Theme: Alan Turing
This month each of us will read a different book relating to Alan Turing in some way. Turing, a mathematician, is well known for his cryptographic work during WWII as well as his role in the development of modern computer science. His death (possibly suicide) at the age of 42 was most likely the result of persecution due to his sexual orientation.
Drawing Blood by Poppy Z. Brite
Escaping from his North Carolina home after his father murders their family and commits suicide, Trevor McGee returns to confront the past, and finds himself haunted by the same demons that drove his father to insanity.
You Can Draw in 30 Days by Mark Kistler
Drawing is an acquired skill, not a talent—anyone can learn to draw! All you need is a pencil, a piece of paper, and the willingness to tap into your hidden artistic abilities. You Can Draw in 30 Days will teach you the rest. With Emmy award–winning, longtime PBS host Mark Kistler as your guide, you’ll learn the secrets of sophisticated three-dimensional renderings, and have fun along the way. Included will be our awesome(?) before and after drawings!
Little House by Laura Ingalls Wilder
In the early 1930s, Laura Ingalls Wilder began to chronicle the story of her life as a pioneer girl on the western frontier. With the input of her daughter, her nascent memoirs eventually became the series known as the Little House books, and the basis for TV series, movies, and not a few imitators.
2012: Spotlight on Australia and New Zealand
The Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner
Starting with the notion that “quantum foam” might be a key to sending messages back through time, Tane, his friend Rebecca, and his older brother Fatboy discover a series of coded transmissions from their own future selves: a set of lottery numbers, circuit diagrams for a transmitter, and ominous warnings about a “Chimera Project.” That last turns out (they discover too late) to be a scientific experiment gone wrong that produces an opaque cloud of deadly organisms designed to detect and kill all human life.
Dragon Keeper by Carole Wilkinson
In the year 141 B.C., Ping is an illiterate Chinese orphan who lives on the edge of one of the Emperor’s least-used royal palaces. Her master is a boorish drunk who neglects his duties as Imperial Dragon Keeper. Under his watch, the Emperor’s dragons have dwindled from a magnificent dozen to a miserable two. When the next to last dies, the remaining dragon, Long Danzi, coaxes Ping into helping him flee to the faraway ocean.
Pirate X by Sherryl Clark
Will has travelled back almost 300 years to 1717 and a world full of danger. He is forced into work on Blackbeard’s pirate ship, looting and burning across the Caribbean under his ruthless captain’s suspicious gaze.
Alex (In Lane Three, Alex Archer) by Tessa Duder
Fifteen-year-old Alex struggles to overcome personal trauma and hardship as she competes with her arch rival for a place on the New Zealand swimming team participating in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Townies, Cadets (city kids doing a six-week outdoor education program), and Jellicoe School students—have engaged in teen war games in the Australian countryside, defending territorial borders, negotiating for assets, and even taking hostages. Taylor Markham, a 17-year-old who was abandoned years ago by her mother, takes on leadership of the boarding school’s six Houses. Plagued with doubts about being boss, she’s not sure she can handle her Cadet counterpart, Jonah Griggs, whom she met several years before while running away to find her mother.
Deepwater Black by Ken Catran
A virus breaks out and leaves the humans residing on Earth doomed. However, in a desperate attempt before the end, all humanity’s resources are dedicated to a crash program to produce a deep space ark, capable of seeding humanity on a new world. The ship is crewed by six clones; teenage versions of people who achieved great works during the ark project and equipped with the memories of their donors. Prior to its arrival, however, the crew is awoken prematurely to face a threat to the ship, before their memories are complete.
Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greeenwood
In Melbourne to investigate the mysterious illness of the daughter of a family friend, Phryne stumbles into a case involving two of the 1920s’ signature evils: cocaine and back-alley abortions. Banding together with a crew of colorful local characters, and finding time to indulge in some erotic fun with a sexy Russian dancer, Phryne soon leaves her mark on Melbourne.
Dare, Truth or Promise by Paula Boock
Louie is the talented daughter of wealthy and cultured parents, and Willa is a strong-minded redhead who lives over the pub. They come from different worlds, but when they meet working at Burger Giant, lightning strikes–soon they are frantically in love. Willa has had a previous affair that was undermined by denial, but this time it feels inevitable and right, even when Louie’s mother banishes Willa after discovering them in an embrace; even when Willa is threatened by hostile anonymous notes; even when they avoid each other in confusion and pain.
The Arrival by Shaun Tan
A lone immigrant leaves his family and journeys to a new world, both bizarre and awesome, finding struggle and dehumanizing industry but also friendship and a new life. Tan infuses this simple, universal narrative with vibrant, resonating life through confident mastery of sequential art forms and conventions.
The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy
A Christmas story that takes place on the beach in a sunny New Zealand December. Mahy’s fans will not be surprised to learn that it is also a love story in which one of the lovers is a ghost. To most of the Hamilton family, the three young men who drop in on their holiday seem to be ordinary, although eccentric, visitors. To 17-year-old Ariadne (always called Harry), they are much more than that, perhaps ghosts, or even characters come alive from a story she is writing.
Planned Doubletakes: Cold Magic, by Kate Elliott; Rurouni Kenshin, by Nobuhiro Watsuki; the Nebula Project; I am J, by Cris Beam; Eon and Eona, by Alison Goodman; Galax-Arena, by Gillian Rubenstein