Staff Reviews

Timothy Zahn Reintroduces a Beloved Star Wars Villain with Thrawn

The announcement of a new Star Wars trilogy was bittersweet for many readers. Of course, it was great news for obvious reasons: over the next decade, we’ll see plenty of new Star Wars films. But new storylines also meant that beloved books from the Star Wars’ extended universe were excluded from Disney’s new, proper canon. One of those storylines was Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy, a series of novels that took place following Return of the Jedi. The three books—Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command—were published to great acclaim between 1994 and 1999.

Dazzling fans with his terrifying intellect, the titular Imperial Admiral Thrawn became a fast favorite for Star Wars readers. With Disney’s official canon in place, Thrawn had been excluded from that story until this week, when Zahn course-corrected Thrawn’s place in Star Wars history with this new book. According to fans of the series, Thrawn paints an accurate portrait of the Imperial Admiral while integrating him into the new canon. With May 4 (as in, May the Fourth be with you) acting as the obvious date to celebrate all things Star Wars, there’s no better time to dive into Zahn’s new book.

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn
The Last Command by Timothy Zahn

Adam Alter’s ‘Irresistible’ Illuminates the Science Behind Tech Addiction

There is a surprising fact that opens Adam Alter’s newest book, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked: the late Steve Jobs, Apple computers’ co-founder, wouldn’t allow his children to handle an iPad. Nearly a decade after the product’s release, it is easy to understand Jobs’ rationale: Americans are interacting with small, glowing screens more than ever—and many researchers now agree that these devices might also cause behavioral addictions.

Alter’s book isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, as there are many books that discuss technology’s negative impact on humans. But Alter encourages readers to co-exist with—not quit—devices by understanding the behaviors associated with tech addiction. This is a must-read for anyone curious about managing their own tech habits, or understanding how it might impact young children and adolescents.

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter

Celebrate Black History Month with Congressman John Lewis’ March Graphic Novels

Casual fans of comic books might associate the format with capes and super powers, but one of the decade’s most lauded pieces of sequential art features none of the above. In collaboration with writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell, Georgia congressman John Lewis has created an essential retelling of the Civil Rights Movement with March, a three-part graphic novel series that began in 2013 and wrapped up last year.

Inspired by the comic book Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story, the March series recounts Lewis’ own quest for civil rights—from Alabama sit-ins to a historic march on Selma. With praise from former president Bill Clinton, the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, and countless rave reviews, March is required reading for anyone interested in the American Civil Rights Movement.


March by John Lewis

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