Thursday, June 28, 2018

Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"

Zora Neale Hurston

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.

In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past—memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilde, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War.

Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo’s unique vernacular, and written from Hurston’s perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon brilliantly illuminates the tragedy of slavery and one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.

Nonfiction. Call number: 306.362 Hur. View in our catalog

Calypso by David Sedaris

Calypso

David Sedaris

If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with Calypso. You'd be wrong.

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it's impossible to take a vacation from yourself.

With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny—it's a book that can make you laugh 'til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris's powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris's darkest and warmest book yet—and it just might be his very best.

Nonfiction. Call number: 818.609 Sed. View in our catalog

Atlanta, Season 1

Atlanta, the Complete First Season

Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz

Starring and created by Donald Glover, Atlanta follows two cousins who work through the Atlanta music scene in order to better their lives and the lives of their families.

DVD. Call number: DVD-TV Atl. View in our catalog

The Geek's Cookbook by Liguori Lecomte

The Geek's Cookbook: Easy Recipes Inspired by Pokémon, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and More!

Liguori Lecomte

Binge-watching your favorite season of Dexter, Breaking Bad, or The Walking Dead? Planning a Pokémon Go gaming party or a Harry Potter viewing party? Need sustenance to fuel your attempt to achieve the impossible and watch all six Star Wars movies in a row? Enter The Geek Cookbook, your guide to cooking all sorts of treats and goodies to nourish your inner (or outer) geek.

Send your taste buds to another world with over thirty recipes from your favorite series, TV shows, and video games. Experience the supreme taste of the Matrix Burger or the Sauron Tarts, succumb to the Dagobah Marsh in Herb Crust or the Karadoc Crunch. Top it all off with some Minecraft Cookies or Meringue Pokéball, and you’ve got yourself a meal fit for Geek royalty.

Teen nonfiction. Call number: YA 641.5 Lec. View in our catalog

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science

Joyce Sidman

Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be “born of mud” and to be “beasts of the devil.” Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them?

One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly. In this visual nonfiction biography, richly illustrated throughout with full-color original paintings by Merian herself, the Newbery Honor–winning author Joyce Sidman paints her own picture of one of the first female entomologists and a woman who flouted convention in the pursuit of knowledge and her passion for insects.

Youth biography. Call number: J BIOG Merian. View in our catalog

Descriptions and images provided by the publishers.

© 2018 William P. Faust Westland Public Library