Staff Reading Picks

From John Calvin to Guinea Pigs: New books we’re excited about

Here in the library at the start of a new semester it’s like Christmastime. Why? Because of all the new books that start rolling in. In this week’s blog post we’ll highlight some new books that we are excited about. From John Calvin to A Guinea Pig’s History of Biology, we’re sure there’s something to pique your interest!

The Cigarette Century, by Allan M. Brandt – A Pulitzer Prize finalist, this award-winning book provides “a definitive account of how smoking came to be so deeply implicated in our culture, science, policy, and law.” This 505 page book with accompanying images covers all angles of the topic- agriculture, business, medicine, and politics. Library call number: HD9130.8.U5 B72 2009

To Live or To Perish Forever: two tumultuous years in Pakistan, by Nicholas Schmidle – As the title indicates, Schmidle’s memoir provides an account of his time in Pakistan starting in October 2007. “Schmidle’s telling of his adventures, aided by his own deep knowledge of Pakistan’s history, illuminates the many reasons why Pakistan will both continue to grab headlines and show itself to be essential to America’s own security,” (book jacket). Library call number: DS389.S36 2010

A Guinea Pig’s History of Biology, by Jim Endersby – Winner of the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award, you don’t have to be a biologist major to enjoy reading it! Endersby uses his wit to offer readers fascinating narratives about the early history of biology and it’s use of fast-breeding-cycle organisms (think guinea pigs, zebra fish, fruit flies) from the time of Darwin to present day biologists. Library call number QH431.E615 2009

The Cambridge Companion to Voltaire, edited by Nicholas Cronk – “Voltaire created a style of authorship which made him the most famous writer in Europe and turned his name into a brand for a certain style of writing and thinking. This Companion covers his plays, fiction, pamphlets, correspondence, biblical criticism, and historical, political and philosophical thought, to give a wide-ranging view of his writings. The most comprehensive book on Voltaire available in English, it makes accessible the most recent research in France as well as the English-speaking world, in a series of original essays and a guide to sources. The essays demonstrate why Voltaire remains an essential point of reference in defining the modern intellectual today,” (book jacket). Library call number: PQ2122.C36 2009

Blood Matters, by Masha Gessen – “In 2004 genetic testing revealed that Masha Gessen had a mutation that predisposed her to ovarian and breast cancer. The discovery initiated Gessen into a club of sorts: the small (but exponentially expanding) group of people in possession of a new and different way of knowing themselves through what is inscribed in the strands of their DNA. As she wrestled with a wrenching personal decision—what to do with such knowledge—Gessen explored the landscape of this brave new world, speaking with medical experts, religious thinkers, historians, and others facing genetic disorders,” (book jacket). Library call number: RB155.G475 2009

John Calvin: a pilgrim’s life, by Herman J. Selderhauis – “There are many biographies of John Calvin, the theologian–some villifying him and others extolling his virtues–but few that reveal John Calvin, the man. Professor and renowned Reformation historian Herman Selderhuis has written this book to bring Calvin near to the reader, showing him as a man who had an impressive impact on the development of the Western world, but who was first of all a believer struggling with God and with the way God governed both the world and his own life,” (product description from Library call number: BX9418.S3513 2009

All of these great books are located on the New Books shelf on the Main Level of the library in front of the Reference Desk. Check one out today!!

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