Parrots over Puerto Rico

ParrotsBy Susan L. Roth & Cindy Trumbore, illustrated by Susan L. Roth

Winner of the 2014 Silbert Award for excellence in informational literature for children!

A picture book telling the intertwined histories of the Puerto Rican parrot and the island of Puerto Rico, culminating with current efforts to save the parrots from extinction. Puerto Rican parrots, once abundant, came perilously close to extinction in the 1960s due to centuries of foreign exploration and occupation, development, and habitat destruction. In this compelling book, Roth and Trumbore recount the efforts of the scientists of the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program to save the parrots and ensure their future. Woven into the parrots’story is a brief history of Puerto Rico itself, from before the first human settlers to the present day.

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese

Telling RoomBy Michael Paterniti

In the picturesque village of Guzman, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as “the telling room.” Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets–usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine.

It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese. An unusual piece of cheese. Made from an old family recipe, Ambrosio’s cheese was reputed to be among the finest in the world, and was said to hold mystical qualities. Eating it, some claimed, conjured long-lost memories. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong…

By the time the two men exited the telling room that evening, Paterniti was hooked. Soon he was fully embroiled in village life, relocating his young family to Guzman in order to chase the truth about this cheese and explore the fairy tale-like place where the villagers conversed with farm animals, lived by an ancient Castilian code of honor, and made their wine and food by hand, from the grapes growing on a nearby hill and the flocks of sheep floating over the Meseta.

What Paterniti ultimately discovers there in the highlands of Castile is nothing like the idyllic slow-food fable he first imagined. Instead, he’s sucked into the heart of an unfolding mystery, a blood feud that includes accusations of betrayal and theft, death threats, and a murder plot. As the village begins to spill its long-held secrets, Paterniti finds himself implicated in the very story he is writing.

Equal parts mystery and memoir, travelogue and history, The Telling Room is an astonishing work of literary nonfiction by one of our most accomplished storytellers. A moving exploration of happiness, friendship, and betrayal, The Telling Room introduces us to Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, an unforgettable real-life literary hero, while also holding a mirror up to the world, fully alive to the power of stories that define and sustain us.

The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity

By Nancy Gibbs & Michael Duffy

The first history of the private relationships among modern American presidents–their backroom deals, rescue missions, secret alliances, and enduring rivalries.

The Presidents Club, established at Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration by Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, is a complicated place: its members are bound forever by the experience of the Oval Office and yet are eternal rivals for history’s favor. Among their secrets: How Jack Kennedy tried to blame Ike for the Bay of Pigs. How Ike quietly helped Reagan win his first race in 1966. How Richard Nixon conspired with Lyndon Johnson to get elected and then betrayed him. How Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity into an alliance. The letter from Nixon that Bill Clinton rereads every year. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama.

Journalists and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new tool to understand the presidency by exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.

Spiritual Solutions

By Deepak Chopra

Life is full of challenges, both big and small. Spirituality is here to offer solutions.

Over the course of his career as physician, teacher, and bestselling author, Deepak Chopra has received thousands of questions from people facing every kind of challenge. They have asked how to lead more fulfilling lives, how to overcome relationship problems and personal obstacles. What’s the best way to deal with a passive-aggressive friend? Can a stagnant career be jump-started? In a world full of distractions and stress, how does one find time for meditation?
Hidden among all of these questions are answers waiting to be uncovered.

In this groundbreaking book, Chopra shows you how to expand your awareness, which is the key to the confusion and conflict we all face. “The secret is that the level of the problem is never the level of the solution,” he writes. By rising to the level of the solution in your own awareness, you can transform obstacles into opportunities. Chopra leads the reader to what he calls “the true self,” where peace, clarity, and wisdom serve as guides in times of crisis.

For Chopra, spirituality is primarily about consciousness, not about religious dogma or relying on the conventional notion of God. “There is no greater power for success and personal growth than your own awareness.” With practical insight, “Spiritual Solutions” provides the tools and strategies to enable you to meet life’s challenges from within and to experience a sense of genuine fulfillment and purpose.

 

Philosophy for Beginners

By Richard Osborne

Illustrated by Ralph Edney

Why does philosophy give some people a headache, others a real buzz, and yet others a feeling that it is subversive and dangerous? Why do a lot of people think philosophy is totally irrelevant? What is philosophy anyway?

The ABCs of philosophy – easy to understand, but never simplistic.

Beginning with basic questions posed by the ancient Greeks – What is the world made of? What is a man? What is knowledge? What is good and evil? – Philosophy For Beginners traces the development of these questions as the key to understanding how Western philosophy developed over the last 2,500 years.

wwd