December 31, 2005
It made the headlines in 1956: the spearing deaths of five American missionaries in Ecuador by Auca Indians. Steve Saint was only four-years-old at the time his own father became one of these victims and he was taken to be raised by the tribe. Saint developed a strong familial bond with with father’s assassin, coming to learn that Auca, a derogatory term given by outsiders that means naked savage, is not the name of the tribe at all. They are called the Waodani, and though Saint does not dispute the fact they were vicious killers before their conversion to Christianity soon after Saint’s father’s death, he strives to get his readers’ to understand the Waodani’s worldview and why they did what they did. Most of this book takes place in recent times when Saint returns to the Waodani with his wife and children to live among them again. End of the Spear is a heartfelt, forgiving memoir written in a humble and sincere voice by a man who had an extraordinary life.
December 30, 2005
Jane Goodall, best known for her work with chimpanzees and baboons, is ready to turn to social significance in her book Harvest For Hope. Goodall takes us throug a brief history of agriculture and laments the single-crop farming of today, warning readers about the hazards of genetically modified foods and the disappearance of seed diversity. Goodall also expresses her unhappiness with inhumane animal farms and unclean fish farms. But what rescues this book from being just another diatribe from the environmentally conscious are the small but effective things, Goodall says, us readers can do. Goodall recommends that we become vegetarians,
December 29, 2005
Who doesn’t enjoy the exotic and delicious Mexican cuisine? Wouldn’t you want to recreate these colorful and exciting dishes for yourself? Rick Bayless, whose recipes have been featured on the fourth season of PBS’s “Mexico One Plate at a Time,” shows you how to replicate your own flavorful fiesta in your own home. Bayless doesn’t just teach you how to create healthy dishes, but also gives you a pragmatic approach to your cooking, telling you it’s okay to substitute everyday items for a recipe’s more exotic ingredients. He cheerfully promotes using canned vegtables and, if you’re in a pinch, even prepared salsas, saving you time and effort as you navigate through what could have otherwise be complicated dishes
December 27, 2005
It’s not easy to tell the history of the universe, but somehow, Billy Bryson does so in an entertaining and informative style in the new special illustrated edition of A Short History of Nearly Everything. Bryson is not a scientist, but rather a curious denizen who realized several years ago that there was a lot to the universe he simply didn’t know, and set out to rectify that situation. The result of his labors is a story that not only tells us what we know but how we know it, from the first experiments to find out how much the earth weighs to today’s ongoing efforts in trying to explain the universe’s origins itself. Science is not an answer, Bryson shows us, but a neverending process of discovery. Peppered throughout the book are often humorous and interesting anecdotes about the men and women who have contributed to our knowledge of our ultimate origins, whose intellects sometimes were only outrivaled by their lack of civility.
Read a review of this book here and here.
December 25, 2005
Nate Berkus is both a nationally renown home decorator and contributing editor to O Magazine, who has made several appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show helping everyday people turn their houses into homes. Now, in his first book, Home Rules, Berkus shares some of his innovative style tips to love the place you live in, no matter what your budget is. Since he was a young boy, Berkus has always had a passion for interior design, constantly rearranging his own room and helping his mother and neighbors rearrange theirs. His passion only grew as he became older until he founded his own award-winning design firm, catering to an elite roster of clients. However, it wasn’t until Oprah Winfrey gave Berkus a chance of a lifetime that Berkus realized his true dreams: to have the chance to go into millions of people’s homes around the world and help them to change their lives.
December 24, 2005
Are al Qaeda terrorists likely to cross the Mexican border? Is there such a thing as suitcase nuclear weapons? Was there really no connection between Sadam Hussein and al Qaeda? When myth is presented as fact and facts are trying to be downplayed as myths, veteran investigative reporter Richard Miniter is ready to debunk twenty-two media-perpetuated legends that have arisen from America’s War on Terror in his latest book, Disinformation. Sifting through written records, talking with high-level officials, and traveling around the globe to get down to the real truth of the matter, Miniter explains things like why racial profiling won’t work, why Iraq is not another Vietnam, why poverty does not create terrorism, and why Osama bin Laden is not a wealthy criminal mastermind, nor was he funded or trained by the CIA. Don’t just accept untruths by those who mindlessly repeat them, arm yourself with the real truth starting here.
Read more about this book here.
December 22, 2005
The fourth installment of George R. R. Martin’s phenomenal fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, has finally hit shelves. A Feast For Crows is actually the first part of a book that had to be split into two for length reasons, Martin concedes, and so readers are left with many questions with answers that will just have to wait. As the novel begins, Brienne of Tarth is searching for Lady Catelyn’s daughters, Queen Cersei’s losing her mind, and Arya Stark is training with the Faceless Men of Braavos — all three storylines ending on cliffhangers that will leave readers aching for the fifth book.
Visit the author’s website!
December 19, 2005
Too many of us are constantly comparing the myth of the perfect family to our own and coming away disappointed. In his new book Why Do I Love These People?, Po Bronson profiles 19 real-life families rife with dysfunction: messy divorces, infelities, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and plain old intergenerational estrangement. Through a poignant narrative storytelling, Bronson catalogues how these families attempt to reconnect with one another to achieve happiness — sometimes achieving it through letting each other go. Bronson has an unromantic view of relationships and family life: foundations don’e lie in soul-bonding or dramatic emotional catharsis, but through steady, realistic expecations of hard work and compromise.
Visit Po Bronson’s Official Website.
December 16, 2005
December 15, 2005
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GarcÃƒÂa MÃƒÂ¡rquez returns with his first book in over a decade, now distributed in English a year after its initial release. Memories of My Melancholy Whores is a slim novella about an unnamed journalist who reflects on his life and all the women he has slept with, losing count after 514 at age 50. Having never loved, the journalist decides that on his 90th birthday, he will gift himself with a night spent in the arms of an adolescent virgin. However, age and an unexpected blossoming love for a 14-year-old girl he has never spoken to or even seen awake disrupts his plans. This story is a charming, aimless story that saunters through beautiful imagery and eloquence while boldy touching upon univeral concepts of life, love, death, and loss.
Read an article in The Guardian about this book here.