Friday, July 23, 2021

The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War

The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War
by Malcolm Gladwell
Little, Brown & Company, 2021, 240 pages. History

Using a variety of interviews and primary sources, Malcolm Gladwell discusses the impact the concept of precision bombing had during World War II, and its varied successes when tried against both Germany and the Japanese. This book especially focuses on the decisions leading up to the deadliest night of World War II—the bombing of Tokyo. Although this book is a great read, listen to this book if you can, since it was first created as an audiobook/podcast hybrid, then adapted into a written book. The listening experience is incredibly rich, with interviews and clips that highlight Gladwell’s points about how the use of precision bombing changed the way we fight.  

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by Erik Larson
Crown, 2020, 585 pages. History

Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London's darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents' wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela's illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the cadre of close advisers who comprised Churchill's "Secret Circle," including his lovestruck private secretary, John Colville; newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook; and the Rasputin-like Frederick Lindemann. 

by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns
Alfred A. Knopf, 2017, 640 pages. History

Those who enjoy the high production quality of Gladwell’s Bomber Mafia will enjoy this book based on the Ken Burns documentary series. Continuing in the tradition of their critically acclaimed collaborations, the authors draw on dozens and dozens of interviews in America and Vietnam to give us the perspectives of people involved at all levels of the war—US and Vietnamese soldiers and their families, high-level officials in America and Vietnam, antiwar protestors, POWs, and many more. Rather than taking sides, the book seeks to understand why the war happened the way it did, and to clarify its complicated legacy.

by David Grann
Doubleday, 2016, 338 pages. Nonfiction

The Bomber Mafia talks about the development of the US Air Force; Killers of the Flower Moon talks about an interesting true crime story that helped guide the formation of the FBI. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. As the death toll climbed, the FBI took up the case and slowly unveiled on the of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age 
by Annalee Newitz
W.W. Norton & Co, 2021. 297 pages.

Science journalise Annalee Newitz explores the history of urban life through four ancient cities from across the globe. If you are interested in archaeology and the ancient past, you may be familiar with Catalhoyuk, Pompeii, Angkor, and Cahokia. Newitz presents the latest research on these four cities and dives into the rise and fall of these metropolises from the four corners of the globe. 

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House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest
by Craig Shields 
Little, Brown and Co, 2007. 496 pages.

The greatest unsolved mystery of the American Southwest is the fate of the Anasazi, the native peoples who in the eleventh century converged on Chaco Canyon (in today's northwestern New Mexico) and built a flourishing cultural center that attracted pilgrims from far and wide, a vital crossroads of the prehistoric world.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
by Yuval N. Harari 
Harper, 2015. 443 pages.

A narrative history of humanity's creation and evolution explores how biology and history have defined understandings of what it means to be human, detailing the role of modern cognition in shaping the ecosystem, civilizations and more.

Imagined Life: A speculative Journey Among the Exoplanets in Search of Intelligent Aliens, Ice Creatures, and Supergravity Animals

Imagined Life: A speculative Journey Among the Exoplanets in Search of Intelligent Aliens, Ice Creatures, and Supergravity Animals 
by James Trefil and Michael Summers 
Smithsonian Books, 2019, 232 pages. Nonfiction. 

Curious about what sort of life is out there when you gaze up at the night sky? Professors James Trefil and Michael Summers answer our burning hypothetical questions of just what kind of aliens one might encounter on distant (and not-so-distant planets). The planets described are all hypothetical, but they feel very familiar to what we have in our solar system—planets with crushing forces of gravity (Jupiter), planets with ice caps (Mars), and planets with liquid oceans trapped under ice (Europa). This fun, imaginative exploration of alien life is a great read for anyone interested in space, space tourism, or real-life science fiction. 

If you like Imagined Life, you may also like: 

Out there: A Scientific guide to alien life, antimatter, and human space travel (for the cosmically curious) 
by Michael Wall Grand Central Publishing, 2018. 245 pages.

This is a layman's guide to the cosmos, discussing astronomy, physics, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, the practical realities of life for humans in outer space, and insights into space exploration.

Packing for Mars
by Mary Roach W.W. Norton, 2010. 333 pages.

