What’s New Wednesdays: Education Edition

Book cover images taken from publisher’s websites & Amazon.com.
Look for this sign on the display box past the Reference Desk!

Welcome back to “What’s New Wednesdays!” Since the Spring semester has just begun, this week’s theme focuses on education. Wanting to make college work for you even though it can be expensive? We have a book for that! Need to write a college admissions essay? We have a book for that too!

  • Indebted : How Families Make College Work At Any Cost / by Caitlin Zaloom – “How the financial pressures of paying for college affect the lives and well-being of middle-class families. The struggle to pay for college is one of the defining features of middle-class life in America today. At kitchen tables all across the country, parents agonize over whether to burden their children with loans or to sacrifice their own financial security by taking out a second mortgage or draining their retirement savings. ‘Indebted’ takes readers into the homes of middle-class families throughout the nation to reveal the hidden consequences of student debt and the ways that financing college has transformed family life. Caitlin Zaloom gained the confidence of numerous parents and their college-age children, who talked candidly with her about stressful and intensely personal financial matters that are usually kept private. In this remarkable book, Zaloom describes the profound moral conflicts for parents as they try to honor what they see as their highest parental duty–providing their children with opportunity–and shows how parents and students alike are forced to take on enormous debts and gamble on an investment that might not pay off. What emerges is a troubling portrait of an American middle class fettered by the ‘student finance complex’–the bewildering labyrinth of government-sponsored institutions, profit-seeking firms, and university offices that collect information on household earnings and assets, assess family needs, and decide who is eligible for aid and who is not. Superbly written and unflinchingly honest, ‘Indebted’ breaks through the culture of silence surrounding the student debt crisis, revealing the unspoken costs of sending our kids to college.”–Book jacket
  • The Years That Matter Most : How College Makes or Breaks Us / by Paul Tough – “The best-selling author of ‘How Children Succeed’ returns with a powerful, mind-changing inquiry into higher education in the United States. Does college still work? Is the system designed just to protect the privileged and leave everyone else behind? Or can a college education today provide real opportunity to young Americans seeking to improve their station in life? ‘The Years That Matter Most’ tells the stories of students trying to find their way, with hope, joy, and frustration, through the application process and into college. Drawing on new research, the book reveals how the landscape of higher education has shifted in recent decades and exposes the hidden truths of how the system works and whom it works for. And it introduces us to the people who really make higher education go: admissions directors trying to balance the class and balance the budget, College Board officials scrambling to defend the SAT in the face of mounting evidence that it favors the wealthy, researchers working to unlock the mysteries of the college-student brain, and educators trying to transform potential dropouts into successful graduates. With insight, humor, and passion, Paul Tough takes readers on a journey from Ivy League seminar rooms to community college welding shops, from giant public flagship universities to tiny experimental storefront colleges. Whether you are facing your own decision about college or simply care about the American promise of social mobility, ‘The Years That Matter Most’ will change the way you think–not just about higher education, but about the nation itself.”–Book jacket
  • The Knowledge Gap : The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System–and How to Fix it / by Natalie Wexler – “It was only after years within the education reform movement that Natalie Wexler stumbled across a hidden explanation for our country’s frustrating lack of progress when it comes to providing every child with a quality education. The problem wasn’t one of the usual scapegoats: lazy teachers, shoddy facilities, lack of accountability. It was something no one was talking about: the elementary school curriculum’s intense focus on decontextualized reading comprehension ‘skills’ at the expense of actual knowledge. In the tradition of Dale Russakoff’s ‘The Prize’ and Dana Goldstein’s ‘The Teacher Wars,’ Wexler brings together history, research, and compelling characters to pull back the curtain on this fundamental flaw in our education system–one that fellow reformers, journalists, and policymakers have long overlooked, and of which the general public, including many parents, remains unaware. But ‘The Knowledge Gap’ isn’t just a story of what schools have gotten so wrong–it also follows innovative educators who are in the process of shedding their deeply ingrained habits, and describes the rewards that have come along: students who are not only excited to learn but are also acquiring the knowledge and vocabulary that will enable them to succeed. If we truly want to fix our education system and unlock the potential of our neediest children, we have no choice but to pay attention.”–Publisher description
  • From Couch to College : The Fast Track to Writing Standout Admissions Essays / by Lauren Gillespie – “If you’ve already built an orphanage in Africa or are on your way to curing cancer, great. You might not need help writing a terrific essay. But for everyone else, this book will help you transform ordinary human experiences into extraordinary–and memorable–admissions essays. For those of you curled in the fetal position with a rough draft crumpled in one fist, you can finally relax. Lauren Gillespie is the Chuck Norris of essay writing, and this brief guide boils the admissions essay process down to its most basic, accessible form. No more stressing, over-researching, or analyzing other people’s ideas. And you don’t need to read a 200-page ‘How To’ in order to write your way in! Whether you’re applying for college admissions, vocational schools, or study abroad programs, this entertaining, six-step guide will cut the fat and teach you how to write an amazing admissions essay…and quickly!”–Back cover

