In the Stacks

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2002

This week I've got some wonderful non-fiction for you!

"Knitter's Stash," by Barbara Allbright. In the summer of 2000, the publishers of Interweave Knits magazine sent out requests to yarn shop owners for patterns that their customers love. The resulting flood of letters, patterns, photos, and tips is this beautiful book, which has projects to make your fingers itch whether you are a beginning or advanced knitter.

"Crafting Handmade Shoes," by Sharon Raymond. Though I'd never thought about making shoes before, looking at this book makes me want to take it up as a new hobby! After a quick overview of the parts of a shoe, materials used for different parts, and a history of shoes and shoe-wearing, the reader is treated to a wonderful selection of handmade shoe projects including metal-studded trekkers, beaded/embroidered slip-ons, and colorful leather sandals.

"Rare and Elusive Birds," by William Burt. Part memoir, part photography manual, all bird-lover's paradise, this book pays loving homage to a life spent researching and photographing the hardest-to-find birds of North America. Wonderfully candid color photos will tempt photo buffs and birders alike.

"The Emperor and the Wolf," by Stuart Galbraith IV. Director Akira Kurosawa and actor Toshiro Mifune collaborated on 16 highly acclaimed films in the 50s and 60s, but, at the height of their abilities, their paths diverged, and they never worked together again. The stories behind their films, the history of Japanese cinema, and the lives of these two men are masterfully presented here.

"Sudden Money," by Susan Bradley. Sudden money can come from anywhere - inheritances, insurance settlements, divorce, or retirement payouts. Sometimes its arrival stuns the recipient into wasting the opportunity presented. Other times, recipients are lucky enough to have advisors they trust to help them out. Bradley suggests ways to handle windfalls that will maximize the benefit and reduce the stress of suddenly acquiring money.

"Strip City," by Lily Burana. Before settling down to marry her boyfriend, Burana, a former stripper turned journalist, realized she wanted one last fling with dancing. So she got a map, planned out a route that would encompass all 50 states, took a refresher class, and hopped back into (or maybe out of) costume for a farewell tour.

"Inviting Disaster," by James R. Chiles. From runaway chemical reactions causing ships to lock together and planes to fall from the sky, to collapsing stadium decks, this book not only details disasters, but discusses how they can be prevented from happening again. Chiles writes about fatal blind spots, projects finished to deadlines instead of to completeness, and new technologies implemented without testing.

"The Stone of Heaven," by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark. A lost mine guarded by the Burmese government, opium, two explorers, and a stone worth more, carat for carat, than diamonds or rubies are at the heart of this book. Jadeite's influence on the course of history has been extensive. Travel with Levy and Scott-Clark through time and geography to the source of the Stone of Heaven.

The Juneau Public Libraries are conducting an inventory at each branch, so the Downtown Library will be closed Thursday, June 27 and Friday, June 28, and the Mendenhall Valley Library will be closed Tuesday, July 2, and Wednesday, July 3. The next In the Stacks column will appear on Sunday, July 7. Happy reading!

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