The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees

Man who made thingsA history of the role of ash trees in the English-speaking world draws on expert understandings of ash’s wide-ranging properties, revealing the thriving existence of ancient traditions in ash craftsmanship while exposing threats to today’s remaining ash forests.

Navigating Life: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me

Things I WishWith charming candor and insight, Bergen addresses her college-bound daughter, Charlotte, on subjects such as love, friendship, education, and work. The book’s eight essays offer advice on facing “the hidden horrors and private joys of adult life”: conversation tactics gleaned from friends and cab drivers, the importance of dental care (“This is America and teeth matter”), and impulse control (“learn why you drink”). She discusses career moves and handling prickly employers and sudden terminations with grace before meaningfully recounting her experience with depression and the death of her alcoholic father. Her comments on divorce are wise and sensitive, stressing the value of romantic love despite its risk, “the daily glory of understanding and being understood.” Bergen is at her most poignant when describing the fluctuations of intimacy and parental control with a child on the verge of adulthood: “I still watch over you but now you watch me too. I am not used to the scrutiny.” Bergen’s style belongs to the tradition of Michel de Montaigne, providing guidance through an alchemy of personal reminiscence and thoughts on the general human condition. Her story may not be remarkably exciting, but it is well told and piercing in its honesty.

On the Origins of Sports: The Early History and Original Rules of Everybody’s Favorite Games

On the origins of sportsby Gary Belsky and Neil Fine

Did you know that James Naismith invented basketball as a way to keep his students indoors during the cold Massachusetts winter? Or that many of the Southerners who began racing stock cars got their early driving experience escaping police while running moonshine? On the Origins of Sports is jam-packed with these compelling tidbits of information tailor-made for obsessive sports fans, and covers a wide range of sports—whether national pastimes like football and cricket or global obsessions such as soccer and basketball.

Each sport will have its own chapter, which will include the sport’s original rules; a short history of the sport in accessible, insightful text; and informative line illustrations. Also included are annotated interstitials that take a deeper look into an element of the sport: for example, the evolution of the baseball glove; sports with war roots; a compendium of sports balls; iconic sports trophies; and more. Aside from facts and figures, rules and history,On the Origins of Sports will be a book that sports enthusiasts and history buffs alike will want to display on their coffee tables, showcase on their bookshelves, and treasure for generations

Valiant Ambition

ValiantBy Nathaniel Philbrick. Presents an account of the complicated middle years of the American Revolution that shares insights into the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold.

The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero

Immortal IrishmanPlaces the improbable life of Great Famine orator and revolutionary hero Thomas Francis Meagher against a backdrop of Irish-American history, detailing his leadership during Irish uprisings, service with the Irish Brigade and achievements as the territorial governor of Montana. By a National Book Award-winning author Timothy Egan.

The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness

Tides of MindBy David Gelernter. A legendary computer scientist and artificial-intelligence authority challenges the goal of the scientific community to artificially replicate human thought patterns of the human mind, arguing that the mysteries of the mind and creativity can be better understood through classic works of literature.

One Magic Square: The Easy, Organic Way to Grow Your Own Food on a 3-foot Square

one magic squareBy Lolo Houbein. Discusses the importance of local, organic gardening, and provides guidelines for cultivating a variety of herb, fruit, and vegetable gardens on one square yard of land.

The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World’s Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley

Geography of geniusAn acclaimed travel writer examines the connection between surroundings and innovative ideas, profiling examples in such regions as early 20th-century Vienna, Renaissance Florence, ancient Athens and Silicon Valley. By the best-selling author of The Geography of Bliss.

The Sound of Gravel

Sound of GravelAn account of the author’s coming-of-age in a polygamist Mormon cult describes her childhood on a farm in rural Mexico as one of her father’s more than forty welfare-dependent children and her escape in the aftermath of a devastating tragedy.

Maggie Smith: A Biography

Maggie SmithAn intimate portrait of a truly remarkable performer—known most recently for her star turn in Downton Abbey—whose stage and screen career spans 60 years is written with her blessing and drawn from her personal archives as well as interviews with immediate family and close friends.

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