New Nonfiction

December 29 - January 4, 2013

Whole-grain mornings : new breakfast recipes to span the seasons by Megan GordonWhole-grain mornings : new breakfast recipes to span the seasons  
Gordon, Megan
Call Number: 641.331 G6643
Food writer Gordon owns and operates Marge, a Seattle-based granola company. Her hearty breakfast recipes-many of which would be at home in Sophie Dahl's Very Fond of Food: A Year in Recipes-are arranged by season and occasion. Variations on granola, muesli, porridge, and more contain healthful ingredients, often in indulgent quantities. Trail guide nut and seed bars, extremely calorie dense, are best as a treat, while morning glory oats, which taste like carrot cake in a bowl, are a healthier choice. Gordon includes "basics" such as homemade yogurt and nut milks and encourages experimentation. VERDICT Though too involved for some, these creative breakfasts will tempt readers who love grains and natural ingredients. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Financially fearless : the LearnVest program for taking control of your money by Alexa Von TobelFinancially fearless : the LearnVest program for taking control of your money  
Von Tobel, Alexa
Call Number: 332.024 V948
This pragmatic and holistic guide from Von Tobel, founder and CEO of financial planning site, shows readers how to get out of financial holes and set up a secure financial future. Von Tobel’s simple plan for taking control of personal finances has the same brisk, straightforward tone that made the Web site successful, and doesn’t get bogged down in details; this is a survey-level course in financial literacy. Her budgeting formula—50 percent of take-home pay for essentials, 20 for savings, 30 for lifestyle—is a savior for those who find nitpicky budgets too onerous to deal with. Peppered with worksheets and tips, she covers topics such as planning for your future; your credit score; student loans; mortgages; helping aging parents; insurance; and drafting a pre-nup. There’s some discussion of the emotional side of money, and of corralling fears and shame, and a helpful list of “bad money habits,” but the book is mainly a get-down-to-business game plan. Most importantly, the author encourages readers to talk to each other about money, and even to form a Financially Fearless Club to share tips. Better than most books of its kind, this is a solid boot camp for the financially fearful. Agent: Andy McNicol, William Morris. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Refuel : a 24-day eating plan to shed fat, boost testosterone, and pump up strength and stamina by John La PumaRefuel : a 24-day eating plan to shed fat, boost testosterone, and pump up strength and stamina  
La Puma, John
Call Number: 613.25 L317
Internist La Puma (ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine), creator of the popular ChefMD video series, was the first physician to teach nutrition and cooking in a medical school. Here, he offers a program designed to meet the needs of male readers and their “unique metabolism, mindset and objectives.” La Puma asserts that most diet books are written for women, but notes that more men than women are overweight, they die on average five years earlier than women, and suffer from widespread “mid-waist crisis.” Testosterone, he notes, plays a crucial role in the regulation of visceral fat. However, poor eating habits, lack of exercise and sleep, and environmental toxins such as BPA and phthalates (endocrine disrupters) are causing deadly belly fat in men that is linked to diabetes, erectile dysfunction, heart disease, high cholesterol, colon cancer, and other problems. Readers can first take a quiz to estimate their testosterone level and then proceed to La Puma’s diet and exercise plan, which focuses on modified high-intensity interval training. Helpfully, La Puma includes a section on how to “man” the kitchen, with do’s and don’ts, equipment advice, and plenty of healthful recipes. The text itself is peppered with clever, pithy “man memos.” La Puma’s diet is practical and user-friendly. Agent: Stephen Hanselman, LevelFiveMedia. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The trip to Echo Spring : on writers and drinking by Olivia LaingThe trip to Echo Spring : on writers and drinking  
Laing, Olivia
Call Number: 810.9353 L187
