Featured New Nonfiction for February

Click here for a list of all our new nonfiction titles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The $1,000 challenge : how one family slashed its budget without moving under a bridge or living on government cheese / Brian J. O'Connor (332.024 O) -- A funny, useful guide to saving $1,000 a month, based on the popular series in The Detroit News. With middle-class families more stretched than ever, nationally syndicated personal finance columnist Brian O'Connor decided to test his own advice about saving money. He began a ten-week experiment to cut his family's monthly expenses by $1,000-without sacrificing anything truly important. The result is a funny, savvy guide to budgeting in the real world, across ten different categories of spending. It can help families eliminate petty squabbling about money and feel better about where those hard-earned dollars are going.

 

In meat we trust : an unexpected history of carnivore America / Maureen Ogle (338.19 O) -- The untold story of how meat made America. The moment European settlers arrived in North America, they began transforming the land into a meat-eater's paradise. Long before revolution turned colonies into nation, Americans were eating meat on a scale the Old World could neither imagine nor provide: an average European was lucky to see meat once a week, while even a poor American man put away about two hundred pounds a year. Maureen Ogle guides us from that colonial paradise through the urban meat-making factories of the nineteenth century to the hyperefficient packing plants of the late twentieth century. From Swift and Armour to Tyson, Cargill, and ConAgra. From the 1880s cattle bonanza to 1980s feedlots. From agribusiness to today's "local" meat suppliers and organic countercuisine. Along the way, Ogle explains how Americans' carnivorous demands shaped urban landscapes, Midwestern prairies, and Western ranges, and how the American system of meat making became a source of both pride and controversy.

 

All the time in the world : a book of hours / Jessica Kerwin Jenkins (390 J) -- All the Time in the World proffers a miscellany of customs, traditions, and pleasures people have pursued throughout the ages. An antidote to the contemporary cult of Getting Things Done, the book takes its cue from the medieval books of hours, which prescribed certain readings and contemplations for various parts of the day and year. Full of witty bon mots, interesting etymologies, and arresting anecdotes, the book encompasses an array of cultures and eras including ancient Greece, Renaissance Florence, 1930s Shanghai, and the Hollywood Hills of the late 1960s, drifting through the worlds of fashion, beauty, art, food, or travel. Entertaining, unexpected, and charming, All the Time in the World digs up the forgotten treasures of the past and inspires a passion for good living in the present.

 

Build the perfect bug out bag : your 72-hour disaster survival kit / Creek Stewart (613.69 S) -- Be ready when disaster strikes. If an unexpected emergency or disaster hits, are you prepared to leave your home fast? You will be if you follow the advice in this book. This book shows you how to create a self contained disaster preparedness kit to help you survive your journey from ground zero to a safer location. Survival expert Creek Stewart details from start to finish everything you need to gather for 72 hours of independent survival: water, food, protection, shelter, survival tools, and so much more. You'll find: a complete Bug Out Bag checklist that tells you exactly what to pack based on your survival skill level, photos and explanations of every item you need in your bag, resource lists to help you find and purchase gear, practice exercises that teach you how to use almost everything in your bag, demonstrations for multi use items that save pack space and weight, and specific gear recommendations for common disasters. The book even includes special considerations for bugging out with children, the elderly, the physically disabled, and even pets.
 
The physics of war : from arrows to atoms / Barry Parker (623.4 P) -- Physics has played a critical role in warfare since the earliest times. Barry Parker highlights famous battles of the past as well as renowned scientists and inventors such as Leonardo, Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, and Einstein whose work had an impact on the technology of combat. Mechanics and the laws of motion led to improved shell trajectories; gas dynamics proved important to the interior ballistics of rifles and cannons; and space exploration resulted in intercontinental missiles, spy satellites, and drone aircraft. Parker emphasizes the special discoveries that had revolutionary effects on the art of warfare: the Chinese invention of gunpowder, the development of firearms, the impact of the Industrial Revolution, the deployment of the airplane in the First World War, and in our era the unleashing of the enormous power inherent in nuclear fission and fusion.
 
Ivan Ramen : love, obsession, and recipes from Tokyo's most unlikely noodle joint / Ivan Orkin with Chris Ying (641.5652 O) -- The end-all-be-all guide to ramen from Ivan Orkin, the iconoclastic New York-born owner of Tokyo's top ramen shop. While scores of people line up outside American ramen powerhouses like Momofuku Noodle Bar, chefs and food writers in the know revere Ivan Orkin's traditional Japanese take on ramen. Ivan Ramen chronicles Orkin's journey from dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker to the chef and owner of one of Japan's most-loved ramen restaurants, Ivan Ramen. His passion for ramen is contagious, his story fascinating, and his recipes to-die-for, including master recipes for the fundamental types of ramen, and variations on each. Likely the only chef in the world with the knowledge and access to convey such a candid look at Japanese cuisine to a Western audience, Orkin is perfectly positioned to author what will be the ultimate English-language overview on ramen and all of its components.
 
