What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo, 616.852/1 FOO—See New Books Display
By her early thirties, Stephanie had outwardly achieved a successful, happy life, so she couldn’t understand why she kept suffering from inexplicable panic attacks and bouts of depression. After years of wondering why she just couldn’t seem to cope with ordinary life, she was finally diagnosed with complex PTSD (C-PTSD), a form of post-traumatic stress that occurs when trauma is repeated continually over a period of years, as in child abuse. Stephanie had been abused physically and emotionally for years by her parents, and then they abandoned her. She thought she had built a life free from the shadows of her past, but learning about her diagnosis helped her see that the pain of her past was still alive, radically affecting her relationships and her mental and physical health. What My Bones Know is both a memoir of Foo’s personal experience with C-PTSD and a carefully researched exploration of the science and psychology behind trauma, including collective trauma within communities and trauma that is passed down through generations.
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, FICTION IHIMA [ZEAL]—See New Books Display
Maori legend holds that a new leader will arise on the back of a whale to lead Maori people during troubled times, and that leader will descend from a long line of chiefs. What the legend doesn’t reveal, and what young Kahu’s family and community don’t know and aren’t prepared to accept, is that this leader will come in the form of a young girl. Kahu is the great-granddaughter of her tribe’s chief, Koro Apirana, and while they have an unbreakable bond, he always sees Kahu as “only a girl” in the order of tribal life. After personal tragedy and injury, Koro Apirana falls into despair, sure his people will not survive after he dies and his grandson flees to the city and marries an outsider, leaving Kahu in her great-grandparents’ care. When a pod of whales beach themselves on the tribe’s shore, Koro Apirana is certain the end has come. As he and the villagers tend to the dying whales, Kahu travels down the shore to the largest whale left for dead and offers the dying animal comfort and her spirit, climbing on its back to embrace it, triggering a miracle and the rebirth of a community. This brief novel is inspirational, a respectful journey through another culture’s traditions and perspectives, while also embracing a broader view of gender roles and understanding. This is an outstanding read! The film adaptation of this title is equally enjoyable, and this reviewer cannot recommend the book and movie enough.
Building a Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your Creative Potential by Tiago Forte, 326.983/4 FOR—See New Books Display
All information is now at our fingertips with a simple internet search. Although this should provide great relief, for many it instead creates great overwhelm as we find ourselves constantly scrolling, viewing, and consuming, but never managing or accomplishing. Those looking for relief from information overload will find this book refreshing with its step-by-step system to help organize your digital life, allowing freedom to focus on what matters and find creativity in the freedom. His steps include CODE—Capturing ideas, Organizing, Distilling (finding the essential information to retrieve later), and then Expressing through work, including breaking it into smaller portions that can easily be assembled for completeness. Though the basic idea is not totally new, the methods of organization and digital techniques are. This is a great resource, whether managing information for work, home, personal interest, or a student project. Through his website, Forte also offers bonus material, including information on specific apps to help you make the most of the information you need. This reader would also recommend listening to the podcast Forte created to dig into his strategies.
How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question by Michael Schur, 180 SCH—See New Books Display
Author Michael Schur doesn’t profess to be an esteemed philosopher, rather a regular guy who has, for years, pondered the question, “What does it take to be a ‘good’ person?” While pondering, he also went on to become a successful television writer and producer who worked on The Office and became the co-creator of Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and other witty comedy series. Schur’s book is for those who wonder about the big and little moral situations that crop up in life and the right and wrong of how to address these situations. Using the excellent comedic writing style employed in his day job, he kindly, artfully, and humorously walks readers through a variety of these struggles. Using tenets from Western philosophy, Schur contemplates such things as “Should I lie and tell my friend I like her ugly shirt?” to “Do I have to return my shopping cart to the shopping cart rack thingy? I mean…It’s all the way over there!” to “This sandwich is morally problematic. But it’s also delicious. Can I still eat it?” and concluding with, “I screwed up. Do I have to say I’m sorry?” While nothing can compare to having a meaningful philosophical discussion with MCC’s own Dr. Lance Miller, this title makes for a great way to ease into mental moral self-debate and learn about Aristotle’s teachings too.
