New Walkover Collection Title: The Secret of Magic

The Secret of Magic / Deborah Johnson.

Winner of the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for fiction.

“As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun’s The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest. The book was a sensation, featured on the cover of Time magazine, and banned more than any other book in the South. And then M.P. Calhoun disappeared. With Thurgood’s permission, Regina heads down to Mississippi to find Calhoun and investigate the case. But as she navigates the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past, she finds that nothing in the South is as it seems.” –publisher

Deborah Johnson found motivation to write this novel by recalling the racially unjust experiences of her beloved grandfather and his deep admiration for Thurgood Marshall. She is the author of The Air Between Us, which received the Mississippi Library Association award for fiction. The author also worked for many years in Rome, Italy as a translator and editor of doctoral theses and at Vatican Radio.


New Walkover Collection Title: The Sellout

The Sellout / Paul Beatty.

Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction

“A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.” –publisher

Paul Beatty is the author of the novels, Tuff, Slumberland and The White Boy Shuffle, and the poetry collections Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He was the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor.


New Walkover Collection Title: Preparation for the Next Life

Preparation for the Next Life / Atticus Lish.

Winner of the 2015 Penn/Faulkner award.

Author Atticus Lish brings forth his readers’ empathy and understanding while unravelling this story wrought with difficult truths. … “Preparation for the Next Life is a document of the undocumented and an unlikely love story between a Chinese Muslim immigrant, Zou Lei, and a traumatized Iraq War veteran, Skinner. [The book] forces readers to look squarely at a host of the failures plaguing contemporary American society.” (Penn/Faulkner award review, 4/7/15).

In creating this attention worthy novel, author Atticus Lish referenced his “brief” tour of duty with the Marines and his passion for teaching/studying the Chinese language.


New Walkover Collection Title: Fortune Smiles

Fortune Smiles / Adam Johnson.

Winner of the 2015 National Book Award for fiction.

In his Wall Street Journal interview (8/15/15) Adam Johnson related, “I’ve always been interested in fiction that delivers new worlds, and building them is one of the great pleasures I take from writing.” In Fortune Smiles he does indeed offer “new” insight, along with a rich, quality reading experience. … Subtly surreal, darkly comic, both hilarious and heartbreaking, [this book] is a major collection of stories that gives voice to the perspectives we don’t often hear, while offering something rare in fiction: a new way of looking at the world. Unnerving, riveting, and written with a timeless quality, these stories confirm Johnson as one of America’s greatest writers and an indispensable guide to our new century.” –Amazon

A recipient of many esteemed fiction awards, Adam Johnson also won the Pulitzer Prize for his previous novel, The Orphan Master’s Son.


New Books in the Library

The New Books collection is located directly in front of the reference desk.

Ann M. Israel, Advice for the Lawlorn: Career Do’s and Don’ts From One of the Most Successful Legal Recruiters in the Country (ABA 2014) LAW-New Books KF299.I5I835 2014

Advice for the Lawlorn is Ann Israel’s compilation of some of the highlights and lowlights of her Advice to the Lawlorn column over the column’s 20 plus year history in the New York Law Journal. Anonymity of the readers’ letters lead to candid questions and no issue is left unanswered or unaddressed.

Each chapter comprises a series of questions that have been posed to the author in a “Dear Abby” style and she responds in kind. She covers a range of topics from how to write a resume that will impress a hiring manager at a law firm, to changing firms/jobs mid-career, to office etiquette, to becoming a partner, and beyond.

Her advice ranges from the tactical to the practical and covers the entirety of a lawyer’s career—from law school through partnership and even to the winding down of a legal career. Much of her advice is timeless, but some of it is specifically useful for today’s legal field. (adapted from the publisher’s description)

Joan R. M. Bullock, How to Achieve Success After the Bar Exam: A Step-by-Step Action Plan (ABA 2014) LAW-New Books KF300.B853 2014
Law school can seem like a treadmill, there are assignments, projects, internships, interviews, and exams that all come in quick succession. Immediately after graduation, bar prep begins. What do you do once you pass the bar and “the rubber hits the road?” This can be an overwhelming time for many recent graduates. How to Achieve Success After the Bar Exam outlines an eight week plan to help transition recent graduates into a law practice. This workbook outlines daily activities to help:
• Define and articulate your vision of your legal practice;
• Seek out and acquire relationships with lawyers and other professionals that can enhance your ability to service your clients;
• Demonstrate your value to clients, prospective clients and strategic alliances;
• Plan and implement systems for the orderly administration of the business of your practice; and
• Develop simple metrics by which your can hold yourself accountable and to gauge your progress.


New and Notable Book in the Library

The New Books collection is located directly in front of the reference desk.

John Paul Stevens, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution (Little Brown & Co. 2014) LAW-New Books KF4557.S74 2014
“Provocative only begins to describe Stevens’ program. Perhaps the most controversial is the constitutional amendment that, after surveying the history of amendments generally, he saves for last—namely, to rewrite the Second Amendment so that it indisputably speaks to the intention of the Founders: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.” The italics are Stevens’—the strongest reaction to this proposed change is sure to come from devoted NRA members. In fact, that change would likely spell political suicide if forwarded by a sitting elected legislator, but Stevens, retired from the bench for several years, is above the fray. He can therefore safely advance another likely nonstarter, given the prevailing circumstances: another amendment, this one prohibiting partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts, which allowed the Democrats to win the plurality of votes but the Republicans to control the House in the last election. Though clearly of blue-state leanings, Stevens is evenhanded: He no more approves of Democratic gerrymandering than Republican. The author’s prose is sometimes lawyerly, but more often, it is plain and to the point: “[T]here is no reason why partisans should be permitted to draw lines that have no justification other than enhancing their own power.” That plain talk extends to his arguments for limiting money given to those in power—overturning Citizens United in the bargain—and controlling states-rightist impulses to nullify federal authority and declare sovereign immunity.
A refreshing set of opinions. One wishes that other retired justices would speak their minds so clearly, providing well-crafted arguments for others to take up.” (From Kirkus Reviews)