New to our shelves, October 2015

……….I love getting new books for our collection. With an ever-decreasing book budget, I have to decide between replacing stolen or worn out copies of popular books (Go Ask Alice, Of Mice and Men, Thirteen Reasons Why, Speak) or ordering new/ popular titles (The Fault in our Stars, The Maze Runner, Just Listen, If I Stay). I also have to consider the research needs of our students, and, therefore, search for books that address current controversial issues such as online security, marijuana legalization, gay marriage, climate change and ongoing issues like immigration, abortion, and poverty.

……….Furthermore, today there are also many good writers who cover science, history, political theory, economics, social studies and just about every other intellectual niche. There are great books about past presidents, revolutionaries, inventors, trailblazers and ordinary people who did amazing things. Who could have imagined that someone could write an interesting book about Cod or Salt? Mark Kurlansky, that’s who.

……….So, with all these considerations in mind, and a very limited budget, I must choose books I hope will find some readers. Here then, is a handful of titles I hope catch your attention and find a temporary home in your hands. The summaries are lifted from Amazon or Barnes and Nobles (and sometimes edited for space); links will take you to a review from a site I consider reliable, that could help you decide if the book is for you. Stop by the LMC and take one home:

new books

Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters, by Michael S. Roth.

“Wesleyan University president, Roth, adds his voice to the current debate about college education. Is it vocational instruction meant to lead to immediate employment after graduation or a time for expansive ideas and self-exploration? He argues that liberal education, with its emphasis on critical thinking, is an important part of American ideals of democracy. He traces the historical roots of liberal education from the ancient Greeks through the Middle Ages and the Enlightenment. But he focuses on American thinkers, including Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. DuBois, William James, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Jane Addams, John Dewey, and others.”

Read the Washington Post Review.

Looking like the enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese American Internment Camps, by Mary Matsuda Gruenewald.

“The author at 16 years old was evacuated with her family to an internment camp for Japanese Americans, along with 110,000 other people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast. She faced an indefinite sentence behind barbed wire in crowded, primitive camps. She struggled for survival and dignity, and endured psychological scarring that has lasted a lifetime. … Like “The Diary of Anne Frank,” this memoir superbly captures the emotional and psychological essence of what it was like to grow up in the midst of this profound dislocation and injustice in the U.S.”

Read the review by Sherry Wachter at Story Circle Book Reviews

Fabricated: World of 3D Printing, by Hod Lipson & Melba Kurman.

“Fabricated tells the story of 3D printers, humble manufacturing machines that are bursting out of the factory and into schools, kitchens, hospitals, even onto the fashion catwalk. Fabricated describes our emerging world of printable products, where people design and 3D print their own creations as easily as they edit an online document. … Fabricated takes the reader onto a rich and fulfilling journey that explores how 3D printing is poised to impact nearly every part of our lives … Aimed at people who enjoy books on business strategy, popular science and novel technology, Fabricated will provide readers with practical and imaginative insights to the question ‘how will this technology change my life? …” from the Wiley publishing (publisher’s site).

Read the review by Justin Slick at

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science, by Marc Aronson & Marina Budhos

“This meticulously researched, brutally honest, compelling book offers readers a different way to look at many events over the past 200 years or so. The title says it all. From the slave trade through abolition; from revolutions (American, French, and Haitian) to the Louisiana Purchase; from the decline of honey to the rise of saccharine, these events and many more are directly traced to the cultivation and production of sugar cane around the world. With a focus on slavery, Aronson and Budhos demonstrate how this one crop, with its unique harvesting needs, helped to bring about a particularly brutal incarnation of slavery.” … from School Library Journal, by Jody Kopple.

Read a short review from the Washington Post.

What the numbers say, A Field Guide to Mastering Our Numerical World, by Derrick Niederman & David Boyum.

“The bad news is that, in an age of science, complex financial planning, and competing deficit forecasts to support competing stimulus packages, the average citizen needs math more than ever. The good news, according to this delightful and eye-opening numeracy primer, is that it’s all sixth-grade math. Niederman, a mathematics Ph.D, and author of The Inner Game of Investing, and Boyum, a public policy consultant, assert that quantitative competence is mostly a matter of simple habits of mind, including: trust numerical data over anecdotal observations, but always question what the data are really saying; think in terms of probabilities rather than certainties; and make rough-and-ready estimates so your calculations don’t go off track. … This engaging book is a great challenge to fuzzy math of all stripes.” … from the publisher

Read a review by ATD here.

What I eat cover

What I Eat: The World in 80 Diets, by photojournalist Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio.

“A stunning photographic collection featuring portraits of 80 people from 30 countries and the food they eat in one day. In this fascinating study of people and their diets, 80 profiles are organized by the total number of calories each person puts away in a day. Featuring a Japanese sumo wrestler, a Massai herdswoman, world-renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria, an American competitive eater, and more, these compulsively readable personal stories also include demographic particulars, including age, activity level, height, and weight.” … from the publisher

Read a review by Aaron Spiegel, featured at the Huffington post.

……….We have also received a bunch of other fabulous books, but I just wanted to preview a few that I find interesting. I will let you all know about other new titles in future posts, but any teacher who wants to know what we’ve added can e-mail me and I will send them a complete list of our books orders.

……….Thank you for stopping by and I hope you found something useful.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2015. All rights reserved.

About htwilson

born in brooklyn, raised in queens, massachusetts, that's where I be.
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