November 8, 2018

Think you know books?

Which one starts like this? Click on a book below to answer

This book attempts to provide a short history of everybody for the last 130,000 years. The question motivating the books is: why did history unfold differently on different continents?
The Sixth Extinction
Elizabeth Kolbert

The Sixth Extinction

By: Elizabeth Kolbert
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12

Over the last half-billion years, there have been Five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human. —from the website at Macmillan

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History
Stephen Jay Gould

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

By: Stephen Jay Gould
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12

High in the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone quarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale. It hold the remains of an ancient sea where dozens of strange creatures lived—a forgotten corner of evolution preserved in awesome detail. In this book Stephen Jay Gould explores what the Burgess Shale tells us about evolution and the nature of history. --From Independent: W. W. Norton & Company

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization
Thomas Friedman

The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization

By: Thomas Friedman
Recommended for grade(s): 12

In this vivid portrait of the new business world, Thomas L. Friedman shows how technology, capital, and information are transforming the global marketplace, leveling old geographic and geopolitical boundaries. With bold reporting and acute analysis, Friedman dramatizes the conflict between globalizing forces and local cultures, and he shows why a balance between progress and the preservation of ancient traditions will ensure a better future for all. The Lexus and the Olive Tree is an indispensable look at power and big change in the age of globalization. --From the website at Macmillan

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.

Guns, Germs and Steel
Jared Diamond

Guns, Germs and Steel

By: Jared Diamond
Recommended for grade(s): 11, 12

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Guns, Germs, and Steel is a brilliant work answering the question of why the peoples of certain continents succeeded in invading other continents and conquering or displacing their peoples. This edition includes a new chapter on Japan and all-new illustrations drawn from the television series. Until around 11,000 BC, all peoples were still Stone Age hunter/gatherers. At that point, a great divide occurred in the rates that human societies evolved. In Eurasia, parts of the Americas, and Africa, farming became the prevailing mode of existence when indigenous wild plants and animals were domesticated by prehistoric planters and herders. As Jared Diamond vividly reveals, the very people who gained a head start in producing food would collide with preliterate cultures, shaping the modern world through conquest, displacement, and genocide. The paths that lead from scattered centers of food to broad bands of settlement had a great deal to do with climate and geography. But how did differences in societies arise? Why weren't native Australians, Americans, or Africans the ones to colonize Europe? Diamond dismantles pernicious racial theories tracing societal differences to biological differences. He assembles convincing evidence linking germs to domestication of animals, germs that Eurasians then spread in epidemic proportions in their voyages of discovery. In its sweep, Guns, Germs and Steel encompasses the rise of agriculture, technology, writing, government, and religion, providing a unifying theory of human history as intriguing as the histories of dinosaurs and glaciers. —From Norton

Where to Find

Score a physical copy of the book.