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Heat and Light by
Call Number: PS 3608 .A544H43 2016
Publication Date: 2016-05-03
"For her excellent sixth work of fiction, Haigh (The Condition) returns to the mortally wounded mining town of Bakerton, Pa., peopled by unsettled folks whose ennui seems genetic, even in the wake of what might be a renaissance as the town begins exploiting a massive deposit of natural gas. Prison guard Rich Devlin signs over the mineral rights to his Pap's farm, hoping for a better life for himself, his wife, Shelby, and their chronically ill daughter, Olivia. Pastor Jess, the widow of Pastor Wes, counsels the hypochondriac Shelby, but begins to unravel herself as she becomes involved with Herc, a member of the Texan drilling crew whom the townspeople resent as noisy outsiders. The Devlins' neighbors, Mack and Rena, are organic dairy farmers whose customers begin to fall away as rumor spreads of contamination from the new drilling. And Gia, the waitress at Rich's dad's bar, has a drug problem that no one but Rich's brother, Darren, a recovering addict himself, can see. The author has deftly, and with few false notes, created a geography of connections among the townspeople, who are brothers, daughters, high school sweethearts, and strangers. Haigh has conjured stories of great consequence out of rural Pennsylvania, observing that 'more than most places, Pennsylvania is what lies beneath.' She has tapped the deep well of the human condition and relayed something profound about America at the turn of the 21st century." — Publishers Weekly
Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets by
Call Number: DK 510.76 A44913 2016
Publication Date: 2016-05-24
Journalist Alexievich, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in literature, has published an intriguing new work that examines the lives of ordinary Russians from the collapse of communism in the early 1990s into the second decade of the 21st century. Using extensive interviews, the author reveals a complex picture of post-Soviet Russia that often defies propaganda and media accounts about the new Russia. Alexievich experiments with a new style of writing that combines oral history with traditional reporting, which results in a compelling, useful account of contemporary Russia. The work also reveals what ordinary Russians think of their Soviet past. Even though communism collapsed in the Soviet Union over 25 years ago, the power of that idea and regime has continued to influence Russia in both positive and negative ways. Probably the greatest contribution of this work is the chronicling of the varied views of contemporary Russia woven into a compelling story that grips readers from beginning to end. This work will be influential for its literary and historical merit." — Choice
Bad Faith by
Call Number: PS 3623 .H4474A6 2016
Publication Date: 2016-07-29
A new collection of stories from Creighton Alumnus Theodore Wheeler.
With results both liberating and disastrous, the characters ofBad Faithflee the trappings of contemporary domestic life. A young father visits a college friend in San Salvador rather than face the anticipated difficult birth of his third child. A boy comes to terms with his fractured family and the disabled father responsible for him after his soldier mother is stationed overseas. A biracial man journeys across Nebraska for the funeral of his white mother and strikes up an improbable if dishonest relationship with a centenarian Irish woman. And in the collection's title story, the running narrative of a pathetic yet oddly compelling ladies man culminates in an unexpected and deadly confrontation. In Theodore Wheeler's collection of prize-winning stories, the herd can't always outpace the predator."
Zombies: A Cultural History by
Call Number: GR 581 .L83 2016
Publication Date: 2016-10-15
Add a gurgling moan with the sound of dragging feet and a smell of decay and what do you get? Better not find out. The zombie has roamed with dead-eyed menace from its beginnings in obscure folklore and superstition to global status today, the star of films such as 28 Days Later, World War Z, and the outrageously successful comic book, TV series, and video game--"The Walking Dead." In this brain-gripping history, Roger Luckhurst traces the permutations of the zombie through our culture and imaginations, examining the undead's ability to remain defiantly alive.
Luckhurst follows a trail that leads from the nineteenth-century Caribbean, through American pulp fiction of the 1920s, to the middle of the twentieth century, when zombies swarmed comic books and movie screens. From there he follows the zombie around the world, tracing the vectors of its infectious global spread from France to Australia, Brazil to Japan. Stitching together materials from anthropology, folklore, travel writings, colonial histories, popular literature and cinema, medical history, and cultural theory, Zombies is the definitive short introduction to these restless pulp monsters.
