Monthly Archives: May 2018

Look What’s in Warner Library!

Warner Library serves Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. There’s a big browsing section of new books added to the library collection.

(2018-05-11 002) DELETETitle: Heir to the Empire

Author: Timothy Zahn

Publication Information: New York: Del Rey, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-553-29612-9

Library of Congress Classification: PS3576.A33

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Skywalker, Luke (Fictitious character)–Fiction
Organa, Leia (Fictitious character)–Fiction
Solo, Han (Fictitious character)–Fiction
Interplanetary voyages–Fiction

This book was one of a trilogy that was originally released in hardback in 1991-1992. I owned all three books but never read them. Since I’m finished with my thesis and my M.A., I decided to give it a try.

It is four years after the fall of the Empire. The New Republic is struggling along as it gets larger and larger, pushing back the remnants of Imperial forces. However, there’s a dark force that the Republic does not know about, and he is slowly gathering ships and men. He is Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the Emperor’s warlords, who was commanding a sector of the Empire on the outer fringes. He has now come back, and is slowly calculating how to bring about the New Republic’s demise.

Meanwhile, Princess Leia and Han are overworked as they put out the diplomatic brush fires that happen constantly in the New Republic. Married, they are expecting twins. Leia has also begun her training in using the Force from her brother, Luke. Luke has not yet begun to build a new Jedi Order. Even though Admiral Ackbar is supreme commander of the Republic’s forces, he finds that his authority is constantly being challenged by Fey’lya, one of the councilors who seeks more power.

Thrawn finds someone strong in the Dark Side of the Force to begin calling to Luke. For Leia, he has the Noghri out to kidnap her. He raids Lando’s city and steals equipment that he uses against the Republic shipyards. The attack on the shipyards is the first step, Thrawn tells the captain of his ship, in the final defeat of the Rebel Alliance.

I remember when these books were released. These were the first Star Wars novels ever to be released in hardback. They were so successful that they were re-released in paperback, with 2016 being the most recent. This trilogy is now branded Legends, as it does not fit into the official Star Wars canon. It was a fun, fast read. I do understand why so many fans were upset with Disney when they chose to ignore the “established” sequel that the novels created to the movies. In many cases, the novels had well-written plots that were very good.

In any case, I have to recommend this book to any Star Wars fan who hasn’t yet read it.

T. J. Klune, How to be a Normal Person

(2018-04-30 001) DELETETitle: How to be a Normal Person

Author: T. J. Klune

Publication Information: Tallahassee, FL : Published by Dreamspinner Press, c2015

ISBN: 978-1-63476-579-4 (digital); 978-1-63476-578-7 (print)

Library of Congress Classification:

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Gay men–Fiction
Drug utilization–Fiction
Asexual people–Fiction

Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this and so does everyone in Abby, Oregon. He has a ferret named Harry S. Truman, and he reads encyclopedias before he goes to bed. He talks to as few people as possible, which isn’t too hard since he runs a video rental store. Besides the few customer interactions he has, he talks to Lottie, who owns Lottie’s Lattes, and three elderly women known as the We Three Queens. They ride Vespas.

His life continues in it’s daily rut until he meets asexual stoner and hiptser Casey, a relative of Lottie’s who has come to stay in Abby. The world Gus knows is thrown completely out of order as he cannot resist the attraction to the hip stoner. Therefore Gus decides that he wants to be “normal.” Gus goes to great lengths to discover the “secrets” of being a “normal” person so that Casey would like him.

I’ve never read a book by T.J. Klune, but I fell in love with this one almost immediately. Gus lost his father, Pastor Tommy (he’s not really a cleric, just a title given to him by everyone in Abby), a few years before the story begins; his mother left them when Gus was five. Gus is anti-social and tries to control all interactions he has with people. (My impression was that he might be on the autism spectrum.) He limits the time he talks to them and has no real interest in small talk, but all this begins to change.

The book is quite sweet. Gus wants so badly to be with Casey that he finds an Internet site on how to be normal and then proceeds to use the information with hilarious results. There is a lot of drug use in the book, Pastor Tommy being a pothead and Casey having used the drug off and on. This seemed to offend a few people who gave the book bad reviews on Amazon. Casey, being asexual, really isn’t interested in the act of sex; he prefers hugs, so there are no hot and heavy sex scenes.

I wondered about Gus’ relationship with Pastor Tommy, but it unfolds over the course of the entire book. We learn that there was real love Pastor Tommy had for his son, and that Gus really misses his father. (Pastor Tommy died of cancer.) It’s quite poignant. The book is cleverly written.

The book was thoroughly enjoyable, and I highly recommend it.