Headscarves and Hymens

Headscarves and Hymens

Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy

HQ 1237.5 .M628 E47 2015

“The journalist Mona Eltahawy is no stranger to controversy. Through her articles and actions she has fought for the autonomy, security, and dignity of Muslim women, drawing vocal supporters and detractors. Now, in her first book, Headscarves and Hymens, Eltahawy has prepared a definitive condemnation of the repressive forces – political, cultural, and religious – that reduce millions of women to second-class citizens.

Drawing on her years as a campaigner for and commentator on women’s issues in the Middle East, she explains that since the Arab Spring began in 2010, women in the Arab world have had two revolutions to undertake: one fought alongside men, against oppressive regimes, and another fought against an entire political and economic system that represses women in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, and other nations.

Eltahawy has traveled across the Middle East and North Africa, meeting with women and listening to their stories. Her book is a plea for outrage and action on their behalf, confronting a “toxic mix of culture and religion that few seem willing or able to disentangle lest they blaspheme or offend.” A manifesto motivated by hope and fury in equal measure, Headscarves and Hymens is as illuminating as it is incendiary.”
– publisher description

The Game Believes in You

The Game Believes in You

The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter by Greg Toppo

LB 1028.75 .T66 2015

“Can game designers revolutionize learning?

What if schools, from the wealthiest suburban nursery school to the grittiest urban high school, thrummed with the sounds of deep immersion? More and more people believe that can happen – with the aid of video games and simulations.

Experts argue that games truly do “believe in you.” Games give people a chance to learn at their own pace, take risks, cultivate deeper understanding, fail and still want to try again – right away – and ultimately succeed in ways that too often elude them in school. The Game Believes in You presents the story of a growing group of visionaries who are pushing to get game controllers into the hands of learners. This small, mostly unconnected group of teachers, researchers, and game designers have long searched for ways to revolutionize learning. Unsatisfied with previous reforms, they’ve pushed to make school both more rigorous and more fun. This group includes a veteran game designer at the University of Southern California leading a team to design a video-game version of Thoreau’s Walden; a young neuroscientist and game designer whose research on “Math Without Words” is revolutionizing how the subject is taught, especially to students with limited English abilities; a Minnesota civics teacher who is applying the mechanics of fantasy football to learning about world affairs; and a Virginia Tech music instructor who is leading a group of high school-aged boys through the creation of an original opera staged totally in the online game Minecraft.

Featuring the latest research on brain science, motivation, and the games-and-violence connection, this book also includes a practical guide on how to talk to your kids about their gaming habits. It is sure to excited and inspire educators, parents, and gamers – as well as provoke passionate debate.”
– publisher description

Cheated

Cheated

Cheated: The UNC Scandal, the Education of Athletes, and the Future of Big-Time College Sports by Jay M. Smith and Mary Willingham

GV 691 .U57 S65 2015

“In 2010 allegations of an utterly corrupt academic system for student-athletes emerged from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, home of the legendary Tar Heels. As the alma mater of Michael Jordan, Larry Brown, Marion Jones, Lawrence Taylor, Rashad McCants, and many others; winner of forty national championships in six different sports; and a partner in one of the best rivalries in sports, UNC-Chapel Hill is a world-famous colossus of college athletics. In the wake of the Wainstein report, however, the fallout from this scandal – and the continuing spotlight on the failings of college athletics – has made the school ground zero in the debate about how the $16 billion college sports industry operates.

Written by UNC professor of history Jay Smith and UNC athletics department whistleblower Mary Willingham, Cheated exposes the fraudulent inner workings of this famous university. For decades these internal systems have allowed woefully underprepared basketball and football players to take fake courses and earn devalued degrees from one of the nation’s top universities while faculty and administrators looked the other way. In unbiased and carefully sourced detail, Cheated recounts the academic fraud in UNC’s athletics department, even as university leaders focused on minimizing the damage in order to keep the billion-dollar college sports revenue machine functioning. Smith and Willingham make an impassioned argument that the “student-athletes” in these programs are being cheated out of what, after all, is promised them in the first place: a college education.”
– publisher description

The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio

The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio

The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal by Hubert Wolf

BX 4220 .I8 W6513 2015

“A true, never-before-told story – discovered in a secret Vatican archive – of sex, poison, and lesbian initiation rites in a nineteenth-century convent.

