Check out my new picks of the week in the Library Lounge “New Arrivals” section!
The Beautiful Cure: the Revolution in Immunology and What It Means for Your Health / by Daniel M. Davis – “The immune system holds the key to human health. In ‘The Beautiful Cure,’ leading immunologist Daniel M. Davis describes how the scientific quest to understand how the immune system works–and how it is affected by stress, sleep, age, and our state of mind–is now unlocking a revolutionary new approach to medicine and well-being. The body’s ability to fight disease and heal itself is one of the great mysteries and marvels of nature. But in recent years, painstaking research has resulted in major advances in our grasp of this breathtakingly beautiful inner world: a vast and intricate network of specialist cells, regulatory proteins, and dedicated genes that are continually protecting our bodies. Far more powerful than any medicine ever invented, the immune system plays a crucial role in our daily lives. We have found ways to harness these natural defenses to create breakthrough drugs and so-called immunotherapies that help us fight cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and many age-related diseases, and we are starting to understand whether activities such as mindfulness might play a role in enhancing our physical resilience. Written by a researcher at the forefront of this adventure, ‘The Beautiful Cure’ tells a dramatic story of scientific detective work and discovery, of puzzles solved and mysteries that linger, of lives sacrificed and saved. With expertise and eloquence, Davis introduces us to this revelatory new understanding of the human body and what it takes to be healthy.”–Book jacket.
Safely to Earth: the Men and Women Who Brought the Astronauts Home / by Jack Clemons – “In this one-of-a-kind memoir, Jack Clemons–a former lead engineer in support of NASA–takes readers behind the scenes and into the inner workings of the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs during their most exciting years. Discover the people, the events, and the risks involved in one of the most important parts of space missions: bringing the astronauts back home to Earth. Clemons joined Project Apollo in 1968, young engineer inspired by science fiction and electrified by John F. Kennedy’s challenge to the nation to put a man on the moon. He describes his experiences supporting the NASA engineering team at what is now the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where he played a pivotal role in designing the reentry and landing procedures for Apollo astronauts and providing live support as part of the Mission Control Center’s backroom team. He went on to work on Skylab and the Space Shuttle Program, eventually assuming leadership for the entire integrated software system on board the Space Shuttle. Through personal stories, Clemons introduces readers to many of the unsung heroes of the Apollo and Space Shuttle missions–the people who worked side by side with NASA engineers supporting reentry and landing each Apollo mission and the software team who fashioned the computer programs that accompanied the crews on the Space Shuttle. Clemons worked closely with astronauts who relied on home and his fellow engineers for directions to their destination, guidance on how to get there, control of their fate during their journeys, and a safe return. He reveals problems, challenges, and near-disasters previously unknown to the public and offers candid opinions on the preventable failures that led to the loss of fourteen astronauts in the Challenger and Columbia tragedies. Highlighting the staggering responsibility and the incredible technological challenges that Clemons and his colleagues took on in the race to reach the moon and explore the mysteries of space, this book is a fascinating insider’s view of some of the greatest adventures of the twentieth century.”–Book jacket.
The Racial Divide in American Medicine: Black Physicians and the Struggle for Justice in Health Care / edited by Richard D. deShazo, MD – “An exposure to the long history of separation, isolation, disparities, and eventual healing in southern healthcare. ‘The Racial Divide in American Medicine’ documents the struggle for equity in health and health care by African Americans in Mississippi and the United States and the connections between what happened there and the national search for social justice in health care. Dr. Richard D. deShazo and the contributors to the volume trace the dark journey from a system of slave hospitals in the state, through Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the civil rights era, to the present day. They substantiate that current health disparities are directly linked to America’s history of separation, neglect, struggle, and disparities. Contributors reveal details of individual physicians’ journeys for recognition both as African Americans and as professionals in Mississippi. Despite discrimination by their white colleagues and threats of violence, a small but fearless group of African American physicians fought for desegregation of American medicine and society. For example, T. R. M. Howard, MD, in the all-black city of Mound Bayou led a private investigation of the Emmett Till murder that helped trigger the civil rights movement. Later, other black physicians risked their lives and practices to provide care for white civil rights workers during the civil rights movement. DeShazo has assembled an accurate account of the lives and experiences of black physicians in Mississippi, one that gives full credit to the actions of these pioneers. DeShazo’s introduction and the essays address ongoing isolation and distrust among black and white colleagues. This book will stimulate dialogue, apology, and reconciliation, with the ultimate goal of improving disparities in health and health care and addressing long-standing injustices in our country.”–Publisher description.