These books are located on the display box past the Reference Desk. Look for the sign posted above in this blog. If you need help finding these books, or would like to place any on hold, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for assistance.

What’s New Wednesday’s

Book cover images from the publishers websites.

No theme this week, just some interesting books…although one title correlates with Merriam-Webster’s 2019 Word of the Year.

  • Consent : a Memoir of Unwanted Attention / by Donna Freitas – “A powerful memoir about a young woman’s toxic relationship with her mentor, an acclaimed professor, whose dark, stalking obsession altered her future forever. Donna Freitas has lived two lives. In one life, she is a well-published author and respected scholar who has traveled around the country, speaking about Title IX, consent, and sex on college campuses. In the other, she is a victim, a woman who suffered and suffers still because she was stalked by her graduate professor for more than two years. As a doctoral candidate, Freitas loved asking big questions, challenging established theories, and sinking her teeth into sacred texts. She felt at home in the library and safe in the book-lined offices of scholars whom she admired. But during her first year, one particular scholar became obsessed with Freitas’s academic enthusiasm. He filled her student mailbox with letters and articles. He lurked on the sidewalk outside her apartment. He called daily and left nagging voice mails. He befriended her mother and made himself comfortable in her family’s home. He wouldn’t go away. While his attraction was not overtly sexual, it was undeniably inappropriate and, most important, unwanted. In ‘Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention,’ Freitas delivers a forensic examination of the years she spent stalked by her professor and uses her nightmarish experience to examine the ways in which we stigmatize, debate, and attempt to understand consent today.”–Publisher description.
  • Autobiography of a Face / by Lucy Grealy – “At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. It took her twenty years of living with a distorted self-image and more than thirty reconstructive procedures before she could come to terms with her appearance. In this lyrical and strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. She captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.”–Publisher description.
  • She Said : Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement / by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey – “For many years, reporters had tried to get to the truth about Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women. Rumors of wrongdoing had long circulated. But in 2017, when Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey began their investigation into the prominent Hollywood producer for the New York Times, his name was still synonymous with power. During months of confidential interviews with top actresses, former Weinstein employees, and other sources, many disturbing and long-buried allegations were unearthed, and a web of onerous secret payouts and nondisclosure agreements were revealed. These shadowy settlements had long been used to hide sexual harassment and abuse, but with a breakthrough reporting technique Kantor and Twohey helped to expose it. But Weinstein had evaded scrutiny in the past, and he was not going down without a fight; he employed a team of high-profile lawyers, private investigators, and other allies to thwart the investigation. When Kantor and Twohey were finally able to convince some sources to go on the record, a dramatic final showdown between Weinstein and the New York Times was set in motion. Nothing could have prepared Kantor and Twohey for what followed the publication of their initial Weinstein story on October 5, 2017. Within days, a veritable Pandora’s box of sexual harassment and abuse was opened. Women all over the world came forward with their own traumatic stories. Over the next twelve months, hundreds of men from every walk of life and industry were outed following allegations of wrongdoing. But did too much change–or not enough? Those questions hung in the air months later as Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court, and Christine Blasey Ford came forward to testify that he had assaulted her decades earlier. Kantor and Twohey, who had unique access to Ford and her team, bring to light the odyssey that led her to come forward, the overwhelming forces that came to bear on her, and what happened after she shared her allegation with the world. In the tradition of great investigative journalism, ‘She Said’ tells a thrilling story about the power of truth, with shocking new information from hidden sources. Kantor and Twohey describe not only the consequences of their reporting for the #MeToo movement, but the inspiring and affecting journeys of the women who spoke up–for the sake of other women, for future generations, and for themselves.”–Publisher description.
  • They/Them/Their : a Guide to Nonbinary and Genderqueer Identities / by Eris Young – “In this insightful and long-overdue book, Eris Young explores what it’s like to live outside of the gender binary and how it can impact on one’s relationships, sense of identity, use of language and more. Drawing on the author’s own experiences as a non-binary person, as well as interviews and research, it shares common experiences and challenges faced by those who are non-binary, and what friends, family, and other cisgender people can do to support them. Breaking down misconceptions and providing definitions, this much-needed guide is for anyone wanting to fully understand non-binary and genderqueer identities.”–Publisher description.

