In the Stacks: New non-fiction at the library

Learn about Magellan, the Great Bull Market, bears, and military nurses

Posted: Sunday, March 14, 2004

Lots of new books have hit the shelves this week! Here's a sampling of the non-fiction titles.

"Quirky Kids," by Perri Klass and Eileen Costello: A "quirky kid" in this book is one with autistic spectrum disorders, pervasive developmental disorder, nonverbal learning disability, Asperger's syndrome, or other hard-to-diagnose things that make these kids seem not quite in sync with their peers. Klass and Costello, both pediatricians, strive to help parents figure out when the quirk needs diagnosing and when it doesn't, how to advocate for your child in school and with doctors, and how to help your child be happy and successful in his or her life.

"Over the Edge of the World," by Laurence Bergreen: When Magellan's ships set sail in 1519, the Europeans knew virtually nothing about the rest of the world - and much of that was legend. By the time the mission was completed, the world had changed. There was no edge of the world; instead, there were new lands and people with strange customs. In his brutal three year journey, Magellan weathered mutiny and battles, initiated first contact with natives, and finally was killed in battle. His mission to find a route to the Spice Islands was ultimately a success: his ships returned home rich, with holds full of spices - but with only 18 sailors left.

"No Fixed Points," by Nancy Reynolds and Malcolm McCormick: A grand survey of dance in the 20th century, this tome covers everything from ballet (Russian, European, American, and more) to modern dance, tap, jazz, and show dancing. All the big names are here: Nijinsky, Pilobolus, Astaire, and Duncan, to name a few, and the authors give a great, in-depth analysis of each of their styles and motives.

"Sickened," by Julie Gregory: Munchausen by Proxy is a form of child abuse in which a caretaker, often a mother, exaggerates, fabricates, or induces mental or physical ailments in a child. Gregory had such a mother and spent most of her childhood being shuffled from one doctor to another, always on a restricted diet because of some imagined allergy, being punished if she didn't tell doctors "the right thing," and always told by her mother that she was frail and would die young. How she found her way out of the lies into a normal life is a story you won't soon forget.

"Bull! The History of the Boom, 1982-1999," by Maggie Mahar: Both a financial and social history of the Great Bull Market that started in 1982 and ended with a thud in 1999, this is a crash course in what happened and why. From 1961, when the foundation was laid for an upswing, to the prime of mutual funds and the disappointments of the late '90s, Mahar writes intelligently, succinctly, and with an eye to the future.

"Ready when you are," by Martha R. Shulman: This mouth-watering cookbook will hit the spot for those who enjoy cooking and eating real food, but don't have big blocks of time to work with. Following each recipe's list of ingredients are the steps involved in preparation, including notes on what can be done ahead. At the end of the recipe are suggestions for using the leftovers in new meals. In addition to soups and stews, Shulman includes chicken, vegetable, bean, and rice dishes, and even desserts.

"True Grizz," by Douglas H. Chadwick: Of particular interest to Juneauites interested in bear issues, this book deals with grizzlies in Montana and the dedicated wildlife managers who are attempting to teach them to behave in ways that will keep them alive. Using rubber bullets, Karelian bear dogs, chemical deterrents, and darts, many bears have been trained to stay away from human habitations , though some (also profiled in this book) will be spending the rest of their lives in captivity. Not a dense, technical read, this is a wonderful look at individual bears and people who want to help them coexist with humans.

"And if I Perish," by Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee: The authors, themselves former military nurses, have written a cohesive and riveting account of front-line U.S. Army nurses in World War II. Using official documents, eyewitness accounts, and reconstructed dialogue, they cover nurses serving in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany, and follow several nurses to each of their stations around the world, giving plenty of information about the war's "big picture" for context. Fascinating reading!

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 website ( and looking at our catalog. Placing holds on item featured in In the Stacks is now even easier! The new columns are hyperlinked to the catalog: simply look up the column, click on the title you want, and you will be ready to place a hold.

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