Wilkes University

New Books: Current Month April 2017

See the new books Farley Library has added to its collection!

New Book Highlights

After Buddhism

A renowned Buddhist teacher's magnum opus, based on his fresh reading of the tradition's earliest texts Some twenty-five centuries after the Buddha started teaching, his message continues to inspire people across the globe, including those living in predominantly secular societies. What does it mean to adapt religious practices to secular contexts?   Stephen Batchelor, an internationally known author and teacher, is committed to a secularized version of the Buddha's teachings. The time has come, he feels, to articulate a coherent ethical, contemplative, and philosophical vision of Buddhism for our age. After Buddhism, the culmination of four decades of study and practice in the Tibetan, Zen, and Theravada traditions, is his attempt to set the record straight about who the Buddha was and what he was trying to teach. Combining critical readings of the earliest canonical texts with narrative accounts of five members of the Buddha's inner circle, Batchelor depicts the Buddha as a pragmatic ethicist rather than a dogmatic metaphysician. He envisions Buddhism as a constantly evolving culture of awakening whose long survival is due to its capacity to reinvent itself and interact creatively with each society it encounters.   This original and provocative book presents a new framework for understanding the remarkable spread of Buddhism in today's globalized world. It also reminds us of what was so startling about the Buddha's vision of human flourishing.  

Sonic Wind

Sixty years ago, cars and airplanes were still deathtraps waiting to happen. Today, both are safer than ever, thanks in part to one pioneering air force doctor's research on seatbelts and ejection seats. The exploits of John Paul Stapp (1910-1999) come to thrilling life in this biography of a Renaissance man who was once blasted--faster than a .45 caliber bullet--across the desert in his Sonic Wind rocket sled, only to be slammed to a stop in barely a second. The experiment put him on the cover of Time magazine and allowed his swashbuckling team to gather the data needed to revolutionize automobile and aircraft design. But Stapp didn't stop there. From the legendary high-altitude balloon tests that ensued to the ferocious battles for car safety legislation, Craig Ryan's book is as much a history of America's transition into the Jet Age as it is a biography of the man who got us there safely.

Could You Please, Please Stop Singing?

In Could You Please, Please Stop Singing, Sabyasachi (Sachi) Nag takes a step away from skepticism, blending humour with shock and surprise, seeking a return to childhood in "Mamuda’s Fries,” innocence in "Conversations with the Country Activist” and fractals for the future in the yet to be invented "Seedless Avocado.” In attempting what Tomas Transromer calls "walking through walls,” Nag hurts and sickens himself with awe and rage. The title poem "Could You Please, Please Stop Singing?” purposely evokes the famous Hemingway line from Men Without Women and is central to the overall tonality of this collection, that straddles a path alternately mocking and dead serious, and that occasionally yields to contrary pulls between the banal and the sublime.

Female Suicide Bombings

"As media coverage of terrorism and terroristic acts has increased so too has the discussion about the identities, motives, and gender of the perpetrators. Over the past fifteen years, there have been over 150 reported suicide bombings committed by women around the world. Because of its prominence in media reporting, the phrase "female suicide bomber" has become loaded with gendered notions and assumptions that elicit preconditioned responses in the West. Female Suicide Bombings critically examines and challenges common assumptions of this loaded term. Tanya Narozhna and W. Andy Knight introduce female suicide bombings as a socio-political practice and a product of deeply politicized, gendered representations. Drawing on a combination of feminist and post-colonial approaches as well as terrorism studies literature, the authors seek to transcend ideological divisions in order to enhance our understanding of how gender, power, and academic practices influence our perceptions of female suicide bombings."--Provided by publisher.

Flicker

How is it that a patch of flickering light on a wall can produce experiences that engage our imaginations and can feel totally real? From the vertigo of a skydive to the emotional charge of an unexpected victory or defeat, movies give us some of our most vivid experiences and most lastingmemories. They reshape our emotions and worldviews - but why?In Flicker, Jeff Zacks delves into the history of cinema and the latest research to explain what happens between your ears when you sit down in the theatre and the lights go out. Some of the questions Flicker answers: Why do we flinch when Rocky takes a punch in Sylvester Stallone's movies, duckwhen the jet careens towards the tower in Airplane, and tap our toes to the dance numbers in Chicago or Moulin Rouge? Why do so many of us cry at the movies? What's the difference between remembering what happened in a movie and what happened in real life - and can we always tell the difference? Toanswer these questions and more, Flicker gives us an engaging, fast-paced look at what happens in your head when you watch a movie.

Honesty in the Use of Words

What makes great writing great writing is not spelling or grammar or syntax, but honesty. Not the careless honesty of our emotions, but the intellectual honesty that results from careful thoughts combined with a firm insistence that we write only true things. The honest writer always seeks to avoid deception, always believes writing the truth is more important than proving a point. Honesty in the Use of Words by Martin Naparsteck adds a new dimension to such classic writing advice as William Strunk and E.B. White's The Elements of Style and George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language."

100 Trailblazers

This book shines an admiring spotlight on the accomplishments of women in sport whose life stories are important but not necessarily well known. Research and personal interviews reveal the groundbreaking work of effective administrators, dedicated coaches, determined reformers, and spirited athletes who excelled in tennis, golf, skating, swimming and diving, gymnastics, track and field, soccer, softball and baseball, basketball, volleyball, and motor sports. These fascinating profiles chronicle the achievements of women who overcame innumerable obstacles, broke down walls, and opened doors for future generations.

Sex, Politics, and Putin

Sex, Politics, and Putin investigates how gender stereotypes and sexualization have been used as tools of political legitimation in contemporary Russia. Despite their enmity, regime allies and detractors alike have wielded traditional concepts of masculinity, femininity, and homophobia as ameans of symbolic endorsement or disparagement of political leaders and policies. By repeatedly using machismo as a means of legitimation, Putin's regime (unlike that of Gorbachev or Yeltsin) opened the door to the concerted use of gendered rhetoric and imagery as a means to challenge regime authority. Sex, Politics, and Putin analyzes the political uses of gender norms andsexualization in Russia through three case studies: pro- and anti-regime groups' activism aimed at supporting or undermining the political leaders on their respective sides; activism regarding military conscription and patriotism; and feminist activism. Arguing that gender norms are most easilyinvoked as tools of authority-building when there exists widespread popular acceptance of misogyny and homophobia, Sperling also examines the ways in which sexism and homophobia are reflected in Russia's public sphere.

April 2017