Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Highlighting the Relationship Between Humans and Animals: SOME WE LOVE, SOME WE HATE, SOME WE EAT by Hal Herzog

SOME WE LOVE, SOME WE HATE, SOME WE EAT BY HAL HERZOGDoes living with a pet really make people happier and healthier? What can students learn from biomedical research with mice? Who enjoys a better quality of life—the chicken on a dinner plate or the rooster who dies in a Saturday night cockfight? Why is it wrong to eat the family dog?

Drawing on more than two decades of research into the emerging field of anthrozoology, the science of human-animal relations, Hal Herzog, a Professor of Psychology at Western Carolina University, offers in Some We Love, Some We Hate Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals, an illuminating exploration of the fierce moral conundrums faced every day regarding the creatures with whom we share our world. Alternately poignant, challenging, and laugh-out-loud funny—blending anthropology, behavioral economics, evolutionary psychology, and philosophy—this enlightening and provocative book will forever change the way students look at their relationships with other creatures and, ultimately, how they see themselves.

A fascinating, thoughtful, and thoroughly enjoyable exploration of a major dimension of human experience.
Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works and The Stuff of Thought

Herzog argues that moral absolutes are not readily available in a complex world—one that exists in shades of grey, rather than the black and white of animal rights activists and their opponents. . . . Herzog has a clear eye for the essence of a scientific study, but he leavens his narrative with illuminating personal stories and self-deprecating humor.”

"Hal Herzog deftly blends anecdote with scientific research to show how almost any moral or ethical position regarding our relationship with animals can lead to absurd consequences. In an utterly appealing narrative, he reveals the quirky.ways we humans try to make sense of these absurdities."
Irene M. Pepperberg, author of Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Uncovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process

“One of a kind. I don’t know when I’ve read anything more comprehensive about our highly involved, highly contradictory relationships with animals, relationships which we mindlessly, placidly continue no matter how irrational they may be. . . . This page-turning book is quite something—you won’t forget it any time soon.”
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Deer: Lessons from the Natural World

“Hal Herzog does for our relationships with animals what Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma did for our relationships with food. . . . The book is a joy to read, and no matter what your beliefs are now, it will change how you think.”
Sam Gosling, Professor of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, author of Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You

If you would like to consider Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat for one of your classes, please use our desk copy form to request a copy.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Now Available in Paperback: Archaeologist Donald P. Ryan's BENEATH THE SANDS OF EGYPT

BENEATH THE SANDS OF EGYPT by Dr. Donald P. RyanCuriosity-driven people have brought about some of the greatest advances and achievements in human history. Archeologist Donald P. Ryan is a prime example. Ryan’s curiosity started in his early childhood—with plastic dinosaurs and his father’s National Geographic collection—and followed him along his dream path of become a “real-life” Indiana Jones. Beneath the Sands of Egypt: Adventures of an Unconventional Archeologist is Ryan’s intriguing personal account of a career spent researching the remains of Egypt’s past—including his headline-making discovery of a lost tomb in the Valley of the Kings containing the famous female pharaoh Hatshepsut in 1989.

Ryan interweaves captivating tales from the field with reflections into the world of Egyptology, from the writings of Herodotus to the tools of the trade, the intricacies of obtaining a digging permit to the thrall of popular myths. Throughout, Ryan adds his unique touch, looking into corners that other scholars and explorers have ignored, reminding us how an artifact as seemingly insignificant as a piece of rope can unlock invaluable insights and offer its own wonderful tale. Infused with the charm and irrepressible curiosity that has fueled his journey, Beneath the Sands of Egypt is the extraordinary story a man who has spent a lifetime embracing adventure whenever—and wherever—he finds it. And he’s only just begun!

For more information on Dr. Ryan and his work, please visit his departmental web page—complete with additional resources!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Confessions of an Embarrassed Academic Marketer

Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine SteffansReviewing desk copy requests is always very humbling for me—every time I think I’ve got my finger on the pulse on the academic world I am unfailingly proved wrong! I was intrigued to learn that a title that may not typically find its way into college courses—Karrine Steffans’ CONFESSIONS OF A VIDEO VIXEN—has been adopted at the University of Kansas’ “Critical Writings in Hip Hop” course. With a reading list including this as well as Jay-Z’s DECODED, I find myself feeling college nostalgia and wishing I had taken fun courses like this!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Galley Giveaway: Blake Butler’s Daring Memoir NOTHING: A PORTRAIT OF INSOMNIA

ALL OF OUR GALLEYS HAVE BEEN GIVEN AWAY! Please visit us again for new giveaways.

Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia is Blake Butler’s first full-length work of non-fiction, which details his epic struggle with insomnia, and its unexpected consequences on his imagination, his creative process, and his perspective on reality. Butler—literary critic and author of the novel There Is No Year—weaves together his personal experience, scientific data, historical anecdotes, and mechanisms for the understanding of the disorder. Nothing is a book about sleep trouble as well as childhood, mazes, dreamwork, creation, addiction and medication, sexuality, darkness, and obsession. Butler provides a stunning example for your students of the creative possibilities of non-fiction.

Here’s some impressive praise that Blake Butler has received:

“If there’s a more thoroughly brilliant and exciting new writer than Blake Butler . . . well, there just isn’t.”—Dennis Cooper

“Butler is an original force who is fearless with form. . . . [an] inventive and deeply promising young author.”—Time Out New York

Even though most people will have to wait until October to get a hold of Nothing—10 lucky HarperAcademic readers won’t have to!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Georgia Tech is Off and Running with I HAVE A DREAM!

I was very excited to hear from Steven Girardot, director of the Center for Academic Success at Georgia Tech, who shared this article with me! They are using Dr. Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches that Changed the World for their 2011 Freshman Read, hoping to "challenge freshmen to think about how they want to ‘change the world’ and how their Tech education will help them on the path to doing that.”  The article also goes on to explain how this year marks the 50th anniversary of Georgia Tech matriculating African American Students. Complete with links to events, contests, and even more surrounding I Have a Dream and its use in a Freshman Reading program, visit the link below!​/release.html?nid=68703