Posts tagged ‘nonfiction’

Weekly Book Special: July 4th Children’s Book: Building Liberty: A Statue is Born (ISBN: 0792269691)

Weekly Book Special: June 22nd-June 28th

The Fourth of July celebrates American independence, and this week’s special tells the story of the Statue of Liberty — a gift from the French people to celebrate the 100th anniversary of American independence:

Building Liberty: A Statue Is Born
Written and Illustrated by Serge Hochain
(Hardcover with reinforced library binding, 46 pages, 2003, $25.00)
Building Liberty

Did you know that Statue of Liberty did not begin her life in New York?

The extraordinary construction of the Statue of Liberty began in France in 1875, and with the work of many people, was completed 11 years later on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in New York.

Join a cross-Atlantic adventure with four boys — Italian construction worker Leo, French sailor Fanch, African-American newsboy Benjamin and Irish ironworker Angus — as they help to build one of the world’s most famous landmarks.

Also includes a step-by-step illustrated history of the statue’s creation (with captions) from Bartholdi’s sketch pad to its completion.

Our favorite illustration is when the Statue of Liberty is unveiled in Paris (click to enlarge):
Building Liberty: Statue Unveiled in Paris

“This is a great little book,” writes Social Studies for Kids. “The illustrations are amazing in their depth and choice of color. The book also showcases the difficulties young boys and their families faced in the late 19th century in America and in France. There are many excellent details that leave the reader knowing much more than the average American about how the statue came to be.”

Purchase this book for $25.00:

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June 22, 2010 at 12:11 am Leave a comment

A/P/A Month Special: Acclaimed Japanese Cookbook “At the Japanese Table” by Lesley Downer (ISBN:0811832805)

Weekly Book Special: May 24th-May 31st

May is Asian-Pacific-American (A/P/A) Heritage Month, a celebration of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. In commemoration, this week’s special is:

At the Japanese Table:
New and Traditional Recipes

By Lesley Downer (Paperback, 223 pages, 2001, $17.00, ISBN:0811832805)

At the Japanese Table

This cookbook, updated from the original 1993 version, demystifies the visual artistry, simplicity of preparation and healthfulness of Japanese cuisine for the home cook. There are nearly 100 easy-to-follow recipes, 16 pages of stunning full-color photos, and more than 30 illustrations of techniques ranging from carving carrot “flowers” to slicing sashimi.

More than just a cookbook, author Lesley Downer, who based this book on a six-part BBC2 series she presented, takes you on a culinary tour of Japan — to the feasts and festivals, into the homes, restaurants, sushi bars, street stalls and even the temples for a taste of this popular cuisine. Explains the history, legend and lore of the foods.

Our favorite spread is of the complete Japanese meal (click to enlarge):

At the Japanese Table: Complete Meal

“This is an inviting and easy-to-use introduction to Japanese cooking,” writes the Vancouver Sun. Adds Eating Well: “Illustrations of traditional techniques combine with stunning photos of exquisite food in a cool little beauty of a book.”

Purchase this book for $17.00:

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May 24, 2010 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Memorial Day Book Special: Rakkasans: The Combat History of the 187th Airborne Infantry (ISBN: 0891416048)

Weekly Book Special: May 18th-May 24th

Memorial Day, on May 31st, commemorates American soldiers who died while in service. In commemoration, this week’s special is:

The Rakkasans:
The Combat History of the 187th Airborne Infantry

By E.M. Flanagan, Jr. (Hardcover, 392 pages, 1997, $25.00)

The Rakkasans: The Combat History of the 187th Airborne InfantryThis is the complete account of one of the most remarkable regiments in the history of the U.S. Army, written by a retired lieutenant general who served with airborne outfits during World War II and the Korean War.

The 187th Infantry Regiment, known as “Rakkasans,” have fought in every major American military conflict from World War II to Afghanistan and Iraq.

They were chosen by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to be the first wave of troops to occupy Japan, were the only airborne unit in the Korean War, made history at the Vietnam War’s Hamburger Hill, and made a grueling helicopter assault during Operation Desert Storm. Includes 30 rarely-published photos.

Here’s a 60-second video of the Rakkasans preparing for deployment:

“The Rakkasans is important military history,” writes Kirkus Reviews. “It is well researched and articulated for both the student of military history and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in military history.”

Purchase this book for $28.00:

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May 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

National Train Day Book Special: Dining By Rail: The History and Recipes of America’s Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine

Weekly Book Special: May 3rd-May 10th

UPDATE: This book is SOLD OUT. Sorry!