The tortured relationship between literary lions and their liquor illuminates the obscure terrain of psychology and art in this searching biographical meditation. Critic and travel writer Laing (To the River) explores the writing and drinking careers of six heavy-hitting American masters—Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver—while visiting their haunts, from Key West to Puget Sound. Incorporating insights from neuroscience, rehab doctrine, and her family’s alcoholic history, Laing reviews the excuses each writer offered for his alcoholism—anxiety, shyness, childhood trauma, hidden homosexuality, creative lubrication, the world’s cruelty—and totals the costs: suicide, wrecked homes, lurid benders, and diminished output. (Williams’s addled late plays may exhibit alcohol-induced “aphasia,” says Laing.) The book’s heart is Laing’s astute analysis of the pervasive presence and meaning of drink in the writers’ texts, and its reflection of the writers’ struggles to shape—and escape—reality. Laing explores this rich topic through an unusual mix of biographical research, astute literary interpretation, and wonderfully atmospheric travelogue; she forthrightly calls out her subjects on their alcoholic evasions and self-deceptions while maintaining a clear-eyed sympathy for their travails. The result is a fine study of a human frailty through the eyes of its most perceptive victims. Photos. Agent: P.J. Mark, Janklow & Nesbit. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The secret rooms : a true story of a haunted castle, a plotting duchess, and a family secret by Catherine BaileyThe secret rooms : a true story of a haunted castle, a plotting duchess, and a family secret  
Bailey, Catherine
Call Number: 921 R978B
ile researching another book, historian Bailey uncovered mysterious gaps in the correspondence of the 9th Duke of Rutland, John Manners. Wondering who had removed the letters, she unravels secret after secret of the wealthy family at Belvoir Castle circa WWI. These include coded messages, a cover-up of a young boy's death, disputes over inherited property, and possible military desertion. Bailey brings to life the calculating matriarch, Violet, Duchess of Rutland, who abandons John as a child and then tries to control every aspect of his life in adulthood via surveillance and emotional manipulation. She ruthlessly pursues a potential wife for her son and orchestrates a massive campaign to have him removed from the war's front lines that involved prostituting her daughter to a married military adviser. Bailey also recalls some of the major events of the war, including the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, where Britain suffered massive casualties while John was kept safe, due to his mother's machinations, and the Battle of Hill 60 at Ypres, where the Germans first used chemical weapons. Bailey deserves commendation for her meticulous research as well as her storytelling. Illus. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

December 22 - 28, 2013

Uncharted : big data as a lens on human culture by Erez AidenUncharted : big data as a lens on human culture  
Aiden, Erez
Call Number: 302.231 A2885
Our society has gone from writing snippets of information by hand to generating a vast flood of 1s and 0s that record almost every aspect of our lives: who we know, what we do, where we go, what we buy, and who we love. This year, the world will generate 5 zettabytes of data. (That’s a five with twenty-one zeros after it.) Big data is revolutionizing the sciences, transforming the humanities, and renegotiating the boundary between industry and the ivory tower.What is emerging is a new way of understanding our world, our past, and possibly, our future. In Uncharted, Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel tell the story of how they tapped into this sea of information to create a new kind of telescope: a tool that, instead of uncovering the motions of distant stars, charts trends in human history across the centuries. By teaming up with Google, they were able to analyze the text of millions of books. The result was a new field of research and a scientific tool, the Google Ngram Viewer, so groundbreaking that its public release made the front page of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe, and so addictive that Mother Jones called it “the greatest timewaster in the history of the internet.”Using this scope, Aiden and Michel—and millions of users worldwide—are beginning to see answers to a dizzying array of once intractable questions. How quickly does technology spread? Do we talk less about God today? When did people start “having sex” instead of “making love”? At what age do the most famous people become famous? How fast does grammar change? Which writers had their works most effectively censored by the Nazis? When did the spelling “donut” start replacing the venerable “doughnut”? Can we predict the future of human history? Who is better known—Bill Clinton or the rutabaga?All over the world, new scopes are popping up, using big data to quantify the human experience at the grandest scales possible. Yet dangers lurk in this ocean of 1s and 0s—threats to privacy and the specter of ubiquitous government surveillance. Aiden and Michel take readers on a voyage through these uncharted waters.