If you have any trouble locating these books, or would like to place any on hold, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for assistance!

What’s New Wednesday’s: Ripped from the Headlines

Book cover images taken from the publishers websites.

“What’s New” for this week are books that are ripped from the headlines!

  • Member of the Family : My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness that Ended the Sixties / by Dianne Lake and Deborah Herman – “In this poignant and disturbing memoir, Dianne shares the full story of her time with Manson, revealing how she became the youngest member of his Family and offering new insights into one of the twentieth century’s most notorious criminals. While much has been written about Charles Manson, ‘Member of the Family’ re-creates in vivid detail the firsthand experience of someone who survived his wrath, returning to a time and place that changed America forever–a moment when anything seemed possible and the horrors to come unthinkable.”–Publisher description.
  • Manson : the Life and Times of Charles Manson / by Jeff Guinn – “More than forty years ago Charles Manson and his mostly female commune killed nine people, among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate. It was the culmination of a criminal career that author Jeff Guinn traces back to Manson’s childhood. Guinn interviewed Manson’s sister and cousin, neither of whom had ever previously cooperated with an author. Childhood friends, cellmates, and even some members of the Manson family have provided new information about Manson’s life. Guinn has made discoveries about the night of the Tate murders, answering unresolved questions, such as why one person near the scene of the crime was spared. ‘Manson’ puts the killer in the context of the turbulent late sixties, an era of race riots and street protests when authority in all its forms was under siege. Guinn shows us how Manson created and refined his message to fit the times, persuading confused young women (and a few men) that he had the solutions to their problems. At the same time he used them to pursue his long-standing musical ambitions. His frustrated ambitions, combined with his bizarre race-war obsession, would have lethal consequences.”–Publisher description.
  • The Family Next Door : the Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the Thirteen Turpin Siblings and their Extraordinary Rescue / by John Glatt – “On January 14, 2018, a seventeen-year-old girl climbed out of the window of her Perris, California, home and dialed 911 on a borrowed cell phone. Struggling to stay calm, she told the operator that she and her twelve siblings–ranging in age from two to twenty-nine–were being abused by their parents. When the dispatcher asked for her address, the girl hesitated. ‘I’ve never been out,’ she stammered. To their family, neighbors, and online friends, Louise and David Turpin presented a picture of domestic bliss: dressing their thirteen children in matching outfits and buying them expensive gifts. But what police discovered when they entered the Turpin family home would eclipse the most shocking child abuse cases in history. For years, David and Louise had kept their children in increasing isolation, trapping them in a sinister world of torture, fear, and near starvation. In the first major account of the case, investigative journalist John Glatt delves into the disturbing details and recounts the bravery of the thirteen siblings in the face of unimaginable horror.”–Publisher description.

This week’s picks are located among the “New Arrivals” in the Library Lounge. If you need help locating them, or would like to put any on hold, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for help.

What’s New Wednesday’s: Kids Books

Book covers taken from publisher’s websites.

In honor of Family Reading Night tomorrow (held annually in Illinois the third Thursday in November) we’re showcasing some new kids books from our Juvenile Collection. Spend quality time reading with your kids over the coming holidays!

