Arab American encyclopedia / Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) ; Anan Ameri and Dawn Ramey, editors.

Call number: E184.A65 A665 2000 (does not circulate)

Anan Ameri, Ph.D, is the Cultural Arts Director at the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, one of Metro Detroit’s most effective non-profit human service organizations. She is the author of many publications and the co-editor and contributor to the 1999 Arab American Encyclopedia. Yvonne Lockwood, Ph.D, is Curator of Folklife, Michigan State University Museum. She is co-curator of “Community Between two World: Arab Americans of Greater Detroit” and author of many publications on the traditions and culture change of American ethnic groups.Chapters arranged by subject present information about the history, immigration, economics, languages, religion, holidays, literature, education, jobs, politics, and other aspects of Arab Americans. (From Google Books)

Secrets and wives : the hidden world of Mormon polygamy / Bhattacharya, Sanjiv

Call number: BX8641 .B46 2011

There are some 40,000 Mormon fundamentalists in America today, all of whom cleave to the doctrine of polygamy. But outside of what we see on HBO’s Big love and the occasional news story when a scandal breaks, what do we really know about their world? Polygamy is a diaspora–a hidden sprawl–and in Secrets and wives, journalist Sanjiv Bhattacharya gains unprecedented access to these communities. With charm and irreverence, he reveals a shadow country of small town messiahs, dark secrets and no end of strange and surprising stories. Polygamy’s dark underbelly is laid bare–details of incest, forced marriages and hideous abuse. But Bhattacharya also finds warmth and humor in fundamentalism, and even finds himself questioning the present laws against polygamy. More than just an expose of Mormon polygamy, Secrets and wives is the personal journey of a foreigner, an atheist and a liberal–a stranger in a strange land–who grapples with questions about marriage, monogamy, and the very nature of faith. (– from back cover)

How pleasure works : the new science of why we like what we like / Paul Bloom

Call number: BF515 B56 2011

Bloom (Descartes’ Baby), a psychology professor at Yale, explores pleasure from evolutionary and social perspectives, distancing himself from the subject’s common association with the senses. By examining studies and anecdotes of pleasure-inducing activities like eating, art, sex, and shopping, Bloom posits that pleasure takes us closer to the essence of a thing, be it animal, vegetable, or mineral. He argues that humans seem to be hard-wired to give, as well as receive, pleasure. A study using mislabeled, cheap bottles of wine, wherein “Forty experts said the wine with the fancy label was worth drinking, while only twelve said this of the cheap label,” demonstrates the complicated sociological components behind what we find pleasurable. Bloom even briefly examines positive reactions to very hot food and other “controlled doses of pain.” And a study where rhesus monkeys chose pictures of female hindquarters and high-status monkeys over fruit juice allows the author to surmise that “Two major vices–pornography and celebrity worship–are not exclusively human.” (From Google Books)

Lies of Sarah Palin : the untold story behind her relentless quest for power / Geoffrey Dunn

Call number: B PAL

Based on more than two-hundred interviews–many of them with Republican colleagues and one-time political allies of Palin’s–and more than forty-thousand pages of uncovered documents, Dunn chronicles Palin’s troubling penchant for duplicity in grim detail, from her dysfunctional childhood in Wasilla through her contentious run for mayor and her failed governorship of Alaska. He also provides the shocking inside story of her betrayal of running mate John McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign and her self-serving resignation as governor in July of the following year. Dunn deftly places Palin in the American tradition of right-wing demagogues–from Huey Long to Joe McCarthy–and details her troubling obsession with Barack Obama as it fuels her own political ambitions and a potential run for the presidency in 2012. (From B&N)

A stolen life : a memoir / Jaycee Dugard

Call Number: B DUG

In the summer of 1991 I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother who loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen.
For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse.
For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation.
On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I don’t think of myself as a victim. I survived. A Stolen Life is my story—in my own words, in my own way, exactly as I remember it. — by Jaycee Dugard