Monday, August 15, 2016

Book of the Week: Paper by Mark Kurlansky

Paper:  Paging Through History

By Mark Kurlansky

Call number:  TS 1090 .K87 2016

Review from the New York Times

Publisher's description From the New York Times best-selling author of Cod and Salt, a definitive history of paper and the astonishing ways it has shaped today’s world. 

Paper is one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past two millennia, the ability to produce it in ever more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce, and art; it has formed the foundation of civilizations, promoting revolutions and restoring stability. One has only to look at history’s greatest press run, which produced 6.5 billion copies of Máo zhuxí yulu, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Zedong)―which doesn’t include editions in 37 foreign languages and in braille―to appreciate the range and influence of a single publication, in paper. Or take the fact that one of history’s most revered artists, Leonardo da Vinci, left behind only 15 paintings but 4,000 works on paper. And though the colonies were at the time calling for a boycott of all British goods, the one exception they made speaks to the essentiality of the material; they penned the Declaration of Independence on British paper.

Now, amid discussion of “going paperless”―and as speculation about the effects of a digitally dependent society grows rampant―we’ve come to a world-historic juncture. Thousands of years ago, Socrates and Plato warned that written language would be the end of “true knowledge,” replacing the need to exercise memory and think through complex questions. Similar arguments were made about the switch from handwritten to printed books, and today about the role of computer technology. By tracing paper’s evolution from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the contributions made in Asia and the Middle East, Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions about technology’s influence, affirming that paper is here to stay. Paper will be the commodity history that guides us forward in the twenty-first century and illuminates our times.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Introducting ArtSource

The library is now subscribing to a new full text database,  ArtSource from Ebsco.  This is an expansion of our former subscription to Ebsco's Art Full Text.  It includes the full text articles from over 700 journals and more than 200 online books.  It also offers podcasts about artists and more than 60,000 searchable images.  It is international in scope and covers a wide range of topics including:
  •     Archaeology
  •     Architecture and Architectural History
  •     Art History
  •     Contemporary Art
  •     Textiles and Costume Design
  •     Decorative and Folk Arts
  •     Graphic Arts
  •     Industrial Design
  •     Interior Design
  •     Landscape Architecture
  •     Motion Pictures, Video and Television
  •     Painting
  •     Photography
  •     Sculpture
Give ArtSource a try!   You can access it, and many other online resources, by exploring the Find Databases link from the library's home page

Featured Book: Somethingtofoodabout by Questlove

Somethingtofoodabout

By Questlove and Ben Greenman

Call number:  TX 649 .A1 S66 2016

Review from the New York Times

Publisher's description:  Questlove is a drummer, producer, musical director, culinary entrepreneur, and New York Times best-selling author. What unites all of his work is a profound interest in creativity. In somethingtofoodabout, Questlove applies his boundless curiosity to the world of food. In conversations with ten innovative chefs in America, he explores what makes their creativity tick, how they see the world through their cooking and how their cooking teaches them to see the world. The conversations begin with food but they end wherever food takes them. Food is fuel. Food is culture. Food is history. And food is food for thought.

Featuring conversations with: Nathan Myhrvold, Modernist Cuisine Lab, Seattle;  Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, and NoMad, NYC;  Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia; Ludo Lefebvre, Trois Mec, L.A.; Dave Beran, Next, Chicago; Donald Link, Cochon, New Orleans;  Dominque Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco;  Daniel Patterson, Coi and Loco’l, San Francisco; Jesse Griffiths, Dai Due, Austin; and Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro, Portland

Friday, July 1, 2016

Featured Book: Lab GIrl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl

By Hope Jahren

Call Number:  QH 31 .J344 A3 2016

Review from the New York Times Book Review

Publisher's Description:  An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world.   Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more.

Lab Girl
is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.

Jahren’s probing look at plants, her astonishing tenacity of spirit, and her acute insights on nature enliven every page of this extraordinary book. Lab Girl opens your eyes to the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal. Here is an eloquent demonstration of what can happen when you find the stamina, passion, and sense of sacrifice needed to make a life out of what you truly love, as you discover along the way the person you were meant to be.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Book of the Week: The Polar Regions by Adrian Howkins

The Polar Regions:  An Environmental History

By Adrian Howkins

Call Number:  G 587 .H69 2016

Review from the Journal of Historical Geography 

Publisher's Description:  The environmental histories of the Arctic and Antarctica are characterized by contrast and contradiction. These are places that have witnessed some of the worst environmental degradation in recent history. But they are also the locations of some of the most farsighted measures of environmental protection. They are places where people have sought to conquer nature through exploration and economic development, but in many ways they remain wild and untamed. They are the coldest places on Earth, yet have come to occupy an important role in the science and politics of global warming.

Despite being located at opposite ends of the planet and being significantly different in many ways, Adrian Howkins argues that the environmental histories of the Arctic and Antarctica share much in common and have often been closely connected. This book also argues that the Polar Regions are strongly linked to the rest of the world, both through physical processes and through intellectual and political themes. As places of inherent contradiction, the Polar Regions have much to contribute to the way we think about environmental history and the environment more generally.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Book of the Week: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

My Name is Lucy Barton

By Elizabeth Strout

Call Number:  PS 3569 .T736 M9 2016

Review from the New York Times

Publisher's Description:  A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout is cause for celebration. Her bestselling novels, including Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys, have illuminated our most tender relationships. Now, in My Name Is Lucy Barton, this extraordinary writer shows how a simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the most tender relationship of all—the one between mother and daughter.

Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book of the Week: The Healing Power of Hip Hop by Raphael Travis, Jr.

The Healing Power of Hip Hop

By Raphael Travis, Jr.

Call Number:  ML 3918 .R37 T73 2016

Publisher's description:  Using the latest research, real-world examples, and a new theory of healthy development, this book explains Hip Hop culture's ongoing role in helping Black youths to live long, healthy, and productive lives.

• Connects the latest research conclusions about Hip Hop's influences with actual examples of its practice and applied value in action
• Identifies education, health and mental health, and afterschool settings as key to promoting health and well-being
• Disentangles arguments about whether Hip Hop culture is more of a tool for empowerment or a tool for risk promotion
• Explains Hip Hop's ongoing contributions to health and learning, with attention to the Black community
• Provides a common language and structure for helping professionals, researchers, and policymakers to organize work related to Hip Hop and well-being
• Introduces meaningful models, tips, and resources for personal or professional use
• Offers real-world insights from today's leaders within the Hip Hop Ed movement

Visit AuthorStory to learn more about the author and his research