Call Number: PS 3566 .A7756C66 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-13
"Patchett (State of Wonder) draws from personal experience for a funny, sad, and ultimately heart-wrenching family portrait: a collage of parents, children, stepchildren, siblings, and stepsiblings. In 1960s California, lawyer Bert Cousins divorces Teresa, leaving her to raise their four children alone; Beverly Keating divorces Fix, an L.A. cop; and Bert and Beverly marry and relocate to Virginia with Beverly and Fix's two children. Visiting arrangements result in an angry, resentful younger generation-rebellious Cal, frustrated Holly, practical Jeannette, littlest Albie, bossy Caroline, kind-hearted Franny-spending part of summer vacations together. Left unsupervised, Cal takes charge, imitating grown-ups by drinking and carrying a gun, until a fatal accident puts an end to shared vacations. Patchett follows the surviving children into adulthood, focusing on Franny, who confides to novelist Leo Posen stories of her childhood, including the secret behind the accident. Twenty years after that conversation, middle-aged with children and stepchildren of their own, Franny and Caroline take 83-year-old Fix to see the movie version of Leo's novel about their family. Patchett elegantly manages a varied cast of characters as alliances and animosities ebb and flow, cross-country and over time. Scenes of Franny and Leo in the Hamptons and Holly and Teresa at a Zen meditation center show her at her peak in humor, humanity, and understanding people in challenging situations. What's more challenging, after all, than a family like the Commonwealth of Virginia, made up of separate entities bound together by chance and history?" — Publishers Weekly
The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin by
Call Number: DK 510.766 .P87M93 2016
Publication Date: 2016-08-23
"This new entry into the ever-growing repertoire of works on Vladimir Putin is a clear, readable, and detailed study of the leader's political life, illustrated throughout with intimate facts and anecdotes. Former New York Times journalist Myers draws upon publications both international and from within Russia, and utilizes his experience reporting on issues related to Russian politics and foreign affairs as he follows the famously inscrutable Russian ruler from his humble origins to his current presidency. Tracing the development of relationships between Putin and those he trusts, Myers examines how Putin's rise demonstrated his ability to capitalize on advantages, and how his personal loyalties defined his world-view. The author's political analysis places this account in a contextual rather than argumentative framework, reviewing Putin's life in terms of the greater Russian narrative of the post-Soviet era. Accessible, well-researched, and comprehensive, this political biography of a powerful and enigmatic global leader will be intriguing to anyone following current events or interested in the ongoing development of Russian politics and culture." — Library Journal
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by
Call Number: PN 4874 .L285A3 2015
Publication Date: 2015-09-22
"Popular blogger/author Lawson (Let's Pretend This Didn't Happen) writes that this 'funny book' about mental illness is not so much a sequel to her last book, but rather 'a collection of bizarre essays and conversations and confused thoughts stuck together by spilled boxed wine and the frustrated tears of baffled editors.' While followers of Lawson's blog will be familiar with her fascination with unusual topics (e.g., stuffed critters, the mysteries of Japanese toilets), newcomers may initially be jolted by the author's litany of diagnoses (depression, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, phobias, insomnia, etc.) as well as her unique ability to turn life's lemons into hilarious stories. Lawson decides that rather than wave a white flag, she will combat mental illness by being 'furiously happy.' Helping her stuffed raccoons ride on her cats, visiting Australia in a koala bear costume, and battling menacing swans are just a few of the ways she creates humor in a life that might defeat a less inventive individual. She also shares days of darkness, social anxiety, and a range of fears that sometimes keep her housebound. Though mostly comedic, the text also addresses such serious issues as self-injury and why mental illness is misunderstood. Lawson insightfully explores the ways in which dark moments serve to make the lighter times all the brighter." — Publishers Weekly
History's People: Personalities and the Past by
Call Number: CT105 .M236 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-15
In History's People internationally acclaimed historian Margaret MacMillan gives her own personal selection of figures of the past, women and men, some famous and some little-known, who stand out for her. Some have changed the course of history and even directed the currents of their times. Others are memorable for being risk-takers, adventurers, or observers. She looks at the concept of leadership through Bismarck and the unification of Germany; William Lyon MacKenzie King and the preservation of the Canadian Federation; Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the bringing of a unified United States into the Second World War. She also notes how leaders can make huge and often destructive mistakes, as in the cases of Hitler, Stalin, and Thatcher. Richard Nixon and Samuel de Champlain are examples of daring risk-takers who stubbornly went their own ways, often in defiance of their own societies. Then there are the dreamers, explorers, and adventurers, individuals like Fanny Parkes and Elizabeth Simcoe who manage to defy or ignore the constraints of their own societies. Finally, there are the observers, such as Babur, the first Mughal emperor of India, and Victor Klemperer, a Holocaust survivor, who kept the notes and diaries that bring the past to life.
History's People is about the important and complex relationship between biography and history, individuals and their times.
Swing Time by
Call Number: PR 6069 .M59S95 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-15
An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty
Two brown girls dream of being dancers—but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.
Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.
But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey—the same twists, the same shakes—and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time.
