March 2018 Prime Picks
Brand the Change
Brand the Change: The Branding Guide for Social Entrepreneurs, Disruptors, Not-For-Profits and Corporate Troublemakers comes from a woman who has worked with both individuals and organizations, helping them understand the branding process as she developed tools and exercises for a training format used to support startups in over 15 countries.
Her method forms the meat of a discussion directed especially to those interested in business ties to social change, who would understand the concept of creating and publicizing a strong brand. It offers a strong introduction to the topic and pairs this with a step-by-step survey of how to create, market, budget for, and handle a brand.
Guest essays by a variety of contributors relate her program to marketing strategies, gaining publicity, and digital marketing (among other topics), while the tools encourage readers to define mission statements and perspectives.
Concluding with case studies of successful brands, Brand the Change directs its contents not just to businesses, but social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and those outside the typical corporate endeavor. Brand the Change is an exceptional approach offering information not usually seen in other business discussions of the topic.
Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too comes from the CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia, who helped grow a $4 million family business to some $60 million, and focuses on major social and digital media platforms that can be used by other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Vaynerchuk's original 2009 book of a similar title, Crush It, made a strong case for creating a personal brand. This follow-up to his bestseller maintains his humor and insights while offering an updated viewpoint, considering different media platforms from Facebook to Alexa and Spotify, showing how each platform differs in its approach and potential for branding.
The result is a powerful set of tools for more effectively considering and using digital mediums to drive strong business results: one that should be required reading for any serious entrepreneur.
Harvard Business Review Press
Entering Startupland: An Essential Guide to Finding the Right Job is for anyone who aspires to work in the exciting, demanding, and sometimes chaotic atmosphere and organization of a startup business, and differs from most other books on the startup subject to consider the pros and cons from a worker's viewpoint.
Where other books focus on the process of building a new business enterprise, Entering Startupland tells about the challenges of working for such an organization; from the excitement and energy of a new business venture to issues that should be considered by anyone aspiring to work under such conditions.
The result is key to understanding the patterns, processes, and special challenges of a startup, and should be read by potential workers before they seek employment with a startup company.
A Couple Cooks/Pretty Simple Cooking
Sonja & Alex Overhiser
A Couple Cooks/Pretty Simple Cooking: 100 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes to Make You Fall in Love With Real Food is all about vegetarian fare which is nourishing and healthier than processed quick options, so it's surprising to note that its authors once lived on hot pockets and other fast foods.
Their blog, A Couple Cooks, documented their move into cooking together to produce healthy fare; but it's their cookbook which really shines in the process, pairing 10 life lessons for enjoying cooking's many potentials to creating such dishes as Red Pepper Tabbouleh, Smoky Red Lentil Stew, or Eggplant Parmesan Casserole.
Add color photos peppered throughout for an inspirational guide especially recommended to cooking novices who may believe that gourmet or nutritious fare is difficult to reproduce at home (tip: it's not!).
The Southern Sympathy Cookbook
Perre Coleman Magness
The Southern Sympathy Cookbook: Funeral Food With a Twist not only maintains that funeral food in the South is a staple, but offers a pairing of such basic (and more innovative fare) that has its origins in funerals.
These are casserole-style dishes designed to serve 12 or more and range from a Southern Layered Corn Bread Salad with Buttermilk Dressing to Celery Seed Chicken, Tomato Pudding, aspics and casseroles, and a Coconut Bundt Cake.
From breakfasts and snacks to main course fare, this is a collection that holds food suitable for groups and features many a dish that is unusual, and steeped in Southern traditions.
The Spice Diet
Chef Judson Todd Allen
Grand Central Publishing
The Spice Diet: Use Powerhouse Flavor to Fight Cravings and Win the Weight-Loss Battle includes some 70 recipes to accompany a diet plan that promotes cooking dishes filled with spices and herbs that satisfy one's cravings while adhering to a weight-loss focus.
Half the book offers recipes such as Sweet Potato Crumble, various spice blends, and spiced healthier take-offs on such things as cream sauces. The other half explains how the spice diet can become a lifelong diet, including plan-ahead tips, dos and don'ts, and training approaches to break through diet control plateaus.
The result is a spicy alternative to bland diet approaches, and will appeal to a wide audience.
St. Martins Griffin
Addie Gundry's Essential Slow Cooker Recipes: 103 Fuss-Free Slow Cooker Meals Everyone Will Love (9781250123361, $19.99) takes the slow cooker idea a step beyond the usual stews to present dishes as varied as Banana French Toast, General Tso's Chicken, Creamed Corn, Apple Dumplings, and more.
Color photos accompany a wide range of dishes that explore the extent of the slow cooker's abilities, offering innovations as simple as adding Munster cheese to Ham and Cheese Potatoes (which adds a smooth, nutty flavor to the results), or a surprising Easy Quiche, which calls for making the quiche—pie crust and all—in the slow cooker.
A Baker's Year: Twelve Months of Baking and Living the SImple Life at the Smoke Signals Bakery by Tara Jensen (9781250127389, $25.99) comes from a baker living in the mountains of North Carolina who produces pizzas, pies, and breads from a rural bakery that rivals the best urban fare.
