“The Traveler’s Gift” is about seven personal qualities worth cultivating to be successful in life and also influence the world around you. David Ponder, an executive who lost his job, insurance, etc., feels lost and useless. After a car accident, David goes on an epic journey, visiting historical figures who give him seven decisions for living that changed his way of thinking. From Anne Frank to King Solomon, Columbus to Harry S.Truman, each person interacts with David and offers wisdom that is relevant to today’s living.
Three words that describe this book: insightful, educational, entertaining
You might want to pick this book up if: You want an easy read, packed with insights to improve daily living. This was a great read-aloud as my dear husband and I drove across the country. This book gives specific instructions on how to incorporate the seven decisions into daily life. A good read!
Summer Reading this year is all about science. But what’s science without a little fiction? Here are four of 2014’s notable science fiction picks to consider adding to your reading list.
“The Girl with All the Gifts” by M.R. Carey
First off, as many will warn you, don’t read anything about this book if you want to keep everything a surprise. It’s not that what is below is a huge spoiler or anything, but some readers like to not know anything when they begin reading this book.
Now, if you’ve decided you do want a little information, read on!
This book shocked me. When first reading the back cover, which talks about a girl named Melanie being strapped down and held at gunpoint, I thought, well, maybe she has some uncontrollable powers or something. I guess I was sort of right – “The Girl with All the Gifts” is a zombie.
Like any other zombie book, we have an infection, we have hordes of hungries, and we have a doctor who is searching for a cure. What M.R. Carey does to make his book stand out among all the rest is to make the reader feel sympathy for Melanie, a fully functional and cognizant zombie.
“The Girl with All the Gifts” takes an overdone genre and reworks it in a fresh and unique way.
“The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August” by Claire North
Harry is considered immortal. He lives, dies and is reborn, always with the knowledge of the lives he has lived before. For him, living has become repetition. He has accomplished all he can think to accomplish. When a young girl tells him the world is ending, quicker than it should, Harry finds a new purpose and begins investigating the coming apocalypse. But Harry finds out more than he bargained for.
If you aren’t into space ships and aliens, then this might be the science fiction read for you. It’s more of a fiction book, with a side of science.
“The Martian” by Andy Weir
“The Martian” sounds like the book version of the movie Gravity to me, but I’m probably not the best person to ask. These types of books and movies scare the living daylights out of me. I don’t know about anyone else, but I think being stranded in space, alone and dying, is horrifying. It’s a very subtle, quiet scary, but scary all the same.
But hey, if quiet scary is your thing, then “The Martian” is for you. This book is one of the most popular science fiction books released in 2014, scary or not.
A dust storm puts a hole in Mark Watney’s space suit, and thinking him dead, his crew leaves him behind. Stranded in space, Mark uses his engineering skills in an attempt to survive, unwilling to simply give up and die.
“Red Rising” by Pierce Brown
“Red Rising” is similar to “The Hunger Games,” but where the “The Hunger Games” is written with teens in mind, “Red Rising” is more for adults. If you enjoy reading dystopias, then this would be a good read for you.
The book follows Darrow, a young miner on Mars. He is a Red, the lowest of the castes in the social hierarchy. He believes he is important, that he is helping to terraform Mars and prepare it for habitation. But Mars is already habitable and has been for some time.
The Golds, the highest caste, lied to the rest of humanity, keeping Mars for themselves. Darrow decides it’s time to take action, and with the help of friends and a good disguise, inserts himself into the Gold’s society, preparing to take down their system from the inside out.
Have other recent science fiction books to recommend? Let us know in the comments.
“The Final Solution,” in a nutshell, is a story of an elderly Sherlock Holmes, even if he is never named. Unfortunately, this is not actually a particularly exciting or engaging story. What made it compelling for me (but maddening for my wife – we read it aloud together) was the language. Chabon’s average sentence length was probably about 40 words. Couple that with some unusual and very fresh descriptions, and you have prose that takes a lot of work to digest, but the aftertaste is fantastic.
