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Last Updated: Oct 16, 2014 URL: http://ralresearch.creighton.edu/new_books_for_your_lifelong_learning Print Guide Email Alerts

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July 2014

 

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Funeral for a Dog - Thomas Pletzinger; Ross Benjamin (Translator)
Call Number: PT 2716 .L47B4713 2011
Publication Date: 2011-03-28

"When we first meet Daniel Mandelkern, an ethnologist moonlighting as a journalist for his newspaper editor wife, it's through a series of postcards that the reader will spend the rest of this vibrant, intricate novel untangling. Dispatched to profile children's book author Dirk Svensson, who reportedly lives with his three-legged dog near Milan, Mandelkern is nonplussed with his assignment but anxious to escape his wife. What unfolds, through flashbacks, Mandelkern's observations, and excerpts from Svensson's unpublished memoir, is a complex story about how people deal with love and loss-though it doesn't hurt to remember what Svensson's old friend and lover, says: "[S]stories are one third truth, one third fiction and one third the attempt to glue the other two with words." Pletzinger does an admirable job of revealing intriguing characters without being heavy-handed or coy, and the story he tells is smart and well paced, no small feat considering the large scope and the messiness of the lives chronicled. It's a smart and rewarding debut marked by accomplished writing, a slick translation, and intelligent takes on the absurdities of contemporary life." — Publishers Weekly

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Ordinary Grace - William Kent Krueger
Call Number: PS 3561 .R766O73 2014
Publication Date: 2014-03-04

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson's Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.

Told from Frank's perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.

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Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal about Getting It Right When You Have To - Sian Beilock
Call Number: BF 575 .F14B45 2014
Publication Date: 2011-08-09

Why do the smartest students often do poorly on standardized tests?
Why did you tank that interview or miss that golf swing when you should have had it in the bag?
Why do you mess up when it matters the most—and how can you perform your best instead?

It happens to all of us. You’ve prepared for days, weeks, even years for the big day when you will finally show your stuff—in academics, in your career, in sports—but when the big moment arrives, nothing seems to work. You hit the wrong note, drop the ball, get stumped by a simple question. In other words, you choke. It’s not fun to think about, but now there’s good news: This doesn’t have to happen.

Dr. Sian Beilock, an expert on performance and brain science, reveals in Choke the astonishing new science of why we all too often blunder when the stakes are high. What happens in our brain and body when we experience the dreaded performance anxiety? And what are we doing differently when everything magically “clicks” into place and the perfect golf swing, tricky test problem, or high-pressure business pitch becomes easy? In an energetic tour of the latest brain science, with surprising insights on every page, Beilock explains the inescapable links between body and mind; reveals the surprising similarities among the ways performers, students, athletes, and business people choke; and shows how to succeed brilliantly when it matters most.

In lively prose and accessibly rendered science, Beilock examines how attention and working memory guide human performance, how experience and practice and brain development interact to create our abilities, and how stress affects all these factors. She sheds new light on counterintuitive realities, like why the highest performing people are most susceptible to choking under pressure, why we may learn foreign languages best when we’re not paying attention, why early childhood athletic training can backfire, and how our emotions can make us both smarter and dumber. All these fascinating findings about academic, athletic, and creative intelligence come together in Beilock’s new ideas about performance under pressure—and her secrets to never choking again. Whether you’re at the Olympics, in the boardroom, or taking the SAT, Beilock’s clear, prescriptive guidance shows how to remain cool under pressure—the key to performing well when everything’s on the line.

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Train Shots - Samantha Shannon
Call Number: PS 3602 .L326T73 2014
Publication Date: 2014-03-01

A single mother rents a fundamentalist preacher's carriage house. A pop star contemplates suicide in the hotel where Janis Joplin died. A philandering ex-pat doctor gets hooked on morphine while reeling from his wife's death. And in the title story, a train engineer, after running over a young girl on his tracks, grapples with the pervasive question—what propels a life toward such a disastrous end? Rendered in a style both generous and intelligent, the men and women at the center of these subtle stories are driven by their unusual predicaments and preoccupations. Rife with dark humor, Vanessa Blakeslee's debut story collection illuminates the idiosyncratic and the mundane in energetic, bristling prose that marks the arrival of a powerful new voice.