The Truth About Aaron: My Journey to Understand My Brother / by Jonathan Hernandez – “To football fans, Aaron Hernandez was a superstar. A standout at the University of Florida, he helped the Gators win the national title in 2008. He was drafted by the New England Patriots, and in his second season with the team, he and Rob Gronkowski set records for combined touchdowns and yardage. In 2012, along with Tom Brady, they led New England to Super Bowl XLVI. But Aaron’s NFL career ended as quickly as it began. On June 26, 2013, he was arrested at his home, charged with the murder of acquaintance Odin Lloyd, and released by the Patriots. On May 15, 2014, while on trial for Lloyd’s murder, Aaron was indicted for two more murders. Convicted in the Lloyd case, Aaron Hernandez died by suicide in his jail cell. He was twenty-seven years old. In this clear-eyed, emotionally devastating biography–also a memoir of family and football and true crime–Jonathan Hernandez finally tells the previously unknown story of a man no one fully understood. Jonathan draws on his own recollections as well as other sources to give us a full portrait of the star athlete and troubled young man who would be convicted of murder, and the darkness that consumed him for the entirety of his short life. Refusing to portray Aaron as a victim, Jonathan speaks openly about his brother’s talent, his sexuality, his crimes and incarceration, and the devastating condition–chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE–that ravaged his brain until his death. Filled with headline-making revelations, [this book] is a shocking and moving account of promise, tragedy, and loss–as told by the person who knew Aaron better than anyone else.”–Book jacket.
Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves / by Frans De Waal – “Primatologist Frans de Waal explores the fascinating world of animal and human emotions. Frans de Waal has spent four decades at the forefront of animal research. Following up on the best-selling ‘Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?,’ which investigated animal intelligence, ‘Mama’s Last Hug’ delivers a fascinating exploration of the rich emotional lives of animals. ‘Mama’s Last Hug’ begins with the death of Mama, a chimpanzee matriarch who formed a deep bond with biologist Jan van Hooff. When Mama was dying, van Hooff took the unusual step of visiting her in her night cage for a last hug. Their goodbyes were filmed and went viral. Millions of people were deeply moved by the way Mama embraced the professor, welcoming him with a big smile while reassuring him by patting his neck, in a gesture often considered typically human but that is in fact common to all primates. This story and others like it form the core of de Waal’s argument, showing that humans are not the only species with the capacity for love, hate, fear, shame, guilt, joy, disgust, and empathy. De Waal discusses facial expressions, the emotions behind human politics, the illusion of free will, animal sentience, and, of course, Mama’s life and death. The message is one of continuity between us and other species, such as the radical proposal that emotions are like organs: we don’t have a single organ that other animals don’t have, and the same is true for our emotions. ‘Mama’s Last Hug’ opens our hearts and minds to the many ways in which humans and other animals are connected, transforming how we view the living world around us.”–Publisher description.
That Jealous Demon, My Wretched Health: Disease, Death and Composers / by Jonathan Noble – “The health – and especially deaths – of composers excite controversy. Was Mozart really poisoned? Did Tchaikovsky commit suicide? How did Beethoven lose his hearing? Much good previous scholarship has been sullied by unsubstantiated views, and many composers’ reputations have been unfairly tarnished by scandalous commentary, often involving alcoholism or syphilis. This book, by a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, charts the disturbed physical and mental health of 70 great composers. It attempts to unpick the evidence forensically and to define the cause of death based on the legal paradigm of a balance of probabilities. The author reviews where the composer was when the final illness or death overtook him and considers how many of them would have fared with modern treatment. Chapters are organised thematically, by illness; and numerous misconceptions, such as madness fuelling creativity, are challenged. The book relates the nature of composition to composers’ suffering, showcasing much triumph in adversity, and, importantly, rehabilitates reputations.”–Book jacket.
The Making of the Odyssey / by M. L. West – “The poet of the ‘Odyssey’ was a seriously flawed genius. He had a wonderfully inventive imagination, a gift for pictorial detail and for introducing naturalistic elements into epic dialogue, and a grand architectural plan for the poem. He was also a slapdash artist, often copying verses from the ‘Iliad’ or from himself without close attention to their suitability. With various possible ways of telling the story bubbling up in his mind, he creates a narrative marked by constant inconsistency of detail. He is a fluent composer who delights in prolonging his tale with subsidiary episodes, yet his deployment of the epic language is often inept and sometimes simply unintelligible. ‘The Making of the Odyssey’ is a penetrating study of the background, composition, and artistry of the Homeric ‘Odyssey.’ Martin West places the poem in its late seventh-century context in relation to the ‘Iliad’ and other poetry of the time. He also investigates the traditions that lie behind it: the origins of the figure of Odysseus, and folk tales such as those of the One-eyed Ogre and the Husband’s Return.”–Back cover.
