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New Books at the Library

PEOSTA Selected New Materials

Democracy’s Slaves: A Political History of Ancient Greece /

Reviewed: Arion 24:3 Winter 2017 p. 191 (books rec’d)
Description: The toga-clad statesman of ancient Greece is a familiar figure in the Western political tradition. Less well known is the administrator who ran the state but who was himself a slave. Challenging the modern belief that democracy and bondage are incompatible, Paulin Ismard directs our attention to the cradle of Western democracy, ancient Athens, where the functioning of civic government depended crucially on highly skilled experts who were literally public servants—slaves owned by the city-state rather than by private citizens. … By rendering the state’s administrators politically invisible, Athens warded off the specter of a government capable of turning against the citizens’ will. In a real sense, Ismard shows, Athenian citizens put the success of their democratic experiment in the hands of slaves. (publ.)
Note: Originally published as: Démocratie Contre les Experts: Les Esclaves Publics en Grèce Ancienne (Paris: Les Éditions du Seuil, 2015).

Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit /

Reviewed: NPR 30 June 2016 “What College Freshmen Are Reading”

All Gods Come to Rome /

Note: Local author.

Ergonomic Checkpoints in Agriculture: Practical and Easy-To-Implement Solutions for Improving Safety, Health and Working Conditions in Agriculture (2nd ed.) /

Note: Access and full download available online.
URL: http://www.ilo.org/public/libdoc/ilo/2014/114B09_4_engl.pdf.
Description: This manual compiles 100 illustrated examples of practical ergonomic improvements that can be achieved at low or no cost. Each checkpoint describes an action, indicates why it is necessary and how to carry it out, and provides further hints and points to remember. The checkpoints focus on ergonomically designed tools and on best techniques for handling materials and arranging workstations, physical environments, welfare facilities, teamwork methods and community cooperation. This valuable training tool is designed for all those concerned with creating a better workplace in agriculture and rural settings: employers, supervisors, workers, inspectors, safety and health personnel, trainers and educators, engineers, ergonomists and designers.

Chickenizing Farms & Food: How Industrial Meat Produc-tion Endangers Workers, Animals, and Consumers /

Reviewed: CHE 14 Oct. 2016 p. B14; Choice Apr 2017 vol. 54 no. 8 (Highly Recommended; Community College Recommended)

Why is Art Full of Naked People: And Other Vital Questions About Art /

Reviewed: WSJ 19-20 Nov. 2016 p. C12
Note: Children/YA Audience

Montaigne: A Life /

Reviewed: CHE 6 Jan. 2017 (new books); Choice Jun 2017 vol. 54 no. 10 (Essential; Recommended for Community College Library Collections)

Not So Different: Finding Human Nature in Animals /

Reviewed: Choice Nov 2016 vol. 54 no. 3 (Highly Recommended; Community Colleges Recommended)

Consequence: A Memoir /

Description: This is the story of a man who begins with a desire to serve and, through a winding series of choices, becomes an interrogator for a private contractor at Abu Ghraib during one of our nation’s darkest moments. …By the time he leaves Iraq after that first deployment (he will return), Fair will have participated in or witnessed a variety of aggressive interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, diet manipulation, exposure, and isolation. Years later, his health and marriage crumbling, haunted by the role he played in what we now know as “enhanced interrogation,” it is Fair’s desire to speak out that becomes a key to his survival. (publ.)

Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs /

Reviewed: Choice Apr 2017 vol. 54 no. 8 (Essential; Recommended for Community College Libraries); TLS 31 Mar. 2017 p. 16; LRB 27 July 2017 p. 13.

The Cost Disease: Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn’t /

Holdings: Copy held by Calmar; call no. 338.52 Bau

Hypatia: The Life and Legend of an Ancient Philosopher /

Reviewed: CHE 31 Mar. 2017 (new books)

Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf /

Reviewed: FA 96(3) May/June 2017 p. 175
Description: When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the 2005 Liberian presidential election, she demolished a barrier few thought possible, obliterating centuries of patriarchal rule to become the first female elected head of state in Africa's history. Madame President is the story of Sirleaf’s evolution from an ordinary Liberian mother of four boys to international banking executive, from a victim of domestic violence to a political icon, from a post-war president to a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Mockingbird Songs: My Friendship with Harper Lee /

Reviewed: TLS 5 May 2017 p. 36
Description: A memoir of Wayne Flynt’s friendship with Harper Lee, centered on a collection of letters between Harper Lee, her sisters ... Wayne Flynt, and his wife. Lee is notorious for shunning publicity and never giving interviews. This memoir and collection of letters offers a surprising and extraordinary insight into the life of a reclusive author.

Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghan-istan and on the Home Front /

Reviewed: NPR ("Fresh Air" 2 Mar. 2017: A Purple Heart Warrior Takes Aim At Military Inequality In Shoot Like A Girl).
Description: An Air National Guard officer describes her experiences after being shot down on a Medevac mission in Afghanistan and her efforts to convince the U.S. government to allow women to serve openly on the front lines. (NPR)

The End of Theory: Financial Crises, the Failure of Economics, and the Sweep of Human Interaction /

Reviewed: Economist 20 May 2017 p. 76

Housekeeping by Design: Hotels and Labor /

Reviewed: Choice Jul 2017 vol. 54 no. 11 (Highly Recommend-ed; Top 75 Books Recommended for Community College Libraries)
Description: One of the great pleasures of staying in a hotel is spending time in a spotless, neat, and organized space that you don’t have to clean. That doesn’t, however, mean the work disappears when were not looking; someone else is doing it. … David Brody introduces us to those people: the housekeepers whose labor keeps the rooms clean and the guests happy. Through unprecedented access to staff at several hotels, Brody shows us just how much work goes on behind the scenes, and how much management goes out of its way to make sure that labor stays hidden. (publ.)

The Angel of History: A Novel /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 13 Nov. 2016 p. 50
Synopsis: The Angel of History follows Yemeni-born poet Jacob as he revisits the events of his life, from his maternal upbringing in an Egyptian whorehouse to his adolescence under the aegis of his wealthy father and his life as a gay Arab man in San Francisco at the height of AIDS. Hovered over by the presence of alluring, sassy Satan who taunts Jacob to remember his painful past and dour, frigid Death who urges him to forget and give up on life, Jacob is also attended to by 14 saints. Set in Cairo and Beirut; Sana’a, Stockholm, and San Francisco; Alameddine gives us a charged philosophical portrait of a brilliant mind in crisis. This is a profound, philosophical and hilariously winning story of the war between memory and oblivion we wrestle with every day of our lives.

Wrong: Nine Economic Policy Disasters and What We Can Learn from Them /

Contents: How to lose an empire without really trying : British imperial policy in North America -- Establish, disestablish, repeat : the first and second banks of the United States -- The great hunger : famine in Ireland, 1846-1852 -- The Krauts will pay : German reparations after World War I -- Shackled with golden fetters : Britain's return to the gold standard, 1925-1931 -- Trading down : the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, 1930 -- Why didn't anyone pull the Andon cord? Japan's lost decade -- The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression : the subprime meltdown -- I'm ok. Euro not ok? -- What have we learned? Where do we go from here?

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 16 Apr. 2017 p. 1; LRB 4 May 2017 p. 5

The Gift of the Gab: How Eloquence Works /

Reviewed: Choice Jan 2017 vol. 54 no. 5 (Essential; Top 75 Titles Recommended for Community College Libraries)
Holdings: 2nd Copy at Calmar campus library.

The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 30 Apr. 2017 p. 13 (mention/Viet Thanh Nguyen; Pulitzer Prize author)
Description: McGurl argues that far from occasioning a decline in the quality or interest in American writing, the rise of the creative writing program [in higher education] has instead generated a complex and evolving constellation of aesthetic problems that have been explored with energy and at times brilliance by authors ranging from Flannery O’Connor to Vladimir Nabokov, Philip Roth, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, and Toni Morrison.

After the Program Era: The Past, Present, and Future of Creative Writing in the University /

Description: The publication in 2009 of Mark McGurl’s The Program Era (see below) provoked a sea change in the study of postwar literature. Even though almost every English department in the United States housed some version of a creative writing program by the time of its publication, literary scholars had not previously considered that this institutional phenomenon was historically significant. McGurl’s groundbreaking book effectively established that “the rise of the creative writing program stands as the most important event in postwar American literary history” … this collection looks beyond the traditional MFA writing program to explore the prehistory of writing programs in American universities, as well as alternatives to the traditionally structured program that have emerged along the way. (publ.)