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Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World - Amir Alexander
Call Number: QA 24 .A544 2014
Publication Date: 2014-04-08

"UCLA historian and mathematician Alexander (Geometrical Landscapes) gives readers insight into a real-world Da Vinci Code-like intrigue with this look at the history of a simple, yet pivotal, mathematical concept. According to classic geometry, a line is made of a string of points, or "indivisibles," which cannot be broken down into anything smaller. But if that's so, how many indivisibles are in a line, and how big are they? And what happens when you divide the line into smaller segments? It seemed that indivisibles weren't really indivisible at all, a "deeply troubling" idea to the medieval Church and its adherents, who demanded a rigidly unchanging cosmos with no surprises. Churchmen and respected thinkers like Descartes railed against infinitesimals, while Galileo, Newton, and others insisted the concept defined the real world. The argument became an intellectual and philosophical battleground, in a Church already threatened by doctrinal schisms and social upheaval. Focusing on the Jesuits, beginning with the German Jesuit mathematician Christopher Clavius, Alexander explores this war of ideas in the context of a world seething with political and social unrest. This in-depth history offers a unique view into the mathematical idea that became the foundation of our open, modern world." — Publishers Weekly

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The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism - Naoki Higashida; K. A. Yoshida (Translator); David Mitchell (Translator, Introduction by)
Call Number: RC 553 .A88H5313 2013
Publication Date: 2013-08-27

"Just thirteen years old, effectively unable to speak , Higashida used a special alphabet grid to compose this slim, informative book, which provides an unprecedented look into the mind of a young person with autism. Constructed in a series of questions and answers, interspersed with short fictional stories, Higashida gallantly attempts to explain why he and others with autism do the things they do, which often confound caretakers and onlookers. He bares his heart by putting forth the questions people ask, or long to ask-such as 'why do you talk so loudly and weirdly?' and 'do you have a sense of time?'—providing insight into the life of someone with autism. Higashida often achieves a clarity and wisdom that is surprising for such a young person, like when he suggests that autism should be viewed as simply another personality type. Other times the reader is reminded of his age, when he earnestly pleads on behalf of himself and others with autism for understanding and patience. The result is a mixture of invaluable anecdotal information, practical advice and whimsical self-expression. This is imperative for Higashida because, as he so elegantly puts it, 'being able to share what I think allows me to understand that I, too, exist in this world as a human being.'" — Publishers Weekly

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Cataract City - Craig Davidson
Call Number: PR 9199.4 .D383C38 2014
Publication Date: 2014-07-08

A searing novel about two friends on opposite sides of the law, from the author of Rust and Bone

On the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, life beyond the tourist trade isn't easy. Locals like Duncan Diggs and Owen Stuckey have few chances to leave. For Duncan, that means shift work on a production line. For Owen, it means pinning it all on a shot at college basketball. But they should know better; they've been unlucky before. As boys, they were abducted and abandoned in the woods. Though they made it out alive, the memory of that time won't fade. Over the years they drift apart, but when Duncan is drawn into a chaotic world of bare-knuckle fighting and other shady dealings, Owen, now a cop, can't look the other way any longer. Together, they'll be forced to survive the wilderness once more as their friendship is pushed to the limit in Cataract City, a white-hot novel by the rising star Craig Davidson.

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How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing - Paul J. Silvia
Call Number: PE 1408 .S48787 2007
Publication Date: 2007-01-15

All students and professors need to write, and many struggle to finish their stalled dissertations, journal articles, book chapters, or grant proposals. Writing is hard work and can be difficult to wedge into a frenetic academic schedule. In this practical, light-hearted, and encouraging book, Paul J. Silvia explains that writing productively does not require innate skills or special traits but specific tactics and actions. Drawing examples from his own field of psychology, he shows readers how to overcome motivational roadblocks and become prolific without sacrificing evenings, weekends, and vacations. After describing strategies for writing productively, the author gives detailed advice from the trenches on how to write, submit, revise, and resubmit articles, how to improve writing quality, and how to write and publish academic work.

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Brutal Youth - Anthony Breznican
Call Number: PS 3602 .R483B79 2014
Publication Date: 2014-06-10

"The adage says it takes a village to raise a child, but what if the village is a dangerous place? Such is the case at St. Michael the Archangel High School, where even the best-intentioned adults wreak havoc in the lives of their students. It's the fall of 1991, and bullying is a deeply ingrained tradition at the school. In-crowd students haze newcomers with fevered zeal, the parish priest delights in belittling the principal, and the teachers turn on one another and their students. Into this mix tumble Peter Davidek, Lorelei Paskal, and Noah Stein, each carrying wounds and seeking a place to belong. What they find instead is a maze of traps and betrayals. Like mythic heroes, they must journey through their own fears and leave in their wake broken bodies and exposed truths. Debut author (and senior staff writer at Entertainment Weekly) Breznican captures a perfect balance of horror, heartbreak, and resilience and takes the high school novel into deeper places." — Library Journal

