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March 2009
In This Issue
Haunted Heart: the Life & Times of Stephen King
Animals Make Us Human
The Necklace: Thirteen Women & the Experiment...
Jesus: a Journey to the Divine
Angels & Ages: a Short Book About Darwin...
Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself...
Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping
The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty
A Homemade Life
Outliers: the Story of Success
No Angel: My Harrowing Journey...
The Well-Educated Mind: a Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had
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Haunted Heart: the Life and Times of Stephen King by Lisa Rogak
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Publisher: St. Martins Pub Date: Jan 6 2009
ISBN-10: 0312377320
ISBN-13: 978-0312377328
Biography & Memoir
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A fascinating look at the life of the author who created such modern classics as Carrie , IT, and The Shining. One of the most prolific and popular authors in the world today, Stephen King has become part of pop culture history. But who is the man behind those tales of horror, grief, and the supernatural? Where do these ideas come from? And what drives him to keep writing at a breakneck pace after a thirty year career? In this unauthorized biography, Lisa Rogak reveals the troubled background and lifelong fears that inspire one of the twentieth century's most influential authors.            

Despite his dark and disturbing work, Stephen King has become revered by critics and his countless fans as an all-American voice more akin to Mark Twain than H. P. Lovecraft. Haunted Heart  chronicles his story, revealing the character of a man who has created some of the most memorable---and frightening---stories found in literature today.
Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals by Temple Grandin
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Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: Jan 6 2009
ISBN-10: 0151014892
ISBN-13: 978-0151014897
Lifestyle & Family / Pets

The best-selling animal advocate Temple Grandin offers the most exciting exploration of how animals feel since The Hidden Life of Dogs. In her groundbreaking and best-selling book Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin drew on her own experience with autism as well as her distinguished career as an animal scientist to deliver extraordinary insights into how animals think, act, and feel. Now she builds on those insights to show us how to give our animals the best and happiest lifeon their terms, not ours. Its usually easy to pinpoint the cause of physical pain in animals, but to know what is causing them emotional distress is much harder. Drawing on the latest research and her own work,Grandin identifies the core emotional needs of animals.Then she explains how to fulfill them for dogs and cats, horses, farm animals, and zoo animals.Whether its how to make the healthiest environment for the dog you must leave alone most of the day, how to keep pigs from being bored, or how to know if the lion pacing in the zoo is miserable or just exercising, Grandin teaches us to challenge our assumptions about animal contentment and honor our bond with our fellow creatures. Animals Make Us Human is the culmination of almost thirty years of research, experimentation, and experience. This is essential reading for anyone who's ever owned, cared for, or simply cared about an animal.
The Necklace: Thirteen Women and the Experiment that Transformed Their Lives by Cheryl Jarvis

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: Sep 9 2008
ISBN-10:
ISBN-13: 978-0345500717
Lifestyle & Family / Memoir
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The true story of thirteen women who took a risk on an expensive diamond necklace and, in the process, changed not only themselves but a community.

Four years ago, in Ventura, California, Jonell McLain saw a diamond necklace in a local jewelry store display window. The necklace aroused desire first, then a provocative question: Why are personal luxuries so plentiful yet accessible to so few? What if we shared what we desired? Several weeks, dozens of phone calls, and a leap of faith later, Jonell bought the necklace with twelve other women, with the goal of sharing it.

Part charm, part metaphor, part mirror, the necklace weaves in and out of each woman's life, reflecting her past, defining her present, making promises for her future. Lending sparkle in surprising and unexpected ways, the necklace comes to mean something dramatically different to each of the thirteen women.
With vastly dissimilar histories and lives, the women show us how they transcended their individual personalities and politics to join together in an uncommon journey. What started as a quirky social experiment became something far richer and deeper, as the women transformed a symbol of exclusivity into a symbol of inclusiveness. They discovered that sharing the necklace among themselves was only the beginning; The more they shared with others, the more profound this experience-and experiment-became.
Jesus: a Journey to the Divine by Deepak Chopra

Publisher: Harperone
Publication Date: Nov 1 2008
ISBN-10: 0061448737
ISBN-13: 978-0061448737
Philosophy & Spirituality
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The New York Times bestselling author of Buddha captures the extraordinary life of Jesus in this surprising, soul-stirring, and page-turning novel. Uncovering the transformational "lost years" that are not recounted in the New Testament, Deepak Chopra has imagined Jesus's path to enlightenment moving from obscurity to revolutionary, from doubt to miracles, and then beyond as the role of the long-awaited Messiah. As a teenager, Jesus has premonitions of his destiny, and by the end, as he arrives to be baptized in the River Jordan, he has accepted his fate, which combines extremes of light and darkness.