"Keep the Damned Women Out”: The Struggle for Coeducation /

Reviewed: NYRB 6 Apr. 2017 p. 21; TLS 10 Mar. 2017 p. 12

What are the Arts and Sciences?: A Guide for the Curious /

Description: Twenty-seven professors from various disciplines explain their fields and what it is that they do. The result is an accessible, entertaining, and enlightening survey of the ideas and subjects that contribute to a liberal education.

Rivers Lost, Rivers Regained: Rethinking City-River Relations /

Reviewed: CHE 5 May 2017 (new books)
Description: This volume traces the complex and winding history of how cities have appropriated, lost, and regained their rivers. But rather than telling a linear story of progress, the chapters of this book highlight the ambivalence of these developments. The four sections in Rivers Lost, Rivers Regained discuss how cities have gained control and exerted power over rivers and waterways far upstream and downstream; how rivers and floodplains in cityscapes have been transformed by urbanization and industrialization; how urban rivers have been represented in cultural manifestations, such as novels and songs; and how more recent strategies work to redefine and recreate the place of the river within the urban setting. (publ.)

Buddha’s Little Finger /

Note: Translation of Чапаев и Пустота = [Chapaev I Pustota] (Moscow: Vagrius, 1996).
Description: Pyotr Void, a leading St. Petersburg poet, unexpectedly finds himself in the midst of the 1919 civil war in Russia, serving as commissar to the legendary Bolshevik commander Vasily Ivanovich Chapaev and his formidable machine-gunner sidekick, Anna. But what is the secret of her machine gun? Why does Pyotr keep waking to find himself in a psychiatric hospital in Moscow in the 1990s? And where does Arnold Schwarzenegger fit into all this? Shifting between time and place and spinning story upon story, Buddha’s Little Finger is unlike any other novel, a work of demonic absurdism that demonstrates Pelevin’s genius for metaphysical comedy.

Confessions /

Description: At 60, Adrià Ardèvol re-examines his life before his memory is systematically deleted. He recalls a loveless childhood where the family antique business and his father’s study become the center of his world; where a treasured Storioni violin retains the shadows of a crime committed many years earlier. His mother, a cold, distant and pragmatic woman leaves him to his solitary games, full of unwanted questions. An accident ends the life of his enigmatic father, filling Adrià’s world with guilt, secrets and deeply troubling mysteries that take him years to uncover and driving him deep into the past where atrocities are methodically exposed and examined.

The Corpse Exhibition and Other Stories of Iraq /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 19 Feb. 2017 p. 8 (mentioned by George Saunders).
Description: The first major literary work about the Iraq War from an Iraqi perspective, The Corpse Exhibition shows the war as never seen before. Here is a world not only of soldiers and assassins, hostages and car bombers, refugees and terrorists, but also of madmen and prophets, angels and djinni, sorcerers and spirits. Blending shocking realism with flights of fantasy, Hassan Blasim offers a pageant of horrors, as haunting as the photos of Abu Ghraib and as difficult to look away from, but shot through with a gallows humor that yields an unflinching comedy of the macabre.

The Fortunes of France /

Contents: (1) The Brethren; (2) City of Wisdom & Blood; (3) Heretic Dawn.
Synopsis: The Perigord of sixteenth-century France is a wild region on the edge of the reaches of royal authority--its steep, forested valleys roamed by bands of brigands and gypsies, its communities divided by conflict between Catholics and converts to the new Protestant faith, the Huguenots. To this beautiful but dangerous country come two veterans of the French king’s wars, Jean de Siorac and Jean de Sauveterre, The Brethren--as fiercely loyal to the crown as they are to their Huguenot religion. They make their home in the formidable chateau of Mespech, and the community they found prospers, but they are far from secure--religious civil war looms on the horizon, famine and plague stalk the land, and The Brethren must use all their wits to protect those they love from the chaos that threatens to sweep them away.

A Horse Walks Into a Bar /

Reviewed: NYRB 20 Apr. 2017 p. 46
Note: First published as: Sus Ehad Nikhnas le-Bar = סוס אחד נכנס לבר (Tel Aviv: Hotsaʼat ha-Kibuts ha-meʼuḥad, 2014).
Description: A searing short novel about the life of a stand-up comic, as revealed in the course of one evening’s performance. In the dance between comic and audience, with barbs flying back and forth, a deeper story begins to take shape—one that will alter the lives of many of those in attendance.

