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New Books at PEOSTA

Recent Library Acquisitions by Fiscal Year and Subject Area

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Click on a title below, or explore complete listings along the left-hand column of subject areas.

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Selected 2018-2019 Peosta Library Acquisitions

Seeds of Science: How We Got It So Wrong on GMOs /

Reviewed: LR May 2018 p. 29
Description: In Seeds of Science, eco-activist Mark Lynas lifts the lid on the controversial story and misunderstood science of GMOs. In the mid-1990s, as the global media stirred up a panic about the risks of genetically modified crops, Lynas destroyed crop fields and spoke out in the press…until he realized he was wrong. This book explains why. Starting out as one of the leading activists in the fight against GMOs–from destroying experimental crop fields to leading the charge in the press–in 2013 Lynas famously admitted that he got it all wrong. Lynas takes us back to the origins of the technology, and examines the histories of the people and companies who pioneered it. He explains what lead him to question his assumptions on GMOs, and how he is currently tracking poverty by using genetic modification to encourage better harvests. (publ.)

Desperately Seeking Self-Improvement: A Year Inside the Optimization Movement /

Reviewed: TLS 1 June 2018 p. 28.
Description: For an extraordinary year, authors Carl Cederström and André Spicer threw themselves headlong into the multifarious and often bizarre world of self-optimization, a burgeoning movement that seeks to transcend the limits placed on us by merely being human. As willing guinea pigs in an extraordinary (and sometimes downright dangerous) range of techniques and technologies, our heroic protagonists used apps that deliver electric shocks in pursuit of improved concentration, wore headbands designed to optimize meditation, attempted to boost their memory through associative techniques (and failed to be admitted to MENSA), trained for weightlifting competitions, wrote a Scandinavian detective story under the influence of mind enhancing drugs, enrolled in motivational seminars and tantra sex workshops, attended new-age retreats and man-camps, underwent plastic surgery, and experimented with vibrators that stimulated parts of the body they barely knew existed. Somewhat surprisingly, the two young professors survived this year of rigorous research and have drawn on it to produce a hilarious and eye-opening book. (publ.)

Drawn Together /

Reviewed: PW 26 Mar. 2018 p. 118.
Description: A boy and his grandfather cross a language and cultural barrier using their shared love of art, storytelling, and fantasy.
Note: Text in Thai & English.

Fake News, Propaganda, and Plain Old Lies: How to Find Trustworthy Information in the Digital Age /

Reviewed: PW 2 Apr. 2018 p. 56.
Description: Shows you how to identify deceptive information as well as how to seek out the most trustworthy information in order to inform decision making in your personal, academic, professional, and civic lives. You will learn how to identify the alarm bells that signal untrustworthy information, understand how to tell when statistics can be trusted and when they are being used to deceive, & inoculate yourself against the logical fallacies that can mislead even the brightest among us. (publ.)

Painted Faces: A Colourful History of Cosmetics /

Reviewed: TLS 4 May 2018.
Description: Throughout history, women (and men) have applied make-up to enhance, alter, conceal and even to disguise their appearance. Also, to a greater or lesser degree over time, cosmetics have been used as a visible marker of social status, gender, wealth, and well-being. A closer look at the world of make-up gives us not only a mirror reflecting day-to-day life in the past, but also an indicator of the culture and politics of earlier periods in history. (publ.)

Bad Advice: Or, Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren’t Your Best Source of Health Information /

Reviewed: PW 16 Apr. 2018 p. 83
Description: Dr. Paul A. Offit shares hard-earned wisdom on the do's and don’ts of battling misinformation. For the past twenty years, Offit has been on the front lines in the fight for sound science and public heath. Stepping into the media spotlight as few scientists have done—such as being one of the first to speak out against conspiracy theories linking vaccines to autism—he found himself in the crosshairs of powerful groups intent on promoting pseudoscience. (publ.) Paul A. Offit is the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as well as the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. (publ.)

The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America’s Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality /

Reviewed: PW 9 Apr. 2018 p. 66
Description: The American frontier is one of our most cherished and enduring national images. We think of the early settlers who tamed the wilderness and built the bones of our great country as courageous, independent–and white. In this groundbreaking work of deep historical research, Anna-Lisa Cox shows that this history simply isn't accurate. In fact, she has found a stunning number of black settlements on the frontier–in the thousands. Though forgotten today, these homesteads were a matter of national importance at the time; their mere existence challenged rationalizations for slavery and pushed the question toward a crisis–one that was not resolved until the eruption of the Civil War. Blending meticulous detail with lively storytelling, Cox brings historical recognition to the brave people who managed not just to secure their freedom but begin a battle that is still going on today–a battle for equality. (publ.)

France: A History: From Gaul to de Gaulle /

Reviewed: TLS 15 June 2018 p. 39
Description: “This book is written in the belief that the average English-speaking man or woman has remarkably little knowledge of French history. We may know a bit about Napoleon or Joan of Arc or Louis XIV, but for most of us that’s about it. In my own three schools we were taught only about the battles we won: Crécy and Poitiers, Agincourt and Waterloo. The rest was silence. So here is my attempt to fill in the blanks...” John Julius Norwich (1929-2018) finally wrote the book he always wanted to write, the extremely colorful story of the country he loved best. From frowning Roman generals and belligerent Gallic chieftains, to Charlemagne (hated by generations of French children taught that he invented schools) through Marie Antoinette and the storming of the Bastille to Vichy, the Resistance and beyond, it is packed with heroes and villains, adventures and battles, romance and revolution. (publ.)

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