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune, FICTION FORTU [CANA]—See New Books Display
Young love and second chances are heartwarming parts of this wonderful read. When she was thirteen, Percy’s family purchased a lake house. It was then that she met the neighbor boy Sam (also thirteen) and began a friendship like no other that continued over six summers. However, now an adult and twelve years after her last visit to the lake, she finds herself there again unexpectedly when Sam’s brother calls, sharing that their mother has passed away and asking her to attend the funeral. Since she considered her as a second mother, Percy of course attends, but finds herself on an incredible personal journey as she faces a haunting event from all those years ago, as well as the longing she continues to feel for Sam. A great nostalgia read, this book travels between the characters’ present circumstances and those six wonderful summers in the past. It will take readers back to a time of innocence and first love, as they root for the young friendship, while also understanding the complexities of becoming an adult and facing the past.
The Carbon Almanac by Seth Godin, 551.6 CAR—See New Books Display
The amazing thing about this book is the way it condenses so much information, much of it involving complicated scientific data and projections, while keeping everything easy to read and abundantly illustrated with graphics. More than one hundred writers, researchers, and illustrators collaborated to produce this work, a labor of love because they believe in the vision behind it, expressed by the subtitle—it’s not too late. The authors believe that this book fills a need for a one-stop source on climate change, with clearly presented information about what has happened, what is likely to happen, and what can still be done, both as individuals and societies. The book thus provides an overview of climate science for the beginner, while at the same time offering plenty of new facts and insights even for those already knowledgeable on the subject. Published in 2022, it contains current information on a wide range of climate topics, arranged as separate, relatively short articles, making it easy to find the question or issue you are interested in and focus on that before moving on to other subtopics. The “For Rookies” section at the beginning answers basic questions (What Is Climate Change?...Weather vs. Climate), while other sections explore the impact of climate change on food supply, oceans, weather events, economy, biodiversity, human health, the five IPCC scenarios, and more. The second half of the book discusses solutions and simple ways for ordinary people to become involved. If you are writing a research paper on climate change or a related issue, this all-inclusive and engaging book is highly recommended.
The MCC Collection’s Best Titles
The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are by Libby Copeland, 575.102/1 COP
With Mother’s and Father’s Day approaching, more ads for the gift of DNA testing will soon be seen. These gifts of family and heritage—promising to answer the age-old questions “Who am I?” and “Where do I come from?”—have become immensely popular for many people, not just family historians. Though receiving a pie chart of ethnicity and a map of your ancestors’ beginnings is not harmful, DNA testing itself is a more complicated issue, and that is the topic of this book. Copeland explains how the rise of DNA testing has led to a social experiment that many people are not fully aware of, and so they do not realize all the information that may be uncovered. The author dives into the complexities of the science but also tells numerous personal stories about those affected by such science. There are wonderful findings for many—the confirmation of a heritage long celebrated, lost family members found, and adoptees finding families they have wondered about their whole lives. However, DNA testing has also exposed many family secrets, sometimes involving deceased family members who can no longer defend their actions or share their side of the story—or living family members who were not yet able or willing to share the confidential matters that the test suddenly revealed. Copeland discusses situations where children discover that the parents who raised them are not their biological parents, cases of incest, and other unusual circumstances. The emotions and trauma from these circumstances are now also part of this social experiment. With DNA testing being new, the effects of these revelations have not previously been studied. Additionally, the effects can influence our definition of family, both socially and legally. There is, of course, also the concern about the sharing of all this DNA testing for research and even unsolved criminal cases. Copeland reveals that even among those who have not submitted their DNA, many now have enough relatives who have done so to ensure that their own individual information is not even needed to show their place in the family tree. Although many stories are told, the entire story of one family’s DNA journey (over many years), shared throughout this book, relates greatly to Copeland’s discussion of the complexities of this new social experiment and the fascination with DNA testing.