I Stared at the Night of the City /

Reviewed: TLS 2 Dec. 2016 (p. 6; mentioned)
Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of modern Kurdish history, Ali tells a surreal and imaginative story of a band of friends led by a poet, who embark on an odyssey to find the bodies of two lovers killed unjustly by authorities.
Note: Winner of a 2015 PEN Promotes award.

Idle Talk Under the Bean Arbor: A Seventeenth-Century Chinese Story Collection /

Reviewed: CHE 21 Apr. 2017 (new books); Choice Aug 2017 vol. 54 no. 12 (highly Recommended; recommended for community college libraries)
Description: Written around 1660, this unique Chinese short story collection by the author known only as Aina the Layman, uses the seemingly innocuous setting of neighbors swapping yarns on hot summer days under a shady arbor to create a series of stories that embody deep disillusionment with traditional values. The tales, ostensibly told by different narrators, parody heroic legends and explore issues that contributed to the fall of the Ming dynasty a couple of decades before this collection was written, including self-centeredness and social violence. These stories speak to all troubled times, demanding that readers confront the pretense that may lurk behind moralistic stances. (publ.)

“The Man Who Thought Himself a Woman” and Other Queer Nineteenth-Century Short Stories /

Reviewed: CHE 3 Mar. 2017 (new books); TLS 23 June 2017, p. 13

Multiple Choice /

Reviewed: LR Dec./Jan. 2016/17 p. 75.
Note: Originally published as: Facsímil: Libro de Ejercicios (Santiago de Chile: Hueders, 2014).
Description: Written in the form of a standardized test, Multiple Choice invites the reader to respond to virtuoso language exercises and short narrative passages through multiple-choice questions that are thought-provoking, usually unanswerable, and often absurd. It offers a new kind of reading experience, one in which the reader participates directly in the creation of meaning, and the nature of storytelling itself is called into question. At once funny, poignant, and political, Multiple Choice is about love and family, authoritarianism and its legacies, and the conviction that, rather than learning to think for ourselves, we are trained to obey and repeat.

The Occupation Trilogy: La Place de l’Étoile, The Night Watch, Ring Roads /

Description: Born at the close of World War II, 2014 Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano was a young man in his twenties when he burst onto the Parisian literary scene with these three brilliant, angry novels about the wartime Occupation of Paris. The epigraph to his first novel, among the first to seriously question Nazi collaboration in France, reads: “In June 1942 a German officer goes up to a young man and says: ‘Excuse me, monsieur, where is La Place de l’Étoile?’ The young man points to the star on his chest.” The second novel, The Night Watch , tells the story of a young man caught between his work for the French Gestapo, his work for a Resistance cell, and the black marketeers whose milieu he shares. Ring Roads recounts a son’s search for his Jewish father who disappeared ten years earlier, whom he finds trying to weather the war in service to unsavory characters. Together these three brilliant, almost hallucinatory evocations of the Occupation attempt to exorcise the past by exploring the morally ambiguous worlds of collaboration and resistance. (Publ.)

Omon Ra /

Note: Originally published as: Омон Ра = [Omon Ra] (Moscow: Tekst, 1992).
Description: Named by his father after the Soviet OMON, the Interior Ministry riot police, Omon, a Soviet astronaut, renames himself Ra after the Egyptian sun god. As he approaches his final crisis, Omon reflects on the lies he’s told and on the one that has just been revealed to him–that the Soviet space program (that he’s based his entire life upon) is entirely other than what it purports to be. As Omon tries to reconcile the events of his life, he remembers what a Colonel of the KGB once told him, “ ... the more consciously you perform your feat of heroism, the greater will be the degree of truth.” The ensuing truths he uncovers are astonishing. (publ.)

The Refrigerator Monologues /

Reviewed: PW 17 Apr. 2017 p. 50
Description: A series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress. In an entirely new and original superhero universe, Valente explores these ideas and themes in the superhero genre, treating them with the same love, gravity, and humor as her fairy tales. (publ.)

