Inyo County Free Library - New Acquisitions

These are books and media new to the library and cataloged by the Inyo County Free Library.

Additional information about each title can be found in the catalog (click on the title). For older acquisition lists choose from Select another list. To request any of these titles please contact your local library branch.

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Fate, time, and language: an essay on free will : David Foster Wallace

Publishing Date: c2011

Classification: 100

Call Number: 123

In 1962, the philosopher Richard Taylor used six commonly accepted presuppositions to imply that human beings have no control over the future. David Foster Wallace not only took issue with Taylor's method, which, according to him, scrambled the relations of logic, language, and the physical world, but also noted a semantic trick at the heart of Taylor's argument. Fate, Time, and Language presents Wallace's brilliant critique of Taylor's work. Written long before the publication of his fiction and essays, Wallace's thesis reveals his great skepticism of abstract thinking made to function as a negation of something more genuine and real. He was especially suspicious of certain paradigms of thought-the cerebral aestheticism of modernism, the clever gimmickry of postmodernism-that abandoned "the very old traditional human verities that have to do with spirituality and emotion and community." As Wallace rises to meet the challenge to free will presented by Taylor, we witness the developing perspective of this major novelist, along with his struggle to establish solid logical ground for his convictions. This volume, edited by Steven M. Cahn and Maureen Eckert, reproduces Taylor's original article and other works on fatalism cited by Wallace. James Ryerson's introduction connects Wallace's early philosophical work to the themes and explorations of his later fiction, and Jay Garfield supplies a critical biographical epilogue. - (Columbia Univ Pr)

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The afterlife of Billy Fingers: how my bad-boy brother proved to me there's life after death

By Kagan, Annie

Publishing Date: [2013]

Classification: 100

Call Number: 133.9 KAG

Billy's ongoing after-death communications take his sister on an unprecedented journey into the bliss and wonder of life beyond death --

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Life unlocked: 7 revolutionary lessons to overcome fear

By Pillay, Srinivasan S.

Publishing Date: c2010

Classification: 100

Call Number: 152.46 PIL

A psychologist reveals the way hidden anxieties trigger self-sabotaging behaviors, sharing exercises based on cutting-edge neuroscience to explain how to reframe and move past fear in order to pursue one's goals.

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The folly of fools: the logic of deceit and self-deception in human life

By Trivers, Robert

Publishing Date: c2011

Classification: 100

Call Number: 153.4 TRI

"The time is ripe," Trivers says in the preface, "for a general theory of deceit and self-deception based on evolutionary biology." Self-deception, he suggests, is a function of evolution. We evolved the ability to deceive ourselves, to deliberately distort the evidence of our own senses, so that we can deceive others. (Our brains can more easily participate in deception if, first, they are unaware of the contradiction, and have been themselves deceived.) Trivers, a professor of anthropology and biological sciences, organizes the book in sections on, for instance, self-deception in everyday life, self-deception and the structure of knowledge in the social sciences, and religion and self-deception. Self-deception can take many forms, from little white lies to outright fraud to large-scale, deliberate rewriting of the facts (Holocaust denial is one good example), and Trivers does an excellent job of showing how the human species could not have evolved to its present state without a keen ability to ignore, edit, or distort the information from its own senses. Approaching self-deception from a Darwinian angle is not only fresh and thought-provoking, it also feels right and appropriate. A must-read for students of psychology, sociology, and evolutionary theory. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

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A world without why

By Geuss, Raymond

Publishing Date: [2014]

Classification: 100

Call Number: 190 GEU

"The essays in this collection--several of which are published here for the first time--explore the genesis and historical development of this optimistic configuration in ethical thought and the ways in which it has shown itself to be unfounded and misguided. Discussions of Greco-Roman antiquity and of the philosophies of Socrates, Plato, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Adorno play a central role in many of these essays. Geuss also ranges over such topics as the concepts of intelligibility, authority, democracy, and criticism; the role of lying in politics; architecture; the place of theology in ethics; tragedy and comedy; and the struggle between realism and our search for meaning. Characterized by Geuss's wide-ranging interests in literature, philosophy, and history, and by his political commitment and trenchant style, A World without Why raises fundamental questions about the viability not just of specific ethical concepts and theses, but of our most basic assumptions about what ethics could and must be."--www.Amazon.com.