The Association of Small Bombs by
Call Number: PS 3613 .A34925A87 2016
Publication Date: 2016-10-18
"The disintegration of the lives of both Hindus and Muslims affected by a bomb blast at Lajpat Market in Delhi in 1996 is the subject of Mahajan's second novel (after Family Planning). In the aftermath of the violence we follow not only a Muslim boy who survives, Mansoor Ahmed, but his parents; the Hindu parents of Mansoor's two friends killed in the blast; the bomb maker, named "Shockie"; and several activists who seek justice after the tragedy. The lives of Mansoor's parents and the dead brothers' mother and father unravel, their careers and marriages frayed by grief and anxiety. Mansoor tries to concentrate on his studies in the States, but returns to India and falls in with a charismatic activist called Ayub, soon to be unhinged by a breakup with his upper-class girlfriend. Mahajan's talent is in conveying the sense that the world is gray, not black-and-white, and he accomplishes this by weaving together the evolving motives and passions of his characters so intricately that in the end we see each as culpable, and human. In his searing story, lives (and life itself) are subjected to close inspection and at times discombobulation." &mdash: Publishers Weekly
Ethics in the Real World by
Call Number: BJ 319 .S565 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-20
"One of today's most influential thinkers, Singer is internationally recognized as a seminal philosopher on utilitarian moral theory, the ethics of life and death, globalization, world hunger, animal rights, and environmental ethics. In recent years he has become a 'public philosopher,' offering crystal-clear writings that reveal a deep appreciation of what is important in life. Almost all of the 82 brief essays collected here were previously published, via Project Syndicate, in newspapers and magazines around the world, and most are readily available via the internet. One could argue that a book comprising dozens of previously published essays by one individual is a waste of paper. That might be true of many authors, but not the prolific Singer. He has written on a wide variety of philosophically important and timely issues, with the result that he is controversial as well as influential. The essays in the present volume address issues well beyond Singer's normal range of commentary. In sum, this book not only provides a broad-based introduction to Singer's moral philosophy but also will serve—absence of references, footnotes, and bibliography notwithstanding—as an excellent textbook for any course in applied ethics. For philosophers, Singer's work provides a model for how to transition from the ivory tower to the domain of public philosophy. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers." — Choice
Old Age: A Beginner's Guide by
Call Number: PS 3611 .I655A6 2016
Publication Date: 2016-04-26
"In this collection of eight essays, Kinsley (Please Don't Remain Calm), a columnist at Vanity Fair, a New Yorker contributor, and the founder of Slate, proposes—somewhat facetiously—that life is a game in which all of us are in competition. As such, he asks, what does it mean to 'win' at life? Does it pay off to have the most possessions, live the longest, or be remembered best? Kinsley doesn't really present an answer, but it's enjoyable to follow his train of thought. The focus is ultimately on coming to terms with the final chapter of life, which, in Kinsley's case, means coming to terms with being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Throughout, Kinsley showcases his fine writing, tackling a potentially depressing subject with a mixture of humor and serious reflection. Though targeted most specifically to Kinsley's own generation of the baby boomers, the book might be helpful for anyone who has a progressive illness. Readers are almost forced to accept the premise of life as competition, as it appears time and again throughout, and some may find this disconcerting. However, Kinsley's superb prose and well-judged tone—both frustrated and hopeful for the future—make this a valuable book for anyone interested in exploring ideas around life, death, and legacy." — Publishers Weekly
Paul McCartney by
Call Number: ML 410 .M115N67 2016
Publication Date: 2016-05-03
"Norman first wrote about the Beatles in 1965 as a young reporter. Later, as a rock critic for a prestigious London newspaper, he had the opportunity to interview Paul McCartney at launches for his Wings' albums but declined, feeling the celebrated singer was a self-satisfied lightweight. Then, in 1981, he published Shout!, which placed John Lennon's talent well above Paul's. But here, with Paul's blessing, he gives McCartney his due. Norman offers a fully fleshed-out biography, and though he naturally refers back to previous works, he also comes up with some new sources, including a writer who assisted on one of Linda McCartney's cookbooks; McCartney's stepmother; Linda's brother, John Eastman; and Paul's lawyer, who has been around since the Beatles' breakup and has never spoken on the record. Still, even with new sources, the facts of McCartney's life are largely familiar by now, but what Norman gets so very right are the feelings behind the facts: the intense relationship between John and Paul, with its curves and angles; the normality that being a husband and father brought Paul; the improbability of being one of the most famous men in the world. The shelves are full of books about the Beatles, but fans will want to make room for this one." — Booklist
Open City by
Call Number: PR 9387.9 .C67O64 2012
Publication Date: 2012-01-17
"One of the most intriguing novels you'll likely read, this debut by Nigerian-born Cole is constructed in what appears to be a traditional novel format but is riddled with ambiguity. By the end, there is so much disjuncture that readers will wonder whether the protagonist is the classic unreliable narrator. Julius, a half-Nigerian, half-German psychiatry intern living in New York, takes to walking about the city after breaking up with his girlfriend; his numerous encounters cause him to reflect on his own life. Julius seems depressed, though his story does not depict him as such. The overall weight of the ponderous first-person narrative appears to point to the essential loneliness of the human condition. Most disturbing is Julius's lack of any reaction to a startling personal revelation in the final pages, and this leaves the impression that the book is meant to show the workings of a highly intelligent yet unstable character." — Library Journal
Psychology 101 1/2: The Unspoken Rules for Success in Academia by
Call Number: BF 77 .S68 2017
Publication Date: 2016-08-01
In this text, a professor from Yale University offers his wisdom gleaned from his years of experience in academia. Dr Sternberg distils his analysis of choices made over a long and successful career into densely packed maxims that should help students and new academics create a foundation for a gratifying career of their own. The work should also be of interest to those keen to advance their careers or to those who want to find new meaning in their work. Dr Sternberg's advice gives readers a template for learning how to make lasting remarks on—and significant contributions to—the academic world of psychology while still following their hearts.