  • How Do You Care For A Very Sick Bear? / by Vanessa Bayer ; illustrated by Rosie Butcher. “When someone dear is dealing with illness, it’s difficult to know what to do or say. The actor Vanessa Bayer experienced this firsthand when she was treated for childhood leukemia. In her first children’s book, she offers gentle, reassuring advice that people of all ages will appreciate.”–Publisher description.
  • When Aidan Became a Brother / by Kyle Lukoff ; illustrated by Kaylani Juanita. “When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl’s room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realized he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of life that didn’t fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new life. ‘When Aidan Became a Brother’ is a heartwarming book that will resonate with transgender children, reassure any child concerned about becoming an older sibling, and celebrate the many transitions a family can experience.”–Publisher description.
  • A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories / written by Angela McAllister ; illustrated by Alice Lindstrom. “Step on to a stage full of stories with this beautiful anthology of 12 stories from Shakespeare. Featuring much-loved classics such as ‘The Tempest,’ ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ ‘Hamlet,’ and ‘Othello,’ each story is rewritten in a comprehensive way that is accessible for children and stunningly illustrated by collage artist Alice Lindstrom.”–Publisher description.
  • Where Are You From? / by Yamile Saied Méndez ; illustrated by Jaime Kim. “When a girl is asked where she’s from–where she’s really from–none of her answers seems to be the right one. Unsure about how to reply, she turns to her loving abuelo for help. He doesn’t give her the response she expects. She gets an even better one. Where am I from? You’re from hurricanes and dark storms, and a tiny singing frog that calls the island people home when the sun goes to sleep…With themes of self-acceptance, identity, and home, this powerful, lyrical picture book will resonate with readers young and old, from all backgrounds and of all colors–especially anyone who ever felt that they don’t belong.”–Publisher description.

All of these books are currently available in our Juvenile Collection (both fiction & nonfiction) located at the lower level of the Library. If you need help locating these books, or would like to place them on hold, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian.”

We also have MANY more kids books to choose from so come & check out the collection!

What’s New Wednesday’s: Environmental Theme

This week’s new book recommendations have an environmental theme; the photos alone in “Plastic Soup” will tug at the heartstrings.

  • Plastic Soup : an Atlas of Ocean Pollution / by Michiel Roscam Abbing. “A beautifully-illustrated survey of the plastics clogging our seas, their impacts on wildlife and people around the world, and inspirational initiatives designed to tackle the problem.”–Publisher description.
  • How to Give Up Plastic : a Guide to Changing the World, One Plastic Bottle at a Time / by Will McCallum. “An accessible guide to the changes we can all make–small and large–to rid our lives of disposable plastic and clean up the world’s oceans. It takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to fully biodegrade, and there are around 12.7 million tons of plastic entering the ocean each year. At our current pace, in the year 2050 there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish, by weight.”–Publisher description.
  • The Conscious Closet : the Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good / by Elizabeth L. Cline. “‘The Conscious Closet’ is not just a style guide. It is a call to action to transform one of the most polluting industries on earth–fashion–into a force for good. Readers will learn where and how their clothes are made, before connecting to a passionate global community of stylish fashion revolutionaries.”–Publisher description.

All of these books are currently available on our New Arrivals shelves in the Library Lounge. Enjoy!

If you have trouble finding any of these books, don’t hesitate to “Ask a Librarian” for help. They can also place any of these books on hold if interested.

What’s New?

The Library has every movie adaptation of A Star is Born to suit one’s fancy! Check them out:

  • A Star is Born (1937) / directed by William A. Wellman ; produced by David O. Selznick ; starring Janet Gaynor & Fredric March
  • A Star is Born (1954) / produced by Sidney Luft ; directed by George Cukor ; starring Judy Garland & James Mason
  • A Star is Born (1976) / produced by Jon Peters ; directed by Frank Pierson ; starring Barbra Streisand & Kris Kristofferson
  • A Star is Born (2018) / directed by Bradley Cooper ; produced by Bill Gerber, Jon Peters, Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips, Lynette Howell Taylor ; starring Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper  

All are currently available and located either at the New Arrivals section in the lounge, or downstairs among the DVD collection. If you can’t find one of the DVDs, please don’t hesitate to ask a librarian for assistance.

New Arrivals

Among the new arrivals this week are these book recommendations:

These and other new items are located at the New Arrivals section in the Library Lounge.

New Books This Week

We have something of interest for everyone!