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Spiritual ecology: the cry of the earth, a collection of essays

Publishing Date: c2013

Classification: 200

Call Number: 201.77

Combining the thoughts and beliefs from a diverse range of essayists, this collection highlights the current ecological crisis and articulates a much-needed spiritual response to it. Perspectives from Buddhism, Sufism, Christianity, and Native American beliefs as well as physics, deep psychology, and other environmental disciplines, make this a well-rounded contribution.

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A history of religion in 5 1/2 objects: bringing the spiritual to its senses

By Plate, S. Brent

Publishing Date: [2014]

Classification: 200

Call Number: 203.7 PLA

"A leading scholar brings religion to its senses by exploring the importance of physical objects and sensory experience in the practice of religion Humans are needy. We need things: objects, keepsakes, knickknacks, bits and pieces, junk and treasure. As Brent Plate argues in A History of Religion in 5 1/2 Objects, exploring the stuff of everyday existence is a fresh window into the way humans have formed religious communities, performed rituals, and connected with the realm of the sacred. Beginning with the human desire to connect (evoked by "1/2"), Plate tells the stories of five types of ordinary objects that people have engaged with in sensory, symbolic, and sacred ways: stones, crosses, incense, drums, and bread. These material objects, each of which strongly engages one of our five senses, have been used in religious ceremonies throughout human history and across the world. A History of Religion in 5 1/2 Objects shows us that basic, material connections stand at the heart of religious traditions, as humans quest for meaningful, fulfilling lives. As Plate looks at each of these objects, he traces the history of the world's religions and finds remarkable similarities and recurring themes throughout the millenia. We learn why incense is used by Hindus at a celebration of the goddess Durga in Banaras, by Muslims at a wedding ceremony in West Africa, and by Roman Catholics at a mass in upstate New York. And why stones, in the form of cairns, grave markers, and monuments, became connected with places of memory across the world. A History of Religion in 5 1/2 Objects moves our understanding of religion away from the current obsessions with God, fundamentalism, and science. Religion, Plate shows, has more to do with our bodies than with our beliefs"--

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Autobiography of a Yogi

By Yogananda, Paramahansa

Publishing Date: c1998

Classification: 200

Call Number: 294.5092 YOG

Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda devoted his life to helping people of all races and creeds to realize and express more fully in their lives the beauty, nobility and true divinity of the human spirit. This is his autobiography. - (Gardners)

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Going clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the prison of belief

By Wright, Lawrence

Publishing Date: 2013

Classification: 200

Call Number: 299.936 WRI

"Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists--both famous and less well known--and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative skills to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology: its origins in the imagination of science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard; its struggles to find acceptance as a legitimate (and legally acknowledged) religion; its vast, secret campaign to infiltrate the U.S. government; its vindictive treatment of critics; its phenomenal wealth; and its dramatic efforts to grow and prevail after the death of Hubbard."--From publisher description.

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Fame: what the classics tell us about our cult of celebrity

By Payne, Tom

Publishing Date: 2010

Classification: 300

Call Number: 302.1 PAY

Payne (former deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph) offers an erudite and vastly entertaining look at how the Western cultural obsession with and "shared human responses" to celebrity haven't really changed in the last few millennia. He finds analogies between the Trojan War and Nascar, St. Augustine's Confessions and Dollywood. Juxtaposing Britney Spears's shaving of her head with "tonsures of the past"--Anne-Josèphe Théroigne de Méricourt or Joan of Arc--and using Emile Durkheim to interpret her apparent irrational behavior reveals surprising conclusions: in that desperate moment, perhaps Spears was fumbling to communicate something to her ogling and voracious public. And here is the delightful paradox of Payne's thesis: in revisiting ancient sagas and modern sex tapes, analyzing Heath Ledger's death in the light of Goethe's Faust--he reveals more about us than any of our icons--past or present. He reveals our own prodigious appetite for erecting, cherishing, and destroying heroes, for casting out the deficient, for voyeurism as total knowledge and control. A charming, contrarian, and very witty look at how our stargazing can be "something that bonds us, and which expresses something about how our civilization works." (Nov.) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

