Recommended Non-Fiction: Traveling on a Budget, The 1990s, New Species, and Building Good Sentencesby Larry Cox on Jul. 24, 2013, under Uncategorized
The Old Fashioned: An Essential Guide to the Original Whiskey Cocktail by Albert W.A. Schmid (University Press of Kentucky, $14.95)
The Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail is such a classic American cocktail many believe it is the original cocktail and the only one to rival the martini. Albert W.A. Schmid, author of “The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook, explores the ingredients, accessories and history of this essential cocktail. Featuring a handpicked selection of recipes along with delicious details about the particularities that arose with each new variation, this spirited guide is as bracing as that classic combination of ry whiskey, sugar, bitters and orange zest.
Straight People: A Spotter’s Guide to the Fascinating World of Hetrosexuals by Jeffrey Self (Running Press, $13, softbound)
Jeffrey Self, author of “50 Shades of Gay,” serves up an official, affectionate guide to the varied species and subspecies of the sexual majority, namely the heterosexual, including the migration patterns, feeding habits, key identification features and heterosexual calls. Modeled after the popular bird spotter’s guides, this laugh-out-loud book answers such probing questions as do all heterosexuals ride horses, how do they reproduce, have we ever had a heterosexual president, and how to determine if you are, indeed, heterosexual.
Tongue-in-cheek, Self has created a hilarious examination of this societal group including mini-quizzes, illustrations, and fun charts and graphs.
Building Great Sentences: How to Write the Kind of Sentences You Love to Read by Brooks Landon (Plume, $16, softbound)
In this hectic age of tweets, emails and instant messaging, we have somehow lost many of the building blocks of clear communication. Award-winning English professor Dr. Brooks Landon attempts to reestablish the form, content, and style of good writing through strategies rather than rules and formulas. He points out there is really no right or wrong way to write but it is necessary to know the basic elements of a sentence and how to make a long sentence go from bad to good.
Each chapter concludes with writing exercises to help incorporate the lessons discussed. Landon draws from the work of brilliant and renowned writers such as Joan Didion, Don Delillo and even Charles Dickens to illustrate the craft of writing a good sentence that reflects a love of language.
Dr. Landon is a professor at the University of Iowa.
Travels with Face Hunter: Street Style from Around the World by Yvan Rodic (Running Press, $25)
According to Face Hunter, the non de plume of Yvan Rodic, style is about much more than mere clothes. The London-based blogger believes style is triggered by attitude, a form of self-expression, a way of interacting with the world that is at once expansively global and distinctively local. To prove his point, he set out for a year-long face-hunting expedition to document the best outfits and most beautiful faces of fashion. The result is this intriguing travel diary which is a b=virtual feast for lovers of fashion, travel, art, and self-expression.
Along with more than six hundred illustrations, Rodic shares his commentary on the atmosphere and style trends of each city that he visited during his global trek, from New York to Cape Town.
What on Earth: 100 of Our Planet’s Most Amazing New Species by Quentin Wheeler and Sara Pennak (Plume, $25)
Quentin Wheeler, a professor of entomology at Arizona State University, and Sara Pennak, an Arizona-based author, have written a book that is both entertaining and informative.
Each year, Wheeler and Pennak sort through thousands of amazing discoveries to creative theior Top 10 Species list. Among the entries are such incredible new species as night blooming orchids, hairing blue tarantulas, and even sneezing monkeys. In this collection, the authors share some of the most intriguing discoveries from the past decade complete with full color images.
As they explain, “One thing that makes us human is our inate curiosity about ourselves, our origins, and our place in the universe. A critically important part is the answer lies in the complex story of evolution. As we piece together the history of the species…we begin to appreciare our status as a species within evolutionary history.” Indeed.
“What on Earth” is certain to help us better understand our place in the larger biospherem as well as satisfy our human curiosity.
The Totally Sweet ‘90s: From Clear Cola to Furby and Grunge to “Whatever,” the Toys, Tastes, and Trends That Defined a Decade by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont (Perigee Trade Paperback, $14)
As founders of the popular website www.GenXtinct.com, Cooper and Bellmont are off on a knarly tour of the fads and trends of the 1990s. They invite readers to slip on their flannel shirts, grab a Beanie Baby, take a sip of Zima, and enjoy a trip down a so distant memory lane.
Authors of “Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops,” the authors are back with a new entertaining, totally awesome book. Remember Y2K panic? Does Monica Lewinsky, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Gordon Gekko phones, slap bracelets or watching the Janet Reno Dance Party on TV bring back memories? If so, this dandy little book is for you.
Off Track Planet’s Travel Guide for the Young, Sexy, and Broke by the Editors of Off Track Plent, Feddie Pikovsky and Anna Starostinetskaya (Running Press, $17)
In this fun, edgy, and budget-friendly guide, the editors of Off Track Planet debunk the myth that travel is reserved for the wealthy. This frank, informative, no-holds barred book reveals how to explore and travel beyond just “taking a vacation.”
Broken into three sections, chapters include how to get inspired, get organized, and safely plan an escape through the beauty of travel, even when broke. With full-color photos, helpful hints, and information on about 100 destinations spanning the globe, this is a must-have guide for any young adult with an urge to see more of the world. Put another way, this is not your typical boring coffee-table guide. Even on not much more than pocket change, the adventurous can race a rickshaw across India, party until dawn during Carnival in Brazil, or sunbathe on nude beaches in Greece. As Pikovsky and Starostinetskaya point out, it won’t happen until we get off our butts and get motivated.