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May Picks - Nonfiction

The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781452174037
Availability: Backordered
Published: Chronicle Books - April 2nd, 2019

Perfect for the anti-aviary (or bird fanatic with a sense of humor), this snarky illustrated handbook is equal parts profane, funny, and—let's face it—true. Featuring 50 common North American birds, such as the White-Breasted Butt Nugget and the Goddamned Canada Goose (or White-Breasted Nuthatch and Canada Goose for the layperson), Kracht identifies all the idiots in your backyard and details exactly why they suck with humorous, yet angry, ink drawings. Each entry is accompanied by facts about a bird's (annoying) call, its (dumb) migratory pattern, its (downright tacky) markings, and more. With migratory maps and tips for birding, plus musings on the avian population and the ethics of birdwatching, this is the essential guide to all things wings. No need to wonder what all that racket is anymore!


The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780778307785
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Park Row - April 2nd, 2019

An extraordinary story of a girl, her grandfather and one of nature's most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee.

Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm. She was five years old, her parents had recently split, and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard. That first close encounter with a bee was at once terrifying and exhilarating for May, and in that moment she discovered that everything she needed to know about life and family was right before her eyes, in the secret world of bees.

 

May was drawn to the art of beekeeping as an escape from her troubled reality. Her mother had receded into a volatile cycle of madness and despair and spent most days locked away in the bedroom. It was during this pivotal time in May’s childhood that she learned to take care of herself, forged an unbreakable bond with her grandfather, and opened her eyes to the magic and wisdom of nature.

The bees became a guiding force in May’s life, teaching her about family and community, loyalty and survival, and the unequivocal relationship between a mother and her child. Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, The Honey Bus is an extraordinary story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little understood insect could save a life.


Wild at Heart: America's Turbulent Relationship with Nature, from Exploitation to Redemption Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250085788
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - April 2nd, 2019

In the tradition of The World Without Us, a beautifully written and ultimately hopeful history of our relationship with the natural world

Nature on the brink? Maybe not. With so much bad news in the world, we forget how much environmental progress has been made. In a narrative that reaches from Native American tribal practices to public health and commercial hunting, Wild at Heart shows how western attitudes towards nature have changed dramatically in the last five hundred years.

The Chinook gave thanks for King Salmon's gifts. The Puritans saw Nature as a frightening wilderness, full of "uncooked meat." With the industrial revolution, nature was despoiled and simultaneously celebrated as a source of the sublime. With little forethought and great greed, Americans killed the last passenger pigeon, wiped out the old growth forests, and dumped so much oil in the rivers that they burst into flame. But in the span of a few decades, our relationship with nature has evolved to a more sophisticated sense of interdependence that brings us full circle. Across the US, people are taking individual action, planting native species and fighting for projects like dam removal and wolf restoration. Cities are embracing nature, too.

Humans can learn from the past, and our choices today will determine whether nature survives. Like the First Nations, all nations must come to deep agreement that nature needs protection. This compelling book reveals both how we got here and our own and nature's astonishing ability to mutually regenerate.


The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812993264
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - April 16th, 2019

Everybody tells you to live for a cause larger than yourself, but how exactly do you do it? The bestselling author of The Road to Character explores what it takes to lead a meaningful life in a self-centered world.

Every so often, you meet a person who radiates joy. Who seems to know exactly why they were put on this earth, and glows with a kind of inner light. Life, for these people, has often followed a two-mountain shape. They get out of school, they start a career, and they begin climbing the mountain they thought they were meant to climb. Their goals on this first mountain are the ones our culture endorses: to be a success, to make your mark, to experience personal happiness.

But when they get to the top of that mountain, something happens. They look around and find the view…unsatisfying. They realize: This wasn’t my mountain after all. There’s another, bigger mountain out there that is actually my mountain.

And so they embark on a new journey. On the second mountain, life moves from self-centered to other-centered. They want the things that are truly worth wanting, not the things other people tell them to want. They embrace a life of interdependence, not independence. They surrender to a life of commitment.

In The Second Mountain, David Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks looks at a range of people who have lived joyous, committed lives, and who have embraced the necessity of dependence. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781250178268
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - April 16th, 2019

Thirty years ago Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change. Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out.

Bill McKibben’s groundbreaking book The End of Nature -- issued in dozens of languages and long regarded as a classic -- was the first book to alert us to global warming. But the danger is broader than that: even as climate change shrinks the space where our civilization can exist, new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics threaten to bleach away the variety of human experience.

Falter tells the story of these converging trends and of the ideological fervor that keeps us from bringing them under control. And then, drawing on McKibben’s experience in building 350.org, the first truly global citizens movement to combat climate change, it offers some possible ways out of the trap. We’re at a bleak moment in human history -- and we’ll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away.

Falter is a powerful and sobering call to arms, to save not only our planet but also our humanity.


Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780812996104
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - April 23rd, 2019

A bighearted book of wisdom, wit, and insight, celebrating the love and joy of being a grandmother, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist and #1 New York Times bestselling author

“I am changing his diaper, he is kicking and complaining, his exhausted father has gone to the kitchen for a glass of water, his exhausted mother is prone on the couch. He weighs little more than a large sack of flour and yet he has laid waste to the living room: swaddles on the chair, a nursing pillow on the sofa, a car seat, a stroller. No one cares about order, he is our order, we revolve around him. And as I try to get in the creases of his thighs with a wipe, I look at his, let’s be honest, largely formless face and unfocused eyes and fall in love with him. Look at him and think, well, that’s taken care of, I will do anything for you as long as we both shall live, world without end, amen.”

Before blogs even existed, Anna Quindlen became a go-to writer on the joys and challenges of family, motherhood, and modern life, in her nationally syndicated column. Now she’s taking the next step and going full nana in the pages of this lively, beautiful, and moving book about being a grandmother. Quindlen offers thoughtful and telling observations about her new role, no longer mother and decision-maker but secondary character and support to the parents of her grandson. She writes, “Where I once led, I have to learn to follow.” Eventually a close friend provides words to live by: “Did they ask you?”

Candid, funny, frank, and illuminating, Quindlen’s singular voice has never been sharper or warmer. With the same insights she brought to motherhood in Living Out Loud and to growing older in Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, this new nana uses her own experiences to illuminate those of many others.


D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World  War II Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780451495082
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - April 23rd, 2019

The dramatic, untold story of the extraordinary women recruited by Britain’s elite spy agency to help pave the way for Allied victory

In 1942, the Allies were losing, Germany seemed unstoppable, and every able man in England was fighting. Believing that Britain was locked in an existential battle, Winston Churchill created a secret agency, the Special Operations Executive (SOE), whose spies were trained in everything from demolition to sharpshoot­ing. Their job, he declared, was to “set Europe ablaze.” But with most men on the front lines, the SOE was forced to do something unprecedented: recruit women. Thirty-nine answered the call, leaving their lives and families to become saboteurs in France.

In D-Day Girls, Sarah Rose draws on recently de­classified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell the thrilling story of three of these remarkable women. There’s Andrée Borrel, a scrappy and streetwise Parisian who blew up power lines with the Gestapo hot on her heels; Odette Sansom, an unhappily married suburban mother who saw the SOE as her ticket out of domestic life and into a meaningful adventure; and Lise de Baissac, a fiercely independent member of French colonial high society and the SOE’s unflap­pable “queen.” Together, they destroyed train lines, ambushed Nazis, plotted prison breaks, and gathered crucial intelligence—laying the groundwork for the D-Day invasion that proved to be the turning point in the war.

Rigorously researched and written with razor-sharp wit, D-Day Girls is an inspiring story for our own moment of resistance: a reminder of what courage—and the energy of politically animated women—can accomplish when the stakes seem incalculably high.


Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens Cover Image
By Melissa Hart, Sharon M. Draper (Foreword by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781632172273
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sasquatch Books - April 23rd, 2019

Needed now more than ever: a guide that includes 500 diverse contemporary fiction and memoir recommendations for preteens and teens with the goal of inspiring greater empathy for themselves, their peers, and the world around them.

As young people are diagnosed with anxiety and depression in increasing numbers, or dealing with other issues that can isolate them from family and friends–such as bullying, learning disabilities, racism, or homophobia–characters in books can help them feel less alone. And just as important, reading books that feature a diverse range of real-life topics helps generate openness, empathy, and compassion in all kids. Better with Books is a valuable resource for parents, teachers, librarians, therapists, and all caregivers who recognize the power of literature to improve young readers’ lives.

Each chapter explores a particular issue affecting preteens and teens today and includes a list of recommended related books–all published within the last decade. Recommendations are grouped by age: those appropriate for middle-grade readers and those for teens.

Reading lists are organized around:
Adoption and foster care
Body image
Immigration
Learning challenges
LGBTQIA+ youth
Mental health
Nature and environmentalism
Physical disability
Poverty and homelessness
Race and ethnicity
Religion and spirituality


Walking: One Step At a Time Cover Image
By Erling Kagge, Becky L. Crook (Translated by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781524747848
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - April 23rd, 2019

Placing one foot in front of the other, embarking on the journey of discovery, and experiencing the joy of exploration—these activities are intrinsic to our nature. Our ancestors traveled long distances on foot, gaining new experiences and learning from them. But as universal as walking is, each of us will experience it differently. For Erling Kagge, it is the gateway to the questions that fascinate him—Why do we walk? Where do we walk from? What is our destination?—and in this book he invites us to investigate them along with him.

Language reflects the idea that life is one single walk; the word “journey” comes from the distance we travel in the course of a day. Walking for Kagge is a natural accompaniment to creativity: the occasion for the unspoken dialogue of thinking. Walking is also the antidote to the speed at which we conduct our lives, to our insistence on rushing, on doing everything in a precipitous manner—walking is among the most radical things we can do.