SEPTEMBER 15, 2014

Book News by Trent Shaw

There have been some great graphic novels released recently so I thought I'd hijack Book News this week and talk about a handful:

First up, Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree: 1981-1983 (9781606997567, Fantagraphics, $27.99, TP), the second volume in his encyclopedic cultural chronicle of hip-hop. In this volume, Piskor [...]

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Animals

Petcam: The World Through the Lens of Our Four-Legged Friends

Chris Keeney
(Princeton Architectural Press, $14.95, HC, 9781616892586)

Petcam, by photographer Chris Keeney, author of Pinhole Cameras, presents a collection of striking and amusing images created by an international roster of four-legged photographers. This unique and whimsical collection offers a peek into the wanderings of our animal friends, and reveals how they experience the world we all share.

Architecture

Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London and the Birth of the Modern City

Jonathan Conlin
(Counterpoint LLC, $16.95, PB, 9781619024403)

Paris and London have long held a mutual fascination, and never more so than in the period 1750-1914, when they vied to be the world's greatest city. In Tales of Two Cities, American born historian Jonathan Conlin, explores the complex relationship between Paris and London for the first time. The reach and influence of both cities was such that the story of their rivalry has global implications. Conlin argues that by borrowing, imitating and learning from each other Paris and London invented the true metropolis. Now in paperback

Biography - Autobiography

Her Beautiful Brain: A Memoir

Ann Hedreen
(She Writes Press, $16.95, PB, 9781938314926)

In this poignant memoir, Ann Hedreen unselfishly shares the story of what it was like to become a mom just as her beautiful, brainy mother Arlene-who overcame many obstacles in life, began to lose her mind to an unforgiving disease. From Seattle to Haiti to the mine-gouged Finntown neighborhood in Butte, Montana where Arlene was born and raised, Her Beautiful Brain tells the heartbreaking story of a daughter's love for a mother lost in the wilderness of an unpredictable and harrowing illness.

Also New in Biography - Autobiography:

Cooking & Food

Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of Fermentation

Leda Scheintaub; Photography by William Brinson
(Rizzoli International Publications, $29.95, HC, 9780789327451)

Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen draws on the traditions of fermenting from around the world, offering inspiring ways to incorporate nutritional cultures into everyday cooking. Featuring one hundred mouthwatering recipes, Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen opens up a whole new world of flavor in the kitchen.

Also New in Cooking & Food:

Essays

Women in Clothes

Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton
(Blue Rider Press, $30.00, PB, 9780399166563)

Women in Clothes is a book unlike any other. It is essentially a conversation among hundreds of women of all nationalities--famous, anonymous, religious, secular, married, single, young, old--on the subject of clothing, and how the garments we put on every day define and shape our lives. This charming book embraces the complexity of women's style decisions, revealing the sometimes funny, sometimes strange, always thoughtful impulses that influence our daily ritual of getting dressed.

Fiction

Neverhome

Laird Hunt
(Little Brown and Company, $26.00, HC, 9780316370134)

Neverhome tells the harrowing story of Ash Thompson during the battle for the South. Through bloodshed and hysteria and heartbreak, she becomes a hero, a folk legend, a madwoman and a traitor to the American cause. Laird Hunt's dazzling new novel throws a light on the adventurous women who chose to fight instead of stay behind. In gorgeous prose, Hunt's rebellious young heroine fights her way through history, and back home to her husband, and finally into our hearts.

Also New in Fiction:

Health & Fitness

It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole 30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways

Dallas and Melissa Hartwig
(Victory Belt Publishing, $26.95, HC, 9781628600544)

It Starts With Food reveals how specific foods may be having negative effects on how you look, feel, and live--in ways that you'd never associate with your diet. More important, husband and wife duo Dallas and Melissa Hartwig outline their lifelong strategy for eating Good Food in one clear and detailed action plan designed to help you create a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, calm systemic inflammation, and put an end to unhealthy cravings, habits, and relationships with food.

