December’s Non-Fiction Titles At The Library

December 17, 2013

Our non-fiction shelves continue to see a surge of browse and check-out activity. There are lots of new narrative histories as well as cookbooks, biographies and memoirs, science for the rest of us, a gorgeous book on gardens in the Hudson Valley and many, many others. Come in to the library or let your fingers do the shopping here with the December additions to the collection. Just click on the title and have your library card barcode handy to place a hold.

The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, And A Forgotten Genocide by Gary Bass
The Pakistani army launched a crackdown on what was then East Pakistan (today an independent Bangladesh), killing hundreds of thousands of people and sending ten million refugees fleeing to India–one of the worst humanitarian crises of the twentieth century. Nixon and Kissinger, unswayed by detailed warnings of genocide from American diplomats witnessing the bloodshed, stood behind Pakistan’s military rulers. Driven not just by Cold War realpolitik but by a bitter personal dislike of India and its leader Indira Gandhi, Nixon and Kissinger actively helped the Pakistani government even as it careened toward a devastating war against India. They silenced American officials who dared to speak up, secretly encouraged China to mass troops on the Indian border, and illegally supplied weapons to the Pakistani military–an overlooked scandal that presages Watergate.

Elizabeth Of York by Alison Weir
Many are familiar with the story of the much-married King Henry VIII of England and the celebrated reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. But it is often forgotten that the life of the first Tudor queen, Elizabeth of York, Henry’s mother and Elizabeth’s grandmother, spanned one of England’s most dramatic and perilous periods. Now New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir presents the first modern biography of this extraordinary woman, whose very existence united the realm and ensured the survival of the Plantagenet bloodline. Her birth was greeted with as much pomp and ceremony as that of a male heir. The first child of King Edward IV, Elizabeth enjoyed all the glittering trappings of royalty. But after the death of her father; the disappearance and probable murder of her brothers–the Princes in the Tower; and the usurpation of the throne by her calculating uncle Richard III, Elizabeth found her world turned upside-down.

Feast by Sarah Copeland
Vegetables never tasted better than in these richly flavored, satisfying vegetarian meals from Sarah Copeland, whose Newlywed Cookbook has become a trusted resource in the kitchens of thousands of new cooks. In her latest cookbook, Copeland showcases a global range of flavors, from the peppery cuisine of her Hungarian, vegetarian husband to the bibimbap she fell in love with in New York’s Koreatown. More than 140 recipes cater to cooks of all skill levels and meal occasions of every variety, while more than 60 gorgeous photographs from celebrated photographer Yunhee Kim demonstrate the delectable beauty of these vegetablefeasts.

A Field Guide To American Houses by Virginia McAlester
Here at last: the fully expanded, updated, and freshly designed second edition of the most comprehensive and widely acclaimed guide to domestic architecture–in print since its publication in 1984, and acknowledged everywhere as the unmatched, essential reference to American houses. Focusing on dwellings in urban and suburban neighborhoods and rural locations all across the continental United States–houses built over the past three hundred years reflecting every social and economic background–this guide provides in-depth information on the essentials of domestic architecture with facts and frames of reference that will enable you to look in a fresh way at the houses around you. With more than 1,600 detailed photographs and line illustrations, and a lucid, vastly informative text, it will teach you not only to recognize distinct architectural styles but also to understand their historical significance.

Fortune Tellers: The Story Of America’s First Economic Forecasters by Walter Friedman
The period leading up to the Great Depression witnessed the rise of the economic forecasters, pioneers who sought to use the tools of science to predict the future, with the aim of profiting from their forecasts. This book chronicles the lives and careers of the men who defined this first wave of economic fortune tellers, men such as Roger Babson, Irving Fisher, John Moody, C. J. Bullock, and Warren Persons. They competed to sell their distinctive methods of prediction to investors and businesses, and thrived in the boom years that followed World War I. Yet, almost to a man, they failed to predict the devastating crash of 1929. Walter Friedman paints vivid portraits of entrepreneurs who shared a belief that the rational world of numbers and reason could tame–or at least foresee–the irrational gyrations of the market.

