New December Nonfiction
My ideal bookshelf (028.9 M) -- The books that we choose to keep-let alone read-can say a lot about who we are and how we see ourselves. In The ideal bookshelf, dozens of leading cultural figures share the books that matter to them most-books that define their dreams and ambitions and in many cases helped them find their way in the world. With colorful and endearingly hand-rendered images of book spines by Jane Mount, and first-person commentary from all the contributors, this is a perfect gift for avid readers, writers, and all who have known the influence of a great book.
The wisdom of psychopaths : what saints, spies, and serial killers can teach us about success (155.2 D) -- An analysis of what can be learned from psychopaths incorporates advances in brain scanning and neuroscience to illustrate the scale of mental health that impacts everyone, the role of functional psychopathic behaviors in success, and the misunderstandings that impact treatments.
The antidote : happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking (158 B) -- The Antidote is a series of journeys among people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. What they have in common is a hunch about human psychology: that it’s our constant effort to eliminate the negative that causes us to feel so anxious, insecure, and unhappy. And that there is an alternative “negative path” to happiness and success that involves embracing the things we spend our lives trying to avoid. It is a subversive, galvanizing message, which turns out to have a long and distinguished philosophical lineage ranging from ancient Roman Stoic philosophers to Buddhists.
Oddly normal : one family's struggle to help their teenage son come to terms with his sexuality (306.766 S) -- A heartfelt memoir by the father of a gay teen, and an eye-opening guide for families who hope to bring up well-adjusted gay adults. Three years ago, John Schwartz, a national correspondent at The New York Times, got the call that every parent hopes never to receive: his thirteen-year-old son, Joe, was in the hospital following a suicide attempt. This book is Schwartz's very personal attempt to address his family's struggles within a culture that is changing fast, but not fast enough to help gay kids like Joe.
Bet the farm : how food stopped being food (338.19 K) -- Reveals that money pouring into the global derivatives market in grain futures is having astonishing consequences that reach far beyond your dinner table, including the Arab Spring, bankrupt farmers, starving masses, and armies of scientists creating new GMO foods with U.S. marketing and shipping needs in mind instead of global nutrition. Our food is getting less healthy, less delicious, and more expensive even as the world's biggest food companies and food scientists say things are better than ever and that the rest of us should leave it to them to feed the world.
The end of your life book club (362.1969 S) -- Will and Mary Anne share their hopes and concerns with each other—and rediscover their lives—through their favorite books. When they read, they aren’t a sick person and a well person, but a mother and a son taking a journey together. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn’t the opposite of doing; it’s the opposite of dying. The result is a profoundly moving tale of loss that is also a joyful, and often humorous, celebration of life: Will’s love letter to his mother, and theirs to the printed page.
Spectrums : our mind-boggling universe from infinitesimal to infinity (539.01 B) -- In Spectrums, David Blatner blends narrative and illustration to illuminate the variety of spectrums that affect our lives every day: numbers, size, light, sound, heat, and time. Exploring these far-reaching spectrums gives us fascinating perspective on our small but not insignificant place in the universe. With easy-to-read, engaging, and insightful observations, illustrated by a wealth of photographs and diagrams, Blatner helps us "grok"--understand intuitively--six spectrums we encounter constantly, making our daily lives richer and more meaningful through greater appreciation of the bizarre and beautiful world in which we live.
Marbles : mania, depression, Michelangelo, & me : a graphic memoir (616.395 F) -- Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the crazy artist, she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, William Styron, and Sylvia Plath. She also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of attempting to “cure” an otherwise brilliant mind.
Modernist cuisine at home (641.013 M) -- The culinary revolution that has transformed restaurant menus around the world is also making its way into home kitchens. The Cooking Lab, publisher of the encyclopedic six-volume set Modernist Cuisine, which immediately became the definitive reference for this revolution, has now produced a lavishly illustrated guide for home cooks, complete with all-new recipes tailored for cooking enthusiasts of all skill levels. The authors have collected in this 456-page volume all the essential information that any cook needs to stock a modern kitchen, to master Modernist techniques, and to make hundreds of stunning recipes.
Paper made! : 101 exceptional projects to make out of everyday paper (745.54 T) -- Chances are you’ve seen the author’s cutting-edge work in the windows of Anthropologie, where she is the chain’s merchandising manager. An inveterate crafter who creates projects and styles photo shoots for magazines like Parents and Vogue Knitting, Kayte Terry takes the most versatile of materials and the most basic of crafts (remember snipping valentines out of construction paper?), and creates something completely trans- formative. This is not about how to use costly, artsy paper, but how to turn stuff around the house—magazines and shopping bags, candy wrappers and paint sample cards, wrapping paper, old maps, and paper towel tubes—into stunning jewelry, gifts, home décor, party favors, and much more.
