New Nonfiction Arrivals

Posted on: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:00:00 pm

Here's a sampling of our new nonfiction arrivals. Click an image to view availability or place a hold.

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All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior

Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior now asks: what are the effects of children on their parents?

In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear.

Recruiting from a wide variety of sources—in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology—she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country. The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens. Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthood's deepest vexations—and luxuriate in some of its finest rewards.

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The Amish: Shunned (Not Rated)

Filmed over the course of twelve months, The Amish: Shunned follows seven former members of the Amish community as they reflect on their decisions to leave one of the most closed and tightly-knit communities in the United States. Estranged from family, the ex-Amish find themselves struggling to understand and make their way in modern America. Interwoven through the stories are the voices of Amish men and women who remain staunchly loyal to their traditions and faith. They explain the importance of obedience, the strong ties that bind their communities together, and the pain they endure when a loved one falls away.

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Chasing Shackleton (Not Rated)

Can six men endure Sir Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic rescue mission today? Using a replica boat, and the same equipment and clothing as would have been used in 1914, explorer Tim Jarvis and his crew attempt to follow in Shackleton's wake, going beyond the point of no return, using their firsthand extreme experience measured against historical accounts to unlock the secrets of Shackleton's survival.*

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E.E. Cummings: A Life by Susan Cheever

E. E. Cummings was and remains controversial. He has been called “a master” (Malcolm Cowley); “hideous” (Edmund Wilson). James Dickey called him a “daringly original poet with more vitality and more sheer uncompromising talent than any other living American writer.”
 
In Susan Cheever’s rich, illuminating biography we see Cummings’s idyllic childhood years in Cambridge, Massachusetts; his Calvinist father—distinguished Harvard professor and sternly religious minister of the Cambridge Congregational Church; his mother—loving, attentive, a source of encouragement, the aristocrat of the family, from Unitarian writers, judges, and adventurers. 

A Library Reads pick for February 2014.

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Hawking (Not Rated)

Hawking features exclusive access to Hawking's life story. Told largely in his own words, it includes dramatic accounts of his life from childhood through university, intimate footage of Hawking today, including his home routine and his work life at the University of Cambridge, archival footage and candid insights from family members, friends and colleagues. Computer-generated imagery (CGI) illustrates some of Hawking's remarkable discoveries, such as the nature of black holes and the Big Bang Theory.

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The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert, read by Anne Twomey

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. 

The Sixth Extinction draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines–geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, and marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. Elizabeth Kolbert, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer, accompanies many of these researchers into the field, and introduces you to a dozen species–some already gone, others facing extinction–that are being affected by the sixth extinction. 

Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

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Spies of Mississippi: The Campaign to Stop Freedom Summer's Civil Rights Movement of 1964 (Not Rated)

Enter the chilling world of anti-civil rights espionage. Spies of Mississippi reveals in shocking detail the state of Mississippi's effort to undermine the civil rights movement using a vast network of spies. Their identities will shock you. Whites and Blacks spied for Old Dixie. And the Sovereignty Commission would stop at nothing, even murder, to retain the "Mississippi way of life."*

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The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle

Most new products fail. So do most small businesses. And most of us, if we are honest, have experienced a major setback in our personal or professional lives. So what determines who will bounce back and follow up with a home run? If you want to succeed in business and in life, Megan McArdle argues in this hugely thought-provoking book, you have to learn how to harness the power of failure.

McArdle has been one of our most popular business bloggers for more than a decade, covering the rise and fall of some the world’s top companies and challenging us to think differently about how we live, learn, and work. Drawing on cutting-edge research in science, psychology, economics, and business, and taking insights from turnaround experts, emergency room doctors, venture capitalists, child psychologists, bankruptcy judges, and mountaineers, McArdle argues that America is unique in its willingness to let people and companies fail, but also in its determination to let them pick up after the fall. Failure is how people and businesses learn. So how do you reinvent yourself when you are down?

Dynamic and punchy, McArdle teaches us how to recognize mistakes early to channel setbacks into future success. The Up Side of Down marks the emergence of an author with her thumb on the pulse whose book just might change the way you lead your life.

Item descriptions from Amazon. *Item descriptions from Shop PBS.

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