Health Science students:

  • The 21st Century Guide to Writing Articles in the Biomedical Sciences by Shiri Diskin: “We live in an unprecedented era of flourishing of scientific publishing. However, many professionals in the biomedical sciences find writing articles to be a daunting task. Through her experience of teaching professionals in this field and editing their work, Dr. Diskin has become aware of their unique set of challenges and needs. This book aims to help writers in the field of biomedical sciences address these challenges and meet their needs. This book is a practical writing guide that covers the writing process from the project’s inception to the online distribution of the published article. It includes an in-depth discussion of the expected content of each article section in accordance with the IMRAD format (Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion), as well as many details concerning the preparation of additional submission materials. The characteristics of papers reporting on specific types of research (retrospective, prospective, clinical and non-clinical) are presented, together with article types other than the general full research article, such as case reports and reviews. Importantly, throughout the book, Dr. Diskin discusses and explains the practicalities of writing articles in today’s interconnected environment. Topics such as coordinating the writing in a multinational team, use of different types of software in the writing process and resources available online to support the writer are fleshed out in detail. The book is full of references to external resources for additional reading and learning.”–Back cover
  • Breathtaking: Asthma Care in a Time of Climate Change by Alison Kenner: “Asthma is not a new problem, but today the disease is being reshaped by changing ecologies, healthcare systems, medical sciences, and built environments. A global epidemic, asthma (and our efforts to control it) demands an analysis attentive to its complexity, its contextual nature, and the care practices that emerge from both. At once clearly written and theoretically insightful, ‘Breathtaking’ provides a sweeping ethnographic account of asthma’s many dimensions through the lived experiences of people who suffer from disordered breathing, as well as by considering their support networks, from secondary school teachers and coaches, to breathing educators and new smartphone applications designed for asthma control. Against the backdrop of unbreathable environments, Alison Kenner describes five modes of care that illustrate how asthma is addressed across different sociocultural scales. These modes of care often work in combination, building from or preceding one another. Tensions also exist between them, a point reflected by Kenner’s description of the structural conditions and material rhythms that shape everyday breathing, chronic disease, and our surrounding environments. She argues that new modes of distributed, collective care practices are needed to address asthma as a critical public health issue in the time of climate change.”–Publisher description
  • Infiltrating Healthcare: How Marketing Works Underground to Influence Nurses by Quinn Grundy: “It was once common for pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers to treat doctors to lavish vacations or give them new cars; companies would do virtually anything to buy influence so that their medications or devices would be used in a doctor’s office or hospital. But with growing public scrutiny of kickbacks to doctors, the huge giveaways have disappeared. In ‘Infiltrating Healthcare,’ Quinn Grundy shows that sales representatives are working instead behind the scenes. It is to nurses that these companies now market. Nurses, Grundy argues, are the perfect target for sales reps: their work is largely invisible and frequently undervalued, yet they wield a great deal of influence over treatment and purchasing decisions. Furthermore, there are no legal restrictions on marketing to most nurses. Grundy describes how, under the guise of education or product support, and through gifts and free samples, sales representatives influence nurses in the course of day-to-day clinical practice. Grundy argues that the very presence of sales reps in operating rooms, purchasing committee meetings, and patient care units blurs the boundaries between patient care and medical sales. Helpfully, she also describes ways that nurses can be aware of (and resistant to) their influence. ‘Infiltrating Healthcare’ is a call to action to protect the clinical spaces where we are at our most vulnerable–and the decisions that take place there–from the pursuit of profit at any cost. This is a timely book that shines a light on a practice that often goes unseen and which has tangible implications for healthcare policy and practice.”–Book jacket
  • Code Blue: Inside America’s Medical Industrial Complex by Mike Magee, MD: “Why has the United States, with more resources than any nation, developed a healthcare system that delivers much poorer results, at near double the cost of any other developed country? The answer is a profit prioritized over health care. Mike Magee, M.D., who worked for years inside the medical system administering a hospital and then as a senior executive at the giant pharmaceutical company Pfizer, has spent the last decade deconstructing the often shocking way that the pillars of our health system–Big Pharma, insurance companies, hospitals, the American Medical Association, and anyone affiliated with them–have built a web of connections that Magee refers to as the Medical Industrial Complex. With an eye first and foremost on the bottom line rather than on the nation’s health, each sector has for decades embraced cure over care, aiming to conquer disease rather than concentrate on the cultural and social factors that determine health. This decision Magee calls the ‘original sin’ of our health system. ‘Code Blue’ is a riveting, character-driven narrative that draws back the curtain on the giant industry that consumes one out of every five American dollars such that legendary seer Warren Buffett calls the Medical Industrial Complex ‘the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness.’ Making clear for the first time the mechanisms, greed, and collusion by which our medical system was built over the last eight decades–and arguing persuasively and urgently for the necessity of a single-payer, multi-plan insurance arena of the kind enjoyed by every other major developed nation–Mike Magee gives us invaluable perspective and inspiration by which we can, indeed, reshape the future.”–Book jacket

