Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Several of the books on this guide are available as digital audio or eBooks through Central's Overdrive digital collection. Students should use their student ID number as a username and 6-digit birthdate as password to sign in to the system. Staff should use their staff ID number as a username (without no 0 at the beginning) and 123456 as a password.
Publication Date: 2016-11-15
ONE OF BILLBOARD'S "100 GREATEST MUSIC BOOKS OF ALL TIME" The provocative transgender advocate and lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me! provides a searing account of her search for identity and her true self.
The Hidden Life of Trees by
Publication Date: 2016-09-13
Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. d
The Gene by
Publication Date: 2016-05-17
A magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information? Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.
Publication Date: 2008-04-08
In this timely, highly original, and controversial narrative, New York Times bestselling author Mark Kurlansky discusses nonviolence as a distinct entity, a course of action, rather than a mere state of mind. Nonviolence can and should be a technique for overcoming social injustice and ending wars, he asserts, which is why it is the preferred method of those who speak truth to power.
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 by
Publication Date: 2011-10-04
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish.
Napoleon's Buttons by
Publication Date: 2003-04-28
Napoleon's Buttons tells the fascinating stories of seventeen molecules that greatly influenced the course of history. These molecules provided the impetus for early exploration and the ensuing voyages of discovery.
Einstein for Beginners by
Publication Date: 2003-07-15
Amusing, irreverent, sophisticated and highly accessible, Einstein for Beginners is the perfect introduction to Einstein's life and thought.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by
Publication Date: 2007-05-01
Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver returns with her first nonfiction narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat. "As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain. "Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel. . . ."
Predictably Irrational by
Publication Date: 2009-05-19
Duke University's behavioral economist Dan Ariely explores the hidden forces that shape our decisions, including some of the causes responsible for the current economic crisis. Blending common experiences and clever experiments with groundbreaking analysis, Ariely demonstrates how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.
Publication Date: 2013-04-01
The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: the questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of--or has the courage to ask.
This Will Make You Smarter by
Publication Date: 2012-02-14
This Will Make You Smarter presents brilliant--but accessible--ideas to expand every mind. What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit? This is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, posed to the world's most influential thinkers. Their visionary answers flow from the frontiers of psychology, philosophy, economics, physics, sociology, and more. Surprising and enlightening, these insights will revolutionize the way you think about yourself and the world.
The Story of English in 100 Words by
Publication Date: 2012-03-27
The world's foremost expert on the English language takes us on an entertaining and eye-opening tour of the history of our vernacular through the ages. In The Story of English in 100 Words, an entertaining history of the world's most ubiquitous language, David Crystal draws on one hundred words that best illustrate the huge variety of sources, influences and events that have helped to shape our vernacular...
Publication Date: 2007-02-06
In this profoundly affecting memoir from the internationally renowned author of The Caged Virgin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her astonishing life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, to her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West.
Publication Date: 2010-07-08
In Brilliant, award-winning author Jane Brox offers a sweeping history of our transformative relationship with light--from the stone lamps of the Pleistocene to LEDs embedded in fabrics of the future--and reveals that the surprising, complex story of our illumination is also the story of our modern selves.
Shakespeare: The World as a Stage by
Publication Date: 2008-10-21
William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, Bill Bryson sorts through this colorful muddle to reveal the man himself. His Shakespeare is like no one else's--the beneficiary of Bryson's genial nature, his engaging skepticism, and a gift for storytelling unrivaled in our time.
Unfamiliar Fishes by
Publication Date: 2011-03-22
Many think of 1776 as the defining year of American history, when we became a nation devoted to the pursuit of happiness through self- government. In Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell argues that 1898 might be a year just as defining, when, in an orgy of imperialism, the United States annexed Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and invaded first Cuba, then the Philippines, becoming an international superpower practically overnight.
An Anthropologist on Mars by
Publication Date: 1995-02-07
Neurological patients, Oliver Sacks once wrote, are travellers to unimaginable lands. An Anthropologist on Mars offers portraits of seven such travellers - including a surgeon consumed by the compulsive tics of Tourette's syndrome unless he is operating; an artist who loses all sense of color in a car accident, but finds a new sensibility and creative power in black and white; and an autistic professor who cannot decipher the simplest social exchange between humans, but has built a career out of her intuitive understanding of animal behavior." The exploration of these individual lives is not one that can be made in a consulting room or office, and Sacks has taken off his white coat and deserted the hospital, by and large, to join his subjects in their own environments.
What If? by
Publication Date: 2014-09-02
From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.
Born a Crime by
Publication Date: 2016-11-15
The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man's coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.