The first four notes : Beethoven's fifth and the human imagination (780.92 BEETHOVEN) -- Music critic Matthew Guerrieri reaches back before Beethoven’s time to examine what might have influenced him in writing his Fifth Symphony, and forward into our own time to describe the ways in which the Fifth has, in turn, asserted its influence. He uncovers possible sources for the famous opening notes in the rhythms of ancient Greek poetry and certain French Revolutionary songs and symphonies. Guerrieri confirms that, contrary to popular belief, Beethoven was not deaf when he wrote the Fifth. He traces the Fifth’s influence in China, Russia, and the United States (Emerson and Thoreau were passionate fans) and shows how the masterpiece was used by both the Allies and the Nazis in World War II. Altogether, a fascinating piece of musical detective work—a treat for music lovers of every stripe.
Meet me at emotional baggage claim (817 S) -- Love and guilt are thick in the Scottoline/Serritella household, and Lisa and Francesca’s mother-daughter-turned-best-friends bond will strike a familiar note to many. But now that Lisa is a suburban empty nester and Francesca is an independent twentysomething in the big city, they have to learn how to stay close while living apart. How does a mother’s love translate across state lines and over any semblance of personal boundaries? You’ll laugh out loud as they face off over the proper technique for packing dishes, the importance of bringing a coat in the summertime, and the dos and don’ts of dating at any age. Add feisty octogenarian Mother Mary to the mix, and you have a Molotov cocktail of estrogen, opinions, and fun.
Journeys on the Silk Road : a desert explorer, Buddha's secret library, and the unearthing of the world's oldest printed book (951.5 M) -- When a Chinese monk broke into a hidden cave in 1900, he uncovered one of the world’s great literary secrets: a time capsule from the ancient Silk Road. Inside, scrolls were piled from floor to ceiling, undisturbed for a thousand years. The gem within was the Diamond Sutra of AD 868. This key Buddhist teaching, made 500 years before Gutenberg inked his press, is the world’s oldest printed book. Central to the Silk Road’s rediscovery was a man named Aurel Stein, a Hungarian-born scholar and archaeologist employed by the British service. Undaunted by the vast Gobi Desert, Stein crossed thousands of desolate miles with his fox terrier Dash. Stein met the Chinese monk and secured the Diamond Sutra and much more. The scroll’s journey—by camel through arid desert, by boat to London’s curious scholars, by train to evade the bombs of World War II—merges an explorer’s adventures, political intrigue, and continued controversy. The Diamond Sutra has inspired Jack Kerouac and the Dalai Lama. Its journey has coincided with the growing appeal of Buddhism in the West. As the Gutenberg Age cedes to the Google Age, the survival of the Silk Road’s greatest treasure is testament to the endurance of the written word.
Custer (B CUSTER) -- In this lavishly illustrated volume, Larry McMurtry, the greatest chronicler of the American West, tackles for the first time one of the paramount figures of Western and American history--George Armstrong Custer. McMurtry also argues that Custer's last stand at the Little Bighorn should be seen as a monumental event in our nation's history. Like all great battles, its true meaning can be found in its impact on our politics and policy, and the epic defeat clearly signaled the end of the Indian Wars--and brought to a close the great narrative of western expansion.
Memoir of the Sunday brunch (B PANDL) -- At age twelve, Julie was initiated into the rite of the Sunday brunch, a weekly madhouse at her father’s Milwaukee-based restaurant, where she and her eight older siblings before her did service in a situation of controlled chaos, learning the ropes of the family business and, more important, learning life lessons that would shape them for all the years to come. In her wry memoir, she looks back on those formative years, a time not just of growing up but, ultimately, of becoming a source of strength and support as the world her father knew began to change into a tougher, less welcoming place.
Heads in beds : a reckless memoir of hotels, hustles, and so-called hospitality (B TOMSKY) -- Jacob Tomsky never intended to go into the hotel business. As a new college graduate, armed only with a philosophy degree and a singular lack of career direction, he became a valet parker for a large luxury hotel in New Orleans. Yet, rising fast through the ranks, he ended up working in “hospitality” for more than a decade, doing everything from supervising the housekeeping department to manning the front desk at an upscale Manhattan hotel. He’s checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room-service meals, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late checkout, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your minibar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. In Heads in Beds he pulls back the curtain to expose the crazy and compelling reality of a multi-billion-dollar industry we think we know.