I’m glad this was a short book (130-ish pages), because I would have needed it to be a more engrossing story otherwise. It turns out that an elderly Sherlock is also a rather less interesting Sherlock. There was little actual deduction and really little action at all. There was also little of his famously unsociable personality on display. And strangely, the penultimate chapter was from the perspective of a parrot.
Three words that describe this book: verbose, descriptive, obtuse
You might want to pick this book up if: You’re a big Sherlock fan, though don’t expect something exactly like Doyle’s tales. You may also want to check it out if you love language.
Congratulations to Lindsey S., a Southern Boone County Public Library patron, on winning our third Adult Summer Reading 2014 prize drawing. She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.
If you have not registered for the library’s Adult Summer Reading program, you can still do so online or by visiting any of our locations. Once you sign up, you are automatically entered in the prize drawings. Also, don’t forget to submit book reviews to increase your odds of winning. There are five drawings left this summer, so keep reading and sharing your reviews with us!
“The Inner Game of Tennis” is definitely a worthwhile read for the athlete and non-athlete alike (but especially for the athlete). The book contains some amazing insights given that it preceded all of the empirical work within the field of psychology concerning the dual role of the conscious vs. unconscious mind in shaping behavior. The most difficult part is figuring out how to institute some of the suggestions in specific situations (especially in other sports). Most of the examples are of course heavily dependent on the tennis medium, but there is no reason they couldn’t be adapted for other sports. The focal point to always keep in mind is that the unconscious mind is especially well-suited for processing tremendous amounts of information at once, which is exactly what training muscles to coordinate into complex motions requires. Most of the techniques Gallwey describes are simply ways to get your conscious mind out of the way so you can let the correct motor learning system take over. Not a difficult book to understand, but nearly impossible for many athletes to actually enact. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever struggled to experience the true joy that comes with playing sports.
Three words that describe this book: tennis, sports, psychology
You might want to pick this book up if: You like tennis, psychology, or you just want to improve your performance in nearly any sport.
I love Tina Fey. I think she is smart and hilarious and a terrific writer. (There is a short chapter in her memoir “Bossypants” that made me laugh so hard that I couldn’t speak for nearly five minutes. The chapter is titled, “What Turning Forty Means to Me,” and she speaks THE TRUTH.) When I found out that Fey is starring in the movie adaptation of the very charming “This Is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper, I knew I needed to start looking for a babysitter now, even though the film won’t be released until September.
As long as movies based on books do well at the box office (heard of a little film called “The Fault in Our Stars“?), Hollywood will keep producing them. If you like to read the books before you see the movies, here are some to check out before you head to theaters later this summer. Save me some popcorn and an aisle seat, will you?
“Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn
Flynn likes her characters dark and her plots even darker. If creepy is your thing, read this thriller about Libby Day who, as a small child, witnessed the murder of her mother and sisters and sent her brother to jail with her testimony. Twenty five years later, Libby is confronted by the possibility that her brother may be innocent, and she must reconstruct what really happened the night of her family’s slaughter. In the film, Charlize Theron stars as Libby Day.
“If I Stay” by Gayle Forman
While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia must decide whether to live with her grief or join her family in death. Chloë Moretz will star as Mia in the film adaptation.
“The Hundred-foot Journey” by Richard Morais
A boy from Mumbai, Hassan Haji, ends up opening a restaurant in a quiet French village and triggering a culinary war with the fancy French restaurant across the street. Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal and Om Puri star in the film.
“Makeda” is the story of a man who throughout his life had a very close relationship with his blind grandmother (Makeda). As he comes of age and then goes to university, he becomes more and more aware that certain dreams his grandmother has had, and continues to have, reveal historically true events that took place in Africa and to people of African descent. As he researches his grandmother’s dreams, he slowly finds his own identity as an African American and can view the situation African Americans are in from a completely different perspective.