The World in Six Songs by
Publication Date: 2008-08-19
The author of This Is Your Brain on Music showcases his theory of how the brain evolved to play and listen to music in six fundamental forms--for knowledge, friendship, religion, joy, comfort, and love. Preserving the emotional history of our lives and of our species, from its very beginning music was also allied to dance, as the structure of the brain confirms; developing this neurological observation, Levitin shows how music and dance enabled the social bonding and friendship necessary for human culture and society to evolve.
The Fire This Time by
Publication Date: 2016-08-02
National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America," The Fire Next Time," as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time.
Assassination Vacation by
Publication Date: 2006-02-06
New York Times bestselling author of The Wordy Shipmates and contributor to NPR's "This American Life" Sarah Vowell embarks on a road trip to sites of political violence, from Washington DC to Alaska, to better understand our nation's ever-evolving political system and history. Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other -- a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.
More Brain Shakers
Maps and Legends by
Publication Date: 2008-04-28
Michael Chabon's sparkling first book of nonfiction is a love song in 16 parts — a series of linked essays in praise of reading and writing, with subjects running from ghost stories to comic books, Sherlock Holmes to Cormac McCarthy.
Publication Date: 2009-09-29
An innovative, dramatic graphic novel about the treacherous pursuit of the foundations of mathematics. This exceptional graphic novel recounts the spiritual odyssey of philosopher Bertrand Russell.
Publication Date: 2012-11-06
Have you ever seen something that wasn't really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing? Hallucinations don't belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury.
Publication Date: 2012-01-24
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie's birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects.
Beyond Religion by
Publication Date: 2011-12-06
An unprecedented event: a beloved world religious leader proposes a way to lead an ethical, happy, and spiritual life beyond religion and offers a program of mental training for cultivating key human values. Now, in Beyond Religion, the Dalai Lama, at his most compassionate and outspoken, elaborates and deepens his vision for the nonreligious way.
Animals in Translation by
Publication Date: 2006-01-02
Why would a cow lick a tractor? Why are collies getting dumber? Why do dolphins sometimes kill for fun? How can a parrot learn to spell? How did wolves teach man to evolve? Temple Grandin draws upon a long, distinguished career as an animal scientist and her own experiences with autism to deliver an extraordinary message about how animals act, think, and feel. She has a perspective like that of no other expert in the field, which allows her to offer unparalleled observations and groundbreaking ideas.
Publication Date: 2007-04-03
To Kill a Mockingbird -the twentieth century's most widely read American novel-has sold thirty million copies and still sells a million yearly. Yet despite her book's perennial popularity, its creator, Harper Lee, has become a somewhat mysterious figure. Now, after years of research, Charles J. Shields brings to life the warmhearted, high-spirited, and occasionally hardheaded woman who gave us two of American literature's most unforgettable characters-Atticus Finch and his daughter, Scout.
A Game for Swallows by
Publication Date: 2012-09-01
Zeina Abirached, born into a Lebanese Christian family in 1981, has collected her childhood recollections of Beirut in a warm story about the strength of family and community.
What We Believe but Cannot Prove by
Publication Date: 2006-02-28
More than one hundred of the world's leading thinkers write about things they believe in, despite the absence of concrete proof. Some of the most potent beliefs among brilliant minds are based on supposition alone -- yet that is enough to push those minds toward making the theory viable. Eminent cultural impresario, editor, and publisher of Edge (www.edge.org), John Brockman asked a group of leading scientists and thinkers to answer the question: What do you believe to be true even though you cannot prove it? This book brings together the very best answers from the most distinguished contributors.
The Stuff of Thought by
Publication Date: 2007-09-11
New York Timesbestselling author Steven Pinker possesses that rare combination of scientific aptitude and verbal eloquence that enables him to provide lucid explanations of deep and powerful ideas. Now, in The Stuff of Thought, Pinker marries two of the subjects he knows best: language and human nature. The result is a fascinating look at how our words explain our nature.
Publication Date: 2009-07-15
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, longtime New Orleans residents Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun are cast into an unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water. In this startling and deeply humane work of nonfiction, readers will witness our country's worst natural disaster through new eyes, encountering all the hope and contradiction of a unique moment in American history.
Publication Date: 2000-09-01
For centuries the power of zero savored of the demonic; once harnessed, it became the most important tool in mathematics. For zero, infinity's twin, is not like other numbers. It is both nothing and everything. In Zero, Science Journalist Charles Seife follows this innocent-looking number from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe, its rise and transcendence in the West, and its ever-present threat to modern physics. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time: the quest for a theory of everything. .
