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August 2008
In This Issue
The Blue Zones
Why is God Laughing?
Audition: a Memoir
Passion on the Vine
The Second Plane
Declassified
Novel Destinations
Belle Moral
Books: a Memoir
Panic in Level 4
No Reservations
The Holmes Inspection
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The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner

Pub: National Geographic
Date: March 25, 2008
ISBN-10: 1426202741
ISBN-13: 978-1426202742
Health & Wellness
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With the right lifestyle, experts say, chances are that you may live up to a decade longer. What's the prescription for success? National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner has traveled the globe to uncover the best strategies for longevity found in the Blue Zones: places in the world where higher percentages of people enjoy remarkably long, full lives. And in this dynamic book he discloses the recipe, blending this unique lifestyle formula with the latest scientific findings to inspire easy, lasting change that may add years to your life.

Buettner's colossal research effort, funded in part by the National Institute on Aging, has taken him from Costa Rica to Italy to Japan and beyond. In the societies he visits, it's no coincidence that the way people interact with each other, shed stress, nourish their bodies, and view their world yields more good years of life. You'll meet a 94-year-old farmer and self-confessed "ladies man" in Costa Rica, an 102-year-old grandmother in Okinawa, a 102-year-old Sardinian who hikes at least six miles a day, and others. By observing their lifestyles, Buettner's teams have identified critical everyday choices that correspond with the cutting edge of longevity research-and distilled them into a few simple but powerful habits that anyone can embrace.
Why is God Laughing?: the Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism by Deepak Chopra

Publisher: Harmony
Date: Jun 3 2008
ISBN-10: 0307408884
ISBN-13: 978-0307408884
Philosophy & Spirituality
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Meet Mickey Fellows. A successful L.A. comedian, he's just a regular guy, with his fair share of fears, egocentricities, and addictions. After his father's death, Mickey meets a mysterious stranger named Francisco, who changes his life forever. The two begin an ongoing discussion about the true nature of being. Reluctantly at first, Mickey accepts the stranger's help and starts to explore his own life in an effort to answer the riddles Francisco poses. Mickey starts to look at those aspects of himself that he has hidden behind a wall of wisecracks all his life. Eventually Mickey realizes that authentic humor opens him up to the power of spirit-allowing him to finally make real connections with people.

After taking the reader on a journey with Mickey, Chopra then spells out the lessons that Mickey's story imparts to us: ten reasons to be optimistic, even in our challenging world. Chopra believes that the healthiest response to life is laughter from the heart, and even in the face of global turmoil, we can cultivate an internal sense of optimism. Rich with humor and practical advice, Why Is God Laughing? shows us without a doubt that there is always a reason to be grateful, that every possibility holds the promise of abundance, and that obstacles are simply opportunities in disguise. In the end, we really don't need a reason to be happy.
Audition: a Memoir by Barbara Walters
book cover art

Publisher: Knopf
Date: May 6 2008
ISBN-10: 030726646X
ISBN-13: 978-0307266460
Biography & Memoir
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Barbara Walters's perception of the world was formed at a very early age. Her father, Lou Walters, was the owner and creative mind behind the legendary Latin Quarter nightclub, and it was his risk-taking lifestyle that gave Barbara her first taste of glamour.  Through her roller-coaster ride of a childhood, Barbara had a close companion, her mentally challenged sister, Jackie. True, Jackie taught her younger sister much about patience and compassion, but Barbara also writes honestly about the resentment she often felt having a sister who was so "different" and the guilt that still haunts her.

All of this-the financial responsibility for her family, the fear, the love-played a large part in the choices she made as she grew up: the friendships she developed, the relationships she had, the marriages she tried to make work. Ultimately, thanks to her drive, combined with a decent amount of luck, she began a career in television. And what a career it has been! Against great odds, Barbara has made it to the top of a male-dominated industry.

Barbara Walters has spent a lifetime auditioning: for her bosses at the TV networks, for millions of viewers, for the most famous people in the world, and even for her own daughter, with whom she has had a difficult but ultimately quite wonderful and moving relationship. This book, in some ways, is her final audition, as she fully opens up both her private and public lives. In doing so, she has given us a story that is heartbreaking and honest, surprising and fun, sometimes startling, and always fascinating.
Passion on the Vine: a Memoir of Food, Wine, and Family in the Heart of Italyby Sergio Esposito

Publisher: Broadway
Date: April 22 2008
ISBN-10: 0767926072
ISBN-13: 978-0767926072
Biography & Memoir / Food & Drink
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At a young age, Esposito and his family move from Naples, Italy, to Albany, N.Y., where he first falls in love with wine in the basement dining room of his uncle's house. Even as he reflects on the poor quality of those first sips, he understands he was consuming the sense of family and the spirit of his crazy yet adored uncle. After opening a store in Albany, he moves to Manhattan to work as a sommelier in the early 1990s. There he partakes of haute cuisine and affluent wine collections, while learning the hierarchy of international wines. While French wines are considered the pinnacle of the industry and Californian wines are gaining interest, there are very few Italian wines of note. With a fiery passion, he determines to bring appreciation of the wines of his homeland to America and opens Italian Merchant Wines, where he continues today to import highly selected Italian wines. His writing is exuberant, and his wine descriptions evocative. A bottle of Ribolla reminds him of staring at a cracked painting of a beautiful woman from long ago. For lovers of wine, this is a full-bodied read about one man's passion and the many delectable moments along his journeys.
The Second Plane: September 11 - Terror & Boredom by Martin Amis

Publisher: Knopf Canada
Date: April 1 2008
ISBN-10: 0676977855
ISBN-13: 978-0676977851
Current Affairs / Opinion
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A master not only of fiction but also of fiercely controversial political engagement, Martin Amis here gathers fourteen pieces that constitute an evolving, provocative and insightful examination of the most momentous event of our time.

