March Book of the Month

Your UBCA Library’s Book of the Month  for March 2020 

All the Light We Cannot See 

By Anthony Doerr 

All the Light We Cannot See book cover

A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. 

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 The Secrets We Keep (PS3616.R463 S43 2019)At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime. Their mission: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, where no one dare publish it, and help Pasternak’s magnum opus make its way into print around the world. Glamorous and sophisticated Sally Forrester is a seasoned spy who has honed her gift for deceit all over the world — using her magnetism and charm to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a complete novice, but under Sally’s tutelage quickly learns how to blend in, make drops, and invisibly ferry classified documents. Their story is intertwined with that of the decades-long affair between Pasternak and his mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, who was sent to the Gulag and inspired Zhivago’s heroine, Lara 

320 rue St Jacques : the Diary of Madeleine Blaess (ebook)In November 1939 Madeleine Blaess, a French-born, British-raised student, set off for Paris to study for a doctorate in Medieval French literature at the Sorbonne. In June 1940, the German invasion cut off her escape route to the ports, preventing her return to Britain. She was forced to remain in France for the duration of the Occupation and in October 1940 began to write a diary. Intended initially as a replacement letter to her parents in York, she wrote it in French and barely missed an entry for almost four years.  

Madeleine’s diary is unique as she wrote it to record as much as she could about everyday life, people and events so she could use these written traces to rekindle memories later for the family from whom she had been parted. Many diaries of that era focus on the political situation. Madeleine’s diary does reflect and engage with military and political events. It also provides an unprecedented day-by-day account of the struggle to manage material deprivation, physical hardship, mental exhaustion and depression during the Occupation. The diary is also a record of Madeleine’s determination to achieve her ambition to become a university academic at a time when there was little encouragement for women to prioritise education and career over marriage and motherhood. Her diary is edited and translated here for the first time. 

The Last Metro (streaming film): Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve star as members of a French theater company living under the German occupation during World War II in François Truffaut’s gripping, humanist character study. Against all odds, a Jewish theater manager in hiding; a leading man who’s in the Resistance; increasingly restrictive Nazi oversight, the troupe believes the show must go on. Equal parts romance, historical tragedy, and even comedy, The last metro (Le dernier métro) is Truffaut’s ultimate tribute to art overcoming adversity. 

 

by Christian Boyles

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November Book of The Month

by Christian Boyles

You know a bit about them from the hit musical….Now, you can get the rest of the story.

 

Eliza Hamilton book cover
Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton

A strong pioneer woman, a loving sister, a caring mother, and in her later years, a generous philanthropist, Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler Hamilton had many sides. Mazzeo follows Eliza through her early years in New York, into the ups and downs of her married life with Alexander, beyond the aftermath of his tragic murder, and finally to her involvement in many projects that cemented her legacy as one of the unsung heroes of our nation’s early days.

Hamilton book cover
Hamilton: An American Biography by Tony Williams

Tony Williams provides readers with a concise biography that traces the events and values that enabled Hamilton to rise from his youth as a dispossessed orphan to Revolutionary War hero and Founding Father, a life uniquely shaped by America and who, in turn, contributed to the creation of the American regime of liberty and self-government. He was one of key leaders in the American Revolution, a chief architect of America’s constitutional order of self-government, and the key figure in Washington’s administration creating the institutions that governed America. Williams expertly weaves together biography with historical events to place Hamilton as one of the most important founding fathers.

Are they checked out?  Don’t worrywe’ve got you covered.

James Madison and the Making of America (E342 .G88 2012): James Madison, our fourth President and icon of the conservative movement. In it, the author, a historian looks beyond Madison’s traditional moniker, “The Father of the Constitution”, to find a more complex and realistic portrait of this influential Founding Father. Instead of an idealized portrait of Madison, the author treats readers to the story of a man who often performed his founding deeds in spite of himself: Madison’s fame rests on his participation in the writing of The Federalist Papers and his role in drafting the Bill of Rights and Constitution. Yet, he thought that the Bill of Rights was unnecessary and insisted that it not be included in the unamended Constitution which, he lamented, was entirely inadequate and, likely, would soon fail.