I read this book while being on a service trip building latrines in Honduras. Poor and oppressed people all around the world face so many obstacles that are both external and imposed from the outside and relatively easily seen as well as internal, subtle and much more hidden ones. This book illumines both kinds of obstacles and is especially powerful in revealing to the reader the kind of trauma that those who wield power in the world would have a hard time ever understanding. There are several nuggets of wisdom in this book that I will keep with me.
This book puts in perspective the very brief (and terribly brutal) time of European and US dominance in world history versus the advanced civilizations in Africa that European-centric history tends to be ignorant of, dismiss or ignore.
Three words that describe this book: illuminating, thought-provoking, powerful
You might want to pick this book up if: Ideally everyone should read this. This novel explains many things about race relations in this country and about African American identity that cannot be explained by facts and figures or newspaper articles. At the same time there is wisdom that anyone who is living in our highly individualistic and divided society can carry in their hearts for a long time.
Sara Shephard, the author of the Pretty Little Liars series, tries her hand at an adult novel. “The Heiresses” is a mix between her famous young adult series and “Gossip Girl.” The story follows the prominent Saybrook family who have made their fortune by selling diamonds, but they seem to be followed by the Saybrook curse. Many family members have died in tragic accidents, and the tabloids are adamant about the curse. The Saybrooks don’t believe it of course, until a most-loved cousin, Poppy, commits suicide. After the funeral, an FBI agent tells them that she did not commit suicide and that it was likely she was murdered. The four remaining heiresses try to help uncover the mystery behind her death when the tabloid website devoted to the comings and goings of the Saybrook family says that one heiress is down, four to go.
All in all, this was an intriguing read. It took a while to get into the swing of things as the author introduces several names in the first few pages. This is because the family is huge, but it was hard to keep the characters straight. The mystery was nice, but the culprit wasn’t much of a twist, rather, more of “let’s plop this person in here and hope people believe this is plausible.” I loved the Gossip Girl series as a fluff series, and “The Heiresses” would make a better YA book than adult. The only reason it is adult is because the heiresses are in their 30s. I didn’t completely dislike this book. Unfurling the family secrets was intriguing. This is definitely a book that is good for summer.
Three words that describe this book: intriguing, family, secrets
You might want to pick this book up if: You like stories about dynastic families hiding secrets and Gossip Girl.
Looking for some hot new reads to take on your vacation later this summer? Look no further than the latest LibraryReads list. Here are the top 10 books librarians love that hit the shelves in July. Place your holds on these on-order titles now to have them in hand for your late summer getaway or your August staycation.
by Rainbow Rowell
“’Landline’ explores the delicate balance women make between work and family, considering the tradeoffs and pain. Rowell has a special gift for offering incredible insights into ordinary life. Never heavy-handed, Rowell’s writing is delivered with humor and grace. I finish all of her books wanting to laugh and cry at the same time – they are that moving. ‘Landline’ captured my heart.”
- Andrea Larson, Cook Memorial Public Library, Libertyville, IL
“One Plus One“
by Jojo Moyes
“A single mom, her math genius daughter, her eye-shadow-wearing stepson, a wealthy computer geek and a smelly dog all get into a car…it sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s actually another charming novel from Jojo Moyes. It’s more of a traditional romance than ‘Me Before You’ but will also appeal to fans of quirky, hard-working characters. A quick read and perfect for summer.”
- Emily Wichman, Clermont County Public Library, Milford, OH
“The Black Hour“
by Lori Rader-Day
“This first novel about two broken people is a psychological thriller like the best of Alfred Hitchcock. Amelia Emmet is a professor desperately trying to recover from a gunshot wound, and Nathaniel Barber is a student struggling to come to grips with his mother’s death and a lost love. Their journey, told in alternating chapters, is riveting and full of surprising discoveries. Highly recommended.”
- Mattie Gustafson, Newport Public Library, Newport, RI
Here’s the rest of July’s best with links to our catalog for your hold-placing pleasure!
