Things We Know For Certain

We live in uncertain times. Not even something as mundane as the weather seems to follow a predictable pattern anymore. Is it still winter? Or is spring in the air? These questions stump us so completely that we turn to groundhogs to answer them, and not even the groundhogs can agree. What seems to be truth changes as frequently as the wind blows.

There’s one thing you can always count on, however–you can always come to the UGL to find great books to read and great movies to watch in your downtime. You may not know how you did on that test, but while you wait to find out, you can always find a good distraction here. We’ve compiled a list of new arrivals from the UGL shelves to help you explore and cope with the indefinite nature of modern life.

book cover: a dog looks curious as to its purpose in the worldWhat’s A Dog For? The Surprising History, Science, Philosophy, and Politics of Man’s Best Friend
by John Homans
There’s no doubt that dogs are wonderful to have around, but what is their true role in our society? The way we treat our canine companions has changed greatly over the last few centuries, and this book explores that ever-evolving relationship. Incorporating personal anecdotes and scientific studies, it may make you view your fuzzy friend in a new light.



DVD cover: people and robots looks hardboiled with some futuristic buildingsBlade Runner
directed by Ridley Scott
Are the people you know really people? Or are they merely beings genetically engineered to look like people? What does it really mean to be a person, anyway? And do androids ever have that dream where you have a test in a class you haven’t been to all semester? Feel Harrison Ford’s confusion as he grapples with these questions.





The Knowledge of Good and Evil book cover: light shines down into a religious buildingThe Knowledge of Good and Evil
by Glenn Kleier
Ian’s parents died in a plane crash when he was young, and, though once a religious man, he is no longer certain if he will see them again in the afterlife. He and his wife, Angela, search for the lost journal of a dead theologian who might have the answers, but their quest is hindered by a mysterious cult. Will anything go right for them, and will they find the peace they desire? You’ll have to read to (maybe) find out.



Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness book cover: a black and white image of a young person and a cityscapeBrain on Fire: My Month of Madness
by Susannah Cahalan
If you’ve ever watched an episode of House, you know that medical mysteries can be some of the most tense and unsettling mysteries of all. This real-life medical drama chronicles the harrowing experiences of a young woman whose sudden bizarre symptoms are misdiagnosed as psychiatric problems, and whose memories disappear from an entire month of her life. The correct diagnosis is made clear in the end, but Susannah is left unsure of how to deal with her missing time and fractured identity.



Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America book cover: two-color 3D glasses represent divsions

Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America
by Morris P. Fiorina
Sometimes it can seem as if there are actually two Americas that disagree with each other deeply, instead of the fabled E Pluribus Unum. But are differences of political opinion among Americans really as great and divisive as they are often portrayed? What on Earth is the political climate really like? Author Morris Fiorina has some polling results and narratives that may help shed some light on the issue.



Will you have time to enjoy all these recommendations with all the other stuff you have to do? We’re not sure, but we’ll do our best to stand at your side while you figure it out.

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