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By Judith Flanders. 2017
Nearly everything you know about Christmas is wrong. Do you think the proclaimed war on Christmas is a recent occurrence?… Do you think Santa is Dutch, or that his red suit was brought to you courtesy of Coca-Cola? Or are you merely dreaming of a Christmas like the one you used to know? You aren't alone: thirty years after the first recorded Christmas, a fourth-century archbishop was already complaining that his flock was spending the day dancing and feasting, not in religious observance. By 1616, the playwright Ben Jonson was nostalgically reminiscing about the vastly better Christmases in the old days. Some traditions of Christmas are relatively new--who would have thought gift-wrap was a novelty of the twentieth century? That the first holiday parade was neither at Macy's, nor even in the United States? Other elements, however, have been around for a surprisingly long time. The first known gag holiday giftbook, The Boghouse Miscellany, was advertised in the 1760s, while in 1805, the leaders of the Lewis and Clark expedition exchanged--what else?--presents of underwear and socks. Christmas is different things to different people: a religious festival for some, a family celebration for others, or perhaps simply a time of seasonal eating and drinking. In Christmas: A Biography, historian Judith Flanders casts a sharp eye over the myths, legends, and history that make up the holiday to show us the season as it really is, but rarely how it is understood. 2017. Feast of the circumcision or Holy Name of Jesus -- Twelfth Night -- Epiphany -- Candlemas -- Lady day -- Midsummer -- Michaelmas -- All Saints' Day -- All Souls' Day -- St Martin -- St. Nicholas -- St Lucy of Syracuse -- St Thomas the Apostle -- Christmas day -- St Stephen -- St John the Evangelist -- Feast of the Holy Innocents -- Sylvester.
By Jan Wong. 2017
Jan Wong knows food is better when shared, so when she set out to write a book about home cooking… in France, Italy, and China, she asked her 22-year-old son, Sam, to join her. While he wasn't keen on spending excessive time with his mom, he dreamed of becoming a chef. Ultimately, it was an opportunity he couldn't pass up. On their journey, Jan and Sam live and cook with locals, seeing how globalization is changing food, families, and cultures. In southeast France, they move in with a family sheltering undocumented migrants. From Bernadette, the housekeeper, they learn classic French family fare such as blanquette de veau. In a hamlet in the heart of Italy's Slow Food country, the locals teach them how to make authentic spaghetti alle vongole and a proper risotto with leeks. In Shanghai, they cook firecracker chicken and scallion pancakes with the nouveaux riches and their migrant maids, who are part of the biggest demographic shift in world history. Along the way, mother and son explore their sometimes-fraught relationship, uniting--and occasionally clashing--over their mutual love of cooking. 2017.
By Shoba Narayan. 2018
When Shoba Narayan, a writer and cookbook author who had lived for years in Manhattan, moves back to Bangalore with… her family, she befriends the milk lady, from whom she buys fresh milk every day. These two women from very different backgrounds bond over not only cows, considered holy in India, but also family, food, and life. After Narayan agrees to buy her milk lady a new cow (she needs one and Narayan can afford it, so why not?), they set off looking for just the right cow. What was at first a simple economic transaction becomes something much more complicated, though never without a hint of slapstick. 2018.
By Benjamin Woo. 2018
Comic book superheroes, fantasy kingdoms, and futuristic starships have become inescapable features of today’s pop-culture landscape, and the people we… used to deride as “nerds” or “geeks” have ridden their popularity and visibility to mainstream recognition. Yet these conventionalized representations of geek culture typically ignore the real people who have invested time and resources to make it what it is. Woo recentres our understanding of geek culture on the everyday lives of its participants, drawing on fieldwork in comic book shops, game stores, and conventions. He shows how geek culture is a set of interconnected social practices that are associated with popular media and argues that typical depictions of mass-mediated entertainment as something that isolates and pacifies its audiences are flawed because they do not account for the conversations, relationships, communities, and identities that are created by engaging with the products of mass culture. 2018. "What is a nerd?" -- Talk nerdy to me: the meaning of geek culture -- Taking geek culture seriously: a practice-theoretic account -- Values and virtues: what is best in life? -- Careers: boldly going on -- Making communities from mass culture -- Institutions: building worlds between production and consumption -- The limits of participation -- The geek, the bad, and the ugly --
The last whalers: three years in the far Pacific with a courageous tribe and a vanishing way of life
By Doug Bock Clark. 2019
Journalist Doug Bock Clark tells the stunning inside story of the Lamalerans, an ancient tribe of 1,500 hunter-gatherers who live… on a volcanic island so remote it is known by other Indonesians as "The Land Left Behind." They have survived for centuries by taking whales with bamboo harpoons, but now are being pushed toward collapse by the encroachment of the modern world. 2019.
