some talent as writers and storytellers, and that those talents can be strengthened and sharpened with practice.

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right—as right as you can, anyway—it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it.”

Recommended by: Gustavo Adolfo González

The Elements of Style by Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

Initially starting as a “beware of these” grammar rule set, the book moves into a more philosophical look at the composition of words and how elusive true writing style can be, and how to build your own style following some key, structural rules.

Recommended by: Gustavo Adolfo González

The Clockwork Muse by Eviatar Zerubavel

The idea of dashing off a manuscript in a fit of manic inspiration may be romantic, but it is not particularly practical. Instead, Eviatar Zerubavel describes how to set up a writing schedule and regular work habits that will take most of the anxiety and procrastination out of long-term writing, and even make it enjoyable. The dreaded ‘writer’s block’ often turns out to be simply a need for a better grasp of the temporal organization of work.

Recommended by: Dr. Rosa Roman

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, experience, and excitement of a lifetime of writing. Here are practical tips on the art of writing from a master of the craft—everything from finding original ideas to developing your own voice and style—as well as the inside story of Bradbury’s own remarkable career as a prolific author of novels, stories, poems, films, and plays.

The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications (3rd edition) by Amy Einsohn

The Copyeditor’s Handbook is a lively, practical manual for newcomers to publishing and for experienced editors who want to fine-tune their skills or broaden their understanding of the craft. Addressed to copyeditors in book publishing and corporate communications, this thoughtful handbook explains what copyeditors do, what they look for when they edit a manuscript, and how they develop the editorial judgment needed to make sound decisions.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today.

Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by B.J. Fogg

The world’s leading expert on habit formation shows how you can have a happier, healthier life: by starting small.

When it comes to change, tiny is mighty. Start with two pushups a day, not a two-hour workout; or five deep breaths each morning rather than an hour of meditation. In Tiny Habits, B.J. Fogg brings his experience coaching more than 40,000 people to help you lose weight, de-stress, sleep better, or achieve any goal of your choice. You just need Fogg’s behavior formula: make it easy, make it fit your life, and make it rewarding. Whenever you get in your car, take one yoga breath. Smile. Whenever you get in bed, turn off your phone. Give yourself a high five.

Empowered by Vee Kativhu

From leaving her home country of Zimbabwe for the UK, to attending disruptive state schools and working long hours to support herself and her mother, Vee Kativhu has faced much adversity. But through personal hardship, she has triumphed, attaining a bachelor’s degree from Oxford and a master’s from Harvard. Now she is using her experience to help people from all over the world recognize their own talent and achieve their goals. Vee has spread her message of education, equal access and opportunity and empowerment to a global audience of over 300,000, and her incredible journey has inspired young people around the world in need of a boost of confidence, motivation, and practical life advice.

In Empowered, Vee draws from her own journey to teach you how to:

  1. Set your life goals, career aspirations and actually achieve them
  2. Stay motivated in the face of rejection and hardship
  3. Learn from your mistakes
  4. Take chances, live your best life and don’t let hardship define you
  5. Cultivate feelings of self-love and self-empowerment

This book will inspire you how to live a more fulfilled, motivated, and empowered life in everything you do.

Of Mice and Men: Animals in Human Culture edited by Nandita Batra and Vartan P. Messier

‘Of Mice and Men: Animals in Human Culture’ is a book-length collection of essays that examines human views of non-human animals. The essays are written by scholars from Australia, East Asia, Europe and the Americas, who represent a wide range of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Addressing topics such as animal rights, ecology, anthropocentrism, feminism, animal domestication, dietary restrictions, and cultural imperialism, the book considers local and global issues as well as ancient and contemporary discourses, and it will appeal to readers with both general and specialized interests in the role played by animals in human cultures.

This Watery World: Humans and the Sea edited by Vartan P. Messier and Nandita Batra

Humans have a multiplicity of bonds with the sea: “real” as well as representational. Acknowledging the validity of both aspects, This Watery World attempts to provide an archeology of human-marine interaction. It draws together papers from those who have both material and metaphoric relations with the sea: activists, divers, marine biologists, environmentalists, artists, photographers, and humanistic scholars. Drawing on the New Maritime Humanities, it examines a range of topics – from the use of marine metaphors in literature and film, to the untold histories of the so-called history-less sea, to strategies for saving our damaged beaches and reefs in the Caribbean.

