Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Non-Fiction

Here's a sampling of some new non-fiction book hitting our shelves:

Arts & Crafts: Living With the Arts & Crafts Style by Judith Miller. A photographic look at the wares of famous Arts & Crafts makers, from Grueby to Tiffany to Oakes.

Hand Made Baking: Recipes to Warm the Heart by Kamran Siddiqi. Perfect recipes for a cold winter night, with gorgeous photos help you along the way.

 It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario. Memoir of a female war photographer (who has been kidnapped twice).

Journeys Home: Inspiring Stories, Plus Tips & Strategies to Find Your Family History. Those interested in travel and/or genealogy will want to check this out. Includes an entry by Andrew McCarthy, the 80s "Brat Pack" actor. Lots of nice photos.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind by Yuval Noah Harari. It's kind of amazing that this book is only 443 pages, although it does say "brief."

Selected Letters of Langston Hughes, edited by Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel with Christa Fratantoro. Letters of the famous 20th century poet. Presented chronologically by decade.

This Is What You Just Put In Your Mouth?: From Eggnog to Beef Jerky, the Surprising Secrets of What's Inside Everyday Products by Patrick Di Justo. Ignorance is bliss, right? After you read this, you might change your mind about some of the products you consume.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Motivation for the New Year

Are your New Year's resolutions waning by now? Did you even bother to make any? Well, if you're still hanging in there (or want to be inspired) try out these books.

For those of you planning to get healthier this year, I'd recommend The New Health Rules by Dr. Frank Lipman. This is not a diet book; it includes no elaborate plans or instructions. Every other page is a photo and an accompanying paragraph describing a lifestyle change to make. It reminds me greatly of Food Rules by Michael Pollan, but this book also incorporates exercise, the mind, and overall wellness.

If you're looking to clear the clutter, try The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I'm not hugely into this topic, but this book seemed different- and it is. Kondo challenges the status quo in de-cluttering. She does not advocate buying tons of storage bins (that's just organized hoarding). She doesn't want you to decide what to get rid of, but what to keep. She advises letting your items "rest" while not using them and to thank them for their service to you. It's a bit odd at times, but I think this book has the potential to really change lives.

If you're looking to just simplify your life (this can go along with the above recommendation), try Lessons From Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L. Scott. Her points are about adopting the lifestyle she witnessed as an exchange student for six months in Paris. It's in line with the francophile books that have been popular the last several years, but I think Scott does a better job of describing ways of applying simpler ideals to your lifestyle. In particular, she discusses the idea of a capsule wardrobe, where you only keep and wear a small amount of clothing each season. Quality over quantity, from clothing to food. If you like this book, Scott recently published a companion book, Madame Chic at Home.