The Friday List–New Arrivals in the Library!

Here is The Friday List! Every week, new books are arriving at RLB Library and to keep you up-to-date on what has come in, we’ll be posting the most recent 30 days of arrivals every Friday. The link below will take you to a catalog listing so that you can explore and find titles that interest you. Be sure to check back regularly to see what else has arrived!


If you want some ideas on what to read, here are some highlights:

Front cover image for Spoken word : a cultural history

Spoken word : a cultural history, Joshua Bennett, 2023

A fascinating history of the art form that has transformed the cultural landscape, by one of its influential practitioners, an award-winning poet, professor, and slam champion. In 2009, when he was twenty years old, Joshua Bennett was invited to perform a spoken word poem for Barack and Michelle Obama, at the same White House ‘Poetry Jam’ where Lin Manuel-Miranda declaimed the opening bars of a work-in-progress that would soon revolutionize American theatre. That meeting is but one among many in the trajectory of Bennett’s young life, as he rode the cresting wave of spoken word through the 2010s. In this book, he goes back to its roots, considering the Black Arts movement and the prominence of poetry and song in Black education; the origins of the famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the Lower East Side living room of the visionary Miguel Algarín, who hosted verse gatherings with legendary figures like Ntozake Shange and Miguel Piñero; the rapid growth of the ‘slam’ format that was pioneered at the Get Me High Lounge in Chicago; the perfect storm of spoken word’s rise during the explosion of social media; and Bennett’s own journey alongside his older sister, whose work to promote the form helped shape spaces online and elsewhere dedicated to literature and the pursuit of human freedom. A celebration of voices outside the dominant cultural narrative, who boldly embraced an array of styles and forms and redefined what-and whom-the mainstream would include, Bennett’s book illuminates the profound influence spoken word has had everywhere melodious words are heard, from Broadway to academia, from the podiums of political protest to cafes, schools, and rooms full of strangers all across the world.

Front cover image for Bottoms up and the devil laughs : a journey through the deep state

Bottoms up and the devil laughs : a journey through the deep state, Kerry Howley, 2023

n Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs, acclaimed essayist and author Kerry Howley reveals the inner workings of the U.S. intelligence community, uncovering a shadow America more fascinating and more unsettling than one could imagine. At the heart of her narrative, which encompasses “American Taliban” John Walker Lind, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden, is a woman named Reality Winner. Reality becomes a crypto linguist for a government drone program, eavesdropping on private conversations until she hears information that she can no longer keep secret. Her decision to act on this knowledge leads to a disturbing series of events that ends with Winner sentenced to years in prison.

Front cover image for The land of hope and fear : Israel's battle for its inner soul

The land of hope and fear : Israel’s battle for its inner soul, Isabel Kershner, 2023

A New York Times journalist presents a polyphonic portrait of the Israeli people today at a critical juncture in their country’s history”– Provided by publisher.Despite Israel’s determined staying power in a hostile environment, its military might, and the innovation it fosters in businesses globally, the country is more divided than ever. The old guard–socialist secular elites and idealists–are a dying breed, and the state’s democratic foundations are being challenged. A dynamic and exuberant country of nine million, Israel is now largely comprised of native-born Hebrew speakers, and yet any permanent sense of security and normalcy is elusive. In The Land of Hope and Fear, we meet Israelis: Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, Eastern and Western, liberals and zealots–plagued by perennial conflict and existential threats, citizens who remain deeply polarized politically, socially, and ideologically, even as they undergo generational change and redefine what it is to be an Israeli. Who are these people and to what do they aspire?

Front cover image for The exceptions : Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the fight for women in science

The exceptions : Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the fight for women in science, Kate Zernike, 2022

In 1999, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology admitted to discriminating against its most senior female scientists. It was a seismic cultural event – one that forced institutions across the nation to reckon with the bias faced by girls and women in STEM. This is the story of the women on MIT’s faculty who started it all, centered on the life and career of their unlikely leader: Nancy Hopkins, a noted molecular geneticist and cancer researcher and protégée of James Watson, the codiscoverer of the structure of DNA.

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