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How to Be the World's Smartest Traveler (and Save Time, Money, and Hassle) - Christopher Elliott
Call Number: G 155 .A1E426 2014
Publication Date: 2014-03-04

Calling on practical advice accumulated from more than 20 years of experience in the field, consumer travel advocate Christopher Elliott guides you through the complexities of travel—from cruises to car rentals, travel insurance to time shares, restaurants to resorts, and airlines to agents—and arms you with all the information you need for a successful trip. Full of actionable advice and the answers to the most common—and perplexing—questions, Elliott guides readers through the new rules of travel and breaks through the virtual confusion of pricing, offers, discounts, packages, and every imaginable aspect of a trip, every step of the way. For beginning and seasoned travelers, for business and pleasure trips, this is the ultimate consumer guide to your journeys domestically or around the world.

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The Sound of Things Falling - Juan Gabriel Vasquez
Call Number: PQ 8180.32 .A797M39 2013
Publication Date: 2014-06-03

From a global literary star comes a prize-winning tour de force; an intimate portrayal of the drug wars in Colombia.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez has been hailed not only as one of South America's greatest literary stars, but also as one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. In this gorgeously wrought, award-winning novel, Vásquez confronts the history of his home country, Colombia.

In the city of Bogotá, Antonio Yammara reads an article about a hippo that had escaped from a derelict zoo once owned by legendary Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The article transports Antonio back to when the war between Escobar's Medellín cartel and government forces played out violently in Colombia's streets and in the skies above. Back then, Antonio witnessed a friend's murder, an event that haunts him still. As he investigates, he discovers the many ways in which his own life and his friend's family have been shaped by his country's recent violent past. His journey leads him all the way back to the 1960s and a world on the brink of change: a time before narco-trafficking trapped a whole generation in a living nightmare.

Vásquez is one of the most original new voices of Latin American literature, and The Sound of Things Falling is his most personal, most contemporary novel to date, a masterpiece that takes his writing—and his literary star—even higher.

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In Faith and in Doubt: How Religious Believers and Nonbelievers Can Create Strong Marriages and Loving Families - Dale McGowan
Call Number: HQ 1031 .M3945 2014
Publication Date: 2014-08-12

McGowan presents a clear and engaging guide to marriage between a religious (Christian, Jewish, Hindu, etc.) partner, and one who is atheist, agnostic, or secular humanist. Debunking the fallacy that such relationships are doomed to failure, he contends this perception is not an objective assessment of the failure rate of such marriages, but rather derives from the religious bias in favor of in-faith marriage (and against intimate association with unbelievers, generally). Analyzing the data, he finds the chances for the success of such a mixed marriage are encouraging, and the odds in favor—despite the challenges—are maximized by open and respectful communication and negotiation, and an emphasis on common values. Many useful examples of the possible pitfalls for, and successful negotiations between, religious/nonreligious couples are provided. Particularly likely to be helpful to couples where the religious partner belongs to a strongly faith-based religion (such as certain Christian groups), the book addresses not only faith vs. unbelief, but also issues that arise from the divergence between religious vs. atheistic identity, culture, and practice.

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Holy Orders - Benjamin Black
Call Number: PR 6052 .A57H65 2014
Publication Date: 2014-05-27

"Postwar, corruption-laced Dublin is as much a character in Black's strikingly detailed, psychologically intricate crime series as his hard-drinking, brooding hero, Quirke, a pathologist who, as his equally ruminative daughter, Phoebe, puts it, can't resist playing at detective. The sixth installment begins with the gruesome murder of Phoebe's friend, pint-sized reporter Jimmy Minor, a key character in the earlier books. The ensuing investigation is as slow and sticky as molasses as Quirke and shrewd if grubby Inspector Hackett visit an imperious priest at the spooky Trinity Manor and an almost mythological tinker encampment. Quirke is in a bad way. Not only is he wracked by guilt over his inability to express love, his grip on reality is slipping under an onslaught of disorienting hallucinations and anguished memories of his boyhood abuse by priests. Phoebe, meanwhile, comes under the spell of Jimmy's alluring and alarming twin, Sally. Though most intrigued with the mysteries of the mind, Black succeeds brilliantly in delivering piquant social satire and chilling revelations of the church's unholy power over the Irish justice system and the press." — Booklist

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America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy - James Gustave Speth
Call Number: HC 106.84 .S66 2012
Publication Date: 2013-09-24

