|The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis|
Publisher: WW Norton
Pub Date: Mar 15 2010
Finance / Social IssuesCheck Availability
A brilliant account--character-rich and darkly humorous--of how the U.S. economy was driven over the cliff.Truth really is stranger than fiction. Who better than the author of the signature bestseller Liar's Pokerto explain how the event we were told was impossible--the free fall of
the American economy--finally occurred; how the things that we wanted,
like ridiculously easy money and greatly expanded home ownership, were
vehicles for that crash; and how shareholder demand for profit forced
investment executives to eat the forbidden fruit of toxic derivatives.
Lewis's splendid cast of characters includes villains, a few heroes,
and a lot of people who look very, very foolish: high government
officials, including the watchdogs; heads of major investment banks
(some overlap here with previous category); perhaps even the face in
your mirror. In this trenchant, raucous, irresistible narrative, Lewis
writes of the goats and of the few who saw what the emperor was wearing,
and gives them, most memorably, what they deserve. He proves yet again
that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our times.
|Cigar Box Banjo: Notes on Music & Life by Paul Quarrington|
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication Date: May 15 2010
Memoir Check Availability
Paul Quarrington had a favourite recording as a kid: a boy fashions a
banjo from a cigar box, sets off for a contest in the next town, and
wins with a song that weaves in the sounds he hears along the way. As a
grown-up writer and musician, Quarrington still loved the tale. And
after he learned he had stage iv lung cancer, the story took on a whole
new meaning for him.
Eclectic, hilarious, and endearingly frank, Cigar Box Banjo
tracks a life lived in music and words. Quarrington ruminates on the
bands of his childhood; his restless youth, playing bass with the cult
band Joe Hall and the Continental Drift; and his incarnation, in middle
age, as rhythm guitarist and singer with the band Porkbelly Futures.
Ranging through rock'n'roll, the blues, folk, country, and soul, he
explores how songs are made and why they affect us so profoundly.
gave him a way to take in his own experience, Quarrington tells us-road
trips, bad whisky, true love, love gone wrong-and music becomes his
mainstay after the Dread Diagnosis. Some people with a terminal illness
find mountains to climb; Quarrington decides to go out singing. On
stage, at sea, and in studios from Newfoundland to Nashville, he
celebrates his last year on the planet.
|The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession by David Grann|
Publication Date: Mar 9 2010
Essays / Journalism
Acclaimed New Yorker writer and author of the breakout debut bestseller The Lost City of Z, David Grann offers a collection of spellbinding narrative journalism.
he's reporting on the infiltration of the murderous Aryan Brotherhood
into the U.S. prison system, tracking down a chameleon con artist in
Europe, or riding in a cyclone- tossed skiff with a scientist hunting
the elusive giant squid, David Grann revels in telling stories that
explore the nature of obsession and that piece together true and
Each of the dozen stories in this collection reveals a hidden and often dangerous world and, like Into Thin Air and The Orchid Thief,
pivots around the gravitational pull of obsession and the captivating
personalities of those caught in its grip. There is the world's foremost
expert on Sherlock Holmes who is found dead in mysterious
circumstances; an arson sleuth trying to prove that a man about to be
executed is innocent; and sandhogs racing to complete the brutally
dangerous job of building New York City's water tunnels before the old
system collapses. Throughout, Grann's hypnotic accounts display the
power-and often the willful perversity-of the human spirit.
Compulsively readable, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant mosaic of ambition, madness, passion, and folly.
|Crazy Love by Leslie Morgan Steiner|
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: Mar 30 2010
At 22, Leslie Morgan Steiner seemed to have it all: good looks, a
Harvard diploma, a glamorous job in New York City. Plus a handsome,
funny boyfriend who adored her. But behind her façade of success, this
golden girl hid a dark secret. She'd made a mistake shared by millions:
she fell in love with the wrong person.
At first, Leslie and
Conor seemed perfect together. Then came the fights she tried to ignore:
he pushed her down the stairs, choked her during an argument, and
threatened her with a gun. Several times, he came close to making good
on his threat to kill her. With each attack, Leslie lost another piece
of herself. Why didn't she leave? She stayed because she loved him.