By Judith Flanders. 2014
Flanders traces the evolution of the house from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century across northern Europe and America,… showing how the homes we know today bear only a faint resemblance to homes though history. What turned a house into a home? Why did northwestern Europe, a politically unimportant, sociologically underdeveloped region of the world, suddenly became the powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution, the capitalist crucible that created modernity? While investigating these important questions, Flanders uncovers the fascinating development of ordinary household items--from cutlery, chairs and curtains, to fitted kitchens, plumbing and windows--while also dismantling many domestic myths.
By Michael Eric Dyson. 2019
"If you want the definitive treatment of a man who took it from Marcy Projects to the White House with… wit, wisdom, and talent, and changed hip hop along the way, look no further than this insightful, brilliant and moving book." -Common JAY-Z is America at its scrappy, brash, irreverent, soulful, ingenious best: as transcendent a cultural icon as Frank Sinatra, as adventurous a self-made billionaire as Mark Zuckerberg, as gifted a poet as Walt Whitman. As he reaches the half-century mark, logs thirty years as a recording artist, becomes the genre's first billionaire, reigns as an elder statesman in a field teeming with artists half his age, and continues to make relevant rap records that chart-and that chart an artistic and political response to revived racism and renewed hostility to blackness-it is an auspicious time to examine JAY-Z's ideas, gifts and impact, to take measure of his stride as a cultural colossus. And there is no one better suited to the task than Michael Eric Dyson, who has investigated and championed hip hop, and the work of JAY-Z, as a critical American art form, for decades.
By Ayaz Virji. 2019
A powerful true story about a Muslim doctor's service to small-town America and the hope of overcoming our country's climate… of hostility and fear. In 2013, Ayaz Virji left a comfortable job at an East Coast hospital and moved to a town of 1,400 in Minnesota, feeling called to address the shortage of doctors in rural America. But in 2016, this decision was tested when the reliably blue, working-class county swung for Donald Trump. Virji watched in horror as his children faced anti-Muslim remarks at school and some of his most loyal patients began questioning whether he belonged in the community. Virji wanted out. But in 2017, just as he was lining up a job in Dubai, a local pastor invited him to speak at her church and address misconceptions about what Muslims practice and believe. That invitation has grown into a well-attended lecture series that has changed hearts and minds across the state, while giving Virji a new vocation that he never would have expected. In Love Thy Neighbor, Virji relates this story in a gripping, unforgettable narrative that shows the human consequences of our toxic politics, the power of faith and personal conviction, and the potential for a renewal of understanding in America's heartland.
By John Von Sothen. 2019
A hilarious, candid account of what life in France is actually like, from a writer for Vanity Fair and GQ… Americans love to love Paris. We buy books about how the French parent, why French women don't get fat, and how to be Parisian wherever you are. While our work hours increase every year, we think longingly of the six weeks of vacation the French enjoy, imagining them at the seaside in stripes with plates of fruits de mer. John von Sothen fell in love with Paris through the stories his mother told of her year spent there as a student. And then, after falling for and marrying a French waitress he met in New York, von Sothen moved to Paris. But fifteen years in, he's finally ready to admit his mother's Paris is mostly a fantasy. In this hilarious and delightful collection of essays, von Sothen walks us through real life in Paris-not only myth-busting our Parisian daydreams but also revealing the inimitable and too often invisible pleasures of family life abroad. Relentlessly funny and full of incisive observations, Monsieur Mediocre is ultimately a love letter to France-to its absurdities, its history, its ideals-but it's a very French love letter: frank, smoky, unsentimental. It is a clear-eyed ode to a beautiful, complex, contradictory country from someone who both eagerly and grudgingly calls it home.