"It is no secret that the US, which rightly claimed the 20th century to be its own, is declining in many aspects. Causes for this are both external and internal. Many thoughtful thinkers have been reflecting on this sad spectacle, offering a variety of solutions. This book is one such, and it does a marvelous job of summarizing the most pressing problems and offering realistic and promising solutions. Speth exposes the corruption that has entered the system and calls for drastic changes in the country's political and economic framework, many elements of which have become obsolete, if not dangerous. Capitalism and democracy need to be reconsidered. Speth discusses many practices and issues (e.g., consumerism, wastefulness, and the electoral colleges) that citizens have come to accept unquestioningly but that are in dire need of reform. Written by a sensitive, well-informed scholar who has served the country in various capacities, this book is optimistic even in the midst of seemingly insurmountable problems." — Choice

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Dream with Little Angels - Michael Hiebert
Call Number: PR 9199.4 .H5247D74 2013
Publication Date: 2013-06-25

"Set in fictional Alvin, Ala., in 1987, Canadian author Hiebert's first novel courts comparison to the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, with its similar themes of justice and racism and its cast of characters—essentially Mockingbird's key players with the sexes reversed. But the book manages to soar as a moving achievement in its own right. Tensions are already rife in the Teal household as headstrong 14-year-old Carry discovers boys, ditches 11-year-old brother Abe (the narrator), and constantly battles equally determined mom Leah Teal, a widowed police officer. Then 14-year-old Mary Ann Dailey disappears on her way home from school. Leah plunges into the investigation-as well as resurgent guilt over her failure in 1975 to find the kidnapper of another girl, who eventually turned up under a willow with her throat slit. Abe—precocious in some ways but still childish enough to enjoy rock-balancing competitions with his best friend, Dewey—struggles to make sense of the dark forces dividing his town, as well as the mysterious ways the wider world works. In Hiebert's sure hands, psychological insight and restrained lyricism combine to create a coming-of-age tale as devastating as it is indelible." — Publishers Weekly

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Ahead of Their Time - Matt Holland
Call Number: E 185.93 .N55H65 2014
Publication Date: 2014-06-25

Before Civil Rights heroes like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King made their courageous stands, before the creation of the iconic images that represent the struggle against racism in the United States—before there even was a Civil Rights Movement—there was the story of the Omaha DePorres Club. The DePorres Club's pioneering efforts not only challenged racial discrimination and segregation, but aimed to convince people that the two were morally wrong—sins that demanded attention.

Led by Fr. John Markoe—a Jesuit priest who was a 1914 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was called a "champion of interracial justice and human rights" by Whitney Young—the Omaha DePorres Club worked to change the pattern of discrimination and segregation in a city known by African-Americans as "the Birmingham of the North."

Author Matt Holland recounts the events that led to the creation of the Omaha DePorres Club and traces the arc of the club's evolution from 1947 to 1960—revealing the courage and camaraderie of club members as well as the challenges, fears and failures they faced as they ventured into the uncharted territory of the early Civil Rights Movement.

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Heart of Iron - Ekaterina Sedia
Call Number: PS 3619 .E344H43 2011
Publication Date: 2011-07-19

"Sedia superbly blends novel of manners, alternate history, and le Carre-style espionage with a dash of superheroes and steampunk. In a Russia in which the Decembrist revolution succeeded and Constantine never abdicated, 18-year-old Sasha is unexpectedly enrolled at university thanks to a challenge her aunt Eugenia issues to Constantine. Her initial concerns about sexism fade to the background once she realizes that Chinese students are vanishing. After a visiting British student named Jack, who has strange powers, helps Sasha prevent a kidnapping, she learns of a plot that could lead Russia into war with China, England, or both. Sedia assembles a nice list of supporting characters—the forceful Eugenia, the Russian soldiers and Chinese fur traders Sasha befriends, sinister spymaster Florence Nightingale—and Sasha's often frustrated but always practical narrative voice smoothly carries the novel to its satisfying conclusion." — Publishers Weekly

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Bread or Death: Memories of My Childhood During and after the Holocaust - Omaha author Milton Mendel Kleinberg
Call Number: DS 134.72 .K545A3 2015
Publication Date: 2014-08-14

The war brought about scarcities of just about everything...except misery.

Bread or Death is a true story of survival, resilience, and, above all, redemption. It is a personal account of how a family was swept up by the torrent of World War II, and managed to survive the worst atrocities in human history.

Through the eyes of a child, the author tells how his family was forced from their home in Pabianice, Poland, and endured cruelty, instability, starvation, fear, death, and years of uncertainty, including a grueling three-month journey in cattle cars across the Trans-Siberian Railway. Eventually, they made their way to America, where they naïvely thought they would be safe from the torture and bigotry. Bread or Death paints the legacy of a young child and his family.

