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Friday, February 24, 2017

You CAN Handle the Truth: New February Nonfiction picks

Posted by the Information Services Department (Gwen B., Lisa E., Joyce D., & Zach H.)

Here's the latest list of our new nonfiction book picks! Listed below, along with their Dewey Decimal classification, are our top picks of the nonfiction books that looked most interesting, ultra-informative, or just plain fun. You can request them now by clicking on the titles and placing a hold. 


153 VAN Suggestible You: The curious science of your brain's ability to deceive, transform, and heal by Erik Vance

This riveting narrative explores the world of placebos, hypnosis, false memories, and neurology to reveal the groundbreaking science of our suggestible minds. Could the secrets to personal health lie within our own brains? Journalist Erik Vance explores the surprising ways our expectations and beliefs influence our bodily responses to pain, disease, and everyday events. Drawing on centuries of research and interviews with leading experts in the field, Vance takes us on a fascinating adventure from Harvard’s research labs to a witch doctor’s office in Catemaco, Mexico, to an alternative medicine school near Beijing (often called “China’s Hogwarts”). Vance’s firsthand dispatches will change the way you think—and feel. 


365.6440873 REI 23/7: Pelican Bay prison and the rise of long-term solitary confinement by Keramet Reiter

Originally meant to be brief and exceptional, solitary confinement in U.S. prisons has become long-term and common. Prisoners spend twenty-three hours a day in featureless cells, with no visitors or human contact for years on end, and they are held entirely at administrators’ discretion. Keramet Reiter tells the history of one “supermax,” California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, whose extreme conditions recently sparked a statewide hunger strike by 30,000 prisoners. This book describes how Pelican Bay was created without legislative oversight, in fearful response to 1970s radicals; how easily prisoners slip into solitary; and the mental havoc and social costs of years and decades in isolation. The product of fifteen years of research in and about prisons, this book provides essential background to a subject now drawing national attention.


 423.092 SIM The Word Detective: Searching for the meaning of it all at the Oxford English Dictionary by John Simpson
Can you drink a glass of balderdash? What do you call the part of a dog's back it can't scratch? And if, serendipitously, you find yourself in Serendip, then where exactly are you?

The answers to all of these questions—and a great many more—can be found in the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary, the definitive record of the English language. And there is no better guide to the dictionary's many wonderments than the former chief editor of the OED, John Simpson. Simpson spent almost four decades of his life immersed in the intricacies of our language, and guides us through its history with charmingly laconic wit. In The Word Detective, an intensely personal memoir and a joyful celebration of English, he weaves a story of how words come into being (and sometimes disappear), how culture shapes the language we use, and how technology has transformed not only the way we speak and write but also how words are made.

787.8709 TOL Play It Loud: The epic history of the style, sound, and revolution of the electric guitar by Brad Tolinski
By the longtime editor-in-chief of"Guitar World"and a veteran rock journalist, an unprecedented history of the electric guitar, its explosive impact on music and culture, and the people who brought it to life. Spanning a century and encompassing some of guitar's greatest builders and players, from Les Paul to Keith Richards to Eddie Van Halen, Brad Tolinski and Alan di Perna bring the evolution of the guitar to roaring life. This is a story of inventors and iconoclasts, of scam artists, prodigies and mythologizers, as varied and original as the music they spawned.

791.4302 LEV To Pixar and Beyond: My unlikely journey with Steve Jobs to make entertainment history by Lawrence Levy
Set in the worlds of Silicon Valley and Hollywood, the book takes readers inside Pixar, Disney, law firms, and investment banks. It provides an up-close, firsthand account of Pixar’s ascent, how it made creative choices, Levy’s enduring collaboration and friendship with Jobs, and how Levy came to see in Pixar deeper lessons that can apply to many aspects of our lives.

809. 933 LIT Literary Wonderlands: A journey through the greatest fictional worlds ever created by Laura Miller
Literary Wonderlands is a thoroughly researched, wonderfully written, and beautifully produced book that spans two thousand years of creative endeavor. From Spenser's The Fairie Queene to Wells's The Time Machine to Murakami's 1Q84 it explores the timeless and captivating features of fiction's imagined worlds including the relevance of the writer's own life to the creation of the story, influential contemporary events and philosophies, and the meaning that can be extracted from the details of the work. With hundreds of pieces of original artwork, illustration and cartography, as well as a detailed overview of the plot and a "Dramatis Personae" for each work, Literary Wonderlands is a fascinating read for lovers of literature, fantasy, and science fiction.

818.602 CRO Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin' dixie outta the dark by Trae Crowder
The Liberal Rednecks—a three-man stand-up comedy group doing scathing political satire—celebrate all that’s good about the South while leading the Redneck Revolution and standing proudly blue in a sea of red.

Smart, hilarious, and incisive, the Liberal Rednecks confront outdated traditions and intolerant attitudes, tackling everything people think they know about the South—the good, the bad, the glorious, and the shameful—in a laugh-out-loud funny and lively manifesto for the rise of a New South. Home to some of the best music, athletes, soldiers, whiskey, waffles, and weather the country has to offer, the South has also been bathing in backward bathroom bills and other bigoted legislation that Trae Crowder has targeted in his Liberal Redneck videos, which have gone viral with over 50 million views.