French Women Don’t Get Facelifts by Mireille Guiliano
The author of the bestselling “French Women Dont Get Fat” shares the secrets and strategies of aging with attitude, joy, and no surgery. With her signature blend of wit, no-nonsense advice, and storytelling flair, Mireille Guiliano returns with a delightful, encouraging take on beauty and aging for our times. For anyone who has ever spent the equivalent of a mortgage payment on anti-aging lotions or procedures, dressed inappropriate for their age, gained a little too much in the middle, or accidentally forgot how to flirt, here is a proactive way to stay looking and feeling great, without resorting to “the knife”-a French womans most guarded beauty secrets revealed for the benefit of us all.

From Scratch: Inside The Food Network by Allen Salkin
In October 1993, a tiny start-up called the Food Network debuted to little notice. Twenty years later, it is in 100 million homes, approaches a billion dollars a year in revenue, and features a galaxy of stars whose faces and names are as familiar to us as our own family’s. But what we don’t know about them, and the people behind them, could fill a book. Based upon extensive inside access, documents, and interviews with hundreds of executives, stars, and employees all up and down the ladder, Allen Salkin’s book is an exhilarating roller-coaster ride from chaos to conquest (and sometimes back).

George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade
Among the pantheon of heroes of the American Revolution, six names are missing. First and foremost, Robert Townsend, an unassuming and respected businessman from Long Island, who spearheaded the spy ring that covertly brought down the British…before they, or anyone else, could discover their names. Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger finally give Townsend and his fellow spies their proper due, telling the fascinating story of how they passed information to George Washington that turned the tide of the war. Using a network of citizen operatives that included a longshoreman, bartender, newspaper editor, housewife, tailor, and femme fatale, and employing a series of complex codes, the so-called Culper Spy Ring used sophisticated tactics to subvert the British.

The Heart Of The Plate: Vegetarian Recipes For A New Generation by Mollie Katzen
With The Moosewood Cookbook, Mollie Katzen changed the way a generation cooked and brought vegetarian cuisine into the mainstream. In The Heart of the Plate , she completely reinvents the vegetarian repertoire, unveiling a collection of beautiful, healthful, and unfussy dishes; her “absolutely most loved.” Her new cuisine is light, sharp, simple, and modular; her inimitable voice is as personal, helpful, clear, and funny as ever. Whether it’s a salad of kale and angel hair pasta with orange chili oil or a seasonal autumn lasagna, these dishes are celebrations of vegetables.

Knocking On Heaven’s Door: The Path To A Better Way Of Death by Katy Butler
In this visionary memoir, based on a groundbreaking New York Times Magazine story, award-winning journalist Katy Butler ponders her parents’ desires for “Good Deaths” and the forces within medicine that stood in the way. Katy Butler was living thousands of miles from her vigorous and self-reliant parents when the call came: a crippling stroke had left her proud seventy-nine-year-old father unable to fasten a belt or complete a sentence. Tragedy at first drew the family closer: her mother devoted herself to caregiving, and Butler joined the twenty-four million Americans helping shepherd parents through their final declines. Then doctors outfitted her father with a pacemaker, keeping his heart going but doing nothing to prevent his six-year slide into dementia, near-blindness, and misery. When he told his exhausted wife, “I’m living too long,” mother and daughter were forced to confront a series of wrenching moral questions.

The Last Ocean: Antarctica’s Ross Sea Project by John Weller
A stunning collection of oceanic photography documenting the world’s last pristine ocean. Due to its remoteness and harsh weather, Antarctica’s Ross Sea remained free from human interference until 1996, when commercial fishing discovered it. Now that fishery removes 3,000 tons of fish annually, threatening to destroy the world’s last intact ecosystem. The Last Ocean organization started in 2004, joining scientists and environmental groups in a campaign to have the entire Ross Sea designated as an international marine protected area. One of the founding members of The Last Ocean is John Weller, whose photographs from the Ross Sea were collected during four trips to the Antarctic, including a four-month stay at McMurdo and Cape Royds, home of the southernmost penguin colony in the world. Offering a rare glimpse into life at the edge of the world–from Emperor and Adélie penguins to silverfish, seals, and minke whales–Weller takes the reader on an unprecedented journey above and below the ocean surface.