It is through the truth of these stories that the author hopes for a more thoughtful understanding, and a promise to future generations to never let these atrocities occur again in our modern world.

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Fatal Enquiry - Will Thomas
Call Number: PS 3620 .H644F38 2014
Publication Date: 2014-05-13

"Thomas's witty sixth Victorian thriller featuring private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker (after 2008's The Black Hand) provides welcome glimpses of Barker's early life. As a 12-year-old in strife-torn China, Barker trusted Sebastian Nightwine-a British Army officer Barker met after the death of his missionary parents-with his older brother's life, and he was betrayed. Within hours of Nightwine's return to London, after years abroad, clues planted near the body of a murdered lord implicate Barker in the crime. Barker flees, dodging through London just steps ahead of Scotland Yard while seeking evidence to exonerate himself. Meanwhile, Barker's assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, encounters a violent gang and a beautiful assassin, both acting at Nightwine's command. It takes all of the two agents' considerable ingenuity to keep pace with this remorseless opponent in a battle full of surprises to the end. Readers will relish the appealing characters, clever twists, and colorful vision of late 19th-century London." — Publishers Weekly

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Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis - Jeffrey A. Krames
Call Number: HD 57.7 .K727 2015
Publication Date: 2014-09-09

In a world where the loudest guy in the room gets all the attention, being humble can be considered a weakness. But Pope Francis's strength emanates directly from his humility.

Driving around Rome in a Ford Focus, rejecting the opulent papal quarters, ministering to the poor—these gestures demonstrate a type of leadership that many figured had long since been abandoned. They've made the pope the most talked about person on the planet, the most well-regarded reli­gious figure, and a moral and humanitarian leader to most, regardless of their faith.

Lead with Humility shows how you can be as compassionate, authentic, and effective as this groundbreaking leader. Bestselling author Jeffrey Krames translates the pope's key ideas and practices into practical tactics that anyone can emulate.

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Cradle to Grave - Eleanor Kuhns
Call Number: PS 3611 .U396C73 2014
Publication Date: 2014-06-17

"A cry of help from a dear friend sends itinerant-weaver-turned-farmer Will Rees and his wife, Lydia, from Maine to the Shaker community of Mt. Unity, New York, in the winter of 1797. There Sister Hannah Moore, familiarly known as Mouse, is accused of kidnapping widow Maggie Whitney's young children when Mouse seeks to rescue them from their alcoholic mother's neglect. Then when Maggie is found dead in an open grave, Mouse becomes the prime suspect. With his detecting background, Rees assists the local constable in investigating the murder of Maggie, a poor woman who risked being warned out of her community. Rees believes two succeeding murders are related to Maggie's, as he puts himself at risk and exposes small-town secrets, meanwhile bonding with the Whitney children and regretting missing much of his own son's childhood. The third in this series (after Death of a Dyer, 2013) is notable for developing the characters of Will and Lydia, whose personal lives take a turn in the closing pages. Another eminently readable historical mystery, set in the post-Revolutionary years." — Booklist

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Mambo in Chinatown - Jean Kwok
Call Number: PS 3611 .W65M37 2014
Publication Date: 2014-06-24

From the bestselling author of Girl in Translation, a novel about a young woman torn between her family duties in Chinatown and her escape into the world of ballroom dancing.

Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Wong grew up in New York’s Chinatown, the older daughter of a Beijing ballerina and a noodle maker. Though an ABC (America-born Chinese), Charlie’s entire world has been limited to this small area. Now grown, she lives in the same tiny apartment with her widower father and her eleven-year-old sister, and works—miserably—as a dishwasher.

But when she lands a job as a receptionist at a ballroom dance studio, Charlie gains access to a world she hardly knew existed, and everything she once took to be certain turns upside down. Gradually, at the dance studio, awkward Charlie’s natural talents begin to emerge. With them, her perspective, expectations, and sense of self are transformed—something she must take great pains to hide from her father and his suspicion of all things Western. As Charlie blossoms, though, her sister becomes chronically ill. As Pa insists on treating his ailing child exclusively with Eastern practices to no avail, Charlie is forced to try to reconcile her two selves and her two worlds—Eastern and Western, old world and new—to rescue her little sister without sacrificing her newfound confidence and identity.