History

Empress Dowager CIXI: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

Jung Chang
(Anchor Books, $17.95, PB, 9780307456700)

A New York Times Notable Book, this is a fascinating and instructive biography of Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908), the most important woman in Chinese history. Jung Chang not only records the Empress Dowager's conduct of domestic and foreign affairs, but also takes the reader into the depths of personal live and love, filled with tragic consequences. Packed with drama, fast paced and gripping, here is an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world's population, and as a unique stateswoman. Now in paperback

Also New in History:

House and Home

Flea Market Fabulous: Designing Gorgeous Rooms with Vintage Treasures

Lara Spencer
(Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, $25.95, PB, 9781617690952)

Focusing on nine different rooms (including her own recently purchased Manhattan apartment), Lara Spencer shows readers that all it takes is planning, shopping know-how, and a little imagination to create beautiful and comfortable homes that reflect their personal style. With illuminating before, during, and after photographs of her DIY projects and the room installations, Lara demystifies the decorating process and allows readers to envision endless possibilities for what they can do in their own homes.

Humor

Crap Taxidermy

Kat Su
(Ten Speed Press, $12.99, HC, 9781607748205)

A humorous look at what happens when taxidermy goes terribly wrong, by the founder of the hit website crappytaxidermy.com. Whether you choose to laugh or cringe at these spectacularly bad attempts at taxidermy, you won't be able to tear your eyes away from the curiosities inside.

Also New in Humor:

Literary Collections

Happiness: Ten Years of N+1

N Plus 1 Foundation Inc.
(Faber & Faber, $16.00, PB, 9780865478220)

A selection from the first ten years of n+1 magazine, Happiness: Ten Years of N+1 collects the best of the magazine as selected by its editors. These essays are fiercely contentious, disconcertingly astute, and screamingly funny, taking a searching moral inventory of the strange times we live in. This anthology is the definitive work of the definitive intellectual magazine of our time.

Nature

Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive

Mark L. Winston
(Harvard University Press, $24.95, HC, 9780674368392)

Bee Time presents Mark L. Winston's reflections on three decades spent studying bees, and on the lessons they can teach about how humans might better interact with one another and the natural world. A delightful and inspiring read that teaches us there is much to learn from bees in how they've altered our understanding of agricultural ecosystems and how urban planners are looking to bees in designing more nature-friendly cities. In sustaining their societies, bees teach us ways to sustain our own.

Also New in Nature:

Science

The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis

Ruth Defries
(Basic Books, $27.99, HC, 9780465044979)

The Big Ratchet is the story of how our species have gone from living on the brink of starvation to producing enough food for all 7 billion of us to eat nearly 3,000 calories every day. This admirable history of human ingenuity chronicles how this happened, of the ratchets--the technologies and innovations, big and small--that propelled our species from hunters and gatherers on the savannahs of Africa to shoppers in the aisles of the supermarket.

Technology

Virtually Human: The Promise--And the Peril--Of Digital Immortality

Martine Rothblatt
(St. Martin's Press, $26.99, HC, 9781250046635)

Virtually Human explores what the not-too-distant future will look like when cyberconsciousness--simulation of the human brain via software and computer technology--becomes part of our daily lives. Virtually Human is the only book to examine the ethical issues relating to cyberconsciousness and Martine Rothblatt, with a Ph.D. in medical ethics, is uniquely qualified to lead the dialogue.

Travel

Make the Most of Your Time on Earth (Compact Edition) (Revised)

Editors of Rough Guides
(Rough Guides Limited, $19.99, PB, 9781409361169)

Make the Most of Your Time on Earth is an inspiring guide that contains 1000 must-do activities from around the world. Perfect for both the seasoned traveller and the armchair dreamer, it brings you the very best of travel - extraordinary landscapes, jaw-dropping architecture, white-knuckle adventures, and the world's best beaches.