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In the stacks: new nonfiction

Posted: July 18, 2012 - 11:02pm

The library has new nonfiction books coming out every week that cover all the bases from how-tos, biographies, armchair traveling, and much much more. Check the New Book Shelves or online catalog for more titles.

“Parents Need to Eat, Too,” by Debbie Koenig.

This is going to be the gift to give at baby showers for years to come – Koenig presents tasty, healthy recipes that are more than “open a can, heat in a pan” but not at all impossible to create with a baby on your shoulder or a toddler at your feet. The secret is the way Koenig has broken up the prep time into manageable chunks: 10 minutes in the evening, 5 minutes during a nap, and you’ll have dinner (with leftovers) ready when you’re hungry. A very clever and useful addition are the notes on making dinner baby- and toddler- friendly, whether it’s simply pureeing pot pie or a reminder to swap out honey for maple syrup for babies, or mashing chick peas and cutting potatoes into bite-size pieces for toddlers. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of cooking-while-parenting, from using crockpots, creating big batch meals, ideas for meals that can be eaten with one hand to, interestingly, a chapter on meals which promote lactation. Tested by over 100 mothers, who have added their own tips and kudos.

“500 Cameras,” by Todd Gustavson.

Gustavson, the technology curator at the George Eastman House museum, has brought together a beautiful photographic catalogue of cameras through time. Grouped by family, rather than a strict chronology or brand grouping, it is remarkable to see their evolution. From the early fixed-focus daguerreotype cameras to field cameras with bellows to allow adjustable focus, to detective, panoramic, stereo, and toy cameras, this is a pretty complete collection, with brands that have long disappeared rubbing shoulders with current big names. Each chapter opens with an essay by an expert in the field, pointing out technological developments, specialized uses, and biographical tidbits about developers. Further, each camera’s innovations, needs, and uses are explained alongside a detailed photo.

“The People’s Pension,” by Eric Laursen.

Calling it “the glue that binds Americans together as a community,” Laursen examines Social Security, its role in our current society, as well as its history and future. As one of the most successful programs the government runs, with 95% of Americans either investing in it or drawing from it, it’s interesting to note that its existence has been called into question regularly since the Reagan years. Laursen, an independent journalist, presents an exhaustive look at how Social Security came about, who benefits from it (and who would benefit from its absence), and the arguments for and against it. He recounts the most recent sallies against it and the ways in which the populous has fought back. Is the system solvent? Must it be privatized to remain viable? There’s lots of food for thought here.

“Home at 7, Dinner at 8,” by Sophie Wright.

Crunched for time in the kitchen? Tired of picking up pizza again? Filled with mouthwatering photos and recipes, this British import features some off-the-beaten path recipes for Americans (lamb and organ meat recipes are well-represented) as well as some more familiar items. Look for Pea and Salmon Fishcakes, Rosie’s Vegan Curry, and Chicken, Leek, and Bacon Pie to start. Move on to desserts, including Blueberry Pie, Banana Pudding with Toffee Sauce, and Pineapple Skewers with Vanilla and Maple Syrup. All of it, claims Wright, quick (most under 30 minutes, all under 60) and easy and delicious!

“Chi Marathon,” by Danny Dreyer and Katherine Dreyer.

Fans of ChiRunning (also at the library) who have dreams of running half- and full-marathons, rejoice. In this follow-up, the Dreyers delve deeper into their technique, teaching you how to use your body even more efficiently and activate fewer muscles, which they claim leads to fewer injuries and faster times. Invoking principles of Tai Chi, including relaxed alignment and the proper flow of energy, ChiRunning is all about loosening up and letting gravity help you run. This book reviews the concepts and exercises taught in ChiRunning, but for a comprehensive look, pair that book with this one. Here, the Dreyers are focused on marathons and tell you how to determine your starting physical and mental points and begin training for endurance. They advocate training for the race you are doing and offer cross-training ideas as well. Above all else, they believe that running can and should be a source of joy, not pain, in a runner’s life, and that ChiRunning can help you achieve that.

• For information about upcoming programs, or to place a hold, visit www.juneau.org/library or call 586-5249.

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