The Bones of Paradise by
Call Number: PS 3551 .G4B66 2016
Publication Date: 2016-08-02
"Agee's sixth novel is a haunting tale set in the Nebraska Sand Hills in the years following the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890. Her saga revolves around three generations of the Bennett family: J. B. Bennett, a rancher; his estranged wife, Dulcinea; their two teenage sons, Cullen and Hayward; and J. B.'s father, Drum, a harsh, manipulative man responsible for the fracturing of this previously closely knit family. Agee deftly portrays how the forced separation of Dulcinea from her boys and J. B. affects each character, especially Cullen and Hayward as they approach adulthood without the influence of a caring mother and only that of their domineering grandfather. The second plotline involves Rose, a Lakota woman close to Dulcinea whose family was devastated by Wounded Knee, and who still seeks revenge. Agee brilliantly interweaves these two stories of loss, guilt, and vengeance, which play out against the vivid backdrop of the Sand Hills, the breathtaking yet unforgiving land where each family is struggling to maintain its roots. Another beautifully rendered and thought-provoking novel from Agee, who calls this land home." &,dash; Booklist
The Spy by
Call Number: PQ 9698.13 .O3546E8713 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-22
"Coelho's striking novel about Margaretha Zelle, aka Mata Hari, the Dutch courtesan and 'exotic' dancer who was executed in 1917 for treason and in all likelihood was innocent, unfolds through letters to her lawyer that she hopes will be given to her daughter if she is killed. Smooth, assured writing reveals a woman who refuses to be a victim: "someone who moved forward with courage, fearlessly paying the price she had to pay." She was raped by her headmaster at school and abused by her husband (a Dutch military officer), and she retaliated by exploiting the European love of the mysterious Orient through her "Eastern" veil dances. Although the novel is not Coelho's strongest work, the ending is brilliant in its irony, and throughout, he displays an ability to inhabit her voice. Through the letters, he illustrates the difficulties of being an independent woman in that time and place. By the end, readers will believe they've read Zelle's actual letters." — Publishers Weekly
The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting by
Call Number: Z 40 .T78 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-06
"Trubek traces the history of handwriting from the Sumerians' cuneiform tablets to the Palmer and Zaner-Bloser methods. Along the way she draws parallels to contemporary concerns about the fate of handwriting, with accounts of how while some forms of communication declined, others developed. Fascinating facts are woven throughout. For example, we learn that Socrates preferred oral expression to written texts, saying, If men learn writing, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they will rely on that which is written. In our own time, Trubek writes, the decline of handwriting is just the next stage in the evolution of communication, and there is a democratizing effect of typing, which levels the look of prose to allow expression of ideas, not the rendering of letters, to take center stage. She foresees that as cursive writing leaves the general curriculum, it may become part of art classes as calligraphy or comic-book lettering. Recommended reading for anyone interested in the grand story of human expression." — Booklist
The Corners of the Globe by
Call Number: PR 6057 .O33C67 2016
Publication Date: 2016-06-07
"Set in 1919, Edgar-winner Goddard's second James Maxted thriller casts the former English flying ace in the role of a double agent, ostensibly working for German spy master Fritz Lemmer, whom Max, who's really taking orders from the British secret service, suspects was involved in his father's death in 2015's The Ways of the World. Max is on a mission in Scotland's remote Orkney Islands, seeking to retrieve a secret file for Lemmer while praying that his cover isn't blown. Meanwhile in Paris, Max's trusted partner, Sam Twentyman, discreetly continues the investigation into the death of Max's diplomat father, who was apparently pushed from a building window because he knew more than he was supposed to about the Paris peace talks. History buffs and fans of period thrillers will appreciate Goddard's attention to detail." — Publishers Weekly
Catholic Women Confront Their Church by
Call Number: BX 2347.8 .W6W49 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-29
"Wexler, a journalist and lifelong Roman Catholic, offers 10 biographical portraits developed from interviews with women who continue to practice Catholicism or have returned to it in spite of social, political, theological, and psychological issues they have faced with the Church. In addition to the well-known Sister Simone Campbell (Nuns on the Bus), the subjects include Sharon MacIsaac-McKenna, present at Vatican II before leaving the religious life; Marianne Duddy-Burke, active in the American Church's LGBT DignityUSA; women who have persevered in Catholic academia in spite of its sexism; and those who have suffered deeply and personally through abuse by clergy or racial injustice. Each woman's story of internal conflict, theological development, and spiritual growth is, of course, unique, and yet together they form a nuanced account of women in the American Church today and offer models for those who experience both deep belief and religious structural doubt." — Booklist
The Abundance by
Call Number: PS 3554 .I398A6 2016
Publication Date: 2016-03-15
"This book, a writerly mashup of Dillard's best work, samples from an oeuvre 40 years in the making. Representative selections old and new span the author's whole career but primarily draw from her Pulitzer Prize-winning Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974), Teaching a Stone To Talk (1982), and stunning memoir An American Childhood (1987). Breakthrough pieces—'Total Eclipse,' 'Seeing'—spotlight her metaphysical and nature-focused subject matter, distinctive meditative style, and point of view. Ever a keen observer, Dillard hooks readers with unusual, often haunting, and yet precisely vivid descriptions. This collection is an excellent entry point into Dillard's writing and would especially appeal to new readers, although Dillard devotees will also enjoy this kaleidoscopic retrospective, this new way of 'seeing' her prose. That said, it will only whet their appetites, leave them hungering for and searching for her complete works." — Library Journal
