August 2011 Nonfiction

Computer science, information & general works

 Area 51: an uncensored history of America’s top  secret military base

Area 51 is the nation’s most secret domestic military facility. It is located in the high desert of southern Nevada, seventy-five miles north of Las Vegas. Its facilities have been constructed over the past sixty years around a flat dry lake bed called Groom Lake.

Philosophy and Psychology

 Love Wins: a book about heaven, hell and the fate of every person who ever lived

The bestselling author of “Velvet Elvis” reveals a secret deep in the heart of millions of Christians–they don’t believe what they have been taught are the essential truths of their faith. Bell brings out to the open and faces squarely the questions on everyone’s mind.

 Faith Like Potatoes: the story of a farmer who risked everything for God

 Inside Scientology: the story of America’s most secret religion

Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world’s fastest growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of “volunteer ministers” offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of the government to further its goals. Its attacks on psychiatry and its requirement that believers pay as much as tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for salvation have drawn scrutiny and skepticism. And ex-members use the Internet to share stories of harassment and abuse.  Now Janet Reitman offers the first full journalistic history of the Church of Scientology, in an evenhanded account that at last establishes the astonishing truth about the controversial religion. She traces Scientology’s development from the birth of Dianetics to today, following its metamorphosis from a pseudoscientific self-help group to a worldwide spiritual corporation with profound control over its followers and even ex-followers.  Based on five years of research, unprecedented access to Church officials, confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, this is the defining book about a little-known world.

 Social Sciences

 The Secret Knowledge: on the dismantling of American culture

‘My interests in politics began when I noticed that I acted differently than I spoke, that I had seen ‘the government’ commit sixty years of fairly unrelieved and catastrophic error nationally and internationally, that I not only hated every wasted hard-earned cent I spent in taxes, but the trauma and misery the produced…’ For the past thirty years, David Mamet has been a controversial and defining forces in theatre and film, championing the most cherished liberal values along the way. In some of the great movies and plays of our time, his characters have explored the ethics of the business world, embodied the struggles of the oppressed, and faced the flaws of the capitalist system. But in recent years, Mament has had a change of heart. He has realised that the so-called mainstream media oustlets he relied on were irredeemably biased, peddling a hypocritical and deeply flawed worldview. In 2008, he wrote a hugely controversial op-ed for The Village Voice, ‘Why I Am No Longer a ‘Brain-Dead Liberal,” in which he methodically evisceratesd liberal beliefs. Now he goes much deeper, employing his trademark intellectual force and vigor to take on all the key politicaal and cultural issues of our times, from religion to political correctness to global warming. A sample: The problems facing us, faced by all mankind engaged in Democracy, may seem complex, or indeed insolvable, and we, in despair, may revert to a state of wish fulfillment – a state of ‘belief’ in the power of various experts presenting themselves as a cure for our indecision. But this a sort of Stockholm Syndrome. Here, the capives, unable to bear the anxiety occasioned by their powerlessness, supress it by identifying with their captors. This is the essence of Lefist thought. It is a devolution from reason to ‘belief,’ in an effort to stave off a feeling of powerlessness. And if government is Good, it is a logical elaboration that more government power is Better. But the opposite is apparent to anyone who has ever had to deal with Government and, I think, to any dispassionate observer. It is in sympathy with the first and in the hope of enlarging the second group that I have written this book. Mamet pulls no punches in his art or in his politics. And as a former liberal who woke up, he will win over an entirely new audience of others who have grown irate over America’s current direction. DAVID MAMET is an acclaimed playwright, screenwriter, film director and essayist. Some of his most famous works include the ilms, The Untouchable, The Verdict, and Wag the Dog, the last two nominated for an Academy Award, and many plays, including, American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

 Reckless Endangerment: how outsized ambition, green and corruption led to economic armageddon

Morgenson, the “New York Times’s” Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, and Rosner reveal how the financial meltdown emerged from the toxic interplay of Washington, Wall Street, and corrupt mortgage lenders.

 Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: tales from an allergic life

Sandra Beasley has had severe allergies to certain foods her entire life. When butter is deadly and eggs can make your throat swell shut, cupcakes and other joys of childhood are out of the question-and so Sandra’s mother used to warn guests against a toxic, frosting-tinged kiss with “Don’t kill the birthday girl!” Now an award-winning poet, essayist, and editor, Sandra has written a captivating memoir about a subject that has only been addressed in either medical guides or recipe books: a cultural history and sociological study of food allergies, melded with her own humorous and sometimes heartbreaking experiences. From her short-lived gig as a restaurant reviewer to the dates that ended with trips to the emergency room, Sandra writes with verve and style about the struggle of a modern young woman to come to terms with a potentially deadly disorder.

  Sex on the Moon: the amazing story behind the most audacious heist in history

Thad Roberts, a fellow in a prestigious NASA program had an idea – a romantic, albeit crazy, idea. He wanted to give his girlfriend the moon. Literally. Thad convinced his girlfriend and another female accomplice, both NASA interns, to break into an impregnable laboratory at NASA – past security checkpoints, an electronically locked door with cipher security codes, and camera-lined hallways – and help him steal the most precious objects in the world: the moon rocks. But what does one do with an item so valuable that it’s illegal even to own? And was Thad Roberts – undeniably gifted, picked for one of the most competitive scientific posts imaginable, a possible astronaut – really what he seemed? Mezrich has pored over thousands of pages of court records, FBI transcripts, and NASA documents and has interviewed most of the participants in the crime to reconstruct this Ocean’s Eleven-style heist, a madcap story of genius, love, and duplicity that reads like a Hollywood thrill ride.From the Hardcover edition.

Technology

Career Opportunities in Agriculutre, Food and Natural Resources

 Weeds: in defense of nature’s most unloved plants

Britain’s greatest living nature writer “(Times)” reveals the true story–and true glories!–of the plants we love to hate.

 Pit Stops: crossing the country with Loren the rescue bully

A journalist and animal-welfare advocate exposes the brutal tragedies and prejudice inflicted upon pit bulls in this insightful travel narrative. Upon turning 40, Michelle Sathe bypassed a midlife crisis by embarking on a great American road trip–accompanied by Loren, a young rescued pit bull. The two set out to explore 29 states in 50 days for a whirlwind sampling of regional cuisine, historic landmarks, and just plain fun, including locations such as the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, New York City, and Savannah’s scenic waterfront. But along the way, they come face to face with the sad reality confronting beleaguered pit bull prejudice and the sad reality facing beleaguered “bully” breeds in America’s shelters and in places like Virginia, where Michael Vick ran a gruesome dog-fighting ring, and Pittsburgh, where bullies are routinely kept as enforcement in a dangerous underworld. Mile by mile, as the duo forge a stronger and stronger bond, the spotlight is also turned on the incredible humane workers, volunteers, and advocates across the country who work tirelessly to give bullies a second chance.

 Peas and Thank You: simple meatless meals the whole family will love

Over 85 Recipeas, One Very Happy Family When Sarah Matheny, creator of the popular blog Peas and Thank You, decided to eliminate animal products from her diet, she knew there’d be skeptics. Her husband was raised on the standard American diet. Her grandpa was a butcher. Her mom was the best home cook around, with a generous pat of butter here and a crumble of bacon there. But now Sarah is a mom who wants to feed her children right. Out went the diet soda. In came the smoothies. Out went the “nutrition” bars. In came the nutritious cookies. Out went a tired, caffeine-fueled mom. In came Mama Pea. Peas and Thank You is a collection of recipes and stories from a mainstream family eating a not-so-mainstream diet. Filled with healthy and delicious versions of foods we’ve all grown up enjoying, but with a Mama Pea twist-no meat, lots of fresh ingredients and plenty of nutrition for growing Peas. From wholesome breakfasts to mouth-watering desserts, there’s plenty here to satisfy the pickiest Peas in your life. It’s easier than ever to whip up crowd-pleasing meals that will have the whole family asking for, “more, Peas.”

