April 2021 Prime Picks
Horst A. Friedrichs and Stuart Husband
have long revered not just the printed word but the physical book
know that bookstores are magical places. This perspective on their
and design comes to life in Bookstores,
a survey that embraces not just the book's contents, but the structure
presentation of books to the reading public.
have been photographed and appear in color (and sometimes full-page
presentations). They range from Dog Eared Books in San Francisco to
Book Barn in Pennsylvania, the Tate Modern Shop in London, and the
Auguste Blaizot in Paris.
celebrate books, the bookstore's ability to showcase their variety and
contents, and the brick-and-motor bookstore's importance in reaching
who love both books and appealing architectural designs.
Bookstores is highly recommended for not
just bibliophiles, but architectural
and arts collections and fans of brick-and-mortar stores.
the Modern House
Ilex/Octopus Publishing, Distributors
The Secret Life of the Modern House comes
from a design and
architecture writer. It features some ninety influential houses over a
period of architectural history, tracing the history of style and home
chapters provide structure and historic reference for this journey,
probes how interior designers and architects have created changing
visions of home
building designs to influence how people use homes.
concept employed by Frank Lloyd Wright to dynamically different "houses
the future" envisioned by designers who moved far beyond the usual idea
what makes a home appealing, The Secret
Life of the Modern House traces the journey from Victorian
times to the
modern incarnation of the home. The result is an outstanding survey
color images and architectural, art, and social inspection alike.
recommended for collections strong in architecture and building history.
Tiny Houses showcases a wide variety of
tiny structures and the
architectural and cultural concepts involved in their evolution. These
gamut from high-tech and high-art creations to modest habitats which
for those interested in affordable housing.
in Switzerland and a woods cabin in a park in Quebec, Canada to a
house on stilts connected to a large circular staircase structure, each
presentation includes color photos of exterior and interior alike.
expand their ideas of what constitutes a tiny house and how it is built
represented will find the juxtaposition of all these homes offers an
contrast in style and architectural approach. These tiny houses have
adapted for different environments and purposes.
Tiny Houses is an intriguing presentation
that lends to both
leisure browsing and student pursuit for ideas on small-scale practical
design and construction.
Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted
tells of Suleika
Jaouad's much-changed world when, in love and on the cusp of fulfilling
dream of becoming a war correspondent, she was diagnosed with leukemia
moving to Paris.
she'd envisioned was gone and she lost everything—her love, her new
and Parisian possibilities, and her job. A revised task involved four
fighting for her life; at the end of which she would be proclaimed
regain what she lost and, indeed, was a new person, with new
life. Jaouad set out on a 100-day, 15,000-mile cross-country road trip,
regain her perspective on her different life. She learned much about
health, and different forms of wellbeing during the process of her
lessons especially recommended for readers who have been on their own
to not just reclaim health, but lives set aside in the pursuit of
Between Two Kingdoms is a striking,
thoroughly engrossing read for
anyone who has found their life trajectory thoroughly disrupted,
to rebuild new dreams, objectives, and values from the ground up.
Stephen J. Pyne
University of Arizona Press
The Great Ages of Discovery: How Western
Civilization Learned About a
Wider World offers a unified survey of different exploration
approaches, and events, from the early 15th century to modern times. It
from a historian who places these events in three 'Great Ages of
differences between not only exploration efforts, but the social,
and economic influences on the journeys.
maritime exploration that traced coasts and revealed products that
further land exploration efforts to national notions of gain that
motives to explore further, this wide-ranging survey covers all kinds
influences on the impetus to expand the boundaries of the known world
utilize the products gained from this process to advance individuals
influences power this survey of hundreds of years of pushing boundaries
borders, making for a geologic adventure story that expands to embrace
these journeys continue to influence the world today.
Mountains of Pakistan
mountains are second to none, representing the most ice-bound region on
planet outside of the Arctic and Antarctic. They are also more vertical
most, shedding snow and ice to leave their peaks bare against the sky.
photographer Colin Prior visited the area in his early twenties, in the
mid-1990s, and became passionate about capturing this remote range on
The Karakoram is an exceptional,
oversized gathering of some 90
duotone and color photos, presented in chronological order of Prior's
investigation of them. It's accompanied by an essay by award-winning
Mick Conefrey which places them in historical, geologic and artistic
stunning set of
images belongs in any collection strong in Pakistan history and nature,
also deserves top billing in any library covering world natural areas
history in general and mountaineering photography in particular.
remotely like it on the market.
gardening enthusiasts can also look forward to a host of supporting
growing plants and utilizing their bounty. Octopus Books kicks off the
with some lovely new contributions.