Ladies of Liberty: the Women that Shaped Our Nation (E302.5 .R64 2008): Cokie Roberts sheds new light on the generation of heroines, reformers, and visionaries who helped shape our nation with this blend of biographical portraits and behind-the-scenes vignettes chronicling women’s public roles and private responsibilities. Drawing on personal correspondence, private journals, and other primary sources–many of them previously unpublished–Roberts brings to life the extraordinary accomplishments of women who laid the groundwork for a better society. Alm

ost every quotation here is written by a woman, to a woman, or about a woman.

The History of the United States – The Founding Fathers of the United States (streaming film): A fascinating, in-depth study of the founding fathers of the United States. Learn about the cultures and societies upon which they based the U.S. government and discover the influence of Egyptian, Greek and Native American cultures on our own. This program discusses the former system of government our founders took notice of most and explore the origin and creation of the Declaration of Independence.

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October Book of the Month

No Visible Bruises bookcover

We call it domestic violence. We call it private violence. Sometimes we call it intimate terrorism. But whatever we call it, we generally do not believe it has anything at all to do with us, despite the World Health Organization deeming it a “global epidemic.” In America, domestic violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime, and yet it remains locked in silence, even as its tendrils reach unseen into so many of our most pressing national issues, from our economy to our education system, from mass shootings to mass incarceration to #MeToo. We still have not taken the true measure of this problem.

In No Visible Bruises, journalist Rachel Louise Snyder gives context for what we don’t know we’re seeing. She frames this urgent and immersive account of the scale of domestic violence in our country around key stories that explode the common myths—that if things were bad enough, victims would just leave; that a violent person cannot become nonviolent; that shelter is an adequate response; and most insidiously that violence inside the home is a private matter, sealed from the public sphere and disconnected from other forms of violence. Through the stories of victims, perpetrators, law enforcement, and reform movements from across the country, Snyder explores the real roots of private violence, its far-reaching consequences for society, and what it will take to truly address it.

Is it checked out?

No worries, we have more titles on the subject.

Framing the Victim : Domestic Violence, Media, and Social Problems – HN59.2 .B468 2004

Violent Partners : a Breakthrough Plan for Ending the Cycle of Abuse – HV6626.2 .M58 2008

Teen Dating Violence : How Peers Affect Risk & Protective Factors – ebook

 By Christian Boyles

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Banned Books Week at Your UCBA Library

banned books week graphicYour UCBA Library presents Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. It highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

Please stop by the library and check out our selection of books that have or are currently being challenged due to the ideas they present, the language they use, or content that has been deemed to be objectionable. Your UCBA Library remains committed to preserving your intellectual freedom from censorship and attempts to restrict access.

 

by Christian Boyles and Kellie Tilton

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Book of the Month for September 2019

Your UCBA Library’s Book of the Month for September:

Money: 5000 Years of Debt and Power 

by Michel Aglietta 

Money book cover 

As the financial crisis reached its climax in September 2008, the most important figure on the planet was Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. The whole financial system was collapsing, with little to stop it. When a senator asked Bernanke what would happen if the central bank did not carry out its rescue package, he replied, “If we don’t do this, we may not have an economy on Monday.” 

What saved finance, and the Western economy, was fiscal and monetary stimulus – an influx of money, created ad hoc. It was a strategy that raised questions about the unexamined nature of money itself, an object suddenly revealed as something other than a neutral signifier of value. Through its grip on finance and the debt system, money confers sovereign power on the economy. If confidence in money is not maintained, crises follow. Looking over the last 5,000 years, Michel Aglietta explores the development of money and its close connection to sovereign power. This book employs the tools of anthropology, history and political economy in order to analyse how political structures and monetary systems have transformed one another. We can thus grasp the different eras of monetary regulation and the crises capitalism has endured throughout its history. 

