Featured New Nonfiction for January
The inheritor's powder : a tale of arsenic, murder, and the new forensic science / Sandra Hempel (364.1523 H) -- On the morning of Saturday, November 2, 1833, the Bodle household sat down to their morning breakfast. That evening, the local doctor John Butler received an urgent summons: the family and their servants had collapsed and were seriously ill. Three days later, after lingering in agony, wealthy George Bodle died in his bed at his farmhouse in Plumstead, leaving behind several heirs, including a son and grandson—both of whom were not on the best of terms with the family patriarch. The investigation, which gained international attention, brought together a colorful cast of characters: bickering relatives; a drunken, bumbling policeman; and James Marsh, an unknown but brilliant chemist who, assigned the Bodle case, attempted to create a test that could accurately pinpoint the presence of arsenic. In doing so, however, he would cause as many problems as he solved. Were innocent men and women now going to the gallows? And would George Bodle’s killer be found? Incisive and wryly entertaining, science writer Sandra Hempel brings to life a gripping story of domestic infighting, wayward police behavior, a slice of Victorian history, stories of poisonings, and an unforgettable foray into the origins of forensic science.
Freakin' fabulous on a budget : how to dress, entertain, and decorate in the style you so richly deserve / Clinton Kelly (646.7 K) -- The style guru and author of Freakin' Fabulous shows you how to have it all--haute fashion, food and de;cor--at bargain-basement prices. As co-host of TLC's popular What Not to Wear and ABC's The Chew, Clinton Kelly is constantly helping his guests look and feel their best. Now he's going to share his secrets for making every part of your life more fabulous--whether you want to make over your wardrobe, add glamour to your next soiree, or brighten up that dingy bathroom--even if there's no room in your budget. After all, Freakin' Fabulous doesn't have to come at a price--if you have Clinton in your corner. Filled with pages of full-color photography, helpful advice, and numerous ideas for styling, partying, and better living, this book will make you the envy of everyone on the block without emptying your bank account. As Kelly doles out wit and wisdom on everything from thrift store sprees to proper dinner etiquette, he playfully reminds you that you don't need to be a movie star to live like one ... as long you shop smartly. Remember, anybody can be fabulous--it's not the size of your funds but how you use them.
Walk in their shoes : can one person change the world? / Jim Ziolkowski, founder of buildOn with James S. Hirsch (370.9 Z) -- The powerful, personal story of Jim Ziolkowski, the man behind the organization buildOn--which turns inner city teens into community leaders at home and abroad--and his inspiring mission to change the world one community at a time.Jim Ziolkowski gave up his career in corporate finance to create buildOn, a service-oriented program that goes into high-risk areas around the world to work with students in their communities. Under Jim's leadership, buildOn volunteers have contributed more than 850,000 hours of community service, and the organization has constructed more than 430 schools worldwide, from the South Bronx, to Detroit, Chicago, and Oakland, to Haiti, Senegal, Nicaragua, and Nepal.Walk in Their Shoes is packed with the ingredients of a powerful bestseller as it traces Jim's story from his transformation from a thrill-seeking twenty-something backpacker, to a Harlem-based idealist trying to launch a not-for-profit organization, and finally to the head of buildOn.Ziolkowski compellingly chronicles his exciting story of worldwide travel and adventure, creating a moving portrait of the power of faith, teamwork, and the boundless potential of the human spirit. Blessed with relentless optimism and an unshakable faith, both of which have fortified his commitment to the poor and the underprivileged, Jim Ziolkowski's inspirational memoir reveals that helping and empathizing with others can help--and heal--ourselves.
Birds and people / Mark Cocker and David Tipling ; with specialist research by and the support of Jonathan Elphick and John Fanshawe (598 C) -- Part natural history and part cultural study, this book describes and maps the entire spectrum of human engagements with birds, drawing in themes of history, literature, art, cuisine, language, lore, politics, and the environment. Vast in both scope and scale, it draws upon Mark Cocker's 40 years of observing and thinking about birds to celebrate this relationship. The book is as important for its visual riches as it is for its groundbreaking content, as one of Europe's best wildlife photographers has traveled in 39 countries on seven continents to produce a breathtaking and unique collection of photographs. The author solicited contributions from people worldwide, and personal anecdotes and stories have come from more than 600 individuals of 81 different nationalities, ranging from university academics to Mongolian eagle hunters, and from Amerindian shamans to highly celebrated writers. The sheer multitude of voices in this global chorus means that it is both a source book on why we cherish birds and a powerful testament to their importance for all humanity.
