Staff Pick

Few book accounts of Occupy Wall Street give any kind of in-depth look at the movement and the controversies that swirl around it. And it is equally rare to read first-hand accounts of women imprisoned at New York’s Rikers Island. The Emancipation of Cecily McMillan does both and the book would be worthy of reading on that account alone. But her memoir provides more. McMillan describes her upbringing and youth in Texas and Georgia, family difficulties, financial hard times leading her brother in prison for drugs, her to political engagement—and on to New York and Occupy, the swirl of activism striving to be effectual without giving up its values.  She recounts how that commitment led to her victimization by police and by a legal system that has long abjured the notion of innocent before proven guilty—and thus to her stint in prison. There she comes to a deeper appreciation of the lives and struggles of others, a deeper appreciation of herself.  McMillan becomes a voice for women rendered silent, not speaking for them but rather through them and discovering thereby a stronger sense of self to accompany her commitment to activism.  The book concludes with a statement she made upon her release that explains her memoir’s title: “The guards didn’t free me that day, the women did.  Their demands were my emancipation proclamation.”

The Emancipation of Cecily McMillan: An American Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781568585383
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Bold Type Books - August 9th, 2016

Staff Pick

This book is part memoir, part meandering travelogue through alternative sexuality in 21st century America. The book starts as Witt turns 30 and, newly single, moves to San Francisco—the hotbed of alternative sexual culture in the U.S. today. In San Francisco she focuses her work as a journalist on writing about novel forms of sexual expression cropping up in the Internet age, and the new communities that embrace them. Witt visits polyamorous communities, a BDSM porn company, devotees of a practice called “orgasmic meditation”, and women who earn a living livestreaming their autoerotic acts, as well as other pioneers pushing the boundaries of human sexual expression.  She also chronicles her own attempts to find love and lust through the brave new world of online dating. Witt’s forays into all of these strange landscapes remind us of just how radically technological advances and evolving social mores are re-writing the rules of nearly all social interactions today, perhaps most prominently those involving our biologically hard-wired drives to find sex and companionship.

Future Sex: A New Kind of Free Love Cover Image
ISBN: 9780865478794
Availability: Out of Print in This Format
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 11th, 2016

Staff Pick

Bill Nye’s new book tackles one of the critical issues confronting today’s world, climate change and global warming. It is an incontrovertible fact that the Earth becomes warmer every year and the polar ice caps are melting. If that doesn’t scare you enough, the resources we need to survive are becoming more and more scarce. Nye argues that we should all stop and rethink the way we live and try not to leave to future generations an Earth that is dirty, overheated, and depleted of resources. By his own admission, Bill Nye is an engineer and a tinkerer so he always looks for technical solutions to a problem, and that is what this book offers. Among other things, he says we need to find new sources of energy, new ways to store and transmit that energy, and new ways to include our government and citizens everywhere in this immense undertaking. You don’t need to be a science nerd or to have a lot of knowledge on the topic to understand this book. It is, after all Bill Nye, The Science Guy who wrote it! He is undeniably unstoppable in his optimism and putting a positive spin on negative issues, and he has a way of explaining things in a way that is both understandable and entertaining.

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250109446
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - October 18th, 2016

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