910.9113 WEL A Wretched and Precarious Situation: In search of the last Arctic frontier by David Welky
In 1906, from atop a snow-swept hill in the ice fields northwest of Greenland, hundreds of miles from another human being, Commander Robert E. Peary spotted a line of mysterious peaks looming in the distance. He called this unexplored realm “Crocker Land.” Scientists and explorers agreed that the world-famous explorer had discovered a new continent rising from the frozen Arctic Ocean.
Several years later, two of Peary’s disciples, George Borup and Donald MacMillan, assembled a team of amateur adventurers to investigate Crocker Land. Before them lay a chance at the kind of lasting fame enjoyed by Magellan, Columbus, and Captain Cook. While filling in the last blank space on the globe, they might find new species of plants or animals, or even men; in the era of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, anything seemed possible. Renowned scientific institutions, and even former president Theodore Roosevelt, rushed to endorse the expedition.
What followed was a sequence of events that none of the explorers could have imagined. Trapped in a true-life adventure story, the men endured howling blizzards, unearthly cold, food shortages, isolation, a fatal boating accident, a drunken sea captain, disease, dissension, and a horrific crime. But the team pushed on through every obstacle, driven forward by the mystery of Crocker Land and faint hopes that they someday would make it home.

B Surendra The Elephants in My Backyard: A memoir by Rajiv Surendra
In 2003, Rajiv Surendra was filming Mean Girls, playing the beloved rapping mathlete Kevin Gnapoor, when a cameraman insisted he read Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. So begins his “lovely and human” (Jenny Lawson, author of Furiously Happy) tale of obsessively pursuing a dream, overcoming failure, and finding meaning in life.
Mesmerized by all the similarities between Pi and himself—both are five-foot-five with coffee-colored complexions, both share a South Indian culture, both lived by a zoo—when Rajiv learns that Life of Pi will be made into a major motion picture he is convinced that playing the title role is his destiny.
In a great leap of faith Rajiv embarks on a quest to embody the sixteen-year-old Tamil schoolboy. He quits university and buys a one-way ticket from Toronto to South India. He visits the sacred stone temples of Pondicherry, he travels to the frigid waters off the coast of rural Maine, and explores the cobbled streets of Munich. He befriends Yann Martel, a priest, a castaway, an eccentric old woman, and a pack of Tamil schoolboys. He learns how to swim, to spin wool, to keep bees, and to look a tiger in the eye. All the while he is really learning how to dream big, to fail, to survive, to love, and to become who he truly is.

B Zinke American Commander: Serving a country worth fighting for and training the brave soldiers who lead the way by Ryan Zinke
For more than half a decade, Ryan Zinke was a Commander at the elite unit Navy SEAL Team Six.  A 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy SEALs,  Zinke is a decorated officer and earned two Bronze Stars as the acting Commander of Joint Special Forces in Iraq.  Zinke trained and commanded many of the men who would one day run the covert operations to hunt down Osama Bin Laden and save Captain Phillips (Maersk Alabama). He also served as mentor to now famous SEALs Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor) and Chris Kyle (American Sniper).
Written with #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of American Sniper, Scott McEwen, American Commander will offer readers the hard-hitting, no nonsense style the SEALs are known for.

947.7086 PIN Black Square: Adventures in post-soviet Ukraine by Sophie Pinkham
Ukraine has rebuilt itself over and over again in the last century, plagued by the same conflicts: corruption, poverty, substance abuse, ethnic clashes, and Russian aggression. Sophie Pinkham saw all this and more in the course of ten years working, traveling, and reporting in Ukraine and Russia, over a period that included the Maidan revolution of 2013–14, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and the ensuing war in eastern Ukraine.
With a keen eye for the dark absurdities of post-Soviet society, Pinkham presents a dynamic account of contemporary Ukrainian life. She meets—among others—a charismatic doctor helping to smooth the transition to democracy even as he struggles with his own drug addiction, a Bolano-esque art gallerist prone to public nudity, and a Russian Jewish clarinetist agitating for Ukrainian liberation. These fascinating personalities, rendered in a bold, original style, deliver an indelible impression of a country on the brink.


 978.02 COZ The Earth is Weeping: The epic story of the Indian Wars for the American West by  Peter Cozzens
With the end of the Civil War, the nation recommenced its expansion onto traditional Indian tribal lands, setting off a wide-ranging conflict that would last more than three decades. In an exploration of the wars and negotiations that destroyed tribal ways of life even as they made possible the emergence of the modern United States, Peter Cozzens gives us both sides in comprehensive and singularly intimate detail. He illuminates the encroachment experienced by the tribes and the tribal conflicts over whether to fight or make peace, and explores the squalid lives of soldiers posted to the frontier and the ethical quandaries faced by generals who often sympathized with their native enemies. As the action moves from Kansas and Nebraska to the Southwestern desert to the Dakotas and the Pacific Northwest, we encounter a pageant of fascinating characters including Custer, Sherman, Grant, and a host of other military and political figures, as well as great native leaders such as Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, and Red Cloud. For the first time The Earth Is Weeping brings them all together in the fullest account to date of how the West was won.

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