5 Books | by Business Insider
A Brief History of Time
An anniversary edition of a now-classic survey of the origin and nature of the universe features a new introduction by the author and a new chapter on the possibility of time travel and "wormholes" in space
A Long Way Gone
My new friends have begun to suspect I haven't told them the full story of my life. "Why did you leave Sierra Leone?" "Because there is a war." "You mean, you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?" "Yes, all the time." "Cool." I smile a little. "You should tell us about it sometime." "Yes, sometime." This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.
A Wrinkle in Time
Madeleine L'Engle's ground-breaking science fiction and fantasy classic, soon to be a major motion picture. It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. "Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract." A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem. A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal. It is the first book in The Time Quintet, which consists of A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time. A Wrinkle in Time is soon to be a movie from Disney, directed by Ava DuVernay, starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. This title has Common Core connections.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
âe~Heartbreaking? Certainly. Staggering? Yes, Iâe(tm)d say so. And if genius is capturing the universal in a fresh and memorable way, call it that tooâe(tm) Anthony Quinn, Sunday Times âe~Is this how all orphans would speak âe" âeoeI am at once pitiful and monstrous, I knowâe âe" if they had Dave Eggersâe(tm)s prodigious linguistic gifts? For he does write wonderfully, and this is an extremely impressive debutâe(tm) John Banville, Irish Times âe~A virtuosic piece of writing, a big, daring, manic-depressive stew of a book that noisily announces the debut of a talented âe" yes, staggeringly talented âe" new writerâe(tm) âe" Michiko Kakutani, New York Times âe~Exhilarating . . . Profoundly moving, occasionally angry and often hilarious . . . A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is, finally, a finite book of jest, which is why it succeeds so brilliantlyâe(tm) âe" New York Times Book Review âe~What is really shocking and exciting is the bookâe(tm)s sheer rage. AHWOSG is truly ferocious, like any work of genius. Eggers âe" self-reliant, transcendent, expansive âe" is Emersonâe(tm)s ideal Young American. [The book] does itself justice: it is a settling of accounts. And it is almost too good to be believedâe(tm) âe" London Review of Books âe~A hilarious book . . . In it, literary gamesmanship and self-consciousness are trained on lifeâe(tm)s most unendurable experience, used to examine a memory too scorching to stare at, as one views an eclipse by projecting sunlight onto paper through a pinholeâe(tm) âe" Time âe~Eggers evokes the terrible beauty of youth like a young Bob Dylan, frothing with furious anger . . . He takes us close, shows us as much as he can bear . . . His book is a comic and moving witness that transcends and transgresses formal boundariesâe(tm) âe" Washington Post
The Bad Beginning
'If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.' Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are most unfortunate children. Orphaned after the sudden death of their parents in a house fire, they are left in the hands of their guardian, Count Olaf, who has diabolical plans for them . . . 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide, has been translated into 41 languages and was adapted into a 2004 film starring Jim Carrey. 'Wicked good fun' - Kirkus Reviews