New to the Collection – Picks of the Week

Check out my new picks of the week in the Library Lounge “New Arrivals” section!

The World of Scary Video Games by Bernard Perron: “As for film and literature, the horror genre has been very popular in the video game. ‘The World of Scary Video Games’ provides a comprehensive overview of the videoludic horror, dealing with the games labelled as ‘survival horror’ as well as the mainstream and independent works associated with the genre. It examines the ways in which video games have elicited horror, terror and fear since ‘Haunted House’ (1981). Bernard Perron combines an historical account with a theoretical approach in order to offer a broad history of the genre, outline its formal singularities and explore its principal issues. It studies the most important games and game series, from ‘Haunted House’ (1981) to ‘Alone in the Dark’ (1992- ), ‘Resident Evil’ (1996-present), ‘Silent Hill’ (1999-present), ‘Fatal Frame’ (2001-present), ‘Dead Space’ (2008-2013), ‘Amnesia: the Dark Descent’ (2010), and ‘The Evil Within’ (2014). Accessibly written, ‘The World of Scary Video Games’ helps the reader to trace the history of an important genre of the video game.”–Publisher description

Never Lost Again: the Google Mapping Revolution That Sparked New Industries and Augmented Our Reality by Bill Kilday: “As enlightening as The Facebook Effect, Elon Musk, and Chaos Monkeys–the compelling, behind-the-scenes story of the creation of one of the most essential applications ever devised, and the rag-tag team that built it and changed how we navigate the world. ‘Never Lost Again’ chronicles the evolution of mapping technology–the ‘overnight success twenty years in the making’. Bill Kilday takes us behind the scenes of the tech’s development, and introduces us to the team that gave us not only Google Maps but Google Earth, and most recently, Pokémon GO. He takes us back to the beginning to Keyhole–a cash-strapped startup mapping company started by a small-town Texas boy named John Hanke, that nearly folded when the tech bubble burst. While a contract with the CIA kept them afloat, the company’s big break came with the first invasion of Iraq; CNN used their technology to cover the war and made it famous. Then Google came on the scene, buying the company and relaunching the software as Google Maps and Google Earth. Eventually, Hanke’s original company was spun back out of Google, and is now responsible for Pokémon GO and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Kilday, the marketing director for Keyhole and Google Maps, was there from the earliest days, and offers a personal look behind the scenes at the tech and the minds developing it. But this book isn’t only a look back at the past; it is also a glimpse of what’s to come. Kilday reveals how emerging map-based technologies including virtual reality and driverless cars are going to upend our lives once again. ‘Never Lost Again’ shows us how our worldview changed dramatically as a result of vision, imagination, and implementation. It’s a crazy story. And it all started with a really good map.”–Publisher description

Homer’s The Odyssey : a new translation by Peter Green: “‘The Odyssey’ is vividly captured and beautifully paced in this swift and lucid new translation by acclaimed scholar and translator Peter Green. Accompanied by an illuminating introduction, maps, chapter summaries, a glossary, and explanatory notes, this is the ideal translation for both general readers and students to experience ‘The Odyssey’ in all its glory. Green’s version, with its lyrical mastery and superb command of Greek, offers readers the opportunity to enjoy Homer’s epic tale of survival, temptation, betrayal, and vengeance with all of the verve and pathos of the original oral tradition.”–Book jacket

Writing the Literature Review by Sara Efrat Efron and Ruth Ravid: “This accessible text provides a roadmap for producing a high-quality literature review–an integral part of a successful thesis, dissertation, term paper, or grant proposal. Each step of searching for, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing prior studies is clearly explained and accompanied by user friendly suggestions, organizational tips, vignettes and examples of student work. Also featured are excerpts from peer-reviewed quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods articles. This is the first book to focus on crafting different types of reviews (systematic, traditional-narrative, or hermeneutic–phenomenological) that reflect the writer’s research question, methodological choices, and approaches to knowledge. It describes what all reviews have in common and highlights distinct characteristics of each type. The book includes dos and don’ts for evaluating studies and constructing an argument, and software suggestions for locating, organizing, and arranging sources.”–Back cover