Gripping and utterly compelling, Crazy Love takes you inside
the violent, devastating world of abusive love and makes you feel the
power and powerlessness of abuse that can take place anywhere and to
|Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training by Tom Jokinen|
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication Date: Mar 9 2010
If Bill Bryson were to join a Winnipeg funeral home as an apprentice,
and if he searched for the meaning of life and death while he was at
it, you'd have Curtains
- enlightening, full of life in the midst of death, and very funny.
a time, from when someone dies to when they magically pop up at the
funeral or as a bag of ashes, that remains a black hole, invisible to
civilians, and they're happy with that arrangement. My job covers that
At forty-four Tom Jokinen began to seriously
question the secular funeral rites that are taking over the industry: is
this really the way we want to say our final goodbyes? The question had
such a hard grip on his Finnish soul that he decided to quit his job in
order to become an apprentice undertaker. Curtains
is about what
he found, from the mundane to the macabre. Among the things he learned:
in cremation, the heart and head are the last parts to burn; purple
lipstick looks best on a dead man; funeral directors have been known to
dance during the service - out of sight of funeral goers, of course, and
with the utmost respect for the dead. For anyone who's secretly
wondered why they paid $2000 for a 5-lb bag of dust - or questioned
whether that dust was really the person they loved - Curtains
lifts the veil on the funeral industry in the 21st century.
|Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz|
Publication Date: Sep 15 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1416583400Pets / Animal Behaviour
What do dogs know? How do they think? The answers will surprise and
delight you as Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist, explains how
dogs perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky
animal, the human. Inside of a Dog
is a fresh look at the world
of dogs -- from the dog's point of view. As a dog owner, Horowitz is
naturally curious to learn what her dog thinks about and knows. And as a
scientist, she is intent on understanding the minds of animals who
cannot speak for themselves.
In clear, crisp prose, Horowitz
introduces the reader to dogs' perceptual and cognitive abilities and
then draws a picture of what it might be like to be a dog. What's
it like to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the
house but also to smell sadness in humans or even the passage of time?
How does a tiny dog manage to play successfully with a Great Dane? What
is it like to hear the bodily vibrations of insects or the hum of a
fluorescent light? Why must a person on a bicycle be chased?
What's it like to use your mouth as a hand? In short, what is it like
for a dog to experience life from two feet off the ground, amidst the
smells of the sidewalk, gazing at our ankles or knees?Inside of a Dog
explains these things and much more. The answers can be surprising --
once we set aside our natural inclination to anthropomorphize dogs. Inside of a Dog
also contains up-to-the-minute research -- on dogs' detection of
disease, the secrets of their tails, and their skill at reading our
attention -- that Horowitz puts into useful context. Although not a
formal training guide, Inside of a Dog
has practical application for dog lovers interested in understanding why their dogs do what they do.
|US: Transforming Ourselves and the Relationships that Matter Mostby Lisa Oz|
Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: April 6 2010
Mind & Body / RelationshipsCheck Availability"The key to real and lasting change lies somewhere between what you know and what you do. It's what you think."
social creatures, we yearn for connection but often fall into bad
habits that interfere with our ability to have rewarding relationships.
We begin to see ourselves as alone, isolated, or at odds with the rest
of the universe. How can we learn to live in relationship in a more
enlightened way? In US: Transforming Ourselves and the Relationships That Matter Most
, Lisa Oz, the bestselling coauthor of the YOU: The Owner's Manual
takes readers on a transformational journey as she explores the three
relationships that matter most: with the self, with others, and with the
Divine. Interrelated and inseparable, these fundamental relationships
determine the quality and the measure of our emotional and spiritual
Drawing from ancient traditions, spiritual and holistic thinkers,
and personal insights, Lisa Oz guides you on an engaging,
thought-provoking, and ultimately inspirational path toward changing
your self, your relationships, and your life. With remarkable candor and
humor, Lisa offers personal anecdotes that highlight the truth and
consequences of familiar interactions. She also includes imaginative
exercises meant to help you gain new insight into old behavior patterns
and to encourage you to be an active, empowered agent for positive
change in your relationships. Lisa's writing on topics such as personal
well-being, identifying your authentic self, conscious parenting,
marital bonding, and truly compassionate living are persuasive because
they are suggestive rather than prescriptive. By holding a mirror to her
relationships, Lisa hopes to inspire you to reflect on your own,
observing that we are all works in progress, living in relationship
together.Informative and transformative, US
offers an enriched
and fulfilling vision of friendship, marriage, family, and spiritual
progress. In these pages, the evolution of YOU blossoms into the
community of US.
|You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier|
Publication Date: Jan 12 2010
Technology / Social Issues
Jaron Lanier, a Silicon Valley visionary since the 1980s, was among the
first to predict the revolutionary changes the World Wide Web would
bring to commerce and culture. Now, in his first book, written more than
two decades after the web was created, Lanier offers this provocative
and cautionary look at the way it is transforming our lives for better
and for worse.