The Human-Animal Boundary: Exploring the Line in Philosophy and Fiction edited by Nandita Batra and Mario Wenning

Throughout the centuries philosophers and poets alike have defended an essential difference—rather than a porous transition—between the human and animal. Attempts to assign essential properties to humans (e.g., language, reason, or morality) often reflected ulterior aims to defend a privileged position for humans.

This book shifts the traditional anthropocentric focus of philosophy and literature by combining the questions “What is human?” and “What is animal?” What makes this collection unique is that it fills a lacuna in critical animal studies and the growing field of ecocriticism. It is the first collection that establishes a productive encounter between philosophical perspectives on the human–animal boundary and those that draw on fictional literature. The objective is to establish a dialogue between those disciplines with the goal of expanding the imaginative scope of human-animal relationships. The contributions thus not only trace and deconstruct the boundaries dividing humans and nonhuman animals, they also present the reader with alternative perspectives on the porous continuum and surprising reversal of what appears as human and what as nonhuman.

The Far Away Home by Marci Denesiuk

Denesiuk’s dark and beautiful characters find themselves in astonishing places, united by their simple and desperate quest—the quest for home

French edition: Le chez-nous perdue translated by Marie Frankland

Mi María: Surviving the Storm: Voices from Puerto Rico edited by Ricia Anne Chansky and Marci Denesiuk

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane María pummeled Puerto Rico for over thirty hours. As brutal as the storm was, the real catastrophe was yet to come. Lack of government support left many in the archipelago without electricity, clean drinking water, food, and medical care for months. Years later, Puerto Rico is still recovering.

Mi María: Surviving the Storm brings together seventeen stories of perseverance and community that ask what it means to be a US citizen in a colonial context, how communities come together in the wake of disaster, and how precarity is exacerbated for those on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Hear from: Zaira, who survived the hurricane by floating on a patched air mattress for sixteen hours; Neysha, who gave birth prematurely in a clinic without electricity, running water, or a working phone; Carlos, a coffee farmer whose harvest and home were destroyed for the second time in his life; and many others.

Maxy Survives the Hurricane / Maxy sobrevive el huracán by Ricia Anne Chansky and Yarelis Marcial and illustrations by Olga Barinova

Maxy the dog and his family survive Hurricane Maria, but Maxy—like many children who go through natural disasters—becomes terrified of storms. With help from his loved ones, he learns to overcome his fear and appreciate the benefits of rain.

The Routledge Auto Biography Studies Reader edited by Ricia A. Chansky and Emily Hipchen

The Routledge Auto|Biography Studies Reader collects together key theoretical essays in the field, creating a solid base for any critical study of autobiography, biography, or life writing.

Beginning with a foreword by Sidonie Smith and a general introduction to the collection, the book is then divided into three sections―Foundations, Transformations, and Futures―each with its own introduction. Significant themes weave throughout the sections, including canonicity; genre, modality, and interdisciplinarity; reclamation of texts; disability and the contested body; trauma; agency, silence, and voicing; celebrity culture; digital lives; subjects in the margins; postcolonialism; posthumanism; and, ecocriticism. Attention has also been given to a variety of methodological approaches, such as archival research, genealogical study, DNA testing, autoethnography, testimonio, and oral history, among others.

A lo lejos, el cielo by Hugo Ríos Cordero

Situados en el silencio de lo cotidiano, los sujetos de los cuentos de A lo lejos, el cielo, reproducen versiones de sus propias historias; entran al espacio de su memoria (y la de otros) como si se tratara de la ficción misma. Estos cuentos sin fronteras funden recuerdos, sueños, testimonios y juegos sardónicos que cancelan la realidad y pormenorizan la “mise en abyme” y el simulacro en el que viven sus protagonistas.

Al otro lado de tus párpados by Hugo Ríos Cordero

Este libro podría aspirar a ser un poemario o un libro de poemas, pero prefiere que se le conozca como un catálogo; una enumeración de objetos, ideas y situaciones que se encuentran, como dijo Rosa Montero, “al otro lado de tus párpados”.