When Death Becomes Life: Notes From a Transplant Surgeon by Joshua D. Mezrich, M.D.: “A gifted surgeon illuminates one of the most awe-inspiring achievements of modern-day medicine: the movement of organs between bodies. At the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Joshua Mezrich creates life from loss, transplanting organs from one body to another. In this intimate and profoundly moving work, he sheds light not only on the extraordinary field of transplantation that enables this kind of miracle to happen every day, but also on the incredible doctors, donors, and patients who are at the center of this near-unimaginable world. [This book] is a thrilling look at how science advances on a grand scale to improve human lives. Mezrich examines more than one hundred years of remarkable medical breakthroughs, connecting this fascinating history with the inspiring and heartbreaking stories of his transplant patients. Combining gentle sensitivity with scientific clarity, Mezrich reflects on his calling as a doctor, conveying what the life of a surgeon is really like and how it feels to experience soaring victories as well as crushing defeats. He introduces the modern pioneers who made transplantation a reality–maverick surgeons whose feats of imagination, bold vision, and daring risk-taking generated techniques and practices that save millions of lives around the world. We hear the stories of the donors and the recipients, learn of the ethical issues involved, and celebrate the unbelievable strength of the human spirit. Mezrich takes us inside the operating room and unlocks the wondrous process of transplant surgery, a delicate, intense ballet requiring precise timing, breathtaking skill, and, at times, creative improvisation. In this illuminating work, Mezrich touches upon the essence of existence and what it means to be alive. Most physicians fight against death, but in transplantation, doctors take from death. Here the dead give their last remnant of life to the living–and Mezrich shares his gratitude and awe for the privilege of being a part of this transformative exchange. After all, the donors are his patients, too. Part history, part memoir, all completely riveting, [this book] offers the human story behind the most exceptional medical advancements of our time and stands as a beautiful, poignant reminder that a life lost can also offer the hope of a new beginning.”–Book jacket

Luminous Creatures: the History and Science of Light Production in Living Organisms by Michel Anctil: “Naturalists in antiquity worked hard to dispel fanciful ideas about the meaning of living lights, but remained bewildered by them. Even Charles Darwin was perplexed by the chaotic diversity of luminous organisms, which he found difficult to reconcile with his evolutionary theory. It fell to naturalists and scientists to make sense of the dazzling displays of fireflies and other organisms. In ‘Luminous Creatures’ Michel Anctil shows how mythical perceptions of bioluminescence gradually gave way to a scientific understanding of its mechanisms, functions, and evolution, and to the recognition of its usefulness for biomedical and other applied fields. Following the rise of the modern scientific method and the circumnavigations and oceanographic expeditions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, biologists began to realize the diversity of bioluminescence’s expressions in light organs and ecological imprints, and how widespread it is on the planet. By the end of the nineteenth century an understanding of the chemical nature and physiological control of the phenomenon was at hand. Technological developments led to an explosion of knowledge on the ecology, evolution, and molecular biology of bioluminescence. ‘Luminous Creatures’ tracks these historical events and illuminates the lives and the trail-blazing accomplishments of the scientists involved. It offers a unique picture of the awe-inspiring, phantasmagorical world of light-producing organisms, viewed from the perspectives of casual observers and scientists alike.”–Back cover

The Indispensable Composers by Anthony Tommasini: “When he began to listen to the great works of classical music as a child, Anthony Tommasini had many questions. Why did a particular piece move him? How did the music work? Over time, he realized that his passion for this music was not enough. He needed to understand it. Take Bach, for starters. Who was he? How does one account for his music and its unshakable hold on us today? As a critic, Tommasini has devoted particular attention to living composers and overlooked repertory. But for him, as for all classical music lovers, the canon has remained central. In 2011, in his role as the chief classical music critic of The New York Times, he wrote a popular series in which he somewhat cheekily set out to determine the all-time top ten composers. Inviting input from readers, Tommasini wrestled with questions of greatness. Readers joined the exercise in droves. Some railed against classical music’s obsession with greatness but then raged when Mahler was left off the final list. This intellectual game reminded them of why they loved music in the first place. Now, in ‘The Indispensable Composers,’ Tommasini offers his own personal guide to the canon–and what greatness really means in classical music. What does it mean to be canonical now? Who gets to say? And do we have enough perspective on the twentieth century to even begin assessing it? To make his case, Tommasini draws on elements of biography, the anxiety of influence, the composer’s relationships with colleagues, and shifting attitudes toward a composer’s work over time. Because he has spent his life contemplating these titans, Tommasini shares impressions from performances he has heard or given, as well as moments when his own biography proves revealing. As he argues for his particular pantheon of indispensable composers, Anthony Tommasini provides a master class in what to listen for and how to understand what music does to us.”–Book jacket