The current design and function of the web have
become so familiar that it is easy to forget that they grew out of
programming decisions made decades ago. The web's first designers made
crucial choices (such as making one's presence anonymous) that have had
enormous-and often unintended-consequences. What's more, these designs
quickly became "locked in," a permanent part of the web's very
Lanier discusses the technical and cultural problems
that can grow out of poorly considered digital design and warns that our
financial markets and sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter are
elevating the "wisdom" of mobs and computer algorithms over the
intelligence and judgment of individuals.
Controversial and fascinating, You Are Not a Gadgetis a deeply felt defense of the individual from an author uniquely
qualified to comment on the way technology interacts with our culture.
|Way Of A Gardener: a Life's Journey by Des Kennedy|
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication Date: Mar 22 2010
Called "a green-thumb rogue" (Star Tribune, Minneapolis), accomplished
novelist, satirist, and garden writer Des Kennedy describes his life
journey from a childhood of strict Irish Catholicism in Britain to a
charmed existence amid the gardens of his Gulf Island home in British
Columbia. From his appearance as an innocent dressed in white for
his First Holy Communion to his days as a young seminarian in black
habit, through the Beat poetry scene in New York City and the social
upheavals of the 1960s, this monk-turned-pilgrim pursues a quest for
meaning and purpose.
After leaving monastic life and moving
west, Kennedy takes up a new vocation in what has been called the Church
of the Earth. On a rural acreage, he and his partner build their home
from recycled and hand-hewn materials and create gardens that provide
food as well as a symbiosis with the earth that is as profoundly
spiritual as past religious rituals.
Spiced with irreverence
and an eye for the absurd, The Way of a Gardener ranges over
environmental activism, Aboriginal rights, writing for a living, amateur
wood butchery, the protocols of small community living, and the
devilish obscenity of a billy goat at stud.
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empireby Jack Weatherford|
The Mongol queens of the thirteenth century ruled the largest empire the
world has ever known. Yet sometime near the end of the century, censors
cut a section from The History of the Mongols
, leaving a
single tantalizing quote from Genghis Khan: "Let us reward our female
offspring." Only this hint of a father's legacy for his daughters
remained of a much larger story.
The queens of the Silk Route
turned their father's conquests into the world's first truly
international empire, fostering trade, education, and religion
throughout their territories and creating an economic system that
stretched from the Pacific to the Mediterranean. Outlandish stories of
these powerful queens trickled out of the Empire, shocking the citizens
of Europe and and the Islamic world.
After Genghis Khan's death
in 1227, conflicts erupted between his daughters and his
daughters-in-law; what began as a war between powerful women soon became
a war against women in power as brother turned against sister, son
against mother. At the end of this epic struggle, the dynasty of the
Mongol queens had seemingly been extinguished forever, as even their
names were erased from the historical record.
At the conclusion of his
magnificently researched and ground-breaking narrative, Weatherford
notes that, despite their mystery and the efforts to erase them from our
collective memory, the deeds of these Mongol queens inspired great
artists from Chaucer and Milton to Goethe and Puccini, and so their
stories live on today. With The Secret History of the Mongol Queens
, Jack Weatherford restores the queens' missing chapter to the annals of history.
|Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Use Your Brain to Get and Keep the Body You Have Always Wanted by Daniel G. Amen|
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Publication Date: Feb 16 2010
Mind & Body Check Availability
fifteen practical, easy-to-implement solutions involving nutritious
foods, natural supplements and vitamins, positive-thinking habits, and,
when necessary, highly targeted medications, Dr. Amen shows you how to:
* Reach and maintain your ideal weight
* Soothe and smooth your skin at any age
* Reduce the stress that can impair your immune system
* Sharpen your memory
* Increase willpower and eliminate the cravings that keep you from achieving your exercise and diet goals
* Enhance sexual desire and performance
* Lower your blood pressure without medication
* Avoid depression and elevate the enjoyment you take in life's pleasures.
you're just coming to realize that it's time to get your body into
shape, or are already fit and want to take it to the next level, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body
is all you need to start putting the power of the brain-body connection to work for you today.
|Marry Him: the Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb|
Publication Date: Feb 9 2010
Dating / Relationships Check Availability
You have a fulfilling job, a great group of friends, the perfect
apartment, and no shortage of dates. So what if you haven't found The
One just yet. Surely he'll come along, right?
But what if he doesn't? Or even worse, what if he already has, but you just didn't realize it?