My Promised Land by Ari Shavit
An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today. Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family’s story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.

Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals For Delicious Living by Nick Offerman
Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman shares his humorous fulminations on life, manliness, meat, and much more in his first book. Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman, who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation ‘s Ron Swanson?

Picture Perfect Parties by Annette Joseph
Picture Perfect Party provides blueprints for a year’s worth of get-togethers, covering every holiday and occasion. From her years of experience, Annette Joseph has developed an arsenal of tricks for making entertaining easy, and here she shares them for the first time. Her focus is always on making use of items that are already at hand in the house, ingeniously transforming theordinary into the extraordinary–a style of entertaining that doesn’t require spending a lot of money.

Private gardens Of The Hudson Valley by Jane Garmey
Private Gardens of the Hudson Valley surveys the majestic landscape that borders the Hudson River, an area rich in history and unique garden designs. The scenery, which encompasses riverfront meadows, craggy hills, and long open valleys, is inherently dramatic. Twenty-six private gardens are presented here, chosen to establish a sense of place and to convey the romance of the landscape. John Halland’s photographs give a privileged view of the life within, while Jane Garmey’s warm and engaging narrative traces the development of the gardens and the great pleasure their owners take in nurturing them. As Garmey notes in her introduction, each of these gardens has been made by the owner, and special attention given to the transition between the cultivated garden and the grandeur of the larger landscape beyond.

Servants: A Downstairs History Of Britain From The Nineteenth Century To Modern Times by Lucy Lethbridge
From the vast staff running a lavish Edwardian estate to the lonely maid-of-all-work cooking in a cramped middle-class house, domestics were an essential part of the British hierarchy for much of the past century. Servants were hired not only for their skills but also to demonstrate the social standing of their employers, even as they were required to tread softly and blend into the background. But how did these countless men and women live? How did they view their employers and one another? And how did they experience the rapid social change of the twentieth century?

The Smartest Kids In The World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley
How Do Other Countries Create “Smarter” Kids? In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they’ve never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy. What is it like to be a child in the world’s new education superpowers? In a global quest to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embed-ded in these countries for one year. Kim, fifteen, raises $10,000 so she can move from Oklahoma to Finland; Eric, eighteen, exchanges a high-achieving Minnesota suburb for a booming city in South Korea; and Tom, seventeen, leaves a historic Pennsylvania village for Poland. Through these young informants, Ripley meets battle-scarred reformers, sleep-deprived zombie students, and a teacher who earns $4 million a year. Their stories, along with groundbreaking research into learning in other cultures, reveal a pattern of startling transformation: none of these countries had many “smart” kids a few decades ago. Things had changed.

Stephen Sills: Decoration by Stephen Sills
The first book to focus on the solo residential work of the visionary interior decorator Stephen Sills. Simultaneously classical and modern, Stephen Sills’s design work is a dialogue between past and present. Filled with luxurious fabrics, furnishings from across centuries, and unusual finishes, his work is polished, seemingly effortless, and quietly rich, with a muted color palette that serves as a brilliant foil for modern art. In this striking, meditative volume, the follow-up to his best-selling book Dwellings, Sills presents sixteen breathtaking homes, gorgeously photographed by the legendary François Halard, in locations as varied as a penthouse on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, a modern Aspen retreat, an estate on the North Shore of Long Island, and his own country house in Bedford, New York (dubbed the “chicest house in America” by Karl Lagerfeld).

Ten Years In The Tub by Nick Hornby
At the end of 2003, as the first issue of The Believer was rising from the primordial ooze, Nick Hornby turned in the inaugural installment of a monthly column that immediately became a reader favorite. For the next ten years, Hornby’s incandescently funny “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” chronicled a singular reading life; one that is measured not just in “books bought” and “books read,” as each column begins, but in the way our feelings toward Celine Dion say a lot about who we are, the way Body Shop Vanilla Shower Gel can add excitement to our days, and the way John Updike might ruin our sex lives. Hornby’s column is both an impeccable, wide-ranging reading list and an indispensable reminder of why we read.

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