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The price of inequality

By Stiglitz, Joseph E.

Publishing Date: c2012

Classification: 300

Call Number: 305.5097 STI

Examines how the wealthy classes have contributed to growing inequality in society and explains how the quest to increase wealth has hindered the country's economic growth as well as its efforts to solve its most pressing economic problems.

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When men become gods: Mormon polygamist Warren Jeffs, his cult of fear, and the women who fought back

By Singular, Stephen

Publishing Date: 2008

Classification: 300

Call Number: 306.84 SIN

As the self-proclaimed prophet of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, a sect of Mormonism based in southern Utah, Warren Jeffs held sway over thousands of followers for nearly a decade. In addition to coercing young girls into polygamous marriages with older men, Jeffs reputedly took scores of wives himself. The media were shunned, creating a hidden community where polygamy was prized above all else. But in 2007, after a two-year FBI manhunt, Jeffs was convicted as an accomplice to rape. Journalist Singular traces Jeffs's rise to power and the concerted effort that led to his downfall. It was a movement championed by law enforcement, but more vocally by a group of former wives seeking to liberate young women from the arranged marriages they'd once endured. The book offers new revelations into a nearly impenetrable enclave--a place of inbreeding and eerie seclusion, and a tradition almost a century old.--From publisher description.

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Prophet's prey: my seven-year investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints

By Brower, Sam

Publishing Date: 2011

Classification: 300

Call Number: 306.8423 BRO

Private investigator Sam Brower recounts his investigation of Warren Jeffs, leader of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as FLDS.

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American statecraft: the story of the U.S. Foreign Service

By Moskin, J. Robert

Publishing Date: [2013]

Classification: 300

Call Number: 327.73 MOS

"This magisterial work on American diplomacy by a veteran journalist and historian is the first complete history of the U.S. Foreign Service American Statecraft is a fascinating and comprehensive look at the unsung men and women of the U.S. Foreign Service whose dedication and sacrifices have been a crucial part of our history for over two centuries. Fifteen years in the making, veteran journalist and historian Moskin has traveled the globe conducting hundreds of interviews both in and out of the State Department to look behind the scenes at America's "militiamen of diplomacy." As the nation's eyes and ears, our envoys pledge a substantial part of their lives in foreign lands working for the benefit of their nation. Endeavoring to use dialogue and negotiation as their instruments of change, our diplomats tirelessly work to find markets for American business, rescue its citizens in trouble abroad, and act in general as "America's first line of defense" in policy negotiations, keeping America out of war. But it took generations to polish these skills, and Moskin traces America's full diplomatic history, back to its amateur years coming up against seasoned Europeans during the days of Ben Franklin, now considered the father of the U.S. Foreign Service, and up to the recent Benghazi attack. Along the way, its members included many devoted and courageous public servants, and also some political spoilsmen and outright rogues. An important contribution to the political canon, American Statecraft recounts the history of the United States through the lens of foreign diplomacy"--

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The Blood telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a forgotten genocide

By Bass, Gary Jonathan

Publishing Date: c2013

Classification: 300

Call Number: 327.7305 BAS

A full-length account of the involvement of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in Pakistan's brutal 1970s military dictatorship argues that they encouraged China's military presence in India, illegally supplied weapons used in massacres and embraced military strategies that have negatively impacted geopolitics for decades. By the author of Freedom's Battle.