Tequila mockingbird : cocktails with a literary twist / Tim Federle ; illustrated by Lauren Mortimer (641.874 F) -- Congrats. You fought through War and Peace, burned through Fahrenheit 451, and sailed through Moby-Dick. All right, you nearly drowned in Moby-Dick, but you made it to shore—and you deserve a drink! A fun gift for barflies and a terrific treat for book clubs, Tequila Mockingbird is the ultimate cocktail book for the literary obsessed. Featuring 65 delicious drink recipes—paired with wry commentary on history’s most beloved novels—the book also includes bar bites, drinking games, and whimsical illustrations throughout. Even if you don’t have a B.A. in English, tonight you’re gonna drink like you do. Drinks include: The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose--The Last of the Mojitos--Love in the Time of Kahlúa--Romeo and Julep--A Rum of One’s Own--Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita--Vermouth the Bell Tolls, and more!
50 foods : the essentials of good taste with notes on wine / Edward Behr (641.013 B) -- Like Behr’s celebrated magazine, The Art of Eating, 50 Foods presents simple, practical information about buying, using, preparing, and enjoying. Behr focuses on aroma, appearance, flavor, and texture to determine what “the best” means for each food. He tells you how to select top quality—signs of freshness and ripeness, best season, top varieties, proper aging. If the way to prepare, serve, or eat something is little known, then he explains it (how to open an oyster, why the best way to cook green beans is boiling, how to clean a whole salted anchovy, when to eat and when to discard the rind of a cheese). Behr also names the most complementary foods and flavors for each of these fifty marvelous foods and the wines that go with them. The fifty selections provide a broad sensory range for the modern gourmet. Most of the foods are raw materials, but some have been fermented or otherwise transformed—into bread, ham, cheese. We can’t always have the best, but with the information in this book we can eat better every day. Knowing good food is part of a complete understanding of the world—part of a full enjoyment of nature, a full experience of the senses, a full life.
No Better Time : The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin - The Genius Who Transformed the Internet / Molly Knight Raskin (B LEWIN) -- No Better Time tells of a young, driven mathematical genius who wrote a set of algorithms that would create a faster, better Internet. It’s the story of a beautiful friendship between a loud, irreverent student and his soft-spoken MIT professor, of a husband and father who spent years struggling to make ends meet only to become a billionaire almost overnight with the success of Akamai Technologies, the Internet content delivery network he cofounded with his mentor.
Danny Lewin’s brilliant but brief life is largely unknown because, until now, those closest to him have guarded their memories and quietly mourned their loss. For Lewin was almost certainly the first victim of 9/11, stabbed to death at age 31 while trying to overpower the terrorists who would eventually fly American Flight 11 into the World Trade Center. But ironically it was 9/11 that proved the ultimate test for Lewin’s vision—while phone communication failed and web traffic surged as never before, the critical news and government sites that relied on Akamai—and the technology pioneered by Danny Lewin—remained up and running.
Five billion years of solitude : the search for life among the stars / Lee Billings (576.839 B) -- For 4.6 billion years our living planet has been alone in a vast and silent universe. But soon, Earth’s isolation could come to an end. Over the past two decades, astronomers have discovered thousands of planets orbiting other stars. Some of these exoplanets may be mirror images of our own world. And more are being found all the time. Yet as the pace of discovery quickens, an answer to the universe’s greatest riddle still remains just out of reach: Is the great silence and emptiness of the cosmos a sign that we and our world are somehow singular, special, and profoundly alone, or does it just mean that we’re looking for life in all the wrong places? As star-gazing scientists come closer to learning the truth, their insights are proving ever more crucial to understanding life’s intricate mysteries and possibilities right here on Earth. Science journalist Lee Billings explores the past and future of the “exoplanet boom” through in-depth reporting and interviews with the astronomers and planetary scientists at its forefront. He recounts the stories behind their world-changing discoveries and captures the pivotal moments that drove them forward in their historic search for the first habitable planets beyond our solar system.
Candy : a century of panic and pleasure / Samira Kawash (394.12 K) -- Samira Kawash tells the fascinating story of how candy evolved from a luxury good to a cheap, everyday snack. After candy making was revolutionized in the early decades of mass production, it was celebrated as a new kind of food for energy and enjoyment. Riding the rise in snacking and exploiting early nutritional science, candy was the first of the panoply of "junk foods" that would take over the American diet in the decades after the Second World War—convenient and pleasurable, for eating anytime or all the time. And yet, food reformers and moral crusaders have always attacked candy, blaming it for poisoning, alcoholism, sexual depravity and fatal disease. These charges have been disproven and forgotten, but the mistrust of candy they produced has never diminished. The anxiety and confusion that most Americans have about their diets today is a legacy of the tumultuous story of candy, the most loved and loathed of processed foods.
The melting world : a journey across America's vanishing glaciers / Christopher White (551.312 W) -- Global warming usually seems to happen far away, but one catastrophic effect of climate change is underway right now in the Rocky Mountains. In The Melting World, Chris White travels to Montana to chronicle the work of Dan Fagre, a climate scientist and ecologist, whose work shows that alpine glaciers are vanishing rapidly close to home. For years, Fagre has monitored the ice sheets in Glacier National Park proving that they—and by extension all Rocky Mountain ice—will melt far faster than previously imagined. How long will the ice fields survive? What are the consequences on our environment? The Melting World chronicles the first extinction of a mountain ecosystem in what is expected to be a series of such global calamities as humanity faces the prospect of a world without alpine ice.