By Meghan Daum. 2019
From "one of the most emotionally exacting, mercilessly candid, deeply funny, and intellectually rigorous writers of our time" (Cheryl Strayed,… author of Wild) comes a seminal new book that reaches surprising truths about feminism, the Trump era, and the Resistance movement. You won't be able to stop thinking about it and talking about it. In the fall of 2016, acclaimed author Meghan Daum began working on a book about the excesses of contemporary feminism. With Hillary Clinton soon to be elected, she figured even the most fiercely liberal of her friends and readers could take the criticisms in stride. But after the election, she knew she needed to do more, and her nearly completed manuscript went in the trash. What came out in its place is the most sharply-observed, all-encompassing, and unputdownable book of her career. In this gripping new work, Meghan examines our country's most intractable problems with clear-eyed honesty instead of exaggerated outrage. With passion, humor, and most importantly nuance, she tries to make sense of the current landscape-from Donald Trump's presidency to the #MeToo movement and beyond. In the process, she wades into the waters of identity politics and intersectionality, thinks deeply about the gender wage gap, and tests a theory about the divide between Gen Xers and millennials. This signature work may well be the first book to capture the essence of this era in all its nuances and contradictions. No matter where you stand on its issues, this book will strike a chord.
By Joe Posnanski. 2019
Award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Joe Posnanski enters the world of Harry Houdini and his legions of… devoted fans in an immersive, entertaining, and magical work on the illusionist's impact on American culture-and why his legacy endures to this day. Harry Houdini. Say his name and a number of things come to mind. Escapes. Illusions. Magic. Chains. Safes. Live burials. Close to a century after his death, nearly every person in America knows his name from a young age, capturing their imaginations with his death-defying stunts and daring acts. He inspired countless people, from all walks of life, to find something magical within themselves. This is a book about a man and his extraordinary life, but it is also about the people who he has inspired in death. As Joe Posnanski delves into the deepest corners of Houdini-land, visiting museums (one owned by David Copperfield), attractions, and private archives, he encounters a cast of unforgettable and fascinating characters: a woman who runs away from home to chase her dream of becoming a magician; an Italian who revives Houdini's most famous illusion every night; a performer at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles who calls himself Houdini's Ghost; a young boy in Australia who, one day, sees an old poster and feels his life change; and a man in Los Angeles whose sole mission is life has been to keep the legend's name alive. Both a personal obsession and an odyssey of discovery, Posnanski draws inspiration from his lifelong passion for and obsession with magic, blending biography, memoir, and first-person reporting to examine Harry Houdini's life and legacy. This is the ultimate journey to uncover why this magic man endures, and what he still has to teach the world about wonder.
By Abby Wambach. 2019
"Abby is a relatable revolutionary-with WOLFPACK, she inspires the confidence, leadership and sisterhood we all so desperately need right now."-Amy… Schumer This program is read by the author. Based on her inspiring, viral 2018 commencement speech to Barnard College's graduates in New York City, New York Times bestselling author, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA World Cup champion Abby Wambach delivers her empowering rally cry for women to unleash their individual power, unite with their pack, and emerge victorious together. Abby Wambach became a champion because of her incredible talent as a soccer player. She became an icon because of her remarkable wisdom as a leader. As the co-captain of the 2015 Women's World Cup Champion Team, she created a culture not just of excellence, but of honor, commitment, resilience, and sisterhood. She helped transform a group of individual women into one of the most successful, powerful and united Wolfpacks of all time. In her retirement, Abby's ready to do the same for her new team: All Women Everywhere. In WOLFPACK, Abby's message to women is: We have never been Little Red Riding Hood. We Are the Wolves. We must wander off the path and blaze a new one: together. She insists that women must let go of old rules of leadership that neither include or serve them. She's created a new set of Wolfpack rules to help women unleash their individual power, unite with their Wolfpack, and change the landscape of their lives and world: from the family room to the board room to the White House. - Make failure your fuel: Transform failure to wisdom and power. - Lead from the bench: Lead from wherever you are. - Champion each other: Claim each woman's victory as your own. - Demand the effing ball: Don't ask permission: take what you've earned. In Abby's vision, we are not Little Red Riding Hoods, staying on the path because we're told to. We are the wolves, fighting for a better tomorrow for ourselves, our pack, and all the future wolves who will come after us. More praise for WOLFPACK: "WOLFPACK is a must-read for all of us determined to teach our kids there are no limits. It's a manifesto for everyone trying to lead-whether it's a team, a company, a family, or a meaningful life."-Serena Williams "I would follow Abby Wambach into any battlefield. I would follow her not because she is a bold leader (although she is one), but because she leads from BESIDE women, not from AHEAD of us...Abby Wambach is what the next level of women's revolution will look like, and I'm DOWN."-Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love
By Lauren Michele Jackson. 2019
Explores how trends started in black communities are co-opted then turned into white profit and how this appropriation continues to… uphold economic, political, and social inequality. In White Negroes, cultural commentator, essayist, and scholar Lauren Michele Jackson explores trends started in Black communities that have caught on and become cool, hugely popular and lucrative, but that exclude Black communities once mainstream audiences and mainstream dollars latch on. The consequences of this phenomenon can be easy to miss, as it is so ingrained in our consumer habits. Yet over and over, Black intellectual property is converted into white profit - one hashtag, hair style, music genre, and dance move at a time. This, Jackson argues, plays a role in keeping Black people from achieving economic, political, and social equity. Weaving together media scholarship and cultural critique, Jackson re-situates cultural appropriation as more than just a new buzzword. It is, she contends, simply another chapter in the long history of whiteness thriving at the expense, stolen labor and ingenuity of Black people. Further, her interrogation and exposure of the interracial antagonism resting on the other side of appropriation unravels behavior that feels normal only because it is common. Piercing, audacious, and bursting with pop-culture touchstones, White Negroes introduces a bold new voice in Jackson. Her debut is both a love letter to the creativity of Black folks and an urgent call for more thoughtful consumption by those who consider themselves "allies."