- “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen
- “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” by Chris Bohjalian
- “World of Trouble” by Ben H. Winters
- “California” by Edan Lepucki
- “Dollbaby” by Laura Lane McNeal
- “The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee” by Marja Mills
- “Dry Bones in the Valley” by Tom Bouman
Congratulations to Amanda B. of Hallsville for winning our second Adult Summer Reading prize drawing. She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.
All it takes to be entered into our weekly drawings is to sign up for Adult Summer Reading. You can do this at any of our branch locations or Bookmobile stops or register online. Also, don’t forget that submitting book reviews increases your chances of winning. There are plenty of chances left to win this summer, so keep those reviews coming.
“Unbroken” is one of the best books I have read. It is serious and shows what a true survivor looks like – even before the T.V. show was popular. Louis Zamperini was a “delinquent” child who used his running talent to go to the Olympics in 1936, and then was a bomb dropper in a WWII plane over the Pacific when it crashed. He survived more days than anyone else on a raft, was captured by the Japanese, put in the worst POW camp for years and came out weighing 87 pounds and able to forgive his torturers. The movie based on this book comes out Christmas Eve.
Three words that describe this book: historical, POW, great!
You might want to pick this book up if: You like WWII history or had a grandfather or father in WWII.
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” These words sum up the deceptively simple argument at the center of Michael Pollan’s book, “In Defense of Food.” When I first read this manifesto of sorts, I marveled that any of us needs to be told that we need to eat food, as opposed to non-food. What are we eating that’s not food? Plastic? Cardboard? But then I spotted a chunk of “processed cheese product” on the grocery store shelf, and suddenly it seemed that we do, in fact, need this reminder.
Interested in how science affects what you put on your plate? Join us in Ashland on June 24 or Columbia on June 25 for the program “Genetics and the Meat in Your Fridge,” presented as part of our Summer of Science.
Genetics and the Meat in Your Fridge
Tuesday, June 24 › 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 › 7-8 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
Learn what genetics have to do with the price of meat. Join Ph.D. student Samenah Azarpajouh in exploring how researchers are using marker-assisted selection and other genetic techniques to raise healthier animals and, therefore, produce healthier and cheaper meat.
There are also plenty of books that explore how western diets have evolved and reflect the increasing concerns regarding where our food comes from and how it is produced. Some see science as an avenue for producing cheaper and more nutritious food for the world’s population. Others argue that we need to return to a diet of whole foods. See our catalog list, food and society, for more on this topic. Happy eating and reading!
Congratulations to Margaret M., a Columbia Public Library patron, for winning our first Adult Summer Reading prize drawing. She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.
All it takes to be entered into our weekly drawings is to sign up for Adult Summer Reading. You can do this at any of our branch locations or Bookmobile stops or register online. Also, don’t forget that submitting book reviews increases your chances of winning. There are plenty of chances left to win this summer, so keep those reviews coming.
The post First 2014 Summer Reading Gift Card Winner Announced appeared first on DBRL Next.
Donna Tartt writes so well that the Pulitzer people were compelled to award their prize to her novel, “The Goldfinch.” An extra-impressive feat considering it’s an award so prestigious that some years the committee finds none among the billions of novels published every year worthy of their kiss of automatic bestseller-dom. But rather than stumble further into a tirade outlining my feud with this cabal of critical killjoys and their silent and invisible but no doubt existent and reciprocated animosity, I’ll add my voice to the chorus of praise bellowing about Donna Tartt, thereby giving you the gumption to read her work that a million glowing reviews and Stephen King and the Pulitzer couldn’t.
“The Goldfinch” is narrated by a boy who, due to a museum bombing, loses his mother and gains a painting. He loves the painting but is tremendously dissatisfied by the trade. The novel follows him and his grief-swaddled existence through time spent in New York and Las Vegas, and eventually, climactically, Amsterdam. I found it to be the sort of rollicking, stay-up-later-than-normal read usually associated with books featuring more than one explosion, or at least aliens or a pandemic or a comically massive red dog, rather than a coming-of-age tale suffused with grief and concerns about hiding a painting.
