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    Dark Horses

    Dark Horses is a shocking, heart-pounding debut; it's both a coming-of-age novel and an unflinching story of resilience and survival. Fifteen-year-old Roan Montgomery is an equestrian prodigy; she attends a private high school, where she is given a special schedule allowing her to miss afternoon ...

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    Olympic Equestrian Eventing

    Eventing, sometimes described as an equestrian triathlon, became an Olympic summer sport at the Stockholm Games in 1912, but before that, it had its roots in the military as a series of exercises developed to test and prepare cavalry horses. Equestrian sports date back much further, in some cases ...

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    Best Laid Plans

    When starting a series, first impressions are key. Introducing a sympathetic or relatable protagonist – preferably flawed in some way – is crucial so the first book provides traction for character development in future installments. In Best Laid Plans, Gwen Florio's heroine Nora Best has...

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    Overcoming Arkoudaphobia: The Rarity of Bear Attacks in North America

    Bears terrify a lot of people. So much so that 'arkoudaphobia' — the fear of bears — is a common phenomenon. However, the danger bears pose to people in North America is massively embellished in the public's collective psyche. Fantastical representations of bears in literature, ...

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    Last Night at the Telegraph Club

    Author Malinda Lo takes readers to Chinatown, San Francisco in 1954, where 17-year-old Lily Hu is looking to her future amidst the Red Scare, cultural pressures and discovering who she is – and who she loves – in Last Night at the Telegraph Club. The young adult novel follows ...

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    Anti-Chinese Sentiment Past and Present

    In Last Night at the Telegraph Club, some of the pressure that Lily faces in her family life is related to their precarious situation as immigrants, specifically as Chinese immigrants in the aftermath of the anti-communist hysteria of McCarthyism. Chinese immigrants have a long, often obscured ...

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    No One Is Talking About This

    If anyone knows the ins and outs of living online, it's Patricia Lockwood. Before her stellar memoir Priestdaddy, Lockwood was well known for "Rape Joke," a 2013 self-referential poem that was published on the website The Awl and soon went viral; she's also pushed the boundaries of social media ...

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    Beyond the Book

    Proteus Syndrome

    Midway through Patricia Lockwood's novel No One Is Talking About This, the unnamed protagonist learns that her sister's baby has been diagnosed with Proteus syndrome. You might recognize this as the condition believed to have affected Joseph Merrick, the so-called Elephant Man, whose late-19th-...

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    A Thousand Ships

    Recent years have seen a trend in reinventions of Greek myths and legends, some from the perspectives of women. Novels like Madeline Miller's Circe and Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls have done wonders for fleshing out and adding dimension to the library of stories from ancient Greece that we ...

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    Beyond the Book

    The Truth Behind Helen of Troy and the Trojan War

    The story of the Trojan War, fought between the Greeks and the people of Troy, has been told and retold for thousands of years. This is in large part thanks to the efforts of Homer, the ancient Greek poet who penned the Iliad and Odyssey, recordings of epic stories set during and after the war. ...

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    Review

    Zorrie

    In Zorrie, Laird Hunt takes readers through decades of his main character's struggles, joys and dreams — both realized and sacrificed. Orphaned in early 20th-century Indiana, when both her parents succumbed to diphtheria, Zorrie was left to be cared for by an aunt who her father had described ...

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    Beyond the Book

    Ghost Girls (Radium Girls)

    In Laird Hunt's book Zorrie, the title character takes a job painting watch dials with illuminating radium in Ottawa, Illinois. The women employed by the company think it's great fun to glow all night after their shifts, and even smuggle extra vials of glow-in-the-dark paint home to create ...

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