Popular nonfiction writer Mary Roach takes on space and describes the weirdness of space travel, answers questions about the long-term effects of living in zero gravity on the human body, and explains how space simulations on Earth can provide a preview to life in space.

Everybody Fights: So Why Not Get Better At It

W. Publishing, an Imprint of Thomas Nelson, 2021. 230 pgs. Self-Help

Kim and Penn Holderness are best know for their viral internet video where they are dancing around in their Christmas jammies. There is a more serious side to the couple though. For the past several years they have been working hard on their relationship with their pastor and marriage coach, Dr. Christopher Edmonston. This book shares the things they learned during this time, but in a fun and lighthearted way. They share actual fights they have had and then analyze how they went wrong and what they can improve for next time. The book also includes scripts for how to start, continue, and wrap up hard conversations. The book is geared for couples, but the principles they teach can apply to any relationship. I highly recommend the audiobook on Libby. It is narrated by the authors and there are spontaneous songs and comments sprinkled throughout. 

If you like Everybody Fights you might also like: 

By John M. Gottman and Nan Silver
Harmony Books, 2015. 295 pgs. Self-Help

Gottman offers strategies and resources to help couples collaborate more effectively to resolve any problem, whether dealing with issues related to sex, money, religion, work, family, or anything else. 

By Willard F. Harley, Jr.
Revell, 2011. 234 pgs. Self-Help

Identifies the ten most vital needs of men and women and shows husbands and wives how to satisfy those needs in their spouses. This edition highlights the special significance of intimate emotional needs in marriage. 

By Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
Zondervan, 2017. 346 pgs. Self-Help

If you've ever wondered: Can I set limits and still be a loving person? How do I answer someone who wants my time, energy, or money? Why do I feel guilty when I consider setting boundaries? Unpacking the 10 laws of boundaries, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend give you biblically based answers to these and other tough questions, and show you how to set healthy boundaries with your spouse, children, friends, coworkers, and even with yourself. 


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

You Have A Match

You Have a Match

by Emma Lord

Wednesday Books, 2021. 305 pages. Young Adult

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it's mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie...although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front. But she didn't know she's a younger sister. When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents. The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby's growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

If you liked You Have a Match, you might like:

The Rest of the Story

by Sarah Dessen

HarperCollins Publishers, 2019. 440 pages. Young Adult

Unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her late mother's estranged relatives at scenic North Lake, a teen finds herself torn between her mother's working-class relatives and her father's wealthier associates.

Say Yes to Summer

by Lindsey Roth Culli

Delacorte Press, 2020. 256 pages. Young Adult

Graduating at the top of her class after years of following the rules, Rachel makes plans for a summer of saying yes to new experiences before big mistakes, rekindled friendships and romance take her in unexpected directions.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

by Jenny Han

Simon and Shuster, 2014. 355 pages. Young Adult

Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved and then hides them in a hatbox until one day those letters are accidentally sent.


Monday, July 19, 2021

El Príncipe del Sol

El Príncipe del Sol (El Príncipe del Sol, #1)
Por Claudia Ramírez Lomelí
Planeta, 2018. 341 páginas. Ficción Juvenil

La nación del sol y el reino de la luna han logrado mantener la paz durante un milenio, pero hoy todo parece estar perdido: la reina Virian ha desaparecido y los vientos de guerra amenazan ambos territorios. Emil es el príncipe heredero a la corona del sol y en ausencia de su madre deberá asumir el trono a pesar de su juventud. Elyon, su mejor amiga, lo convence de emprender un arriesgado viaje por Fenrai para dar con el paradero de la reina. Pero la travesía se torna cada vez más peligrosa y desconcertante cuando descubren la verdad detrás de algunos secretos que era mejor no revelar.

