New Arrivals

NOVEMber 2021

 

Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations, 5th edition (795.416 ENC—See New Books Display)

Did you know the MCC Library has a selection of books on games and their rules and strategies? Included in that section, near the end of the 700s, is the Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations. A non-chess expert, but one who plays at the novice level and so enjoys observing a chess match, this reviewer is mesmerized by the thousands of game board illustrations and lengthy descriptions of moves to advance a player’s success, with sections on the annihilation of a defense, the demolition of a pawn structure, how to decoy or mount a double attack, as well as other chess strategies and nuances. The MCC Library has two chess sets available for library play, and if you need someone to play with, Professional Tutor Corey Osbourne or Physical Science and Math Instructor Don Adkison are worthy opponents, if you enjoy a spirited match and a good-natured butt-kicking. If you’d like to see a quality film about chess, this reviewer would recommend The Queen of Katwe or Queen’s Gambit or a favorite from years back starring Ted Danson (!), Knights of the South Bronx.

 

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar (796.522 EIC—See New Books Display)

This book tells the true story of a group of nine experienced hikers who died suddenly while on an expedition in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1959. When the remains of the expedition were found, their tent on Dead Mountain had been cut open from the inside, and the hikers had apparently run from the tent into heavy snow and freezing temperatures, half-dressed and without shoes. Examination of their bodies revealed that six of them had died of hypothermia, while three were killed by physical trauma—one died of skull damage and the other two from chest trauma. There were other unexplained injuries to the bodies, including two with missing eyes and another with a missing tongue, and their clothes indicated possible exposure to radiation. Theories inadequately attempting to explain what happened include animal attacks, avalanche, and panic. Author Donnie Eichar sets out to discover what really occurred that night on Dead Mountain by examining the team’s journals and photographs, along with interviews, government records of the incident, and investigators’ reports –and also a trip to the Ural Mountains to retrace their steps. Thanks to Eichar’s intensive research, the reader gets to know each of the hikers as real people, with interesting lives apart from the mysterious tragedy that ended them.

 

Woman 99 by Greer Macallister (FICTION MACAL [AMER]—See New Books Display)

A young woman of the early 1900s, Charlotte has grown up in a family of society. She has been groomed to be a lady of virtue and a good prospect for marriage. Phoebe, Charlotte’s older sister, however, has wavering moods and an outspokenness that has made her unacceptable for marriage and high society. Charlotte, however, adores her. Upon Phoebe’s being committed to the Golden Grove asylum, Charlotte secretly slips away and becomes admitted there herself, desperately seeking to free her sister. Once inside, her eyes are opened to the horrors within. Some women are, of course, truly in need of help; however, many others are there only out of convenience for their spouse or parents. Some doctors and caregivers are there with a true heart for the patients, while others only seek power and control over others. Charlotte encounters women of all classes, who are now equal in Golden Grove, and learns about their many societal struggles, all while alliances and friendships are unexpectedly made. As she searches for her sister, Charlotte witnesses the amazing courage of women and learns of her own strength, unknowingly rescuing many others in the process.

 

Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans by Michaeleen Doucleff, Ph.D. (306.854 DOU—See New Books Display)

Author Michaeleen Doucleff, who has a doctorate in chemistry and is a science correspondent for NPR, is also a travel junkie and has a passion for exploring other cultures. Becoming a mom caused her to take a deeper look at the parent-child relationships she’d encountered across the globe and admired for the at-ease parent-child interactions she’d observed. She wondered, what was the secret that these non-Western parents knew that she didn’t? Across the cultural spectrum, what she gleaned was that those relationships between non-Western. parents and their children faced fewer distractions and that non-Western parents involved their children in valued, interactive family life, specific to each family, rather than the activities and goals recommended by child-development experts that Western parents use as childrearing guides. Doucleff examines the Mayan families in Mexico who use family chores and community helps at a very early age to give their children a sense of worth and develop a spirit of cooperation. She then looks at Inuit families who practice calm and steady responses to their children in the face of unfavorable behavior, supporting their children in finding more thoughtful responses to situations, thereby developing emotional intelligence in their young. Finally, she travels to Tanzania and observes the Hadzabe families who work with their little ones to handle stressful, disruptive situations, not by shielding them (no helicopter parents here) but rather standing beside them and walking with them through difficulties, with the offshoot being youngsters who are confident and self-motivated early on. The parents and children Doucleff reports on possess neither wealth nor an abundance of Western resources, rather generations of examples of positive parenting in a balanced, family-centered environment, with a commitment to spending their time and focus on everyday life skills that touch hearts and brains for the betterment of all.