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Lincoln's Bishop: A President, a Priest, and the Fate of 300 Dakota Sioux Warriors - Gustav Niebuhr
Call Number: E 83.86 .N54 2014
Publication Date: 2014-05-27

It is hard to recall what powerful moral voices Protestant church leaders had in the formative years of the nation. Gustav Niebuhr travels back to the Minnesota frontier of 1862 when Dakota Sioux rose up against pioneering families and slaughtered hundreds. Citizens demanded mass executions and deportations. Into this turmoil stepped Henry Benjamin Whipple, the state's first Episcopal bishop.

Whipple had already loudly decried the crimes and corruption of those managing Indian affairs and warned of calamity. Now he made the case of mercy and a deeper justice, which eventually led to meeting with President Lincoln. Despite being preoccupied with the Civil War, Lincoln was moved to intervene, surprisingly taking the time to review all 303 cases and overturning the death sentence for most of the Indians. Nevertheless, the result was still the largest single execution on American soil.

If not for Whipple's vigorous campaigning, both in state and in Washington, DC, a greater tragedy might well have occurred. His success should haunt us: Where today do we hear these trumpet calls for justice like those given by figures such as Bishop Henry Benjamin Whipple?

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S. - Doug Dorst (Created by); J. J. Abrams
Call Number: PS 3601 .B7367S17 2013
Publication Date: 2013-10-29

"When undergrad Jen discovers a heavily notated copy of V.M. Straka's classic novel Ship of Theseus, she is plunged into a surprising, book-based version of online dating. Through the handwritten notes she learns of Eric, a graduate student obsessed with both the novel and its enigmatic author. She responds with written comments of her own, thus beginning a correspondence that leads to romance, intrigue, and, ultimately, peril. Conceived by mystery maestro Abrams ('Lost'; Star Trek: Into Darkness) and penned by Dorst (Alive in Necropolis; The Surf Guru), the layered storytelling is riveting, but it is the book as object that is most compelling. It's a remarkably authentic library tome with stained pages, observations in longhand, and more than 20 pieces of ephemera tucked between its weathered leaves: postcards, photographs, and a map scribbled on a napkin among them. With its 23 additional pieces, S. remains a loving homage to the printed book, a defiant and challenging counteractant to today's digital media. Both its ungainly setup and stratified storytelling require patience and commitment from its reader, however. Be ready for full immersion or you could become...lost." — Library Journal

Note: Ephemera is stored in accompanying binder.

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Funny Once - Antonya Nelson
Call Number: PS 3564 .E428A6 2014
Publication Date: 2014-05-20

"Graced with credible characters whose friendships, marriages, progeny, and divorces feel familiar and lived in, Nelson's supple stories have appeared in prestigious magazines and prize anthologies for two decades. This seventh short story collection (her tenth book of fiction) will delight longtime fans while likely propelling new readers to explore her earlier work. Even readers who have already encountered some of these newer stories in the pages of The New Yorker will find themselves fully engaged once again from the tumbling out of the first sentence on the first page. The narratives are driven by characters whose crises and moments of insight take the reader by surprise, but Nelson herself is completely in control of her complex tales, in which infidelities are exposed or never quite happen and old friends surprise one another with new revelations that take 20 pages to unfold. Even the peripheral characters, such as the acerbic, misplaced writing instructor for an adult education class in Kansas in the novella-length closing story, 'Three Wishes,' are presented as questions that might be answered in stories still to come. Nelson is one of the leading practitioners of the contemporary short story, and her new collection will be welcomed." — Library Journal

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Eat Like a Woman - Staness Jonekos; Marjorie Jenkins
Call Number: RA 564.85 .J6152 2014
Publication Date: 2014-03-25

"Jonekos, a TV writer/producer (Celebrity Fit Club) and author of The Menopause Makeover, partners with women's health expert Jenkins to present current research regarding the differences between men's and women's metabolism and nutrition along with a diet-and-exercise program designed to help women lose weight and optimize well-being. This guide takes into account the influence of hormones, neurotransmitters and "emotional chemistry," female fat distribution and metabolism, digestion, and other factors that determine a healthy weight. The authors advise readers on what foods to eat and why, with a food pyramid advocating 25% healthy fats, 35% low-fat protein, and 40% low- to medium-glycemic carbohydrates. In addition, they address issues regarding sensitivity to soy, sugars, and wheat, and discuss vegan/vegetarianism, supplements, and caffeine intake. A valuable set of tools and strategies for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and the importance of a mind-body-spirit connection offers support, as does a regimen incorporating flexibility, cardio, stretching, and strength. The book features 50 recipes from 15 celebrities, including Food Channel chefs Devin Alexander and Cat Cora and actress Florence Henderson. Boxes, sidebars, and an inviting design make the plentiful information easy to digest and implement." — publishers weekly