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La Ladrona de la Luna (El Príncipe del Sol, #2)
Por Claudia Ramírez Lomelí
Planeta, 2019. 387 páginas. Ficción Juvenil

Ha pasado un año desde que Emil fue coronado como el rey de la nación del sol. A pesar de que no ha logrado olvidar los terribles sucesos ocurridos en la Isla de las Sombras, ha intentado ser el soberano que Alariel necesita en tiempos oscuros. Emil y el resto de la corte están preocupados por el extraño comportamiento del sol, que no ha salido a la hora habitual y con frecuencia aparece más tarde, señal de un peligro inminente. Es muy probable que los antiguos rencores del reno de la luna tengas algo que ver con el desconcierto y el temor que se han propagado en Alariel. Una vez más, Emil tendrá que recurrir a sus amigos para encontrar una respuesta que no solo ayudara a la nación del sol, sino que también les permitirá sanar viejas heridas. Gianna hará todo lo posible por estar a la altura de su nuevo cargo. Ezra y Bastian viajaran a Ilardya para desenmascarar una misteriosa secta que adora a Avalon. Mientras, Mila y Gavril tendrá que preocuparse por proteger al rey contras los atentados que han estado ocurriendo y que van en aumento. Sin embargo, hay algo que todos están pasando por alto y tal vez ahí este la respuesta que cada uno desea encontrar.

Dama de Humo (Princesa de cenizas, #2)
Por Laura Sebastian
Penguin Random House, 2019. 446 páginas. Ficción Juvenil

Princesa. Prisionera. Huérfana. Rebelde. Un trono arrebatado. Ella deberá luchar para devolvérselo a su pueblo. Llega la segunda parte de «Princesa de cenizas». Theo ya no lleva la corona de cenizas, ha recuperado su título y con él, un rehén: Prinz Soren. El pueblo sigue bajo la terrible dictadura del Kaiser, y ella está a miles de kilómetros de distancia de su trono. Theo sabe que la libertad tiene un precio, pero está decidida a encontrar un camino para salvar al pueblo sin perderse a sí misma.


Saturday, July 10, 2021

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
By V. E. Schwab
Tor Books, 2020. 442 pages. Fiction

As a young woman, Addie  makes a deal with the devil to save herself from the tedium of  an arranged marriage, asking to not belong to anyone. The devil grants her immortality but curses her to a life of horrible isolation because no one she meets is able to remember her.  After 300 years of moving through the world like a shadow, Addie hears the words she thought she never would: "I remember you."

If you like The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, you might also like:

How to Stop Time
By Matt Haig
Penguin Group, 2019. 352 pgs. Sci-Fi

Tom Hazard looks like an ordinary 41-year-old man, but due to a rare genetic condition, he's actually over 400 years old.  He has recently moved back to London to begin teaching history, but London hides memories around every corner, some centuries old.  Tom keeps his condition a secret, which isolates him from everyone except the Albatross Society, a small and secretive group of people who, like Tom, age slowly over centuries.  The Society has one rule: never fall in love, as forming attachments leads to trouble.  But for the first time in centuries, Tom is captivated by a woman, the school's French teacher.  The only way to keep her safe is to stay away from her, but Tom is finding that more and more difficult.


The Hollow Kingdom
By Clare B. Dunkle
Henry Holt & Company, 2006. 230 pages. Young Adult Fiction

In nineteenth-century England, a powerful sorcerer and King of the Goblins chooses Kate, the elder of two orphan girls recently arrived at their ancestral home, Hallow Hill, to become his bride and queen...


Friday, July 2, 2021

The Cost of Knowing

The Cost of Knowing 
By Brittney Morris
Simon & Schuster BFYR, 2021. 327 pages. Young Adult Fiction 

After a tragic accident that killed their parents, 16-year-old Alex Rufus lives with his younger brother, Isaiah, in a quiet neighborhood in Chicago with their aunt. The accident triggered a power in Alex, allowing him to experience visions of the future whenever he touches objects or the people around him. When he picks up a family photo, he has a vision that his younger brother, Isaiah, is going to die - he can't tell how, but he knows it will be soon. All Alex wants is to protect Isaiah, but how can he protect him in the present, when he knows the dangers of the future? A compelling story that speaks to hard truths about race, prejudice, and the inherent injustice that permeates the world we live in. 

If you liked The Cost of Knowing, you might also like: 

One of the Good Ones
By Maika Moulite
Inkyard Press, 2021. 335 pages. Young Adult Fiction 

When Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there's a twist to Kezi's story that no one could've ever expected, one that will change everything all over again. 

They Both Die at the End
By Adam Silvera
HarperTeen, 2017. 373 pages. Young Adult Sci-Fi 

In a near-future New York City where a service alerts people on the day they will die, teenagers Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio meet using the Last Friend app and are faced with the challenge of living a lifetime on their End Day. 




