You are here

New Books for October


Fall is in the air, leaves are changing, and new books are rolling into the University Library. Here are some highlights:

Cover of The Fabulous Sylvester shows a photo of the disco star with a feather boa.

The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, The Music, The Seventies in San Francisco by Joshua Gamson. "A journey back through the music, madness, and unparalleled freedom of an era of change — the '70s — as told through the life of ultra-fabulous superstar Sylvester. Imagine a pied piper singing in a dazzling falsetto, wearing glittering sequins, and leading the young people of the nation to San Francisco and on to liberation where nothing was straight-laced or old-fashioned. And everyone, finally, was welcome — to come as themselves. This is not a fairy tale. This was real, mighty real, and disco sensation Sylvester was the piper. Joshua Gamson — a Yale-trained pop culture expert — uses him, a boy who would be fabulous, to lead us through the story of the '70s when a new era of change liberated us from conformity and boredom. Gamson captures the exuberant life, feeling, energy, and fun of a generation's wonderful, magical waking up — from the parties to the dancing and music. The story begins with a little black boy who started with nothing but a really big voice. We follow him from the Gospel chorus to the glory days in the Castro where a generation shook off its shame as Sylvester sang and began his rise as part of a now-notorious theatrical troup called the Cockettes. Celebrity, sociology, and music history mingle and merge around this endlessly entertaining story of a singer who embodied the freedom, spirit, and flamboyance of a golden moment in American culture."

My Real Children by Jo Walton. "It's 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. "Confused today," read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know-what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don't seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev. Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War, those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?"

The Universe Through the Eyes of Hubble by Oli Usher and Lars Lindberg Christensen. "Designed with large images and distraction-free layouts to increase the impact of Hubble's imagery, this book gives the reader a guided tour of the cosmos through the eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope. Before Hubble was launched in 1990, no exoplanet had ever been observed, dark energy was unknown, the age of the universe was a mystery, and the most distant objects observed were just halfway back in time to the Big Bang. Hubble has been the centerpiece in a revolution in astronomy, as well as giving the public a visceral connection to the Universe through its stunning images. The images that have been selected here explore key themes in recent astronomy, including planetary science, cosmology and stellar evolution, explaining Hubble's contributions to our understanding of the universe. Hubble's unique images — some never published before — are presented together with a mix of cutting-edge science that highlights the key discoveries of the past few years and how they fit into Hubble's growing list of scientific achievements. It is an unforgettable view of our amazing universe."

You Must Set Forth at Dawn: A Memoir by Wole Soyinka. "A memoir by Africa's first Nobel laureate for literature continues the story that began in his childhood autobiography "Aké" as Soyinka describes the adventures and mishaps of his adulthood, including his frequent exile from his homeland, his celebrated literary work, and his advocacy for political and human rights."

Find these new books and many more through the new books list in our catalog.