Her book pairs photos and illustrations with recipes for dishes that rely on garden bounty (herbs, flowers, and other embellishments and ingredients), and includes directions for a diverse set of baking approaches, from making different pie crusts (including a cornmeal crust) to enticingly different flavor pairings, such as a Peaches and Rhubarb Pie or a ginger/nutmeg spiced Laura's Blueberry Pie.
Bakers interested in foolproof recipes with color photos, step-by-step instructions, and a focus on homemade appeal will relish this cookbook.
The Veginner's Cookbook
Bianca Haun & Sascha Naderer
The Veginner's Cookbook: The Ultimate Starter Guide for New Vegans and the Veg-Curious comes from the creators of ElephantasticVegan.com, and presents over seventy-five planet-based recipes especially directed to newcomers to vegan foods who are thinking about adopting a vegan lifestyle.
All recipes stem from ingredients readily available to any home cook and feature instructions that require no prior familiarity or expertise with vegan foods. Color photos pack the presentation with appealing images of finished dishes, such as Creamy Avocado Pasta, Steaming Hot Veggie Lasagna, and a rice and vegetable Totally Unauthentic Paella.
The result is especially recommended for beginners and newcomers to vegan cuisine because the dishes sound gourmet, but are easy to duplicate.
Fix-It and Forget-It Cooking for Two
Fix-It and Forget-It Cooking for Two joins many other cookbooks that provide recipes to busy cooks who work full-time; but this one holds a quantitative difference: it's meant for small-batch meals.
Slow cooker cookbooks are notorious for producing larger, family-sized fare; so Fix-It and Forget-It Cooking for Two will prove a boon for 2-person families who don’t want to eat the same meal night after night, in the form of leftovers.
Couples who want small batches of main course dishes will relish the diminutive size of such fare as Sloppy Joes; Sausage, Potatoes and Green Beans; or Ham and Macaroni Dinner, and may be surprised to find that even Sweet and Sour Chicken or Crab Dip can be made in the slow cooker.
Color photos complete the presentation, which will make the perfect wedding gift for cooks who want some hands-on time in the kitchen; but not too much food left over.
In a While, Crocodile
Patrice Keller Kononchek and Lauren Malone Keller
One doesn't ordinarily think of New Orleans fare produced from slow cookers; but In a While, Crocodile demonstrates that even such classic fare as red beans, gumbo, and even pork chops can all do well in the slow-cooker.
The Southern sisters-in-law authors moved from being professionals to becoming busy working moms, but were determined to convert their favorite New Orleans restaurant recipes to homemade slow-cooker fare.
Their cookbook, compiled from family and restaurant dishes and spiced with color images, successfully translates that effort into Cajun and Creole dishes anyone can easily duplicate, whether it be a Muffuletta Mambo Pasta, Jazzy Jambalaya, or Mid-City Meatballs.
Pasta Reinvented provides some 80 recipes for alternative types of noodles for gluten-free pastas, and packs in full-page color photos of these alternatives to wheat-based pastas.
These pastas are designed to highlight sauces and are made from grains, beans, nuts, and spiralized produce (the latter requires a special tool to produce), offering new flavors in such dishes as Burmese Curried Chicken and Coconut Soup, Green Tea Soba with Sesame-Crusted Tuna, and Almond Fettuccine with Crab and Lemon Sauce.
The result is a fine collection for any noodle fan who wants to expand their range of pasta possibilities.
The Potatopia Cookbook
The Potatopia Cookbook takes the lowly potato from a side dish to center field on the plate as it presents potato recipes from the owner of a popular all-potato restaurant.
Allen Dikker began combining sauces and flavors long before his restaurant, and his cookbook both helps brand his restaurant and expands ideas about how to include the spud in a surprisingly wide range of over seventy dishes, from Roasted Potato and Sweet Corn Chowder to Red Wine-Braised Oxtails with Mashed Japanese Yams.
A full-page color photo accompanies each dish, which represents global adaptations of classic fare.
AP European History, 9th Edition
Seth A. Roberts
The 9th updated edition of AP European History pairs online content with five full-length practice tests (three online) and a question-and-answer format that lends to review, but part of the real meat of this book lies in its collection of best study practices and tips for acing the test which are specific to European History questions on the AP test.
The model tests reflect many aspects of the actual AP format, which means that students will get a heads-up on test approaches and structures in general, as well as question types and answers.
Examples range from multiple-choice to long-essay style questions, answers follow each chapter, and charts offer information in a format students can easily absorb, making the 9th updated edition of AP European History the item of choice for any AP student studying for this placement exam.
Colleges That Pay You Back, 2018 Edition
Robert Franek, et.al.
The 2018 edition of Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck includes seven ranking lists, discussions of financial aid, and in-depth assessments of schools that excel both in price and in financial grants, and is a top selection for any college-bound student who wants the latest information on schools that stand out from the crowd with their financial resources.
The Princeton Review used over forty data points as pointers, analyzing how these schools paid back monies invested in education in a bigger way than most. Seven categories of ranking lists and lists of local colleges and how admission officers examine applicants complete a reference that should be in the library of any high school with college-bound students.
Johns Hopkins University Press
Common Core: National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy discusses a controversial education policy that dictates what and when K-12 students should be taught: a process that has revamped and redirected the American education system, and which has received condemnation and applause from different sides.
