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PAMELA COLMAN SMITH: The Untold Story
By Stuart R. Kaplan W’55 (US Games Systems, 2018, $45.) In this lavishly illustrated and deeply researched biography of artist and designer Corinne Pamela Colman Smith, Kaplan and three coauthors examine her many-layered life and work, from her famous Rider-Waite Tarot deck, to her illustrations for magazines and newspapers, to her costume and stage designs. Buy this book

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THE MEN OF MOBTOWN: Policing Baltimore in the Age of Slavery and Emancipation
By Adam Malka C’02 (University of North Carolina Press, 2018, $29.99.) Modern policing in Baltimore and the relationship between mass incarceration and slavery are explored by Malka, an assistant professor of history at the University of Buffalo, SUNY. He also looks at the reforms needed to reframe the debate over race in the criminal justice system. Buy this book

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CALM CLARITY: How to Use Science to Rewire Your Brain for Greater Wisdom, Fulfillment, and Joy
By Due Quach WG’06 (Tarcher Perigee, 2018, $17.) Having survived serious trauma during her childhood, Quach developed an intimate understanding of the brain during her personal journey of healing. Now, as the founder and CEO of Calm Clarity, she helps guide people from Brain 1.0 (fear and self-preservation) and Brain 2.0 (chasing short-term rewards at the expense of long-term well-being) to Brain 3.0, the state she calls Calm Clarity. Buy this book

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THE QUALIFIED SELF: Social Media and the Accounting of Everyday Life
By Lee Humphreys ASC’03 Gr’07 (MIT Press, 2018, $28.) Contrary to those who sneer at the relentless posting of quotidian thoughts and images on social media, Humphreys argues that sharing such details is a time-honored practice. She is an associate professor of communication at Cornell. Buy this book

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THE GIRL ON THE VELVET SWING: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century
By Simon Baatz G’81 Gr’86 (Mulholland Books, 2018, $29.) Several years after the celebrated New York architect Stanford White raped a chorus girl named Evelyn Nesbit in his townhouse, she revealed what had happened to a millionaire playboy named Harry Thaw, who would soon marry her. In 1906, during a theatrical performance at Madison Square Garden, Thaw shot and killed White before hundreds of theatergoers. Baatz, who teaches legal history at John Jay College, CUNY, tells the story behind the murder and of the sensational trial that followed. Buy this book

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THE EXISTENTIALIST’S SURVIVAL GUIDE: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age
By Gordon Marino G’82
(HarperOne, 2018, $25.99.) Facing existence head-on while keeping your moody heart intact is the goal of this philosophical manual for living in the 21st century. Marino—director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College and boxing correspondent for the Wall Street Journal—draws on the obsessions of Kierkegaard to show ways of coping with angst, depression, despair, and death. Buy this book

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BELOW THE TREE LINE
By Susan Oleksiw Gr’77 (Midnight Ink, 2018, $15.99.) In this first book of the Pioneer Valley mystery series, the murder of two young women in rural Massachusetts prompts Felicity O’Brien to join forces with a friend to undercover the truth behind some dark family secrets. Oleksiw is also the author of the Mellingham mystery series and the Anita Ray mystery series. Buy this book

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TECH GENERATION: Raising Balanced Kids in a Hyper-Connected World
By Mike Brooks and Jon Lasser GEd’94 (Oxford University Press, 2018, $24.95.) Beyond cyberbullying, video-game violence, and sexting is a more common and subtle problem caused by screens and social media: eroding attention spans. Brooks and Lasser (associate dean for research at the College of Education and professor of school psychology at Texas State University) show parents ways to help children reap the benefits of their digital world while avoiding its dark downside. Buy this book

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MEDEA
Translated and edited by Sheila Murnaghan, faculty (W. W. Norton, 2018, $12.50.) This new translation of Euripides’s great tragedy, first performed at the Festival of Dionysus in Athens in 431 BCE, brings new life and perspectives to the dark and vengeful character of Medea, and includes essays by Edith Hall and others. Murnaghan is the Alfred Reginald Allen Memorial Professor of Greek at Penn. Buy this book

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THE SEYBERT REPORT: Rhetoric, Rationale, and the Problem of Psi Research
By Elizabeth Schleber Lowry C’94 (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017, $69.99.) In 1884, the rise of Spiritualism in the United States led to the formation of the Seybert Commission at Penn, which was tasked with investigating the mysterious phenomena alleged to arise in Spiritualist seances [“Feet and Faith,” Mar|Apr 2006]. Through her rhetorical analysis of the commission’s report, Lowry—a lecturer in rhetoric and composition at Arizona State University—provides a benchmark for understanding how paranormal research (psi) has been addressed by academics for more than a century. Buy this book

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BOOK LOVE: Twelve Essays on an Affair Without End
By Bension Varon Gr’67 (Xlibris, 2018, $19.99.) These essays by Varon, a retired economist, explore the reasons why people love and collect books and how these bibliophiles pursue their passion. Buy this book

 

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