French women don't get facelifts : the secret of aging with style & attitude by Mireille GuilianoFrench women don't get facelifts : the secret of aging with style & attitude  
Guiliano, Mireille
Call Number: 613.04244 G956
Guiliano (French Women Don’t Get Fat), a former chief executive at LVMH, tackles the topic of aging gracefully in her latest advice book. Quite happy to be in her 60s, the author has “a foot in two countries,” with an American husband, a Manhattan apartment, and a home in Paris. She notes that Frenchwomen (with a life expectancy of 84) have an exceptional attitude toward aging—in France, many believe that old age begins at 80. While the average aging Frenchwoman knows how to be “bien dans sa peau [comfortable in her own skin],” the United States suffers from a “youth-obsessed” and “results-oriented” culture. With her charmingly conversational tone, Guiliano walks readers through the mental and physical steps of aging with attitude, covering everything from cosmetics to spiritual life. Readers will find tips on hairstyles, makeup, healthy recipes, and eating tips, as well as general suggestions for nurturing one’s body as if it were a cherished garden. Guiliano maintains that aging has much more to do with how women think of themselves than with facelifts or outward appearances; nevertheless, dressing stylishly and appropriately, making time for sleep, play, love, laughter, and, of course, the occasional glass of wine are all part of the author’s uplifting attitude fix. Agent: Kathy Robbins, Robbins Office. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Brad's raw made easy : the fast, delicious way to lose weight, optimize health, and live mostly in the raw by Brad GrunoBrad's raw made easy : the fast, delicious way to lose weight, optimize health, and live mostly in the raw  
Gruno, Brad
Call Number: 613.265 G8916
After losing everything, including his marriage, in the dot-com crash of 2001, Gruno moved to Pennsylvania to start a new life. Once there, he discovered the raw food movement, in which devotees consume raw or minimally cooked/processed foods in an effort to get the most nutrition out of the ingredients. Much to his surprise, the raw chips he created became wildly popular, ultimately leading to his own line, Brad's Raw Foods. Here, he offers an approach to raw food that's one-third educational pep talk and two-thirds instruction and recipes. After making his case for consuming unprocessed, uncooked foods in order to avoid hidden sugars, chemicals, and fats, and sharing case studies of fellow converts, Gruno advises readers to increase their vegetable intake while cutting back on caffeine and drinking lots of smoothies, in addition to "normal" meals. For the committed, Gruno offers a number of recipes to fight palate fatigue (some of which may require more time and planning than anticipated), including: Coconut Yogurt, Cauliflower Popcorn, Burritos, and BBQ Veggie Burgers. Tips for managing cravings and engaging other family members will also help readers stay on track. Gruno's enthusiasm and healthy perspective (even he doesn't eat raw 100% of the time) make this an informative and accessible introduction to an increasingly popular method of dieting. Photos. Agent: Alex Glass, Trident Media Group. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Organize & create discipline by Justin KloskyOrganize & create discipline  
Klosky, Justin
Call Number: 648.8 K664
   As a child, Justin Klosky loved to count, analyze, and categorize everything in sight. Eventually diagnosed with OCD, he found ways to tap the benefits of his condition. Today, he’s founded a successful firm, O.C.D. Experience, building on the principals of Organize, Create, Discipline to help high-end clients take control of their lives through time management skills, getting rid of clutter, simplifying their habits, and rethinking storage solutions. Carefully arranged into more than 300 A-to-Z categories, Organize & Create Discipline explains organization methods for everything from laundry to legal documents, shoes, toys, kitchen drawers, medicine cabinets, utility closets, overflowing email inboxes, and dozens of other sources of daily detritus. Klosky’s unique advice yields peace of mind and radically improves productivity. With a clientele that includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Julie Chen, and Saks Fifth Avenue, Klosky now makes his unrivaled techniques to staying organized available to all.