Is it checked out?  Don’t worrywe’ve got you covered: 

The Ascent of Money: a Financial History of the World (DVD)
HG171 .A83 2009 

Bestselling author, economist and historian Niall Ferguson takes a look at how money evolved, from the concept of credit and debt in the Renaissance to the emergence of a global economy and the subprime crisis we face today 

A History of Money (E-Book) 

A History of Money looks at how money as we know it developed through time. Starting with the barter system, the basic function of exchanging goods evolved into a monetary system based on coins made up of precious metals and, from the 1500s onwards, financial systems were established through which money became intertwined with commerce and trade, to settle by the mid-1800s into a stable system based upon Gold. This book presents its closing argument that, since the collapse of the Gold Standard, the global monetary system has undergone constant crisis and evolution continuing into the present day. 

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money 
HG1710 .P68/ 2015

The notion of a new currency, maintained by the computers of users around the world, has been the butt of many jokes, but that has not stopped it from growing into a technology worth billions of dollars, supported by the hordes of followers who have come to view it as the most important new idea since the creation of the Internet. Believers from Beijing to Buenos Aires see the potential for a financial system free from banks and governments. More than just a tech industry fad, Bitcoin has threatened to decentralize some of society’s most basic institutions. An unusual tale of group invention, Digital Gold charts the rise of the Bitcoin technology through the eyes of the movement’s colorful central characters, including a British anarchist, an Argentinian millionaire, a Chinese entrepreneur, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and Bitcoin’s elusive creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Already, Bitcoin has led to untold riches for some, and prison terms for others. 

 

by Christian Boyles

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April Book of the Month

by Christian Boyles

Lab Rats book cover

Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us

by Dan Lyons

HD58.7 .L96 2018 | This title is also available electronically

At a time of soaring corporate profits and plenty of HR lip service about “wellness,” millions of workers–in virtually every industry–are deeply unhappy. Why did work become so miserable? Who is responsible? And does any company have a model for doing it right?

For two years, Lyons ventured in search of answers. From the innovation-crazed headquarters of the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, to a cult-like “Holocracy” workshop in San Francisco, and to corporate trainers who specialize in … Legos, Lyons immersed himself in the often half-baked and frequently lucrative world of what passes for management science today. He shows how new tools, workplace practices, and business models championed by tech’s empathy-impaired power brokers have shattered the social contract that once existed between companies and their employees. These dystopian beliefs–often masked by pithy slogans like “We’re a Team, Not a Family”–have dire consequences: millions of workers who are subject to constant change, dehumanizing technologies–even health risks.

A few companies, however, get it right. With Lab Rats, Lyons makes a passionate plea for business leaders to understand this dangerous transformation, showing how profit and happy employees can indeed coexist.

Is it checked out? Don’t worry about it. Here are some other titles on the subject.

The High-Speed Company : Creating Urgency and Growth in a Nanosecond Culture
HD30.28 .J458 2015

No one knows the ins and outs of successful companies better than bestselling author Jason Jennings. Back in 2001, with It’s Not the Big That Eat the Small, It’s the Fast That Eat the Slow, Jennings proved that speed was the ultimate competitive advantage. But in 2015, companies of all sizes still struggle to adapt quickly. They know it’s crucial to their future but need help to get everyone implementing speed and urgency at all levels.

Jennings and his researchers have spent years up close and personal with thousands of organizations around the world—figuring out what makes them successful in both the short and long term. He understands the real challenges that keep more than eleven thousand CEOs, business owners, and executives up at night. And he knows how the best of the best combine speed and growth to deliver five times the average returns to shareholders.

The High-Speed Company reveals the unique practices of businesses that have proven records of urgency and growth. The key distinction is that they’ve created extraordinary cultures with a strong purpose, more trust, and relentless follow-through. These companies burn less energy, beat the competition, and have a lot of fun along the way.

Bad Blood : Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
HD9995.H423 U627 2018

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.

