By John Maruskin Almost the New Year. What will he bring? Librarians are not prognosticators, but they can offer resources that allow you to find your own direction, to draw your own conclusions.
Here is a quartet of new books offering new perspectives on perennial questions from the origin of the Universe to the origins of words. They can be found in the New Nonfiction section at the front of the library.
âFear of a Dark Universe: An Alien’s Guide to the Future of Physicsâ, by Stephon Alexander (call # 523.1 Alex). Stephon Alexander is Professor of Physics at Brown University, 2020 President of the National Society of Black Physicists, and electronic jazz musician.
In “Fear of a Black Universe” he draws on ideas from relativity, quantum mechanics, and emergence to explore unconventional theories about the origins of the universe, life, and consciousness. . He postulates that embracing the perspectives of marginalized people will produce truly revolutionary ideas in physics.
âAbolition for the people: the movement for a future without police and without prisonsâ, edited by Colin Kaepernick (call # 364.6 Kaep). Over thirty essays from a diversity of voices presenting a vision of an abolitionist future in which communities can be safe, valued and truly free.
âOne world,â Kaepernick writes, âfounded on love, justice and responsibility, a world founded on safety and good health, a world founded on meeting people’s needs. He is not claiming that “Abolition for the People” will answer all social and political questions. He hopes this book will prompt questions that will open up possibilities for a future in which everyone can thrive.
“Rebugging the Planet: The remarkable things insects (and other invertebrates) do and why we need to
Love Them More â, by Vicki Hird (call # 595.7 Hird). This book discusses the benefits that insects provide to all life on Earth, including humans. Benefits such as pollinating plants, feeding birds, defending crops, and cleaning water systems.
âRebugging the Planetâ not only describes the important ways that insects keep life on Earth healthy, but also describes how individual owners can contribute to healthy local ecosystems by making their gardens more welcoming to insects.
âThe Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities: A Directory of Forgotten Wordsâ by Paul Anthony Jones (call # 422.03 Jones). Offering a word a day with artful etymologies and entertaining historical corollaries “The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities” provides joyful learning and great anecdotes for conversation.
For example, “muggle”, the word for June 26, which entered contemporary parlance through the Harry Potter books, meaning “a person possessing no magical power”, has actually been used since the 13th century as a another name for fish tails, probably deriving from “mugil”, the Latin name for gray mullet.
There’s a lot more where these books come from, the Clark County Public Library. Come in.
Talk to a librarian. Enrich your prospects in 2022.