Jim Cramer's get rich carefully by Jim CramerJim Cramer's get rich carefully  
Cramer, Jim
Call Number: 332.02401 C8894
Tired of phony promises about getting rich quickly, promises that lead to reckless decisions (the stepping stones to the poor house)? How about trying something different? How about going for lasting wealth#151;and doing it the cautious way? In Get Rich Carefully, Jim Cramer uses his thirty-five years of experience as a Wall Street veteran and host of CNBC's Mad Money to create a guide to high-yield, low-risk investing. In our recovering economy, this is the plan you need to make big money without taking big risks. Drawing on his unparalleled knowledge of the stock market and on the mistakes and successes he's made on the way to his own fortune, Cramer explains#151;in plain English#151;why you can get rich in a prudent, methodical way, as long as you start now . In his own inimitable style, Cramer lays it on the line, no waffling, no on-the-one-hand-or-the-other hedging, just the straight stuff you need to accumulate wealth. This is a book of wisdom as well as specifics. Cramer names names, highlights individual and sector plays, and identifies the best long-term investing themes#151;and shows you how to develop the disciplines you need to exploit them.nbsp; The personal finance book of the year, Get Rich Carefully is the invaluable guide to turning your savings into nbsp;real, lasting wealth in a practical, and yes#151;because this is, after all, a book by Jim Cramer#151;highly readable and entertaining way.

December 15 - 21, 2013

Pioneer programmer : Jean Jennings Bartik and the computer that changed the world by Jean BartikPioneer programmer : Jean Jennings Bartik and the computer that changed the world  
Bartik, Jean
Call Number: 921 B288
In early 1945, the United States military was recruiting female mathematicians for a top-secret project to help win World War II. Betty Jean Jennings (Bartik), a twenty-year-old college graduate from rural north-west Missouri, wanted an adventure, so she applied for the job. She was hired as a computer" to calculate artillery shell trajectories for Aberdeen Proving Ground, and later joined a team of women who programmed the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC), the first successful general-purpose programmable electronic computer. In 1946, Bartik headed up a team that modified the ENIAC into the first stored-program electronic computer. Even with her talents, Bartik met obstacles in her career due to attitudes about womens roles in the workplace. Her perseverance paid off and she worked with the earliest computer pioneers and helped launch the commercial computer industry. Despite their contributions, Bartik and the other female ENIAC programmers have been largely ignored. In the only autobiography by any of the six original ENIAC programmers, Bartik tells her story, exposing myths about the computers origin and properly crediting those behind the computing innovations that shape our daily lives.
The wolf of Wall Street by Jordan BelfortThe wolf of Wall Street  
Belfort, Jordan
Call Number: 921 B428
Belfort, who founded one of the first and largest "chop shop" brokerage firms in 1987, was banned from the securities business for life by 1994, and later went to jail for fraud and money-laundering, delivers a memoir that reads like fiction. It covers his decade of success with straightforward accounts of how he worked with managers of obscure companies to acquire large amounts of stock with minimal public disclosure, then pumped up the price and sold it, so he and the insiders made large profits while public investors usually lost. Profits were laundered through purchase of legitimate businesses and cash deposits in Swiss banks. There is only brief mention of Belfort's life before Wall Street or events since 1997. The book's main topic is the vast amount of sex, drugs and risky physical behavior Belfort managed to survive. As might be expected in the autobiography of a veteran con man with movie rights already sold, it's hard to know how much to believe. The story is told mostly in dialogue, with allegedly contemporaneous mental asides by the author, reported verbatim. But it reports only surface events, never revealing what motivates Belfort or any of the other characters. (Oct. 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
The gift of adversity : the unexpected benefits of life's difficulties, setbacks, and imperfections by Norman RosenthalThe gift of adversity : the unexpected benefits of life's difficulties, setbacks, and imperfections  
Rosenthal, Norman
Call Number: 155.24 R8158
