New Releases | January 17, 2023
January 17, 2023
Looking for your next great read? We're here to help! Each week, our marketing team—Dylan Schleicher (DJJS), Gabbi Cisneros (GMC), Emily Porter (EPP), and Jasmine Gonzalez (JAG)—highlights four newly released books we are most excited about.
Book descriptions are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted.
This week, our choices are:
The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin, Penguin Press (DJJS)
“I set out to write a book about what to do to make a great work of art. Instead, it revealed itself to be a book on how to be.” —Rick Rubin
Many famed music producers are known for a particular sound that has its day. Rick Rubin is known for something else: creating a space where artists of all different genres and traditions can home in on who they really are and what they really offer. He has made a practice of helping people transcend their self-imposed expectations in order to reconnect with a state of innocence from which the surprising becomes inevitable. Over the years, as he has thought deeply about where creativity comes from and where it doesn’t, he has learned that being an artist isn’t about your specific output, it’s about your relationship to the world. Creativity has a place in everyone’s life, and everyone can make that place larger. In fact, there are few more important responsibilities.
The Creative Act is a beautiful and generous course of study that illuminates the path of the artist as a road we all can follow. It distills the wisdom gleaned from a lifetime’s work into a luminous reading experience that puts the power to create moments—and lifetimes—of exhilaration and transcendence within closer reach for all of us.
Koala: A Natural History and an Uncertain Future by Danielle Clode, W.W. Norton & Company (JAG)
Koalas regularly appeared in Australian biologist Danielle Clode’s backyard, but it was only when a bushfire threatened that she truly paid them attention. She soon realized how much she had to learn about these complex and mysterious animals.
In vivid, descriptive prose, Clode embarks on a delightful and surprising journey through evolutionary biology, natural history, and ecology to understand where these enigmatic animals came from and what their future may hold. She begins her search with the fossils of ancient giant koalas, delving into why the modern koala has become the lone survivor of a once-diverse family of uniquely Australian marsupials.
Koala investigates the remarkable physiology of these charismatic creatures. Born the size of tiny “jellybeans,” joeys face an uphill battle, from crawling into their mother’s pouch to being weaned onto a toxic diet of gum-tree leaves, the koalas’ single source of food.
Clode explores the complex relationship and unexpected connections between this endearing species and humans. She explains how koalas are simultaneously threatened with extinction in some areas due to disease, climate change, and increasing wildfires, while overpopulating forests in other parts of the country.
Deeply researched and filled with wonder, Koala is both a tender and inquisitive paean to a species unlike any other and a call to ensure its survival.
Remnants of Ancient Life: The New Science of Old Fossils by Dale Greenwalt, Princeton University Press (EPP)
We used to think of fossils as being composed of nothing but rock and minerals, all molecular traces of life having vanished long ago. We were wrong. Remnants of Ancient Life reveals how the new science of ancient biomolecules—pigments, proteins, and DNA that once functioned in living organisms tens of millions of years ago—is opening a new window onto the evolution of life on Earth.
Paleobiologists are now uncovering these ancient remnants in the fossil record with increasing frequency, shedding vital new light on long-extinct creatures and the lost world they inhabited. Dale Greenwalt is your guide to these astonishing breakthroughs. He explains how ancient biomolecules hold the secrets to how mammoths dealt with the bitter cold, what colors dinosaurs exhibited in mating displays, how ancient viruses evolved to become more dangerous, and much more. Each chapter discusses different types of biomolecules and the insights they provide about the physiology, behavior, and evolution of extinct organisms, many of which existed long before the age of dinosaurs.
A marvelous adventure of discovery, Remnants of Ancient Life offers an unparalleled look at an emerging science that is transforming our picture of the remote past. You will never think of fossils in the same way again.
Warrior Princesses Strike Back: How Lakota Twins Fight Oppression and Heal through Connectedness by Sarah Eagle Heart and Emma Eagle Heart–White, The Feminist Press at CUNY (GMC)
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is home to the original people of this land, yet it is also one of the poorest communities in America. Through intimate and vulnerable memoir, Lakota twin sisters Sarah Eagle Heart and Emma Eagle Heart–White recount growing up on the reservation and overcoming enormous odds, first as teenage girls in a majority-white high school, and then battling bias in their professional careers. Woven throughout are self-help strategies centering women of color, that combine marginalized histories, psychological research on trauma, and perspectives on decolonial therapy. Through the lens of Indigenous activism, the Eagle Hearts explore the possibility of healing intergenerational and personal trauma by focusing on traditional strategies of reciprocity, acknowledgment, and collectivism.