One may anticipate an educational analysis of the Common Core strategy; but readers may also be surprised to learn that Nicholas Tampio, an associate professor of political science, argues that the Common Core standards are posing challenges to the democratic process as a whole.
A democracy should ideally disperse and oversee education rather than delegating that process to a particular political group or approach. Chapters in Common Core: National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy make the case against centralized government overseeing the process over local education professionals, and offer much food for thought that any educator should consider.
Samuel Harrington, MD
Grand Central Lifestyle
At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life is for older patients who can use it to tailor health care proxies to ensure they spend their final days at the care level of their choice, and will prove essential reading to anyone who would take charge of their own demise.
It comes from a doctor who uses his experience with patients and his own family to follow the terminal patterns of six common chronic diseases, showing how to craft end-of-life decisions, how to minimize painful treatments and extraordinary approaches, and telling when to seek hospice care.
Anyone over the age of 65 should consider At Peace required reading for taking charge of one's future treatment options. Death is never simple; especially with the myriad of complicated options available to prolong, extend, or handle life. From standardized treatments and palliative care to dynamics in physician consultations, At Peace is a 'must' for anyone interested in a gentler approach to one's last years of life.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Matt Bushell, Sandra Gasson and Ute Vann's Autism and Enablement: Occupational Therapy Approaches to Promote Independence for Adults with Autism (9781785920875, $27.95) describes the Kent ASC enablement approach to short-term intervention to help those with Autism Spectrum Conditions become more self-aware on their own, and is recommended for any collection or individual concerned about the processes of public services and the areas they don't effectively touch.
The book is designed to teach ASC adults new strategies for controlling their sensory, motor-processing, and communication needs, and provides a review of self-help tools and approaches to independence for this group.
As chapters survey various uses of equipment, occupational therapy-led interventions, and various lessons from the project under discussion, ASC individuals and their families receive a wealth of important tools and food for thought.
Rachel Lee Harris' Contemplative Therapy for Clients on the Autism Spectrum: A Reflective Integration Therapy™ Manual for Psychotherapists and Counsellors (9781785924071, $39.95) draws on traditions of contemplation to create the idea of Reflective Integration Therapy™. In this approach, mantra meditation can be used with clients with high-functioning autism to affect cognitive perceptions and encourage change.
This manual's therapeutic approach is directed to practitioners of psychotherapy working with autistic clients, and offers all the material needed to apply to 12 weekly sessions of this therapy.
University of Wisconsin Press
Unaffordable: American Healthcare From Johnson to Trump is recommended for any collection strong in health policy and politics, and traces the history of the costs, politics, and management of American healthcare from the 1960s to modern times.
Topics range from health insurance, physician training processes, and health care networks to how other nations handle health costs, end-of-life decisions, extended and long-term care, and more.
The result is a discussion of everything from economics and profits to what constitutes affordable and unaffordable health care, and how consumers can understand the history of where we are today.
Arts and Crafts
Beyond Bullets: Creative Journaling Ideas to Customize Your Personal Productivity System is an artistic discussion directed to journalists and teaches how to add ornamental lettering, decorative headers, art, and customization to a journal.
The underlying idea is that a notebook can become something more than a tool for jotting down ideas or insights: under the right hand, they can enhance and organize information in calendars, serve as habit trackers, become decorative weekly planners, and can even assume the guise of art.
Journaling is "seeing your life on paper," but it also involves making that process logical and lovely. Getting organized doesn't have to involve dull routines. These are colorful ways to transform writing and will be welcomed by any novice who wants to add color, excitement, and practicality to the journal effort.
Cosas: Folk Art Travels in Mexico
Linda Grant Niemann
University of New Mexico Press
Cosas: Folk Art Travels in Mexico blends a memoir, an art survey, and a travelogue into a journal that began when Linda Grant Niemann encountered Mexican migrants in the American Southwest.
She decided to learn Spanish in an effort to understand them and eventual sojourned to Mexico, where she met artists who create beautiful folk art, whose works proved extraordinarily appealing.
Her journey led her to more deeply probe Mexican lives and culture and creates a lovely examination of Mexico's folk craft industry and the artists who contribute to it.
Any arts holding or collection strong in Mexican cultural insights will find Cosas: Folk Art Travels in Mexico a delightful and unique coverage which crosses genres between art discussion, travelogue, and cultural exploration.
A Chronology of Art
Iain Zaczek, Editor
Thames & Hudson
A Chronology of Art: A Timeline of Western Culture from Prehistory to the Present employs a chronological approach to art history that covers movements, artists' lives, and art creations alike, weaving these facets into an overall survey of the history of the art world during different eras of human accomplishment.
Lovely illustrations of artworks from Medieval, Renaissance, Neoclassical, and other eras accompany discussions about economic, social, political, artistic and cultural changes affecting the art world and its surrounding environment.
Take the chapter on Dutch Militia Portraits, for one example. Group portraits were a highlight of Dutch art in the 17th century, and this section surveys distinct types of Dutch group portraits, their origins in the 1520s and heyday in the 1600s, and provides numerous examples of depictions of Dutch militia groups.