Spaceman of Bohemia /

Reviewed: LR March 2017 p. 54
Note: Debut novel by this Czech author.
Synopsis: When Jakub Procha is sent into space to examine a cosmic dust cloud covering Venus, it may be a solo suicide mission. Dreaming of becoming a national hero and desperate to atone for his father’s sins as a Communist informer, he leaves his beloved wife behind and launches into the galaxy. But things aboard spaceship JanHus1 quickly turn weird, and, to make matters worse, he soon learns that his wife has disappeared without a trace back on Earth. As his spaceship hurtles toward an unknown danger and his sanity wavers, Jakub encounters an unlikely fellow passenger – a giant alien spider. He and his strange arachnid companion form an unlikely bond over late-night refrigerator encounters, where they talk philosophy, love, life, death, and the incomprehensible deliciousness of bacon.

The Teeth of the Comb and Other Stories /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 21 May 2017 p. 34
Description: “If Kafka had rewritten Aesop’s fables, the result might have looked like this thought-provoking new collection of literary allegories and aphorisms.” Alomar is a Syrian born author who currently lives in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Universal Harvester /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 26 Feb. 2017 p. 24 (#10 on Bestseller List)
Synopsis: Jeremy works at the Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa, a small town in the center of the state. This is the late 1990s, and even if the Hollywood Video in Ames poses an existential threat to Video Hut, there are still regular customers, a rush in the late afternoon. It’s good enough for Jeremy: it’s a job, quiet and predictable, and it gets him out of the house, where he lives with his dad and where they both try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a car wreck. But when a local schoolteacher comes in to return a tape, she has an odd complaint: “There’s something on it,” she says, but doesn’t elaborate. Two days later, a different customer returns a different tape and says it’s not defective, exactly, but altered: “There’s an-other movie on this tape.” Jeremy doesn’t want to be curious, but he brings the movies home to take a look. And, indeed, in the middle of each movie, the screen blinks dark for a moment and the movie is replaced by a few minutes of jagged, poorly lit home video. The scenes are odd and sometimes violent, dark, and deeply disquieting. There are no identifiable faces, no dialogue or explanation – the first video has just the faint sound of someone breathing – but there are some recognizable landmarks. These have been shot just outside of town. As Jeremy investigates, he becomes part of an impossible search for something someone once lost – and would do anything to regain.

Little Mosque on the Prairie and the Paradoxes of Cultural Translation /

Reviewed: Choice Sep 2017 vol. 55 no. 1 (highly recommended; recommended for community college libraries)
Description: Despite a desire to showcase the diversity of Muslims in Canada, the makers of Little Mosque had to erase visible signs of difference in order to reach a broad audience. This paradox of 'saleable diversity' challenges conventional ideas about the ways in which sitcoms integrate minorities into the mainstream. (publ.)

Evidence-Based Practice for Nurses & Healthcare Professionals /

Reviewed: Choice Jan 2017 vol. 54 no. 5 (Highly Recommended; Top 75 Titles for Community Colleges)

Reflections on Nursing: 80 Inspiring Stories on the Art and Science of Nursing.

Note: Reprinted from the “Reflections” column in the AJN: American Journal of Nursing.
Holdings: NICC has AJN in print for the most recent 5 years only.

The Russian Revolution: A New History /

Reviewed: PW 17 Apr. 2017 p. 59
Description: A reevaluation of the Russian Revolution on the occasion of its centennial.

Why?: Explaining the Holocaust /

Reviewed: WSJ 15-16 Apr. 2017 p. C5
Description: An exploration of the most commonly asked questions about the Holocaust challenges misconceptions and discusses how no single theory fully explains the tragedy, drawing on a wealth of scholarly research and experience to offer new insights. “Despite the outpouring of books, movies, museums, memorials, and courses devoted to the Holocaust, a coherent explanation of why such ghastly carnage erupted from the heart of civilized Europe in the twentieth century still seems elusive even seventy years later. …” (publ.)

Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law /

Reviewed: NYT 29 May 2017 “How the Swastika Became a Confederate Flag”; Choice Sep 2017 vol. 55 no. 1 (Essential; recommended for community college libraries)

Are Some Languages Better Than Others? /

Reviewed: Choice Feb 2017 vol. 54 no. 6 (Essential; Recommended for Community College Libraries)

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries /

Reviewed: TLS 21 Apr. 2017 p. 33
Description: While most of us might take dictionaries for granted, the process of writing dictionaries is in fact as lively and dynamic as language itself. With sharp wit and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography, from the agonizing decisions about what and how to define, to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language. She explains why the small words are the most difficult to define, how it can take nine months to define a single word, and how our biases about language and pronunciation can have tremendous social influence.
Note: Kory Stamper is featured guest speaker at 2017 Iowa Library Association (ILA) annual conference in October 18-20, 2017 (Coralville).

In Praise of Litigation /

Reviewed: CHE 10 Mar. 2017 (new books); Choice Sep 2017 vol. 55 no. 1 (Highly Recommended)

The Hatred of Poetry /

Reviewed: TLS 4 Nov. 2016 p. 12; NYRB 6 Apr. 2017 p. 31

Is This a Poem? /

Reviewed: TLS 25 Nov. 2016 p. 34

The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them /

Reviewed: Choice Feb 2017 vol. 54 no. 6 (Essential; Top 75 Titles Recommended for Community College Libraries)

California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 21 May 2017.
Note: Graphic Novel.
Description: The biography of Ellen Cohen, “…who would grow up to become Cass Elliot – a talented and passionately determined singer with a wicked sense of style and humor, a woman who keeps her spirit despite repeated rejection she faces for a single, cruel reason: She is fat, and she doesn’t care to try to lose weight.” (NYT)

Mozart’s Starling /

Reviewed: NPR (Deceptive Cadence Program April 20, 2017; Weekend Edition 11 July 2017).
Description: Explores the unlikely bond between the famous Austrian composer and his pet starling, providing an unexpected window into human-animal friendships, music, and the nature of creative inspiration.

Personalities on the Plate: The Lives and Minds of Animals We Eat /

Reviewed: WSJ 8/9 April 2017 p. C12; TLS 28 Apr. 2017 p. 15

Ten Neglected Classics of Philosophy /

Reviewed: Choice May 2017 vol. 54 no. 9 (Essential)

Does Terrorism Work?: A History /

Reviewed: CHE 14 Oct. 2016

Far-Right Fantasy: A Sociology of American Religion and Politics /

Reviewed: Choice Nov 2016 vol. 54 no. 3 (Essential; Recommended for Community College Libraries)
Contributor Note: James Aho is Professor Emeritus at Idaho State University where he has taught for over forty years. Recognized as a Distinguished Researcher and Teacher, he is author of many books, including Body Matters: A Phenomenology of Sickness, Disease and Illness (co-written with his son, Kevin) and Sociological Trespasses: Interrogating Sin and Flesh. Aho is also author of two award-winning studies of religiously-motivated political violence, The Politics of Righteousness: Idaho Christian Patriotism and This Thing of Darkness: A Sociology of the Enemy.

A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict /

Reviewed: CHE 21 May 2017 (new books); Choice Sep 2017 vol. 55 no. 1 (Recommended)

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 4 Dec. 2016 p. 26 (100 Notable Books 2016); FA Jan./Feb. 2017 p. 160.

Investigating the President: Congressional Checks on Presidential Power /

Reviewed: Choice Feb 2017 vol. 54 no. 6 (Essential)

Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 28 May 2017 p. 14
Note: 2017 is 50th anniversary of the Israel-Arab War (“The Six Day War”) & also the centenary of the British “Balfour Declaration” that first promised a Jewish national home in Palestine.

The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 28 May 2017 p. 14
Note: 2017 is 50th anniversary of the Israel-Arab War (“The Six Day War”) & also the also the centenary of the British “Balfour Declaration” that first promised a Jewish national home in Palestine.
Description: The author advances the argument that it has been confrontation, not negotiation, that has brought the greatest movement toward compromise between Israel and Palestine. American and other peace negotiations, it’s argued, “have created the illusion that a solution is at hand, lessened Israel’s incentives to end its control over the West Bank and Gaza and undermined Palestinian unity.” (publ.)

Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America /

Reviewed: Choice Dec 2016 vol. 54 no. 4 (Essential; Recommended for Community College Libraries; Outstanding Academic Title)

Should We Fear Russia? /

Reviewed: FA Mar./Apr. 2017 p. 181

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions /

Reviewed: NPR “Fresh Air” 6 Apr. 2017 (by John Powers); NYT/BR 30 Apr. 2017 p. 12; TLS 28 Apr. 2017 p. 26
Note: Originally published as: Los Niños Perdidos: Un Ensayo en Cuarenta Preguntas (Coyoacán, Ciudad de México: Sexto Piso, 2011).
Description: Structured around the forty questions Luiselli translates and asks undocumented Latin-American children facing deportation, her book humanizes these young migrants and highlights the contradiction of the idea of America as a fiction for immigrants with the reality of racism and fear—both here and back home.

The Torture Report: A Graphic Adaptation /

Reviewed: NPR.org (Etelka Lehoczky; 31 Mar. 2017).
Description: On December 9, 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a report that strongly condemned the CIA for its secret and brutal use of torture in the treatment of prisoners captured in the “war on terror” during the George W. Bush administration. This deeply researched and fully documented investigation caused monumental controversy, interest, and concern, and starkly highlighted both how ineffective the program was as well as the lengths to which the CIA had gone to conceal it. In The Torture Report, Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón use their celebrated graphic-storytelling abilities to make the damning report accessible, finally allowing Americans to lift the veil and fully understand the crimes committed by the CIA.

Catholic Parishes of the 21st Century /

Reviewed: CHE 3 Mar. 2017 (new books)

Luther’s Jews: A Journey into Anti-Semitism /

Description: Written by one of the world’s leading authorities on the Reformation, this is the vexed and sometimes shocking story of Martin Luther’s increasingly vitriolic attitude towards the Jews over the course of his lifetime, set against the backdrop of a world in religious turmoil. A final chapter then reflects on the extent to which the legacy of Luther’s anti-semitism was to taint the Lutheran church over the following centuries.

Sacred Fury: Understanding Religious Violence /

Reviewed: Choice Aug 2017 vol. 54 no. 12 (Recommended for community college library collections)
Holdings: 1st ed. (2003) at Calmar Library; call no. 291.178 Sel

Why Are There Differences in the Gospels?: What We Can Learn from Ancient Biography /

Reviewed: CHE 24 Feb. 2017 (new books); Choice Jul 2017 vol. 54 no. 11 (Highly Recommended)

Calculating the Cosmos: How Mathematics Unveils the Universe /

Reviewed: WSJ 19-20 Nov. 2016 p. C10; Choice May 2017 vol. 54 no. 9 (Highly Recommended; Community College Recommended)

Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History /

Reviewed: NPR (22 Feb. 2017; "Cannibalism: It's 'Perfectly Natural,' A New Scientific History Argues")
Description: The author, a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History, takes us on a tour of the field, exploring new avenues of research and investigating questions like why so many fish eat their off-spring and some amphibians consume their mother’s skin; why sexual cannibalism is an evolutionary advantage for certain spiders; why, until the end of the eighteenth century, British royalty regularly ate human body parts; how cannibalism may be linked to the extinction of Neanderthals; and why microbes on sacramental bread may have led to Catholics’ to persecute European Jews in the Middle Ages.

Evolution and Religion: A Dialogue /

Synopsis: Philosopher Michael Ruse presents a fictional dialogue among characters with sharply contrasting positions regarding the tensions between science and religious belief.
Note: 1st ed. (2008) not held at NICC.

Finding Fibonacci: The Quest to Rediscover the Forgotten Mathematical Genius Who Changed the World /

Description: Fibonacci, whose book Liber Abbaci, has quite literally affected the lives of everyone alive today. Although he is most famous for the Fibonacci numbers--which, it so happens, he didn't invent—Fibonacci’s greatest contribution was as an expositor of mathematical ideas at a level ordinary people could understand. In 1202, Liber Abbaci--the “Book of Calculation”--introduced modern arithmetic to the Western world.

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars /

Reviewed: LR Feb. 2017 p. 48; Choice Jun 2017 vol. 54 no. 10 (Highly Recommended; Community College Recommendation); NYRB 25 May 2017 p. 38

Hacked: The Inside Story of America’s Struggle to Secure Cyberspace /

Reviewed: Choice Jan 2017 vol. 54 no. 5 (Highly Recommended)

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race /

Reviewed: Choice Apr 2017 vol. 54 no. 8 (essential, Top 75 Selection for Community Colleges); TLS 10 Mar. 2017 p. 47; NYRB 25 May 2017 p. 38

Newton’s Apple and Other Myths About Science /

Reviewed: Choice May 2016 vol. 53 no. 9 (Highly Recommend-ed; Recommended for Community Colleges)

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women /

Reviewed: PW 17 Apr. 2017 p. 60; NYT 1 May 2017 p. C2
Description: As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive--until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights.

