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At the Library: Life takes many paths at the Captiva Memorial Library

By Staff | Sep 2, 2015

“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”

by Dr. Yuval Norah Harari

“From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one-homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?” *

“For the Right Reasons: America’s Favorite Bachelor on Faith, Love, Marriage, and Why Nice Guys Finish First”

by Sean Lowe

“After the bachelorette broke his heart, Sean Lowe suspected his “nice guy” image hurt him. The show never emphasized it, but Sean committed to living according to biblical standards of sexuality, even as producers emphasized the risqu and promiscuous. A Texas boy from a Baptist home, Sean tells the story of how he went from a Division I college football player to a fan favorite on reality television, taking readers behind the scenes to see the challenges of living out his values and faith?and ultimately winning his true love’s heart. ‘For the Right Reasons’ is about the journeys we all have to take in the real world, where being “good” is the right thing to do, but sometimes doesn’t seem to be enough; where betrayal is commonplace; and where that thing called perfection is actually just a cruel myth. Sean learned a few things from his two seasons on the hottest romance shows on television, and he wants others to benefit from those lessons: good does eventually win, lies will be discovered, and “nice guys” do ultimately finish first.” *

“The Eureka Factor: AHA Moments, Creative Insight, and the Brain”

by John Kounios and Mark Beeman

“Eureka or aha moments are sudden realizations that expand our understanding of the world and ourselves, conferring both personal growth and practical advantage. Such creative insights, as psychological scientists call them, were what conveyed an important discovery in the science of genetics to Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock, the melody of a Beatles ballad to Paul McCartney, and an understanding of the cause of human suffering to the Buddha. But these moments of clarity are not given only to the famous. Anyone can have them. In The Eureka Factor, John Kounios and Mark Beeman explain how insights arise and what the scientific research says about stimulating more of them. They discuss how various conditions affect the likelihood of your having an insight, when insight is helpful and when deliberate methodical thought is better suited to a task, what the relationship is between insight and intuition, and how the brain’s right hemisphere contributes to creative thought. Written in a lively, engaging style, this book goes beyond scientific principles to offer productive techniques for realizing your creative potential-at home and at work. The authors provide compelling anecdotes to illustrate how eureka experiences can be a key factor in your life” *

“Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool”

by Jennifer Jacquet

An urgent, illuminating exploration of the social nature of shame and of how it might be used to promote large-scale political change and social reform. In cultures that champion the individual, guilt is advertised as the cornerstone of conscience. But while guilt holds individuals to personal standards, it is powerless in the face of corrupt institutions. In recent years, we as consumers have sought to assuage our guilt about flawed social and environmental practices and policies by, for example, buying organic foods or fair-trade products. Unless nearly everyone participates, however, the impact of individual consumer consciousness is ineffectivepresents us with a trenchant case for public shaming as a nonviolent form of resistance that can challenge corporations and even governments to change policies and behaviors that are detrimental to the environment. Jacquet argues that public shaming, when it has been retrofitted for the age of social media and aimed in the proper direction, can help compensate for the limitations of guilt in a globalized world. Jacquet leaves us with a new understanding of how public shame, when applied in the right way and at the right time, has the capacity to keep us from failing other species in life’s fabric and, ultimately, from failing ourselves.” *

“Sex Versus Survival: the Life and Ideas of Sabina Spielrein” by Jon Launer

“Who was Sabina Spielrein? She is probably best known for her notorious affair with Carl Jung, which was dramatized in the film ‘A Dangerous Method,’ starring Keira Knightley. Yet her life story is much more compelling than just one famous relationship. Spielrein overcame family and psychological abuse to become a profoundly original thinker in her own rightthe first biography to put her life and ideas at the center of the story and examine Spielrein’s key role in the development of psychoanalysis. Drawing on fresh research into Spielrein’s diaries, papers, and correspondence, Launer shows how Spielrein’s overlooked ideas?rejected by Freud and Jung, but substantially vindicated by later developments in psychology and evolutionary biology? may represent the last and most important stage in the rediscovery of an extraordinary life.” *

“From Jailer to Jailed: My Journey from Correction and Police Commissioner to Inmate #84888-054”

by Bernard Kerik

“The controversial New York City police commissioner and bestselling author of ‘The Lost Son’ shares the story of his fall from grace and the effects of his incarceration on his views of the American justice system. Bernard Kerik was New York City’s police commissioner during the 9/11 attacks, who became an American hero as he led the NYPD through rescue and recovery efforts of the World Trade Center. His rsum as a public servant is long and storied, and includes honors from President Ronald Reagan, Queen Elizabeth II, and the NYPD’s Medal for Valor for saving his partner in a gun battle. In 2004, Kerik was nominated by President George W. Bush to head the US Department of Homeland Security. Now, he is a former Federal Prison Inmate known as #84888-054. Convicted of tax fraud and false statements in 2007, Kerik was sentenced to four years in federal prisonfor the first time, in this hard-hitting, raw and oftentimes politically incorrect memoir, he talks candidly about his time on the inside: the torture of solitary confinement, the abuse of power, the mental and physical torment of being locked up in a cage, the powerlessness. With his newfound perspective, Kerik makes a plea for change and illuminates why our punishment system doesn’t always fit the crimea riveting, one-of-a-kind perspective on the American penal system as he details life on the inside with the experience of an acclaimed correction commissioner from the outside. With astonishing candor, bravery, and insider’s intelligence, Kerik shares his fall from grace to incarceration, and turns it into an impassioned and singularly insightful rallying cry for criminal justice reform in a nation that he devoted his life to serving and protecting.” *

* Book jacket/publisher description

-Senior Librarian Ann Bradley is branch manager Captiva Memorial Library.