Communications & Literature students:

  • Linguistics For Non-Linguists: a Primer with Exercises by Frank Parker, Kathryn Riley: “‘Linguistics for Non-Linguists,’ Fifth Edition, makes linguistics accessible to beginners by providing a clear understanding of both the basic and more complex aspects of this challenging subject. This newly revised edition continues to be a readable and user-friendly introductory text that presents the basic elements of linguistics clearly and concisely. Beginning with recognizable topics and gradually moving readers into unfamiliar, technical territory, this text makes the subject matter approachable and understandable for all readers. Including summaries of complex topics, supplemental readings, and hundreds of supplementary and exploratory exercises throughout the text that reinforce the material covered, ‘Linguistics for Non-linguists’ offers students a complete understanding of the basics of this critical field. Specialists in language-related fields including Speech-Language Pathology, Experimental Phonetics, Communication, Education, Psychology, and English as a Second Language will find this text an essential resource and reference.”–Back cover
  • Don’t Read Poetry: a Book About How to Read Poems by Stephanie Burt: “In ‘Don’t Read Poetry,’ award-winning poet and literary critic Stephanie Burt offers an accessible introduction to the seemingly daunting task of reading, understanding, enjoying, and learning from poems. Burt dispels preconceptions about poetry and explains how poems speak to one another–and how they can speak to our lives. She shows readers how to find more poems once they have some poems they care for and how to connect the poetry of the past to the poetry of the present. Burt moves seamlessly from Shakespeare and other classics to the poems of our own day, responsive to current events, or discovered online. She challenges the assumptions that many of us make about ‘poetry,’ whether we think we like it or think we don’t, in order to help us cherish–and distinguish among–individual poems. A masterful guide to a sometimes confounding genre, ‘Don’t Read Poetry’ will instruct and delight newcomers, cognoscenti, and those in between.”–Book jacket

Other interests:

  • Why Superman Doesn’t Take Over the World: What Superheroes Can Tell Us About Economics by J. Brian O’Roark: “Economics and comics may seem to be a world apart. But in the hands of economics professor and comic book hero aficionado Brian O’Roark, the two form a powerful alliance. With brilliant deadpan enthusiasm he shows how the travails of superheroes can explain the building blocks of economics, and how economics explains the mysteries of superhero behavior. Spider-Man’s existential doubts revolve around opportunity costs; Wonder Woman doesn’t have a sidekick because she has a comparative advantage in everything; game theory sheds light on the battle between Captain America and Iron Man; the Joker keeps committing crimes because of the Peltzman effect; and utility curves help us decide who is the greatest superhero of all. ‘Why Superman Doesn’t Take Over the World’ probes the motivations of our favorite heroes, and reveals that the characters in the comics may have powers we don’t, but they are still beholden to the laws of economics.”–Book jacket
  • Small Arms: Children and Terrorism by Mia Bloom with John Horgan: “Why do terrorist organizations use children to support their cause and carry out their activities? ‘Small Arms’ uncovers the brutal truth behind the mobilization of children by terrorist groups. Mia Bloom and John Horgan show us the grim underbelly of society that allows and even encourages the use of children to conduct terrorist activities. They provide readers with the who, what, when, why, and how of this increasingly concerning situation, illuminating a phenomenon that to most of us seems abhorrent. And yet, they argue, for terrorist groups the use of children carries many benefits. Children possess skills that adults lack. They often bring innovation and creativity. Children are, in fact, a superb demographic from which to recruit if you are a terrorist. ‘Small Arms’ answers questions about recruitment strategies and tactics, determines what makes a child terrorist and what makes him or her different from an adult one, and charts the ways in which organizations use them. The unconventional focus on child and youth militants allows the authors to, in essence, give us a biography of the child terrorist and the organizations that use them. We are taken inside the mind of the adult and the child to witness that which perhaps most scares us.”–Book jacket
  • Good Music: What it is and Who Gets to Decide by John J. Sheinbaum: “Over the past two centuries Western culture has largely valorized a particular kind of ‘good’ music–highly serious, wondrously deep, stylistically authentic, heroically created, and strikingly original–and, at the same time, has marginalized music that does not live up to those ideals. In ‘Good Music,’ John J. Sheinbaum explores these traditional models for valuing music. By engaging examples such as Handel oratorios, Beethoven and Mahler symphonies, jazz improvisations, Bruce Springsteen, and prog rock, he argues that metaphors of perfection do justice to neither the perceived strengths nor the assumed weaknesses of the music in question. Instead, he proposes an alternative model of appreciation where abstract notions of virtue need not dictate our understanding. Good music can, with pride, be playful rather than serious, diverse rather than unified, engaging to both body and mind, in dialogue with manifold styles and genres, and collaborative to the core. We can widen the scope of what music we value and reconsider the conventional rituals surrounding it, while retaining the joys of making music, listening closely, and caring passionately.”–Back cover
  • The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World by Amanda Little: “Is the future of food looking bleak–or better than ever? Climate models show that global crop production will decline every decade for the rest of this century due to drought, heat, and flooding. Water supplies are in jeopardy. Meanwhile the world’s population is expected to grow another 30 percent by midcentury. So how, really, will we feed nine billion people sustainably in the coming decades? Amanda Little, a professor at Vanderbilt University and an award-winning journalist, spent three years traveling through a dozen countries and as many U.S. states in search of answers to this question. Her journey took her from old apple orchards in Wisconsin to new remote-controlled farms in Shanghai, from teeming fisheries in Norway to famine-stricken regions of Ethiopia. The race to reinvent the global food system is on, and the challenge is twofold: We must solve the existing problems of industrial agriculture while also preparing for the pressures ahead. Through her interviews and adventures with farmers, scientists, activists, and engineers, Little tells the fascinating story of human innovation and explores new and old approaches to food production while charting the growth of a movement that could redefine sustainable food on a grand scale. She meets small permaculture farmers and ‘Big Food’ executives, botanists studying ancient superfoods and Kenyan farmers growing the country’s first GMO corn. She travels to places that might seem irrelevant to the future of food yet surprisingly play a critical role–a California sewage plant, a U.S. Army research lab, even the inside of a monsoon cloud above Mumbai. Little asks tough questions: Can GMOs actually be good for the environment–and for us? Are we facing the end of animal meat? What will it take to eliminate harmful chemicals from farming? How can a clean, climate-resilient food supply become accessible to all? Throughout her journey Little finds and shares a deeper understanding of the threats of climate change and encounters a sense of awe and optimism about the lessons of our past and the scope of human ingenuity.”–Book jacket

New Library of Congress Website for “Constitution Annotated”

September 17th is Constitution Day, a day commemorating the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. In conjunction with this, the Library of Congress has launched a new website “mak[ing] the 3,000 pages of the Constitution Annotated fully searchable and accessible for the first time to online audiences – including Congress, legal scholars, law students and anyone interested in U.S. constitutional law.” (New Website Makes the U.S. Constitution Searchable with Supreme Court Interpretations Throughout History: https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-19-090?loclr=ealn)

So what is the Constitution Annotated you ask? “… known officially as the Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation–[it] has served as the official record of the U.S. Constitution. Prepared by attorneys in the American Law Division of the Library’s Congressional Research Service, it explains in layman’s terms the Constitution’s origins, how it was crafted and how every provision in the Constitution has been interpreted throughout history.”

Starting at the Home page, click on “Browse” in the top right-hand corner.
You’re taken to this page where you can browse the Preamble, Articles, & Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Then, if you click on “Nineteenth Amendment” for example, you’ll be taken to this page. To see the explanation in “layman’s terms” you would click on the highlighted portion above: “Amdt19.S1.1  Women’s Suffrage”
Which results in this page, the page prepared by attorneys in the American Law Division of the Library’s Congressional Research Service, complete with footnotes at the bottom.

So, check out the new website, Constitution Annotated: Analysis and Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution https://constitution.congress.gov/. Could be easier than carrying the pocket Constitution!

Real ID

If your drivers license or IL state ID expires BEFORE October 2020, you’ll need to decide whether to renew it for a regular drivers license/state ID or get a “Real ID.”

This video explains a little bit about the new Real ID.

Complete this simple interactive checklist to find out exactly what documents you will need to bring to apply for a REAL ID DL/ID before visiting a Driver Services facility.“–Illinois Secretary of State website ( https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/ )