December 2020 Prime Picks
Science, Nature & Technology
The Cougar Conundrum: Sharing the World With a
belongs in any nature collection strong in conservation and animal
the rise of mountain lions in human areas and why they should be
this book addresses how humans and cougars can peacefully share the
environment, offering insights on the value of perceiving them as more
danger or a pest.
everything from sharing prey with a mountain lion to understanding how
increases support for mountain lions among houndsmen and houndswomen.
characteristics of hunters and prey, different approaches to mountain
habitat management, and the process of humans coexisting with mountain
provide a combination of insight, theory, and tested efforts against a
of history and ecological facts.
powerful survey especially recommended for those who live in areas
cougars are making a comeback.
Monarchs of the Sea: The Extraordinary
500-Million-Year History of
Cephalopods is an ecological history of a class of sea
includes squid, octopuses, and nautiluses, among others.
marine biologist who provides an overview of known facts about their
and their connections to paleontological history and modern man. Monarchs of the Sea contrasts the
creative theories that have evolved, along with them, about their
history, considering how they have impacted human researchers and lives
style is not the dry scientific approach one might anticipate from such
journey. Her lively review of cephalopods is tantalizing, whether she's
their shared characteristics, their mystery, or their remarkable
the heyday of their rule as 'monarchs of the sea', setting this survey
from others and adding a delightful, lively note to the literature
University of New Mexico Press
Chile Peppers: A Global History: A Worldwide
Culinary Tour &
Cookbook differs from any other chile pepper book by blending
and a cookbook under one cover, adding a healthy dose of historical and
inspection for added flavor.
world, exploring different cuisines and how they have incorporated the
pepper into their dishes, from Texas to Hungary and Africa. It also
lively investigative tone as it considers the presence and impact of
even in countries that normally aren't associated with fiery food, such
recipes pepper the history and culinary review, from a Trinidad
Haven Pepper Sauce to a South African Cape Malay traditional beef dish
make it a snap to locate just the recipes, for cooks seeking only a
it would be a shame to use this as a cookbook alone. Much history is
in the production, and should not be passed over, making Chile
Peppers: A Global History an outstanding addition not just
for cookbook collections, but anyone interested in culinary history,
travelogues, and lively writing.
Dark, Salt, Clear: The Life of a Fishing Town
blends a memoir with
a study of changing fishing town culture and life, creating a
of a changing Cornish fishing community and a woman's attempts to join
fishing expedition, traditionally a male occupation.
that no fisherman wanted women along for the journey. She persisted,
job on a fishing trawler, and observed not only commercial fishing, but
threats to its continuation.
experiences and the personal, social, and political transformations
world fishing community as a whole in a powerful story that contains
insights from fellow fishermen, along with her own story and the
evolution: "For fishermen, this
sense of an endless rebounding between work and respite is brought into
sharper focus by their oscillation between the sea and the land."
deserves a place in any natural history or sports collection, as well
as many a
women's biography collection, for its astute observations of a number
relating to women's changing roles and the fisherman's changing place
University of Oklahoma Press
Epic Mexico: A History from Earliest Times
reviews Mexico's history
from prehistory to modern times, providing the foundation for better
understanding the country's evolution, growth, social and political
and modern incarnation today.
The key to
enjoying Epic Mexico also lies in
the word 'epic' in the title. This is no dry review of facts and
but a lively portrait of Mexico's peoples and history which injects a
passionate voice into its survey: "Change
hurts. Diaz and his supporters understood perfectly that their reforms
disrupt the lives of a broad stretch of Mexican society. Moreover, they
a repeat of the instability and political violence that had so marred
national years. To answer such fears, they developed methods of
and policing to contain unrest."
compelling read that delves into not just facts, but the evolution of
culture as a whole and its many influences along the way.
In Bohemia: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Kindness should be part of any collection
strong in stories of loss
and grief. It documents a journey that began the day after Katie
fiancé Tommy Niles died suddenly of a heart attack.
write this book. She retreated to their loft home ("Bohemia") to
write, producing a blend of testimony to his life, their lives
future, and celebration of their love. All these facets come to life in
that traverses these and other topics of life, death, and everything in
absorb In Bohemia, they receive a
evocative survey of moving through grief: "It's
hard to be forever the fiancé, rather than the wife that Tommy wanted
me to be.
I know the truth of us, as do his friends and family, but the fact
we were not yet married. I had no legal status."
should be in the collections of anyone interested in moving through the
day-by-day passage of time after the death of a loved one.
Murder is a
Berkeley Prime Crime
In Murder is a Must, Hayley Burke is the
new curator of the Fist Edition Library in Middlebank House, which
Lady Fowling's mystery collection. She's settling into her job and
challenges in developing an exhibition of the works and dealing with
have been privy to Lady Fowling's inner circle.
She also is
hunt for a missing priceless edition. Her pursuit reveals clues that
located somewhere in the library. Ooona Atherton, Hayley's former boss,
convinced that she's located the book, but she's murdered before Hayley
a treasure hunt for both a priceless book and a killer in a powerful
filled with satisfying book history and details, twists and turns over
murderer's special interests, and a dangerous truth about the
her role in exploring it, that could change everything.
in for a treat; especially those interested in antique books.