Thursday, July 1, 2021

A Proper Scandal

A Proper Scandal 
by Esther Hatch 
Covenant Communications, Inc. 2019. 222 pages. Romance. 

Grace Sinclair has been callously cast out of her home after six years living with the vicar and his family. Thankfully, Grace's estranged Aunt Bell from London has agreed to care for her. But, it takes only a moment's acquaintance for Grace to ascertain that her aunt has married a detestable rake who may not be able to resister her beauty. Recognizing the danger of having her lovely niece too near her husband, Aunt Bell gives Grace an ultimatum: the young woman has two weeks to find a man to marry, after which she will be turned out. With time not on her side her only choice is to entrap a man so society forces them to marry. But Grace is a proper lady and lying and deceiving go against her nature. She quickly realizes that a worthy suitor might not be so easy to ensnare. 

If you like A Proper Scandal, you might also like: 

by Sarah M. Eden 
Covenant Communications, Inc. 2011. 252 pages. Romance. 

When Crispin, Lord Cavratt, thoroughly and scandalously kisses a serving woman in the garden of a country inn, he assumes the encounter will be of no consequence. But he couldn't be more mistaken--the maid is not only a lady of birth, she's the niece of a very large, exceptionally angry gentlemen, who claims Crispin has compromised his niece beyond redemption. The dismayed young lord has no choice but to marry Miss Catherine Thorndale, who lacks both money and refinement and assumes all men are as vicious as her guardian uncle. 

by Robert Morrison 
W.W. Norton & Company. 2019. 366 Pages. Nonfiction.

A surprising history of the era that brought our modern world decisively into view. Though the Victorians are often credited with ushering in our modern era, the seeds were planted in the years before. The Regency (1811- 1820) began when the profligate Prince of Wales replaced his insane father, George III, as Britain's ruler; around the regent surged a society of evangelicalism and hedonism, elegance and brutality, exuberance and despair. The arts showcased extraordinary writers and painters such as Austen, Byron, the Shelleys, Constable, and Turner. Science gave us the steam locomotive and the blueprint for the modern computer. Yet the dark side of the modern era was visible in the poverty, slavery, pornography, opium, and gothic imaginings that birthed Frankenstein. And all the while, the British Empire fought in foreign lands: the Napoleonic Wars in Europe and the War of 1812 in the United States. Exploring these crosscurrents, Robert Morrison illuminates the profound ways this period shaped and indelibly marked the modern world.


Camping Basics: Everything You Need to Know from S’mores to Sleeping Bags

 Sleeping Bags to S'mores: Camping Basics

by Heather Rochfort

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020. 224 Pages. Nonfiction

Ever wanted to go camping, but had no idea where to start? Need to unplug, but not sure what to do? Do you have childhood memories of camping bliss, but no idea how to do it on your own? Sleeping Bags to S'mores has you covered!

From two expert writers on camping and backpacking, this book covers everything you need to know about how to go camping. From picking a destination and what to pack to how to deal with wildlife (including kids), sporty guides Heather and Will Rochfort will show you the way. Sleeping Bags to S'mores is everything you need to know to have the relaxing, fun-filled camping experience you're looking for, and it includes 100 entertaining full-color illustrations.

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See You at the Campground: A Guide to Discovering Community, Connection, and a Happier Family in the Great Outdoors

by Stephanie Puglisi

Sourcebooks 2020. 301 Pages. Nonfiction

Stephanie and Jeremy Puglisi were stressed out, sleep-deprived, and near the end of their rope with infant twins. They had no clear idea of how they could continue to travel with a growing family and full-time jobs. Then they bought a pop-up camper, and their lives changed forever.In See You at the Campground , Stephanie and Jeremy show readers how the open road could be the ticket to a happier, healthier family. From cabin camping to RVs to tents, and from national parks to private campgrounds, Stephanie and Jeremy explore the ins and outs of road trips, camping, and enjoying adventurous, exciting family trips that don't break the budget but leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.Perfect for families who have never camped before, those thinking of exploring a new type of camping experience, and seasoned campers seeking high-level hacks and tips, See You at the Campground is the ultimate guide to fostering a sense of adventure and exploration in your family each time you hit the road.

