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New Book Highlights

Beyond Infinity

The hilarious and charming Eugenia Cheng leads us in search of what's bigger than infinity, and smaller than its opposite Imagine something small enough to fit in your head but too large to fit in the world-or even the universe. What would you call it? And what would it be? How about...infinity? In Beyond Infinity, musician, chef, and mathematician Eugenia Cheng answers this question by taking readers on a startling journey from math at its most elemental to its loftiest abstractions. Beginning with the classic thought experiment of Hilbert's hotel-the place where you can (almost) always find a room, if you don't mind being moved from room to room over the course of the night-she explores the wild and woolly world of the infinitely large and the infinitely small. Along the way she considers weighty questions like why some numbers are uncountable or why infinity plus one is not the same as one plus infinity. She finds insight in some unlikely examples: planning a dinner party for 7 billion people using a chessboard, making a chicken-sandwich sandwich, and creating infinite cookies from a finite ball of dough all tell you more about math than you could have imagined. An irresistible book on the universe's biggest possible topic, Beyond Infinity will beguile and bewitch you, and show all of us how one little symbol can hold the biggest idea of all.

Beasts of Burden

A beautifully written, deeply provocative inquiry into the intersection of animal and disability liberation--and the debut of an important new social critic How much of what we understand of ourselves as "human” depends on our physical and mental abilities--how we move (or cannot move) in and interact with the world? And how much of our definition of "human” depends on its difference from "animal”? Drawing on her own experiences as a disabled person, a disability activist, and an animal advocate, author Sunaura Taylor persuades us to think deeply, and sometimes uncomfortably, about what divides the human from the animal, the disabled from the nondisabled--and what it might mean to break down those divisions, to claim the animal and the vulnerable in ourselves, in a process she calls "cripping animal ethics.” Beasts of Burden suggests that issues of disability and animal justice--which have heretofore primarily been presented in opposition--are in fact deeply entangled. Fusing philosophy, memoir, science, and the radical truths these disciplines can bring--whether about factory farming, disability oppression, or our assumptions of human superiority over animals--Taylor draws attention to new worlds of experience and empathy that can open up important avenues of solidarity across species and ability. Beasts of Burden is a wonderfully engaging and elegantly written work, both philosophical and personal, by a brilliant new voice.

The Givers

An inside look at the secretive world of elite philanthropists--and how they're quietly wielding ever more power to shape American life in ways both good and bad. While media attention focuses on famous philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Charles Koch, thousands of donors are at work below the radar promoting a wide range of causes. David Callahan charts the rise of these new power players and the ways they are converting the fortunes of a second Gilded Age into influence. He shows how this elite works behind the scenes on education, the environment, science, LGBT rights, and many other issues--with deep impact on government policy. Above all, he shows that the influence of the Givers is only just beginning, as new waves of billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg turn to philanthropy. Based on extensive research and interviews with countless donors and policy experts, this is not a brief for or against the Givers, but a fascinating investigation of a power shift in American society that has implications for us all.

The Gardener and the Carpenter

One of the world's leading child psychologists shatters the myth of "good parenting" Caring deeply about our children is part of what makes us human. Yet the thing we call "parenting" is a surprisingly new invention. In the past thirty years, the concept of parenting and the multibillion dollar industry surrounding it have transformed child care into obsessive, controlling, and goal-oriented labor intended to create a particular kind of child and therefore a particular kind of adult. In The Gardener and the Carpenter, the pioneering developmental psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik argues that the familiar twenty-first-century picture of parents and children is profoundly wrong--it's not just based on bad science, it's bad for kids and parents, too. Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own cutting-edge scientific research into how children learn, Gopnik shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way. Children are designed to be messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and to be very different both from their parents and from each other. The variability and flexibility of childhood lets them innovate, create, and survive in an unpredictable world. "Parenting" won't make children learn--but caring parents let children learn by creating a secure, loving environment.

White Eskimo

Among the explorers made famous for revealing hitherto impenetrable cultures--T. E. Lawrence and Wilfred Thesiger in the Middle East, Richard Burton in Africa--Knud Rasmussen stands out not only for his physical bravery but also for the beauty of his writing. Part Danish, part Inuit, Rasmussen made a courageous three-year journey by dog sled from Greenland to Alaska to reveal the common origins of all circumpolar peoples. Lovers of Arctic adventure, exotic cultures, and timeless legend will relish this gripping tale by Stephen R. Bown, known as "Canada's Simon Winchester."

The Animals' Agenda

A compelling argument that the time has come to use what we know about the fascinating and diverse inner lives of other animals on their behalf Every day we are learning new and surprising facts about just how intelligent and emotional animals are--did you know rats like to play and laugh, and also display empathy, and the ears and noses of cows tell us how they're feeling? At times, we humans translate that knowledge into compassion for other animals; think of the public outcry against the fates of Cecil the lion or the captive gorilla Harambe. But on the whole, our growing understanding of what animals feel is not resulting in more respectful treatment of them. Renowned animal-behavior expert Marc Bekoff and leading bioethicist Jessica Pierce explore the real-world experiences of five categories of animals, beginning with those who suffer the greatest deprivations of freedoms and choice--chickens, pigs, and cows in industrial food systems--as well as animals used in testing and research, including mice, rats, cats, dogs, and chimpanzees. Next, Bekoff and Pierce consider animals for whom losses of freedoms are more ambiguous and controversial, namely, individuals held in zoos and aquaria and those kept as companions. Finally, they reveal the unexpected ways in which the freedoms of animals in the wild are constrained by human activities and argue for a more compassionate approach to conservation. In each case, scientific studies combine with stories of individual animals to bring readers face-to-face with the wonder of our fellow beings, as well as the suffering they endure and the major paradigm shift that is needed to truly ensure their well-being. The Animals' Agenda will educate and inspire people to rethink how we affect other animals, and how we can evolve toward more peaceful and less violent ways of interacting with our animal kin in an increasingly human-dominated world.

Portrait Revolution

Based on the popular international collaborative art project, Julia Kay's Portrait Party, this book features hundreds of portraits in multiple mediums and styles teamed with tips and insights on the artistic process. The human face is one of the most important subjects for artists, no matter their chosen medium. Pulling from 50,000 works of portraiture created by the artists of the international online collaborative project Julia Kay's Portrait Party, Portrait Revolution presents a new look at this topic--one that doesn't limit itself to one medium, one style, one technique, or one artist. By presenting portraits in pencil, pen, charcoal, oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, mixed media, digital media, collage, and more, Julia Kay and co. demonstrate the limitless possibilities available to aspiring artists or even to professional artists who are looking to expand creatively. Along with works in almost every conceivable medium, Portrait Revolution shines a spotlight on different portrait-making techniques and styles (featuring everything from realism to abstraction). With tips, insights, and recommendations from accomplished portrait artists from around the globe, this all-in-one inspiration resource provides everything you'll need to kick-start your own portrait-making adventure.

Killers of the Flower Moon

"Disturbing and riveting...Grann has proved himself a master of spinning delicious, many-layered mysteries that also happen to be true...It will sear your soul." --Dave Eggers, New York Times Book Review From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history         In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.       Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.       In this last remnant of the Wild West--where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the "Phantom Terror," roamed--many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization's first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection.  Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.        In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.

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