Raising the Transgender Child: a Complete Guide for Parents, Families & Caregivers / by Dr. Michele Angello & Alisa Bowman – “‘Raising the Transgender Child’ offers much-needed answers to all the questions parents and other adults ask about raising and caring for transgender and gender diverse children: Is this just a phase? Did I do something to cause this? How do we protect these children? Who should I tell, and how? Will anyone love my child? Written by top experts in the field–Dr. Michele Angello is a leading therapist and go-to expert in the field of transgender parenting, and Alisa Bowman is a bestselling writer and parent advocate–‘Raising the Transgender Child’ helps readers champion and celebrate gender-diverse children while at the same time shedding fear, anger, sadness, and embarrassment. With specific and actionable advice–including coming-out letters, identity challenges, school and caregiver communications, and more–this guide provides a wealth of science-backed information alongside friendly and practical wisdom that is sure to comfort, guide, and inspire the families and friends of transgender and gender-diverse children.”–Back cover.
Writing and Enjoying Haiku: a Hands-on Guide / by Jane Reichhold – “‘Writing and Enjoying Haiku’ shows how haiku can bring a centered, calming atmosphere into one’s life, by focusing on the outer realities of life instead of the naggings of the inner mind, by gaining a new appreciation for the world of nature, and by preserving moments, days, and events so that they are not lost forever in the passage of time. Haiku are clearly shown to be a means of discovering and recording the miracles of the world, from the humorous to the tragic. This is one of the major themes underlying ‘Writing and Enjoying Haiku’–that haiku can provide a way to a better life. After looking at why the reading and writing of haiku is important from a spiritual point of view, the book shows, as has never been done before, the techniques of writing–the when and the where, punctuation and capitalization, choice of words, figures of speech, sharing haiku, and much, much more. Having come this far, having learned to read and write haiku with a discerning mind, the reader will never again look upon the world in quite the same way.”–Publisher description.
How to Care for Aging Parents: a One-Stop Resource for All Your Medical, Financial, Housing, and Emotional Issues / by Virginia Morris – “‘How to Care for Aging Parents’ is an authoritative, clear, and comforting source of advice and support for the ever-growing number of Americans–now 42 million–who care for an elderly parent, relative, or friend. And now, in its third edition, it is completely overhauled and updated, chapter-by-chapter and page-by-page, with the most recent medical findings and recommendations. It includes a whole new chapter on fraud; details on the latest ‘aging in place’ technologies; more helpful online resources; and everything you need to know about current laws and regulations. Also new are fill-in worksheets for gathering specifics on medications; caregivers’ names, schedules, and contact info; doctors’ phone numbers and addresses; and other essential information in one handy place at the back of the book. From having that first difficult conversation to arranging a funeral and dealing with grief–and all of the other important issues in between–‘How to Care for Aging Parents’ is the essential guide.”–Publisher description.
Guns and College Homicide: the Case to Prohibit Firearms on Campus / by Stephen K. Boss – “At a time when mass shootings in schools and other public spaces have become commonplace, it might seem surprising that American college campuses are not magnets for murderers but sanctuaries from them. Because of remarkably effective gun-safe policies, deaths by firearms on college campuses are 1,000 times less frequent than in the U.S. public at large. Drawing on crime data submitted in compliance with the Clery Act and public reports of those crimes, this study inventories every documented homicide at a U.S. college or university between 2001 and 2016, making a compelling argument for using gun-safe campuses as guides for broader public safety.”–Back cover.
This is the Way the World Ends: How Droughts and Die-Offs, Heat Waves and Hurricanes Are Converging on America / by Jeff Nesbit – “The world itself won’t end, of course. Only ours will: our livelihoods, our homes, our cultures. And we’re squarely at the tipping point. Longer droughts in the Middle East are causing extreme water shortages. Growing desertification in China and Africa is creating a severe food-security challenge. The monsoon season is shrinking in India, perhaps upending a century-old water cycle. Amped-up heat waves in Australia are making part of the continent unlivable. More intense hurricanes could devastate entire cities in America. Water wars in the Horn of Africa are now the root of armed conflict. Rebellions, refugees and starving children across the globe are becoming commonplace. These are not disconnected events. These are the pieces of a larger puzzle that environmental expert Jeff Nesbit puts together. Unless we start addressing the causes of climate change and stop simply navigating its effects, we will be facing a series of unstoppable catastrophes by the time our preschoolers graduate from college. Our world is in trouble–right now. ‘This is the Way the World Ends’ tells the real stories of the substantial impacts to Earth’s systems unfolding across each continent. The bad news? Within two decades or so, our carbon budget will reach a point of no return. But there’s good news. Like every significant challenge we’ve faced–from creating civilization in the shadow of the last ice age to the Industrial Revolution–we can get out of this box canyon by understanding the realities, changing the worn-out climate conversation to one that’s relevant to every person. Nesbit provides a clear blueprint for real-time, workable solutions we can tackle together.”–Book jacket.
Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities / by John Warner – “There seems to be widespread agreement that–when it comes to the writing skills of college students–we are in the midst of a crisis. In ‘Why They Can’t Write,’ John Warner, who taught writing at the college level for two decades, argues that the problem isn’t caused by a lack of rigor, or smartphones, or some generational character defect. Instead, he asserts, we’re teaching writing wrong. Warner blames this on decades of educational reform rooted in standardization, assessments, and accountability. We have done no more, Warner argues, than conditioned students to perform ‘writing-related simulations,’ which pass temporary muster but do little to help students develop their writing abilities. This style of teaching has made students passive and disengaged. Worse yet, it hasn’t prepared them for writing in the college classroom. Rather than making choices and thinking critically, as writers must, undergraduates simply follow the rules–such as the five-paragraph essay–designed to help them pass these high-stakes assessments. In ‘Why They Can’t Write,’ Warner has crafted both a diagnosis for what ails us and a blueprint for fixing a broken system. Combining current knowledge of what works in teaching and learning with the most enduring philosophies of classical education, this book challenges readers to develop the skills, attitudes, knowledge, and habits of mind of strong writers.”–Book jacket.
Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style / by Benjamin Dreyer (Copy Chief of Random House) – “A witty, informative guide to writing from Random House’s longtime copy chief and one of Twitter’s leading language gurus. We all write, all the time: books, blogs, emails. Lots and lots of emails. And we all want to write better. Benjamin Dreyer is here to help. As Random House’s copy chief, Dreyer has upheld the standards of the legendary publisher for more than two decades. He is beloved by authors and editors alike–not to mention his followers on social media–for deconstructing the English language with playful erudition. Now he distills everything he has learned from the myriad books he has copyedited and overseen into a useful guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best prose foot forward. As authoritative as it is amusing, ‘Dreyer’s English’ offers lessons on punctuation, from the underloved semicolon to the enigmatic en dash; the rules and nonrules of grammar, including why it’s OK to begin a sentence with ‘And’ or ‘But’ and to confidently split an infinitive; and why it’s best to avoid the doldrums of the Wan Intensifiers and Throat Clearers, including ‘very,’ ‘rather,’ ‘of course,’ and the dreaded ‘actually.’ Dreyer will let you know whether ‘alright’ is all right (sometimes) and even help you brush up on your spelling–though, as he ntoes, ‘The problem with mnemonic devices is that I can never remember them.’ And yes: ‘Only godless savages eschew the series comma.’ Chockful of advice, insider wisdom, and fun facts, this book will prove to be invaluable to everyone who wants to shore up their writing skills, mandatory for people who spend their time editing and shaping other people’s prose, and–perhaps best of all–an utter treat for anyone who simply revels in language.”–Book jacket.
The Mamba Mentality: How I Play / by Kobe Bryant – “‘The Mamba Mentality’ takes readers on a journey to the core of the legendary mindset that made basketball superstar Kobe Bryant one of the greatest to ever play the game. In his own words, Bryant details his vast understanding of the sport. He documents who he learned from, how he played through pain, and why he refused to accept losing as an option. He shares his motivation to never stop learning and to make himself–and his teammates–better every single day. Page by page, play by play, Bryant breaks down specific match-ups from throughout his career–from Michael Jordan to LeBron James. It’s all accompanied by the stunning photography of Andrew D. Bernstein, the NBA’s Hall of Fame photographer who captured Bryant’s very first photo as a Laker in 1996, his very last in 2016, and many thousands in between. ‘The Mamba Mentality’ beautifully reveals the inner workings of one of the most intelligent, analytical, and creative athletes of our time.”–Back cover.
Mascot Nation: the Controversy Over Native American Representations in Sports / by Andrew C. Billings and Jason Edward Black – “Andrew C. Billings and Jason Edward Black go beyond the media bluster to reassess the mascot controversy. Their multidimensional study delves into the textual, visual, and ritualistic and performative aspects of sports mascots. Their original research, meanwhile, surveys sports fans themselves on their thoughts when a specific mascot faces censure. The result is a book that merges critical-cultural analysis with qualitative data to offer an innovative approach to understanding the camps and fault lines on each side of the issue, the stakes in mascot debates, whether common ground can exist and, if so, how we might find it.”–Back cover.