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In the stacks: new nonfiction

Posted: April 17, 2013 - 11:06pm

New nonfiction includes “Why Grow That When You Can Grow This?” by Andrew Keys (amusingly, it is written for places drier and sunnier than Juneau and includes foxgloves and forget-me-nots as “difficult-to-grow” problem plants – but it will get you thinking about alternatives to our standards), and “Getting Past What You’ll Never Get Over,” by John F. Westfall, a faith-based guide to overcoming trauma.

“The Speedy Vegetable Garden,” by Mark Diacono and Lia Leendertz.

Micro-gardeners, rejoice! This book offers a variety of options for growing vegetables, greens, and herbs with quick and tasty results. The emphasis is on taste rather than bulk, so don’t look here to feed your family all winter: instead, look for bright punctuation marks for your meals. You’ll find instructions for growing and using micro-greens (including cilantro, red amaranth, and mustards), early-picked and short-season vegetables (such as cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes, and beans), and many ideas for sprouting seeds and nuts (including almonds, chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds as well as the more familiar mung bean seeds). Directions are given for planting in-ground as well as in pots. Beginning gardeners: this is an easy way to dip a toe into the delicious world of home-grown food.

“The Heart of Money,” by Deborah L. Price.

Generous to a fault? Pennypincher? Willing to break the bank for a good cause? Whether we grew up with plenty of money, never enough, or something in between, we learn an internal story about money that sets what Price, a money coach, calls our “money types.” Price has observed that some money types are more compatible than others and helps readers define their type and learn to work together with a partner. She discusses issues that cause strife in relationships, including recovering from financial setbacks and handling windfalls. Lots of real-world examples make this easy to follow and apply to your life to create a more harmonious relationship (at least where money is concerned).

“The Big Ten of Grammar,” by William B. Bradshaw.

This concise little book addresses what the author considers the top ten most frequent grammatical mistakes. Some of these only apply to written grammar (punctuation, for instance), but Bradshaw also writes about problems that affect spoken English (the eternal “me versus I” problem and the “less versus fewer” conundrum, for example). Much will be familiar to readers with an average grasp of grammar, but there are tidbits that warrant reviewing if you’re trying to impress an audience. Bradshaw gives plenty of examples not only to clarify the grammar point in question, but to allow the reader’s ear and eye to become accustomed to it and offers hints on how to decide which usage is correct.

“Access All Areas,” by Sara Wheeler.

Inveterate traveler and writer Wheeler has authored several books on her travels to the Arctic, Antarctic, and Chile, as well as a biography of Antarctic explorer Apsley Cherry-Garrard. Here she weaves together short essays on her travels, her role models, and her fascination with people in other lands, as well as several skits, a short piece of fiction, and even her obituary, which she wrote herself (and which, happily, has not yet been needed). While she writes about her geographical wanderings, she’s well-aware of her internal, emotional changes as well. Her essays are witty and inquisitive and well-worth spending time with.“Zooland: the institution of captivity,” by Irus Braverman.

Whether you’re for or against the capture and keeping of wild animals in zoos, this book will give you a whole new perspective on the processes involved. How do zoos work? When we read about the transfer of Kali, the orphaned polar bear cub, from the Anchorage zoo to Buffalo, New York, do we understand the reasoning that goes on behind the decision? What happens when changing animal care guidelines meet unchangeable historic building preservation laws? When a zoo loans out an animal for breeding purposes, who “owns” the offspring? And what about breeding – what happens when there is too much of a good thing? Engagingly written and deeply researched, this gives readers a window into the lives of zoos.

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

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