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.