October 2011 Nonfiction

Computers, Information, and General Works

 

 

 

syndetics-lc    The Top Ten of Everything 2011 by Russell Ash

 

With annual sales of 200,000 copies, Top 10 of Everything is clearly the place people go to get the lowdown on what or who was the best, worst, richest, fiercest, deadliest, or simply biggest of practically anything. It features over 7,000 intriguing facts and stats on history, science, sports, music, movies, nature, people, and places-from the stars of stage and screen who shone the brightest to the terrestrial animals that weigh the most. “First” and “Fast” fact boxes pinpoint the pioneers and the most recent achievers in various endeavors.

 

Philosophy and Psychology

syndetics-lc    Supernatural: Your Guide Through the Unexplained, the Unearthly, and the Unknown by Colin Wilson 

Presents information about supernatural phenomena such as vampires, doppelgangers, witches, Odic forces, Atlantis, UFOs, and crop circles.

Ghosts of Pennsylvania’s Highway #6 by Bruce Carlson

syndetics-lc    Supernatural Pennsylvania by Laurie Hull

Pennsylvania has a long and creepy history. These stories showcase some of the spookiest places in the Keystone State that have played important roles in the state’s unique culture. The encounters are as varied as the landscape, ranging from a lonely haunted hiking trail in a mountain forest where a murder victim still seeks justice, to a busy city intersection where a luckless ghost of a hanged woman lingers. Find out if there’s really something to be feared on Cult House Road in Chadds Ford, where the trees seem to grow intentionally away from the road. Is a murder spree to blame for the spookiness? And one mustn’t forget to visit America’s first serial killer, at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon; but be careful, because you might get a migraine at this grave site. Ghosts of murderers, maids, Major Generals, and even a monster or two are among the beings you will encounter within these pages. The one thing these lost souls share is a desire to have their story told. Find a comfy chair and settle in as you visit the spookier side of Pennsylvania.

syndetics-lc    The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us by Jeffrey Kluger

Nobody affects us as deeply as our brothers and sisters-not parents, not children, not friends. From the time we-and they-are born, our siblings are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and cautionary tales. They teach us how to resolve conflicts and how not to, how to conduct friendships and when to walk away. Our siblings are the only people we know who truly qualify as partners for life. In this groundbreaking book, renowned science writer Jeffrey Kluger explores the complex world of siblings in a way that is equal parts science, psychology, sociology, and memoir. Based heavily on new and emerging research, The Sibling Effect examines birth order, twin studies, genetic encoding of behavioral traits, emotional disorders and their effects on-and effects from-sibling relationships, and much more. With his signature insight and humor, Kluger takes big ideas about siblings and turns them into smart, accessible writing that will help anyone understand the importance of siblings in our lives.

syndetics-lc    10 Mindful Minutes by Goldie Hawn

“Goldie Hawn embodies delight and joy, and 10 Mindful Minutes radiates these. Her book can help any adult-parent, grandparent, teacher-make double use of their moments with the children they love and have a terrific time while helping shape that child’s brain for a lifetime of resilience and happiness.” -Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence Across the country, the revolutionary MindUP program, which was developed under the auspices of the Hawn Foundation, established by Goldie Hawn, is teaching children vital social and emotional skills. By understanding how their brains work, children discover where their emotions come from and become more self-aware. They learn to appreciate the sensory aspects of their lives and to value the positive effects of mindfulness, compassion, and kindness. This, in turn, empowers them to manage and reduce their own stress-and helps them be happy. Those who have seen the remarkable effects of this program have been eager to learn how to implement it in their own homes and use its practices for themselves, too. Now, for the first time, its secrets are being shared with all parents and children in 10 Mindful Minutes.

syndetics-lc    Stay in Your Lane: Judge Karen’s Guide to Living Your Best Life by Karen Mills-Francis

Welcome to Judge Karen’s world, where life is as real as it gets. With the same compassion and razor-sharp wit she brings to the bench, the former Miami Dade County Court Judge and star of TV’s syndicated show Judge Karen’s Court delivers a book guaranteed to inspire, delight, and motivate. Fans of Judge Karen know the phrase “Stay in Your Lane” is one of her favorite admonishments. She believes that within us all sits the moral compass to find our direction when we are lost. She has seen many broken people pass through her courtroom who operate from a place of fear and distrust. Here she offers sound advice on how to move past the hand we may have been dealt, dispel our feeling of victimization, and turn our lives around. Her no-nonsense talk will give you a push in the right direction-mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Drawing from personal experience and her courtroom cases, Judge Karen relates to life, love, and the universal connection we all share-despite appearances to the contrary. Her stories are ripe with anecdotes that focus on everyday social issues such as being a good neighbor, cultivating positive relationships, knowing when to make a stand and when to walk away, as well as creating positive images to the world through dressing to express, etiquette, and making your home a personal sanctuary. With humor and sound wisdom, she covers five major life aspects:     • The Past: weave your way out of that traffic jam • The Heart: stop, listen, and look both ways to avoid collisions • Family and Friends: eliminate excess baggage (and you know who she’s talking about!) • You: make those necessary repairs • The Future: see only clear skies ahead and embrace life’s possibilities   As Judge Karen states, “I’m not the Wizard of Oz, but he and I certainly share one thing in common: We both know that we already have within us the power to find our direction when we’re lost.” And after going through the pages of this unique, uplifting book, you’ll learn that, too. Because Judge Karen tells it like it is. And you’ll be glad she did.

Religion

syndetics-lc    Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven. This is the true story of the four year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe, but soon the evidence was clear. He shared impossible to know details about his great grandfather and his miscarried sister; he described the horse that only Jesus could ride; and about how reaaally big God and his chair are. Told by his father, but often in Colton’s own words, the disarmingly simple message is that heaven is a real place and Jesus really loves children.

syndetics-lc    Every Day a Friday by Joel Osteen

The title comes from research that shows people are happiest on Fridays. In this book the author writes how we can generate this level of contentment and joy every day of the week. Known as a man who maintains a constant positive outlook in spite of circumstances, he has described this message as a core theme of his ministry. Combining his personal experiences with scriptural insights and principles for true happiness, he shows readers how every day can hold the same promise and opportunities for pure joy that they experience at five o’clock on Friday.

syndetics-lc    An Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Teresa in Search of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life by Mary Johnson

An unforgettable spiritual autobiography about a search for meaning that begins alongside one of the great religious icons of our time and ends with a return to the secular world   At seventeen, Mary Johnson saw Mother Teresa’s face on the cover of Time and experienced her calling. Eighteen months later, she entered a convent in the South Bronx to begin her religious training. Not without difficulty, this bright, independent-minded Texas teenager eventually adapted to the sisters’ austere life of poverty and devotion, and in time became close to Mother Teresa herself. Still, beneath the white and blue sari beat the heart of an ordinary young woman facing the struggles we all share-the desire for love and connection, meaning and identity. During her twenty years with the Missionaries of Charity, Sister Donata, as she was known, grappled with her faith, her sexuality, the politics of the order, and her complicated relationship with Mother Teresa. Eventually, she left the church to find her own path-one that led to love and herself. Provocative, profound, and emotionally charged, An Unquenchable Thirst presents a rare, privileged view of  Mother Teresa. At the same time, it is a unique and magnificent memoir of self-discovery.