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Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb, and American strategy

By Pollack, Kenneth M.

Publishing Date: 2013

Classification: 300

Call Number: 327.7305 POL

Examines Iran's current nuclear potential while charting America's future course of action, recounting the prolonged clash between both nations to outline options for American policymakers.

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23 things they don't tell you about capitalism

By Chang, Ha-Joon

Publishing Date: 2011

Classification: 300

Call Number: 330.122 CHA

Challenges popular misconceptions while making startling revelations about free-market practices, explaining the author's views on global capitalism dynamics while making recommendations for reshaping capitalism to humane ends.

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India becoming: a portrait of life in modern India

By Kapur, Akash

Publishing Date: 2012

Classification: 300

Call Number: 330.954 KAP

"A portrait of incredible change and economic development, of social and national transformation told through individual lives. The son of an Indian father and an American mother, Akash Kapur spent his formative years in India and his early adulthood in the United States. In 2003, he returned to his birth country for good, eager to be part of its exciting growth and modernization. What he found was a nation even more transformed than he had imagined, where the changes were fundamentally altering Indian society, for better and sometimes for worse. To further understand these changes, he sought out the Indians experiencing them firsthand. The result is a rich tapestry of lives being altered by economic development, and a fascinating insider's look at many of the most important forces shaping our world today. Much has been written about the rise of Asia and a rebalancing of the global economy, but rarely does one encounter these big stories with the level of nuance and detail that Kapur gives us in India Becoming. Among the characters we meet are a broker of cows who must adapt his trade to a modernizing economy; a female call center employee whose relatives worry about her values in the city; a feudal landowner who must accept that he will not pass his way of life down to his children; and a career woman who wishes she could 'outsource' having a baby. Through these stories and many others, Kapur provides a fuller understanding of the complexity and often contradictory nature of modern India. India Becoming is particularly noteworthy for its emphasis on rural India -- a region often neglected in writing about the country, though 70 percent of the population still lives there. In scenes reminiscent of R.K. Narayan's classic works on the Indian countryside, Kapur builds intimate portraits of farmers, fishermen, and entire villages whose ancient ways of life are crumbling, giving way to an uncertain future that is at once frightening and full of promise. Kapur himself grew up in rural India; his descriptions of change and modernization are infused with a profound -- at times deeply poignant -- firsthand understanding of the loss that must accompany all development and progress. India Becoming is essential reading for anyone interested in our changing world and the newly emerging global order. It is a riveting narrative that puts the personal into a broad, relevant and revelational context"--

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After the music stopped: the financial crisis, the response, and the work ahead

By Blinder, Alan S.

Publishing Date: c2013

Classification: 300

Call Number: 330.973 BLI

Many fine books on the financial crisis were first drafts of history--books written quickly to fill the need for immediate understanding. Alan S. Blinder, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, held off, taking the time to understand the crisis and create a truly comprehensive and coherent narrative of how the worst economic crisis in postwar American history happened, what the government did to fight it, and what we must do from here--mired as we still are in its wreckage. Blinder shows how the U.S. financial system, grown far too complex for its own good--and too unregulated for the public good--experienced a perfect storm beginning in 2007. When America's financial structure crumbled, the damage proved to be not only deep, but wide. It took the crisis for the world to discover, to its horror, just how truly interconnected--and fragile--the global financial system is. Blinder offers clear-eyed answers to the questions still before us, even if some of the choices ahead are as divisive as they are unavoidable.--From publisher description.

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Uncertain path: a search for the future of national parks

By Tweed, William C.

Publishing Date: c2010

Classification: 300

Call Number: 333.78 TWE

In this provocative walking meditation, forest ranger and writer William Tweed takes us to California's spectacular High Sierra to discover a new vision for our national parks as they approach their 100th anniversary facing dramatic changes. Tweed, who worked among the Sierra Nevada's big peaks and big trees for more than thirty years, has now hiked more than 200 miles along California's John Muir Trail in a personal search for answers.

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