New books at Juneau public libraries

Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2003

"Smart Mobs," by Howard Rheingold

You probably aren't surprised to hear that one out of five Italians owns a cell phone, but did you know that in Botswana, it is one out of eight? What kinds of things are instant technologies, such as mobile phones, IRC, and text-messaging, used for today, and what will they be able to do tomorrow? Rheingold, an expert in the social implications of technology, gives us an overview of the emerging high-tech world, complete with swarming Finnish teens and Elektrosmog.

"The Measure of All Things," by Ken Alder

How important is it to measure things exactly? Well, one man, Pierre-Francois-Andre Mechain, made an error while measuring the Earth that eventually drove him insane. His mistake (and failure to own up to it) is part of the story of the standardization of the meter as a unit of measure. Not as dry a story as you might think; full of political machinations, scientific intrigue and honor.

"Trout and Salmon of North America," by Robert J. Behnke

This is for the fish lovers out there: a book devoted to the habits and habitats of trout and salmon. Organized by genus, it covers most of the salmonids, complete with drawings, photos and maps of habitat. A beautiful book, full of little details both informational and visual.

"Thai Food," by David Thompson

Cooks, take a look at this delectable book. The first 100-plus pages are devoted to the history and culture of Siam/Thailand, with a special emphasis on food (the chili, for instance, was introduced to Thailand in the sixth century, when it arrived with Portuguese sailors), followed by a chapter on the workings of a traditional Thai kitchen. And then, the recipes - the color photos will make your mouth water. The gently encouraging writing style will make the unfamiliar techniques possible.

"A Century of Triumph," by Christopher Chant

What a prize for aviation nuts: a readable, detailed history of human flight. Starting, of course, with the Wright brothers, it covers lighter-than-air craft as well as mono-, bi-, and jet planes, and even rotary wing flight. The final chapter covers experimental and stealth craft. Plenty of photos accompany interesting, well-written text.

"An Anthology of African Art," edited by N'Gone Fall and Jean Loup Pivin

This extraordinary collection of sculpture, paintings, masks, and ritual art spans a century of the African continent, charting the rise of industrialism and the spread of urban life. Essays enrich the art, giving background to the widely differing world views.

If you'd like to place a hold on any of these titles, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249. 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. The "In the Stacks" column is now archived. Go to the Juneau Public Libraries' Web site and look for "In the Stacks."

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