 

Social Sciences

syndetics-lc    The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria

Zakaria (Time magazine editor-at-large and host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS”) updates his discussion of the relative decline of American global power in order to take into account the impact of the economic crisis of the late 2000s and other recent developments, which have only accelerated the transition to the “post-American” world and the rise of new powers in Zakaria’s estimation. It must be stressed that Zakaria is only predicting a relative decline in power for the United States and that he believes that the United States can maintain a healthy position in the world by more carefully balancing foreign policy priorities, pushing for broad international rules conducive to long-term US interests instead of pushing for narrow and short-term interests, seeking better relations with rising powers instead of seeking to balance against them, encouraging ad hoc multilateral approaches to global problems in lieu of the lost hegemonic order, recognizing the dangers of opponents’ asymmetric power in order to avoid getting sucked into traps, and recognizing international legitimacy as a key element of national power.

 

syndetics-lc    The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

 

Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries–with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world. Francis Fukuyama, author of the bestselling The End of History and the Last Man  and one of our most important political thinkers, provides a sweeping account of how today’s basic political institutions developed. The first of a major two-volume work, The Origins of Political Order  begins with politics among our primate ancestors and follows the story through the emergence of tribal societies, the growth of the first modern state in China, the beginning of the rule of law in India and the Middle East, and the development of political accountability in Europe up until the eve of the French Revolution. Drawing on a vast body of knowledge–history, evolutionary biology, archaeology, and economics–Fukuyama has produced a brilliant, provocative work that offers fresh insights on the origins of democratic societies and raises essential questions about the nature of politics and its discontents.

syndetics-lc   Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future by Robert B. Reich

A brilliant new reading of the economic crisis – and a plan for dealing with the challenge of its aftermath – by one of our most trenchant and informed experts. When the nation’s economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street. But Robert B. Reich suggests a different reason for the meltdown, and for a perilous road ahead. He argues that the real problem is structural: it lies in the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top, and in a middle class that has had to go deeply into debt to maintain a decent standard of living. Persuasively and straightforwardly, Reich reveals how precarious our situation still is. The last time in American history when wealth was so highly concentrated at the top – indeed, when the top 1 percent of the population was paid 23 percent of the nation’s income – was in 1928, just before the Great Depression. Such a disparity leads to ever greater booms followed by ever deeper busts. Reich’s thoughtful and detailed account of where we are headed over the next decades reveals the essential truth about our economy that is driving our politics and shaping our future. With keen insight, he shows us how the middle class lacks enough purchasing power to buy what the economy can produce and has adopted coping mechanisms that have a negative impact on their quality of life; how the rich use their increasing wealth to speculate; and how an angrier politics emerges as more Americans conclude that the game is rigged for the benefit of a few. Unless this trend is reversed, the Great Recession will only be repeated. Reich’s assessment of what must be done to reverse course and ensure that prosperity is widely shared represents the path to a necessary and long-overdue transformation. Aftershock is a practical, humane, and much-needed blueprint for both restoring America’s economy and rebuilding our society.

 

syndetics-lc    Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President by Ron Suskind

In this gripping, revelatory, and brilliantly reported book, acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind tells for the first time the full story of America’s financial meltdown and an untested new president charged with commanding Washington, taming Wall Street, rescuing an economy on the verge of collapse, and restoring the confidence of a shaken nation. Suskind moves from the frenzied trading floors of lower Manhattan to the power corridors inside the Beltway and introduces a larger than life cast of politicians and advisors, titans of high finance, reformers, lobbyists, and others who faced a crisis unlike anything they had ever imagined. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews and exhaustive research, filled with piercing insight and startling disclosures, Confidence Men> goes beyond the headlines and previous accounts, bringing into focus the unprecedented struggle between the nation’s two capitals-New York and Washington, one of private gain, the other of public purpose-that continues to divide and roil America.

syndetics-lc    The Ten Trillion Dollar Gamble: The Coming Deficit Debacle and How to Invest Now by Russ Koesterich

Your Survival Guide to the Next Financial Storm “Many commentators rant about budget deficits and the country’smoral failings. Russ Koesterich calmly and objectively describes ourdownward economic spiral over the next 20 years and recommendsthe investments best suited for that journey.” –Ron Kahn, Global Head of Research, BlackRock ScientificActive Equities, and coauthor of Active Portfolio Management “A must-read for anyone who has ever touched currency or heard ofmoney.” –Vadim Zlotnikov, Chief Market Strategist, AllianceBernstein “A useful book that underlines an essential reality: Americans will notbe returning to the old normal. We must adapt to a changing worldthat presents us with new risks and opportunities. The Ten TrillionDollar Gamble broadens and deepens a conversation we have to have.” –Ian Bremmer, President, Eurasia Group,and author of The J Curve and The End of the Free Market “This book gives investors practical and easy-to-follow solutions onhow to protect their investments and financial future.” –Arthur B. Laffer, founder and CEO, Laffer Associates, and author of The End of Prosperity “A superb book. Russ Koesterich’s recommendations spanning financialand real assets are insightful, relevant, and pragmatic. Russ isamong the select few veterans of the investment management professionwho are able to project academic insights faithfully, offer compellinginvestment advice–and write a page-turner.” –S. P. Kothari, Deputy Dean, MIT Sloan School of Management About the Book: The next financial disasteris around the corner. Are you prepared? With the nation’s deficit expanding intothe trillions of dollars, investors needto be prepared for the inevitable–andpotentially devastating–fallout. Most economistsagree that interest rates will rise, inflation willlikely be higher, and virtually every aspect of oureconomy will be affected. Smart investors need toask themselves: How should I invest today to survivethe storm tomorrow? The answer is in this brilliantly calculated,forward-thinking investment guide from Black-Rock strategist Russ Koesterich. He’ll show youexactly what to expect in the new deficit economy–and how to handle your finances smartly,safely, and securely . . . Stocks and Bonds : How to Invest in aRising Rate Environment Real Estate : How the Deficit Will Affectthe Market Commodities : The Benefits of OwningReal Assets Portfolio Management : What YouShould Do Before It’s Too Late More than a collection of fascinating financialpredictions, The Ten Trillion Dollar Gamble offers solid advice on a wide range of investmentoptions. You’ll discover which markets are hot–and which are not–when the storm finally hits.You’ll find out if Treasury bonds are right for youand why commodities will be even more importantin the future. You’ll learn the best ways toinvest in real estate, how to handle your growingdebt, and how to manage higher interest rates foreverything from mortgages to savings accounts.Most important, you’ll be able to apply theseprofessional insights into building a stronger portfoliofor you and your family. Just because the government is gambling withour future doesn’t mean you should. The Ten TrillionDollar Gamble offers a winning game planto help you protect and build your wealth for thelong term. When the next storm hits, you won’tjust survive, you’ll thrive.