Like “The Goldfinch,” her first novel, “The Secret History,” is a finger-exhausting page-turner despite featuring little of the fanfare that typically propels those sorts of books. It does have some murder (on the first page even), and a horrifying and ancient ritual, but it’s mostly about ramifications, and it gallops along with a pace that surpasses its plot points. Her second novel, “The Little Friend,” is probably also great (though its reviews are less enthusiastic), but I must wait my turn to read it, and anyway it’s nice to save a little Tartt for the decade-long (and worth it) wait for her next book.
There has been some backlash against “The Goldfinch,” which tends to happen when something is popular and good, by critics that prefer their fiction to be non-fictional and mostly concern the ennui of professorships or lake houses or small, conventional dogs and to have plots revolving around getting old or being unhappy or, in certain ambitious cases, both. They dislike Tartt’s novel in part because of its “absurd” premise, what with its terrorist attack and orphaned child, things that fortunately are unrealistic and unheard of occurrences in the real world, outside of such “fantastical literature.” Though clearly I’m of the opinion that this is a great novel, it’s not that I’m unwilling to hear words against it. Rather, I find it absurd to be angry about its success and to believe it’s a “book for children” and somehow believe that reading it, because of its supposedly fanciful nature, will kill the public’s interest in literature. Which of course makes sense because what the public wants most are ultra-realistic examinations, scrubbed of even a hint of escapism, on what it’s like to be alive.
Anyway, Donna Tartt crafts her books carefully and with a passion that pays off for the reader. A book per decade is a wonderful rate when they’re this good.
Editor’s note: Welcome to the first review by a library patron we are posting as part of this year’s Adult Summer Reading program. Want to submit reviews of your own? Sign up and get started today!
“Mom & Me & Mom” is a telling of the relationships that Maya Angelou had with her paternal grandmother and mother, as well as her role as a mother to her son. It is a very touching story of the ability of a mother and daughter pair to reconcile after an early abandonment and the lessons the two women were able to impart to one another. Maya Angelou also touches on how her relationship with her paternal grandmother shaped her as a woman and as a mother to her only son. I gave this book only four of five stars because if you have read some of Maya Angelou’s other autobiographical novels, many of the stories will be very familiar, even if the details don’t quite match up.
Three words that describe this book: insightful, heartwarming, motherhood
You might want to pick this book up if: You are looking for a deeper understanding of the woman Maya Angelou. This book also serves to give a new lens through which to view your own relationship with your mother and gives good anecdotes to inform how to be a powerful and influential mother.
I had so much fun creating my last post about odd and interesting bookmarks that I decided to do another one! This time, in addition to seeing what other people use as bookmarks, I turned to the found bookmarks box in the Columbia Public Library’s circulation department. Here is what I found.
I don’t know what this bookmark’s original use was, but it sure is adorable!
Eeee!!! So is this one!
Navigating your future: an interactive journey to personal and academic success.
A vintage and well-loved bookmark.
A tarot card, explaining the horseshoe spread.
Hot dog, I like this bookmark!
Stephanie, in the CPL Circulation Department, pulled all of these sticky notes out of a used book that she bought.
Elf, of the CPL Children’s Team, loves her pompom bunny bookmark.
Lauren, a CPL Librarian, uses this eco-friendly item as a bookmark.
If you enjoy seeing what people leave behind in books, then you will probably love the book “Forgotten Bookmarks” by Michael Popek. The author works at a family used bookstore by day, where he finds most of these treasures. If you’re not sold on this book, check out the author’s website to get an idea of what treasures he finds in old books.
Do you use something interesting as to keep your place in a book? Send us a picture of it!