Rosenthal made a name for himself in 1984 when he became the first psychiatrist to describe and diagnose "winter depression," or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Since then, he's written several books on that subject (e.g., Winter Blues) and on transcendental meditation (Transcendence). But readers expecting his newest to match the scientific rigor of his previous titles will be disappointed. This is by far Rosenthal's lightest offering-essentially a memoir in vignettes, each capped with an inspirational (and often shopworn) aphorism ("Life is precious but precarious: treat it with the care and respect it deserves"). Luckily, Rosenthal's story is an interesting one: from growing up Jewish in apartheid-era Johannesburg to struggling through med school, surviving a brutal stabbing, serving as a medical officer in the South African Army, getting caught up in a Ponzi scheme, and navigating the politics of Columbia University and the National Institute of Mental Health, his exploits are consistently engaging. However, chapters detailing the lives of others around him (like his family's servants) feel out of place, and his efforts to wring a lesson from every anecdote become tiring. A more straightforward autobiography-sans the self-help and pop-science packaging-would've been more effective. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Beyond the bear : how I learned to live and love again after being blinded by a bear by Dan BigleyBeyond the bear : how I learned to live and love again after being blinded by a bear  
Bigley, Dan
Call Number: 921 B593
In 2003, outdoor-loving Bigley nearly lost his life in a savage bear attack in Alaska, the gory details of which are difficult to read. The animal not only bit but actually chewed on Bigley’s head. The horrific injuries, which claimed his eyesight, required multiple surgeries to repair. This moving memoir of his experiences, coauthored with journalist McKinney, is more about Bigley’s emotional recovery and beyond-impressive triumph over adversity. Although his very survival was in doubt after the mauling, Bigley manages to weather the painful aftermath and the blow of learning that his sight is gone forever, thriving in the end. He completed a master’s program in social work with straight-A grades, and now works as a director of therapeutic foster care, overseeing 60 homes. The woman who was his girlfriend at the time of the attack is now his wife, and mother of their two children. Readers will appreciate Bigley’s inspirational and well-written story. Agent: Elizabeth Evans, the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The bully pulpit : Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the golden age of journalism by Doris Kearns GoodwinThe bully pulpit : Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the golden age of journalism  
Goodwin, Doris Kearns
Call Number: 973.911 G6564
Bestselling author Goodwin (Team of Rivals) continues her presidential coverage in her latest history book, this time constructing a narrative around the friendship of two very different Presidents, Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. The complex relationship and soured political camaraderie between Roosevelt and Taft is beautifully played out over the course of the book in quotes and letters. When they angrily part ways it has ramifications for them and the country, eventually leading to Woodrow Wilson's election. Though the book is primarily concerned with the intervening private lives of two politicians, a prominent second narrative emerges as Goodwin links both presidents' fortunes to the rise of ¿muckraking' journalism, specifically the magazine McClure's and its influence over political and social discussion. Women figure largely in both narratives. In addition to journalist Ida Tarbell, both wives, Nellie Taft and Edith Roosevelt appear to have shaped history in their own ways. By shining a light on a little-discussed President and a much-discussed one, Goodwin manages to make history very much alive and relevant. Better yet-the party politics are explicitly modern. Agent: Amanda "Binky" Urban, ICM. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

December 8 - 14, 2013

Neutrino hunters : the thrilling chase for a ghostly particle to unlock the secrets of the universe by Ray JayawardhanaNeutrino hunters : the thrilling chase for a ghostly particle to unlock the secrets of the universe  
Jayawardhana, Ray
Call Number: 539.7215 J427
While the Higgs boson has dominated recent physics news, astrophysicist Jayawardhana (Strange New Worlds) directs attention toward neutrinos, the "pathologically shy" elementary particles that offer a window into supernovas and may help answer questions about antimatter, dark matter, dark energy, and the early universe. With no electric charge and very little mass, neutrinos seldom interact with matter, for the most part passing untouched through the Earth itself; detection requires looking for particles created in the wake of the scant interactions that do occur. With clarity and wry humor, Jayawardhana relates how Wolfgang Pauli "invented" the neutrino to explain where missing energy went during beta decay, then later bet a case of champagne that it would never be detected experimentally. After neutrinos were finally observed for the first time in 1956, scientists expanded the hunt from Earth to space, examining the rays emitted by the Sun. From deep underground in South Dakota's Homestake Gold Mine to Antarctica's IceCube, currently the world's largest neutrino detector, Jayawardhana vividly illuminates both the particle that has "baffled and surprised" scientists, and the researchers who hunt it. Agent: John Pearce, Westwood Creative Artists. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The exercise cure : a doctor's all-natural, no-pill prescription for better health & longer life by Jordan MetzlThe exercise cure : a doctor's all-natural, no-pill prescription for better health & longer life  