Capturing the light : the birth of photography, a true story of genius and rivalry / Roger Watson and Helen Rappaport (770.92 W) -- An intimate look at the journeys of two men-- a gentleman scientist and a visionary artist-- as they struggled to capture the world around them, and in the process invented modern photography. During the 1830s, in an atmosphere of intense scientific enquiry fostered by the Industrial Revolution, two quite different men-- one in France, one in England-- developed their own dramatically different photographic processes in total ignorance of each other's work. These two lone geniuses-- Henry Fox Talbot in the seclusion of his English country estate at Lacock Abbey and Louis Daguerre in the heart of post-revolutionary Paris-- through diligence, disappointment and sheer hard work overcame extraordinary odds to achieve the one thing man had for centuries been trying to do--to solve the ancient puzzle of how to capture the light and in so doing make nature 'paint its own portrait'. With the creation of their two radically different processes-- the Daguerreotype and the Talbotype-- these two giants of early photography changed the world and how we see it. Drawing on a wide range of original, contemporary sources and featuring plates in colour, sepia and black and white, many of them rare or previously unseen, Capturing the Light charts an extraordinary tale of genius, rivalry and human resourcefulness in the quest to produce the world's first photograph.
 
A curious madness : an American combat psychiatrist, a Japanese war crimes suspect, and an unsolved mystery from World War II / Eric Jaffe (952.04 J) -- Among all the political and military leaders on trial, Okawa was the lone civilian. In the years leading up to World War II, he had outlined a divine mission for Japan to lead Asia against the West, prophesized a great clash with the United States, planned coups d’etat with military rebels, and financed the assassination of Japan’s prime minister. Beyond “all vestiges of doubt,” concluded a classified American intelligence report, “Okawa moved in the best circles of nationalist intrigue.” Okawa’s guilt as a conspirator appeared straightforward. But on the first day of the Tokyo trial, he made headlines around the world by slapping star defendant and wartime prime minister Tojo Hideki on the head. Had Okawa lost his sanity? Or was he faking madness to avoid a grim punishment? A U.S. Army psychiatrist stationed in occupied Japan, Major Daniel Jaffe—the author’s grandfather—was assigned to determine Okawa’s ability to stand trial, and thus his fate.
 
The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects / Richard Kurin (973. K) -- Ranging from the earliest years of the pre-Columbian continent to the digital age, and from the American Revolution to Vietnam, each entry pairs the fascinating history surrounding each object with the story of its creation or discovery and the place it has come to occupy in our national memory. Kurin sheds remarkable new light on objects we think we know well, from Lincoln's hat to Dorothy's ruby slippers and Julia Child's kitchen, including the often astonishing tales of how each made its way into the collections of the Smithsonian. Other objects will be eye-opening new discoveries for many, but no less evocative of the most poignant and important moments of the American experience. Some objects, such as Harriet Tubman's hymnal, Sitting Bull's ledger, Cesar Chavez's union jacket, and the Enola Gay bomber, tell difficult stories from the nation's history, and inspire controversies when exhibited at the Smithsonian. Others, from George Washington's sword to the space shuttle Discovery, celebrate the richness and vitality of the American spirit. In Kurin's hands, each object comes to vivid life, providing a tactile connection to American history.
 
Empress Dowager Cixi : the concubine who launched modern China / Jung Chang (B CIXI) -- In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Cixi fought against monumental obstacles to change China. Under her the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, the telegraph and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. It was she who abolished gruesome punishments like "death by a thousand cuts" and put an end to foot-binding. She inaugurated women's liberation and embarked on the path to introduce parliamentary elections to China. Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot. Cixi reigned during extraordinary times and had to deal with a host of major national crises: the Taiping and Boxer rebellions, wars with France and Japan--and an invasion by eight allied powers including Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States. Jung Chang not only records the Empress Dowager's conduct of domestic and foreign affairs, but also takes the reader into the depths of her splendid Summer Palace and the harem of Beijing's Forbidden City, where she lived surrounded by eunuchs--one of whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences. The world Chang describes here, in fascinating detail, seems almost unbelievable in its extraordinary mixture of the very old and the very new. Based on newly available, mostly Chinese, historical documents such as court records, official and private correspondence, diaries and eyewitness accounts, this biography will revolutionize historical thinking about a crucial period in China's--and the world's--history. Packed with drama, fast paced and gripping, it is both a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern China and an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world's population, and as a unique stateswoman.