All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson

all-the-beautiful-lies-196x300

This is genuinely a great read.

On the eve of his college graduation, Harry is called home by his step-mother Alice to their house on the Maine coast, following the unexpected death of his father.

But who is Alice?

Told in a split narrative the damaged character of Alice begins to reveal itself.

Each chapter alternates between “Then” and “Now” – until the stories of Harry and Alice begin to weave together.

What will be the outcome-and will Harry be able to escape?

Gripping, stylishly written and a real page turner.

I literally read this book in one sitting- I just could not put it down.

Definitely recommended.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

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Brilliant Book Titles #225

rave on
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb: 
Electronic dance music was once the utopian frontier of pop culture. But three decades after the acid house ‘summer of love’, it has gone from subculture to the global mainstream. Does it still have the same power to inspire?

From the pleasure palaces of Ibiza and Las Vegas to ‘new frontiers’ like Shanghai and Dubai, raving is now a multi-million-dollar business. But there are still hardcore believers upholding its DIY ethos – the techno idealists of Berlin and Detroit and the queer subcults of New York, the post-apartheid party people of South Africa and the outlaw techno travellers of France.

In Rave On, Matthew Collin travels the world to experience these unique scenes first-hand, talk to the key players and hear the story of how dance culture went global – and find out if its maverick spirit can survive its own success.

Brilliant Book Titles #224

videocracy
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb: 
From YouTube’s Head of Culture and Trends, a rousing and illuminating behind-the-scenes exploration of internet video’s massive impact on our world.

Whether your favorite YouTube video is a cat on a Roomba, “Gangnam Style,†? the “Bed Intruder†? song, an ASAPscience explainer, Rebecca Black’s “Friday,†? or the “Evolution of Dance,†? Kevin Allocca’s Videocracy reveals how these beloved videos and famous trends–and many more–came to be and why they mean more than you might think.

YouTube is the biggest pool of cultural data since the beginning of recorded communication, with four hundred hours of video uploaded every minute. (It would take you more than sixty-five years just to watch the vlogs, music videos, tutorials, and other content posted in a single day!) This activity reflects who we are, in all our glory and ignominy. As Allocca says, if aliens wanted to understand our planet, he’d give them Google. If they wanted to understand us, he’d give them YouTube.

In Videocracy, Allocca lays bare what YouTube videos say about our society and how our actions online–watching, sharing, commenting on, and remixing the people and clips that captivate us–are changing the face of entertainment, advertising, politics, and more. Via YouTube, we are fueling social movements, enforcing human rights, and redefining art–a lot more than you’d expect from a bunch of viral clips.

How to Deal with Poxes on a Daily Basis by Aoife Dooley

how to deal with poxes

This is the second book in the series by comedienne and illustrator Aoife Dooley.

What’s a pox ye ask?

Oh, ye know them. The fella who takes out a big, dirty breakfast roll first thing in the morning on a rush-hour bus. The lil’ tick in your house who won’t change the toilet roll when it runs out.

The ungrateful pox that doesn’t say thanks when ye hold the door open for them.

Fear not- Aoife explains how to deal with poxes on a daily basis.

This book is comical and astute-littered with great illustrations.

Definitely worth a look.

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You can reserve a copy at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

5 New Music Books to Watch Out For

The Making of John Lennon by Francis Kenny (1 Jul 2018)
the making of john lennon.jpg
Despite the nearly universal fame of the Beatles, many people only know the fairytale version of the iconic group’s rise to fame. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Liverpool, Francis Kenny reveals the real John Lennon who preceded the legend, showing how his childhood shaped his personality, creative process, and path to success, and how it also destroyed his mental health, leading to the downfall of one of the most confident and brilliant musicians of the past century.

The Making of John Lennon is a must-read for any Beatles fan. It explains how Lennon’s turbulent family background affected his relationships, why the true inspiration for “Strawberry Fields” could not be revealed, how Pete Best’s college connection led to his removal from the group, and why class backgrounds were the real reason for the breakup of the legendary band. Offering a complex portrait of Lennon’s early life, The Making of John Lennon tells the true story behind the rise of the legendary icon.

Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton by Randy L. Schmidt (4 Sep 2018) 
dolly
“Nobody knows Dolly like Dolly,” declares Dolly Parton. Dolly’s is a rags-to-riches tale like no other. A dirt-poor Smoky Mountain childhood paved the way for the buxom blonde butterfly’s metamorphosis from singer-songwriter to international music superstar. The undisputed “Queen of Country Music,” Dolly has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and has conquered just about every facet of the entertainment industry: music, film, television, publishing, theatre, and even theme parks. It’s been more than 50 years since Dolly Parton arrived in Nashville with just her guitar and a dream. Her story has been told many times and in many ways, but never like this. Dolly on Dolly is a collection of interviews spanning five decades of her career and featuring material gathered from celebrated publications including Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan, Playboy, and Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine. Also included are interviews which have not been previously available in print. Dolly’s feisty and irresistible brand of humor, combined with her playful, pull-up-a-chair-and-stay-awhile delivery, makes for a fascinating and inviting experience in downhome philosophy and storytelling. Much like her patchwork “Coat of Many Colors,” this book harkens back to the legendary entertainer’s roots and traces her evolution, stitching it all together one piece at a time.

The History of Gangster Rap: From Schoolly D to Kendrick Lamar, the Rise of a Great American Art Form by Soren Baker (11 Sep 2018)
the history of gangster rap.jpg
The History of Gangster Rap is a deep dive into one of the most fascinating subgenres of any music category to date. Sixteen detailed chapters, organized chronologically, examine the evolution of gangster rap, its main players, and the culture that created this revolutionary music. From still-swirling conspiracy theories about the murders of Biggie and Tupac to the release of the 2015 film Straight Outta Compton, the era of gangster rap is one that fascinates music junkies and remains at the forefront of pop culture. Filled with interviews with key players such as Snoop Dogg, Ice-T, and dozens more, as well as sidebars, breakout bios of notorious characters, lists, charts, and more, The History of Gangster Rap is the be-all-end-all book that contextualizes the importance of gangster rap as a cultural phenomenon.

Mozart: The Man Revealed by John Suchet (11 September 2018)
mozart the man revealed
Yet only that last point is actually true. In this comprehensive biography, John Suchet examines the many myths and misunderstandings surrounding the world’s best-loved composer. From his early days as a child prodigy performing for the imperial royal family in Vienna to the last months of his short life, driven to exhaustion by a punitive workload, one thing remained constant: his happy disposition Through trials and tribulations, grand successes and disheartening setbacks, Suchet shows us the real Mozart–blessed with an abundance of talent yet sometimes struggling to earn a living. His mischievous nature and earthy sense of humor, his ease and confidence in his own incredible abilities; these were traits that never left him. His music has brought comfort to countless generations; his life, though brief, is no less fascinating.

The Story of NOW That’s What I Call Music in 100 Artists by Michael Mulligan (4 Oct 2018)
the story of now
Everyone remembers their first NOW album. Since NOW That’s What I Call Music Volume 1 was released in 1983 on double vinyl and double cassette, NOW has become synonymous with pop music and has featured some of the most iconic artists of the last three decades.

To celebrate the release of the 100th NOW album, The Story of NOW That’s What I Call Music in 100 Artists looks back at some of the most memorable – and occasionally regrettable – hits of the last 35 years!

Jam packed with amazing facts and ‘Well I never!’ moments about the 4,000+ artists to have graced the NOW track listings – from Phil Collins to Pharrell, Bananarama to Lady Gaga and Peter Andre to Pet Shop Boys – The Story of NOW is a celebration of pop music through the decades. So plug in your earphones and pump up the volume, because this party is just getting started!

‘Curing Queers’: Mental Nurses and Their Patients, 1935-74 by Tommy Dickinson

curing queers

This is an utterly fascinating, engrossing, and at times completely horrifying book. Dickinson has written a history of conversion therapy on homosexual men and transgender patients, and the horrors that were advocated by medical practitioners at the time.

