Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mr. Strycker has the ability to write about the worlds of man and fowl without simplifying either.... He thinks like a biologist but writes like a poet, and one of the small pleasures of The Thing With Feathers is watching him distill empirical research into lyrical imagery.... Part the palm fronds behind his sentences, and you can almost see the British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough standing there in a pith helmet, smiling with amused approval at Mr. Strycker's off-center sensibility." – Wall Street Journal

http://bit.ly/1lYlSIO 

An entertaining and profound look at the lives of birds, illuminating their surprising world—and deep connection with humanity.

Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As scientists come to understand more about the secrets of bird life, they are unlocking fascinating insights into memory, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself.

The Thing with Feathers explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, the good deeds of fairy-wrens, the influential flocking abilities of starlings, the deft artistry of bowerbirds, the extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, the lifelong loves of albatross, and other mysteries—revealing why birds do what they do, and offering a glimpse into our own nature.

Noah Strycker is a birder and naturalist who has traveled the world in pursuit of his flighty subjects. Drawing deep from personal experience, cutting-edge science, and colorful history, he spins captivating stories about the birds in our midst and reveals the startlingly intimate coexistence of birds and humans. With humor, style, and grace, he shows how our view of the world is often, and remarkably, through the experience of birds.

Beautiful and wise, funny and insightful, The Thing with Feathers is a gripping and enlightening journey into the lives of birds.
 

Infrastructure Has Never Been So Interesting

http://bit.ly/1qrxm7l 

"Is it possibly to write a stunning book about infrastructure? Kate Ascher’s books are bliss... Using gorgeous graphics and clear, simple, language, Ascher explains the infrastructure and engineering marvels around us." --Slate.com

In our digital age, it’s easy to forget that almost everything we enjoy about modern life depends on motion. We ride in cars and on buses and trains to work; enjoy food shipped over oceans; fly high in the sky to any point on the planet. Over the last century, the world has come to rely on its ability to move just about anywhere effortlessly. But what prompted this transformation? What inventions allowed it to happen? And how do the vehicles and systems that keep us in motion today—airports, trains, cars, and satellites—really work?

Exploring our incredible interconnected world is the task of Kate Ascher’s The Way to Go: Moving by Sea, Land, and Air. Lusciously illustrated and meticulously researched, The Way to Go reveals the highly complex and largely invisible network of global transportation. How is cargo moved from inland factory to seaside port, and how is it transferred from shore to ship? How do ships and planes navigate their routes without landmarks? What happens under the hood of a car or in the undercarriage of a people mover? How did planes become cheaper than ships or trains? Why are some spaceships reusable and others not? What tools are needed to build today’s immense bridges and tunnels, and what ensures they don’t collapse? How does a helicopter really stay aloft? What happens when lightning strikes an airplane or when one satellite crashes with another? What will the car of tomorrow look like?

Focusing on the machines that underpin our lives, Ascher’s The Way to Go also introduces the systems that keep those machines in business—the emergency communication networks that connect ships at sea, the automated tolling mechanisms that maintain the flow of highway traffic, the air control network that keeps planes from colliding in the sky. Equally fascinating are the technologies behind these complex systems: baggage tag readers that make sure people’s bags go where they need to; automated streetlights that adjust their timing based on traffic flow; GPS devices that pinpoint where we are on earth at any second. Together these technologies move more people farther, faster, and more cheaply than at any other time in history.

As our lives and our businesses become more entwined with others across the globe, there has never been a better time to understand how transportation works. Indispensable and unforgettable, Kate Ascher’s The Way to Go is a gorgeous graphic guide to a world moving as never before.
 

Serious Reading Takes a Hit From Online Scanning and Skimming, Researchers Say

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jill Is Recommending:

http://bit.ly/1golBLI
A touchingly honest, candidly hysterical memoir from breakout teen author Maya Van Wagenen

Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at “pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular?

The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise—meeting and befriending Betty Cornell herself. Told with humor and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence.


Available again for a whole new generation of readers, the original 1950s popularity guide that was the inspiration for teen author Maya Van Wagenen’s memoir Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek!

Filled with fun tips and vintage wisdom, Betty Cornell’s Teen-Age Popularity Guide offers advice and guidance for teens who want to be poised, self-confident, and “shiny bright.” Betty covers topics ranging from “Figure Problems,” “Good Grooming,” and “What to Wear Where” to hints on dating, hosting a great party, and becoming “the most popular girl in your set!”

Helen R. Is Recommending:

http://bit.ly/1jB5iLT

Ullmann’s characters are complex and paradoxical: neither fully guilty nor fully innocent

Siri Brodal, a chef and restaurant owner, is married to Jon Dreyer, a famous novelist plagued by writer’s block. Siri and Jon have two daughters, and together they spend their summers on the coast of Norway, in a mansion belonging to Jenny Brodal, Siri’s stylish and unforgiving mother.

Siri and Jon’s marriage is loving but difficult, and troubled by painful secrets. They have a strained relationship with their elder daughter, Alma, who struggles to find her place in the family constellation. When Milla is hired as a nanny to allow Siri to work her long hours at the restaurant and Jon to supposedly meet the deadline on his book, life in the idyllic summer community takes a dire turn. One rainy July night, Milla disappears without a trace. After her remains are discovered and a suspect is identified, everyone who had any connection with her feels implicated in her tragedy and haunted by what they could have done to prevent it.

The Cold Song is a story about telling stories and about how life is continually invented and reinvented.

World Book Night USA 2014


10 TS Eliot Quotes Used As Book Titles