Recent acquisitions at Attack of the Books!

Over the last few weeks, Attack of the Books! has been lucky to receive a few new reads, not all of which I am sure will get a review in the near future. I mean, we love to read, but there are only so many hours in the day, right?

Also, don’t forget to go enter our giveaway that runs until next Thursday. We’ll send one copy of David Farland’s Nightingale to a lucky reader. Sign up here.

So, until I can get around to reading and posting on these excellent finds, here’s a few of our recent acquisitions:


Seven Forges by James S.A. Moore (sent to us by Angry Robot–look for an Attack of the Books! review next week)

Captain Merros Dulver is the first in many lifetimes to find a path beyond the great mountains known as the Seven Forges and encounter, at last, the half-forgotten race who live there. And it would appear that they were expecting him. As he returns home, bringing an entourage of strangers with him, he starts to wonder whether his discovery has been such a good thing. For the gods of this lost race are the gods of war, and their memories of that far-off cataclysm have not faded.

The people of Fellein have live with legends for many centuries. To their far north, the Blasted Lands, a legacy of an ancient time of cataclysm, are vast, desolate and impassable, but that doesn’t stop the occasional expedition into their fringes in search of any trace of the ancients who had once lived there… and oft-rumored riches.

Brotherhood of the Wolf (The Runelords, Book Two) by David Farland

Raj Ahtan, ruler of Indhopal, has used enough forcibles to transform himself into the ultimate warrior: The Sum of All Men. Ahtan seeks to bring all of humanity under his rule-destroying anything and anyone that stood in his path, including many friends and allies of young Prince Gaborn Val Orden. But Gaborn has fulfilled a two-thousand-year-old prophecy, becoming the Earth King-a mythic figure who can unleash the forces of the Earth itself.

And now the struggle continues. Gaborn has managed to drive off Raj Ahtan, but Ahtan is far from defeated. Striking at far-flung cities and fortresses and killing dedicates, Ahtan seeks to draw out the Earth King from his seat of power, to crush him. But as they weaken each other’s forces in battle, the armies of an ancient and implacable inhuman enemy issue forth from the very bowels of the Earth.

After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall: A Novel by Nancy Kress

Winner of the 2012  Nebula Novella Award

The year is 2035. After ecological disasters nearly destroyed the Earth, 26 survivors—the last of humanity—are trapped by an alien race in a sterile enclosure known as the Shell. Fifteen-year-old Pete is one of the Six—children who were born deformed or sterile and raised in the Shell. As, one by one, the survivors grow sick and die, Pete and the Six struggle to put aside their anger at the alien Tesslies in order to find the means to rebuild the earth together. Their only hope lies within brief time-portals into the recent past, where they bring back children to replenish their disappearing gene pool. Meanwhile, in 2013, brilliant mathematician Julie Kahn works with the FBI to solve a series of inexplicable kidnappings. Suddenly her predictive algorithms begin to reveal more than just criminal activity. As she begins to realize her role in the impending catastrophe, simultaneously affecting the Earth and the Shell, Julie closes in on the truth. She and Pete are converging in time upon the future of humanity—a future which might never unfold. Weaving three consecutive time lines to unravel both the mystery of the Earth’s destruction and the key to its salvation, this taut adventure offers a topical message with a satisfying twist.

This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff

Throughout history, rich and poor countries alike have been lending, borrowing, crashing–and recovering–their way through an extraordinary range of financial crises. Each time, the experts have chimed, “this time is different”–claiming that the old rules of valuation no longer apply and that the new situation bears little similarity to past disasters. With this breakthrough study, leading economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff definitively prove them wrong. Covering sixty-six countries across five continents, This Time Is Different presents a comprehensive look at the varieties of financial crises, and guides us through eight astonishing centuries of government defaults, banking panics, and inflationary spikes–from medieval currency debasements to today’s subprime catastrophe. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, leading economists whose work has been influential in the policy debate concerning the current financial crisis, provocatively argue that financial combustions are universal rites of passage for emerging and established market nations. The authors draw important lessons from history to show us how much–or how little–we have learned.

Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It by Richard H. Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr.

The debate over affirmative action has raged for over four decades, with little give on either side. Most agree that it began as noble effort to jump-start racial integration; many believe it devolved into a patently unfair system of quotas and concealment. Now, with the Supreme Court set to rule on a case that could sharply curtail the use of racial preferences in American universities, law professor Richard Sander and legal journalist Stuart Taylor offer a definitive account of what affirmative action has become, showing that while the objective is laudable, the effects have been anything but.

