Home / The Early Word: New Books for the Week of February 2, 2009

The Early Word: New Books for the Week of February 2, 2009

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It's a mystery to me… also a fantasy, Sci Fi, romance – and a biography, a memoir, sports books, science…  


Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line
By Martha A. Sandweiss

American West historian Martha A. Sandweiss delves into archival, newspaper, and various digitized resources to to offer up a dual biography — which blends elements of social and intellectual history — of Clarence King (1842-1901), a brilliant scientist and conversationalist, author and architect of the great surveys that mapped the West after the Civil War, and Ada Copeland (c. 1861-1964), a "black, working-class woman" who was "born a slave." Clarence kept secret for 13 years his marriage to Ada and their apparently contented domestic life. He kept his patrician past and celebrated present concealed as well from his wife, who believed herself the wife of James Todd, a black Pullman porter. Sandweiss provides a fascinating account of King's "extraordinary double life as an eminent white scientist and a black workingman." As Sandweiss notes in Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line, thousands of light-skinned blacks in that era tried to pass for white, but the number of those who did the opposite must have been very few. Yet King gave up his cherished social privileges in his marriage to Copeland, who had borne him five children, and was on his deathbed in 1901 when he finally told her the truth. Passing Strange is a fascinating look at secretive lives, Jim Crow, bad faith – and also, as Sandweiss observes, "love and longing that transcends the historical bounds of time and place."

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home
By Susan Wise Bauer

Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years
By Cari Beauchamp

Voyage of the Beagle
By Charles Darwin, David Quammen (Introduction)

Lincoln's Men: The President and His Private Secretaries
By Daniel Mark Epstein

Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees
By Jane Heller

Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg
By Helen Rappaport

Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love
By Myron Uhlberg

The Yankee Years
By Joe Torre, Tom Verducci


Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Prodigal Son
By Dean Koontz, Kevin J. Anderson
Chuck Dixon, Brett Booth

In this modern-day account of Mary Shelley's 1818 horror classic, and first in a new series by bestsellers Dean Koontz and Kevin J. Anderson, Dr. Frankenstein has survived into the 21st century, masquerading as biotech tycoon Victor Helios. Helios wants to replace imperfect humanity with his New Race, people biologically developed, intellectually programmed to follow orders, and virtually indistinguishable from humans. But at least one of his creations has become a serial killer, trying to assemble the perfect woman from many parts. Cool and collected Carson O’Connor and her partner Michael Maddison, detectives investigating the strange killings, find themselves drawn into this weird underworld of deception and secrets in which a priest seeks a soul, a policeman finds he can murder, an autistic teen looks for happiness, and Victor's wife discovers the depths to which she can lie. Featuring an adaptation by legendary comic book writer Chuck Dixon and illustrations by acclaimed artist Brett Booth, Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son promises a story of action, adventure, and horror.

Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson Series #4)
By Patricia Briggs

The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them
By Amy Dickinson

True Colors
By Kristin Hannah

Escape from Hell
By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle

Run for Your Life
By James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge

Very Valentine
By Adriana Trigiani

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