 How To Pay Zero Taxes by Jeff Schepper

syndetics-lc    The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream by Gary Shapiro

Have we lost the American dream? Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, looks at the examples of America’s great innovators of the past and shows how to return innovation to its rightful place at the center of America’s economic policy. He explains how technical and entrepreneurial innovation fuel economic growth, and asserts that innovation requires immigration, free trade, good schools, an improved national broadband network, and a national energy policy. The author also offers a proposal to curb government spending. There is no subject index. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

syndetics-lc    Lower Your Taxes– Big Time!  by Sandy Botkin

Completely revised and updated–the must-haveresource for saving thousands of dollars at tax time Taxes aren’t just a nuisance; they’re fast becoming the single biggest expense for the typical American household. Completely revised and expanded, Lower Your Taxes–Big Time! has everything taxpayers need toknow about saving money on April 15–and every other day of the year. Sandy Botkin, a former IRS attorney, has saved hundreds of thousands of taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.And in this powerhouse bestselling handbook, he again delivers money-saving strategies, including: Advice on properly documenting any business deduction Guidance for getting big tax subsidies for starting a home business Ways to turn tuition, entertainment, orthodontia, and other expenses into huge deductions And more Also new to this edition are chapters on the latest changes in health-care law, scams to avoid, how to defend yourselfagainst ID theft, the hidden tax benefits of being a stock or commodities trader, and other need-to-know information. Presented in Botkin’s trademark no-nonsense, jargon-free style, Lower Your Taxes–Big Time! is all business when itcomes to making your life less taxing.

syndetics-lc    When a Loved One Falls Ill: How to Be an Effective Patient Advocate by Gerri and Brian Monaghan

 The much-needed book for anyone with a loved one facing a serious illness. It is the book that’s a bible for how to make the potentially life-or-death decisions that every medical advocate, and every patient, must grapple with-especially now, as health care becomes ever more complicated. It is the practical blueprint for how to be a successful medical advocate. When Gerri Monaghan’s husband, Brian, then a fifty-nine-year-old lawyer at the top of his game, got the news that all of us dread-a diagnosis of brain tumors caused by Stage IV melanoma with a prognosis of three to six months to live-she knew that this was a challenge the two of them would fight together. Brian brought his enormous courage, attitude, and reserves of humor, and Gerri, with dogged determination, stood up again and again for what they needed-tirelessly researching options, reaching out to friends, family, and anyone who could help, resisting the status quo, and always thinking in terms of we. Together they tell their story, back and forth, punctuated throughout by Gerri’s top 50 tips for how to be an advocate: #1 Trust your intuition. #6 Create a battle plan. #15 Get copies of records. #26 Make doctors speak in a language that you understand. #33 Don’t schedule surgery during the holidays. #49 Remember, this is not a dress rehearsal.

syndetics-lc    Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin

The top-secret world that the government created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks has become so enormous, so unwieldy, and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs or exactly how many agencies duplicate work being done elsewhere. The result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe may be putting us in greater danger. In TOP SECRET AMERICA, award-winning reporters Dana Priest and William Arkin uncover the enormous size, shape, mission, and consequences of this invisible universe of over 1,300 government facilities in every state in America; nearly 2,000 outside companies used as contractors; and more than 850,000 people granted “Top Secret” security clearance. A landmark expose of a new, secret “Fourth Branch” of American government, TOP SECRET AMERICA is a tour de force of investigative reporting-and a book sure to spark national and international alarm.

syndetics-lc    In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds by Ann Rule

FROM TRUE-CRIME LEGEND ANN RULE comes this riveting story of a young woman whose life ended too soon and a determined mother’s eleven-year crusade to clear her daughter’s name.It was nine days before Christmas 1998, and thirty-two-year-old Ronda Reynolds was getting ready to travel from Seattle to Spokane to visit her mother and brother and grandmother before the holidays. Ronda’s second marriage was dissolving after less than a year, her career as a pioneering female Washington State Trooper had ended, but she was optimistic about starting over again. “I’m actually looking forward to getting on with my life,” she told her mother earlier the night before. “I just need a few days with you guys.” Barb Thompson, Ronda’s mother, who had met her daughter’s second husband only once before, was just happy that Ronda was coming home.At 6:20 that morning, Ron Reynolds called 911 and told the dispatcher his wife was dead. She had committed suicide, he said, although he hadn’t heard the gunshot and he didn’t know if she had a pulse. EMTs arrived, detectives arrived, the coroner’s deputy arrived, and a postmortem was conducted. Lewis County Coroner Terry Wilson, who neither visited the death scene nor attended the autopsy, declared the manner of Ronda’s death as “undetermined.” Over the next eleven years, Coroner Wilson would change that manner of death from “undetermined” to “suicide,” back to “undetermined” and then back to “suicide” again.But Barb Thompson never for one moment believed her daughter committed suicide. Neither did Detective Jerry Berry or ballistics expert Marty Hayes or attorney Royce Ferguson or dozens of Ronda’s friends. For eleven grueling years, through the ups and downs of the legal system and its endless delays, these people and others helped Barb Thompson fight to strike that painful word from her daughter’s death certificate.On November 9, 2009, a precedent-setting hearing was held to determine whether Coroner Wilson’s office had been derelict in its duty in investigating the death of Ronda Reynolds. Veteran true-crime writer Ann Rule was present at that hearing, hoping to unbraid the tangled strands of conflicting statements and mishandled evidence and present all sides of this haunting case and to determine, perhaps, what happened to Ronda Reynolds, in the chill still of that tragic December night.

syndetics-lc    Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies–and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable. But for Kevin, hacking wasn’t just about technological feats-it was an old fashioned confidence game that required guile and deception to trick the unwitting out of valuable information. Driven by a powerful urge to accomplish the impossible, Mitnick bypassed security systems and blazed into major organizations including Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and Pacific Bell. But as the FBI’s net began to tighten, Kevin went on the run, engaging in an increasingly sophisticated cat and mouse game that led through false identities, a host of cities, plenty of close shaves, and an ultimate showdown with the Feds, who would stop at nothing to bring him down. Ghost in the Wires is a thrilling true story of intrigue, suspense, and unbelievable escape, and a portrait of a visionary whose creativity, skills, and persistence forced the authorities to rethink the way they pursued him, inspiring ripples that brought permanent changes in the way people and companies protect their most sensitive information.

syndetics-lc    Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock by David Margolick

The names Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryan Massery may not be well known, but the image of them from September 1957 surely is: a black high school girl, dressed in white, walking stoically in front of Little Rock Central High School, and a white girl standing directly behind her, face twisted in hate, screaming racial epithets. This famous photograph captures the full anguish of desegregation–in Little Rock and throughout the South–and an epic moment in the civil rights movement. In this gripping book, David Margolick tells the remarkable story of two separate lives unexpectedly braided together. He explores how the haunting picture of Elizabeth and Hazel came to be taken, its significance in the wider world, and why, for the next half-century, neither woman has ever escaped from its long shadow. He recounts Elizabeth’s struggle to overcome the trauma of her hate-filled school experience, and Hazel’s long efforts to atone for a fateful, horrible mistake. The book follows the painful journey of the two as they progress from apology to forgiveness to reconciliation and, amazingly, to friendship. This friendship foundered, then collapsed–perhaps inevitably–over the same fissures and misunderstandings that continue to permeate American race relations more than half a century after the unforgettable photograph at Little Rock. And yet, as Margolick explains, a bond between Elizabeth and Hazel, silent but complex, endures.

syndetics-lc    The Etiquette Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Manners by Jodi Smith

The ultimate guide to modern manners from today’s authority on gracious living–Town & Country. In a world where the rules keep changing and informality reigns, how does one know how to behave with courtesy and grace?Is it rude to keep checking my Blackberry during lunch with a friend? How do I speak with the parents of the child who bullies my son at school? And really–is a hand-written thank-you note still necessary?Town & Country Etiquettehas the answers to all these quandaries…and more. Written by a respected etiquette coach, it covers all of the traditional subjects (place settings at formal dinners, appropriate language for invitations), as well as those that are unique to our time: issues of privacy and cyberspace, personal interaction in an increasingly diverse society, and professional protocol in a global business environment. Written in the magazine’s sophisticated, witty voice,Town & Country Etiquetteis filled with real-life anecdotes that help anyone–of any age and social status–learn the manners of the modern world.