Marcos sin retratos by Hugo Ríos Cordero

Con una prosa transparente y sencilla, Hugo Ríos-Cordero logra en Marcos sin retratos presentar un lado siniestro de la realidad. Esta colección de 30 relatos, en la cual se pueden sentir los ecos de Poe y de Cortázar, explora el detalle de lo cotidiano desde un punto de vista que podría llamarse “gótico urbano”. Las narraciones del joven escritor permiten que la fatalidad se cierna sobre el texto con un abuso exacto y necesario de la narración en primera persona. Muchos de estos breves cuentos postergan la revelación hasta el último instante para así sorprender al lector el cual participa de este modo de la misma suerte que los personajes. Con este libro se anuncia una voz significativa en la nueva narrativa puertorriqueña.

Beowulf on Film Adaptations and Variations by Nickolas A. Haydock and E. L. Risden

Why did the most read work in English literature go without cinematic adaptation for so long? And why did five major film treatments appear between 1999 and 2008? This book explores the growing number of films based on the Old English epic poem Beowulf, and furthers the ongoing consideration of filmic medievalism. Will the powerful influence of cinema affect the future reception of this great cultural, linguistic and inherently visual work? The films inevitably sway away from not only the story but also from the themes and concerns of the original to those more interesting to the filmmakers–or responsive to the zeitgeist. They measure the pulse of our inherited notions of heroism and teach us more about our own times than about the epic from which they derive.

Situational Poetics in Robert Henryson’s The Testament of Cresseid by Nickolas A. Haydock

“Situational Poetics is a deep, cultural history of Henryson’s problematic Testament of Cresseid. This book offers wonderful insights throughout, from its analysis of the hybrid “dislocations and double consciousness” of late medieval Scottish literature, Henryson’s “Virgilian” career, his admixture of tragedy and satire in the Testament, and the anamorphic temporalities that link Chaucer, Henryson and Shakespeare in their telling and re-telling of the Troilus and Criseyde story. This is an utterly compelling study of Henryson’s Testament, one that promises to re-shape completely our understanding of the poem.” –Stephanie Trigg, Professor of English, University of Melbourne “A remarkably ambitious attempt to re-situate Henryson’s Testament of Cresseid within literary history and to recover the author’s deliberately constructed career-profile from the many accidents of transmission. … the first ever view of Henryson “in the round.” –Tom Shippey, Professor Emeritus, St. Louis University “Nickolas Haydock’s new book on the great Scot poet Robert Henryson manages to do several things at once that seemed to the rest of us to be incompatible. He firmly places Henryson’s work in literary history, but renders him accessible and even in dialogue with new ways of thinking about literature and culture. He is respectful of Henryson’s canonical place in Scottish identity but raises questions about how literature works in making national and ethnic identities. Haydock gives us a Henryson for the twenty-first century.” –John M. Ganim, Professor of English, University of California, Riverside

Hollywood in the Holy Land Essays on Film Depictions of the Crusades and Christian-Muslim Clashes edited by Nickolas A. Haydock and L. E. Risden

This collection of essays analyzes film representations of the Crusades, other medieval East/West encounters, and the modern inheritance of encounters between orientalist fantasy and apocalyptic conspiracy. From studies of the filmic representations of popular figures such as El Cid, Roland, Richard I, and Saladin to examinations of such topics as Templar romance and the role of set design, location and landscape, the essays make significant contributions to our understanding of orientalist medievalism in film.

Movie Medievalism The Imaginary Middle Ages by Nickolas A. Haydock

This work offers a theoretical introduction to the portrayal of medievalism in popular film. Employing the techniques of film criticism and theory, it moves beyond the simple identification of error toward a poetics of this type of film, sensitive to both cinema history and to the role these films play in constructing what the author terms the “medieval imaginary.”
The opening two chapters introduce the rapidly burgeoning field of medieval film studies, viewed through the lenses of Lacanian psychoanalysis and the Deleuzian philosophy of the time-image. The first chapter explores how a vast array of films (including both auteur cinema and popular movies) contributes to the modern vision of life in the Middle Ages, while the second is concerned with how time itself functions in cinematic representations of the medieval. The remaining five chapters offer detailed considerations of specific examples of representations of medievalism in recent films, including First Knight, A Knight’s Tale, The Messenger The Story of Joan of Arc, Kingdom of Heaven, King Arthur, Night Watch, and The Da Vinci Code. The book also surveys important benchmarks in the development of Deleuze’s time-image, from classic examples like Bergman’s The Seventh Seal and Kurosawa’s Kagemusha through contemporary popular cinema, in order to trace how movie medievalism constructs images of the multivalence of time in memory and representation.

