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Blog posts tagged with 'BOOK OF THE WEEK'

Earning the Rockies

Robert Kaplan usually looks outward from the United States. Ever since President Bill Clinton was spotted with a copy of Balkan Ghosts under his arm (and it was devoured by the entire White House staff) Kaplan’s career has skewed towards precarious situations abroad. Now, in his latest book Earning the Rockies, the foreign policy expert rediscovers America on a cross-country drive all the way from Massachusetts to San Diego.

Havana

authorDue to recent changes in relations between Cuba and the United States, many books have been published about the island nation, but few have centered on its capital with the kaleidoscopic focus of award-winning author Mark Kurlansky’s Havana, A Subtropical Delirium. In accessible prose worthy of the elegant metropolis itself, Kurlansky, a longtime Caribbean correspondent, profiles Cuban music, literature, food and, of course, baseball. Kurlansky uses literary references to add color and context to his own experiences in Havana.

The Not-Quite States of America
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The journey begins with Mack in his gym shorts. It’s laundry day in his apartment in Minneapolis, and he’s sorting through some quarters, setting a few aside to add to his wife’s state quarter collection, which includes coins from the first incorporated state, Delaware (1787) to the last, Hawaii (1959). But there are a few empty slots in her cardboard portfolio, beyond Hawaii. “Oh, right,” Mack remembers, “We have territories.”

Behold the Dreamers
behold dreamers coverCameroonian writer Imbolo Mbue has lived in New York City for more than a decade. Her experiences in the city and the stories she’s gathered from other immigrants have given her plenty of material for her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers. An ambitious effort, the novel tells the tale of two Cameroonians living in New York City while taking baby steps to achieve the holy grail--American citizenship--on their way towards the American Dream. The novel starts in 2007, as the economy is gearing up to collapse, and follows Jende Jonga, a cab driver working illegally, and his wife Neni, a community college student who dreams of a future as a pharmacist.
The Alps
ALP51In his entertaining new history, Stephen O'Shea drives 500 miles through the Alps, crossing six countries while musing on the historic personalities who braved the forbidding range, including Napoleon, Hitler and James Bond. His account, The Alps, begins with the idea of the sublime and the Romantics who championed it--artists and writers whose works evoked the beauty and terror of the Alps. O’Shea himself admits to a fear of heights and carefully chronicles each hairpin turn as he snakes his way from Geneva to Trieste through dizzying high passes in his shiny muscle car.
The Gilded Chalet
SWZ87Over the past two centuries neutral Switzerland has acted as a haven to those seeking shelter from two world wars, taxes, even celebrity. Among the outsiders who found rest and refuge in the Alpine landscape have been the myriad authors who were drawn to the country for its promise of peace and the freedom to create. In his new book The Gilded Chalet, Padraig Rooney explores the allure of Switzerland through the artists and writers who lived and worked within its protective borders.
The Arctic
cover"What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic," writes Sven-Olof Lindblad, the founder of Lindblad Expeditions, whose life's work has been leading expeditions. The result of over 40 years of exploring, his book The Arctic celebrates the "pure magic" travelers to the far north have witnessed, and taken home. Organized in three sections: Landscape, Wildlife and People, the book features excellent Arctic photography taken from deck, zodiac, kayak, plane and underwater craft.  The images alternate between civilization and pristine wilderness -- the worlds of the Inuit, Inuk, Greenlander, Norwegian and Icelandic peoples and the wild that spreads from their doorsteps.
Penguins and Other Seabirds
single“Are penguins fish or birds?” Matt Sewell couldn’t believe the suggested question auto-filled by Google when he began research for his new book Penguins and Other Seabirds. Were enough people asking that question for it to show up in the search engine? He began his book with a new-found motivation: to educate the world about the mysterious flightless birds, and a few other seabirds along the way. Sewell is not only an avid ornithologist, he is also a talented illustrator of several bird books.
The Nordic Theory of Everything
nordic theory coverThe American fascination with all things Scandinavian, from hygge to the minimalist architecture and design, has been growing over the past few years and launched a number of articles and books obsessed with what makes Denmark and its northern neighbors among the happiest and highest performing cultures in the world, such as Michael Booth’s The Almost Nearly Perfect People. New York Times and Atlantic Journalist Anu Partanen adds to the conversation with her recent release The Nordic Theory of Everything.
Unseen Cuba
CBA303Because of its unique political history, Cuba’s airspace has been subject to uncommon restrictions. Fueled by a passion for the country’s unique beauty, Lithuanian photographer Marius Jovaisa persevered through years of bureaucratic obstacles to receive permission to photograph the island nation from above. The result of his persistence is Unseen Cuba: over 400 pages of never before photographed vistas, from the misty mountains of the Sierra Cristal range to the sandbars, reefs and turquoise waters of the north coast to Baracoa, Cuba’s oldest city, and beyond.