The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures and Connect Kids to Nature

by Helen Olsson

Roost Books 2012. 254 pages. Nonfiction

Outlines economical options for family camping vacations, sharing irreverent, anecdotal, and practical guidelines for families with young children while explaining how to select gear and address needs with a minimum of stress.


Never Split the Difference

by Chris Voss
Harper Business, 2016. 288 pages. Business

A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home. Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss's head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles—counterintuitive tactics and strategies—you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life. With poignant examples from the field and practical ways to implement the skills in your daily communication, Never Split the Difference will impact your communication style right from page one.

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by Gary Noesner
Penguin Random House, 2018. 240 pages. Biography/Memoir

In Stalling for Time, the FBI’s chief hostage negotiator takes readers on a harrowing tour through many of the most famous hostage crises in the history of the modern FBI, including the siege at Waco, the Montana Freemen standoff, and the D.C. sniper attacks. Having helped develop the FBI’s nonviolent communication techniques for achieving peaceful outcomes in tense situations, Gary Noesner offers a candid, fascinating look back at his years as an innovator in the ranks of the Bureau and a pioneer on the front lines. Whether vividly recounting showdowns with the radical Republic of Texas militia or clashes with colleagues and superiors that expose the internal politics of America’s premier law enforcement agency, Stalling for Time crackles with insight and breathtaking suspense.

by Jim Camp
Penguin Random House, 2020. 288 pages. Business

Think a win-win solution is the best way to make the deal? Think again. For years now, win-win has been the paradigm for business negotiation. But today, win-win is just the seductive mantra used by the toughest negotiators to get the other side to compromise unnecessarily, early, and often. Win-win negotiations play to your emotions and take advantage of your instinct and desire to make the deal. Start with No introduces a system of decision-based negotiation that teaches you how to understand and control these emotions. It teaches you how to ignore the siren call of the final result, which you can’t really control, and how to focus instead on the activities and behavior that you can and must control in order to successfully negotiate with the pros.


Thursday, June 24, 2021

Winning the Gentleman

By Kristi Ann Hunter
Bethany House, 2021. 348 pgs. Romance

When his reputation is threatened, Aaron Whitworth makes the desperate decision to hire a circus horse trainer as a jockey for his racehorses. Most men don't take Sophia Fitzroy seriously because she's a woman, but as she fights for the right to do the work she was hired for, she finds the fight for Aaron's guarded heart might be a more worthwhile challenge.

If you like Winning the Gentleman, you might also like:

By Julie Wright
Shadow Mountain, 2021. 330 pgs. Romance

Taking a one-way trip aboard the Fishing Fleet to India after a third failed London season, outcast Caroline bonds with unconventional ship captain Thomas Scott, who is captivated by her forthright nature.

By Sarah M. Eden
Covenant Communications, 2014. 193 pgs. Romance
A horse breeder by trade, Corbin Jonquil is more at home in the stables than in the ballroom of his sprawling estate. Corbin is the quietest of the Jonquil brothers and has always faded into the background, contentedly unnoticed. When a mysterious young widow, Mrs. Clara Bentford, moves into the neighborhood, horse breeder Corbin Jonquil quickly falls in love -- but the menace of Clara's past threatens to tear them apart. Will the couple have the courage to fight for the promise of forever?    


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

A Taste for Love

by Jennifer Yen 
Razorbill, 2021. 336 pages. Young Adult Romance 

 Both high school senior Liza Yang and her mother share a love and talent for baking but disagree on the subject of dating, especially when Mrs. Yang turns her annual baking contest into a matchmaking scheme. 

If you like A Taste for Love you may also like: 

by Emma Lord 
Wednesday Books, 2021. 305 pages. Young Adult Romance 

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it's mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie...although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front. But she didn't know she's a younger sister. When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents. The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby's growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything. 

by David Yoon 
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2019. 406 pages. Young Adult Romance 

High school senior Frank Li takes a risk to go after a girl his parents would never approve of, but his plans will leave him wondering if he ever really understood love--or himself--at all. 

by Lyla Lee 
Katherine Teegan Books, 2020. 323 pages. Young Adult Romance 

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn't dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn't call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she's about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her. She'll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she'll do it better than anyone else. When Skye nails her audition, she's immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn't count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame, and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho. But Skye has her sights on becoming the world's first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition, without losing herself.