Metzl, Jordan
Call Number: 615.82 M5968
What if there were a drug to treat every illness, across all body systems, proven potent against heart disease, depression, arthritis, PMS and erectile dysfunction -- even in chronic diseases such as asthma, dementia, and certain types of cancer? What if it had no side effects, was completely free, readily available, and worked for everyone ? Every single person who took it decreased her risk of premature death and raised his quality of life. Would you want it?In a healthcare system that spends 17% of GDP, roughly $2.7 trillion, mostly on disease treatment, how do we save money and prevent illness? By increasing the use of the world's most effective preventive medicine: exercise . Jordan D. Metzl, MD, explains how everyone can maximize their daily dose in his groundbreaking new book, THE EXERCISE CURE. In THE EXERCISE CURE, Dr. Metzl -- nationally renowned sports medicine physician -- offers malady-specific and well-researched exercise prescriptions to help readers stay healthy, heal disease, drop pounds, increase longevity, and transform their lives. Today's medical system is largely focused on fixing rather than preventing problems, and many treatments carry significant side effects. Cholesterol-lowering drugs are linked to frequent muscle and joint problems, anti-hypertensive drugs like Beta-blockers cause headaches and diminished energy, and Prozac and other popular anti-depressant medications carry multiple consequences including sexual dysfunction. Dr. Metzl knows that exercise is inexpensive, powerful medicine that has benefits in prevention and treatment of disease without disturbing side effects. Even in older adults, daily exercise has been found to prevent dementia by generating neuron development in the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain. Combining the latest data and his proven motivational skills, Dr. Metzl addresses the common maladies troubling millions. He discusses our cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, musculoskeletal, neurologic, reproductive, and endocrinologic body systems, with special sections on sleep problems and cancer prevention, presenting the science behind the role of exercise as medicine. Then, he details fun, fat-torching, life-prolonging workouts that can be tailored easily to any fitness level, beginner to advanced, and provides nutritional information, including meal plans for healthy eating and disease prevention, as well.
Glorious war : the Civil War adventures of George Armstrong Custer by Thom HatchGlorious war : the Civil War adventures of George Armstrong Custer  
Hatch, Thom
Call Number: 921 C987H
What most people know about Custer's life centers on one day: his fatal last stand at Little Bighorn in 1876. Not fair, claims Spur Award winner Hatch (for 2005's Black Kettle), who briskly and convincingly sets out to rescue the Union Army's youngest general from this ignominy. Hatch leads a romp through the Civil War, describing Custer's involvement in many key confrontations, including both Bull Runs, Brandy Station, Gettysburg, and Appomattox. An undistinguished graduate of West Point in 1861, Custer made a name for himself early in the war with daring cavalry charges and smart military strategies. His rapid advance through aide-de-camp positions for three generals, coupled with his willingness to get out on the battlefield with his men and his flair for self-promotion, made Custer one of the most colorful characters of the war. The deftly detailed narrative undergirds Hatch's emphasis on the importance of Custer's early military career while delivering the drama of the larger swirl of the Civil War. However, Hatch reveals little about Custer's private life or his inner self, elements of character that might have helped flesh out how and why this popular, accomplished general died so young. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A dreadful deceit : the myth of race from the colonial era to Obama's America by Jacqueline JonesA dreadful deceit : the myth of race from the colonial era to Obama's America  
Jones, Jacqueline
Call Number: 305.8 J775
