2010. 3. 13 NEW ARRIVALSThe Faith Instinct:
How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures
AUTHOR: Nicholas Wade
GENRE: Religion & spirituality
Taking up where he left off in “Before the Dawn” (2006), an engaging examination of human evolution in light of explorations in the human genome, longtime New York Times science reporter Wade deftly explores the evolutionary basis of religion. He draws on archeology, social science and natural science as he vigorously shows that the instinct for religious behavior is an evolved part of human nature because, like other human social traits that have evolved over many thousands of years, the practice of religion conferred a decided survival advantage to those who practiced it. Natural selection operates according to principles of survival and reproduction of offspring with heritable traits. Many of the social aspects of religious behavior offer advantages, such as internal cohesion, that lead to a society’s members having more surviving children.
Footnotes in Gaza:
A Graphic Novel (Hardcover)
AUTHOR: Joe Sacco
GENRE: Comics & Graphic Novels
Having already established his reputation as the world’s leading comics journalist, Sacco (Safe Area Gorazde) is now making a serious case to be considered one of the world’s top journalists, period. His newest undertaking is a bracing quest to uncover the truth about what happened in two Gaza Strip towns in 1956, when aftershocks from the Sinai campaign may have resulted in the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli military. Sacco first came across the stories during research in 2001 and was shocked to discover that, but for one brief mention, the incidents had never been fully investigated.
The resulting book is a blow-by-blow retelling of how Sacco, on the eve of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, embedded himself in Gaza and set about interviewing every witness he could find who had been in the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah on those fateful days.
Sacco’s art is alternately epic and intimate, but he exceeds himself in the scope of his ambition.
The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn
AUTHOR: Alison Weir
Rejecting as myth that Henry VIII, desirous of a son and a new queen, asked his principal adviser Thomas Cromwell to find criminal grounds for executing Anne Boleyn, the prolific British historian Weir (“The Six Wives of Henry VIII”) concludes that Cromwell himself, seeing Anne as a political rival, instigated one of the most astonishing and brutal coups in English history, skillfully framing her and destroying her faction. Ably weighing the reliability of contemporary sources and theories of other historians, Weir also claims that though perhaps sexually experienced, Anne was technically a virgin before sleeping with Henry. Anne was also, Weir posits, a passionate radical evangelical, with considerable influence over Henry regarding Church reform. Weir wonders if Anne’s childbearing history points to her being Rh negative and thus incapable of bearing a second living child. Weir allows readers to come to their own conclusions about Henry’s doomed second queen.
When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin (Hardcover)
AUTHOR: Mick Wall
Veteran rock journalist Wall unflinchingly tells the story of the band that pushed the envelope on both creativity and excess, even by rock ‘n’ roll standards. Led Zeppelin was the last great band of the 1960s and the first great band of the 1970s. When Giants Walked the Earth is the full, enthralling story of Zep from the inside, written by a former associate of both Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Rich and revealing, it bores into not only the disaster, addiction and death that haunted the band but also into the real relationship between Page and Plant, including how it was influenced by Page’s interest in the occult.
The book literally gets into the principals’ heads to bring to life an unrepeatable slice of rock history.