syndetics-lc    Fairy Tale Rituals: Engage the Dark, Eerie, and Erotic Power of Familiar Stories by Kenny Klein

Magical and mysterious, Faeries are also subtle, sexual, sublime, stubborn, erotic, enticing, dark, and deadly… So you think you know Snow White? You’re acquainted with Sleeping Beauty? You’re quite familiar with Beauty and the Beast? Fairy Tale Rituals explores the eerie, seductive Faerie lore lying just beneath the surface of eleven favorite fairy tales. Feel the fear and passion these stories once inspired in ancient listeners. Learn how to create modern rituals that will bring the archetypal magical characteristics of these fairy tale icons — the sexual attractiveness of Snow White, the totem animal journey of Rose-Red, the manifestation prowess of Cinderella — into your own life. Each tale here is explored in two ways: first by looking at the story itself, with an eye toward its mythic roots and magical elements. Next, a powerful ritual or spell is presented based on the characters or events of the tale, which you can use to find a true friend or lover, glimpse the future using divination, celebrate a coming-of-age ceremony, honor the spirit of death, and much more.

Science and Math

syndetics-lc    Invasive Plants: A Guide to Identification, Impacts, and Control of Common North American Species by Sylvan R. Kaufman and Wallace Kaufman

An easy-to-use, wide-ranging guide to invasive plants in North America. Features full-colour photographs and descriptions of some 175 alien species — both terrestrial and aquatic — that are in some cases changing the landscape to an almost unimaginable degree. Accompanying text describes the plant’s environmental and economic impacts as well as management techniques used to control it. Also includes an explanation of what an invasive is and a step-by-step identification key. An essential guide to understanding this unprecedented environmental challenge.

syndetics-lc    Identifying Trees: An All-Season Guide to North America by Michael D. Williams

Unique identification guide is effective, filled with color photos, and easy to use in winter, spring, summer, and fall Field-tested by forestry experts Identify trees in any season, not just when they are in full leaf. This field-tested guide features color photos showing bark; branching patterns; fruits, flowers, or nuts; and overall appearance; as well as leaf color and shape–all chosen specifically to illustrate trees in spring, summer, winter, and fall. Accompanying text describes common locations and identifying characteristics. Created for in-the-field or at-home use, this guide includes an easy-to-use key that will help you put a name to any tree by flipping only a few pages. Covers every common tree in eastern North America.

Technology and Applied Science

syndetics-lc    Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis, M.D.

A renowned cardiologist explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse myriad health problems. Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat. As a result, over 100 million of them experience some form of adverse health effect, ranging from minor rashes and high blood sugar to the unattractive stomach bulges that preventive cardiologist William Davis calls “wheat bellies.” According to Davis, that excess fat has nothing to do with gluttony, sloth, or too much butter: It’s due to the whole grain wraps we eat for lunch. After witnessing over 2,000 patients regain their health after giving up wheat, Davis reached the disturbing conclusion that wheat is the single largest contributor to the nationwide obesity epidemic– and its elimination is key to dramatic weight loss and optimal health. In Wheat Belly , Davis exposes the harmful effects of what is actually a product of genetic tinkering and agribusiness being sold to the American public as “wheat”–and provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle. Informed by cutting-edge science and nutrition, along with case studies from men and women who have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat, Wheat Belly is an illuminating look at what is truly making Americans sick and an action plan to clear our plates of this seemingly benign ingredient.

syndetics-lc    The 17 Day Diet: A Doctor’s Plan Designed for Rapid Results by Dr. Mike Moreno

Presents a revolutionary program adjusts your body metabolically so that you burn fat day in and day out. The program is structured around four 17 day cycles, one of which helps flush sugar and fat storage from your system. Every phase comes with an extensive list of foods, recipes, and sample meal plans to help make grocery shopping a breeze.

syndetics-lc    Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso

Do you want to lose weight, regain your health, and achieve a level of fitness you never thought possible? Are you interested in eating the foods that our bodies are intended to eat, but have no clue where to begin? You may already be a Paleo diet enthusiast; but are you struggling to feed your family the same foods that fuel you? In Everyday Paleo, Sarah Fragoso gives detailed instructions for acquiring a Paleo lifestyle and improving the health and longevity of your family. An active mother of three, Fragoso shows that eating Paleo is not only feasible for the busiest of families, but also easy, delicious and completely life-changing. She offers numerous recipes for all meals of the day, and provides tips for getting around common roadblocks, such as eating out. Finally, to keep your entire family fit and sane in the 21st century, she lays out easy-to-follow workout routines that you can do either in the gym or your own home. In Everyday Paleo, Fragoso shows you how to make Paleo your lifestyle, not just another fad diet.

syndetics-lc    The Secret Lives of Hoarders: True Stories of Tackling Extreme Clutter by Matt Paxton

On the front lines with extreme hoarders The Secret Lives of Hoarders is much more than harrowing tales of attacking the ugliest, dirtiest, and most shocking hoarding cases in the country.  It is a behind-the-scenes look at this hidden epidemic-what it means, how to recognize it before it gets out of hand, and how to deal with it. Through his work with hundreds of clients in the worst circumstances-from the giant ‘rat’s nest’ that hid more than $13,000 in cash to a vast collection of mermaid pornography to twenty five years’ worth of unopened mail-Matt Paxton has learned to understand this disorder and his clients’ impulses to collect, to speak the hoarders’ language, and to reach out to them with compassion and concern while avoiding criticism and judgment.  Most important, he guides compulsive hoarders successfully through every step of the cleanup and healing process. The Secret Lives of Hoarders is an engrossing and sometimes unsettling look at extreme clutter but one that helps hoarders, their families, and their friends find meaning in the chaos.

syndetics-lc    Great Wines for Under $20 by Elyse Luray

Elyse Luray uncorks the top 200 wines in Great Wines Under $20. With 100 reds and 100 whites from all over the world you’ll never need to search for affordable wine again. Each wine features suggested food pairings with easy-to-use icons, tasting notes and a detailed label image.

syndetics-lc    The American Heart Association Low-Salt Cookbook

With more than 200 recipes, including 50 brand-new ones, this updated edition of “American Heart Association Low-Salt Cookbook” empowers home cooks to prepare delicious, nutritious meals that focus on fresh and flavorful ingredients–all without lots of added salt.

syndetics-lc    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Baking by Donna Diegel

Have your vegan cake and eat it, too!  As a vegan, you know how challenging it can be to create light and flavorful breads, cakes, cookies, and other baked goods without using eggs, diary, or animal products of any kind.  And if you’re not vegan but sill interested in eating healthier foods, you might be perplexed when it comes to swapping out the animal products. All that’s about to change!  The next best thing to a personal bakes, this delicious guide is packed with over 150 recipes for classy cakes, mouthwatering muffins, pretty pies, yummy yeast breads, and divine desserts-all 100 percent vegan!  In it, you get: • •Easy vegan substitutes for diary, eggs, and sweeteners so you can feel good about the baked goods you eat •Dozens of tasty muffins, buckles, coffee cakes, Danishes, and more to start your morning right. •Sweet and savory quick breads, hearty yeast breads, irresistible rolls, and fantastic flatbreads. •Sweet-tooth-satisfying cookies, brownies, and bars. •Perfect pies, tarts, cobblers, and puddings. •Rich and decadent cakes-even cheesecake!-along with finger-licking-good frostings, fillings, icings, and toppings.