Based on an extensive review of the available literature, Dickinson interviews a number of mental nurses (as they were known then) who administered such therapies, which included shock treatment such as ECT and emetics to induce vomiting (I’ll leave the rest upto your imagination), but he also interviewed a number of patients who went through these procedures (interestingly, unbeknownst to both, there was a case where a nurse and patient were talking about each other).

Written from the perspective of nurses and nursing history, this is a fascinating account of what was done to gay and trans patients during this time, and how the medical field slowly changed. It’s also very interesting to read of the lack of faith that the nurses who administered the treatment had in it, but with strict status systems in play (nurses do what doctors tell them), they complied.

Also discussed in one chapter is the discussion of gay male mental nurses administering this these treatments to gay patients, and the contradiction of it, especially since, as is documented, there was a subculture in some hospital of groups of gay male nurses.

This review doesn’t really do it justice, and there is a lot more that I could discuss. It’s a fascinating, essential, and timely book given that the UK is seeking to wholly outlaw any use of conversion therapies. Not for the faint of heart, but recommended who want an accurate account of a time thankfully, mostly consigned to history.

Brilliant Book Titles #223

exact opposite of okay

You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb: 
A harrowing exploration of the collapse of American diplomacy and the abdication of global leadership, by the winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service.

US foreign policy is undergoing a dire transformation, forever changing America’s place in the world. Institutions of diplomacy and development are bleeding out after deep budget cuts; the diplomats who make America’s deals and protect its citizens around the world are walking out in droves. Offices across the State Department sit empty, while abroad the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. We’re becoming a nation that shoots first and asks questions later.

In an astonishing journey from the corridors of power in Washington, DC, to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth―Afghanistan, Somalia, and North Korea among them―acclaimed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His firsthand experience as a former State Department official affords a personal look at some of the last standard bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan.

Drawing on newly unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with warlords, whistle-blowers, and policymakers―including every living former secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson―War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, shortsightedness, and outright malice―but it may just offer America a way out of a world at war.

Brilliant Book Titles #222

war on peace.jpg

You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
A harrowing exploration of the collapse of American diplomacy and the abdication of global leadership, by the winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service.

US foreign policy is undergoing a dire transformation, forever changing America’s place in the world. Institutions of diplomacy and development are bleeding out after deep budget cuts; the diplomats who make America’s deals and protect its citizens around the world are walking out in droves. Offices across the State Department sit empty, while abroad the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. We’re becoming a nation that shoots first and asks questions later.

In an astonishing journey from the corridors of power in Washington, DC, to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth―Afghanistan, Somalia, and North Korea among them―acclaimed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His firsthand experience as a former State Department official affords a personal look at some of the last standard bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan.

Drawing on newly unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with warlords, whistle-blowers, and policymakers―including every living former secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson―War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, shortsightedness, and outright malice―but it may just offer America a way out of a world at war.

The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone by Lindsay Adler

photographer's guide to posing

Do you dread every wedding season, night out or family outing when you know there will be lots of photos being taken? Do you take 50 selfies before settling on the one you think looks the best? The Photographer’s Guide to Posing is the book you need!

The book by Lindsay Adler is aimed at photographers but is a great resource for the average person who would like to find techniques that flatter their bodies and enhance their profiles.

The book is full of photo examples of how to pose and posing pitfalls. It’s amazing how the smallest change, like moving a hand, can make to photo. You might think that photoshop is all magazines use to make someone look slimmer on camera, however you’ll surprise yourself how different you can appear in a photo just by following a few rules in the book.

This book has chapters dealing with all sorts of photography:

Posing the Face,
Women Posing,
Men Posing,
Couples,
Curves,
Family Portrait,
Boudoir,
Maternity.

If you are thinking of paying for professional photography, I would strongly recommend that you pick up this book beforehand to make the most of the session.

As a plus size lady, I really enjoyed the chapter on curves. As someone who is self conscious when their photo is taken, I learned lots of tips and strategies on how to better position myself when I am in a photo. Just by placing your hands farther inward on your waist you can give the illusion of having a smaller waist.

