Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2013, Pt. 3: Cory Doctorow, Kim Harrison, and Garry Wills

Doctorow, Cory. Homeland. Tor Teen. Feb. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780765333698. $17.99. DYSTOPIAN
Ignore the “teen” in Tor Teen; Doctorow is the ultimate crossover author, whose sharp writing and commitment to investigating the hot-button political and technological issues of today (and tomorrow) engage YA and adult readers alike. This sequel to Little Brother, a New York Times best-selling and multi-award winning cult favorite, finds Marcus (alias M1K3y) working as webmaster for a reform-minded politician after funds for his college tuition go south with the California economy. Former girlfriend Masha has just palmed him a thumb drive with enough whistle-blowing data about corporate and governmental malfeasance to make Julian Assange blush, but concerns about his employer, his parents, his hacktavist admirers, and the tough guys who seem to be trailing him mean that he’ll move very cautiously. With a seven-city tour.

Harrison, Kim. Ever After. Harper Voyager. Feb. 2013. 448p. ISBN 9780061957918. $27.99; eISBN 9780062228154. FANTASY
The ever after—the demonic world paralleling that of mere mortals—is in danger of disappearing, and it’s all witch–turned–daywalking demon Rachel Morgan’s fault. She evidently caused a ley line to rip, and her life is forfeit unless she can mend her mistake. What’s worse, the ever after’s most powerful demon, who has a passion for eating souls, is now hungry for hers and has the perfect plan for entrapping her; he’s kidnapped her best friend and her goddaughter, who don’t stand a chance unless she comes soon. Enter elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, who will join Rachel in her efforts to save her loved ones—along with the universe. Of course you’ll need this 11th entry in the “Hollows” series. The one-day laydown on January 22, 250,000-copy first printing, and ten-city tour to Ann Arbor, Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, San Diego, and Seattle say it all.

Wills, Garry. Why Priests?: The Real Meaning of the Eucharist. Viking. Feb. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780670024872. $27.95. RELIGION
Pulitzer Prize winner Wills spent five years at a Jesuit seminary and nearly became a priest, so the provocative questions he raises in his latest book are grounded in serious study. Wills points out that Christianity initially had no priests and in fact opposed the very idea; the anonymous Letter to the Hebrews, added late to the New Testament canon, brought in the priesthood and other now-key concepts, e.g., apostolic succession and the real presence in the Eucharist. So why do we need priests? Even as he acknowledges that the priesthood won’t wither and die, Wills ponders that question, and he asks us to remember that Christianity once managed without someone at the pulpit. Clearly a thought-provoker destined to inspire debate.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.