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The Son - Jo Nesbø
Call Number: PT 8951.24 .E83S6513 2014
Publication Date: 2014-05-13

"As a teenager, Sonny Lofthus learns of his father's death-the circumstances of which disgrace his family and catapult Sonny into despair. To cope with his loss, Sonny seeks escape through heroin and at age 18 admits to crimes he did not commit. As payment for his confession, corrupt Oslo prison staff, lawyers, and a priest supply Sonny with a steady stream of heroin. Then, 12 years later, the same faction threatens to cut off Sonny's heroin supply unless he confesses to a murder. At the same time, a fellow inmate provides Sonny with new information about his father's death. Sonny breaks out of prison to make the people responsible pay for their treachery. While Oslo police search for Sonny, he untangles a web of corruption throughout the city. The best-selling author of the Harry Hole series (Redeemer; Nemesis) delivers an exceptional, gritty, fast-paced stand-alone thriller; the smooth transitions among each character's perspectives lure readers in, and Barslund's translation is accessible to American readers. Fans of the most recent Hole novels as well as of Stieg Larsson's 'Millennium' trilogy will enjoy Nesbo's tightly knit plot." — Library Journal

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Sweet Thunder - Ivan Doig
Call Number: PS 3554 .O415S94 2013
Publication Date: 2013-08-20

A beloved character brings the power of the press to 1920s Butte, Montana, in this latest from the best storyteller of the West

In the winter of 1920, a quirky bequest draws Morrie Morgan back to Butte, Montana, from a year-long honeymoon with his bride, Grace. But the mansion bestowed by a former boss upon the itinerant charmer, who debuted in Doig's bestselling The Whistling Season, promises to be less windfall than money pit. And the town itself, with its polyglot army of miners struggling to extricate themselves from the stranglehold of the ruthless Anaconda Copper Mining Company, seems—like the couple's fast-diminishing finances—on the verge of implosion.

These twin dilemmas catapult Morrie into his new career as editorialist for the Thunder, the fledgling union newspaper that dares to play David to Anaconda's Goliath. Amid the clatter of typewriters, the rumble of the printing presses, and a cast of unforgettable characters, Morrie puts his gift for word-slinging to work. As he pursues victory for the miners, he discovers that he is enmeshed in a deeply personal battle as well—the struggle to win lasting love for himself.

Brilliantly capturing an America roaring into a new age, Sweet Thunder is another great tale from a classic American novelist.

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The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century - David Reynolds
Call Number: D 523 .R43 2014
Publication Date: 2014-05-12

"The ramifications of WWI, profound and persisting to this centennial year of its outbreak, have been so contested that it takes an accessible, perceptive historian like Reynolds to interpret them fairly. To simplify the task, he divides WWI's effects into two periods, the 1920s-30s, when political and economic consequences were pressing postwar imperatives to victors and vanquished, and the time since WWII, whose even greater destructiveness compelled reconceptualization of the meaning of the war now rebranded as the First World War. Reynolds alights upon the major combatants of WWI, with special emphasis on Britain. Keen to test the validity of the popular impression of the war as futile slaughter, Reynolds examines popular attitudes at the time as expressed in reactions to newsreels and, later, in the 1920s, to literature and war memorials. Public sentiment cannot, in Reynold's presentation, be called antiwar. Such a view became widespread mainly through television productions, documentaries, and historical studies made since the 1960s. Concluding with his analysis of that cultural output, Reynolds demonstrates with authoritative acuity how malleable an object the history of 1914-18 has been." — Booklist

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The Undertaking - Audrey Magee
Call Number: PR 6113 .A33553U63 2014
Publication Date: 2014-08-19

"This excellent debut novel opens on the "stinking hellhole" of the front lines early in WWII, where teacher-turned-Nazi soldier Peter Faber marries a photograph of Katharina. Meanwhile, in Berlin, Katharina marries a picture of Peter. Though the two have never met, their pact "ensured honeymoon leave for him and a widow's pension for her in the event of his death." Much to their mutual surprise, the 10 days they are granted to consummate their marriage become intensely passionate, providing both characters with a singular reason to live. Alternating chapters follow Peter on the battlefield and Katharina's harrowing life in Berlin. Occasional letters between the two reveal private hopes, memory, and torment that add to the already white-knuckle pace of the book. An intimate portrayal of Peter and his fellow soldiers facing defeat in Russia—illustrated primarily through dialogue—shows men at once monstrous and sympathetic, barbaric yet vulnerable. By simultaneously exposing the difficulties Katharina faces at home, Magee provides a heartfelt rendering of regular Germans who have been both complicit in and abused by the Third Reich's power." — Publishers Weekly