Pretty Good Advice for People Who Dream Big and
Work Harder offers
candid advice on beauty, business, and life. It comes from an author
changed how makeup was sold and who created a community brand,
that offered fresh new approaches to beauty concepts and products.
form of various admonitions for success, from living up to parental
expectations to accepting flaws, trying not to be a jerk, writing
cultivate connections in life, and taking risks that feel right.
It's hard to
categorize this set of admonitions. Part business advice and part life
with a dash of autobiography added for emphasis and enhancement, Pretty Good Advice for People Who Dream Big
and Work Harder offers an inspirational and business read not
to be missed.
A Sound Mind
A Sound Mind: How I Fell in Love with Classical
Music (and Decided to
Rewrite its Entire History) comes from an unlikely source: a
rock 'n roll
journalist who found himself drawn to classical music with the advent
streaming platforms and services that introduced him to all the pieces
by the classical masters.
His probe of
history and culture of classical music provides descriptions, insights,
exciting play lists of pieces that invite readers to embark on their
journey into this world, even if they arrive with relatively little
with it, as did Paul Morley.
in this book's ability to capture the nuances of orchestrated sound,
appreciation, and its culture. His journey around the world embraces
players from other countries such as Iceland, covering both the
the obscure with an attention to detail that will delight classical
and novices alike.
lovely celebration that requires no previous familiarity or expertise
subject in order to prove accessible and enlightening to all.
Tiny Hotels profiles some 40 tiny hotels
around the world and is
especially recommended for post-COVID travel, as it outlines the
smaller establishments which are user-friendly without being crowded.
Villa Antionette in Semmering, Austria, with its lovely chalet-like
and its origins as a small rustic snack bar turned into a chalet hotel,
6-villa Bisate Lodge at Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, located on
of an extinct volcano in the hills, Tiny
Hotels features select, beautiful establishments.
color photos of every hotel, in-depth descriptions of the
layout and attractions, and lovely photos of interiors, from rooms to
Tiny Hotels will appeal to armchair
readers interested in learning
about hotel architecture through lovely images, as well as to
destination-oriented readers who will find the addresses and contact
information at the book's conclusion leaves nothing to wonder.
We Do Not
Gates Closed Between Us
University of Oklahoma Press
We Do Not Want the Gates Closed Between Us: Native
Networks and the
Spread of the Ghost Dance belongs in any collection strong in
American history and culture. It surveys how Native Americans resisted
effort to limit their world to the reservations the U.S. government
onto in the 1860s and 1870s.
community built intertribal networks of communication and relationships
letters and visits, resisting the U.S. government's effort to keep them
isolated from each other, and they mobilized to take charge of their
information, destiny, and futures as much as possible.
reservation history, but Justin Gage focuses on these resistance
attempts to forge connections against U.S. government repression. This
a powerful survey that uses new materials, including a hundred letters
by 19th-century Native Americans, to document the defiance of American
colonialism over the decades.
The focus on
Ghost Dance and its spread follows this networking process and provides
valuable testimony to Native activism and how it was kept alive through
means and approaches to survival.
history holding should be without this hard-hitting testimony to
Cookbook for Young Chefs
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen
The Complete DIY Cookbook for Young Chefs
should be the first cookbook
provided to young readers seeking simple, appealing, kid-friendly
try, and focuses on familiar recipes for store-bought food that kids
been 'kid-tested', which means that America's Test Kitchen has adjusted
its strategies for producing foolproof results to the child's-eye view
throughout show kids in the kitchen producing such dishes as Pumpkin
Strawberry Pop Tarts, Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, and Fresh Tomato
find The Complete DIY Cookbook for Young
Chefs a bright, fun, appealing cookbook that not only holds
keys to understanding more about what recipes work well, and why.
Two fine new
from EK Books offer more than just leisure reading entertainment, and
recommended picks for adults who would help children learn.
Robin Tatlow-Lord's Go Away, Worry
Monster (9781925820393, $18.99) is the perfect tool for
helping kids cope
with anxiety, using tested strategies from psychotherapy to help kids
understand anxiety and how to cope with it.
and caregivers will want to use Go Away,
Worry Monster as an interactive opportunity for discussing
strategies, as the story tells of a Worry Monster who loves 'helping'
worry. Archie's only recourse is to make this monster vanish. But, how?
drawings detail this monster's influence and Archie's ability to
with a little help and insight.