At the heart of this collection is the long essay "Terror and Boredom," an unsparing analysis of Islamic fundamentalism and the West's flummoxed response to it, while other pieces address the invasion of Iraq, the realities of Iran and Tony Blair's pallid departure from Downing Street. Amis's reviews of pertinent books and films, from The Looming Tower to United 93, provide a wide-ranging survey of other responses to these calamitous issues, which are further explored in two short stories: "The Last Days of Mohammed Atta," and "In the Palace of the End," narrated by a Middle Eastern tyrant's double whose duties include epic lovemaking, grotesque torture and the duplication on his own body of the injuries sustained by his alter ego in constant assassination attempts.

Whether lambasted for his refusal to kowtow to Muslim pieties or hailed for his blunt common sense, Amis is indisputably a great pleasure to read-informed, elegant, surprising-and this collection a resounding contemplation of the relentless, manifold dangers we suddenly find ourselves living with.
Declassified: 50 Documents that Changed History by Thomas B. Allen

Publisher: National Geographic
Date: May 20 2008
ISBN-10: 1426202229
ISBN-13: 978-1426202223
History / Espionage
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Culled from archives around the world, the 50 documents in Declassified illuminate the secret and often inaccessible stories of agents, espionage, and behind-the-scenes events that played critical roles in American history. Moving through time from Elizabethan England to the Cold War and beyond, noted author Tom Allen places each document in its historical and cultural context, sharing the quirky and little-known truths behind state secrets and clandestine operations. Each of seven chapters centers on one particular theme: secrets of war, the art of the double cross, spy vs. spy, espionage accidents, and more. Through support and access provided by the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., this lively history contains never-before-published and hard-to-find documents-printed from scans of the originals wherever possible. These include The Zimmerman Telegram, which led America into World War I; letters from Robert Hanssen to his Soviet spymaster, marking the start of his devastating career as a mole; and papers as recent as the Presidential Daily Brief that announced that Bin Laden was determined to strike the U.S.-delivered in August 2001.

The public interest in state secrets and espionage has been piqued by our current international conflicts, and this engrossing book-well priced and engagingly written for the general reader-will definitely feed that fascination.
Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks From Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West by Shannon McKenna Schmidt & Joni Rendon

Publisher: National Geographic
Date: May 20 2008
ISBN-10: 1426202776
ISBN-13: 978-1426202773
Travel / Literature
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It's often said that a good book takes us somewhere we've never been before, and here's the proof: a book-lover's Baedeker to more than 500 literary locales across the United States and Europe. Novel Destinations invites readers to follow in the footsteps of much-loved authors, discover the scenes that sparked their imaginations, glimpse the lives they led, and share a bit of the experiences they transformed so eloquently into print. If you're looking to indulge in literary adventure, you'll find all the inspiration and information you need here, along with behind-the-scenes stories such as these:

After Ernest Hemingway survived two near-fatal plane crashes during an African safari, he perused his obituaries and sipped champagne on a canal-side terrace in Venice.

Washington Irving's wisteria-draped cottage in the Hudson Valley was once occupied by members of the Van Tassel family, immortalized in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

A mysterious incident at a stone tower near Dublin made such a vivid impression on James Joyce that he drew on it for the opening scene of Ulysses.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle consulted on the mystery of Agatha Christie's 1926 disappearance before she resurfaced under an assumed name in northern England.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables was inspired by a seaside manse in Salem, Massachusetts, infamous witch trials in which his ancestor played a role. 
Belle Moral: a Natural History by Ann-Marie MacDonald
 
book cover art
 
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Date: May 13 2008
ISBN-10: 0307397246
ISBN-13: 978-0307397249
Theatre & Drama
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Ann-Marie MacDonald's love of the fabulous is in full force with this multi-layered reworking of her earlier play, The Arab's Mouth.