The result does more than profile a few artists: it details the trends, movements, and major influencers of different eras. This creates quite a different chronological emphasis rather than a highlight of selected artists, tracing the major influencers of artistic styles and approaches over the centuries of mankind's development and providing a firm foundation for understanding how art has evolved over the ages.
The Painted House of Maud Lewis
Goose Lane Editions
The Painted House of Maud Lewis: Conserving a Folk Art Treasure focuses on a Canadian folk artist who painted the entire interior of her tiny one-room house —the walls, doors, windowpanes, staircases and every surface—and is a lovely acquisition to any arts collection strong in folk art or Canadian themes.
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia acquired her Painted House, which had fallen on hard times fourteen years after her death, and restored it as an artifact, disassembling it and installing it intact in a gallery devoted to her works.
Lovely color photos document her folk works and the process of conserving them for future generations, making for a fine study not only of Maud Lewis' artistic prowess, but the complicated process of art preservation.
Where Monsters Walked
Gail Orwig and Raymond Orwig
Where Monsters Walked: California's Locations of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, 1925-1965 is packed with black and white illustrations throughout as it surveys California filming locations in over five decades of sci-fi movies.
While Where Monsters Walked could have been featured in our travel section, it's reviewed here because readers need to have a basic interest in film locations and how they translate to screen in order to be interested enough to pursue identifying and visiting locations (made easier through the numerous "then" and "now" photos, and directions to each location).
An alphabetical organization by film name makes it easy to identify these locations, while photos capture different scenes and shot angles, accompanied by information that includes its modern-day features, since the original filming.
The result is recommended not only for film and California history holdings; but for travel collections where California is of special interest.
Dr. Linda Seger
Michael Wiese Productions
Writing Subtext: What Lies Beneath will appeal to performing arts collections strong in video and film production as well as creative writing teachers interested in screenwriting guides, and considers the challenges of creating effective subtext that underlies the most powerful dialogue, action scenes, and images.
This edition revises and expands the script consultant's earlier best-selling account, adding new examples, a new chapter on analogy and love, and more depth to definitions of and explanations about subtext, its use, and its importance.
The result is a collection that pairs real-world case studies with insights that lend better definition and applied approaches to screenwriters' efforts, making Writing Subtext a top recommendation for creative writing and performing arts collections alike.
Add One Stitch Knitting
Add One Stitch Knitting: All the Stitches You Need in 15 Projects does what few other knitting books do: organizes projects by a wide range of stitches to profile the stitch itself over the project name.
This organization allows knitters to access the step-by-step directions for such varied stitches as the Moss Stitch, Waffle Stitch, Hurdle Rib, and Seed Stitch, providing full-page color image examples of each along with lessons that rely on pattern instructions and simple directions ("...With the yarn at the back, insert the right needle knitwise into the next stitch on the left needle, from front to back, forming an "x" with the needles.").
The result offers a fine focus on the array of stitches that make up more effective knitting skills in a do-it-yourself lesson arrangement that beginners, especially, will benefit from.
Alpaca Knit Sweaters
Alpaca Knit Sweaters: 28 Easy-to-Knit, Easy-to-Wear, Warm and Comfortable Styles comes from a former model and TV personality in Norway who provides knitters with projects specific to modern Nordic styles.
These sweaters hold a variety of attributes that make them top picks: they are loose, colorful, quite easy to reproduce, and include classic Nordic patterns, as in a Fisherman's Sweater (which comes from a traditional pattern inspired by Norwegian sweaters) or a Windowpane Sweater (with colorful block ribbing).
Even beginners will find themselves attracted to a sweater-oriented knitting collection that assumes no level of prior expertise.
A Beginner's Guide to Overlockers, Sergers &
A Beginner's Guide to Overlockers, Sergers & Coverlockers includes 12 full-size patterns, 50 lessons, and 15 projects that reinforce these lessons, and is a top recommendation for relative newcomers to overlockers, sergers and coverlockers.
Step-by-step color photos throughout accompany discussions that leave little to wonder, including projects designed to reinforce the directions.
From using specific overlocker settings to embroider to sidebars of 'worth knowing' that add notes on the project and the skills it teaches, A Beginner's Guide to Overlockers, Sergers & Coverlockers is highly recommended for anyone who would learn these skills and apply them to a range of needlework efforts.
Cozy Wool Appliqué
Elizabeth Ann Angus
Cozy Wool Appliqué: 11 Seasonal Folk Art Projects For Your Home covers the basics of hand stitching and working with wool, adopting a seasonal approach and a focus on small projects that will prove easy for appliqué workers to create and embellish.
This book lends particularly well to use by novices with no prior appliqué experience. It opens with a discussion of the basics, reviewing techniques and supplies; and it also covers embroidery tips before delving into projects such as pillows and table runners.
The result is an excellent introduction to the topic that's especially recommended for needleworkers new to appliqué and interested in home embellishment ideas.
Victoria and Albert Museum
Thames & Hudson
Two new surveys of embroidery and patchwork belong in two different types of collections: arts libraries where textiles are a part of the focus; and needlework shelves. They're reviewed here so that no needleworker misses these lovely blends of how-to instruction and discussion of craft traditions around the world.