To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure /

Description: Argues that failures in structural engineering are not necessarily due to the physical design of the structures, but instead a misunderstanding of how cultural and socioeconomic constraints would affect the structures.
Contents: By way of concrete examples -- Things happen -- Designed to fail -- Mechanics of failure -- A repeating problem -- The old and the new -- Searching for a cause -- The obligation of an engineer -- Before, during, and after the fall -- Legal matters -- Back-seat designers -- Houston, you have a problem -- Without a leg to stand on -- History and failure.

Void: The Strange Physics of Nothing /

Reviewed: WSJ 24-25 Dec. 2016 p. C8

“All the Real Indians Died Off”: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans /

Reviewed: Choice Jun 2017 vol. 54 no. 10 (Essential; Recommended for Community College Collections)

The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters /

Reviewed: FA Mar./Apr. 2017 p. 60+ (Essay/Excerpt); Choice Aug 2017 vol. 54 no. 12.
Note: “…Libraries, or at least their reference and academic sections, once served as a kind of first cut through the noise of the marketplace. The Internet, however, is less a library than a giant repository where anyone can dump anything. In practice, this means that a search for information will rely on algorithms usually developed by for-profit companies using opaque criteria. Actual research is hard and often boring. It requires the ability to find authentic information, sort through it, analyze it, and apply it.” (FA)

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 4 Dec. 2016 p. 25 (100 Notable Books 2016); NYT/BR 11 Dec. 2016 p. 12 (10 Best books of 2016); NYT 16 Dec. 2016 p. C28 (Top Books of 2016); NYT/BR 26 Feb. 2017 p. 24; Choice Sep 2016 vol. 54 no. 1 (Essential; Top 75 Titles Recommended for Community Colleges)

Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea /

Reviewed: NYT/BR 4 Dec. 2016 p. 25 (100 Notable Books 2016); NYT/BR 14 May 2017 p. 36

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? /

Reviewed: PW 17 Apr. 2017 p. 59

Palmyra: An Irreplaceable Treasure /

Reviewed: WSJ 27/28 May 2017 p. C6

Queering the Countryside: New Frontiers in Rural Queer Studies /

Reviewed: Choice Oct 2016 vol. 54 no. 2 (Essential; Outstanding Academic Title; Top 75 Titles Recommended for Community College Libraries)

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy /

Reviewed: LJ 15 November 2016 p. 100; NYT/BR 4 Dec. 2016 p. 26 (100 Notable Books 2016); NYRB 22 Dec. 2016 p. 32.

Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian /

Description: A gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic swimmer discusses his early success, his retirement to engage on a spiritual journey and his re-turn to worldwide competition, including the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. His childhood diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome, alcoholism and drug addiction, are challenges Ervin confronted and overcame.

False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton /

Synopsis: “Hillary Clinton presents her campaign for the presidency and her long career in public life as a triumph of feminism. But an all-star lineup of American feminists here says, ‘It’s not that simple.’” (publ.).

The Hello Girls: America’s First Women Soldiers /

Reviewed: NPR (6 April 2017: "The Hello Girls Chronicles The Women Who Fought For America — And For Recognition").
Description: In World War I, telephones linked commanding generals with soldiers in muddy trenches. A woman in uniform connected almost every one of their calls, speeding the orders that won the war. Like other soldiers, the “Hello Girls” swore the Army oath and stayed for the duration. A few were graduates of elite colleges. Most were ordinary, enterprising young women motivated by patriotism and adventure, eager to test their mettle and save the world. A handful followed General Pershing to the gates of Verdun and the battlefields of Meuse-Argonne. When the switch-board operators sailed home a year later, the Army dismissed them without veterans’ benefits or victory medals.

Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine /

When Damon Tweedy first enters the halls of Duke University Medical School on a full scholarship, he envisions a bright future where his segregated, working class background will become largely irrelevant. Instead, he finds that he has joined a new world where race is front and center. (publ.)