For All of Us, One Today

For All of UsBy Richard Blanco, 2013 inaugural poet

For All of Us, One Today is a fluid, poetic account of Richard Blanco’s life-changing experiences as the inaugural poet in 2013. In this brief and evocative narrative, he shares the story of the call from the White House committee and all the exhilaration and upheaval of the days that followed. For the first time, he reveals the inspiration and challenges – including his experiences as a Latino immigrant and gay man – behind the creation of the inaugural poem, One Today, as well as two other poems commissioned for the occasion (Mother Country and What We Know of Country), published here for the first time ever, alongside translations of all three of those poems into his native Spanish. Finally, Blanco reflects on his new role as a public voice, his vision for poetry’s place in our nation’s consciousness, his spiritual embrace of Americans everywhere, and his renewed understanding of what it means to be an American as a result of the inauguration. Like the inaugural poem itself, For All of Us, One Today speaks to what makes this country and its people great, marking a historic moment of hope and promise in our evolving American landscape.

Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper

HoneybeeBy Marina Marchese

New in paperback!

“Surpassing the predictable “how I changed careers” memoir of finding the good life, Marchese’s informative guide is packed with facts about everything from pollination to harvesting, life cycles to historical lore, nutritional benefits to gourmet flavor combinations, medical applications to unusual varieties.” —Booklist

In 1999, Marina Marchese fell in love with bees during a tour of a neighbor’s honeybee hives. She quit her job, acquired her own bees, built her own hives, harvested honey, earned a certificate in apitherapy, studied wine tasting in order to transfer those skills to honey tasting, and eventually opened her own honey business. Today, Red Bee Honey sells artisanal honey and honey-related products to shops and restaurants all over the country.

More than an inspiring story of one woman’s transformative relationship with honeybees (some of nature’s most fascinating creatures), Honeybee is also bursting with information about all aspects of bees, beekeeping, and honey including life inside the hive; the role of the queen, workers, and drones; pollination and its importance to sustaining all life; the culinary pleasures of honey; hiving and keeping honeybees; the ancient practice of apitherapy, or healing with honey, pollen, and bee venom; and much more.

Recipes for food and personal care products appear throughout. Also included is an excellent, one-of-a-kind appendix that lists 75 different honey varietals, with information on provenance, tasting notes, and food-and-wine pairings.

Proof of Heaven

Proof of HeavenBy Dr. Eben Alexander

A scientist’s case for the afterlife…

Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.

Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion – and in essence makes us human – shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.

Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.

Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.

This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.

Just My Type

By Simon Garfield

New in paperback!

A delightfully inquisitive tour that explores the rich history and the subtle powers of fonts.

Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product that we buy. But where do fonts come from and why do we need so many? Who is behind the businesslike subtlety of Times New Roman, the cool detachment of Arial, or the maddening lightness of Comic Sans (and the movement to ban it)? Simon Garfield embarks on a mission to answer these questions and more, and reveal what may be the very best and worst fonts in the world.

Typefaces are now 560 years old, but we barely knew their names until about twenty years ago, when the pull-down font menus on our first computers made us all the gods of type. Beginning in the early days of Gutenberg and ending with the most adventurous digital fonts, Garfield unravels our age old obsession with the way our words look. Just My Type investigates a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seemingly ubiquitous use of Trajan on bad movie posters, and what makes a font look presidential, male or female, American, British, German, or Jewish. From the typeface of Beatlemania to the graphic vision of the Obama campaign, fonts can signal a musical revolution or the rise of an American president. This book is a must-read for the design conscious that will forever change the way you look at the printed word.

Staff Note: If you’re at all interested in web design, graphic design, or fonts themselves, this is a must-read! I read this book when it first came out in hardcover and it is an absolutely fantastic read. Simon Garfield’s writing is quick-paced, and the subject matter is just fascinating! I highly recommend it. (Luisa)

Hemingway’s Boat

By Paul Hendrickson

From National Book Critics Circle Award winner Paul Hendrickson, a brilliantly conceived and illuminating reconsideration of a key period in the life of Ernest Hemingway that will forever change the way he is perceived and understood.

Focusing on the years 1934 to 1961 – from Hemingway’s pinnacle as the reigning monarch of American letters until his suicide – Paul Hendrickson traces the writer’s exultations and despair around the one constant in his life during this time: his beloved boat, Pilar.

Drawing on previously unpublished material, including interviews with Hemingway’s sons, Hendrickson shows that for all the writer’s boorishness, depression and alcoholism, and despite his choleric anger, he was capable of remarkable generosity – to struggling writers, to lost souls, to the dying son of a friend. Hemingway’s Boat is both stunningly original and deeply gripping, an invaluable contribution to our understanding of this great American writer, published fifty years after his death.

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