296 IQ

IQby Joe Ide, 2016

In southern LA, Isaiah Quintabe fights crime. Unlike others who may enact retribution for wrongs done unto them, Isaiah uses his acute powers of observation and inductive reasoning to determine the how the facts around him form a story that makes sense. Having dropped out of high school after the unexpected death of his older brother, Marcus, Isaiah depends on neighborhood cases to sustain him, whether through payment of food or favors. It’s the bigger, higher profile cases that allow Isaiah to make his living, and it’s just this sort of case that Isaiah finds himself embroiled in at the beginning of this highly enjoyable modern mystery series.

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295 Farewell Summer

farwellsummerby Ray Bradbury, 2006

Summer has come to an end in Green Town, Illinois, and twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding and his ten-year-old brother Tom must come face-to-face with that which they fear the most: growing up. Immediately following the events of Dandelion Wine, Farewell Summer continues the story of these two young boys, soon to be men, in their idyllic hometown. Though it’s the beginning of October, the hot weather continues to hold on, refusing to let go its grasp over the green lawns and the winds that blow over the Spaulding porch. Ultimately, that heat will be shut out, as, despite the boys’ best efforts, time marches forward.

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294 Palmeras en la nieve

palmerasenlanievede Luz Gabás, 2012

[Scroll down for English.]

Una tierra lejana, un amor prohibido, y un secreto guardado durante décadas: estos son los elementos de fondo en Palmeras en la nieve. En 2003, la joven Clarence descubre una carta misteriosa en la colección de correspondencia de su padre Jacobo y tío Kilian. El mensaje trata de un pago que se envió a un destinatario desconocido. El papel en el que está escrita se parece al de las misivas antigua; de hecho, es muy similar a las que su abuelo Antón, Jacobo, y Kilian escribían para sus familiares en España. Esto sucedía durante sus años en una plantación de cacao en la entonces Guinea Española. Clarence solo puede deducir, de las pocas líneas escritas, que su padre podría haber enviado dinero a una mujer con hijos. Después de hablar del asunto con Julia, una vieja amiga de la familia, Clarence decide viajar a la finca de Sampaka donde sus parientes vivían y trabajaban. Se dirige allí con el consejo de Julia de encontrar a un hombre un poco mayor que Clarence que se llama Fernando. Estas son las únicas pistas que tienen Clarence -y el lector- al principio de este novelón de 700 páginas.

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293 Let’s All Kill Constance

letsallkillconstanceby Ray Bradbury, 2003

Finally, this noir trio has come to a close! Involving the same characters as those in Death Is a Lonely Business and A Graveyard for Lunatics, Let’s All Kill Constance focuses on former Hollywood starlet Constance Rattigan. After receiving a “book of the dead” and a “book of the doomed,” in which people whose names wield red crosses end up dead, Constance is convinced that someone is out to get her next. To her rescue are our unnamed narrator from the previous two novels, along with Detective Crumley. The two set out on a mission to find out why Constance is in danger, from whom, and whether she can be saved.

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292 The Water Dancer

waterdancerby Ta-Nehisi Coates, 2019

Hiram Walker is the son of a slave and plantation master. Tasked with the care of his dimwitted, obnoxious half-brother Maynard, Hi is witness to the injustices that befall him and all of his race, regardless of paternity. When the two fall in a river and only Hi comes out alive, he sees his father’s hopes for his land and fortune crumble under the loss of an undeserving son. It’s only natural that Hi would want to escape his bondage and, being the grandson of a woman who legend says walked out into a field with a group of fellow slaves and disappeared into freedom, he endeavors to take Sophia, the woman he loves, with him. This is the story of his escape.

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291 From the Dust Returned

fromthedustreturnedby Ray Bradbury, 2001

An unusual family resides in a house, all coming together to share their lives and stories. However, one of them is not like the others–he is alive. This is the basis of this collection of short stories-turned novel that is just perfect for the month of October. Far from landing on the most obvious goblins and ghouls of the Halloween season, Bradbury spins a tale that reveals the hopes and dreams of each of these undead entities. 

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290 Peak

peak (1)by Anders Ericsson & Robert Pool, 2016

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise is simply one of the best books on personal and professional development I’ve ever read. There exists a myth in our culture that people who are good at something were born good at it, that they have an inexplicable talent that has allowed them to achieve a greatness to which others cannot aspire. Ericsson and Pool seek to dismantle this myth and show that those who have reached a high level of success in their endeavors have not done so without time, practice, and effort. The book serves as great inspiration for anyone who has wanted to master a skill but who has felt that, for reasons beyond their control, they are relegated to failure. The truth is that anyone can achieve greatness (or, very good-ness) if they’re willing to dedicate themselves to the work.

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