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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: Engines of Change

Cover of ''Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars''

Engines of Change: A History of the American Dream in Fifteen Cars by Paul Ingrassia

"Historians rightly agree that the Model T Ford is the most influential and important car in American history," writes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ingrassia (deputy editor in chief, Reuters; Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry's Road from Glory to Disaster), who here tells the stories of 15 American cars. "The more elegant and delicate question is which car is the second most influential." Ingrassia considers autos that have changed American society or captured the spirit of the times--not just the fastest or the most famous. Even the casual student of history knows about the Model T's influence on assembly-line manufacturing and affordability for the average working family. But what about the transition of the VW, first known for being Hitler's car and later as the favored transport of hippies? Or the minivan's role in the rise of the now ubiquitous soccer mom? The epic failure of the Corvair, Ingrassiapoints out, had lasting effects on automobile safety, the career of Ralph Nader, and the 2000 presidential election.

VERDICT While readers may debate the author's choices (no AMC Gremlin?), they'll be entertained by this appealing social history, served up with just the right amount of sly humor and nostalgia."

Belsky, Susan. "Engines Of Change: A History Of The American Dream In Fifteen Cars." Library Journal 137.5 (2012): 121. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 24 Oct. 2013.

This book will be shelved at TL 23 .I54 2013 with other books on on automobiles and other motor vehicles once it is not a "New book."

Ask a librarian to help you find resources on this or related topics.

See our previous Books of the Week here.

Celebrate Open Access Week with a Library E-book Reader

The Library has 28 older model e-book readers (Sony Reader Touch PRS-600) that have been used with specific classes in past semesters. We are now going to make these e-book readers available to the college community. They are old devices (no wireless, no extra features, b&w screen) but work fine for just reading some e-books. These Sony Readers can be checked out for 3 weeks just like a print book.

The Library's Sony Readers are pre-loaded with 25 open access and public domain books on them [see the list of titles here or via the Library catalog.

The e-books available on these devices include books by Cory Doctorow, Gabriela Coleman, Lawrence Lessig and classics like Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Solomon Northrup’s Twelve Years a Slave. You are also free to download e-books that are “borrowed” from the Library e-book collection too.

Check out a Sony Reader from the Library Media Services desk (where you can also borrow iPads and laptops). If you have any questions about thesee-book readers please contact Ann Matsuuchi in the Library ( .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).

Find out more about open access and related events at CUNY Libraries here: http://openaccess.commons.gc.cuny.edu/category/open-access-week/oa-week-2013/

LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: Too Much Happiness

Cover of ''Too Much Happiness''

Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro Winner, Nobel Prize for Literature, 2013

"Alice Munro, the renowned Canadian short-story writer whose visceral work explores the tangled relationships between men and women, small-town existence and the fallibility of memory, won the 2013 Nobel Prize. Ms. Munro, 82, is the 13th woman to win the prize."

The New York Times

"In this riveting new collection, Munro probes loss, loneliness, regret, separation, and death in her typically brilliant fashion, portraying ordinary men and women seeking to find the clues that will help them toward wholeness or, at the very least, an acceptance of a broken life. In "Deep-Holes," a defeated mother who has finally tracked down a prodigal son realizes that in the end we're "marooned on islands of our own choosing, clear sighted, content." In "Dimensions," a Medea story in reverse, Doree tries to move beyond the loss of her children by visiting their father and murderer, Lloyd, in a mental hospital. The visit brings her no peace, but a jarring event on her bus trip back home brings an unexpected resolution. In the title story, based on the life of Russian mathematician and novelist Sophie Kovalevsky, the widow Sophie comes to realize the precarious and fleeting nature of happiness even as she embraces the fullness of life."

VERDICT: Much like her fellow Canadian writer David Adams Richards, Munro captures the intimate lives of her characters as they seek solace amid disruption.”

Carrigan Jr., Henry L. "Too Much Happiness." Library Journal 134.18 (2009): 60. Education Research Complete. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.

This book will be shelved with our Leisure Reading (by Munro's last name) with other popular works of fiction, once it is not a "New book."

Ask a librarian to help you find resources on this or related topics.

See our previous Books of the Week here.

A Slightly New Look…

The Library web site might look slightly different to you. We tweaked the colors to better match the look of the College site. We also saw it as a chance to use the flat icons that are all the rage in web/app design right now.

If you're experiencing any issues with the site, or have any comments/suggestions, feel free to contact Steven Ovadia, Web Services Librarian, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: Heartbeats in the Muck

Cover of ''Heartbeats in the Muck: The History, Sea Life, and Environment of New York Harbor''

Heartbeats in the Muck: The History, Sea Life, and Environment of New York Harbor by John Waldman

"The updated edition of Heartbeats in the Muck (1st ed., 1999) eloquently recounts the environmental history of New York Harbor as the exponential expansion of its urban surroundings despoiled the ecologically pristine estuary. The insults of sewage runoff and chronic oil spills with their loads of toxic pollutants (pesticides, heavy metals, PCBs), as well as dredging, landfills, and invasive species, rapidly undermined the ecological resiliency and biodiversity of this unique estuary. The personal accounts, many of them humorous, reveal how biologist Waldman (Queens College, CUNY) and others were and continue to be deeply affected by the ecological carnage of the region. However, after over 40 years of water quality legislation, New York Harbor has begun to rebound to some degree, as water quality improves a bit and populations of herons, oysters, crabs, and fish are reestablished. This is a great, hopeful book about the onset of social/ecological restoration of an estuary; according to the author, as of 2012 "young people are clamoring for a chance to base their futures around it."

"Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates and general readers."

Pinet, P. R. "Heartbeats In The Muck: The History, Sea Life, And Environment Of New York Harbor." Choice: Current Reviews For Academic Libraries 50.12 (2013): 2257. Choice Reviews Online. Web. 3 Oct. 2013.

This book will be shelved at QH105 .N7 W35 2013 with other books on natural history once it is not a "New book."

Ask a librarian to help you find resources on this or related topics.

See our previous Books of the Week here.

LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: Airbrushed Nation

Cover of ''Airbrushed Nation: The Lure & Loathing of Women's Magazines''

Airbrushed Nation: The Lure & Loathing of Women's Magazines by Jennifer Nelson

"Freelance journalist Nelson presents an insider's account of the "chick slick" business, leaving no page unturned in this consideration of the focus, articles, advertising, and other editorial and business facets of women's magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes and Gardens, and Vogue, among others. At first glance, the topic may not seem to warrant a book-length treatment, but Nelson, a veteran contributor to the magazines she is examining, does a laudable job of relating these magazines' histories, as well as investigating their different target audiences, story construction, advertising strategies, and how the magazines deal with such hot-button issues as health, sexuality, and social issues. Throughout the lively text are numerous sidebars containing little-known facts, quotes from other insiders, and comments from the magazines' readers. Nelson is clearly a reader of these magazines, but makes a strong case for their need to add more substance to their "fluff."

VERDICT: Although the book is meaty enough for both feminist and communications scholars, it is also an eye-opening read that could be enjoyed by general fans of these magazines."

Statz, Sarah. "Airbrushed Nation: The Lure & Loathing Of Women's Magazines." Library Journal 137.17 (2012): 93. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 26 Sept. 2013.

This book will be shelved at PN4879 .N47 2012 with other books on journalism once it is not a "New book."

Ask a librarian to help you find resources on this or related topics.

See our previous Books of the Week here.