Latest new books at Backbeat

New Books - Aug 6, 2015

Brown boxes = so much fun at Backbeat! One arrived today and it was full of good things – new fiction titles for adults and middle grade kids, as well as some really interesting non-fiction books.

– “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle That Defined a Generation” by Blake J. Harris
Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Wars–a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.

In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.

The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan.

Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.

– “This Changes Everything: Capital vs. The Climate” by Naomi Klein
Forget everything you think you know about global warming. It’s not about carbon – it’s about capitalism. The good news is that we can seize this crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.

In her most provocative book yet, Naomi Klein, author of the global bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, exposes the myths that are clouding climate debate.

You have been told the market will save us, when in fact the addiction to profit and growth is digging us in deeper every day. You have been told it’s impossible to get off fossil fuels when in fact we know exactly how to do it – it just requires breaking every rule in the ‘free-market’ playbook. You have also been told that humanity is too greedy and selfish to rise to this challenge. In fact, all around the world, the fight back is already succeeding in ways both surprising and inspiring.

It’s about changing the world, before the world changes so drastically that no one is safe. Either we leap – or we sink. This Changes Everything is a book that will redefine our era.

– “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload” by David J. Levitin
New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details.

The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.

But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.

With lively, entertaining chapters on everything from the kitchen junk drawer to health care to executive office workflow, Levitin reveals how new research into the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory can be applied to the challenges of our daily lives. This Is Your Brain on Music showed how to better play and appreciate music through an understanding of how the brain works. The Organized Mind shows how to navigate the churning flood of information in the twenty-first century with the same neuroscientific perspective.

– “The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food” by Dan Barber
Barber explores the evolution of American food from the ‘first plate,’ or industrially-produced, meat-heavy dishes, to the ‘second plate’ of grass-fed meat and organic greens, and says that both of these approaches are ultimately neither sustainable nor healthy. Instead, Barber proposes Americans should move to the ‘third plate,’ a cuisine rooted in seasonal productivity, natural livestock rhythms, whole-grains, and small portions of free-range meat.

– “Monstrous” by MarcyKate Connolly
The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark.

Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre.

Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre.

And what he knows will change Kym’s life.

– “Paper Things” by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
When forced to choose between staying with her guardian and being with her big brother, Ari chose her big brother. There’s just one problem—Gage doesn’t actually have a place to live.

When Ari’s mother died four years ago, she had two final wishes: that Ari and her older brother, Gage, would stay together always, and that Ari would go to Carter, the middle school for gifted students. So when nineteen-year-old Gage decides he can no longer live with their bossy guardian, Janna, Ari knows she has to go with him. But it’s been two months, and Gage still hasn’t found them an apartment. He and Ari have been “couch surfing,” staying with Gage’s friend in a tiny apartment, crashing with Gage’s girlfriend and two roommates, and if necessary, sneaking into a juvenile shelter to escape the cold Maine nights. But all of this jumping around makes it hard for Ari to keep up with her schoolwork, never mind her friendships, and getting into Carter starts to seem impossible. Will Ari be forced to break one of her promises to Mama? Told in an open, authentic voice, this nuanced story of hiding in plain sight may have readers thinking about homelessness in a whole new way.

– “All Four Stars” by Tara Dairman
Meet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)

Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brûlée accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world.

But in order to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City—all while keeping her identity a secret! Easy as pie, right?

– “The Total Outdoorsman Manual (Field & Stream)” by T. Edward Nickens
The Total Outdoorsman Manual is the ultimate guide book for the outdoors enthusiast, packed with hundreds of practical tips and techniques from T. Edward Nickens and the experts at Field & Stream magazine, that is guaranteed to improve your hunting, fishing, camping and survival skills.

With practical information for both the beginner and advanced outdoorsman, the book is an authoritative, comprehensive, and entertaining guide that will enable anyone to master the outdoors and hunt, fish, and camp like an expert.

HUNT BETTER How to track a buck, make the toughest shots, master bowhunting and knife skills, and haul, butcher, and cook wild game.
FISH SMARTER Advice on the best techniques for flyfishing, baitcasting, and spinning, as well as surefire ways to get the most out of your motorboat, canoe, or kayak.
SURVIVE ANYTHING Whether you fall through thick ice, are swept away by a raging river, or have a stare down with an angry bear, these skills means the difference between life and death.
CAMP ANYWHERE Tested and proven expert tips to help you stay warm, eat well, and build a fire in any situation in record time.

