Friday, November 20, 2015

Just in Time for the Break -- New Books!

The Thanksgiving break is only a few days away (insert an angelic chorus here). If you're planning to relax over a good book in the aftermath of the Thanksgiving feast, the library has you covered. We have over two hundred new books, and there's definitely something here that will take your mind off your postprandial nausea. Start your browsing with our recommendations below.

Alexandra Robbins explores the troubles and triumphs of medicine’s unsung heroes in The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital. She uses the real-life stories of four women — from a first-year nurse to a former narcotics addict — to give readers a glimpse of life behind the Employees Only door, examining everything from dealing with burnout to saving a life.

Have you ever wondered who invented beds, or which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? Greg Jenner digs through Egyptian tombs and Victorian sewers to bring you the answers in this romp through the history of everyday things, A Million Years in a Day: A Curious History of Everyday Life.

Improvements in technology are revolutionizing higher education, making it more widely available and providing students who face skyrocketing prices with alternatives. Explore the future of college in College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Education by Ryan Craig and The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey.

The ripples of Terry Pratchett’s legacy are still going strong and will be for decades to come. A Blink of the Screen is a collection of short fiction that spans his entire career, and is a fantastic, humorous read whether you’re new to his work or an old friend.

Curious about the inner life of marine creatures? James Prosek examines the myth, mystery, and biology of the freshwater eel in Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World’s Most Amazing and Mysterious Fish. And in Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid, Wendy Williams uncouples the reality of the squid, and other cephalopods, from its legendary status of giant, deadly sea monster.

Greek mythology has had a major impact on culture and literature, from Plato to Percy Jackson. In The Gods of Olympus: A History, Barbara Graziosi invites readers to follow the Greek gods across ages and cultures, from their original worshippers to the 21st century.

In the aftermath of a televised panic attack, Nightline anchor Dan Harris turns to self-help, spirituality, and brain scientists to rewire the little voice in his brain — the same voice that can be our own greatest asset or liability. He writes about his journey in 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story. And in Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection, Jia Jiang shows readers how to use rejection as a path to personal success.

You can find all these books and more in our catalog. Happy reading!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

One Book Program Speakers

The One Book Program presented two speakers in October: Professor Justin Wert (October 21), and Dr.  Lundy Pentz (October 28).  Both talks were well attended and provided two different views on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

 Professor Wert's talk, entitled The Life of Henrietta Lacks: Black Community and Black Lives Matter, dealt with the sense of community that surrounded Lacks and her family, the ties between the individuals in her network, and the active support that individuals in that network gave to each other. We also learned about the migration from rural Virginia to urban Maryland, specifically Baltimore, and how black society changed because of this.

Professor Wert teaches English Composition I and II, Survey of American Literature I and II, and Survey of African American Literature I and II. 

To see a video recording of Professor Wert's talk, please click here. 

Dr. Lundy Pentz retired from Mary Baldwin College after decades of teaching biology, microbiology, immunology, physiology, and more. He got his PhD and his B.A. at Johns Hopkins University in MD. His talk,  entitled Cells, Tissues, and Money, focused on the financial aspects of cell research.  Dr. Pentz  walked the audience through the process of cell research, and debunked the idea that researchers get rich by discussing the expenses associated with this research. 

To see a video recording of Dr. Pentz's talk, please click here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

JSTOR access has been restored

Thank you for your patience while JSTOR fixed the problem!  Access has now been restored.

JSTOR Access Problems

JSTOR is currently experiencing some technical problems.  As of right now, you cannot access the database. We will post an update when access has been restored.  JSTOR continues to post updates on their website, if you want to follow them!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

One Book DNA Activity

Last Thursday the PVCC Jessup Library hosted the One Book “Extract Your Own DNA Activity.” For one afternoon, the Library Teaching Room was transformed into the “Library Laboratory” where 13 students decked out in rubber gloves and safety goggles carefully followed instructions to isolate strands of DNA from their own cheek cells.

The participants of the One Book DNA Activity represented by their DNA samples!

The activity was well-attended and much-enjoyed, and by its end nearly all of the participants had been able to successfully extract a small sample of their own DNA. Students came face-to-face with a piece of their personal genetic blueprint, and each was able to take home the results of his or her DNA extraction. Participants also received a free One Book tote bag. The simple experiment utilized common supplies and ingredients, such as table salt, food coloring, and rubbing alcohol. If you would like to try the experiment yourself, you can find directions and a how-to video on the PBS: NOVA Web site.

The DNA Activity was sponsored by the PVCC One Book Program, which is currently featuring the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Upcoming One Book events and activities include an essay contest, film screening of a documentary on Henrietta and HeLa cells, and a presentation by guest speaker Dr. Lundy Pentz on “Cells, Tissues, and Money." Learn more on the One Book Program Web site, and look out for an article on the DNA Activity in an upcoming edition of The Forum.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

New Books

It's that time of the semester again: there are new books here at the library, and we've got recommendations from nearly every subject in the Library of Congress classification system. Whether you’re interested in philosophy or military science, we’re sure to have a book here that will pique your interest.

Discover how to make your habits work for you in Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin. In Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most, author Hendrie Weisinger argues that pressure is always detrimental to performance — but there are ways to lessen its effects. Mequilibrium: 14 Days to Cooler, Calmer, and Happier by Jan Bruce, tackles daily stress management — not through eradication, but by the simple act of changing your response.

Yuval N. Harari explores humankind from a variety of perspectives — from the biological to the economic — in Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Kara Cooney tells the fascinating story of Hatshepsut, Egypt’s second female pharaoh, in The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut's Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt, piecing it together from the scant artifacts that remain from her rule.

Jesper Juul shows how video games allow players to embrace and transcend failure in The Art of Failure: An Essay on the Pain of Playing Video Games.

If you’re interested in start-ups, leadership, or exploring your creative potential, we have you covered. Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull gives readers an intimate glimpse into the workings of Pixar Animation and describes how they can use these insights to become better leaders and more creative individuals in Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration. #Girlboss, by Sophia Amoruso, champions creativity as the ultimate path to success, using Amoruso’s own story — “from dumpster diving to founding one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world” — to illustrate how it works. Peter A. Thiel urges readers to create new things, rather than building on the old, and shows them how in Zero to One: Notes on Startups, Or How to Build the Future.

In Science Unshackled: How Obscure, Abstract, Seemingly Useless Scientific Research Turned Out to Be the Basis for Modern Life, C. RenĂ©e James shows how simple curiosity has led to the breakthroughs — like WiFi, GPS, and pain medications — that form the backbone of modern life. Schemes that sound like classic science fiction become real, viable plans to counteract global warming and save the world in Hack the Planet: Science’s Best Hope — Or Worst Nightmare — For Averting Climate Catastrophe by Eli Kintisch. Rat Island: Predators in Paradise and the World’s Greatest WIldlife Rescue by William Stolzenburg looks at a little known side of the conservation movement — killing one species to save another — and follows teams of ecologists, hunters, and poachers as they attempt to save islands from the depredations of foreign predators. And The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds by Gavin Pretor-Pinney is a warm, personably written romp that will appeal to anyone who enjoys cloud-watching.

You can find all of these books in more in our catalog.