Sandra Severgnini's Tree Beings
(9781925820539, $24.99) is the perfect story of choice for adults who
teach kids about trees and how to protect them. It covers the
explorers, and history of tree protection around the world.
are required from grades 2-3 to enjoy these detailed descriptions of
trees, tree preservation activists, tree history, and rainforest power,
many other topics.
oversized color illustrations are a fine plus to this appealing
survey of the history and science of trees and their importance.
to early middle grade readers ages 8-12 will find Lavie Tidhar's The Candy Mafia (9781682631973, $16.99)
an inviting, fun story set in a city where all candy has been outlawed,
children to go on the lam via a black market candy ring.
enjoy investigative pieces will relish this story of a missing teddy
bear, a vanished
owner, and an investigation which leads Nelle and her fellow sleuths
underworld of candy smuggling.
hard to put down and will delight fans of Encyclopedia Brown and other
sleuthing mysteries, providing a taste of something different.
Rockliff's The Grudge Keeper
$16.95) receives delightful drawings by Eliza Wheeler as it tells of a
free of grudges—except for one notable grudge-holder, Cornelius, who
keep them all squirreled away until a storm sends them flying free.
maintain his role in the town, or is it doomed to experiences grudges
or parental assistance will enhance enjoyment of this concept of
lasting impact, and what happens when they vanish, only to return in
recommended for individual purchase and library acquisition alike.
arrivals are highly recommended picks for young leisure readers who
picture books that excel in image and story.
Copeland's Bunheads (9780399547645,
receives fine drawings by Setor Fiadzigbey and requires either good
skills or parental assistance as it tells of young Misty, who becomes
captivated by the world of dance through the ballet Coppelia, about a
toymaker's dangerous creation.
danced ballet before she decides to audition for the role, but her
of this world introduces readers to its processes, terminology, and the
routines of training for a ballet production. A lovely story evolves,
especially recommended for youngsters newly involved in the world of
colorful, whimsical drawings accompany P. Crumble's jaunty story of
equality in We Are All Equal
(9780593202555, $17.99), in which animals do more than just tolerate
other, joining together to celebrate their differences.
independence, freedom, and differences in America is covered in a fun
reader parents will want to use to teach kids about the fundamentals of
Reid, and Ozi Akturk's The Tiny Chef and
da Mishing Weshipee Blook (9780593115053, $18.99) tells of a
when his favorite recipe book goes missing.
Could it be
his kitchen is such a mess that he can't find it?
The Chef is
and frustrated, but he decides to channel his anger in a different way,
discoveries lead to information that enhances his cooking.
full-page color art is especially striking in this story, drawing
a world of problem-solving and a small chef's success.
Racers: How an Outcast Driver, An American
Heiress, and a Legendary Car Challenged Hitler's Best is written for a young
adult audience of race
car enthusiasts, this book is a top recommendation for many an adult
reader, who will find much of the racing and historical references new
racing fan will find this a powerful story of how Hitler's Grand Prix
was thwarted by 32-year-old French Jewish driver Rene Dreyfus, who
sponsor in American heiress Lucy Schell and went on to prove that the
Reich wasn't the greatest at everything in the world.
set against the backdrop of an evolving world war, will simply delight
with a compelling and unusual story, which hasn't received much (if
discussion in either adult or young adult circles before, making it a
for all ages interested in history and car racing.
Two fine new
are top recommendations for middle grade leisure readers, offering
topics and compelling stories.
appreciate Summer Rachel Short's The
Mutant Mushroom Takeover (9781534468658, $17.99), which tells
Stone's life in her gramma's mobile home with a grumpy older brother.
this scenario, Magnolia wants to win a naturalist merit award that will
her reconnect with her scientist father.
Doing so involves an investigation of a rare
bioluminescent fungus, but
evolves into a real mystery when the fungus spreads and brings
danger to Shady Pines.
science and mystery will relish this unexpectedly compelling adventure.
Gibbs' Spy School Revolution
$17.99) will appeal to a slightly younger audience (ages 8-12) with the
of young agent Ben Ripley, who is determined to clear Erica Hale's name
investigating the Croatoan who are blackmailing his friend.
defy the CIA's notion that this group is mythical, and to locate
its involvement and Erica's innocence alike.
stories will find this an engaging tale.
top recommendations for picture book leisure readers, providing warm
that lend particularly well to parental read-aloud.
Anderson's Letters from Space
$16.99) is illustrated by Susan Batori and blends science and humor
space. It comes from a retired astronaut who examines life on the
Space Station, and uses fun letters to impart science lessons and
letters explores experiences from the third day to leaving the station
later, following STEAM content specifications as it provides ages 4-8
insights on everything from spacewalking to space suits and personal
a keepsake edition of Welcome to the
World (9781534110120, $16.99) that includes an additional
page for a baby's
photo as it provides a gift for new parents and their babies.
gorgeous, sweet animal drawings follow doting parents as they enjoy
arrival, from "singing songs to make you smile" to a fun bubble bath.
this sweet, inviting, fun picture book.
Wash Your Hands! gives young picture book
readers a basic primer
about hand-washing, telling of a doctor who washes her hands when she
Based on the
created by Chris Nee, this story features bright, colorful images,
either good reading skills or parental assistance, and involves a
creatures in Doc's display of hand-washing and germ prevention.
Parents looking for a lively primer on cleanliness which turns the task of hand washing into an educational adventure will find Wash Your Hands! a compelling, attractive choice.