Communcation Skills

Finding a Job

Learning the Ropes

Leadership Skills

Problem Solving

Research and Information Management

Teamwork Skills

Arts

 Effie: the passionate lives of Effie Gray, John Ruskin and John Everett Millais

Effie Gray, a beautiful and intelligent young socialite, rattled the foundations of England’s Victorian age. Married at nineteen to John Ruskin, the leading art critic of the time, she found herself trapped in a loveless, unconsummated union after Ruskin rejected her on their wedding night. On a trip to Scotland she met John Everett Millais, Ruskin’s protégé, and fell passionately in love with him. In a daring act, Effie left Ruskin, had their marriage annulled and entered into a long, happy marriage with Millais. Suzanne Fagence Cooper has gained exclusive access to Effie’s previously unseen letters and diaries to tell the complete story of this scandalous love triangle. In Cooper’s hands, this passionate love story also becomes an important new look at the work of both Ruskin and Millais with Effie emerging as a key figure in their artistic development. Effie is a heartbreakingly beautiful book about three lives passionately entwined with some of the greatest paintings of the pre-Raphaelite period.

Literature

 Thank You Notes

Thank you, slow walking family walking in front of me on the sidewalk. No, please, take your time. And definitely spread out, too, so you create a barricade of idiots. I am so thankful that you forced me to walk on the street and risk getting hit by a car in order to pass you so I could resume walking at a normal human pace. Jimmy Fallon has a few people and a few things to thank. In this brand-new book, the very first to come from his show, he addresses some 200 subjects in need of his undying “gratitude.” Each page will feature one note and a photograph of its recipient. But why read any more about formatting when you could just read a few more samples: Thank you, guy whose chair made a farting noise, for prompting him to spend the next 20 minutes awkwardly shifting around trying to re-create the noise, so people would know it was just the chair. Thank you, Miley Cyrus, for being 16 and acting like a stripper at the Teen Choice Awards. If you REALLY wanna piss off your dad, why not just cut off his allowance? From Hilary Clinton to a light bulb he is too lazy to replace, these are the moments and memories that make Jimmy’s life a little bit fuller.

 Of Thee I Zing: America’s cultural decline from muffin tops to body shots

While Laura Ingraham was walking through a Northern Virginia shopping mall one Saturday afternoon, it all became clear to her. Everywhere she turned, she saw signs of the impending disaster: zombie teens texting each other across a café table; a man having his eyebrows threaded at a kiosk; a fiftyish woman shoe-horned into a tube top and skinny jeans; and a storefront ad featuring a Victoria’s Secret model spilling out of her push-up bra and into the faces of young passersby. Ingraham wondered to herself, “Is this it? Is this what our forefathers fought for? What my parents struggled for? I wonder if Victoria’s Secret is still having that two-for-one sale?” A menacing force surrounds us. We see it, we feel it, we know it. The country we love is in grave peril. While politicians and “experts” prattle on about the debt crisis at home, and terrorism abroad, a more insidious homegrown threat is emerging. It endangers our future and undermines our present. The uncomfortable truth is: We have become our own worst enemy. The culture we have created is now turning on us. We’re on the verge of drowning in our ignorance, arrogance, gluttony… can you believe there are only three shots of vanilla in a Caramel Macchiato?!? Now in an act of patriotic intervention the most-listened-to woman in talk radio casts her satirical eye upon all that ails American society. In this sharp-witted, comic romp, Laura Ingraham takes you on a guided tour through ten levels of our cultural hell. You know we’re in trouble when… Airplane seats shrink just as the passengers expand. Celebrity baby names go from the peculiar (Apple, Stetson, and Daisy Boo) to the pathetic (Bamboo, Blanket, and Bronx). People meticulously tend their virtual crops on Farmville, while their children eat takeout. “Breaking News” usually means it happened yesterday. The weddings last longer than the marriages. Facebook has become a verb and reading has become an ancient art form. Of Thee I Zing is cultural commentary too funny to ignore, igniting a national conversation long past due. America, your cultural recovery begins here.