syndetics-lc    500 400-Calorie Recipes by Dick Logue

For people looking to shed pounds and live more healthfully, eating meals in the 400-calorie range is your secret weapon to weight loss success. Not only do these meals fuel your energy, rev metabolism, and keep you feeling full longer, but they also help you stick to a daily caloric range of 1200 to 1500 total calories, which is ideal for tipping the scales in your favor.  Whether you’re on a weight loss plan already, or looking to begin anew,  500 400-Calorie Recipes is your one-stop shop for healthy, deliciously comforting meals that won’t bust your fitness goals, but rather boost you to them! The book works by expertly focusing on nutrient-dense, low-calorie ingredients that you can eat in abundance-such as leafy greens, artichokes, and berries-and combining them with smaller portions of equally filling foods like whole grains, beans, eggs, and poultry. The result? Four hundred mega-satisfying meals that cover your every craving and desire, from wholesomely hearty breakfasts to decadent treats that won’t break the (calorie) bank. Start losing weight-by filling your plate!-with 400 400-Calorie Mega Meals.  

syndetics-lc    The Best 30 Minute Vegetarian Recipes by Marie-Claude Morin

Gourmet results — quickly, easily and with a minimum of ingredients and steps. The rich, varied and delicious vegetarian recipes in this easy-to-use cookbook can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. The ingredients are readily accessible and provide a wonderful range of choices and combinations that will appeal to the whole family, both occasional vegetarians and those who have adopted the lifestyle completely. Most of these quick and easy-to-prepare recipes are also low fat and low sugar, which further enhances their health benefits. Among the 150 recipes are meals to suit every taste and occasion, from hearty and delicious breakfasts and lunches to main meals suitable for entertaining. The foolproof recipes are arranged in the following categories for easy access: Starters, salads and snacks Soups Pasta and grains Beans, lentils and tofu Sides Desserts Packed with epicurean delights, The Best 30-Minute Vegetarian Recipes will appeal to dedicated vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

syndetics-lc    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Easy Freezer Meals by Chris Sicard

Let your freezer tell you what’s for dinner! At the end of a long day, the last thing you want to think about is spending an hour in the kitchen preparing dinner. With a little advance cooking and help from your freeze, you can come home, pull out a frozen entrée and side or two, and heat it up while you toss a fresh salad.  And freezer meals aren’t limited to dinner.  Whether you’re craving-and-easy breakfast to go, this cool book gives you everything you need to know to let your freezer do the work for you!  In it, you get: • •The inside scoop on what foods freeze well and what foods don’t •Pre- and post freezer secrets for success, from blanching produce before the big chill to protecting all your work from freezer burn. •Time- and money-savings tips for buying in bulk, big-batch cooking, and building up a food bank in your freezer. •Advice for filling your freezer with menus fit for weeknight family dinners, for casual or formal parties, and even for the holidays! •Nearly 130 recipes, from mouthwatering breakfasts through delicious desserts-all easy from the freezer!

syndetics-lc    Quick and Easy Christmas by Gooseberry Patch Firm

Spend more time celebrating and less in the kitchen! Quick & Easy Christmas, a new book in the best-selling Gooseberry Patch series, is filled with easy, inexpensive recipes. They’re quick to fix since each is ready in under 30 minutes or starts with just 8 ingredients or less…so simple! Heartwarming holiday memories and clever tips for easy-to-make gifts are also included…features for which Gooseberry Patch holiday books are known.

syndetics-lc    Taste of Home Busy Family Favorites by Janet Briggs

This collection of 350 family-pleasing recipes will help you stock up on homemade snacks and get a delicious dinner on the table fast. This edition includes a chapter on breakfasts that appeals to hurried households, and appetizers to keep kids quiet while dinner is being prepared.

Taste of Home Christmas

Subject: Christmas cooking.
Christmas decorations

Taste of Home’s Holiday and Celebrations Cookbook

Subject: Holiday cooking.

syndetics-lc    Mexican Made Easy by Marcella Valladolid

On her Food Network show, Mexican Made Easy, Marcela Valladolid shows how simple it is to create beautiful dishes bursting with bright Mexican flavors. Now, Marcela shares the fantastic recipes her fans have been clamoring for in a cookbook that ties into her popular show. A single mom charged with getting dinner on the table nightly for her young son, Fausto, Marcela embraces dishes that are fun and fast – and made with fresh ingredients found in the average American supermarket. Pull together a fantastic weeknight dinner in a flash with recipes such as Baja-Style Braised Chicken Thighs, Mexican Meatloaf with Salsa Glaze, and Corn and Poblano Lasagna. Expand your salsa horizons with Fresh Tomatillo and Green Apple Salsa and Grilled Corn Pico de Gallo, which can transform a simply grilled chicken breast or fish fillet. For a weekend brunch, serve up Chipotle Chilaquiles or Cinnamon Pan Frances. Delicious drinks, such as Pineapple-Vanilla Agua Fresca and Cucumber Martinis, and decadent desserts, including Mexican Chocolate Bread Pudding and Bananas Tequila Foster, round out the inspired collection. With 100 easy recipes and 80 sumptuous color photographs, Mexican Made Easy brings all of the energy and fresh flavors of Marcela’s show into your home.

syndetics-lc    Not Your Mother’s Casseroles by Faith Durand

Casseroles are quick, homey, and cost-effective one-dish meals, but they’re also traditionally packed full of convenience foods like canned vegetables and condensed soups. Faith Durand’s Not Your Mother’s_ Casseroles introduces more than 200 recipes that totally revitalize the casserole, maintaining its trademark simplicity while incorporating fresh ingredients for more healthful dishes that are decidedly Not Your Mother’s. Redefine casseroles with inspired recipes for Baked Basmati Rice with Saffron, Cashews, and Raisins; Root Vegetable Cobbler with Whole Grain Biscuit Topping; Baked Sweet Potatoes with Smoky Chipotle and Onions; Herbed Chicken Meatballs with Coconut Sauce; and Rhubarb-Lavender Oat Crisp.

syndetics-lc    The Perfect Pies: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes from America’s Pie-Baking Champion by Michele Stuart

The smell of a pie baking in the kitchen immediately conjures up feelings of comfort, nostalgia, and love. Michele Stuart vividly remembers standing at her grandmother’s apron hem as a child, as she fine-tuned (and improved!) family recipes that had been passed down for generations. Eventually, Stuart’s lifelong passion for pie-making inspired her to open what would become the world-famous shop Michele’s Pies. You don’t have to travel to Michele’s Pies in Norwalk and Westport, Connecticut, though, to taste Stuart’s mouthwatering creations. Perfect Pies shares nearly eighty delicious recipes, many of them National Pie Championships winners: There are desserts bursting with fruit (Country Apple Pie, Blueberry-Blackberry Pie), crunchy with nuts (Chocolate-Pecan-Bourbon Pie, Maple Walnut Pie), cream-filled delights (Coconut Custard Pie, Lemon Chiffon Pie), and pies perfect for a party (Ultimate Banana Split Pie, Candyland Pie). And let’s not forget Stuart’s sensational savory creations, from Lobster Pot Pie to Quiche Lorraine to Italian Wheat Pie. Stuart also passes along easy recipes for Hot Fudge Sauce, Raspberry Jam, and Whipped Cream to top it all off. Stuart’s secret, she says, is that her pies are “made by hand with love,” but she doesn’t neglect to advise you on the basic kitchen tools you’ll need as she reveals essential tips and techniques, from how to roll out dough to the best way to make light and flaky crust. And of course she stresses the use of fresh, seasonal fruits and other wholesome ingredients. “The best pies are the ones that keep it simple,” Stuart notes. So whether you’re a pie novice, a weekend baker, or a seasoned pastry chef, Perfect Pies will help make everything you bake worthy of a blue ribbon.