Reading African American Autobiography Twenty-First-Century Contexts and Criticism by Eric D. Lamore

This timely volume embraces and interprets the increasingly broad and deep canon of life narratives by African Americans. The contributors discover and recover neglected lives, texts, and genres, enlarge the wide range of critical methods used by scholars to study these works, and expand the understanding of autobiography to encompass photography, comics, blogs, and other modes of self-expression. This book also examines at length the proliferation of African American autobiography in the twenty-first century, noting the roles of digital genres, remediated lives, celebrity lives, self-help culture, non-Western religious traditions, and the politics of adoption.

The life narratives studied range from an eighteenth-century criminal narrative, a 1918 autobiography, and the works of Richard Wright to new media, graphic novels, and a celebrity memoir from Pam Grier.

Teaching Olaudah Equiano’s Narrative Pedagogical Strategies and New Perspectives edited by Eric D. Lamore

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself (1789) is one of the most frequently and heatedly discussed texts in the canon of eighteenth-century transatlantic literature written in English. Equiano’s Narrative contains an engrossing account of the author’s experiences in Africa, the Americas, and Europe as he sought freedom from bondage and became a leading figure in the abolitionist movement. While scholars have approached this sophisticated work from diverse critical and historical/biographical perspectives, there has been, until now, little written about the ways in which it can be successfully taught in the twenty-first-century classroom.

In this collection of essays, most of them never before published, sixteen teacher-scholars focus explicitly on the various classroom contexts in which the Narrative can be assigned and various pedagogical strategies that can be used to help students understand the text and its complex cultural, intellectual, literary, and historical implications. The contributors explore topics ranging from the religious dimensions of Equiano’s rhetoric and controversies about his origins, specifically whether he was actually born in Africa and endured the Middle Passage, to considerations of the Narrative’s place in American Literature survey courses and how it can be productively compared to other texts, including captivity narratives and modern works of fiction. They not only suggest an array of innovative teaching models but also offer new readings of the work that have been overlooked in Equiano studies and Slavery studies. With these two dimensions, this volume will help ensure that conversations over Equiano’s eighteenth-century autobiography remain relevant and engaging to today’s students.

New Essays on Phillis Wheatley edited by John C. Shields and Eric D. Lamore

The first African American to publish a book on any subject, poet Phillis Wheatley (1753?–1784) has long been denigrated by literary critics who refused to believe that a black woman could produce such dense, intellectual work, let alone influence Romantic-period giants like Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson once declared that “the compositions published under her name are below dignity of criticism.” In recent decades, however, Wheatley’s work has come under new scrutiny as the literature of the eighteenth century and the impact of African American literature have been reconceived. In these never-before-published essays, fourteen prominent Wheatley scholars consider her work from a variety of angles, affirming her rise into the first rank of American writers.

The pieces in the first section show that perhaps the most substantial measure of Wheatley’s multilayered texts resides in her deft handling of classical materials. The contributors consider Wheatley’s references to Virgil’s Aeneid and Georgics and to the feminine figure Dido as well as her subversive critique of white readers attracted to her adaptation of familiar classics. They also discuss Wheatley’s use of the Homeric Trojan horse and eighteenth-century verse to mask her ambitions for freedom and her treatment of the classics as political tools.

Engaging Wheatley’s multilayered texts with innovative approaches, the essays in the second section recontextualize her rich manuscripts and demonstrate how her late-eighteenth-century works remain both current and timeless. They ponder Wheatley’s verse within the framework of queer theory, the concepts of political theorist Hannah Arendt, rhetoric, African studies, eighteenth-century “salon culture,” and the theoretics of imagination.

Together, these essays reveal the depth of Phillis Wheatley’s literary achievement and present concrete evidence that her extant oeuvre merits still further scrutiny.

Murder at Crimson Manor by Gabriel Romaguera

Lexi is a bright teenager trying to navigate through the problems of college life, like getting her schedule in order and surviving academic group work on her own. She also has to deal with roommates like no other, including a potential robot/vampire/ninja, an aspiring actress (plus her secret live-in boyfriend) and the embodiment of annoyance. Lexi does her best to survive but when push comes to shove (literally) her present, and future are put into jeopardy. This dark comedy depicts how good friends don’t let a little thing like accidental premeditated murder get in the way of education and living your best life. This novel is inspired by real people, a really creepy house, and a realistic dream that changed everything.