Fowler's Eat What You Grow
$26.99) comes from a gardener and writer who trained at The Royal
Society, The New York Botanical Gardens, and The Royal Botanic Gardens,
gardening and her previous books have reached a wide audience. Her
the basics of selecting plants so that they stand out not just in the
but on the plate.
gardens can be
cultivated year-round and range from different herbs to beans,
gingers, and plants which serve both as ingredients and pollinators.
covers both facets, and Eat What You Grow
is thus highly recommended for gardeners and cooks alike.
Garden's Healing with Plants: The Chelsea
Physic Garden Herbal (9781783253043, $29.99) is recommended
for those who
want to take the next step into focusing not just on edible plants, but
comes from one of the oldest botanic gardens in the world, and is
backed by the
authority and experiences of many years of growing and using herbs.
plants are featured, with the full-faceted approach ranging from
requirements and special cultivation necessities to recipes for using
From a sore
gargle based on sage and infused with vodka to discussions of various
species and cultivars and raspberry and blackberry uses, Healing
With Plants is a gardener and herbalist's delight, offering
an easy, at-a-glance format that places healing insights and plant
under one cover.
Parkinson's The Flower Yard
is a top recommendation for those who would grow 'flamboyant flowers'
containers. This means that apartment dwellers can focus on growing the
most attractive flowers for small spaces, using containers to best
photos pepper these discussions, which include the pros and cons of a
range of flowers from roses (they are "hungry plants, requiring several
generous handfuls' worth of mulch throughout the year") to the showy
dahlia, which actually thrives on having its flowers cut.
outstanding picks. Discriminating gardeners and gardening collections
they stand out from the crowd.
The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate
Corruption, and One
Man's Search for Justice is the inside story of Lee Johnson's
lawsuit against Monsanto's herbicide Roundup after a workplace accident
him in the chemical, leading to a cancer diagnosis he attributed to
It's a David
Goliath tale in which Lee spent time and effort that ideally should
involved battling cancer to pursue a trial that relied on his living
enough to serve as a key witness.
journalist Carey Gillam displays his prowess at probing underlying
hidden truths in the case, exposing corporate processes, misdeeds,
tactics to belay lawsuits, and detailing how Lee persevered and won
with the passion and high drama of fiction, but provides superior and
focus on legal processes and corporate approaches to product
workplace dangers alike.
social issues collections need this hard-hitting expose on their
Jennifer Ashton, MD, MS with Sarah Toland
The New Normal: A Roadmap to Resilience in the
Pandemic Era comes
from the chief medical correspondent at ABC News and presents a tool
accepting revised ideas of life and safety.
This is a
for pursuing physical and mental health in the age of Covid. It
everything from exercising when the gym is no longer an option to
sources for medical news, coping with family and friends and the risks
interacting with both, acknowledging that good new habits can emerge
revised Covid lifestyles.
of all these changes and how best to adapt to them is a top pick for
general-interest readers who may already know some of these details,
will find their presentation under one cover to be useful. These tips
keys to adapting to a changing new world.
Sharon Oard Warner
University of New Mexico Press
Writing the Novella is a discussion and
definition of the special
purposes and challenges of producing a fictional work from
in length. Perhaps surprisingly to some writers, it represents the
to this style of writing.
Writing the Novella tackles the special
challenges of producing
content in a form which holds more depth and detail than a short story,
typically less than a novel.
that the novella is a less effective form. When done properly, it can
especially rich in content and impact.
surveys how to make the most of the novella structure, concluding each
with seven journaling prompts designed to encourage writer/readers to
the concepts in this guided discussion into their own writings.
From a list
recommended novella publishers, magazines, and contests to surveys of
develop novellas that pack a punch, plenty of examples, from
traditional and modern, leave nothing to wonder.
especially novices, simply must consult this basic how-to guide before
pen to paper. It's that useful.
Always By My Side: A
Jennifer Black Reinhardt
Always By My Side: A Stuffie Story celebrates a toy and the love a
child an attribute to an inanimate object, providing read-aloud parents and the
very young with a memorable exploration of feeling connected to a friend.
It's unusual to see
emotions and connections attached to a love object. Jennifer Black Reinhardt
does an outstanding job of following a young child's comfort toy from that
toy's perspective. Her narrative blends fantasy with the real emotions of a
child attached to his 'lovie' and how it brings him comfort.
The drawings are
inviting and fun.
Two new arrivals from
Candlewick are lovely presentations highly recommended for a wide audience of
Sam McBratney's Mindi and the Goose No One Else Could See (9781536212815,
$16.99) is illustrated by Linda Ólafsdóttir and tells of a
girl's fear of a goose that nobody else can see.
Adults tell her the
threat isn't real, but Mindi feels danger nonetheless, and no parental
reassurances can calm her.
Her father seeks
advice from a wise old man friend, who invites Mindi to look at the problem
from a different angle.
Parents with fearful
children will find this read-aloud an exceptionally fun approach.