Patchwork & Quilting (9780500293263) examines quilting traditions from different cultures, includes some 15 step-by-step projects for quilters at different levels of expertise, and presents side-by-side contrasts between Indian, English, Japanese, and other cultural quilting traditions.
Patterns, full-page color photos of quilts, and clear "how to make" instructions create a lovely collection demonstrating different patchwork approaches and their production.
Embroidery (9780500293270) also features fifteen projects inspired by works in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and offers projects designed by teachers and practitioners of embroidery.
From whitework and crewelwork to 19th century shawls from India, Embroidery pairs history with an artistic and needlework approach that includes a little bit from many traditions.
Both are exceptional books that crafters will relish.
Novels and Mysteries
The Ghost Notebooks
The Ghost Notebooks will attract anyone interested in supernatural ghost romance stories, and tells of a newly engaged young couple who become caretakers of a historic museum, moving from New York City to a tiny upstate town far from what is familiar to them.
At first the remoteness and difference between the city and small town atmosphere appears to rejuvenate their lives; but as the season passes, they begin to hear whispers and strange night noises in the house. When Hannah vanishes one night, Nick must confront his own ghosts of the past and the Wright House's real legacy in order to get her back.
Readers who want a gripping ghost story that departs from the usual focus by presenting a relationship hovering on the stale edge of love which is affected by a skeptic's involvement with ghosts will find The Ghost Notebooks a hauntingly unpredictable tale filled with satisfying twists and intriguing insights.
How to Stop Time
How to Stop Time is a UK bestseller that has already received attention abroad, as actor Benedict Cumberbatch has signed to star in and produce its film adaptation.
Its appearance in the U.S. will reach new fans with a story that presents the dilemma of Tom, who looks like an ordinary forty-something, but who has actually been alive for centuries, from Elizabethan to modern times.
Tom has moved often, to preserve his secret, but he longs for an ordinary life. So he returns to London to become a high school history teacher and lead an everyday existence hampered by only one requirement: he can't form a long-term relationship. The only problem is that love may not give him a choice in the matter. If he outlives everything he can love, how will love find him, or stay eternal?
How to Stop Time joins Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and a few other tales of people stopped or thwarted by an unusual aging (or anti-aging) process, but adds the extra dimension of struggling with immortality in a mortal world (apart from the usual vampire novel approach) to give it zest and thought-provoking intrigue.
The Case for Impeachment
Allan J. Lichtman
The Case for Impeachment comes from a political historian and professor who has successfully predicted every presidential election since 1984, including Trump's win. Here he maintains that in early 2019, Trump will face impeachment.
Many have presented this idea, but The Case for Impeachment updates a best-selling prior book by Professor Lichtman and contains new material covering Trump's first year in office and how events have only strengthened the argument that he's still on course for being removed from office.
More than a general discussion, The Case for Impeachment outlines eight key categories and describes how each or any of them could conclude his presidency. The result is a specific focus that will interest political science collections with fodder for debate and discussion.
It's Even Worse Than You Think
David Cay Johnston
Simon and Schuster
It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America comes from a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and appears a year after the anniversary of Trump's election. It considers the kinds of policies being set in place to destroy the U.S. government and its agencies from the inside, and moves beyond many more singular discussions of Trump policies to analyze the overall milieu of America's politics and democratic structure.
Journalists often have the reputation of being third-party outside commentators; but David Cay Jonston met Trump in 1988 and has followed him since, producing two prior books about his conduct, pre-election.
It's Even Worse Than You Think is wider-ranging than most coverages of the Trump presidency as it closely considers how his policies are changing the face of democracy itself, offering a pointed and fact-backed analysis that should be on the reading lists of any political science student and all concerned citizens.
Columbia University Press
Radiation Nation: Three Mile Island and the Political Transformation of the 1970s at first glance might seem yet another scientific examination of events; but Natasha Zaretsky uses the disaster to consider the era's political changes as a result of that accident, the rise of ecological politics, and the growth of political awareness in the 1970s.
The story itself is centered on Three Mile Island events; but what reaches beyond the science and impact of the accident is what provides an unusual political focus and strength to Radiation Nation: a consideration how social awareness and political and ecological thinking coalesced in new ways after the disaster.
Zaretsky's role as a history professor lends a scholarly and well-studied tone to her story of rising collective anger, mistrust, fear, and ecological awareness in the aftermath of Three Mile Island, making for an especially astute analysis that's recommended reading for any college-level political history reader.
Science, Nature & Technology
Sean P. Graham
Johns Hopkins University Press
American Snakes comes from a herpetologist and writer who explores the daily routines and lives of American snakes and their seasonal environments and changes, giving professional and lay readers a lively compendium that explores not only snakes, but the snake biologists who make their livings studying and interacting with them.
Most serious herpetology books are field guides or scientific references. While American Snakes incorporates elements of both, it also includes unusual stories about snake habits, close-up color photos, maps, and other illustrations, and a focus on popular explorations ranging from myths about unprovoked snakebites to the changing history of how snakes were viewed in the U.S.
The result is an authoritative yet accessible guide that makes the world of American snakes attractive even to non-scientist readers. It's recommended for general-interest and scientific holdings alike.
Birds: What's In a Name?