syndetics-lc    Seasonal Preserves by Joanna Farrow

Perfect for the growing local food movement, this illustrated guide features 100 fabulous recipes that use fresh, seasonal ingredients. It covers chutneys, jams, cheeses, cordials, and sauces, including Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam, Oven Dried Tomatoes in Fennel Oil, and Cherry and Almond Ratafia. Professional tips for using ingredients and equipment help deliver great results.

syndetics-lc    Potluck! : 336 Crowd-Pleasing Favorites for Easy Entertaining 

Subject: Quantity cooking.
Quick and easy cooking.
Cooking, American.
Entertaining.

syndetics-lc    Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket 

With detailed directions and step-by-step photographs to guide you, this book takes you patiently through every step of sewing a tailored jacket or coat.  

syndetics-lc    18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done by Peter Bregman

Based upon his weeklyHarvard Business Reviewcolumns (which is one of the most popular columns on HBR.com, receiving hundreds of thousands of unique page views a month),18 MINUTESclearly shows how busy people can cut through all the daily clutter and distractions and find a way to focus on those key items which are truly the top priorities in our lives. Bregman works from the premise that the best way to combat constant and distracting interruptions is to create productive distractions of one’s own. Based upon a series of short bite-sized chapters, his approach allows us to safely navigate through the constant chatter of emails, text messages, phone calls, and endless meetings that prevent us from focusing our time on those things that are truly important to us. Mixing first-person insights along with unique case studies, Bregman sprinkles his charming book with pathways which help guide us — pathways that can get us on the right trail in 18 minutes or less.

syndetics-lc    The Dog Friendly Home: D.Y.I Projects for Dog Lovers by Ruth Strother

Let your creativity shape a fun and caring environment for you and your dog to enjoy every day of the year. Whether welcoming a new puppy into the house or trying to share a small apartment with an overactive Springer Spaniel, these home and garden projects cater to the needs of all DIY dog owners alike-from interior home improvement to beautiful lawns, special play areas, and other projects dogs love. The DIY projects in this book walk you through the reasons dogs love them as well as the benefits they provide to you and your dog. In addition, step-by-step instructions with full-color photography are included to build the projects. Valuable dog facts, insightful tips, and quick and easy mini-projects-including everything from homemade dog biscuits to fun games that make for a happy indoor dog-are also included. Learn how to build: a doghouse, dog window bench, raised food counter with storage, doggie den nightstand, outdoor agility projects, and more!

syndetics-lc    Collectible Fishing Lures by Russell E. Lewis

Get hooked on one of the oldest of all collecting hobbies with this go-to guide of fishing lures. A great pick-up-to-peruse type of book, built for toting to shows and antique shops, this lure reference aids you in your effort to accurately identify, price and better understand the history behind vintage and modern lures from 31 manufacturers, starting with the Big Six” (Heddon, PawPaw, Creek Chub, Plueger, Shakespeare and South Bend).”

Arts and Recreation

syndetics-lc    Pop Up Design and Paper Mechanics: How to Make Folding Paper Sculpture by Duncan Birmingham

This comprehensive guide is a delightful introduction to a fun and fascinating craft-and it’s perfect for designers, illustrators, and hobbyists. Duncan Birmingham’s accessible and logical approach to pop-ups eliminates measuring and requires only card, scissors and glue to make highly complex folding sculptures. He demonstrates how to construct sophisticated pop-up designs, fashion a 3D reference book, design beautiful greeting cards, and more.

Warman’s Antiques and Collectible Price Guide

Subject: Antiques — Catalogs.

Antique Trader: Antiques and Collectibles

Subject: Antiques — Catalogs.
Antiques — United States — Catalogs.

syndetics-lc    Sewn Toy Tales: 12 Fun Characters to Make and Love by Rosalie Quinlan

Melly & Me present a fun and fabulous collection of personality-packed designs that will have readers sewing adorable toys in no time! Each of the brightly colored characters is a joy to sew for all abilities, making them the perfect gift for children or adults, or a trendy home accessory. Projects combine simple sewing techniques with funky fabrics, embellishments and color palettes to add zing and excitement to readers’ sewn toy creations. Easy to follow step by step instructions, quirky photography and full-size templates make this book a delightful gift as well as an irresistible addition to sewing collections.

syndetics-lc    Go Crochet! : Afghan Design Workbook: 50 Motifs, 10 Projects, 1 of a Kind Results by Ellen Gormley

Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook gives you everything you need to make beautiful afghans any time (and any place) you desire. First you’ll learn the tools and materials needed, along with basic crochet techniques. Next you’ll discover 50 mix-and-match crochet motifs in a wide variety of shapes with skill levels ranging from beginner to advance. All crochet patterns are available in both graph/symbol and text form. Following the motifs, 10 afghan patterns show you how to achieve a variety of effects with a single motif, 2-3 motifs and finally multiple motifs, for a fun patchwork appearance. Last, you’ll learn how to take the motifs and plan your own unique afghans.

syndetics-lc    Grammy’s Favorite Knits for a Baby by Doreen L. Marquart

When you want to knit something special for a sweet little someone, Grammy’s got the pattern! Featuring attractive, uncomplicated projects that won’t go out of fashion with the latest trend, this collection is brimming with baby-gift classics. Choose from cute and cuddly baby blankets, layette pieces, hats, booties, mitts, and even sweaters Find more than 20 quick-to-knit projects in sizes from infant to 24 months Create the perfect gift every time.

The Perfect Pillow: 10 Designs for Every Space by Mary Beth Temple

Subject: Crocheting — Patterns.
Pillows.

syndetics-lc    Get Hooked on Tunisian Crochet by Sheryl Thies

Be at the forefront of a stitching comeback! Tunisian crochet is a generations-old needlework technique that today’s crocheters – and knitters – are rediscovering. Also known as afghan stitch, this versatile technique is worked on a long needle with a crochet hook at one end. Choose from 13 gorgeous projects, including women’s garments and accessories as well as home accents Learn a variety of stitches, from basic to more advanced, including some that look just like knitting Read a brief history of Tunisian crochet and find out why it’s experiencing such a resurgence.

syndetics-lc    Amigurumi Toy Box: Cute Crocheted Friends by Ana Paula Rimoli

Crocheters everywhere fell in love with the quirky toys in Amigurumi World and Amigurumi Two! Now Ana Paula Rimoli presents the third book in her best-selling series. Sparkling with playful ideas inspired by her children, this wildly imaginative collection will tickle kids of all ages. Choose from more than 25 irresistible toys that stitch up quickly Catch Ana’s creative zaniness–put a grin on a silly hot dog, stitch a princess frog with a water-lily throne, make mom and baby koalas, create a tugboat, and more Find step-by-step instructions, great photos, and lots of funny friends.