By Alison Matthews-David, Serah-Marie McMahon. 2019
The clothes we wear every day keep us comfortable, protect us from the elements, and express our unique style—but could… fashion also be fatal? As it turns out, history is full of fashions that have harmed or even killed people. From silhouette-cinching corsets and combustible combs to lethal hair dyes and flammable flannel, this nonfiction book looks back at the times people have suffered pain, injury, and worse, all in the name of style. Historical examples like the tragic “Radium Girl” watchmakers and mercury-poisoned “Mad Hatters,” along with more recent factory accidents, raise discussion of unsafe workplaces—where those who make the clothes are often fashion’s first victims. Co-authored by a scholar in the history of textiles and dress with the founder of WORN Fashion Journal, this book is equal parts fab and frightening: a stylishly illustrated mash-up of STEAM content, historical anecdotes, and chilling stories. Nonfiction features including sidebars, sources, an index, and a list of further reading will support critical literacy skills and digging deeper with research on this topic.
By Martin Luther King, Jr.. 1970
His speeches stirred a generation to change - and outlined a practical way to economic freedom and true democracy. His… words would help bring about the end of a brutally unequal system - and would show a timeless method for achieving fairness and justice for all.These 12 moving speeches voiced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are original recordings collected here for the first time ever. In addition, some of the world's most renowned leaders and theologians share with you their reflections on these speeches, and give priceless firsthand testimony on the events that inspired their delivery.This audio takes you behind the scenes on an astonishing spoken historical journey - from a small, crowded church in Montgomery, AL, where "The Birth of a New Nation" ignited the modern civil rights movement; to the center of the nation's conscience; to the Mason Temple in Memphis, where more than 10,000 people heard Dr. King give his last transcendent speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop", the night before his assassination.Narrators include Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King, Reverend Leon H. Sullivan, Hon. Walter E. Fauntroy, Yolanda King, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Martin Luther King III, Rep. John Lewis, Ambassador George McGovern, and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
By Ellen Pao. 2017
The "necessary and incisive" (Roxane Gay) account of the discrimination case that "has blown open a conversation about the status… of women" in the workplace (The New York Times) SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 FINANCIAL TIMES AND MCKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR | NAMED A BEST FALL BOOK BY ELLE AND BUSTLE In 2015, Ellen K. Pao sued a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm, calling out workplace discrimination and retaliation against women and other underrepresented groups. Her suit rocked the tech worldand exposed its toxic culture and its homogeneity. Her message overcame negative PR attacks that took aim at her professional conduct and her personal life, and she won widespread public supportTime hailed her as "the face of change." Though Pao lost her suit, she revolutionized the conversation at tech offices, in the media, and around the world. In Reset, she tells her full story for the first time. The daughter of immigrants, Pao was taught that through hard work she could achieve her dreams. She earned multiple Ivy League degrees, worked at top startups, and in 2005 was recruited by Kleiner Perkins, arguably the world's leading venture capital firm at the time. In many ways, she did everything right, and yet she and other women and people of color were excluded from successcut out of decisive meetings and email discussions, uninvited to CEO dinners and lavish networking trips, and had their work undercut or appropriated by male executives. It was time for a system reset. After Kleiner, Pao became CEO of reddit, where she took forceful action to change the status quo for the company and its product. She banned revenge porn and unauthorized nude photosan action other large media sites later followedand shut down parts of reddit over online harassment. She and seven other women tech leaders formed Project Include, an award-winning nonprofit for accelerating diversity and inclusion in tech. In her book, Pao shines a light on troubling issues that plague today's workplace and lays out practical, inspiring, and achievable goals for a better future. Ellen K. Pao's Reset is a rallying crythe story of a whistleblower who aims to empower everyone struggling to be heard, in Silicon Valley and beyond. Praise for Reset "Necessary and incisive...?s Ellen Pao detailed her experiences, while also communicating her passion for the work men often impeded her from doing, I was nothing short of infuriated. It was great to see a highly accomplished woman of color speaking out like this, and hopefully this book will encourage more women to come forward, give voice to their experiences in the workplace, and contribute to meaningful change."Roxane Gay