New Holland Publishers
Birds: What's In a Name? From Accipiter to Zoothera: The Origin of Bird Names pairs artistic and photographically excellent illustrations throughout with a blend of scientific, linguistic, and trivia approaches to bird names to create a cross-genre approach to understanding bird identification and names.
Included in the discussion of names are auxiliary subjects such as the demise of the once-bountiful passenger pigeon, the Honeyguide's involvement in bee nests and those who would gain access to honey, and the uncertain roots of the genus name for the Willow Warbler.
The blend of avian insights and lively facts about each bird creates more than a field guide, providing a fun format for leisure browsing and easy learning to newcomers to birding and bird names. It comes spiced with bright illustrations throughout in a production that will nicely reach general-interest audiences.
How to Think Like a Cat
How to Think Like a Cat has been a best-selling book in Europe, and now finally reaches U.S. cat fans to discuss lessons that can be learned from cats; from how to follow one's instinct and cultivate calm in life against the noise of the world to learning how to adopt the cat's ability for amazement.
Each section begins with a cat observation and then links the cat quality to human endeavors.
This is more than a 'cat guide' per say: it's a fun collection of admonitions that only requires prior affection for felines and psychological self-help in order to prove accessible.
The Seabird's Cry
The Seabird's Cry: The Lives and Loves of the Planet's Great Ocean Voyagers is an enchanting celebration of various seabirds and devoting an entire chapter each to ten selected seabirds, adding black and white photos and illustrations to each discussion.
Here puffins, gulls, albatrosses and others are closely examined. Their natural history, interactions with humans, unique traits, and how they were studied and discovered supplement discussions of recent findings that contrast past and present perceptions of these birds.
From shallow divers and particular kinds of feathers that shags have developed to achieve the happy medium of being not too buoyant but not to sodden to sea birds in flight, The Seabird's Cry is an inviting survey that will especially interest leisure readers with a prior affection for sea birds.
See It With a Small Telescope
See It With a Small Telescope: 101 Cosmic Wonders, Including Planets, Moons, Comets, Galaxies, Nebulae, Star Clusters and More shows how to use a small telescope to view space objects from one's own back yard, and includes nearly a hundred large-sized, easily-used star charts that don't require any astronomical expertise.
From magnitude and coordinates to seasonal appearances and best viewing times, each astronomical wonder comes with both descriptions of the scientific object and sometimes cautions ("For some telescopes, you will see it upside-down. If it is upside-down in your telescope, use your erecting prism to turn it right-side up!").
With its full-page black and white star charts and accompanying information, See It With a Small Telescope is the item of choice for any aspiring amateur astronomer with a telescope and a back yard.
The Wizard and the Prophet
Charles C. Mann
Alfred A. Knopf
The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World considers the future of Earth in a treatment which focuses on scientists Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, two influential (yet, surprisingly. little-known) modern scientists who foresaw huge problems facing humanity in the coming century, from overcrowding to the depletion of and threats to natural resources.
Scientists who agree with these visions generally fall into very different groups: 'Wizards' and 'Prophets'. They hold different ideas about how to address the problems. Prophets tend to advocate conservative usage; while Wizards use science to produce higher-yield crops, influencing the availability of resources and their very makeup.
These are more than just different ideas about the same problem: they represent divergent viewpoints on how humans should handle the most basic environmental challenges to their survival, and reporter Charles C. Mann
also posits a basic question: is the planet here to support humanity alone? The answer in The Wizard and the Prophet will intrigue science and social issues readers alike.
Buddha's Little Book of Life
Buddha's Little Book of Life: Daily Wisdom from the Great Masters, Teachers, and Writers of All Time is inspired by the teachings of Buddha and other spiritual leaders and gathers their sayings and insights into a succinct quote collection that allows readers to either methodically read the book or skip through, looking for the pieces that inspire them the most.
The quotes are from the writings of spiritual masters from the 14th Dalai Lama to Sogyal Rinepoche, Lao Rzu, Mother Teresa, and some non-spiritual literary figures as well.
From how to treat others to practicing love, these affirmations and insights are packaged in such a way that food for thought becomes effortless to absorb in a collection recommended for spiritual and philosophical wisdom-seekers alike.
DIY Rules for a WTF World
Grand Central Publishing
DIY Rules for a WTF World: How to Speak Up, Get Creative, and Change the World blends knitting patterns with rules and tips for speaking out for social justice and world change, and is recommended for knitters who are interested in different styles of activism.
The book's focus came from watching a 'wave' of pink hats as women marched in recent protests across the country, wearing their home-knitted hats.
However, knitters who expect a pattern-filled book of knitting instructions might be disappointed; because the real focus is on creative ways of effecting world change and influencing others; not a how-to project book on knitting.
From tackling the patriarchy that objectifies women to the underlying foundations of the author's Pussyhat Project, DIY Rules for a WTF World offers women a powerful set of reflections, admonitions, and examples of empowered thinking and actions, and is a special recommendation for women's issues, needlework and social issues collections alike.
Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem
Cameron and Company
San Francisco's waterfront area has long been notorious and colorful; so it's surprising that a dedicated focus on its early history and importance to the city has not appeared before Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem, a lively history of how the waterfront welcomed some of the City's most notorious new adventurers.