MacArthur Fellow and Bancroft Prize–winning historian Jones’s aim in this heartfelt book is to redefine our ideas of what constitutes “race” while arguing that the entire foundation of racial categorizing is unscientific and deeply injurious historically. While that argument is widely held by scientists and scholars, it still lacks widespread acceptance. So in what is the most persuasive and satisfying feature of this authoritative book, Jones relates the stories of six “black” Americans across different eras spanning nearly half a millennium. These riveting tales emerge from Jones’s deep knowledge of African-American history and her brilliant use of previously unexploited sources. If at times unsubtle—Jones finds it necessary to keep reminding us that “race” is mythic, not real—she leaves no doubt that ever-changing racial mythologies “have nothing to do with biological determinism and everything to do with power relations.” Racial ideologies, she shows, have long been a pretext for injustice, are always in flux, and while they deeply affect us all, have never extinguished the robust determination of the oppressed to gain safety, dignity, and a rightful place in the nation’s civic life. Agent: Geri Thoma, Writers House. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
God in proof : the story of a search, from the ancients to the Internet by Nathan SchneiderGod in proof : the story of a search, from the ancients to the Internet  
Schneider, Nathan
Call Number: 212.1 S3593
Schneider (editor,, a freelance writer on religion, tells a story that is at once the narration of a lifelong quest (perhaps obsession) and an intellectual history. Bewitched by the idea of proving the existence of God, Schneider skates through the likes of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz, Bertrand Russell, and philosopher Antony Flew, in a dizzying ride through Western intellectual history. It is not the proof that sticks but the quest for the proof, which unites all sides of the argument. VERDICT A philosophically engaging and challenging work, accessible enough for the nonacademic reader as well as specialists. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

December 1 - 7, 2013

The geek's guide to dating by Eric SmithThe geek's guide to dating  
Smith, Eric
Call Number: 817 S6467
Brimming with references to Star Trek, Firefly, and Pokemon, this dating guide by popular blogger Smith is aimed at an ever-growing population of self-described male "geeks" . Smith, who addresses the reader as "Player One," provides tips on how to "hack" online dating profiles, the proper etiquette for approaching women on Facebook and Twitter, and the best locations for meeting like-minded women in real life. He walks readers through a first date simulation, outlining effective conversation strategies and topics to avoid. Smith does a great service for both sexes by disabusing men of the concepts of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl and "the friendzone," while also discouraging "idiosyncratic 'trademark' wardrobe items" such as fedoras. He does, however, explain how you can achieve Han Solo's "roguish but classy" style without attracting "unwanted attention in a cantina." Smith further contends that the Cylons of Battlestar Galactica make good dating role models and that a Magic: The Gathering deck is a perfect metaphor for compromise in a relationship. He also covers moving in together, meeting her family, and proper break-up techniques, with Futurama's Bender providing an example of what not to do. With Smith stressing understanding and respect for women, this is a welcome alternative to the "pick-up artist" phenomenon courting this same demographic. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
My Venice and other essays by Donna LeonMy Venice and other essays  
Leon, Donna
Call Number: 945.31 L5793
Best known for her Venetian mystery series featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti (The Golden Egg, etc.), Leon turns to real life with this engaging yet overstuffed essay collection on everything from her adopted city to animals. Divided into six sections-On Venice, On Music, On Mankind and Animals, On Men, On America, and On Books-Leon muses, reminisces, and often complains about her Italian home of more than 30 years. While Venice isn't associated with cleanliness, Leon makes it clear just how dirty the city is in the bluntly titled "Garbage" and "Shit" (the latter of the canine variety). But in the titular essay, it's clear also that she loves the community feel and unforced camaraderie of her neighborhood, where the city's lack of cars means citizens are "forced to walk [and] forced to meet." A music aficionado, with a particular penchant for the underappreciated Handel, Leon makes the arias and orchestrations come alive in "On Beauty and Freedom in the Opera" and "Confessions of an American Handel Junkie." Originally from New Jersey, though she's lived and taught in locations as varied as Saudi Arabia and China, Leon takes her native country to task on issues of obesity ("Fatties"), the Manhattan male ("The New York Man"), and fear ("The United States of Paranoia"). With most of the essays running no longer than three or four pages, the volume leans a bit too much on the side of quantity (there are 55 essays), but Leon's distinctive voice is reason enough to power through. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Elizabeth of York : a Tudor queen and her world by Alison WeirElizabeth of York : a Tudor queen and her world  
