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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Immersing himself in a mid-21st-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world's super-wealthy creator, who has promised that the winner will be his heir. (This book was previously listed in Forecast.)
Armada by Ernest Cline
From the author of Ready Player One, a rollicking alien invasion thriller that embraces and subverts science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could. Zack Lightman has never much cared for reality. He vastly prefers the countless science-fiction movies, books, and videogames he's spent his life consuming. And too often, he catches himself wishing that some fantastic, impossible, world-altering event could arrive to whisk him off on a grand spacefaring adventure. So when he sees the flying saucer, he's sure his years of escapism have finally tipped over into madness. Especially because the alien ship he's staring at is straight out of his favorite videogame, a flight simulator callled Armada--in which gamers just happen to be protecting Earth from alien invaders. As impossible as it seems, what Zack's seeing is all too real. And it's just the first in a blur of revlations that will force him to question everything he thought he knew about Earth's history, its future, even his own life--and to play the hero for real, with humanity's life in the balance. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can't help thinking: Doesn't something about this scenario feel a little bit like...well...fiction? At once reinventing and paying homage to science-fiction classics as only Ernest Cline can, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a coming-of-age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before.
Ready Player Two by Shira Chess
Cultural stereotypes to the contrary, approximately half of all video game players are now women. A subculture once dominated by men, video games have become a form of entertainment composed of gender binaries. Supported by games such as Diner Dash, Mystery Case Files, Wii Fit, and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood—which are all specifically marketed toward women—the gamer industry is now a major part of imagining what femininity should look like. In Ready Player Two, media critic Shira Chess uses the concept of “Player Two”—the industry idealization of the female gamer—to examine the assumptions implicit in video games designed for women and how they have impacted gaming culture and the larger society. With Player Two, the video game industry has designed specifically for the feminine ideal: she is white, middle class, heterosexual, cis-gendered, and abled. Drawing on categories from time management and caregiving to social networking, consumption, and bodies, Chess examines how games have been engineered to shape normative ideas about women and leisure. Ready Player Two presents important arguments about how gamers and game developers must change their thinking about both women and games to produce better games, better audiences, and better industry practices. Ultimately, this book offers vital prescriptions for how one of our most powerful entertainment industries must evolve its ideas of women.
Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
"A 1980s cultural assessment of the fantastical future of online behavior continues the story that began in the internationally best-selling futuristic novel, Ready Player One, that inspired a blockbuster Steven Spielberg film"--
Stuff You Should Know by Josh Clark
From the duo behind the massively successful and award-winning podcast Stuff You Should Know comes an unexpected look at things you thought you knew. Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant started the podcast Stuff You Should Know back in 2008 because they were curious—curious about the world around them, curious about what they might have missed in their formal educations, and curious to dig deeper on stuff they thought they understood. As it turns out, they aren't the only curious ones. They've since amassed a rabid fan base, making Stuff You Should Know one of the most popular podcasts in the world. Armed with their inquisitive natures and a passion for sharing, they uncover the weird, fascinating, delightful, or unexpected elements of a wide variety of topics. The pair have now taken their near-boundless "whys" and "hows" from your earbuds to the pages of a book for the first time—featuring a completely new array of subjects that they’ve long wondered about and wanted to explore. Each chapter is further embellished with snappy visual material to allow for rabbit-hole tangents and digressions—including charts, illustrations, sidebars, and footnotes. Follow along as the two dig into the underlying stories of everything from the origin of Murphy beds, to the history of facial hair, to the psychology of being lost. Have you ever wondered about the world around you, and wished to see the magic in everyday things? Come get curious with Stuff You Should Know. With Josh and Chuck as your guide, there’s something interesting about everything (...except maybe jackhammers).
The Thirty Names Of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by The Millions, Electric Literature, Bustle, and HuffPost Named a Best Book of Fall by USA TODAY, PopSugar, Alma, and Goodreads The author of the “vivid and urgent…important and timely” (The New York Times Book Review) debut The Map of Salt and Stars returns with this remarkably moving and lyrical novel following three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by a mysterious species of bird and the truths they carry close to their hearts. Five years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. He has been unable to paint since his mother’s ghost has begun to visit him each evening. As his grandmother’s sole caretaker, he spends his days cooped up in their apartment, avoiding his neighborhood masjid, his estranged sister, and even his best friend (who also happens to be his longtime crush). The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria. One night, he enters the abandoned community house and finds the tattered journal of a Syrian American artist named Laila Z, who dedicated her career to painting the birds of North America. She famously and mysteriously disappeared more than sixty years before, but her journal contains proof that both his mother and Laila Z encountered the same rare bird before their deaths. In fact, Laila Z’s past is intimately tied to his mother’s—and his grandmother’s—in ways he never could have expected. Even more surprising, Laila Z’s story reveals the histories of queer and transgender people within his own community that he never knew. Realizing that he isn’t and has never been alone, he has the courage to officially claim a new name: Nadir, an Arabic name meaning rare. As unprecedented numbers of birds are mysteriously drawn to the New York City skies, Nadir enlists the help of his family and friends to unravel what happened to Laila Z and the rare bird his mother died trying to save. Following his mother’s ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along. Featuring Zeyn Joukhadar’s signature “magical and heart-wrenching” (The Christian Science Monitor) storytelling, The Thirty Names of Night is a timely exploration of how we all search for and ultimately embrace who we are.
Confessions In B Flat by Donna Hill
Essence bestselling author Donna Hill brings us an emotional love story set against the powerful backdrop of the civil rights movement that gripped a nation—a story as timely as it is timeless... The year is 1963. In Harlem, the epicenter of Black culture, the fight for equality has never been stronger. The time is now. Enough is enough. Yet even within its ranks, a different kind of battle rages. Love thy neighbor? Or rise up against your oppressors? Jason Tanner has just arrived in New York to help spread the message of his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of passive resistance, while beat poet Anita Hopkins believes the teachings of Malcolm X with all her heart: that the way to true freedom is “by any means necessary.” When Jason sees Anita perform her poetry at the iconic B-Flat lounge, he’s transfixed. And Anita has never met anyone who can match her wit for wit like this... One movement, two warring ideologies—can love be enough to unite them? Confessions in B-Flat is a celebration of the hard-won victories of those who came before us, and a stark reminder of just how far we still have to go.
Run Rebel by Manjeet Mann
I am restless, my feet need to fly. Amber is trapped - by her father's rules, by his expectations, by her own fears. Now she's ready to fight - for her mother, for her sister, for herself. Freedom always comes at a price. Run, Rebel is a trailblazing verse novel that thunders with rhythm, heart and soul - perfect for fans of Sarah Crossan, Elizabeth Acevedo and Rupi Kaur.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this incredible new science-based thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian. Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission--and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn't know that. He can't even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he's been asleep for a very, very long time. And he's just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company. His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that's been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it's up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance. Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian--while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.
The Lost City Chronicles by Daniel Blackaby
Cody Clemenson’s ordinary life is turned upside down when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in an antique bookstore. A secret society emerges to steal the book – willing to kill anyone in its way – and a horrifying monster appears in the night. Cody, along with his best friend, Jade, must flee for their lives. Together, they are pulled into a fantastical world and thrust into the middle of a deadly feud between two mythical cities teetering on the brink of war. In an adventure full of murder and betrayal, Cody must become the hero he always dreamt of being. The fate of the world now hinges on him – and the power of a simple, leather Book. . .