Suddenly finding herself forty and single, Lori Gottlieb said the unthinkable in her March 2008 article in The Atlantic
Maybe she, and single women everywhere, needed to stop chasing the
elusive Prince Charming and instead go for Mr. Good Enough.
By looking at everything from culture to biology, in Marry Him
Gottlieb frankly explores the dilemma that so many women today seem to
face-how to reconcile the strong desire for a husband and family with a
list of must-haves so long and complicated that many great guys get
rejected out of the gate. Here Gottlieb shares her own journey in the
quest for romantic fulfillment, and in the process gets wise guidance
and surprising insights from marital researchers, matchmakers, dating
coaches, behavioral economists, neuropsychologists, sociologists,
couples therapists, divorce lawyers, and clergy-as well as single and
married men and women, ranging in age from their twenties to their
sixties. Marry Him
is an eye-opening, often funny,
sometimes painful, and always truthful in-depth examination of the
modern dating landscape, and ultimately, a provocative wake-up call
about getting real about Mr. Right.
|Last Words by George Carlin (with Tony Hendra)|
Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: Nov 10 2009
Memoir / Humour Check Availability
As one of America's preeminent comedic voices, George Carlin saw it all
throughout his extraordinary fifty-year career and made fun of most of
it. Last Words is the story of the man behind some of the most
seminal comedy of the last half century, blending his signature acer-bic
humor with never-before-told stories from his own life.In 1993
George Carlin asked his friend and bestselling author Tony Hendra to
help him write his autobiography. For almost fifteen years, in scores of
conversations, many of them recorded, the two discussed Carlin's life,
times, and evolution as a major artist. When Carlin died at age
seventy-one in June 2008 with the book still unpublished, Hendra set out
to assemble it as his friend would have wanted. Last Words
the result, the rollicking, wrenching story of Carlin's life from birth
-- literally -- to his final years, as well as a parting gift of
laughter to the world of comedy he helped create.
journey to stardom began in the rough-and-tumble neighborhood of New
York's Upper West Side in the 1940s, where class and culture wars
planted the seeds for some of his best known material, including the
notorious "Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television." His early
conflicts, his long struggle with substance abuse, his turbulent
relationships with his family, and his triumphs over catastrophic
setbacks all fueled the unique comedic worldview he brought to the
stage. From the heights of stardom to the low points few knew about, Last Words is told with the same razor-sharp honesty that made Carlin one of the best loved comedians in American history.
|A History of Ghosts by Angela Narth and Peter H. Ackroyd|
Publisher: Rodale Books
Publication Date: Sep 29 2009
Paranormal / Occult Check Availability
Peter Aykroyd spent his childhood watching his family's parlor séances
through the crack of a basement door. Here, for the first time, Aykroyd
tells the strange and delightful story that inspired his son, Dan, to
make the mega-hit, Ghostbusters
. Part history, part family legend, A History of Ghosts
in 1848 in upstate New York, where the spiritualist craze first began.
Aykroyd introduces the reader to notable mediums while telling the story
of the development of spiritualism, interweaving a personal history
marked by a fascination with ghosts and spirits with the larger
narrative about the role the paranormal has played in our culture. Such
legendary figures as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini appear and
vanish. Everyone loves a good ghost story. Successful TV shows such as Medium
and Ghost Hunters
proof that our national obsession with ghosts is here to stay. Millions
of Americans believe in the paranormal-and even skeptics have heard a
bump in the night and suspected it might be something supernatural.
|The Raven's Gift: A Scientist, a Shaman, and Their Remarkable Journey Through the Siberian Wildby John Turk|
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: Jan 19 2010
Travel Memoir / SpiritualityCheck Availability
Noted scientist and kayak adventurer, Jon Turk, undertakes a journey of spiritual healing.
Jon Turk has kayaked around Cape Horn and paddled across the Pacific
Ocean to retrace the voyages of ancient people. But, the strangest trip
he ever took was the journey he made as a man of science into the realm
of the spiritual. In a remote Siberian village, Turk met an elderly
Koryak shaman named Moolynaut who invoked the help of a Spirit Raven to
mend his fractured pelvis. When the healing was complete, he was able to
walk without pain. Turk, finding no rational explanation, sought
understanding by traversing the frozen tundra where Moolynaut was born,
camping with bands of reindeer herders, and recording stories of their
lives and spirituality. Framed by high adventure across the vast and
forbidding Siberian landscape, The Raven's Gift
creates a vision of natural and spiritual realms interwoven by one man's awakening.