Breaking and Entering: the Extraordinary Story of a Hacker called “Alien” by Jeremy N. Smith: “This taut, true thriller dives into a dark world that touches us all, as seen through the brilliant, breakneck career of an extraordinary hacker–a woman known only as Alien. When she arrived at MIT in the 1990s, Alien was quickly drawn to the school’s tradition of high-risk physical trespassing: the original ‘hacking.’ Within a year, one of her hallmates was dead and two others were arraigned. Alien’s adventures were only just beginning. After a stint at the storied, secretive Los Alamos National Laboratory, Alien was recruited by a top cybersecurity firm, where she deployed her cache of virtual weapons–and the trespassing and social engineering talents she had developed while ‘hacking’ at MIT. The company tested its clients’ security by every means possible–not just coding, but donning disguises and sneaking past guards and secretaries into the C-suite. Alien now runs a boutique hacking outfit that caters to some of the world’s biggest and most vulnerable institutions–banks, retailers, government agencies. Her work combines devilish charm, old-school deception, and next-generation spycraft. In ‘Breaking and Entering,’ cybersecurity finally gets the rich, character-driven, fast-paced treatment it deserves.”–Book jacket

Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires by Juan Cole: “In the midst of the dramatic seventh-century war between two empires, Muhammad was a spiritual seeker in search of community and sanctuary. Many observers stereotype Islam and its scripture as inherently extreme or violent-a narrative that has overshadowed the truth of its roots. In this masterfully told account, preeminent Middle East expert Juan Cole takes us back to Islam’s-and the Prophet Muhammad’s-origin story. Cole shows how Muhammad came of age in an era of unparalleled violence. The eastern Roman Empire and the Sasanian Empire of Iran fought savagely throughout the Near East and Asia Minor. Muhammad’s profound distress at the carnage of his times led him to envision an alternative movement, one firmly grounded in peace. The religion Muhammad founded, Islam, spread widely during his lifetime, relying on soft power instead of military might, and sought armistices even when militarily attacked. Cole sheds light on this forgotten history, reminding us that in the Qur’an, the legacy of that spiritual message endures. A vibrant history that brings to life the fascinating and complex world of the Prophet, ‘Muhammad’ is the story of how peace is the rule and not the exception for one of the world’s most practiced religions.”–Publisher description

Influenza: the Hundred-Year Hunt to Cure the Deadliest Disease in History by Jeremy Brown, MD: “On the 100th anniversary of the devastating pandemic of 1918, Jeremy Brown, a veteran ER doctor, explores the troubling, terrifying, and complex history of the flu virus, from the origins of the Great Flu that killed millions, to vexing questions such as: are we prepared for the next epidemic, should you get a flu shot, and how close are we to finding a cure? While influenza is now often thought of as a common and mild disease, it still kills over 30,000 people in the US each year. Dr. Jeremy Brown, currently Director of Emergency Care Research at the National Institutes of Health, expounds on the flu’s deadly past to solve the mysteries that could protect us from the next outbreak. In ‘Influenza,’ he talks with leading epidemiologists, policy makers, and the researcher who first sequenced the genetic building blocks of the original 1918 virus to offer both a comprehensive history and a roadmap for understanding what’s to come. Dr. Brown digs into the discovery and resurrection of the flu virus in the frozen victims of the 1918 epidemic, as well as the bizarre remedies that once treated the disease, such as whiskey and blood-letting. [The book] also breaks down the current dialogue surrounding the disease, explaining the controversy over vaccinations, antiviral drugs like Tamiflu, and the federal government’s role in preparing for pandemic outbreaks. Though 100 years of advancement in medical research and technology have passed since the 1918 disaster, Dr. Brown warns that many of the most vital questions about the flu virus continue to confound even the leading experts. [The book] is an enlightening and unnerving look at a shapeshifting deadly virus that has been around long before people–and warns us that it may be many more years before we are able to conquer it for good.”–Publisher description

The Meaning of Life: the Case for Abolishing Life Sentences by Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis: “Most western democracies have few or no people serving life sentences, and research suggests that sentences of longer than twenty years are not justified. Yet here in the United States, over 200,000 people are serving life in prison. How has the United States become the world leader in imposing life behind bars? Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis of The Sentencing Project, a leading criminal justice reform organization, argue that there is no practical or moral justification for a sentence longer than twenty years. In fact, harsher sentences have been shown to have little effect on crime rates, and a broad body of research demonstrates that people ‘age out’ of crime, meaning that we’re devoting significant resources to incarcerating individuals who pose little threat to public safety. Such extreme punishment for serious crime also has an inflationary effect on sentences across the spectrum, helping to account for severe mandatory minimums and other harsh punishments. A thoughtful and stirring call to action, ‘The Meaning of Life’ also features moving profiles of a half dozen people affected by life sentences, written by former ‘lifer’ and award-winning author Kerry Myers. A key part of an upcoming campaign to end life sentences spearheaded by The Sentencing Project, ‘The Meaning of Life’ offers a much-needed road map to a more humane criminal justice system.”–Book jacket