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The King's Curse - Philippa Gregory
Call Number: PR 6057 .R386K57 2014
Publication Date: 2014-09-09

"Gregory bids adieu to the bloody War of the Roses and its aftermath as she wraps up her Cousins' War series with the ascension of Henry VIII as witnessed by the eyes of Lady Margaret Pole, Plantagenet survivor and cousin to the White Princess, Elizabeth of York. Perceived as a threat to the throne by Henry VII, Margaret is married off and living in semi-obscurity until circumstances propel her back into court life as chief lady-in-waiting to and confidante of Katherine of Aragon. With a box-seat view of the royal manipulations and machinations of Henry VIII, she has some difficult choices to make concerning her divided loyalties to Henry, to Katherine, to Princess Mary, and to the Catholic Church. Nobody does dynastic history like Gregory, and readers who have followed the exploits of the fractious York and Lancaster clans in the previous five volumes will be eagerly awaiting this concluding chapter of the saga." — Booklist

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Family Life - Akhil Sharma
Call Number: PS 3569 .H34287F36 2014
Publication Date: 2014-04-07

"The Mishra family has a harder time than most adjusting to a new life in America in the 1970s. Then, shortly after their arrival from India, older son Birju is hopelessly injured after a dive into a swimming pool goes wrong. Younger son Ajay grows up watching his mother and father become totally absorbed with caring for his brother. His father turns to alcohol; his mother heroically tries to cope but is ground down by her troubles and consumed by anger. Sharma writes as if he knows the subject from the inside out (which he does), and we feel both sympathy and embarrassment for Ajay growing up in an alien culture and awkwardly trying to fit in with other kids at school. By sheer force of will, Ajay grows up to become a successful adult. This brave and honest work offers an unsentimental look at growing up and overcoming adversity when family life is very difficult indeed." — Library Journal

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Small Blessings - Martha Woodroof
Call Number: PS 3623 .O6685S63 2014
Publication Date: 2014-08-12

"In Woodroof's charming debut, an affable Shakespeare professor's world is rocked by three unexpected events in quick succession. When Tom Putnam first meets Rose Callahan, who has just been hired at the university bookstore, he's instantly attracted to her. But aside from one brief affair 10 years earlier, Tom has been a devoted husband to fearful, damaged Marjory for more than two decades. Soon after the couple meets Rose, Marjory dies in a car crash, setting both her husband and her mother, Agnes, who has been helping Tom care for Marjory, free. But the biggest change comes when Tom receives a letter from his ex-lover, informing him that he has a 10-year-old son, Henry, who she's sending to live with him. When Henry arrives, he's only 6 and very clearly not Tom's biological child, but Tom quickly learns how little that matters in the face of the love he, Agnes, and Rose come to feel for the boy. A sweet exploration of the way unexpected twists in life can bring surprising rewards." — Booklist

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American Innovations: Stories - Rivka Galchen
Call Number: PS 3607 .A4116A6 2014
Publication Date: 2014-05-06

"Unassuming characters meet confounding and uncanny situations in Galchen's first collection of short stories. 'The Lost Order,' which opens the collection, features the unemployed wife of Walter Mitty, who takes a food delivery order over the phone from a person who has dialed the wrong number. It is one of the many stories in the collection that approach classic tales from the perspective of a female character. The title story reimagines the plot of Nikolai Gogol's 'The Nose' with a library sciences student at the center; but rather than losing her nose (like Gogol's narrator), she finds that a third breast has grown on her side. And in 'The Region of Unlikeness,' which considers Borges's 'The Aleph,' an engineering student becomes spellbound by a duo of effusive self-proclaimed professors cooking up equations for time travel. Many of Galchen's characters are trained in the hard sciences—quantum mechanics, epigenetics, dangerous molds—and bring an empirical authority to off-kilter situations. Coming eight years after her widely acclaimed debut, Atmospheric Disturbances, Galchen dips further into the dazzlingly disorienting. These stories balance on the surreal, striking the borders of the logical and the hypothetical. There is the author of a self-published book of correspondence who meets one of his few readers in Mexico City; the furniture that flees through an apartment window one night, only to reappear in the nearby market the next week; the remembrance of a painful first love: and a McDonald's clerk with the one shining white tooth. Here, language and humor lift the ideas off the page. With her second book, Galchen continues to secure a place for herself among today's great prose stylists." — Publishers Weekly

 

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