Books delve deep into hu­man spirit

Geraldton Guardian - - News - Deb­o­rah Bar­nett

Queer, there, and ev­ery­where: 23 peo­ple who changed the world. By Sarah Prager

Adult Non Fic­tion This first-ever LGBTQ his­tory book for young adults will ap­peal to fans of fun, em­pow­er­ing pop-cul­ture books like Rad Amer­i­can Women A-Z and No­to­ri­ous RBG.

World his­tory has been made by count­less les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual, trans­gen­der, and queer in­di­vid­u­als— and you’ve never heard of many of them. Queer au­thor and ac­tivist Sarah Prager delves deep into the lives of 23 peo­ple who fought, cre­ated, and loved on their own terms. From high-pro­file fig­ures like Abra­ham Lin­coln and Eleanor Roo­sevelt to the trail­blaz­ing gen­der-am­bigu­ous Queen of Swe­den and a bi­sex­ual blues singer who didn’t make it into your his­tory books, these as­ton­ish­ing true sto­ries un­cover a rich queer her­itage.

The Twelve Lives of Sa­muel Haw­ley By Han­nah Tinti

Adult Fic­tion Fan­tasy Af­ter years spent liv­ing on the run, Sa­muel Haw­ley moves with his teenage daugh­ter Loo to Olym­pus, Mas­sachusetts. There, in his late wife’s home­town, Haw­ley finds work as a fish­er­man, while Loo strug­gles to fit in at school and grows cu­ri­ous about her mother’s mys­te­ri­ous death. Haunt­ing them both are 12 scars Haw­ley car­ries on his body, from 12 bul­lets in his crim­i­nal past — a past that even­tu­ally spills over into his daugh­ter’s present, un­til to­gether they must face a reck­on­ing yet to come. Both a com­ing- of-age novel and a lit­er­ary thriller, The Twelve Lives of Sa­muel Haw­ley ex­plores what it means to be a hero.

The Blood Mir­a­cles by Lisa McIn­er­ney

Adult Fic­tion Thriller Like all 22-year-olds, Ryan Cu­sack is try­ing to get his head around who he is. This is not a good time for his boss to ex­ploit his dual her­itage by open­ing a new black-mar­ket route from Italy to Ire­land. It is cer­tainly not a good time for his adored girl­friend to de­cide he’s ir­repara­bly cor­rupted. And he re­ally wishes he hadn’t ac­ci­den­tally caught the eye of an ornery grand­mother who fan­cies her­self his saviour.

There may be a way clear of the chaos in the busi­ness pro­pos­als of mu­sic pro­moter Colm and in the at­ten­tion of the charm­ing, im­pul­sive Natalie. But now that his boss’s am­bi­tions have rat­tled the city, Ryan is about to find out what he’s made of, and it might be that chaos is in his blood.

The Id­iot Gods by David Zin­dell

Adult Fic­tion Fan­tasy Quite sim­ply the best book about a whale since Moby Dick. The Id­iot Gods is an epic tale told by an orca. David Zin­dell re­turns to the grand themes of Nev­er­ness in this uniquely mov­ing book. An epic tale of a quest for a new way of life on earth, told by an orca. When Ar­juna of the Blue Aria Fam­ily en­coun­ters three signs of cat­a­clysm, he leaves his home in the Arc­tic Ocean to seek out the Id­iot Gods and ask us why we are de­stroy­ing the world. But the whales’ an­cient Song of Life is be­yond our un­der­stand­ing, and we know noth­ing of the Great Covenant be­tween our kinds. Ar­juna is captured, starved, tor­tured and made to do tricks in a tiny pool at Sea Cir­cus. His love for a hu­man lin­guist gives him hope, even as he de­spairs that other peo­ple twist his words and con­tinue the world­wide slaugh­ter. As the whales’ beloved ocean turns to­wards the Blood Sol­stice the fate of hu­man­ity hangs in the bal­ance: for if Ar­juna gains the Voice of Death he could de­stroy mankind. But if un­der­stand­ing can pre­vail, he may, through the whales’ mys­te­ri­ous power of queng­ing, cre­ate a new Song of Life and en­able hu­man evo­lu­tion to un­fold.

A Thou­sand Pa­per birds. By Tor Udall

Adult Fic­tion Gen­eral An in­ti­mate por­trait of five in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked lives, span­ning one cal­en­dar year at Kew Gar­dens in Lon­don. Noth­ing is set in stone. A bird can be re­folded into a boat, a fish, a ki­mono, or any other ex­trav­a­gant vi­sion. At other times it aches to re­turn to its orig­i­nal folds. The pa­per be­gins to fray. It tires, rebels. Af­ter the sud­den death of his wife, Au­drey, Jonah sits on a bench in Kew Gar­dens, try­ing to re­assem­ble the shat­tered pieces of his life. Chloe, shaven-headed and abra­sive, finds so­lace in the origami she metic­u­lously folds. But when she meets Jonah, her care­fully con­structed de­fences threaten to fall. Milly, a child quick to laugh, freely roams Kew, find­ing beauty ev­ery­where she goes. But where is her mother and where does she go when the gar­dens are closed? Harry’s pur­pose is to save plants from ex­tinc­tion. Quiet and enig­matic, he longs for some­thing — or some­one — who will root him more firmly to the earth. Au­drey links these strangers to­gether. As the mys­tery of her death un­rav­els, the char­ac­ters jour­ney through the sea­sons to learn that sto­ries, like pa­per, can be re­folded and re­formed. Haunted by songs and origami birds, this novel is a love let­ter to a gar­den and a hymn to lost things.

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