Fire and light : how the Enlightenment transformed our world / James MacGregor Burns (940.2 B) -- In this engaging, provocative history, James MacGregor Burns brilliantly illuminates the two-hundred-year conflagration of the Enlightenment, when audacious questions and astonishing ideas tore across Europe and the New World, transforming thought, overturning governments, and inspiring visionary political experiments. Fire and Light brings to vivid life the galaxy of revolutionary leaders of thought and action who, armed with a new sense of human possibility, driven by a hunger for change, created the modern world. Burns discovers the origins of a distinctive American Enlightenment in men like the Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, and their early encounters with incendiary European ideas about liberty and equality. It was these thinker-activists who framed the United States as a grand and continuing experiment in Enlightenment principles.
The accidental species : misunderstandings of human evolution / Henry Gee (599.9 G) -- The idea of a missing link between humanity and our animal ancestors predates evolution and popular science and actually has religious roots in the deist concept of the Great Chain of Being. Yet, the metaphor has lodged itself in the contemporary imagination, and new fossil discoveries are often hailed in headlines as revealing the elusive transitional step, the moment when we stopped being "animal" and started being "human." In The Accidental Species , Henry Gee, longtime paleontology editor at Nature , takes aim at this misleading notion, arguing that it reflects a profound misunderstanding of how evolution works and, when applied to the evolution of our own species, supports mistaken ideas about our own place in the universe. Gee presents a robust and stark challenge to our tendency to see ourselves as the acme of creation. Far from being a quirk of religious fundamentalism, human exceptionalism, Gee argues, is an error that also infects scientific thought. Touring the many features of human beings that have recurrently been used to distinguish us from the rest of the animal world, Gee shows that our evolutionary outcome is one possibility among many, one that owes more to chance than to an organized progression to supremacy.
Little ship of fools : 16 rowers, 1 improbable boat, 7 tumultuous weeks on the Atlantic / Charles Wilkins (797.123 W) -- It was to be an expedition like no other—a run across the Atlantic from Morocco to Barbados aboard an experimental rowboat. There would be no support vessel, no stored water, no sails or motor. The boat's crew of sixteen included several veterans of U.S. college rowing, a number of triathletes, a woman who had rowed both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and a scrawny sexagenarian looking for a last great challenge—our chronicler, Charles Wilkins. When he joined the expedition, Wilkins had never swung an oar in earnest. Accompanied by a devoted crew of misadventurers, Wilkins takes the reader along for seven weeks of rationed food, extreme sleep deprivation, and life-threatening seas—as well as sharks, whales, and an ever-disintegrating boat. Little Ship of Fools is a rich and fascinating story of courage, community, the importance of risk in our lives, and the resilience and depth of the human spirit.
Bach : music in the castle of heaven / John Eliot Gardiner (B BACH) -- An unprecedented book about one of the greatest of all composers, by his greatest modern interpreter. Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most famously unfathomable composers in the history of music. How can such sublime work have been produced by a man who (when we can discern his personality at all) seems so ordinary, so opaque--and occasionally so intemperate? John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every morning and evening on the stairs of his parents' house, where it hung for safety during the Second World War. He has been studying and performing Bach ever since, and is now regarded as one of the composer's greatest living interpreters. The fruits of this lifetime's immersion are now distilled in this remarkable book, which explains in wonderful detail how Bach worked, how his music is constructed, how it achieves its effects--and what it can tell us about Bach the man. It is grounded in all the most recent Bach scholarship but moves far beyond it, and takes us as deeply into Bach's works and mind as perhaps words can. This is a unique book about one of the greatest of all creative artists.
How to write short : word craft for fast times / Roy Peter Clark (808.042 C) -- When words are worth a thousand pictures -- How to write short. Collect short writing ; Study short writing wherever it finds you ; Read for focus ; Practice reading at a glance ; Follow the work of short writers ; Write in the margins ; Embrace the lyric ; No dumping ; Tap the power of two ; Learn to balance ; Give weight to one side ; Change your pace ; Hit your target ; Count to three ; Inject the juice of parallels ; Tweak the predictable ; Vary hard and soft words ; Join the six-word discipline ; Cut it short ; Add by contraction ; Excerpt-- but in context ; Surprise with brevity -- How to write short with a purpose. Enshrine ; Crack wise ; Sound wise ; Sell ; Entice ; Surprise with content ; Reframe messages as dialogue ; Marry words with pictures ; Summarize and define ; List ; Report and narrate ; Title ; Protect against the misuses of short writing -- A few final words-- 441 to be exact.