Sander and Taylor have long admired affirmative action’s original goals, but after many years of studying racial preferences, they have reached a controversial but undeniable conclusion: that preferences hurt underrepresented minorities far more than they help them. At the heart of affirmative action’s failure is a simple phenomenon called mismatch. Using dramatic new data and numerous interviews with affected former students and university officials of color, the authors show how racial preferences often put students in competition with far better-prepared classmates, dooming many to fall so far behind that they can never catch up. Mismatch largely explains why, even though black applicants are more likely to enter college than whites with similar backgrounds, they are far less likely to finish; why there are so few black and Hispanic professionals with science and engineering degrees and doctorates; why black law graduates fail bar exams at four times the rate of whites; and why universities accept relatively affluent minorities over working class and poor people of all races.

Sander and Taylor believe it is possible to achieve the goal of racial equality in higher education, but they argue that alternative policies—such as full public disclosure of all preferential admission policies, a focused commitment to improving socioeconomic diversity on campuses, outreach to minority communities, and a renewed focus on K-12 schooling —will go farther in achieving that goal than preferences, while also allowing applicants to make informed decisions. Bold, controversial, and deeply researched, Mismatch calls for a renewed examination of this most divisive of social programs—and for reforms that will help realize the ultimate goal of racial equality.

 The Light: A Novel by Robert Hammond

“Have you seen the Light?” Abel Adams, a brilliant but troubled young misfit desperately seeks freedom, love, and spiritual enlightenment while battling drug addiction, dark forces, and strange temptations. He zigzags through a mysterious labyrinth of crime and the occult along his hazardous quest toward redemption and recovery. The Light is the mystical odyssey of a prodigal son whose spiritual journey tumbles like a rollercoaster through a wild mix of philosophical, psychological, and religious experiences amid the turbulent post-1960s counterculture.

 Schrodinger’s Gat  by Robert Kroese

Schrodinger’s Gat is a quantum physics noir thriller. Paul Bayes has begun to feel like all of his actions are dictated by forces beyond his control. But when his suicide attempt is foiled by a mysterious young woman named Tali, Paul begins to wonder if the future is really as bleak as it seems. Tali possesses a strange power: the ability to predict tragedies and prevent them from happening. The possibility of breaking free from the grip of fate gives Paul hope. But when Tali disappears, Paul begins to realize that altering the future isn’t as easy as it seems: you can fight the future, but the future fights back.

On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History by Nicholas A. Basbanes

From its invention in China eighteen hundred years ago to recording the thoughts of Islamic scholars and mathematicians; from Europe, North America, and the rest of the inhabited world, Basbanes writes about the ways in which paper has been used to record history, make laws, conduct business . . . He makes clear that without paper, modern hygienic practice would be unimaginable; that as currency, people will do almost anything to possess it . . . that without it on which to draw designs and blueprints, the Industrial Revolution would never have happened. 

We see paper’s crucial role in the unfolding of political scandals and sensational trials (the Dreyfus Affair and the forged memorandum known as the bordereau; Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers and Watergate). 

Basbanes writes of his travels to get to the source of the story–to China along the Burma Road . . . to Landover, Maryland, and the National Security Agency with its one hundred million secret documents pulped by cryptologists and recycled as pizza boxes . . . to the Crane Company paper mill of Dalton, MA, the exclusive supplier of paper for American currency since 1879; and much more . . .

A masterly guide through paper’s inseparability from human culture. 

About Daniel

Daniel Burton lives in Salt Lake County, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. He reads about history, politics, and current events, as well as more serious genres such as science fiction and fantasy. You can also follow him on his blog where he muses on politics, the law, books and ideas.

  • Not enough hours in the day is more like it!

    I highly recommend the Nancy Kress, and that’s a skinny one, you can read it in about 2 hours.

    The affirmative Action book looks interesting, a lot of my friends from high school ended up at a particular state university that’s been embroiled in Affirmative Action issues since the beginning.

    • The Kress book came highly recommended, and with a fascinating premise, too. It’s very high on my next to be read list.

  • I am so excited I discovered your blog through the Utah Book Month! I see that you were featured and wanted to stop on by. I love that you are a team of reviewers.. fun!!! Plus I see you are reading the Ender’s series so I am about to check out those reviews. I love those books! By the way… Seven Forges about has an amazing cover!!

    Angela’s Anxious Life

    • It’s an interesting, and fast moving, book. Moore doesn’t waste any time on extraneous details, and I’m fast approaching an exciting finish. I look forward to reviewing this one.

      • Truly glad you’re enjoying Seven Forges, Daniel. I look foreward to your review!

        • I just finished it last night, James, and I look forward to reviewing it soon…however, you gotta tell me, because it’ll change my review–in a big way–is Seven Forges part of a series?

  • I just found your blog via Jen Jovus’ Utah book bloggers spotlight and I’m so glad I did! I’m having a great time looking around. I don’t read tons of sci fi/fantasy, but your blog’s making me regret that 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, Susan. Yes, it does seem like quite a bit in the sci-fi arena, lately. But then, summertime does seem to merit more light reading. Stick around, and you might see a few other genres, and some non-fiction, too, posted and reviewed.

      Do you have any recommendations yourself?

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