Weir, Alison
Call Number: 921 E435W
Best known as the mother of Henry VIII, Elizabeth of York (1466–1503) is also the ancestor of the English, Scots, and British monarchies that commenced in 1509, 1513, and 1603, respectively. Weir (Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings) conveys how, as a royal princess, Elizabeth was a pawn in the dynastic ambitions of England’s rulers: her father, Edward IV; her uncle, Richard III; her mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort; and her husband, Henry VII, whose claim to the English throne was inferior to her own. Betrothed to the Dauphin of France at age 11, Elizabeth was—after the death of her father in 1483—even rumored to be a possible match for Richard III, usurper of Edward V’s throne and responsible for the murder of Elizabeth’s two younger brothers. Weir, an authority on 15th- and 16th-century English history, revises some of her previous thinking regarding the fate of the princes in the Tower of London, but the major focus is Elizabeth’s life, portrayed in great detail, from marriage ceremonies and royal itineraries to the food, books, gifts, and clothing of her day. Weir argues her positions clearly and, in balancing the scholarly with emphases on Elizabeth’s emotional and psychological life, she should reach a wider audience than traditional histories. Illus. Agent: Julian Alexander, Lucas Alexander Whitley (U.K.). (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
America's great game : the CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East by Hugh WilfordAmerica's great game : the CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East  
Wilford, Hugh
Call Number: 327.73056 W677
Wilford (The Mighty Wurlitzer), professor of history at California State University, Long Beach, delivers an account of spy games and political maneuvering featuring the aristocratic grandsons of Theodore Roosevelt, Kermit and Archie, and their compatriot Miles Copeland. Reared on exotic tales from the Arabian Nights, adventurous Roosevelt cousins joined the OSS-precursor to the CIA-and ventured afield as elite operatives in Iran, Egypt, and Syria in order to master the clandestine arts, engaging in "psy-war" and tempting targets with the ever-alluring "honey-trap" (in which women are used as lures). Wilford runs through a sordid record of American imperialist pretensions, replete with coups, countercoups, intrigue, subterfuge, non-diplomatic back-channels, and convoluted plots that sometimes "descended into farce"-including attempts at "the possible use of hypnotism in political speech-making." Often these efforts resulted in futile gestures, gross missteps, or insuperable problems. Yet aside from its reliance upon "the spooky channel" and clandestine intrigue, the United States government used benign means of exercising influence in the region, establishing the Syrian Protestant College (later renamed the American University of Beirut) and the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO). Wilford's narrative of these ambitious imperialists and their machinations is a cautionary tale of "masculine adventure," or as the case may be, elite misadventure. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Inside the Dream Palace : the life and times of New York's legendary Chelsea Hotel by Sherill TippinsInside the Dream Palace : the life and times of New York's legendary Chelsea Hotel  
Tippins, Sherill
Call Number: 647.94 T5956
In this wide-ranging history, literary biographer Tippins explores the Chelsea Hotel's role as a refuge for artists and eccentrics for over a century. Built in 1884 by a French architect, Philip Hubert, who had been deeply influenced by the utopian philosopher Charles Fourier, the Chelsea immediately became a center of counter-culture in New York City. Evolving and devolving through two world wars, the Great Depression, and ever-changing management, the Chelsea somehow managed to provide a haven for bohemians from around the world, even as the rooms were subdivided, the plumbing decayed, and pimps, junkies, and dealers roamed the halls. Tippins smoothly conveys the atmosphere at the Chelsea in its early days through her descriptions of Gilded Age luminaries like William Dean Howells, while she focuses on the hard-drinking Thomas Wolfe and the suave composer Virgil Thomson in her treatment of the Depression era. However, the prose comes fully alive as Tippins documents the shifting currents of New York bohemia in the decades after WWII. The list of luminaries who helped to create the Chelsea magic include Arthur Miller, Arthur C. Clarke, Edie Sedgwick, Harry Smith, Bob Dylan, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jack Kerouac, and many, many others-a veritable who's-who of American postwar artists. A fascinating account of how a single building in New York City nurtured a community of freaks, dreamers, and outcasts whose rejection of the status quo helped to transform it. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.