Accessible America: a History of Disability and Design by Bess Williamson: “In the aftermath of World War II, with injured veterans returning home and the polio epidemic reaching the Oval Office, the needs of people with disabilities came forcibly into the public eye as they never had before. The U.S. became the first country to enact a series of national accessibility laws, beginning with the Architectural Barriers Act in 1968 and continuing through the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, bringing about a wholesale rethinking of our built environment. This progression wasn’t straightforward or easy. Early legislation and design efforts were often haphazard or poorly implemented, with decidedly mixed results. Political resistance to accommodating the needs of people with disabilities was strong; so, too, was resistance among architectural and industrial designers, for whom accessible design wasn’t ‘real’ design. Bess Williamson provides an extraordinary look at everyday design–from ergonomic kitchen tools to curb cuts on sidewalks at intersections–to provide an insight into a world in which we are all active participants, but often passive onlookers. Richly detailed, with stories of politics and innovation, ‘Accessible America’ takes us through this important history, showing how American ideas of individualism and rights came to shape the material world, often with unexpected consequences.”–Book jacket

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: the Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux: “Soon after publication on September 30, 1868, ‘Little Women’ became an enormous bestseller and one of America’s favorite novels. Its popularity quickly spread throughout the world, and the book has become an international classic. When Anne Boyd Rioux read the novel in her twenties, she had a powerful reaction to the story. Through teaching the book, she has seen the same effect on many others. In ‘Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy,’ Rioux recounts how Louisa May Alcott came to write ‘Little Women,’ drawing inspiration for it from her own life. Rioux also examines why this tale of family and community ties, set while the Civil War tore America apart, has resonated through later wars, the Depression, and times of changing opportunities for women. Alcott’s novel has moved generations of women, many of them writers: Simone de Beauvoir, J.K. Rowling, bell hooks, Cynthia Ozick, Jane Smiley, Margo Jefferson, and Ursula K. Le Guin were inspired by ‘Little Women,’ particularly its portrait of the iconoclastic young writer, Jo. Many have felt, as Anna Quindlen has declared, ‘Little Women changed my life.’ Today, Rioux sees the novel’s beating heart in Alcott’s portrayal of family resilience and her honest look at the struggles of girls growing into women. In gauging its current status, Rioux shows why ‘Little Women’ remains a book with such power that people carry its characters and spirit throughout their lives.”–Book jacket

Which Side Are You On?: 20th Century American History in 100 Protest Songs by James Sullivan: “When he emerged from the nightclubs of Greenwich Village, Bob Dylan was often identified as a ‘protest’ singer. As early as 1962, however, Dylan was already protesting the label: ‘I don’t write no protest songs,’ he told his audience on the night he debuted ‘Blowin’ in the Wind.’ ‘Protest’ music is largely perceived as an unsubtle art form, a topical brand of songwriting that preaches to the converted. But popular music of all types has long given listeners food for thought. Fifty years before Vietnam, before the United States entered World War I, some of the most popular sheet music in the country featured anti-war tunes. The labor movement of the early decades of the century was fueled by its communal ‘songbook.’ The Civil Rights movement was soundtracked not just by the gorgeous melodies of ‘Strange Fruit’ and ‘A Change Is Gonna Come,’ but hundreds of other gospel-tinged ballads and blues. In ‘Which Side Are You On’, author James Sullivan delivers a lively anecdotal history of the progressive movements that have shaped the growth of the United States, and the songs that have accompanied and defined them. Covering one hundred years of social conflict and progress across the twentieth century and into the early years of the twenty-first, this book reveals how protest songs have given voice to the needs and challenges of a nation and asked its citizens to take a stand–asking the question ‘Which side are you on?'”–Book jacket

We also added a bunch of DVDs including:

  • The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Moving and Greased Lightning Double Feature
  • Fantastic Beasts
  • Sparkle
  • Shampoo
  • A Star is Born – 1937 version
  • The Blue Planet Complete Collection
  • and more…

 

 

 

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