With his characteristic ability for imparting profound spiritual insights through the power of storytelling, Deepak Chopra's Jesus portrays the life of Christ as never before, ultimately leading us closer to understanding the nature of God and the soul. As the author shares, "I don't want the Jesus in this book to be worshiped, much less to push him forward as definitive. The events of the tale are pure fiction. But at a deeper level, the Jesus in this book feels real because we've gotten a glimpse into his mind. One flash of insight answers many prayers."
Angels and Ages: a Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life by Adam Gopnik
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Publisher: Knopf (Jan 27 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307270785
ISBN-13: 978-0307270788
Social Science / Biography & Memoir
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On a memorable day in human history, February 12, 1809, two babies were born an ocean apart: Abraham Lincoln in a one-room Kentucky log cabin; Charles Darwin on an English country estate. It was a time of backward-seeming notions, when almost everyone still accepted the biblical account of creation as the literal truth and authoritarianism as the most natural and viable social order. But by the time both men died, the world had changed: ordinary people understood that life on earth was a story of continuous evolution, and the Civil War had proved that a democracy could fight for principles and endure. And with these signal insights much else had changed besides. Together, Darwin and Lincoln had become midwives to the spirit of a new world, a new kind of hope and faith.

Searching for the men behind the icons of emancipation and evolution, Adam Gopnik shows us, in this captivating double life, Lincoln and Darwin as they really were: family men and social climbers; ambitious manipulators and courageous adventurers; the living husband, father, son, and student behind each myth. How do we reconcile Lincoln, the supremely good man we know, with the hardened commander who wittingly sent tens of thousands of young soldiers to certain death? Why did the relentlessly rational Darwin delay publishing his "Great Idea" for almost twenty years? How did inconsolable grief at the loss of a beloved child change each man? And what comfort could either find-for himself or for a society now possessed of a sadder, if wiser, understanding of our existence? Such human questions and their answers are the stuff of this book.
Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life by Judith Orloff
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Publisher: Harmony
Publication Date: Mar 3 2009
ISBN-10: 0307338185
ISBN-13: 978-0307338181
Mind & Body / Self-Improvement
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Picture yourself trapped in a traffic jam feeling utterly calm. Imagine being unflappable and relaxed when your supervisor loses her temper. What if you were peaceful instead of anxious? What if your life were filled with nurturing relationships and a warm sense of belonging? This is what it feels like when you've achieved emotional freedom.

National bestselling author Dr. Judith Orloff invites you to take a remarkable journey, one that leads to happiness and serenity, and a place where you can gain mastery over the negativity that pervades daily life. No matter how stressed you currently feel, the time for positive change is now. You possess the ability to liberate yourself from depression, anger, and fear.

Synthesizing neuroscience, intuitive medicine, psychology, and subtle energy techniques, Dr. Orloff maps the elegant relationships between our minds, bodies, spirits, and environments. With humor and compassion, she shows you how to identify the most powerful negative emotions and how to transform them into hope, kindness, and courage. Compelling patient case studies and stories from her online community, her workshop participants, and her own private life illustrate the simple, easy-to-follow action steps that you can take to cope with emotional vampires, disappointments, and rejection.
Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine
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Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: Feb 27 2007
ISBN-10: 0743269365
ISBN-13: 978-0743269360
Consumerism / Family & Lifestyle
 

Shocked by the commerce in everything from pet cloning to patriotism, frightened by the downward spiral of her finances and that of the trash-strewn earth, Judith Levine enlists her partner, Paul, in a radical experiment: to forgo all but the most necessary purchases for an entire year. Without consumer goods and experiences, Judith and Paul pursue their careers, nurture relationships, and try to keep their sanity, their identities, and their sense of humor intact. Tracking their progress -- and inevitable lapses -- Levine contemplates need and desire, scarcity and security, consumerism and citizenship. She asks the Big Questions: Can the economy survive without shopping? Are Q-tips necessary?
Not Buying It is the confession of a woman any reader can identify with: someone who can't live without French roast coffee or SmartWool socks but who has had it up to here with overconsumption and its effects on the earth and everyone who dwells there.

For the humor and intelligence of its insights, the refreshment of its skepticism, and the surprises of its conclusions, Not Buying It is sure to be on anyone's list of Necessities.
The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty by Peter Singer
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Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: Mar 3 2009
ISBN-10: 1400067103
ISBN-13: 978-1400067107
Ethics & Morality / Philanthropy
This is the right time to ask yourself: "What should I be doing to help?"

For the first time in history, it is now within our reach to eradicate world poverty and the suffering it brings. Yet around the world, a billion people struggle to live each day on less than many of us pay for bottled water. And though the number of deaths attributable to poverty worldwide has fallen dramatically in the past half-century, nearly ten million children still die unnecessarily each year. The people of the developed world face a profound choice: If we are not to turn our backs on a fifth of the world's population, we must become part of the solution.

In The Life You Can Save, philosopher Peter Singer, named one of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time magazine, uses ethical arguments, provocative thought experiments, illuminating examples, and case studies of charitable giving to show that our current response to world poverty is not only insufficient but ethically indefensible.

Singer contends that we need to change our views of what is involved in living an ethical life. To help us play our part in bringing about that change, he offers a seven-point plan that mixes personal philanthropy (figuring how much to give and how best to give it), local activism (spreading the word in your community), and political awareness (contacting your representatives to ensure that your nation's foreign aid is really directed to the world's poorest people).