Nearly a century of waterfront history is included here, taking the form of a blend of lively stories about individuals, movements, and waterfront physical growth and vintage images. All are presented in oversized, full-page displays of black and white, sepia, and a few color reproductions for maximum impact.
Many books have been written about early San Francisco, but Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem stands out from the crowd both for its narrowed focus in time and place and for its oversized and historic photo-supported history, which beautifully captures the City's different eras, changing perspectives and personalities, and the waterfront's transformation into what it is today.
Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem should be one of the cornerstones of any definitive collection of early San Francisco history.
Off the Deep End
Adlard Coles Nautical/Bloomsbury
Off the Deep End: A History of Madness at Sea studies mutinies, murders, and madness on the waters; but lest one think mental illness on the high seas is a thing of the past, this book reinforces the fact that even modern sailors experience hallucinations and psychological issues. Why?
This study considers both the psychological ramifications of sailing and nautical endeavors and the physical characteristics of the sea and how it influences perceptions and mental frames of mind.
As chapters discuss cabin fever and other histories of lunacy on the high waters, they provide many clues about the origins of mental conditions at sea, examining physical environment and psychological effects alike.
Psychology, science, and nautical libraries will all find Off the Deep End an intriguing study of madness and environmental influences.
Four new audiobooks are highly recommended picks for libraries seeking core purchases for ongoing patron requests and individuals who want an excellent blend of solid authors, powerful narrators, and durable packaging that stands up to either library lending or the rigors of travel.
David Yaffe's Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell (9781681686981, $44.99) is narrated by Ze Sands, who brings to life the folk singer's youth in Canada, struggles with polio, her early marriage, and the evolution of her career.
Sands spices the story with a reading that blends a biographical examination of Mitchell's life (based on interviews with her friends and fellow musicians) with a consideration of her lyrics and musical prowess, making for a powerful listen especially recommended for fans of popular music in general and followers of Joni Mitchell in particular.
Why You Eat What You Eat by Rachel Herz, PhD (9781681688732, $34.99) is read by Jo Anna Perrin, who brings a studied and smooth voice to this exploration of the biological and psychological influences on food choices and eating habits.
Consumers interested in food flavors and options will
You Eat What You Eat pairs science with diet insights and
techniques for managing diets, blending social with scientific
insights in the process of supporting science-based evidence with the
latest diet plans.
The result is highly accessible to dieters who would better understand the subliminal influences on their food choices and cravings.
Kim Phuc Phan Thi's Fire Road (9781681688411, $34.99) is read by Emily Woo Zeller, who brings to life this autobiography by the 'napalm girl' who became a poster child for the horrors of chemical warfare during the Vietnam War.
Thi's autobiography follows her life after that event, which took place when she was nine years old, and documents her healing process, both physically and psychologically, and how she adjusted to a world that was not only changed, but destroyed around her.
Her powerful words come to life especially well in audio.
Jonathan Moore's The Night Market (9781681685830, $34.99) receives a potent narration by James Patrick Cronin, who nicely captures the story of an inspector who stumbles upon an unusual crime scene in which an unknown substance is eating the victim's skin.
Forcibly removed from reporting this evidence by the FBI, Inspector Ross Carver awakens to find his memory gone and only a vague sense of something wrong.
How can he investigate what he doesn't recall seeing? This powerful mystery will captivate listeners with a format and narration that's hard to stop listening to.
National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways, 5th Edition
The 5th updated edition of National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways is a 'must' for anyone undertaking a road trip who doesn't want to do so via major transit roots, and provides a compendium of lovely drives which range from 5 to 1,000 miles.
This lends to both local and cross-country travel, highlighting off-the-beaten-path and especially scenic roads in all 50 states and including small maps, diminutive color photos, and excellent details on each route's special attributes.
Anyone interested in scenic highway journeys must have this reference. Packaged in a compact paperback that lends to take-along tote and on-the-road consultation, it's a winner for those who want to travel the more leisurely, less traveled, and most scenic routes in America.
Vintage Camper Trailer Rallies
Paul and Caroline Lacitinola
Gibbs Smith, Publisher
Vintage Camper Trailer Rallies discusses the history of vintage camper trailers and rallies surrounding them, the clubs which organize such events, and different types of trailer rallies; and is a lovely blend of history and travel with old trailers.
There's quite a culture that revolves around the
trailer, from choices, repairs, and modifications to journeying with
them. The authors began hosting vintage trailer rallies almost by
accident and then became completely involved in the rally culture
Whether the reader is an aspiring vintage trailer owner or someone who already owns one and thinks about hitting the road to meet with other owners, Vintage Camper Trailer Rallies is packed with color photos of restored trailers and their journeys and will appeal to travel and transportation collections alike.
Albert Whitman & Company
Gertrude Chandler Warner's The Boxcar Children (9780807509258, $34.99) first appeared in 1942 and has captivated generations of kids since, with its gentle story of four orphaned siblings who decide to run away so they can stay together and not be separated.
When they find an abandoned boxcar, they feel it is perfect: it's small, it's a good shelter, and it offers them an opportunity to create their own home. As the ragtag group makes a place for themselves, something wondrous occurs.
