Judging a Book by its Cover

By - April 21st, 2017

Here is another selection of great books with great covers to be found on the New Book Shelves in the Baker Reading Room at Ohrstrom Library.

 

The Inquisitor’s Tale, or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
Dutton Children’s Books 2016
Call Number: Fiction G36

A 2017 Newbery Honor Book

“What Gidwitz accomplishes here is staggering. ‘The Inquisitor’s Tale’ is equal parts swashbuckling epic, medieval morality play, religious polemic and bawdy burlesque, propelling us toward a white-knuckle climax where three children must leap into a fire to save…a Talmud. And yet, the rescue of this single book feels like higher stakes than any world-incinerating superhero battle. Part of this is because ‘The Inquisitor’s Tale’ is dense with literary and earthy delights, including Hatem Aly’s exquisite illustrations, which wrap around the text as in an illuminated manuscript.” —New York Times Book Review

 

 

 

The Girl in Green by Derek B. Miller
Houghton 2017
Call Number: Fiction M61

“1991. Near Checkpoint Zulu, one hundred miles from the Kuwaiti border, Thomas Benton meets Arwood Hobbes. Benton is a British journalist who reports from war zones in part to avoid his lackluster marriage and a daughter he loves but cannot connect with; Arwood is a midwestern American private who might be an insufferable ignoramus, or might be a genuine lunatic with a death wish–it’s hard to tell. Desert Storm is over, peace has been declared, but as they argue about whether it makes sense to cross the nearest border in search of an ice cream, they become embroiled in a horrific attack in which a young local girl in a green dress is killed as they are trying to protect her. The two men walk away into their respective lives. But something has cracked for them both. Twenty-two years later, in another place, in another war, they meet again and are offered an unlikely opportunity to redeem themselves when that same girl in green is found alive and in need of salvation. Or is she?” (Amazon description)

 

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
Tin House Books 2017
Call Number: Fiction F95

“A famous elderly author looks out the window of a bookstore and thinks he sees his deceased wife. Upset by this event, he takes a near-fatal tumble and winds up in the hospital. Flora, his youngest daughter, returns home to help care for him—shortly thereafter, letters from her mother will be discovered hidden inside the books of her father’s prized library. Thus begin two plot lines, as Flora and her sister care for their father, and as their mother’s letters lay out her side of the marriage—starting with their first meeting when she was a student and he was a professor. Is their mother dead now, or did she run away? And what other secrets are hidden inside the letters? Well-paced and finely detailed, Swimming Lessons is a mystery about an uncoiling family that will keep you turning pages and cause your loyalties to ebb and flow like a tide.” Chris Schluep, The Amazon Book Review

New Fiction Available

By - Library Web Services / Archives Assistant April 19th, 2017

 

Come in and browse through our newest fiction collection courtesy of McNaughton book services – located on the shelves in Baker Reading Room. Using this service will provide an assortment of new fiction titles and will make them available more quickly than before, some on the same day they are released!

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Mind Matters

By - April 14th, 2017

All of Ohrstrom’s titles will help you expand your mind, but some of our new arrivals focus on the mind itself.  From evolutionary history of consciousness to practical mindfulness tips, these three books will have you thinking about how you think!

 

On Being Human: Why Mind Matters, by Jerome Kagan

 

Yale University Press 2016
150.1 K11ON

 

“A revered psychologist invites us to re-examine our thinking about controversial contemporary issues, from the genetic basis for behaviors to the functions of education.

In this thought-provoking book, psychologist Jerome Kagan urges readers to sally forth from their usual comfort zones. He ponders a series of important nodes of debate while challenging us to examine what we know and why we know it. Most critically he presents an elegant argument for functions of mind that cannot be replaced with sentences about brains while acknowledging that mind emerges from brain activity.

Kagan relies on the evidence to argue that thoughts and emotions are distinct from their biological and genetic bases. In separate chapters he deals with the meaning of words, kinds of knowing, the powerful influence of social class, the functions of education, emotion, morality, and other issues. And without fail he sheds light on these ideas while remaining honest to their complexity…” (Barnes & Noble description)

 

 

 

 

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds, by Daniel C. Dennett

 

W.W. Norton 2017
128.2 D41F

 

“One of America’s foremost philosophers offers a major new account of the origins of the conscious mind.

How did we come to have minds? For centuries, this question has intrigued psychologists, physicists, poets, and philosophers, who have wondered how the human mind developed its unrivaled ability to create, imagine, and explain. Disciples of Darwin have long aspired to explain how consciousness, language, and culture could have appeared through natural selection, blazing promising trails that tend, however, to end in confusion and controversy. Even though our understanding of the inner workings of proteins, neurons, and DNA is deeper than ever before, the matter of how our minds came to be has largely remained a mystery.

That is now changing, says Daniel C. Dennett. In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, his most comprehensive exploration of evolutionary thinking yet, he builds on ideas from computer science and biology to show how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. Part philosophical whodunit, part bold scientific conjecture, this landmark work enlarges themes that have sustained Dennett’s legendary career at the forefront of philosophical thought…” (Publisher’s website)

 

 

Living Zen Remindfully: Retraining Subconscious Awareness, by James H. Austin

 

MIT Press 2016
294.3 AU7L

 

“This is a book for readers who want to probe more deeply into mindfulness. It goes beyond the casual, once-in-awhile meditation in popular culture, grounding mindfulness in daily practice, Zen teachings, and recent research in neuroscience. In Living Zen Remindfully, James Austin, author of the groundbreaking Zen and the Brain, describes authentic Zen training—the commitment to a process of regular, ongoing daily life practice. This training process enables us to unlearn unfruitful habits, develop more wholesome ones, and lead a more genuinely creative life.

Austin shows that mindfulness can mean more than our being conscious of the immediate “now.” It can extend into the subconscious, where most of our brain’s activities take place, invisibly. Austin suggests ways that long-term meditative training helps cultivate the hidden, affirmative resource of our unconscious memory. Remindfulness, as Austin terms it, can help us to adapt more effectively and to live more authentic lives…” (Publisher’s website)

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Book Spine Poetry

By - April 7th, 2017

Welcome back! Looking for a creative outlet to get your brain power flowing again? Celebrate National Poetry Month by making book spine poetry at the library. Stack books so that their titles, from top to bottom, create a poem.

On the main floor, Mrs. Kittler has set up an interactive display where you can view and contribute to our spine poetry collection – check it out!

Here’s my rather free-verse example, which features some of our shiny new arrivals:

 

History is all you left me 

In the country we love

Carry this book

To capture what we cannot keep.

(Click on the lines above to visit each book’s website.)

 

5 Tips for Spine Poetry Success:
  1. Look online for inspiration. School Library Journal’s website has galleries to get you started.
  2. Flip through our poetry collection. See this previous blog post for a few noteworthy anthologies.
  3. Stop by the children’s section on the main floor for fun and quirky titles.
  4. No time to roam the stacks? Use Ohrstrom’s online catalog to narrow down lines for your poem by subject, title, or author.
  5. Head over to the display to see what others came up with. Then add your own creation!

Happy browsing!

Best Books of 2016

By - Library Web Services / Archives Assistant January 23rd, 2017

 

Some of the best books of 2016 are on display in the lower level lobby – stop by for a browse and check them out!

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