In the Stack: Nonfiction dominates this week's library titles

Posted: Sunday, January 09, 2005

New nonfiction is appearing all over at the Juneau Public Libraries. Look for these and many other titles:

Ready to contemplate a vacation? Whether you want to go somewhere warm and sandy or cold and snowy, we've got the travel book for you. Look for new books about Argentina, Italy, Cabo, Tahiti, Mexico and the Galapagos Islands. More narrowly focused travel books include one on Mediterranean cruises and a Rick Steves' guide for travelers with limited mobility.

"Hip to Crochet," by Judith L. Swartz. We've been getting a lot of new knitting books in the past few months; finally, here's one for the crocheters. This beautiful book goes far beyond the granny squares of our youth (even if the cover photo shows a piece made up of them) into the realm of wearability. Starting with a basic scarf, the book moves quickly into creating the crocheted hats that everyone seems to be wearing these days, and some really nice tank tops, skirts and nesting baskets that just about everyone could use for odds and ends. The instructions are clear, and there's even a quick overview of basic techniques at the beginning. Dig out your yarn and crochet hooks and get to work!

"The Fitness Kitchen," by Shelly Sinton. All of the recipes look delicious and do-able in this cookbook that focuses on healthy living as a whole. Billed as "fad-free," Sinton makes it easy to start out the new year with best intentions. Her emphasis is on whole-grains and vegetables and plenty of exercise (there's even a section in the back dedicated to kitchen exercises, perhaps while dinner is cooking). She passes my unofficial "not too healthy for me" test - in addition to recipes featuring chicken, salmon and leafy greens, there are several recipes for desserts that include chocolate! Each recipe is followed by a complete nutritional analysis so you can keep track of what you're putting in your body.

"Unlocking the Animal Mind," by Franklin D. McMillan. California-based veterinarian McMillan has spent his practice helping pets and owners understand each other using what he calls the Pet Pleasure Principle. Keeping in mind that animals want to maximize pleasant feelings and interactions with humans makes it easier to understand why some forms of training work better than others. He also covers how to dispel boredom, help pets find their comfort zones and lessen the various stresses that may cause misbehavior in pets, all without hitting or yelling. Read this to confirm what pet owners already suspect: Our pets have personalities and emotions and complicated reactions to the world around them.

"Managing Menopause Naturally," by Emily Kane. Kane, a Juneau naturopath and Eastern medicine practitioner, has written this guide for women entering or already in menopause. Starting with recognizing the symptoms of perimenopause and understanding what to do to ease them through diet and exercise, she moves to natural substances that act as hormone therapy, a discussion of the glands that produce hormones and how they act in the body, and finally, a section on staying healthy for the long term. Well-written and necessary information from a seldom-heard-from point of view.

"The Rape of the Nile," by Brian Fagan. This is a revised edition of the 1970s classic on Egyptology and tomb robbing in the Nile Valley. The Nile Valley has been a source of fascination for Europeans since Herodotus wrote about the area in his travel writings, and the practice of tomb robbing had been a lucrative, though at times dangerous, undertaking before that. Fagan explores the practice and discusses the most famous names (Champollion, who deciphered hieroglyphics; Belzoni, one of the most prolific thieves who managed to remove more antiquities from Egypt than all of Napoleon's armies; and Sir Flinders Petrie, one of the first to approach Egyptology in a scientific fashion). Included in this new edition are major new discoveries since the mid-'70s and an assessment of the impact of incessant tourism on the sites.

Last but not least, we are moving into the digital age here at the library by adding books on digital photography and image manipulation to our collection. We've got "Digital Photo- graphy All-in-one Desk Reference" (part of the "for-Dummies" series) and "Complete Digital Photography" (which includes a CD-ROM of tutorials on reducing red-eye and other color-correction techniques), to cover the basics and beyond, from choosing a camera and using it, to setting up your computer to get the best pictures.

"Digital Photography Outdoors" is for those of you who plan to take more than family snapshots, and "Photoshop CS QuickSteps" will help you learn to use PhotoShop deftly and creatively.

And, as always, placing a hold on our material is easy: Call the Juneau Public Libraries at 586-5249, or, if you have Internet access, your library card and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our Web site ( and looking at our catalog.

Placing holds on items featured in this column is now even easier. The new columns are hyperlinked to the catalog: Simply look up the column on our Web site, click on the title you want, and you will be ready to place a hold.

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