 

The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World by Marie Favereau (950.210/92 FAV—See New Books Display)

In today’s English, the word “horde” carries strong negative connotations, generally used for some unruly mob. Marie Favereau argues that Western historians have similarly dismissed the Ulus Jochi, the Golden Horde, as an out-of-control, primitive, savage force periodically invading the West, whose primary accomplishment was destruction. (For those of you familiar with Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin based his Dothraki culture on Western images of the Mongols.) Favereau challenges previous assumptions, arguing that the Mongols, like the Romans, were sophisticated rulers of a widespread, diverse empire. The genuine cultural importance of the Horde has been misunderstood by most historians due to an unquestioned cultural bias against nomadic civilizations in favor of more settled agricultural or urban societies, which have been arbitrarily viewed as representing a higher level of development regardless of other factors. Favereau also argues against the notion that the Mongols were strictly authoritarian rulers, bringing to light evidence of the many ways in which they adapted their leadership style to different cultures and fostered a pluralistic society across much of Russia and Central Asia from the 13th to the 16th centuries. With its revisionist but well-researched assertions, this book offers an excellent basis for a research paper in social sciences.

 

The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town by Brian Alexander (362.11 ALE—See New Books Display)

Most take for granted the availability of a local hospital as a familiar building, driven by every day, that is there when needed. However, for many independently owned facilities, it is a constant struggle to continue to provide care for those in the local area. One such facility exists in Bryan, Ohio, a small town with a facility that has been treating its local community since 1936. Though the healthcare system today is complex, this book begins with an introduction to the early days of the healthcare system as it changed from doctors making house calls to the multi-specialties that exist today. It also shares the beginnings of health insurance, as well as how it affected the general health of the population and their pocketbooks. Moving to modern-day complications, it not only follows the struggles of doctors, administration, and the current Bryan hospital CEO Phil Ennen (a hometown boy), it also tells the personal stories of many residents. Like many rural towns, Bryan and the surrounding areas have been through difficult years economically as businesses closed or left town. Many residents are considered working-class poor and struggle to pay the bills, while their health takes a backseat as a result. Cancer, diabetes, and heart disease leave little room for avoidance when the illness suddenly takes center stage in their lives and finances. Though depressing, of course, the story of Bryan’s residents and hospital is not one to be ignored, for it is also the story of millions of other Americans, including family and friends in Montcalm and surrounding counties, as well as throughout Michigan. No matter how difficult it is, the history and circumstances of those involved must be understood before a solution can be configured, and this book is a great start.

 

 

The MCC Collection’s Best Titles

 

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (FICTION CLARK [BRIT])

If you are not already familiar with this fantastic tale, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell doesn’t look like a fun read. It is a great big doorstop of a book with a plain black-and-white cover. Flipping through the pages, you note that there are 782 of them, and some have footnotes (a fiction book with footnotes?). But brave readers who sample even a page or two will discover its delicious dark humor, witty dialogue, weird and quirky plot twists, beautiful writing, and powerful, clever, unpredictable characters. Set in the Regency era, when everyone believes that magic has entirely vanished from England except in old books, the magicians of the day are theorists who talk about magic, but none of them can do anything. However, there is an odd recluse, Mr. Norrell, who lives in an old abbey, surrounded by thousands of books on magic. It is rumored that he actually practices magic instead of just reading and talking about it. Challenged to show off his magic, he makes the statues in York Cathedral come alive. Needless to say, this makes him an overnight celebrity, and he travels to London to be wined and dined by high society. Pleased by his own notoriety and eager to live up to expectations, Mr. Norrell goes too far when he raises a woman from the dead –by making a bargain with an evil imp, The Gentleman with Thistle-Down Hair, who demands “half her life” in return. Mr. Norrell nervously agrees to the bargain because she is a young woman and he thinks this means she will die in middle age (wrong). The eerie Gentleman also informs Mr. Norrell that he is not the only practicing magician in England. There is another, Jonathan Strange, who is less learned but more talented than Mr. Norrell, and much bolder. The rivalry and friendship that ensue between Mr. Norrell and Strange form the basis of the rest of the novel, as well as their struggles against the Gentleman with Thistle-Down Hair and his nefarious plots; Strange’s search for the mythical Raven King, founder of English magic; some highly creative magical re-imaginings of the Napoleonic Wars; and Strange’s journey to save his wife from the forces that he and Norrell have unleashed. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is one of author Neil Gaiman’s favorite books. He called it the “finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years” (Bookmarks.reviews). It was adapted as a TV miniseries in 2015.