The Honeymoon’s Over: True Stories of Love, Marriage, and Divorce, edited by Andrea Chapin and Sally Wofford-Girand, 306.85 HON
This is a collection of essays from noted female writers on their own relationships, revealing their struggles and triumphs with their partners over the years. While each relationship is unique, the troubles that plagued these couples have existed since time began—commitment, fidelity, boredom, loneliness, passion (wax and wane), time spent, insiders, outsiders, and so on. While the striking cover features a slice of burnt toast, this is not a book about loss; that is an element, but so is overcoming obstacles, empowering yourself and others, and learning new means of communicating and understanding what really matters. These are the stories of these women’s lives, relatable, shocking, comforting, and confounding. This is life, recorded in a collection of essays.
The Au Pair by Emma Rous, FICTION ROUS [BRIT]
Just hours after Seraphine and her twin brother, Danny, were born, their mother committed suicide by throwing herself off a cliff on the huge family estate in Norfolk, England, and the family’s young au pair ran away. Immediately there were rumors in town of magical practices and a curse. Now Seraphine is an adult and her father has just died in a freak accident. While sorting through his possessions, she discovers a photo taken on the day she was born. The photo shows her mother and father, smiling happily and holding just one baby. Where is Danny? Why would her mother take her own life when she appeared so happy only a short time before? The mysterious photo sets Seraphine on a quest to finally discover the truth about her birth and the tragedy that immediately followed. This gothic suspense tale will stretch your imagination and keep you enthralled until the last page.
More New Books (See New Books Display)
- Cabin Fever: The Harrowing Journey of a Cruise Ship at the Dawn of a Pandemic by Michael Smith, 612.865/5 SMI
- The Dark Queens: The Bloody Rivalry That Forged the Medieval World by Shelley Puhak, 944.024 PUH
- Downton Shabby: One American’s Ultimate DIY Adventure Restoring His Family’s English Castle by Hopwood DePree, 720.941 DEP
- The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel Pink, 153.8 PIN
- South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry, 973.004/4 PER
- Strangers No More by Bill Griffeth, BIO 921 GRI
- The Ugly Cry by Danielle Henderson, BIO 921 HEN
- What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe, 500 MUN
- Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Julie Smith, 153.803 SMI
- Bayview High Series by Karen McManus, FICTION MCMAN [AMER]
- Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf, FICTION GUDEN [AMER]
- Gallows Hill by Darcy Coates, FICTION COATE [AUST]
- The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry, FICTION LOWRY [AMER]
- Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak, FICTION REKUL [AMER]
- I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston, FICTION MCQUI [AMER]
- It Ends with Us Series by Colleen Hoover, FICTION HOOVE [AMER]
- Jackal by Erin Adams, FICTION ADAMS [AMER]
- The Last Rose of Shanghai by Weina Dai Randel, FICTION RANDA [CHIN]
- Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf, FICTION GUDEN [AMER]
- The Measure by Nikki Erlick, FICTION ERLIC [AMER]
- Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs, FICTION RIGGS [AMER]
- Nothing More to Tell by Karen McManus
- The Nurse’s Secret by Amanda Skenandore, FICTION SKENA [AMER]
- Other Birds by Sarah Addision Allen, FICTION ALLEN [AMER]
- Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng, FICTION NG [AMER]
- The Purification Ceremony by Mark Sullivan, FICTION SULLI [AMER]
- Rokesbys (Bridgerton Prequel) Series by Julia Quinn, FICTION QUINN [AMER]
- See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon, FICTION SOLOM [AMER]
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, FICTION REID [AMER]
- Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, FICTION ZEVIN [AMER]
- The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb, FICTION SLOCU [AMER]
- White Horse by Erika Wurth, FICTION WURTH [AMER]
- Witness by Karen Hesse, FICTION HESSE [AMER]
- You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen McManus, FICTION MCMAN [AMER]