ADHD Nation: How a Children's Attention Problem Became America's Most over-Diagnosed Disease by
Call Number: RJ 506 .H9S39 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-06
"Schwarz, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative reporter for the New York Times who wrote more than 100 articles about concussions in the NFL, leaves no stone unturned as he documents the overdiagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In fact, he interviews more than 1,000 doctors, parents, students, and researchers. Kids get pseudonyms to protect family relationships and sometimes for legal reasons. Schwarz tries to have fun when appropriate: one chapter title is Fidgety Phil's Arithmetic Pills, another is ADD for All. But good guys are few and far between. Students get diagnosed and are given Adderall to help them perform better, and then they become hooked. Pharmaceutical companies advertise heavily. ADHD medications were hawked like any other consumer product when the companies knew they were anything but, writes Schwarz. And teachers wildly overestimate how many students have ADHD. One questionnaire found that they support an ADHD diagnosis in more than one in five boys. This eye-opening book should be a hit with drug-industry skeptics and worried parents who want to read a well-reported, definitive guide to this misunderstood and overly medicated disorder." — Booklist
Monsters: A Love Story by
Call Number: PS 3611 .A9M66 2016
Publication Date: 2016-06-07
"Stacey, a young poet who lives in a flyover state with her two small children, is doing her best to regain a sense of normalcy after the untimely death of her husband. Then she gets sidetracked in a big way-Hollywood calls with an offer to make one of her books into a movie. Soon she's jetting back and forth between Omaha and Los Angeles, falling for Tommy, the handsome megamovie star who is producing and starring in her film, and drinking a lot of expensive libations. Tommy has a reputation as a superficial ladies' man, and yet he has the depth of understanding to appreciate Stacey's poetry. The more involved our protagonist gets with her unlikely beau, the more she tries to deny the relationship is meaningful and works to keep it a secret from those closest to her, but this strategy can't last forever. In spite of the heavy backdrop, this fast-paced novel is suitable for an afternoon at the beach and will have readers immersed in the heady feeling of an alcohol-fueled affair with one of the sexiest men alive." — Library Journal
Body by Darwin: How Evolution Shapes Our Health and Transforms Medicine by
Call Number: QH 366.2 .T374 2015
Publication Date: 2015-10-22
We think of medical science and doctors as focused on treating conditions—whether it’s a cough or an aching back. But the sicknesses and complaints that cause us to seek medical attention actually have deeper origins than the superficial germs and behaviors we regularly fault. In fact, as Jeremy Taylor shows in Body by Darwin, we can trace the roots of many medical conditions through our evolutionary history, revealing what has made us susceptible to certain illnesses and ailments over time and how we can use that knowledge to help us treat or prevent problems in the future.
In Body by Darwin, Taylor examines the evolutionary origins of some of our most common and serious health issues. To begin, he looks at the hygiene hypothesis, which argues that our obsession with anti-bacterial cleanliness, particularly at a young age, may be making us more vulnerable to autoimmune and allergic diseases. He also discusses diseases of the eye, the medical consequences of bipedalism as they relate to all those aches and pains in our backs and knees, the rise of Alzheimer’s disease, and how cancers become so malignant that they kill us despite the toxic chemotherapy we throw at them. Taylor explains why it helps to think about heart disease in relation to the demands of an ever-growing, dense, muscular pump that requires increasing amounts of nutrients, and he discusses how walking upright and giving birth to ever larger babies led to a problematic compromise in the design of the female spine and pelvis. Throughout, he not only explores the impact of evolution on human form and function, but he integrates science with stories from actual patients and doctors, closely examining the implications for our health.
As Taylor shows, evolutionary medicine allows us think about the human body and its adaptations in a completely new and productive way. By exploring how our body’s performance is shaped by its past, Body by Darwin draws powerful connections between our ancient human history and the future of potential medical advances that can harness this knowledge.
The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks by
Call Number: E 160 .W 54 2016
Publication Date: 2016-05-31
America's national parks are breathing spaces in a world in which such spaces are steadily disappearing, which is why more than 300 million people visit the parks each year. Now Terry Tempest Williams, the author of the environmental classic Refuge and the beloved memoir When Women Were Birds, returns with The Hour of Land, a literary celebration of our national parks, an exploration of what they mean to us and what we mean to them.
From the Grand Tetons in Wyoming to Acadia in Maine to Big Bend in Texas and more, Williams creates a series of lyrical portraits that illuminate the unique grandeur of each place while delving into what it means to shape a landscape with its own evolutionary history into something of our own making. Part memoir, part natural history, and part social critique, The Hour of Land is a meditation and a manifesto on why wild lands matter to the soul of America.