The Know-It-Alls : the Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball  HD9696.2.U62 C64 2017

In The Know-It-Alls former New York Times technology columnist Noam Cohen chronicles the rise of Silicon Valley as a political and intellectual force in American life. Beginning nearly a century ago and showcasing the role of Stanford University as the incubator of this new class of super geeks, Cohen shows how smart guys like Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg fell in love with a radically individualistic ideal and then mainstreamed it. With these very rich men leading the way, unions, libraries, public schools, common courtesy, and even government itself have been pushed aside to make way for supposedly efficient market-based encounters via the Internet.

Donald Trump’s election victory was an inadvertent triumph of the “disruption” that Silicon Valley has been pushing: Facebook and Twitter, eager to entertain their users, turned a blind eye to the fake news and the hateful ideas proliferating there. The Rust Belt states that shifted to Trump are the ones being left behind by a “meritocratic” Silicon Valley ideology that promotes an economy where, in the words of LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, each of us is our own start-up. A society that belittles civility, empathy, and collaboration can easily be led astray. The Know-It-Alls explains how these self-proclaimed geniuses failed this most important test of democracy.

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November Book of the Month

by Christian Boyles

No Ashes in the Fire book cover

No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black & Free in America
by Darnell L. Moore
HQ76.27.A37 M66 2018

About the book

When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It wasn’t the last time he would face death.

Three decades later, Moore is an award-winning writer, a leading Black Lives Matter activist, and an advocate for justice and liberation. In No Ashes in the Fire, he shares the journey taken by that scared, bullied teenager who not only survived, but found his calling. Moore’s transcendence over the myriad forces of repression that faced him is a testament to the grace and care of the people who loved him, and to his hometown, Camden, NJ, scarred and ignored but brimming with life. Moore reminds us that liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fighting for it, and if we dream and create futures where those who survive on society’s edges can thrive.

No Ashes in the Fire is a story of beauty and hope-and an honest reckoning with family, with place, and with what it means to be free.

Is it checked out?

Don’t worry about it. Here are some other titles on the subject.

The Glass Closet : Why Coming Out is Good Business
HF5549.5.S47 B76 2014

Part memoir and part social criticism, The Glass Closet addresses the issue of homophobia that still pervades corporations around the world and underscores the immense challenges faced by LGBT employees.

In The Glass Closet, Lord John Browne, former CEO of BP, seeks to unsettle business leaders by exposing the culture of homophobia that remains rampant in corporations around the world, and which prevents employees from showing their authentic selves.

Drawing on his own experiences, and those of prominent members of the LGBT community around the world, as well as insights from well-known business leaders and celebrities, Lord Browne illustrates why, despite the risks involved, self-disclosure is best for employees—and for the businesses that support them. Above all, The Glass Closet offers inspiration and support for those who too often worry that coming out will hinder their chances of professional success.

Out of bounds: Coming Out of Sexual Abuse, Addiction, and My Life of Lies in the NFL Closet (ebook)

The second NFL player ever to come out as gay and the first ever to come out as HIV-positive, Roy Simmons was an up-and-coming star offensive lineman who quit football after just four years rather than be exposed as gay. Out of Bounds tells his compelling story-from his rape at age 10 to being plucked from his poor Southern background to join the NFL, from his first taste of pro football fame and sudden enormous wealth to his fast-paced, no holds barred nightlife of heavy drugs and countless sexual encounters with women and men. Simmons led a roller-coaster life that peaked in the late 1980s with his playing in the Superbowl. Ultimately, however, reckless living left him penniless, friendless, and on the brink of suicide. Finally, in 1992, Simmons tapped the courage to come out as gay on national TV—then coming out as HIV-positive 10 years later—leading him to a healthy path of sobriety and self-acceptance.

Do the Right Thing (DVD) 
PN1997 .D52 1998

It’s the hottest day of the summer. You can do nothing, you can do something, or you can…Do the Right Thing. Directed by visionary filmmaker Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing is one of the most thought-provoking and groundbreaking films of the last 20 years. The controversial story centers around one scorching inner-city day, when racial tensions reach the boiling point in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood. This powerful landmark film combines humor and drama with memorable characters, capturing an unforgettable piece of American history.

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