Since our Summer Reading program this year centers around a science theme, your classics maven has elected to focus on one of the most influential science texts in history – Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species.” First published in 1859, it made an immediate and lasting impact on society. In my mind, one thing that makes a book a classic is if it’s frequently referenced even by people who haven’t read it. Almost everyone knows about this book.
Charles Darwin was 22 years old when he boarded the HMS Beagle in 1831. He’d signed on to work as a naturalist during the ship’s exploration of South America and the Pacific Islands. In the Galapagos, he found animals that existed nowhere else on earth, including enormous tortoises. He became intrigued by the variations he found among the animals on different islands. On one island finches had beaks suited to breaking nuts, while on another, their beaks were formed for optimal berry picking. These observations planted the seeds for his theory of evolution by natural selection.
Darwin didn’t originate the idea of evolution, a concept that dates back at least as far as ancient Greece, but he was the first one to develop an explanation for how the process might work, and he supplied more evidence than anyone before. He spent more than two decades researching, gathering evidence and refining his ideas before finally publishing “The Origin of Species” at age 50. In his day, interest was growing in fossils and the extinction of species. His book tipped the balance for evolution in the scientific world from being a highly debated idea to a largely accepted one.
Outside of science, there has been more resistance to the idea of evolution. Only a few months after the book’s publication, the “Great Oxford Debate” took place, with hundreds of spectators arriving to witness the Bishop of Oxford exchange barbs with Thomas Henry Huxley, who defended Darwin and his theory. Then there was the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 in Tennessee, in which a teacher was tried for violating state law by teaching about evolution in the public schools. With the controversy continuing to the present day – within American culture at large, at least, if not within the scientific community – it’s probably a good idea for more people to read the actual book itself.
It’s worth the time, even if you’re pretty sure you already know what you need to. “The Origin of Species” is far from a compilation of dry, technical jargon. Darwin says, “We see beautiful adaptations everywhere and in every part of the organic world,” and he details many of them with exquisite descriptions of the natural world. His passages about the connectedness of all living creatures are downright inspirational. And his observation about what trouble will come to us humans if the bee population should decline is chillingly prescient.
Just in time for your summer travels, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) has announced this year’s awards recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment. Nothing makes the miles fly by like listening to a professional read an engrossing story, so check out one of these titles on CD or downloadable audio before you hit the road.
Audiobook of the Year: “Still Foolin’ ‘Em” by Billy Crystal; Read by Billy Crystal
The judges praised this work calling it “a seamless blend of single voice narration and live performances that does for the audiobook medium what Billy Crystal’s opening acts have done for the Oscars, which is to bring in a larger audience. From Mickey Mantle to Muhammad Ali, with the inside story on Meg Ryan’s infamous scene in ‘When Harry Met Sally’ thrown in for good measure, Crystal’s life story will have listeners hanging on every word.”
Distinguished Achievement in Production: “Pete Seeger: The Storm King” by Pete Seeger, edited by Jeff Haynes (read by Pete Seeger)
Publisher’s description: “The Storm king audio collection presents Pete Seeger’s spoken words as he recounts his most engaging stories, narratives and poems, set to new music created by over 70 musicians from traditions as diverse as African Music, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic Music, Classical Guitar, Folk, Israeli Music, Jazz, Native American Music and Tuvan Throat Singing.”
Nonfiction: “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell (read by Malcolm Gladwell)
Publisher’s description: “Malcolm Gladwell, with his unparalleled ability to grasp connections others miss, uncovers the hidden rules that shape the balance between the weak and the mighty, the powerful and the dispossessed.”
History: “Devil in the Grove” by Gilbert King (read by Peter Francis James)
Publisher’s description: “Chronicles a little-known court case in which Thurgood Marshall successfully saved a black citrus worker from the electric chair after the worker was accused of raping a white woman with three other black men.”
Fiction: “Doctor Sleep” by Stephen King (read by Will Patton)
Publisher’s description: “Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, ‘The Shining,’ in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of ‘The Shining’) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.”