Call Number: PS 3553 .H15 M96 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-22
"Chabon's charming and elegantly structured novel is presented as a memoir by a narrator named Mike who shares several autobiographical details with Chabon (for one, they're both novelists who live in the Bay Area). Mike's memoir is concerned less with his own life than with the lives of his deceased maternal Jewish grandparents, who remain unnamed. His grandfather—whose deathbed reminisces serve as the novel's main narrative engine—is a WWII veteran with an anger streak and a fascination with V-2 rockets, astronomy, space travel, and all things celestial or skyward. Mike's grandmother, born in France, is alluring but unstable, 'a source of fire, madness, and poetry' whose personal history overlaps in unclear ways with the Holocaust, and whose fits of depression and hallucination result in her institutionalization. Chabon imbricates his characters' particular histories with broader, detail-rich narratives of war, migration, and technological advances involving such figures as Alger Hiss and Wernher von Braun. This move can sometimes feel forced. What seduces the reader is Chabon's language, which reinvents the world, joyously, on almost every page. Listening to his grandfather's often-harrowing stories, Mike thinks to himself, 'What I knew about shame... would fit into half a pistachio shell.'" — Publishers Weekly
The Sting of the Wild by
Call Number: QL 434.45 .S36 2016
Publication Date: 2016-03-03
"Whether he's kicking over anthills or chewing on velvet mites, Schmidt (Insect Defenses), an entomologist at the University of Arizona, evinces a childlike mix of gleeful fascination and terror-induced bravery as he subjects himself to stinging insects in the name of science. After some general discussion about the differences between chemicals that cause pain and those that cause physical damage, Schmidt covers key species of ants, wasps, and bees with such colorful names as 'tarantula hawk' and 'cow killer.' He describes their evolution, life cycles, social habits, offenses and defenses, predator-prey relationships, and—most importantly—their often antagonistic relationships with humans. Schmidt claims that 'getting stung by the same species gets boring after a while,' and he presents more than enough evidence for readers to want to take his word for it. The Schmidt Pain Index (for which the author was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize in 2015) puts the stings of a variety of species on a four-point scale, with sensuous descriptions worthy of a connoisseur: the bite of Platythyrea lamellose ('a purplish ant') is 'like wearing a wool jumpsuit laced with pine needles and poison ivy,' while the sting of the western yellow jacket is 'hot and smoky, almost irreverent.' Schmidt's tales will prove infectiously engaging even to entomophobes." — Publishers Weekly
The Ways of the World by
Call Number: PR 6057.O33W39 2015
Publication Date: 2016-06-14
From the Edgar Award-winning writer Robert Goddard comes a captivating new historical thriller, set at the tail end of World War I and featuring the devilishly charismatic James "Max" Maxted, a Royal Flying Corps veteran who has a knack for getting himself in trouble.
In the spring of 1919, Paris is filled with delegates working towards the Treaty of Versailles—British diplomat Sir Henry Maxted among them. But before his work is done, he turns up dead outside a Montparnasse apartment building. The French police conclude that Sir Henry tripped and fell from the roof, but when his son Max is sent to Paris to collect the body, it quickly becomes clear that there is more to the story, starting with the beautiful woman whose apartment Sir Henry often visited. What begins as an innocent inquiry into his father's death soon leads Max into a perilous world of secret allegiances, international espionage, and double- and triple-crosses.
The Ways of the World is a vivid, visceral thriller at the crossroads of history, where one spilled secret has the power to change the fate of empires.
The Road Taken: The History and Future of America's Infrastructure by
Call Number: HE 355.3 .E3P48 2016
Publication Date: 2016-02-16
"A gifted author, civil engineer, and Duke University professor, Petroski has previously written widely on technology, including Invention by Design: How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing (1996) and Success through Failure: The Paradox of Design (2006). Here he turns from the theoretical side of engineering to the reality. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Our roads (to which an association of engineers assigns a D grade) and bridges (C+) are structurally deficient. But after a frightfully alarming opening section, Petroski provides a history of public projects (bridges, highways, city streets, signage, lighting, etc.) and the graft, political deal-making, and plain ineptitude surrounding them, which, though fascinating and predictably clear and well written, is less the call to arms that one expects. Yet, by examining projects like the Walkway over the Hudson and New York's High Line, and by projecting the applicability of smart cars and smart roads, Petroski offers a more optimistic prognosis than his colleagues' dire evaluations suggest. This is vital reading." — Booklist
Written/Unwritten: Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure by
Call Number: LC 212.42 .W75 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-07
The academy may claim to seek and value diversity in its professoriate, but reports from faculty of color around the country make clear that departments and administrators discriminate in ways that range from unintentional to malignant. Stories abound of scholars—despite impressive records of publication, excellent teaching evaluations, and exemplary service to their universities—struggling on the tenure track. These stories, however, are rarely shared for public consumption. Written/Unwritten reveals that faculty of color often face two sets of rules when applying for reappointment, tenure, and promotion: those made explicit in handbooks and faculty orientations or determined by union contracts and those that operate beneath the surface. It is this second, unwritten set of rules that disproportionally affects faculty who are hired to "diversify" academic departments and then expected to meet ever-shifting requirements set by tenured colleagues and administrators. Patricia A. Matthew and her contributors reveal how these implicit processes undermine the quality of research and teaching in American colleges and universities. They also show what is possible when universities persist in their efforts to create a diverse and more equitable professorate. These narratives hold the academy accountable while providing a pragmatic view about how it might improve itself and how that improvement can extend to academic culture at large.
