Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kate M. Is Recommending:
A daring and brilliant novel that explores race and class in 1950s America, witnessed through the experiences of Nat King Cole and his driver, Nat Weary.

The war is over, the soldiers are returning, and Nat King Cole is back in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, for a rare performance. His childhood friend, Nat Weary, plans to propose to his sweetheart, and the singer will honor their moment with a special song. While the world has changed, segregated Jim Crow Montgomery remains the same. When a white man attacks Cole with a pipe, Weary leaps from the audience to defend him--an act that will lead to a ten-year prison sentence.

But the singer will not forget his friend and the sacrifice he made. Six months before Weary is released, he receives a remarkable offer: will he be Nat King Cole's driver and bodyguard in L.A.? It is the promise of a new life removed from the terror, violence, and degradation of Jim Crow Alabama.

Weary discovers that, while Los Angeles is far different from the Deep South, it a place of discrimination, mistrust, and intolerance where a black man--even one as talented and popular as Nat King Cole--is not wholly welcome.

An indelible portrait of prejudice and promise, friendship and loyalty, Driving the King is a daring look at race and class in pre-Civil Rights America, played out in the lives of two remarkable men.
A singularly talented writer makes his literary debut with this provocative, soulful, and sometimes hilarious story of a failed journalist asked to do the unthinkable: forge Holocaust-restitution claims for old Russian Jews in Brooklyn, New York.

Yevgeny Gelman, grandfather of Slava Gelman, ''didn't suffer in the exact way'' he needs to have suffered to qualify for the reparations the German government has been paying out to Holocaust survivors. But suffer he has--as a Jew in the war, as a second-class citizen in the USSR, as an immigrant in America. So? Isn't his grandson a ''writer''?

High-minded Slava wants to put all this immigrant-scraping behind him. Only the American dream is not panning out for him: Century, the legendary magazine where he works as a researcher, wants nothing greater from him. Slava wants to be a correct, blameless American--but he wants to be a lionized writer even more.

Slava's turn as the Forger of South Brooklyn teaches him that not every fact is a truth and not every lie a falsehood. It takes more than law-abiding to become an American; it takes the same self-reinvention at which his people excel. Intoxicated and unmoored by his inventions, Slava risks exposure. Cornered, he commits an irrevocable act that finally grants him a sense of home in America--but not before collecting a lasting price from his family.

A Replacement Life is a dark, moving, and beautifully written novel about family, honor, and justice.
Drawing on her research, knowledge, and clinical experience, internationally respected neurologist--and mother of two boys--Frances E. Jensen, MD, offers a revolutionary look at the adolescent brain, providing remarkable insights that translate into practical advice both for parents and teenagers.

Driven by the assumption that brain growth was almost complete by the time a child reached puberty, scientists believed for many years that the adolescent brain was essentially an adult one--only with fewer miles on it. Over the last decade, however, neurology and neuroscience have revealed that the teen years encompass vitally important stages of brain development.

Motivated by her experience of parenting two teenagers, renowned neurologist Frances E. Jensen, MD, gathers what we've discovered about adolescent brain functioning and wiring, and in this groundbreaking, accessible book, explains how these eye-opening findings not only dispel commonly held myths about teens but also yield practical suggestions for adults and teenagers negotiating the mysterious and magical world of adolescent biology.

Interweaving clear summary and analysis of research data with anecdotes drawn from her years as a clinician, researcher, and public speaker, Dr. Jensen explores adolescent brain functioning and development in the context of learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction, and decision making. Examining data connecting substance use to lingering memory issues and, sometimes, a lower adult IQ, The Teenage Brain explains why teenagers are not as resilient to the effects of drugs as we previously thought; reveals how multitasking impacts learning ability and concentration; and examines the consequences of stress on mental health during and beyond adolescence.

Rigorous yet accessible, warm yet direct, The Teenage Brain sheds new light on the brains--and behaviors--of adolescents and young adults, and analyzes this knowledge to share specific ways in which parents, educators, and even the legal system can help them navigate their way more smoothly into adulthood in our ever challenging world.
Winner of the 2014 Living Now Book Award for Inspirational Memoir

After having a nationally televised panic attack, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had propelled him through the ranks of a hypercompetitive business, but had also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out.

Eventually Harris stumbled upon an effective way to rein in that voice, something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation, a tool that research suggests can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain. 10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America's spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.

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