Monday, June 14, 2021

Europe's Best Bakeries

Europe's Best Bakeries
By Sarah Guy
September Publishing, 2019. 223 pages. Nonfiction. 

An inspirational, illustrated guide to Europe's 135 best bakeries. The aroma of just-baked bread, the chewy bite of an oven-fresh bagel and the thrill of a cream-filled patisserie are conjured up in this enticing list of bakeries from the UK, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Spain, Greece, Italy, and France. A fascinating, mouthwatering and unique introduction to Europe's long and impressive baking tradition. 

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By Mike Reilly
Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018. 142 pages. Nonfiction. 

This book is a food tour in your pocket, featuring more than 100 of the best restaurants, cafes, bars, and markets recommended by a team of in-the-know Tokyoites. You'll also find insights into the city's idiosyncratic food culture, and a handful of iconic recipes to cook at home. It's the inside knowledge that allows you to drink, shop, cook, and eat like a local. 

By Adrian Miller
Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2013. 333 pages. Nonfiction. 

Delves into the influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition. Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of one dish--such as fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens, and "red drinks"--Miller uncovers how it got on the soul food plate and what it means for African American culture and identity. Four centuries in the making, and fusing European, Native American, and West African cuisines, soul food--in all its fried, pork-infused, and sugary glory--is but one aspect of African American culinary heritage. This refreshing look at one of America's most celebrated, mythologized, and maligned cuisines is enriched by spirited sidebars, photographs, and 22 recipes. 

By Louise Abbott
DK Publishing, 2011. 336 pages. Nonfiction. 

This book takes travelers on a gastronomic tour of the globe to find truly world-class culinary experiences. Whether it is the most delicious food in Southeast Asia, or the best clam chowder in New England, this beautifully illustrated book includes every must-try treat in some of the world's best destinations, and places them in their cultural and geographical context. 


Friday, June 4, 2021

Travels With Charley


Travels with Charley
by John Steinbeck 1986, Penguin Books. 277 pages. Nonfiction 

With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. Along the way he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and the unexpected kindness of strangers.

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by Bill Bryson. BBC Digital Audio, 2004. Nonfiction. Audiobook. 

In an ageing Chevrolet Chevette, he drove nearly 14,000 miles through 38 states to compile this hilarious and perceptive state-of-the-nation report on small-town America.From the Deep South to the Wild West, from Elvis' birthplace through to Custer's Last Stand, Bryson visits places he re-named Dullard, Coma, and Doldrum (so the residents don't sue or come after him with baseball bats). But his hopes of finding the American dream end in a nightmare of greed, ignorance, and pollution. This is a wickedly witty and savagely funny assessment of a country lost to itself, and to him.Travel through small-town America with Kerry Shale's popular BBC Radio 4 reading of Bill Bryson's comic travelogue.


by Matt Kepnes. New York: St. Martin's Press 2019. 226 pages. Nonfiction

Matthew Kepnes knows what it feels like to get the travel bug. After meeting some travelers on a trip to Thailand in 2005, he realized that living life meant more than simply meeting society's traditional milestones, such as buying a car, paying a mortgage, and moving up the career ladder. Inspired by them, he set off for a year-long trip around the world before he started his career. He finally came home after ten years. Over 500,000 miles, 1,000 hostels, and 90 different countries later, Matt has compiled his favorite stories, experiences, and insights into this travel manifesto. 

Our Towns: A 10,000 Mile Journey Into the Heart of America
by James Fallows. New York: Pantheon Books 2018. 413 pages. Nonfiction

For the last five years, James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling across America in a single-prop airplane, visiting small cities and meeting civic leaders, factory workers, recent immigrants, and young entrepreneurs, seeking to take the pulse and discern the outlook of an America that is unreported and unobserved by the national media. Attending town meetings, breakfasts at local coffee shops, and events at local libraries, they have listened to the challenges and problems that define American lives today. Our Towns is the story of their journey--an account of their visits to twenty-one cities and towns: the individuals they met, the stories they heard, and their portrait of the many different faces of the American future.