Missile Paradise by
Call Number: PS 3620 .A69M57 2016
Publication Date: 2016-04-05
"Tanner's high-adrenaline, piquantly funny, bad-to-worse novel is set in the Marshall Islands, where the U.S. detonated 67 nuclear bombs between 1946 and 1958, subjecting the Marshallese to the unending consequences of nuclear fallout. It's 2004 at the start of this tale of cultural dissonance, hubris, anger, loss, and resiliency, and Cooper, a talented video-game programmer, is about to join a missile-defense group on the island of Kwajalein, a military stronghold on which Marshallese are not allowed after dark. But he has a freak accident after sailing alone across the Pacific from California, following a rift with his fiancée, and begins his stay on Kwajalein in rehab after losing a leg. A bizarre diving mishap has left Alison widowed with two young sons. Jeton, an impulsive Marshallese teenager jilted by his American girlfriend, propels himself into deep trouble. And Art, the flinty cultural liaison, fights discrimination against the Marshellese. In this poisoned island paradise besieged by poverty, disease, and rising sea levels precipitated by global warming, each irresistibly self-embattled character makes grievous mistakes, suffers from regret, and plunges into disaster. Tanner (From Animal House to Our House, 2012), who lived in the Marshall Islands and launched the Marshall Islands Story Project, brings this microcosm of human folly and valor to captivating realization with bracing insights, tangy humor, profound respect, and rebounding resonance." — Booklist
Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by
Call Number: QL 785 .W127 2016
Publication Date: 2016-04-25
"Biologist and primatologist Frans de Waal has published in hundreds of academic journals and authored numerous popular works mainly focused on primates. In this most recent publication, he widens his focus to include animals across phyla, from invertebrates to mammals. This book draws upon numerous case studies and research from the fields of animal behavior and comparative psychology to argue that previous perceptions of animal intelligence are flawed. It also challenges the standing of human intellectual superiority and exhibits animals as geniuses in their own right. Waal presents an engaging work of scholarship that reads as a collection of vignettes peering into the world of animal intelligence. The title is also complete with relevant black-and-white illustrations drawn by the author. However entertaining the book may be, the solid science is not lacking in this accessible read. Topics covered in the text include defining cognition, tool usage, social development, and communication. A lengthy bibliography and an index allow students and researchers to find materials for further research. Interested readers will certainly enjoy this thought-provoking work." — Choice
300 Days of Sun by
Call Number: PR 6062 .A926T447 2016
Publication Date: 2016-04-12
"British journalist Joanna Millard has come to Faro in the Algarve region of southern Portugal to escape an annoying boyfriend. There, she meets engaging Nathan Emberlin, who asks for help in finding a man who traffics in children. Nathan has just learned that he was adopted and might have been abducted in Portugal. Joanna's research leads to Ian Rylands, a retired British civil servant with ties to the intelligence community. Rylands tells Joanna to read Esta Hartford's 1954 novel, The Alliance, a true story, he claims, with names changed. Presented in excerpts, the novel describes the flight of an American couple from Paris to Lisbon during the early years of World War II and the later kidnapping of their son, who was returned, and then a nephew, their daughter's two-year-old boy, never seen again. Was Nathan that child? Lawrenson merges past and present, doubling identities and events to dazzling (and sometimes dizzying) effect. Set against the lush but corrupt coastal resorts of southern Portugal, the novel's shadowy deeds seem only more dangerous in this sunny clime.This novel is sure to please those who relish the untangling of crimes in -exotic locales." — Library Journal
Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year by
Call Number: E 185.97 .K5S56 2016
Publication Date: 2016-01-12
"As he was growing up, Smiley, a best-selling author and award-winning broadcaster, was profoundly influenced by civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drawing on interviews with friends and major civil rights figures from Harry Belafonte to Andrew Young to Jesse Jackson as well as biographers Taylor Branch and Clayborne Carson, Smiley takes a fresh look at the 365 days leading up to King's assassination on April 4, 1968. Smiley recalls the threats and denunciations King faced, the obstacles he overcame, and the internal struggles he endured as the civil rights leader expanded his mission to human rights advocacy. Speaking out against the Vietnam War, King came under severe criticism from the Left and the Right. Smiley recounts King's growing concerns about the strains on his marriage, tensions among the ranks of civil rights leaders, and growing dissent fueled by black militants critical of nonviolent tactics. Written as a narrative in the present tense, Smiley's book aims to flesh out the man behind the now idealized image of King that has weakened appreciation of the depth of his personal struggle." — Booklist
A House of My Own: Stories from My Life by
Call Number: PS 2553 .I78Z46 2016
Publication Date: 2016-09-06
"Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street and Caramelo, has here written what may well be the best memoir of the year thus far. She seamlessly weaves 'memories' from her life from 1984 through 2014 (some written for specific audiences and expanded in this volume). As in her fiction and poetry, Cisneros blends family stories from Chicago and Mexico with lively storytelling, rich details, and good humor. The result is a fierce portrait of an artist and her quest, and the roads taken and not taken to find a home of her own. All readers who are interested in creative writing, memoir, American literature, and Chicana literature will appreciate. This memoir deserves to find the broad and wide readership of Cisneros's earlier books." — Library Journal