Following her father's death, amateur scientist Pearl MacIsaac struggles to discover the secret of her family's past, which her father had been kept hidden with the help of the family doctor. Set in Scotland in 1899, this dark and redemptive gothic comedy is a story of family secrets that have come to life and of the birth and evolution of ideas-and truly a play of morals. Reaching out in two directions to reconcile the extremes of rationalism and romanticism, Belle Moral embraces a complex range of turn-of-the-century thought including Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, contemporary medical beliefs and the concept of eugenics.
Books: a Memoir by Larry McMurtry

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date: Jul 8 2008
ISBN-10: 1416583343
ISBN-13: 978-1416583349
Biography & Memoir
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In a prolific life of singular literary achievement, Larry McMurtry has succeeded in a variety of genres: in coming-of-age novels like The Last Picture Show; in collections of essays like In a Narrow Grave; and in the reinvention of the Western on a grand scale in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Lonesome Dove. Now, in Books: A Memoir, McMurtry writes about his endless passion for books: as a boy growing up in a largely "bookless" world; as a young man devouring the vastness of literature with astonishing energy; as a fledgling writer and family man; and above all, as one of America's most prominent bookmen. He takes us on his journey to becoming an astute, adventurous book scout and collector who would eventually open stores of rare and collectible editions in Georgetown, Houston, and finally, in his previously "bookless" hometown of Archer City, Texas.In this work of extraordinary charm, grace, and good humor, McMurtry recounts his life as both a reader and a writer, how the countless books he has read worked to form his literary tastes, while giving us a lively look at the eccentrics who collect, sell, or simply lust after rare volumes. Books: A Memoir is like the best kind of diary -- full of McMurtry's wonderful anecdotes, amazing characters, engaging gossip, and shrewd observations about authors, book people, literature, and the author himself. At once chatty, revealing, and deeply satisfying, Books is, like McMurtry, erudite, life loving, and filled with excellent stories. It is a book to be savored and enjoyed again and again.
Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science by Richard Preston

Publisher: Random House
Date: May 27 2008
ISBN-10: 1400064902
ISBN-13: 978-1400064908
Science / Medicine
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Bizarre illnesses and plagues that kill people in the most unspeakable ways. Obsessive and inspired efforts by scientists to solve mysteries and save lives. From The Hot Zone to The Demon in the Freezer and beyond, Richard Preston's bestselling works have mesmerized readers everywhere by showing them strange worlds of nature they never dreamed of.

Panic in Level 4 is a grand tour through the eerie and unforgettable universe of Richard Preston, filled with incredible characters and mysteries that refuse to leave one's mind. Here are dramatic true stories, including:

The phenomenon of "self-cannibals," who suffer from a rare genetic condition caused by one wrong letter in their DNA that forces them to compulsively chew their own flesh-and why everyone may have a touch of this disease.
The search for the unknown host of Ebola virus, an organism hidden somewhere in African rain forests, where the disease finds its way into the human species, causing outbreaks of unparalleled horror.
The brilliant Russian brothers-"one mathematician divided between two bodies"-who built a supercomputer in their apartment from mail-order parts in an attempt to find hidden order in the number pi (π).

In fascinating, intimate, and exhilarating detail, Richard Preston portrays the frightening forces and constructive discoveries that are currently roiling and reordering our world.
No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach by Anthony Bourdain

Publisher: Bloomsbury US
Date: Oct 30 2007
ISBN-10: 1596914476
ISBN-13: 978-1596914475
Biography & Memoir / Travel / Food & Drink
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An illustrated, behind-the-scenes travel journal of Anthony Bourdain's global adventures.
 
More than just a companion to the hugely popular show, No Reservations is Bourdain's fully illustrated journal of his far-flung travels. The book traces his trips from New Zealand to New Jersey and everywhere in between, mixing beautiful, never-before-seen photos and mementos with Bourdain's outrageous commentary on what really happens when you give a bad-boy chef an open ticket to the world. Want to know where to get good fatty crab in Rangoon? How to order your reindeer medium rare? How to tell a Frenchman that his baguette is invading your personal space? This is your book. For any Bourdain fan, this is an indispensable opportunity to hit the road with the man himself.
The Holmes Inspection by Mike Holmes

Publisher: Harper Collins Canada
Date: May 27 2008
ISBN-10: 1554680433
ISBN-13: 978-1554680436
House & Home
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Mike Holmes is on a mission. Now that he's helped Canadian home renovators with his mega-selling Make It Right, Canada's most trusted contractor offers his expertise and passion for excellence to anyone with plans to sell or buy a home. In The Holmes Inspection, Mike shows us how to sell smart and buy smart so there'll be no surprises when it comes to the single largest investment most of us will ever make. Homebuyers today are in a bind. Before signing on the dotted line and handing over their hard-earned cash, they need advice about the product itself: the house they've got their eye on. But to get that good advice, says Holmes, it often takes more than a single call to a "professional" home inspector.

He tells readers what a home inspector can and can't do, and what options are open to prospective homebuyers who need to know what they're getting. Holmes deconstructs the often mystifying and downright scary process of buying and selling a house, walking readers through, into and around the average house so they can see past the tasteful, neutral decorating scheme.

Using real case studies, "red flag" sidebars and hundreds of photographs, The Holmes Inspection shows readers how to spot problems that could be expensive or even catastrophic, giving them the information they need to judge a house wisely. From the mechanicals (furnace, electrical and plumbing) to the "envelope" (floors, walls, doors and windows) to issues of location and siting, this book alerts readers to the ugly realities behind the "lipstick and mascara" that many vendors use to cover up problems when selling their homes.

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