This illustrated edition of the classic requires good reading skills, but includes new color artwork and a discussion of the book's history. Anne Yvonne Gilbert and Gretchen Ellen Powers produce the engaging drawings that bring this classic story to life for new young audiences in a keepsake edition highly recommended for those who would pass down the Boxcar Children's legacy in a sturdy and attractive format.
Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton's Maple Syrup from the Sugarhouse (9780807579435, $15.99) includes fun drawings by Kathryn Mitter, who sweetly accents the story of young Kelsey's experience with maple syrup season, helping her father tap the sugar maple trees to collect the ingredients for syrup.
As the picture book story follows how maple syrup is made and moves from tree to table, picture book readers receive a lively and fun account that is deliciously revealing.
Atheneum/Simon and Schuster
Four new titles provide kids with involving reads that promise lasting attention and library lending interest.
Susan Cooper's The Boggart Fights Back (9781534406292, $16.99) is the third book in the series, is published upon the 25th anniversary of their creation, and tells how the mischievous Boggart sets his supernatural eyes on an American developer intent on ruining his island home.
Magic and intrigue blend with Allie and Jay's visit to their Scottish grandfather in a riveting story that brings to life a Boggat, two children, a Loch Ness monster, and more.
Advanced elementary to middle grade readers will find The Boggart Fights Back a fun and revealing fantasy adventure.
Cynthia Kadohata's Checked (9781481446617, $16.99) tells of eleven-year-old Conor MacRae, whose passion in life is hockey. Conor's a young athlete well on his way to making it to the NHL, and he needs little else in his life other than hockey, his dad, and his dog...or so he thinks.
When his dog gets sick and requires an expensive medication they can't afford, the expense of hockey vies for his dog's life. Suddenly, Conor's singular passion seems to hold too high a price tag.
Can Conor make the kinds of choices that will change not only his life, but his perspective on what makes it good? A powerful tale emerges to engross young leisure readers with a captivating story of hard decisions.
Picture book readers receive two intriguing story books that invite discussion and attention.
Adam Lehrhaupt and Deb Pilutti's Idea Jar (9781481451666, $17.99) tells of a teacher's special jar, where her students keep their story ideas—until they escape.
The ideas can be combined to create new, exciting stories; but when these ideas begin to evolve into ideas of their own, trouble ensues and it's time to duck in this engrossing and fun story of whimsical literary trouble.
Ellie Sandall's Everybunny Count! (9781534400146, $17.99) pairs a rollicking counting rhyme with a tale of hide-and-seek where 'everybunny' searches for friends and a fox's surprise.
As a host of funny bunnies count, kids participate in a fun game involving numbers and shenanigans in a picture book presentation that's whimsical and educational all in one.
Florette tells of Mae's family, who moves to a new home and leaves their garden behind. Mac is intimately familiar with the plants and creatures in her old garden; but the city has no room for such glory. Or, does it?
Her mother says she can make a new garden. But crowded buildings and concrete don't house much nature or offer many opportunities for plants, and Mae misses her human and nature friends in her old home.
As Mae discovers what she can do in her new environment, picture book readers receive an uplifting, satisfying contrast between old and new environments in this engaging story recommended for those with basic reading skills.
Rodent Rascals: From Tiny to Tremendous—21 Clever Creatures at their Actual Size covers guinea pigs, rats, mice, and larger rodents, as well, and provides facts about over twenty types of rodents from small to large.
Ages 6-10 will appreciate a picture book that not only gathers rodent facts, but contrasts different types of rodents from around the world, and their natural histories.
The large-size drawings are lifelike and fun in this appealing discovery guide, recommended for all ages.
Sleeping Bear Press
Four new picture book titles provide kids with fun stories, pairing easy tales with bright color illustrations that lend to leisure reading and parental assistance alike.
Jennifer Sattler's two board books ($7.99 each) are first in a new series appropriate for babies to toddlers.
Dirty Birdies (9781585363896) is a counting primer that tells of a dirty birdie who meets other birdies, only to find the dirt spreading around. Various forms of dirt are contrasted between birdies in this easy primer about dirty play and dirty birdies.
Jungle Gym (9781585363902) features engaging animals who play on a jungle gym, from a hippo on a swing who demonstrates the concept of 'low' to a giraffe who goes through a tube or down a slide.
Using these fun animals to demonstrate basic concepts of up and down, in and out, and more, against the backdrop of a familiar playground setting, will allow parents to interact with youngsters in a fun exploration and introduction.
Dana Sullivan's My Red Velvet Cape (9781585363933, $16.99) presents a picture book about Mateo, who is excited to receive a superhero red cape from his grandmother for his birthday. Surely it will give him magical powers!
The gift is perfect—but is he really getting what he thinks it will be? What happens when his coveted magic cape turns out to be something other than he expected?
Vivid cartoons and fun descriptions will attract kids already interested in superhero subjects.
Kurt Cyrus's Be a Good Dragon (9781585363834, $16.99) will reach ages 4-8 with the story of a dragon who catches a cold, and whose sneezes set fields on fire and threaten villagers.
How can a sick dragon keep the world around him from going up in flames? A fun rhyme and wordplays blend with an intriguing story about manners and good hygiene in a story featuring dragons and wizards and a read which is fun and instructional all in one.
These are highly recommended acquisitions for discriminating libraries and parents looking for different subjects and bright, refreshing themes.