Grand Illusions: American art and the First World War by
Call Number: NX 650 .W67L83 2016
Publication Date: 2016-05-04
A vivid, engaging account of the famous and forgotten artists and artworks that sought to make sense of America's first total war. Despite the prevailing view of World War I's general lack of impact on American Art, David Lubin takes readers on a journey through the major historical events during and immediately after the war to discover the often missed vast and pervasive influence of the Great War on American visual culture. Grand Illusions presents a highly original examination of the era's artworks that range from patriotic idealism to profound disillusionment. In several stylishly written chapters, Lubin assesses the war's impact on two dozen painters, designers, photographers, and film makers from 1914 to 1933. In addition to profiles of famous and forgotten artists from D.W. Griffith and John Singer Sargent to neglected soldier-painter Claggett Wilson and the African American outsider artist Horace Pippin, the book features illustrations from epoch-defining films, sculptures, photographs and paintings. Armed with rich cultural-historical details and an interdisciplinary narrative approach, David Lubin creatively upends traditional understandingsof the Great War's effects on the visual arts in America.
From Sand and Ash by
Call Number: PS 3608 .A7475F76 2016
Publication Date: 2016-12-01
Italy, 1943—Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II.
As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood.
Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent, where Eva discovers she is just one of many Jews being sheltered by the Catholic Church.
But Eva can't quietly hide, waiting for deliverance, while Angelo risks everything to keep her safe. With the world at war and so many in need, Angelo and Eva face trial after trial, choice after agonizing choice, until fate and fortune finally collide, leaving them with the most difficult decision of all.
Evicted: poverty and profit in the American city by
Call Number: HD 7287.96 .U6D47 2016
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
"Harvard sociologist Desmond has written a first-rate ethnography of a surprisingly understudied phenomenon. When he found that most studies of poor people and poor places looked only at the poor, he decided to study where the poor and rich intersect. Eviction is one such place. This study mostly reports the lives of Milwaukeeans, black and white, poor tenants and rich landlords. Desmond spent a year living with them. He then commissioned surveys to bolster the big-picture context of the ethnography, both of renters in general and of evicted tenants in particular. The statistics are used very lightly—readers mostly hear the stories of a few representative people. Policy prescriptions are saved for the end. The constant churning of the slums tears at the social fabric, rippling out from the poor places to all of society. This fine work will shape the discussion of a sharply growing trend, the business of evicting the poor." — Choice
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by
Call Number: PR 9199.3 .T447D62 2016
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
"In Thien's luminescent third novel (following Dogs at the Perimeter, which won the Frankfurt Book Fair's 2015 LiBeraturpreis), stories, music, and mathematics weave together to tell one family's tale within the unfolding of recent Chinese history. Beginning in 1989 in Hong Kong and Vancouver, this narrative snakes both forward and backward, describing how a pair of sisters survived land reform, re-education at the hands of the Communists, the coming of the Red Guard, the Cultural Revolution, and the protests at Tiananmen square. The story is partially told by the central character, mathematics professor Marie Jiang (Jiang Li-ling), as she discovers her late father's past as a pianist, which was left behind and concealed when he left China for Canada. Thien takes readers into the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where Marie's father studied with composer Sparrow and violinist Zhuli in the midst of the cultural upheaval in the 1960s. Filled with intrigue, shifting loyalties, broken families, and unbroken resistance, this novel is beautifully poetic and as carefully constructed as the Bach sonatas that make frequent appearance in the text. Thien's reach—though epic—does not extend beyond her capacity, resulting in a lovely fugue of a book that meditates on fascism, resistance, and personhood." — Booklist
Same Family, Different Colors: Confronting Colorism in America's Diverse Families by
Call Number: E 185.62 .T468 2016
Publication Date: 2016-10-04
"Tharps (Kinky Gazpacho, 2008) confronts colorism, a cousin to racism in its bias toward favoring African Americans who more closely resemble a white ideal with lighter skin, finer hair, and sharper facial features. She dispels colorism's most persistent myths, that it arose solely out of divisions of labor of enslaved Africans and their descendants, and that it is a prejudice inherent only in the African American community. Tharps, a journalist, presents ignored racial history; arresting statistics; and compelling, sometimes heartbreaking, anecdotes shared by people from across a wide spectrum of races and skin color to show that no group is immune to colorism's pernicious effects, whether it's African American, Latino, Asian American, white, or a biracial combination of these. This is a landmark investigation into the cultural and social aspects of colorism on both the American landscape and the global community." — Booklist