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Books of the Month - September

Updated: Sep 6

Every other month, everyone at Lunstrum Electric has the opportunity to suggest a book recommendation that they think others in the company might be interested in reading. After this list is compiled, everyone gets to choose one of the books from the list of suggestions and the company purchases that book for them. September's picks are listed below.




Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones

By George R.R. Martin

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire & Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart. What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why was it so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What were Maegor the Cruel’s worst crimes? What was it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed. With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire & Blood is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.




Another Place at the Table

By Kathy Harrison

The startling and ultimately uplifting narrative of one woman's thirteen-year experience as a foster parent. For more than a decade, Kathy Harrison has sheltered a shifting cast of troubled youngsters-the offspring of prostitutes and addicts; the sons and daughters of abusers; and teenage parents who aren't equipped for parenthood. All this, in addition to raising her three biological sons and two adopted daughters. What would motivate someone to give herself over to constant, largely uncompensated chaos? For Harrison, the answer is easy. Another Place at the Table is the story of life at our social services' front lines, centered on three children who, when they come together in Harrison's home, nearly destroy it. It is the frank first-person story of a woman whose compassionate best intentions for a child are sometimes all that stand between violence and redemption.




Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

By Max Brooks

As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now. The journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing—and too earth-shattering in its implications—to be forgotten. In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it. Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and, inevitably, of savagery and death. Yet it is also far more than that. Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us—and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity. Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it—and like none you’ve ever read before.




The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure

By Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt

Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising—on campus as well as nationally. How did this happen? First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths contradict basic psychological principles about well-being and ancient wisdom from many cultures. Embracing these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—interferes with young people’s social, emotional, and intellectual development. It makes it harder for them to become autonomous adults who are able to navigate the bumpy road of life. Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to promote the spread of these untruths. They explore changes in childhood such as the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised, child-directed play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade. They examine changes on campus, including the corporatization of universities and the emergence of new ideas about identity and justice. They situate the conflicts on campus within the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization and dysfunction. This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.




Football's Fearless Activists: How Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, Kenny Stills, and Fellow Athletes Stood Up to the NFL and President Trump

By Mike Freeman

On September 1, 2016, Colin Kaepernick took a knee before a preseason game. Little did he, nor anyone else, know the ramifications from that decision. Since being exiled from the National Football League, Kaepernick has stood strong against all those who have attacked him. He and others who took a knee against racial inequality and police brutality have been ridiculed, mocked, threatened, and some have even lost their jobs. They have feared for their safety and that of their loved ones. For the first time, veteran journalist Mike Freeman sits down with those directly involved in the protests—the players—to find out how things really went down. Readers will learn why they decided to protest, how racism and the murdering of innocent men of color directly affected them, how the politics of protest affected their professional and personal lives, and if anything has even changed for the better. Including interviews with Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, Kenny Stills, Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, and numerous others, see first-hand how the media, President Trump, and the National Football League took a peaceful message for change and turned it on its head. They changed the narrative, accusing these men of being “anti-America,” “anti-military,” and “disrespecting the flag.” In Football’s Fearless Activists, Freeman offers an opportunity to understand what these protests meant to the players, and how the hatred from the media, President, NFL owners, and some Americans was not only unwarranted, but anti-American.

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