Also, if you are a hobby photographer, this book will help you immensely with your protrait shoots. The book has lots of examples where the author encourages you to train your eye and see what is wrong with the photo before she explains it.

I loved this book and will definitely use it again as reference guide whenever I am getting photos done in the future.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

5 New LGBT Young Adult Novels

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert (26 Jul 2018)
little lion
Little and Lion is beautifully insightful, honest, and compassionate. Brandy’s ability to find larger meaning in small moments is nothing short of dazzling.”-Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything

A stunning novel on love, identity, loss, and redemption.

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she’s isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (as well as her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth (2 Aug 2018)
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** Soon to be a major film starring Chloe Grace Moretz – winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival **

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‘If Holden Caulfield had been a gay girl from Montana, this is the story he might have told-it’s funny, heartbreaking, and beautifully rendered’ Curtis Sittenfeld, bestselling author of Prep and American Wife

‘An important book – one that can change lives’ Jacqueline Woodson, award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming

———-

The night Cameron Post’s parents died, her first emotion was relief. Relief they would never know that hours earlier, she’d been kissing a girl.

Now living with her conservative Aunt in small-town Montana, hiding her sexuality and blending in becomes second nature to Cameron until she begins an intense friendship with the beautiful Coley Taylor.

Desperate to ‘correct’ her niece, Cameron’s Aunt takes drastic action.

Now Cameron must battle with the cost of being her true-self even if she’s not completely sure who that is.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.

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Praise for The Miseducation of Cameron Post:

‘Danforth’s narrative of a bruised young woman finding her feet in a complicated world is a tremendous achievement: strikingly unsentimental, and full of characters who feel entirely rounded and real . . . An inspiring read’ Sarah Waters, author of Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith

“Rich with detail and emotion, a sophisticated read for teens and adults alike.” Kirkus starred review

‘The story is riveting, beautiful, and full of the kind of detail that brings to life a place (rural Montana), a time (the early 1990s), and a questioning teenage girl’ Publishers Weekly starred review

A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo (4 Sep 2018)
a line in the dark
“A twisty, dark psychological thriller that will leave you guessing til the very end.”–Teen Vogue

“[A] riveting read…”–NPR

The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.

Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. If nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more a curse than a gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”

A Line in the Dark is a story of love, loyalty, and murder.

★ “Mesmerizing.”–Kirkus, starred review.

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (21 Sep 2017)
autoboyography.jpg
Funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class, one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar, where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester, Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

Confessions of a Teenage Leper by Ashley Little (11 Sep 2018)
Confessions of a teenage leper
Cheerleading, mean girls, shopping . . . and leprosy? High school is about to get complicated. For fans of Before I Fall and Exit, Pursued By a Bear.

Abby Furlowe has plans. Big plans. She’s hot, she’s popular, she’s a cheerleader and she’s going to break out of her small Texas town and make it big. Fame and fortune, adoration and accolades. It’ll all be hers.

But then she notices some spots on her skin. She writes them off as a rash, but things only get worse. She’s tired all the time, her hands and feet are numb and her face starts to look like day-old pizza. By the time her seventeenth birthday rolls around, she’s tried every cream and medication the doctors have thrown at her, but nothing works. When she falls doing a routine cheerleading stunt and slips into a coma, her mystery illness goes into overdrive and finally gets diagnosed: Hansen’s Disease, aka leprosy.

Abby is sent to a facility to recover and deal with this new reality. Her many misdiagnoses mean that some permanent damage has been done, and all of her plans suddenly come tumbling down. If she can’t even wear high heels anymore, what is the point of living? Cheerleading is out the window, and she might not even make it to prom. PROM!

But it’s during this recovery that Abby has to learn to live with something even more difficult than Hansen’s Disease. She’s becoming aware of who she really was before and what her behavior was doing to others; now she’s on the other side of the fence looking in, and she doesn’t like what she sees. . .

Darkly comic but ultimately touching, Confessions of a Teenage Leper is an ugly duckling tale with a surprising twist.