syndetics-lc    Hollywood Musicals: The 101 Greatest Song and Dance Movies of All Time by Ken Bloom

A spectacular, information-packed celebration of the most beloved movie musicals, from My Fair Lady and Singing in the Rain to Moulin Rouge and High School Musical. The follow-up hit to the bestselling and acclaimed Broadway Musicals , Hollywood Musicals pays grand tribute to the 101 most popular and enduring musical movies. Beginning in 1927 and continuing to the present it celebrates all of the greatest films of the genre including Yankee Doodle Dandy , Cabaret , Meet Me in St. Louis , The Wizard of Oz , The King and I , A Star is Born , West Side Story , Funny Face , The Jazz Singer , and All That Jazz , as well as more recent movie musicals such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hedwig and the Angry Inch . Organized alphabetically, each film is featured across several spreads, which are jam-packed with expert commentary that places the film in historical and cultural context. Also included are features on the film “s creators and cast, plot synopses, song lists, production details, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, original movie posters, and much more. Beautifully reproduced photographs of the most memorable and pivotal scenes, the stars, and off-camera shots adorn the pages and illuminate the text. Sidebars include cast albums, flops, the greatest scores, and lesser-known musicals.

Literature

syndetics-lc    It’s Hard Not to Hate You by Valerie Frankel

From the author of THIN IS THE NEW HAPPY comes a hilarious new memoir about embracing your Inner Hater. In the midst of a health and career crisis, Valerie uncorks years of pent up rage, and discovers you don’t have to be happy to be happy. You don’t have to love everyone else to like yourself. And that your Bitchy Twin might just be your funniest, most valuable and honest ally. ” The hate in you has got to come out .” After being advised to reduce stress by her doctor, humorist Valerie Frankel realized the biggest source of pressure in her life was maintaining an unflappable easing-going persona. After years of glossing over the negative, Frankel goes on a mission of emotional honesty, vowing to let herself feel and express all the toxic emotions she’d long suppressed or denied: jealousy, rage, greed, envy, impatience, regret.Frankel reveals her personal History of Hate, from mean girls in junior high, selfish boyfriends in her twenties and old professional rivals. Hate stomps through her current life, too, with snobby neighbors, rude cell phone talkers, scary doctors and helicopter moms. Regarding her husband, she asks, “How Do I Hate You? Let Me Count the Ways.” (FYI: There are three.) By the end of her authentic emotional experience, Frankel concludes that toxic emotions are actually good for you. The positive thinkers, aka, The Secret crowd, have it backwards. Trying to ward off negativity was what’d been causing Frankel’s career stagnation, as well as her health and personal problems. With the guidance of celebrity friends like Joan Rivers and psychic Mary T. Browne, Frankel now uses anger, jealousy and impatience as tools to be a better, balanced and deeper person. IT’S HARD NOT TO HATE YOU sends the message that there are no wrong emotions, only wrong ways of dealing with them.

syndetics-lc    It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy by Laurie Notaro

Trying to fit in-sometimes literally-can be daunting, but Notaro’s attempts are hilariously captured in this collection. In “Let It Bleed,” Notaro (Spooky Little Girl) takes on the bane of women everywhere: trying on clothes in a dressing room, with lighting ranges from “cruel” to “barbaric.” In “She’s a Pill,” it’s not a physical hurdle Notaro must overcome but a mental one: her alter ago, “Ambien Laurie,” who emerges when Notaro takes the sleeping pill that can cause people to act strangely in their sleep-Notaro binges on junk food like a zombie and watches dreadful movies. Her relationship with her staunchly Republican parents, who live in Phoenix, Ariz., and are still dismayed that Notaro moved to Eugene, Ore., is most notably described in “It’s a Bomb,” when she flies in for her mother’s birthday. Notaro regresses to rebellious daughter and her parents to their old overbearing selves, complete with Notaro’s obsessively clean mother telling her, “[I]f you’re going to shed [in the shower], pick it up. Hair makes me gag.” Notaro’s humor is self-deprecating without ever swaying into self-pity, and her situations are both specific and universal.

History, Geography, and Biography

syndetics-lc    That Summer in Sicily: A Love Story by Marlena de Blasi 

In her fourth Italian memoir (after The Lady in the Palazzo), American writer de Blasi utilizes her personal narrative as merely bookends for a larger story. In 1995, De Blasi and her Italian husband sought a place to stay in the Sicilian mountains and were directed to the Villa Donnafugata, a grand hunting lodge populated by widows, farmers and an imperious mistress: Tosca Brozzi. When she was nine, Tosca was traded, in exchange for a horse, to a feudal prince, who took her to live with his wife and their two daughters. On her 18th birthday, she became the puttanina (mistress) of the prince, Leo (then exactly twice her age), and they lived together in an accepted “arrangement.” After WWII, Leo set about modernizing his estates, asking Tosca, a bookworm, to educate their children. The modernization brought down the wrath of the Sicilian mafia, and one day Leo simply disappeared, leaving Tosca an heiress. Eventually she modified Leo’s reformist plans, developing the extraordinary community that the author and her husband stumble upon. This book reads like a suspense novel complete with a surprise ending, and though Tosca’s story is compelling, it’s in De Blasi’s telling of it that the true magic lies.

syndetics-lc    A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure by Marlena de Blasi

They had met and married on perilously short acquaintance, she an American chef and food writer, he a Venetian banker. Now they were taking another audacious leap, unstitching their ties with exquisite Venice to live in a roughly renovated stable in Tuscany. Once again, it was love at first sight. Love for the timeless countryside and the ancient village of San Casciano dei Bagni, for the local vintage and the magnificent cooking, for the Tuscan sky and the friendly church bells. Love especially for old Barlozzo, the village mago, who escorts the newcomers to Tuscany’s seasonal festivals; gives them roasted country bread drizzled with just-pressed olive oil; invites them to gather chestnuts, harvest grapes, hunt truffles; and teaches them to caress the simple pleasures of each precious day. It’s Barlozzo who guides them across the minefields of village history and into the warm and fiercely beating heart of love itself. A Thousand Days in Tuscany is set in one of the most beautiful places on earth-and tucked into its fragrant corners are luscious recipes (including one for the only true bruschetta) directly from the author’s private collection.

syndetics-lc    Columbus: The Four Voyages by Laurence Bergreen

From the author of the Magellan biography, Over the Edge of the World, a mesmerizing new account of the great explorer. Christopher Columbus’s 1492 voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a trading route to China, and his unexpected landfall in the Americas, is a watershed event in world history. Yet Columbus made three more voyages within the span of only a decade, each designed to demonstrate that he could sail to China within a matter of weeks and convert those he found there to Christianity. These later voyages were even more adventurous, violent, and ambiguous, but they revealed Columbus’s uncanny sense of the sea, his mingled brilliance and delusion, and his superb navigational skills. In all these exploits he almost never lost a sailor. By their conclusion, however, Columbus was broken in body and spirit. If the first voyage illustrates the rewards of exploration, the latter voyages illustrate the tragic costs- political, moral, and economic. In rich detail Laurence Bergreen re-creates each of these adventures as well as the historical background of Columbus’s celebrated, controversial career. Written from the participants’ vivid perspectives, this breathtakingly dramatic account will be embraced by readers of Bergreen’s previous biographies of Marco Polo and Magellan and by fans of Nathaniel Philbrick, Simon Winchester, and Tony Horwitz.