History and geography 

 Unbroken: a World War II story of survival, resilience and redemption

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.  Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.  It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard.  So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War. The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini.  In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails.  As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile.  But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.  Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and hum∨ brutality with rebellion.  His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will. In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit .  Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. From the Hardcover edition.

 What We Saw

We each remember where we were, what we thought, what we felt, what we heard, and especially what we saw on September 11, 2001. I n words, images, and nearly two hours of video, What We Saw captures those moments. Now, in this tenth anniversary edition, Joe Klein delivers an introspective and intimate look at those catastrophic events–along with what we have learned, and how we have changed, since that fateful date. As the world came to a halt that September morning, CBS News journalists worked tirelessly to provide detailed, accurate coverage, from the first interviews with eyewitnesses to a plane crashing into Tower 1 of the World Trade Center to the Towers of Light tribute six months later. In addition to the events that shook America’s biggest city and its capital, What We Saw documents the tragedies that occurred elsewhere: from the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to the waves of pain that moved across a New Jersey commuter town. Among the contributors are Jules Naudet, a French filmmaker who was working on a documentary about New York City firefighters when his subjects were called into service; Anna Quindlen, whose thoughts turn to a young family aboard United Airlines Flight 175; David Grann, who captures the hopelessness felt by families searching for missing loved ones; and CBS’s Steve Kroft, who watched a small investment firm that lost dozens of employees slowly pull itself up from despair. In What We Saw, each moment of September 11 and its aftermath is portrayed with candor and honesty by the CBS News correspondents, photographers, camera operators, and journalists who were there. This is an invaluable documentary of a day that forever altered our world.

 The Eleventh Day: the full story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden

Draws on thousands of recently released official documents and new interviews to present a report on the September 11 attacks that examines why the crisis was not prevented, how the government and military responded, and who was behind it.

 Turn Right at Machu Picchu: rediscovering the lost city one step at a time

What happens when an adventure travel expert-who’s never actually done anything adventurous-tries to re-create the original expedition to Machu Picchu? July 24, 1911, was a day for the history books. For on that rainy morning, the young Yale professor Hiram Bingham III climbed into the Andes Mountains of Peru and encountered an ancient city in the clouds: the now famous citadel of Machu Picchu. Nearly a century later, news reports have recast the hero explorer as a villain who smuggled out priceless artifacts and stole credit for finding one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites. Mark Adams has spent his career editing adventure and travel magazines, so his plan to investigate the allegations against Bingham by retracing the explorer’s perilous path to Machu Picchu isn’t completely far- fetched, even if it does require him to sleep in a tent for the first time. With a crusty, antisocial Australian survivalist and several Quechua-speaking, coca-chewing mule tenders as his guides, Adams takes readers through some of the most gorgeous and historic landscapes in Peru, from the ancient Inca capital of Cusco to the enigmatic ruins of Vitcos and Vilcabamba. Along the way he finds a still-undiscovered country populated with brilliant and eccentric characters, as well as an answer to the question that has nagged scientists since Hiram Bingham’s time: Just what was Machu Picchu?

Biography

 David Bowie: starman

Trynka illuminates Bowie’s seemingly contradictory life and his many re-inventions as an artist, offering more than 300 new interviews with everyone from classmates to managers to lovers. He reveals Bowie’s broad influence on the entertainment world.

 Fab: an intimate life of Paul McCartney

Author of an exceptionally good biography of Bob Dylan, Sounes doesn’t fare quite as well with this substantial volume on the life of Paul McCartney. While the author has obviously done his research, there’s relatively little new of significance here, other than some details on McCartney’s relationships. Unfortunately for the author, those who could have shed more light on McCartney as a musician and songwriter are either not talking (Ringo Starr) or unavailable for comment (John Lennon, George Harrison). While there is little (other than page count) to make Sounes’ book stand apart from other recent McCartney bios, the author’s lively style makes his book an interesting read. Published in the U.K. and Australia by HarperCollins 2010. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

 The Time of my Life

In this timely and heartfelt memoir, film and television star Swayze and Lisa Niemi, his wife of 33 years, chronicle his remarkable life, career, and brave battle against pancreatic cancer.

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