In 1858, a German princess, recently inducted into a convent of Sant’Ambrogio in Rome, wrote a frantic letter to her cousin, a confidant of the Pope, claiming that she was being abused and feared for her life. What the subsequent investigation by the Church’s Inquisition uncovered were the extraordinary secrets of Sant’Ambrogio and the illicit behavior of the convent’s beautiful young mistress, Maria Luisa. Having convinced those under her charge that she was having regular visions and heavenly visitations, Maria Luisa began to lead and coerce her novices into lesbian initiation rites and heresies. She entered into a highly eroticized relationship with a young theologian known as Padre Peters – urging him to dispense upon her, in the privacy and sanctity of the confessional box, what the two of them referred to as the “special blessing.”

What emerges through the fog of centuries is a sex scandal of ecclesiastical significance, skillfully brought to light and vividly reconstructed in scholarly detail. Offering a broad historical background on female mystics and the cult of the Virgin Mary, and drawing on written testimony and original documents, Professor Wolf – Germany’s leading scholar of the Catholic Church, and among the very first scholars to be granted access to the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the office of the Inquisition – tells the incredible story of how one woman was able to perpetrate deception, heresy, seduction, and murder in the heart of the Church itself.”
– publisher description

Final Frontier

Final Frontier

Final Frontier: The Pioneering Science and Technology of Exploring the Universe by Brian Clegg

TL 793 .C629 2014

Star Trek was right – there is only one final frontier, and that is space. . .

Human beings are natural explorers, and nowhere is this frontier spirit stronger than in the United States of America – it almost defines our character. But the Earth is running out of frontiers fast. In Final Frontier we discover the massive challenges that face explorers, both human and robotic, to uncover the current and future technologies that could take us out into the galaxy and on a voyage to discovery where no one has gone before. . . though one day someone will. In 2003, General Wesley Clark challenged the nation to produce the technology that would enable new pioneers to explore the galaxy. That challenge is tough – one of the greatest we’ve ever faced. But taking on the final frontier does not have to be a fantasy.

In a time of recession, escapism is always popular – and what greater escape from the everyday can there be than the dream of leaving Earth’s bounds and exploring the universe? With a rich popular-culture heritage in science-fiction movies, books, and TV shows, this is a subject that entertains and informs in equal measure.”
– publisher description

Between You & Me

Between You & Me

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris

PE 1450 .N67 2015

“Mary Norris has spent more than three decades in The New Yorker‘s copy department, maintaining its celebrated high standards. Now she brings her vast experience, good cheer, and finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice.

Between You & Me features Norris’s laugh-out-loud descriptions of some of the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation, and usage – comma faults, danglers, “who” vs. “whom,” “that” vs. “which,” compound words, gender-neutral language – and her clear explanations of how to handle them. Down-to-earth and always open-minded, she draws on examples from Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, and the Lord’s Prayer, as well as from The HoneymoonersThe Simpsons, David Foster Wallace, and Gillian Flynn. She takes us to see a copy of Noah Webster’s groundbreaking Blue-Back Speller, on a quest to find out who put the hyphen in Moby-Dick, on a pilgrimage to the world’s only pencil-sharpener museum, and inside the hallowed halls of The New Yorker and her work with such celebrated writers as Pauline Kael, Philip Roth, and George Saunders.

Readers – and writers – will find in Norris neither a scold nor a softy but a wise and witty new friend in love with language and alive to the glories of its use in America, even in the age of autocorrect and spell-check. As Norris writes, “The dictionary is a wonderful thing, but you can’t let it push you around.””
– publisher description

I Am Not a Slut

I Am Not a Slut

I Am Not a Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet by Leora Tanenbaum

HM 1096 .T36 2015

“Young women today are encouraged to express themselves sexually. Yet when they do, they are derided as “sluts.” Caught in a double bind of mixed sexual messages, they’re confused. To fulfill the contradictory roles of being sexy but not slutty, they create an “experienced” identity on social media – even if they are not sexually active – while ironically referring to themselves and their friends as “sluts.”

But this strategy can become a weapon used against young women in the hands of peers who circulate rumors and innuendo – elevating age-old slut-shaming to deadly levels, with suicide among bullied teenage girls becoming increasingly common. Now, Leora Tanenbaum – senior writer and editor for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, author of the groundbreaking work Slut!, and the writer who coined the term slut-bashing – revisits her influential work on sexual stereotyping to offer fresh insight into the digital and face-to-face worlds contemporary young women inhabit. She shares her new research, involving the experiences of a wide range of teenage girls and young women from a variety of backgrounds as well as parents, educators, and academics. Tanenbaum analyzes the coping mechanisms young women currently use and points them in a new direction to eradicate slut-shaming for good.”
– publisher description