Let’s start off with a note that this weekend is Rhubarb Days, our annual reminder that rhubarb exists to make pies, and that here in Sumner, we are good at making pies. During these two sun-soaked days of home-spun, downtown festivities, we are going to trot out that other thing that Sumner has: local authors. Two of them, in fact.
On Saturday, from 1:30pm until 3:30pm, Kimberly Derting and Erica Sage will be in the store. Derting’s new book, Cece Loves Science, is a delightful middle-grade book about a young girl who is tasked with doing some speculative work at home. She opts to give that ole scientific method a try by determining whether or not her dog will like vegetables. As you can imagine with the scientific method, there’s a bit of trial and error to sort through the hypotheses, and eventually Cece comes to a conclusion that she can totally back up with graphs and charts and vector diagrams.
Erica Sage’s book, Jacked Up, has fewer pictures, but it makes up for such lack of pictorial representations with the ghost of Jack Kerouac, a summer camp filled with all manner of interesting characters, and a donkey. Less science, too. But that’s to be expected when you’re talking about faith and family and all manner of mysterious ailments of the heart.
So, that’s this weekend: pie, science, and faith. And air-conditioning. Because you can’t have cool air without all three of those ingredients.
Anyway, what else is new this week? Oh, a couple of interesting books. Let’s see . . .
First off, there’s a new Pokédex, er, Pokémon Handbook, which will be handy when you’re out Pokémon-ing on the go. Someone can catch ‘em, and someone can look those pesky critters up in the handbook. It’s hard to keep track of all the evolved variants of the Eevee, right? There’s Vaporean, Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon (which requires lots of friendship mana beads or something), Umbreon (the same but different, and knowing how so and in what way is sort of a Pokémon trainer secret handshake), Leafeon, Glaceon, and Sylveon.
Anyway, for those of you who have not grown inordinately tired of hearing small voice recite the various evolutionary offshoots of the eevee, there is the Pokémon Super Deluxe Essential Handbook, containing over eight hundred of those capricious little critters. Most of them have less complicated taxonomy than the little furry brown ones.
And speaking of fantastic beasts and where to find them, Cornelia Funke is back with The Griffon’s Feather, the long-awaited sequel to Dragon Rider. Ben, our dragon-befriending protagonist from the first novel, is back, and he’s on a quest for a fabled sun feather, which is needed to help hatch the eggs of the last pegasuses (pegasi? Pegasusoose?). Pegasus plurality and physiology aside, Funke’s fun adventure setting sets the right sort of tone to talk about endangered species without getting pedantic.
And speaking of fun adventures, Edgar Cantero is back with This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us, a book that is summarized as “a comic & subversive celebration of noir detective novels, Die Hard, The Fast & The Furious, and sibling rivalry.” It may sound like too many crazy things shoved into one book, but hey, the protagonist is two people shoved into one body, so it’s all in keeping with the set-up, right? In This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us, A. Z. Kimrean is tasked with finding out who is murdering the sons of a notorious drug lord, and the subsequent investigation threatens to unravel pretty much all of reality as we know it. Which is, as you can expect, just another day’s work for Kimrean.
And speaking of stories that threaten to spill out of the boundaries of their pages, we also have Ken Follett’s A Column of Fire, now available in an edition that doesn’t require you to be able to benchpress a small pony in order to lift it. Follett tackles Elizabethean intrigue with this one, immersing us in the sixteenth century world of shrewd monarchs, devious spies, turbulent politics, and torrid affairs of the heart. It’s the sort of book that’ll take you away from all the summer heat, and keep you distracted well into the winter months.
Well, we’d miss you during the eight months or so that it will take you read this book, but we totally understand.
Anyway, we also have the paperback edition of the last Sue Grafton alphabet mystery. Yep. This is it. “Y” is as far as the alphabet goes. This is the last Kinsey Millhone novel, and for those of you who have been waiting for Grafton to finish the series before you start, well . . . you might as well get started.
And speaking of getting started, Delia Dawson and Kevin Hearne have banded together to upset the epic fantasy apple cart, so to speak. Their Kill the Farm Boy skewers the expectations we have about the mythology of the epic, wherein the “Chosen One” meets a terrible end on page 31, leaving a rag-tag band of perpetual misfits to figure out how to save the world. Fortunately, one of these misfits is a talking goat, and every adventure has a better chance of success when you bring along a talking goat.
And speaking of talking animals, we’ll end with The Ugly Five, a delightful picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. As you may know, the African savanna is home to many beasts that hog all the attention—the elephant, the lion, the rhino, and so on), which is totally unfair to the . . . let’s see, how shall we put this? The less attractive residents, who are no less lovable, really. They’re just, you know, bumpy in weird places. And so, Donaldson and Scheffler set out to show us that the wildebeest, the spotted hyena, the lappet-faced vulture, the warthog, and the marabou stork are actually pretty cool, in their own way.