New non-fiction books appeal to local readers

In the stacks

Posted: Sunday, January 30, 2005

Here's a sample of the new non-fiction at the Juneau Public Libraries.

"Density by Design," by Steven Fader, and "Developing Successful Infill Housing," by Diane R. Suchman, are both essential reading for those interested in the current Juneau housing market. Recent discussions about housing in Juneau have centered around increasing the density of housing units by building more condominiums and townhouses in order to provide more affordable places for people to live. Whether this idea excites or alarms you, take a look at these two books to see how other communities have increased living space while creating neighborhoods and preventing urban decay.

"Make your Mark," by Margaret Peot. Got lots of creative impulses but don't know where or how to start putting them into visual form? Try this book, which emphasizes two-dimensional paper-play with everything from stencils and stamps to rubbings, gouache resist, and painting with paste. Over 55 ideas for art projects that will get your creative juices flowing, with plenty of instructions and complete lists of supplies.

"Snowboarding Skills," by Cindy Kleh. Feeling optimistic that winter isn't yet over? Got a snowboard you've been itching to learn to stay on? This back-to-basics book will get you started and well on your way to mastery with a step-by-step approach that starts with making sure your equipment is suited to you. Learn the etiquette of the slopes along with the skills that you need to keep control of your board, stay safe, and have a great time up at Eaglecrest for as long as the snow lasts!

"PC Magazine Guide to Home Networking," by Les Freed. Cordless or corded, if you are ready to hook your computer up to your printer to your TV to your digital camera to your home stereo but don't know where to start, this is the book you need. Covering everything from wireless networks and cat 5 cable, to firewalls and home entertainment and everything in-between, this is a do-it-yourselfer's dream book. Freed has given plenty of thought to his audience and has lots of helpful tips that only experience would otherwise provide, making it relatively easy to get good results, even for novices.

"Kitchen Life," by Art Smith. Smith's philosophy is that families should be able to eat healthy, interesting, and tasty meals that don't take a whole day to prepare or a bunch of expensive ingredients. An advocate of family meals, he gives a variety of approaches to cooking that should enable nearly anyone to begin turning out meals that the whole family will enjoy. In addition to many kid-friendly recipes like Sausage and Potato Soup, he includes chapters on organizing your kitchen, going shopping and choosing recipes by the kind of eaters you have in your family. Bon appetit!

"Beading with Right Angle Weave," by Christine Prussing. This beautiful book of beading features a variety of projects using both one- and two-needle methods. Prussing, a local beader and bead-store owner, writes with clarity and humor, giving instructions for creating beaded bangles, handbags, necklaces, and small boxes. Numerous diagrams accompany the meticulous instructions, making the tempting projects seem doable, even by mere mortals. Check out the inspiring photo gallery in the back of the book for further project ideas.

"Help Your Dog Fight Cancer," by Laurie Kaplan. Emphasizing quality of life and comfort, Kaplan blends western and alternative veterinary treatment to help owners develop a care plan for their dogs with cancer. She helps readers make the big decision (to treat or not to treat) and goes from there into medical treatment options, such as chemotherapy and surgery. Home care centers on mealtimes and supplements, and she discusses the pros and cons of raw food and filtered water. This is a warm and supportive approach to a heartbreaking problem.

"Under Thirty," edited by Eric Lane and Nina Shengold. This collection of plays is meant for actors in their teens and twenties - no bit roles here! Instead, these twenty plays (several long, several one-acts, and a few excerpts) feature outstanding roles for young actors that run the gamut of genres from drama to comedy. Whether you're looking for performances featuring high school dating dramas, the woes of a rogue SAT tutor, or the trials and tribulations of twenty-year-olds adrift in the big city, start here! Performance rights information is included in the back.

Coming up this Friday, Feb. 4th, at the downtown library at 7pm, is a performance by actress Pippa White, who brings to life a fascinating era in America's history: the story of the Orphan Trains. From 1854 to 1929, homeless and neglected children from New York City were sent out to rural areas to be adopted, in the hope of giving them a chance at a healthy and happy life. This 75-minute performance dramatizes the experiences of some of the more than 100,000 relocated children. (This performance is not intended for small children, or those who cannot sit for an extended time.)

• As always, placing a hold on our material is easy: call the Juneau Public Library 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 website ( and looking at our catalog. Placing holds on items featured in In the Stacks is now even easier! The new columns are hyperlinked to the catalog: simply look up the column on our website, click on the title you want, and you will be ready to place a hold.

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