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New titles for April 2021

Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race – Walter Isaacson

Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson

In the spring of 2012, the Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her collaborators turned a curiosity of nature into an invention that will transform the future of the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions. It has already been deployed to cure deadly diseases, fight the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, and make inheritable changes in the genes of babies.

The development of CRISPR and the war against coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation revolution. The past half-century has been an information-technology era, based on the microchip, the computer, and the internet. Now we are entering an even more momentous era, a life-science revolution. Children who study digital coding will be surpassed by those who study the code of life.

Should we use our new evolution-hacking powers to make us less susceptible to viruses and eliminate dreaded disorders? What a wonderful boon that would be! Right? And what about preventing congenital deafness or blindness? Or being very short? Or being depressed? Hmmm…How should we think about that? Should we allow parents, if they can afford it, to enhance the IQ or height or memory or muscles of their kids?

Information provided by Angus and Robertson

21st Birthday (Women's Murder Club Series) – James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

21st Birthday by James Patterson

In the latest instalment in the globally bestselling Women's Murder Club series, SFPD Sergeant Lindsay Boxer vows to protect a twenty-year-old victim long enough to see her twenty-first birthday.

Lindsay Boxer has sworn to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. As Lindsay prepares to celebrate her own daughter's birthday, she clashes with rising Chief Charlie Clapper over a family case.When a distraught mother pleads with Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas to investigate the disappearance of her daughter, Linda, and baby granddaughter, Lorrie, Cindy immediately loops in SFPD. But Linda's schoolteacher husband, Lucas Burke, tells a conflicting story that paints Linda as a wayward wife, not a missing person. And there's reason to believe he may be telling the truth.

While M.E. Claire Washburn harbours theories that run counter to the police investigation of the Burke case, ADA Yuki Castellano sizes Lucas up as a textbook domestic offender - until he puts forward a theory of his own that unexpectedly connects the dots on a constellation of copycat killings. If what Lucas tells law enforcement has even a grain of truth, there isn't a woman in the state of California who's safe from the reach of such an unspeakable threat.

Information provided by Angus and Robertson

The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World – Reem Kassis

Arabesque Table by Reem Kassis

The Arabesque Table takes inspiration from the traditional food of the Arab world, weaving Reem Kassis's cultural knowledge with her contemporary interpretations of an ancient, remarkably diverse cuisine. She opens up the world of Arabic cooking today, presenting a mosaic of 130 delicious, accessible home recipes — from simple salads to flavorful mains and fragrant desserts. Organised by primary ingredient, her narratives formed by her experiences and influences bring the dishes to life, as does the book’s vivid photography.

Information provided by Angus and Robertson

The Arsonists' City – Hala Alyan

Arsonists' City by Hala Alyan

The Nasr family is spread across the globe--Beirut, Brooklyn, Austin, the California desert. A Syrian mother, a Lebanese father, and three American children: all have lived a life of migration. Still, they've always had their ancestral home in Beirut--a constant touchstone--and the complicated, messy family love that binds them. But following his father's recent death, Idris, the family's new patriarch, has decided to sell.

The decision brings the family to Beirut, where everyone unites against Idris in a fight to save the house. They all have secrets--lost loves, bitter jealousies, abandoned passions, deep-set shame--that distance has helped smother. But in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, an ongoing flow of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold this family together.

Information provided by Angus and Robertson

The Codebreakers – Alli Sinclair

Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair

1943, Brisbane: The war continues to devastate and the battle for the Pacific threatens Australian shores. For Ellie O'Sullivan, helping the war effort means utilising her engineering skills for Qantas as they evacuate civilians and deliver supplies to armed forces overseas. Her exceptional logic and integrity attract the attention of Central Bureau - an intelligence organisation working with England's Bletchley Park codebreakers. But joining Central Bureau means signing a lifetime secrecy contract. Breaking it is treason.

With her country's freedom at risk, Ellie works with a group of elite women who enter a world of volatile secrets; deciphering enemy communications to change the course of the war. Working under immense pressure, they form a close bond - yet there could be a traitor in their midst. Can the women uncover the culprit before it's too late?

As Ellie struggles with the magnitude of the promise she's made to her country, a wedge grows between her and those she holds dear. When the man she loves asks questions she's forbidden to answer, how will she prevent the double life she's leading from unravelling?

Information provided by Angus and Robertson

Girl in the Walls – A. J. Gnuse

Girl in the Walls by A. J. Gnuse

She doesn’t exist. She can’t exist.

Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home, stretching themselves until they’re as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can. But soon enough, they can’t help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house. Eventually, every hidden thing is found.

Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists? And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?

Information provided by Angus and Robertson

The Dangerous Gift (Wings of Fire Series) – Tui T. Sutherland

Dangerous Gift by Tui T. Sutherland

Snowfall didn’t expect to be queen of the IceWings at such a young age, but now that she is, she’s going to be the best queen ever. All she has to do is keep her tribe within IceWing territory, where it’s safe while keeping every other tribe out, where they belong.

It’s a perfect and simple plan, backed up by all the IceWing magic Snowfall can find. That is, until a storm of unidentified dragons arrives on her shore, looking for asylum.

The foreigners are completely strange and, Snowfall is certain, utterly untrustworthy. But as she escorts the miserable new tribes out of her kingdom, Snowfall is forced to reconsider her plan. Maybe she can only keep her tribe safe... if she’s willing to risk everything.

Information provided by Angus and Robertson