Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Preview Shelf -- Thanksgiving Break

The Crawfordsville District Public Library staff will be celebrating their Thanksgivings from noon next Wednesday until the building reopens Friday at 9 a.m. Here are books that enhance the season. The National Geographical Society's "Atlas of Exploration" includes extensive coverage of North America, beginning with Norse discoveries, and on to early explorations, colonies, missions, Indian life, and ways west. Routes are mapped out and key figures are illustrated. "American Indian Places" by Frances Kennedy includes Mounds State Park east of Anderson, Tippecanoe Battlefield in Battle Ground and Prophetstown State Park in West Lafayette, Forks of the Wabash Historic Park west of Huntington, and Angel Mounds at Evansville. Ken Haedrich's "Maple Syrup Cookbook" offers atmospheric dishes for the holiday, like sweet potato and bacon bisque, and maple-bacon (egg) strata. EatingWell's "Comfort Foods Made Healthy" ingredients and pictures can also make one's mouth water. In "Napkin Origami" a shape like a simple leaf can make a dining table special when made from directions in "Napkin Origami" by Brian Sawyer. "Living on an Acre" updated by Christine Woodside is a practical guide to a self-reliant life. "National Geographic Birding Essentials" by Jonathan Alderfer and Jon Dunn gives all the tools, techniques, and tips you need to begin and to become a better birder with the attractive format that particular organization always offers to readers. "What All Good Dogs Should Know" explains Jock Volhard and Melissa Bartlett's sensible training methods."Evidence Explained" is Elizabeth Mills' guide through sources not covered by other citation manuals, with all kinds of original records, accessed through different media; it's a go-to guide for everyone who explores the past. Another guide is Ed Begley, Jr.'s "Living Like Ed" guiding an eco-friendly life like installing an urban windmill, buying furniture made from recycled materials, and choosing battery-free products. The Cottage Bible" by Gerry Mackie & Laura Taylor is a large compendium of vacation-home knowledge.History is represented by Michael Hicks' "Anne Neville" the first full-length biography of the Queen to Richard III, most popular of late medieval English kings. "Race" is Marc Aronson's historic study showing how the idea of race did not exist in the West before the 1600s, how mostly slavery had nothing to do with race, how the Greeks divided the world into civilized and barbarian. "Love in Black and White" is William Cohen's memoir of "race, religion, and romance" married to Janet Langhart with interesting resolutions about their differences and participations in some progressive legislation. British author Philip Pullman's children's story "The Golden Compass" and others are analyzed by Pete Vere and Sandra Miesel and compared to The Chronicles of Narnia and the Harry Potter books in "Pied Piper of Atheism". "Happiness is an Inside Job" is Sylvia Boorstein's set of exercises to practice a joyful life. "The Braindead Megaphone Essays" by George Saunders describes the opulence of Dubai and the self-denial of an endlessly meditating Buddha Boy of Nepal; it invokes the wisdom of Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut, making us see things we've trained ourselves to ignore.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Preview Shelf -- Do You Have Some Yearbooks?

The Crawfordsville District Public Library's Marian Morrison Local History Collection is seeking several local high school yearbooks to complete an impressive collection of county publications. Those still missing are 1990 at Crawfordsville High School, 1981, 1990 and 2001 at North Montgomery, and 1956, 1958, and 1960 through 1966 at Darlington High School called "The Chief". If you can help find these treasures, please contact the local history department at 362-2242, extension 4. Thank you.

"Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front" is Todd DePastino's biography with illustrations by the two-time Pulitzer prize winner, the "greatest cartoonist of the (World War II) greatest generation". Diane Ackerman's "The Zookeeper's Wife" revisits the Polish Christian couple who smuggled resistance activists and refugee Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto; it explores the role of nature in both kindness and savagery, and Nazi worship of nature and its violation. "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" by Michael Pollan has a cover showing lettuce labeled "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." The cover of "Gluten-Free Girl" by Shauna Ahern adds "How I found the food that loves me back…& how you can too" and the inside shows her own recipes that she calls "guidance on navigating everyday life without being 'glutenized', from reading between the lines of labels to traveling and eating out safely and successfully." "Earth Under Fire" by Gary Braasch shows how global warming is changing the world. "The Story of Measurement" by Andrew Robinson explains how it regulates almost every aspect of our lives, and transports the reader from Hubble space images to intelligence tests of the innermost recesses of the mind. Both of these volumes have special photographs. Glenn Beck's "An Inconvenient Book" presents real answers to the world's biggest problems, commonsense solutions this country was built on, presented in the clever and humorous way of his syndicated radio show, the Glenn Beck Program. "Armageddon in Retrospect" by Kurt Vonnegut is a collection of 12 writings on war and peace, written over the course of a lifetime, from his memory of the destruction of Dresden during WW II to a funny story about three privates and their fantasies of the perfect first meal after returning home from war. Barbara Raymond's "The Baby Thief" is the untold story of Georgia Tann, the baby seller who corrupted adoption. "The Gashouse Gang" by John Heidenry tells how Dizzy Dean, Leo Durocher, Branch Rickey and others won the World Series and America's heart during the Depression. "Courtroom 302" by Steve Bogira tells of a year behind the scenes in a courtroom in Chicago's busiest felony courthouse in the country. "Wicked as Sin" by Lillian Hunter introduces a cavalry officer from the Battle of Waterloo who woos the fiancee of one who died in the battle. "With Endless Sight" by Allison Pittman is book three of Crossroads of Grace about Belleville, Illinois and the Wyoming Territories in 1861. Peter Kreeft's "Between Heaven and Hell" is called "a dialogue beyond death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis & Aldous Huxley". "The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed" by Michael Meyer is a portrait through the lens of its oldest neighborhood, Dazhalan.