Publication Date: 2011-04-18
Plastic built the modern world. Where would we be without bike helmets, baggies, toothbrushes, and pacemakers? But a century into our love affair with plastic, we're starting to realize it's not such a healthy relationship. Plastics draw on dwindling fossil fuels, leach harmful chemicals, litter landscapes, and destroy marine life. As journalist Susan Freinkel points out in this engaging and eye-opening book, we're nearing a crisis point. We've produced as much plastic in the past decade as we did in the entire twentieth century...
Even More Brain Shakers
The Devil in the White City by
Publication Date: 2003-02-11
Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America's rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair's brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country's most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his World's Fair Hotel; just west of the fairgrounds; a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Erik Larson's gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.
Publication Date: 2011-02-22
As a highly social species, humans have to navigate among an astonishing variety of personalities. But how did all these different permutations come about? And what purpose do they serve? With her trademark wit and sly humor, Hannah Holmes takes readers into the amazing world of personality and modern brain science.
Proust Was a Neuroscientist by
Publication Date: 2007-11-01
Jonah Lehrer argues in this sparkling debut, science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first. Taking a group of artists; a painter, a poet, a chef, a composer, and a handful of novelists; Lehrer shows how each one discovered an essential truth about the mind that science is only now rediscovering. An ingenious blend of biography, criticism, and first-rate science writing, Proust Was a Neuroscientist urges science and art to listen more closely to each other, for willing minds can combine the best of both, to brilliant effect.
High Tide in Tucson by
Publication Date: 1995-09-13
The bestselling author of Animal Dreams and Pigs in Heaven brings her acclaimed voice to the essay, in a handsomely designed book. High Tide in Tucson provides readers with a reflection of Kingsolver's sensibility and creativity, as she constantly examines the urgent business of being alive.
Publication Date: 2010-12-21
In 1891, 24 year old Marie, née Marya Sklodowska, moved from Warsaw to Paris, where she found work in the laboratory of Pierre Curie, a scientist engaged in research on heat and magnetism. They fell in love. They expanded the periodic table, discovering two new elements with startling properties, radium and polonium. They recognized radioactivity as an atomic property, heralding the dawn of a new scientific era. They won the Nobel Prize. Then, in 1906, Pierre was killed in a freak accident. Marie continued their work alone. She won a second Nobel Prize in 1911, and fell in love again, this time with the married physicist Paul Langevin. Scandal ensued. Duels were fought. In the century since the Curies began their work, we've struggled with nuclear weapons proliferation, debated the role of radiation in medical treatment, and pondered nuclear energy as a solution to climate change. In Radioactive, Lauren Redniss links these contentious questions to a love story in 19th Century Paris.
What Is Your Dangerous Idea? by
Publication Date: 2007-03-13
Many thoughts that resonate today are dangerous not because they are assumed to be false, but because they might turn out to be true. What do the world's leading scientists and thinkers consider to be their most dangerous idea? Through the leading online forum Edge (www.edge.org), the call went out, and this compelling and easily digestible volume collects the answers.
The Omnivore's Dilemma by
Publication Date: 2006-04-11
What should we have for dinner?" To one degree or another this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma.
A Place of My Own by
Publication Date: 1998-02-09
Pollan recounts the process of designing and constructing a small one-room structure on his rural Connecticut property--a place in which he hoped to read, write and daydream, built with his two own unhandy hands. Invoking the titans of architecture, literature and philosophy, from Vitrivius to Thoreau, from the Chinese masters of feng shui to the revolutionary Frank Lloyd Wright, Pollan brilliantly chronicles a realm of blueprints, joints and trusses as he peers into the ephemeral nature of "houseness" itself.
Publication Date: 2010-06-01
All cultures have tales of the trickster;a crafty creature or being who uses cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief. He disrupts the order of things, often humiliating others and sometimes himself. In Native American traditions, the trickster takes many forms, from coyote or rabbit to raccoon or raven. The first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, Trickster brings together Native American folklore and the world of comics.
Publication Date: 2010-09-23
The bestselling author of Zero shows how mathematical misinformation pervades-and shapes-our daily lives. Numbers have peculiar powers-they can disarm skeptics, befuddle journalists, and hoodwink the public into believing almost anything. "Proofiness," as Charles Seife explains in this eye-opening book, is the art of using pure mathematics for impure ends, and he reminds readers that bad mathematics has a dark side.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by
Publication Date: 2010-02-02
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent.
The Tipping Point by
Publication Date: 2002-01-07
The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.
Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).
Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).