Field & Stream For more than 100 years, Field & Stream magazine has provided expert advice on every aspect of the outdoor life, including hunting, fishing, conservation, and wilderness survival. The magazine’s annual Total Outdoorsman issue is one of its most popular, read by over nine million sporting enthusiasts.

The Total Outdoorsman Challenge brings together avid hunters and anglers from around the country to demonstrate their skills and compete for big bucks and bigger glory. Winners are all-around hunters, fishermen, and survivors with a flair for problem-solving and the skills to prevail.

– “Daughter of the House” by Rosie Thomas
A captivating tour de force of love, magic and the theatre, perfect for fans of Sarah Waters, The Night Circus and Water for Elephants

The dazzling sequel to The Illusionists, from the beloved and bestselling author of The Kashmir Shawl

The year is 1910: Eliza’s life has been utterly transformed since she dove head-first into the bohemian world of the Palmyra Theatre, becoming first a stage player and, since her marriage to impresario Devil Wix, a canny woman of business. She is now the mother of growing children, and in her family life as well as at the theatre she must face the challenges of a new century.

The First World War changes the world forever, and the fortunes of the Wix family change with it. Eliza’s daughter, Nancy, must find a way to keep the Palmyra afloat, and to entertain audiences who have lost husbands and sons in the conflict. Nancy is a born performer, but she is set apart—even from her beloved brothers—by her psychic gifts. She learns that she must harness her troubling powers, under the tutelage of the mysterious Mr. Feather, to keep the family and the theatre intact.

It is a dangerous path and a lonely one, but Nancy’s bold choices lead her to love, and beyond that to the recognition of what it takes to become a modern woman. As another war begins to threaten the world, she is forced into a final, fateful confrontation with her demons, and must marshal both her ingenuity and her mysterious talents to fight for the survival of friendship, independence and family.

– “The Miniaturist” by Jessie Burton
Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam-a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion-a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed…”

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

– “Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years” by Sharry Wilson
Young Neil is a detailed chronological narrative of the early life of iconic Canadian musician Neil Young. Exploring a time in this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s life that has yet to be documented with such depth of research, Young Neil is an exhaustive document of his “Sugar Mountain” years, from 1945 to 1966. From his birth in Toronto through his school years in Florida, Ontario, and Manitoba, the book examines the development of Young’s unique talent against a backdrop of shifting postwar values, a turbulent family history, and a musical revolution in the making. Includes many previously unseen photos, memorabilia, and set lists.

– “The Betrayers” by David Bezmogis
These incandescent pages give us one momentous day in the life of Baruch Kotler, a disgraced Israeli politician. When he refuses to back down from a contrary but principled stand regarding the West Bank settlements, his political opponents expose his affair with a mistress decades his junior. He and the fierce young Leora flee the scandal for Yalta, where, in an unexpected turn of events, he comes face-to-face with the former friend who denounced him to the KGB almost 40 years earlier.

In a mere 24 hours, Kotler must face the ultimate reckoning, both with those who have betrayed him and with those whom he has betrayed, including a teenage daughter, a son facing his own ethical dilemmas in the Israeli army, and the wife who stood by his side through so much.

In prose that is elegant, sly, precise, and devastating, David Bezmozgis has rendered a story for the ages, an inquest into the nature of fate and consequence, love and forgiveness.

– “How to Build a Girl” by Caitlin Moran
What do you do in your teenage years when you realize what your parents taught you wasn’t enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes—and build yourself.

It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan, fourteen, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there’s no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde—fast-talking, hard-drinking gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. She will save her poverty-stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer—like Jo in Little Women, or the Brontës—but without the dying-young bit.

By sixteen, she’s smoking cigarettes, getting drunk, and working for a music paper. She’s writing pornographic letters to rock stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.

But what happens when Johanna realizes she’s built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters, and a head full of paperbacks enough to build a girl after all?

Imagine The Bell Jar—written by Rizzo from Grease. How to Build a Girl is a funny, poignant, and heartbreakingly evocative story of self-discovery and invention, as only Caitlin Moran could tell it.

– “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

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