syndetics-lc    Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling author Bill O’Reilly The anchor of The O’Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history–how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America’s Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln’s generous terms for Robert E. Lee’s surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln’s dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U.S. government, are not appeased. In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington D.C., John Wilkes Booth–charismatic ladies’ man and impenitent racist–murders Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country’s most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions–including that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. Featuring some of history’s most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and page-turning action, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller. 

syndetics-lc    Battlefields of the Civil War by Peter Cozzens

syndetics-lc    Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard

James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country so recently fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle for power—over his administration, over the nation’s future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. A team of physicians administered shockingly archaic treatments, to disastrous effect. As his con­dition worsened, Garfield received help: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, worked around the clock to invent a new device capable of finding the bullet. Meticulously researched, epic in scope, and pulsating with an intimate human focus and high-velocity narrative drive, The Destiny of the Republic will stand alongside The Devil in the White City and The Professor and the Madman as a classic of narrative history.

syndetics-lc    Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson

A blind man and his guide dog show the power of trust and courage in the midst of devastating terror. It was 12:30 a.m. on 9/11 and Roselle whimpered at Michael’s bedside. A thunderstorm was headed east, and she could sense the distant rumbles while her owners slept. As a trained guide dog, when she was “on the clock” nothing could faze her. But that morning, without her harness, she was free to be scared, and she nudged Michael’s hand with her wet nose as it draped over the bedside toward the floor. She needed him to wake up. With a busy day of meetings and an important presentation ahead, Michael slumped out of bed, headed to his home office, and started chipping away at his daunting workload. Roselle, shivering, took her normal spot at his feet and rode out the storm while he typed. By all indications it was going to be a normal day. A busy day, but normal nonetheless. Until they went into the office. In Thunder Dog , follow Michael and his guide dog, Roselle, as their lives are changed forever by two explosions and 1,463 stairs. When the first plane struck Tower One, an enormous boom, frightening sounds, and muffled voices swept through Michael’s office while shards of glass and burning scraps of paper fell outside the windows. But in this harrowing story of trust and courage, discover how blindness and a bond between dog and man saved lives and brought hope during one of America’s darkest days.

syndetics-lc    Where You Left Me by Jennifer Gardner Trulson

Lucky–that’s how Jennifer would describe herself. She had a successful law career, met the love of her life in Doug, married him, had an apartment in New York City, a house in the Hamptons, two beautiful children, and was still madly in love after nearly seven years of marriage. Jennifer was living the kind of idyllic life that clichÉs are made of. Until Doug was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, and she became a widow at age thirty-five–a “9/11 widow,” no less, a member of a select group bound by sorrow, of which she wanted no part. Though completely devastated, Jennifer still considered herself blessed. Doug had loved her enough to last her a lifetime, and after his sudden death, she was done with the idea of romantic love–fully resigned to being a widowed single mother . . . until a chance encounter with a gregarious stranger changed everything. Without a clue how to handle this unexpected turn of events, Jennifer faced the question asked by anyone who has ever lost a loved one: Is it really possible to feel joy again, let alone love? With unvarnished emotion and clear-eyed sardonic humor, Jennifer tells an ordinary woman’s extraordinary tale of unimaginable loss, resilience, friendship, love, and healing–which is also New York City’s narrative in the wake of September 11. Where You Left Me is an unlikely love story, a quintessentially New York story–at once Jennifer’s tribute to the city that gave her everything and proof that second chances are possible.

syndetics-lc    That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum

America is in trouble. We face four major challenges on which our future depends, and we are failing to meet them–and if we delay any longer, soon it will be too late for us to pass along the American dream to future generations. In That Used to Be Us , Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face–globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption–and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China’s educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which “that used to be us.” They explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs. And yet Friedman and Mandelbaum believe that the recovery of American greatness is within reach. They show how America’s history, when properly understood, offers a five-part formula for prosperity that will enable us to cope successfully with the challenges we face. They offer vivid profiles of individuals who have not lost sight of the American habits of bold thought and dramatic action. They propose a clear way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, a way that includes the rediscovery of some of our most vital traditions and the creation of a new thirdparty movement to galvanize the country. That Used to Be Us is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.

syndetics-lc   After America: Get Ready for Armageddon by Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn, author of the New York Times bestseller America Alone, is back with his most brilliant and uproarious book yet: After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. “In America Alone, I wrote that Europe was facing a largely self-inflicted perfect storm that threatened the very existence of some of the oldest nation-states in the world,” says Steyn. “My warning proved so influential that America decided to sign up for the same program but supersized. Heigh-ho.” Bitingly funny and wickedly clever, After America takes on Obama’s disastrous plan for our nation, and reveals exactly what a post-American world could look like if we don’t change our ways soon. Says Steyn: “Nothing is certain but debt and taxes. And then more debt. If the government of the United States had to use GAAP (the “Generally Accepted Accounting Practices” that your company and mine and the publishers of this book have to use), Uncle Sam would be under an SEC investigation and his nephews and nieces would have taken away the keys and cut up his credit card.” Slim as it is, however, Steyn argues there is still hope: “Americans face a choice: you can rediscover the animating principles of the American idea¿of limited government, a self-reliant citizenry, and the opportunities to exploit your talents to the fullest – or you can join most of the rest of the western world in terminal decline. This is a battle for the American idea, and it’s an epic one, but you can do anything you want to do. So do it.” Hilarious, smart, and compelling, After America is Steyn at his best.

 syndetics-lc    A Secret Gift by Ted Gup

An inspiring account of America at its worst-and Americans at their best-woven from the stories of Depression-era families who were helped by gifts from the author’s generous and secretive grandfather. Shortly before Christmas 1933 in Depression-scarred Canton, Ohio, a small newspaper ad offered $10, no strings attached, to 75 families in distress. Interested readers were asked to submit letters describing their hardships to a benefactor calling himself Mr. B. Virdot. The author’s grandfather Sam Stone was inspired to place this ad and assist his fellow Cantonians as they prepared for the cruelest Christmas most of them would ever witness. Moved by the tales of suffering and expressions of hope contained in the letters, which he discovered in a suitcase 75 years later, Ted Gup initially set out to unveil the lives behind them, searching for records and relatives all over the country who could help him flesh out the family sagas hinted at in those letters. From these sources, Gup has re-created the impact that Mr B. Virdot’s gift had on each family. Many people yearned for bread, coal, or other necessities, but many others received money from B. Virdot for more fanciful items-a toy horse, say, or a set of encyclopedias. As Gup’s investigations revealed, all these things had the power to turn people’s lives around- even to save them. But as he uncovered the suffering and triumphs of dozens of strangers, Gup also learned that Sam Stone was far more complex than the lovable- retiree persona he’d always shown his grandson. Gup unearths deeply buried details about Sam’s life-from his impoverished, abusive upbringing to felonious efforts to hide his immigrant origins from U.S. officials-that help explain why he felt such a strong affinity to strangers in need. Drawing on his unique find and his award-winning reportorial gifts, Ted Gup solves a singular family mystery even while he pulls away the veil of eight decades that separate us from the hardships that united America during the Depression. In A Secret Gift , he weaves these revelations seamlessly into a tapestry of Depression-era America, which will fascinate and inspire in equal measure.

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