Martin Jenkins and
James Brown's lovely, oversized survey A
World of Plants (9781536215328, $25.00) will attract advanced
elementary-age kids into middle school levels. Many an adult will also find it
a compelling discussion that covers details other (more cursory) discussions of
plants don't offer. These include a
visual presentation of three types of seeds, cutaway drawings of how trees
work, and discussions of different kinds of soil on a soil profile and
The images are
gorgeous embellishments that illustrate all kinds of topics, from plant
environments and natural history to how plants spread, interact, and are
classified and grouped.
Four new Peachtree
picture books are excellent choices for libraries and at-home readers. Each
offers superior stories and illustrations to keep young minds engaged.
Board book readers
will find Stanley's Lunch Box by
William Bee (9781682632833, $6.99) the fun tale of hamster Stanely's assembly
of a lunch box from the local market.
Kids receive a basic
introduction to food choices, shopping, and lunch box possibilities in a simple,
vocabulary-building read that is fun and enlightening.
Kathleen Doherty's The Thingity-Jig (9781561459599, $17.99)
is a whimsical story that receives fun illustrations by Kristyna Litten. It
presents a problem-solving bear who, bored, wanders into a people town and
discovers a strange "Thingity-Jig" that's bouncy, springy, and fun.
He needs help
carrying it home and tries to engage his sleepy forest friends to help him, to
no avail. Can he bring his treasure home himself, through creative engineering
and some special problem-solving prowess?
The Thingity-Jig is a fun, engaging story of playful descriptions
and independent thinking.
No! Said Rabbit by Marjoke Henrichs (9781682632949, $17.99) tells
of a young bunny who doesn't like to be told what to do. This is a big problem
because Mom is always telling him how to live his life, and resistance to her
suggestions is ongoing and usually futile.
conflict-laden day, Rabbit has a startling realization about his mother and his
"no" reactions to life. It's a delightful story many a young child
will readily relate to.
The lovely Bird Show (9781682631387, $16.99) is
written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale, and connects clothing terms to bird
Readers receive a
bright contrast between bird plumage and human clothing, learning about
patterns, color, diversity, and bird characteristics along the way.
All are wonderful,
creative presentations highly recommended for libraries and at-home readers
Sleeping Bear Press
Five new arrivals
from Sleeping Bear Press offer libraries and leisure readers a selection of
highly recommended picture books.
Brad Sneed's Because I'm New (9781534110717, $16.99)
tells of all the changes brought about by a new baby in the family.
If this sounds like
many other picture books on the topic, be advised that the young narrator in
this case isn't a sibling, but the baby himself, who informs his older brother
what to expect in the first months of his presence.
original perspective offers many simple, basic observations missing in other
'new sibling' stories, creating a link between a baby's newness and his
evolving connections to the world around him.
The remaining these
recommendations are nonfiction picture books that each hold a special approach.
Aimee Bissonette's Headstrong Hallie! The Story of Hallie Morse Daggett, the First Female "Fire Guard" (9781534110618, $16.99) will reach ages 6-10 with a fine presentation spiced by illustrator David Hohn's lovely drawings.
Hallie is an outdoorsman, hunter, and the first female fire guard in the country. Born in 1878, she was putting out fires in California from the time she was a child, and used her passion and skill to forge a unique career for a woman of her times.
From boarding school
in San Francisco to her struggles with a Forest Service that refuses to hire a
woman, this is an appealing story that personalizes her life and ambitions.
Leigh Ann Erickson, and Kelisa Wing's Racial
Justice in America: Topics for Change (9781534186781, $17.99) will reach
readers ages 10 and older with a basic introduction to racial history in
This subject has
often been regulated to older readers, but here, a younger age range is given
age-appropriate discussions about race and inequality which are especially important
for classroom discussion.
Designed to reach a
wide audience of all ages, this book's survey of racism, anti-racism movements,
white privilege, and other topics often deemed "too adult" for
children will encourages early enlightenment and racial issue savvy.
Also key to this
effort is Marching for Change: Movements
Across America by Joyce Markovics (9781534186774, $17.99), which presents
the same wide age range with a history of marches and protests over various
issues, laws, and social change.
It documents famous
marches in US history, their impact on effecting change, and considers
connections between action and change that reinforce the ideals of American
values while drawing important connections between marches and decisions made
to support freedom.
Gloria Whelan's Summer of the Tree Army: A Civilian
Conservation Corps Story (9781585363858, $17.99) receives lovely drawings
by Kirbi Fagan. It offers a particularly vibrant artistic embellishment of this
history of the start and evolution of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
sees barracks being built in the woods near his home and hears his father
questioning the need for the CCC, but when he becomes friends with its members
and faces a forest fire's threat, he and his new companions may be the only
ones who can save his home.
This adds to the Tales of Young Americans series and covers the evolution of a social program, yet employs the drama of a fictional piece and the bright compelling illustrations of an exceptional artist to bring the discussion to life for young readers.