 

Canoeing with the Cree by Eric Sevareid (BIO 921 SEV)

Recommended to this reviewer by MCC Math Instructor and Math Center Coordinator Dan Long, Canoeing with the Cree was first published in 1935. The memoir follows two teens, the author and a buddy, who canoed from lower Minnesota to the upper reaches of the Hudson Bay, following a fur-trade route along Cree lands. The writing style reflects the era it was written in, using language from that time and limited descriptions, focusing more on the events of their journey. This is a timeless tale of boys becoming men and their adventures through a wilderness well remembered in history books. The two friends are paddling an 18-foot canoe, heavy and cumbersome, not one of the lightweight fiberglass canoes or plastic kayaks we enjoy today, through rough waters, uninhabited stretches of forest, and cold, cold nights, trying to finish their trip before winter. Peter Heller’s current fiction is reminiscent of Sevareid’s memoir, and both are perfect reads for those who love adventure through rough country and survival based on skill and intelligence.

 

Trash, edited by John Knechtel (769.904 TRA)

Though it feels like discarded objects are gone once out of sight, this title serves as a reminder that the objects still exist…just elsewhere. In an artful, coffee-book style presentation, this book begins with photos highlighting the beautiful messiness of dust bunnies, with bright pink string and curlique structures. One photo collection includes discarded paper airplanes from assorted materials found on the street, while another collection, in art-gallery style, presents chairs: office chairs, colorful student desk chairs, kitchen chairs, and even toilets, as they lie collected and strewn about lawns, roadsides, and alleys. Though quirky, the book also takes on the troubling psychology of trash through poems, stories, and facts. One section includes the story of mothers who fight for the justice of their murdered Mexican daughters, whose lives are still sadly regarded as “waste” by authorities. Unfortunately, Michigan is a highlight in the book for its airspace, which in the trash industry means the size of a landfill site and how to get the most in an area. Michigan is now home to the trash of much of the Great Lakes region, including Canada, its waste management profitable enough to draw the investment of Bill Gates. Even though compact, this edition unloads the tremendous complexity of trash.

 

More New Books (See New Books Display)

Fiction

  • The Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister, FICTION MACAL [AMER]

  • The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel, FICTION HARME [AMER]

  • The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben, FICTION COBEN [AMER]

  • Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas, FICTION THOMA [AMER]

  • Dear Child by Romy Hausmann, FICTION HAUSM [GERM]

  • Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang, GN YANG [AMER]

  • Fadeaway by E.B. Vickers, FICTION VICKE [AMER]

  • The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, FICTION HANNA [AMER]

  • Hostage by Clare Mackintosh, FICTION MACKI [BRIT]

  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, FICTION DANIEL [AMER]

  • The Maidens by Alex Michaelides, MYS MICHAEL [BRIT]

  • The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man by W. Bruce Cameron, FICTION CAMER [AMER], vol. 1

  • Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice, FICTION RICE [CANA]

  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, FICTION RUSSE [AMER]

  • Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore, FICTION MONTI [AMER]

  • The Return by Nicholas Sparks, FICTION SPARK [AMER]

  • The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell, MYS JEWEL [BRIT]

  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, FICTION GYASI [AMER]

  • The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton, FICTION HOLTO [ZEAL]

Nonfiction 

  • Animal Communication Made Easy by Pea Horsley, 636.69 HOR

  • Animal Lessons: Discovering Your Spiritual Connection with Animals by Danielle MacKinnon, 636.69 MAC

  • Blood and Treasure by Bob Drury, 973.270/22 DRU

  • Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins, 650.41 COL

  • The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Edith Eva Eger, 940.531/52 EGE

  • Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage by Anne Lamott, 230.056 LAM

  • Find Your Zone of Genius by Laura Garnett, 153.8 GAR

  • From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo, 305.809/9 YOO

  • The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres, 551.6 FIG

  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins, 650.41 COL

  • How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need by Bill Gates, 551.6 GAT

  • How You Say It by Katherine D. Kinzler, 430.4 KIN

  • The Illustrated Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu, 298.5 LAO

  • In Love with the World: A Monk’s Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, 294.344/4 YON

  • Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza, BIO 921 ILI

  • A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian, 9th edition, 2-Hour Loan

  • My Vanishing Country by Bakari Sellers, 305.822 SEL

  • Olive, Mabel, and Me: Life and Adventures with Two Very Good Dogs by Andrew Cotter, 636.752 COT

  • The Pale-Faced Lie: A True Story by David Crow, BIO 921 CRO

  • Powered by Design by Renee Stevens, 759.012 STE

  • Recipes for a Sacred Life by Rivvy Neshama, BIO 921 NES

  • Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change by Ellen Pao, 331.412/3 PAO

  • Signs from Pets in the Afterlife by Lyn Ragan, 636.69 RAG

  • Somebody Told Me by Rick Bragg, BIO 921 BRA

  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, 305.802 OLU

  • Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds by Michael Knowles, 326.983/1 KNO

  • Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant, 160 GRA

  • Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything by B.J. Fogg, 153.8 FOG

  • When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains by Ariana Neumann, 940.531/52 NEU

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