In The Life You Can Save, Singer makes the irrefutable argument that giving will make a huge difference in the lives of others, without diminishing the quality of our own. This book is an urgent call to action and a hopeful primer on the power of compassion, when mixed with rigorous investigation and careful reasoning, to lift others out of despair.
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg
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Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: Mar 3 2009
ISBN-10: 1416551050
ISBN-13: 978-1416551058
Food & Drink / Biography & Memoir

When Molly Wizenberg's father died of cancer, everyone told her to go easy on herself, to hold off on making any major decisions for a while. But when she tried going back to her apartment in Seattle and returning to graduate school, she knew it wasn't possible to resume life as though nothing had happened. So she went to Paris, a city that held vivid memories of a childhood trip with her father, of early morning walks on the cobbled streets of the Latin Quarter and the taste of her first pain au chocolat. She was supposed to be doing research for her dissertation, but more often, she found herself peering through the windows of chocolate shops, trekking across town to try a new pātisserie, or tasting cheeses at outdoor markets, until one evening when she sat in the Luxembourg Gardens reading cookbooks until it was too dark to see, she realized that her heart was not in her studies but in the kitchen.

At first, it wasn't clear where this epiphany might lead. Like her long letters home describing the details of every meal and market, Molly's blog Orangette started out merely as a pleasant pastime. But it wasn't long before her writing and recipes developed an international following. Every week, devoted readers logged on to find out what Molly was cooking, eating, reading, and thinking, and it seemed she had finally found her passion. But the story wasn't over: one reader in particular, a curly-haired, food-loving composer from New York, found himself enchanted by the redhead in Seattle, and their email correspondence blossomed into a long-distance romance.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
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Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: Nov 18 2008
ISBN-10: 0316017922
ISBN-13: 978-0316017923
Sociology / Social Psychology
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Why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the "self-made man," Malcolm Gladwell makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, "some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky."

Outliers can be enjoyed for its bits of trivia, like why most pro hockey players were born in January, how many hours of practice it takes to master a skill, why the descendents of Jewish immigrant garment workers became the most powerful lawyers in New York, how a pilots' culture impacts their crash record, how a centuries-old culture of rice farming helps Asian kids master math. But there's more to it than that. Throughout all of these examples--and in more that delve into the social benefits of lighter skin color, and the reasons for school achievement gaps--Gladwell invites conversations about the complex ways privilege manifests in our culture. He leaves us pondering the gifts of our own history, and how the world could benefit if more of our kids were granted the opportunities to fulfill their remarkable potential.
No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels by Jay Dobyns
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Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: Feb 10 2009
ISBN-10: 0307405850
ISBN-13: 978-0307405852
Biography / Memoir
Here, from Jay Dobyns, the first federal agent to infiltrate the inner circle of the outlaw Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, is the inside story of the twenty-one-month operation that almost cost him his family, his sanity, and his life.

Getting shot in the chest as a rookie agent, bartering for machine guns, throttling down the highway at 100 mph, and responding to a full-scale, bloody riot between the Hells Angels and their rivals, the Mongols - these are just a few of the high-adrenaline experiences Dobyns recounts in this action-packed, hard-to-imagine-but-true story.

Reminiscent of Donnie Brasco's uncovering of the true Mafia, this is an eye-opening portrait of the world of bikers-the most in-depth since Hunter Thompson's seminal work-one that fully describes the seductive lure criminal camaraderie has for men who would otherwise be powerless outsiders. Here is all the nihilism, hate, and intimidation, but also the freedom-and, yes, brotherhood-of the only truly American form of organized crime.
The Well-Educated Mind: a Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had by Susan Wise Bauer
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Publisher: WW Norton
Publication Date: Jul 29 2003
ISBN-10: 0393050947
ISBN-13: 978-0393050943
Education / Self-Improvement
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Designed for adults seeking self-education in the classical tradition.
Reading-sustained, disciplined and structured-is Susan Wise Bauer's core methodology, so she starts with tips on improving reading skills and setting up a reading schedule (start with half-hour sessions four mornings a week, with daily journal writing). Reading is a discipline, like meditating or running, she says, and it needs regular exercise. To grow through reading - to reach the "Great Conversation" of ideas - Bauer outlines the three stages of the classical tradition: first, read for facts; then evaluate them; finally, form your own opinions. After explaining the mechanics of each stage (e.g. what type of notes to take in the book itself, or in the journal), Bauer begins the list section of the book, with separate chapters for her five major genres: fiction, autobiography/memoir, history/politics, drama and poetry. She introduces each category with a concise discussion of its historical development and the major scholarly debates, clearly defining all important terms (e.g., postmodernism, metafiction). And then, the piece de resistance: lists, in chronological order, of some 30 major works in each genre, complete with advice on choosing the edition and a one-page synopsis. Bauer has crafted a timeless, intelligent book.

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