Literary Fiction: “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt (read by David Pittu)
Publisher’s description: “A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend’s family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few things that reminds him of his mother – a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld.”
See the full list of Audie winners at APA’s website.
The post Best Audiobooks for Your Road Trip: 2014 Audie Winners appeared first on DBRL Next.
I grew up in Columbia, and one of the things I have fond memories of doing each year is going to Art in the Park with my mom. It became a little tradition of ours. We’d eat kettle corn and walk through the booths, ohing and ahing over each artist’s work.
I’m glad to be back in Columbia this year and able to resume the tradition. Columbia Art League’s 2014 Art in the Park will be held at Stephens Lake Park on Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th. For information about everything from the artists to parking, visit the festival’s website.
As an artist, I always find myself inspired to create after visiting the festival. In preparation, I browsed the library’s collection of art books. DBRL has every kind of how-to book you can imagine. We’ve got books on woodwork, ceramics, painting, quilting, knitting, drawing and jewelry making. It’s a great collection and definitely one to look at if you’re in the mood to make something beautiful.
Here are some of my favorites within the collection.
“Freehand” by Helen Birch
This book has a picture on every page and quick how-tos on techniques. Easy to read and fun to look at!
“Paper to Petal” by Rebbeca Thuss
Everything in this book is beautiful. The flowers are imaginative, colorful and realistic. They would look good in anyone’s house.
“Animal Hats” by Venessa Mooncie
One word: Fun. These hats are crazy cool, and you won’t just find the generic cat hat here. There is a cow hat and an elephant hat, just to give you an idea of how creative these toppers get.
“Simon Leach’s Pottery Handbook” by Simon Leach
As a potter, I thought this book provided good information on throwing techniques and ways to apply them. It also comes with a DVD.
“Silversmithing for Jewelry Makers” by Elizabeth Bone
I am not a jeweler, and the techniques demonstrated in this book look difficult, but the final products are gorgeous.
Have fun, and go enjoy Art in the Park this weekend on Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th. Maybe I’ll see you there.
I generally follow the advice to never judge a book by its cover, but sometimes the cover is what attracts me to a book. When I was a child, I read the book “National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe,“ by Roy A. Gallant, because there was a cool-looking spaceship on the cover. The book was about astronomy and physics, of course, but it also had mythological stories about each planet and about the universe as a whole. There were illustrations and charts that helped my puny mind begin to grasp the complex ideas of space and time. But what I most clearly remember about the book was the section in which the author imagined what characteristics life would have to survive the heat of Venus of the atmosphere of Jupiter.
My attraction to coffee table books continues through the present day. They are convenient to browse when you are waiting 15 minutes for the oven timer to sound but are equally suited to intensive investigation on the back porch with a cup of coffee. Here are some of my more recent favorites.
“The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe”
by Theodore Gray
The author describes this book as containing “Everything you need to know. Nothing you don’t.” Gray lays out the requisite structural information for each element, but he also shows you what each element looks like. He also shares examples of how each element is used, both in nature and by humans. Learning about atomic weights and density might not seem immediately thrilling, but this book is fun enough to have inspired puzzles and posters.
“The Oldest Living Things in the World”
by Rachel Sussman
This book is the culmination of 10 years of Sussman’s work. She traveled to every continent and even learned to scuba dive so she could photograph organisms that are all at least 2,000 years old. The pictures are exceptional, of course, but what distinguishes this book are the stories that Sussman shares about her process.
“Science: The Definitive Visual Guide”
edited by Adam Hart-Davis
If you can’t decide which scientific discipline you want to learn about, then this book is the place to start. It is organized chronologically and covers biology, medicine, astronomy, math, chemistry, life, the universe and everything. Parents (or anybody who likes awesome juvenile books) might recognize DK Publishing as the publisher of the Eyewitness book series. This science book has a similarly pleasing aesthetic, breaking down complicated ideas into simpler and manageable elements.
The post Judging a Book by Its Cover: Science Coffee Table Books appeared first on DBRL Next.