By Rinaldo Walcott, Idil Abdillahi. 2019
What does it mean in the era of Black Lives Matter to continue to ignore and deny the violence that… is the foundation of the Canadian nation state? BlackLife discloses the ongoing destruction of Black people as enacted not simply by state structures, but beneath them in the foundational modernist ideology that underlies thinking around migration and movement, as Black erasure and death are unveiled as horrifically acceptable throughout western culture. With exactitude and celerity, Idil Abdillahi and Rinaldo Walcott pull from local history, literature, theory, music, and public policy around everything from arts funding, to crime and mental health--presenting a convincing call to challenge pervasive thought on dominant culture's conception of Black personhood. They argue that artists, theorists, activists, and scholars offer us the opportunity to rethink and expose flawed thought, providing us new avenues into potential new lives and a more livable reality of BlackLife.
By Lauren McKeon. 2020
A groundbreaking, insightful book about women and power from award-winning journalist Lauren McKeon, which shows how women are disrupting the… standard (very male) vision of power, ditching convention, and building a more equitable world for everyone.In the age of girl bosses, Beyoncé, and Black Widow, we like to tell our little girls they can be anything they want when they grow up, except they’ll have to work twice as hard, be told to “play nice,” and face countless double standards that curb their personal, political, and economic power. Women today remain a surprisingly, depressingly long way from gender and racial equality. It’s worth asking: Why do we keep playing a game we were never meant to win?Award-winning journalist and author of F-Bomb: Dispatches from the War on Feminism, Lauren McKeon examines the many ways in which our institutions are designed to keep women and other marginalized genders at a disadvantage. In doing so, she reveals why we need more than parity, visible diversity, and lone female CEOs to change this power game. She talks to people doing power differently in a variety of sectors and uncovers new models of power. And as the toxic, divisive, and hyper-masculine style of leadership gains ground, she underscores why it’s time to stop playing by the rules of a rigged game.
By Lili Boisvert. 2019
When it comes to sex and desire, women are screwed. In film, on the page, in fashion, and in everyday… life, women’s desire is routinely shown as subordinate to men’s — when it isn’t suppressed altogether. Lili Boisvert argues that there is one dominant principle behind heterosexual encounters: that desire is a male phenomenon and women are merely its object. To change this alienating system, she contends, we must start by facing it head-on. From clothing to flirting, from our fascination with youth and innocence to the orgasm gap, every aspect of women’s lives is dictated by their status as sex objects. Is it any wonder that they are feeling sexually unfulfilled? In a series of explorations of what desire looks like under patriarchy, Screwed sketches the contours of what could be true sexual liberation for women, inside — and outside — the bedroom.
By Katy Halford. 2019
It's time to celebrate! From Christmas and Thanksgiving, to Diwali and Halloween, kids won't want to miss out on all… the festivities. Embark on an exciting journey through the most interesting and important festivals, celebrations, and holidays enjoyed by people around the world. Stunning original illustrations and fascinating facts will inspire and inform children about cultures and religions from the countries of the world.Witness a camel marathon in a celebration of the Sahara Desert, and devour some delicious dumplings to celebrate Chinese New Year. Discover why skeletons dance at the Day of the Dead in Mexico, and get messy at Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors.Children will love poring over artist Katy Halford's beautiful illustrations, which showcase every celebration in absorbing detail. Engaging factual writing introduce young readers to the most interesting aspects of each celebration, from the costumes worn to the food eaten, and encourage an understanding of other cultures and religions.