National Train Day, a coast-to-coast celebration of America’s love of trains, is this Saturday, May 8th. To commemorate, this week’s special is:

Dining by Rail:
The History and the Recipes of
America’s Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine

By James Porterfield (Hardcover, 384 pages, $35.00)

Dining By Rail Cover
This book — half social history and half recipes — recaptures the history and spirit of the dining-car experience and serves up entertaining details and sumptuous foods to readers interested in railroads, food, or social history.

Railroad passenger food service peaked in 1930, when nearly 1 million meals were served daily. Recipes for over 325 meals from nearly 50 railroad lines can be prepared quickly at home and in small kitchens. More than 150 illustrations.

Our favorite page is the history of the song “The Great Big Baked Potato.”

“Readers who sigh at the names “Super Chief” and “Zephyr,” and who remember the meal Cary Grant ate on the train in North by Northwest, may find this book fulfilling their wildest dreams,” writes Publisher’s Weekly. “For authentic American versions of lamb fricassee, deviled eggs and blancmange presented without campiness or apology, this is the source.”

For a lecture on railroad history, the University of Southern Mississippi made refreshments using recipes from this book.

May 3, 2010 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Mark Twain Biography from Ken Burns PBS Documentary; Novels: Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

Acclaimed American author, humorist and former newsman Mark Twain, born Samuel Clemens, died 100 years ago today in his last home in Redding, Connecticut. We offer two books related to Mark Twain:

Mark Twain: An Illustrated Biography

Mark Twain: An Illustrated Biography
by Geoffrey C. Ward and Dayton Duncan, with a foreword by Ken Burns
(Hardcover, 269 pages, 2001)

Mark Twain was the most famous American of his day, and remains the most revered American writer. The book — an essential companion to Ken Burns’ PBS documentary “Mark Twain” — examines not merely his famous novels, stories, travelogues, and lectures, but also his diaries, letters, and 275 illustrations from throughout his life.

This biography takes us from his boyhood in Hannibal, Missouri, to his time as a riverboat worker — when he adopted the sobriquet “Mark Twain” — to his varied careers as a newspaperman, printer and author. Follows him from the home he built in Hartford, Connecticut, to his travels across Europe, the Middle East and the U.S.

With essays by Russell Jocelyn Chadwick, Ron Powers and John Boyer, and an interview with frequent Twain portrayer Hal Holbrook, this book provides a rich portrayal of the first figure of American letters. Beautifully designed!

“This is more than a lavishly illustrated companion book to the Mark Twain PBS series. National Book Critics Circle Award winner Geoffrey C. Ward, Dayton Duncan, and Ken Burns have produced a cogent, colorful portrait of the man who forged our national identity in the sentences he spun,” writes

“Excellent though the brisk narrative may be, the book’s greatest pleasures are the extensive Twain quotations; no one has topped his description of the Mississippi River, and he had a salty remark for every occasion (charged an outrageous fee for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, he cracked, “Do you wonder now that Christ walked?”).

“Gracefully synthesizing current scholarship, this warmhearted biography provides the perfect introduction to Mark Twain.”

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Great Novels of Mark Twain
Great Novels of Mark Twain: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, & the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain (Hardcover, 438 pages, 2000)

Mark Twain (1835-1910) has achieved fame and a literary following throughout the world for his irreverent humor, realistic depiction of life on the Mississippi River and memorable characters and scenes from mid-19th century America. Beginning life as an apprentice printer, he became a journeyman printer and then a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi until the Civil War brought an end to travel on the river.

After serving briefly as a volunteer soldier and a short stint of work in a silver mine and as a reporter, he began to write and travel. His famous novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” comes from his own boyhood experiences in a town on the Mississippi. Its sequel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is considered to be his masterpiece. This is a facsimile of the 1899/1910 edition. Illustrations.

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April 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

Weekly Book Special: Horse of a Different Color: A Tale of Breeding Geniuses, Dominant Females, and the Fastest Derby Winner Since Secretariat (on Jim Squires and his 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos)

Weekly Book Special: April 19th-25th

The 136th Kentucky Derby horse race is on May 1st. Do you have the perfect gift for your Derby party? This week’s book special is:

Horse of a Different Color: A Tale of Breeding Geniuses, Dominant Females, and the Fastest Derby Winner Since Secretariat
By Jim Squires (Hardcover, 300 pages, 2002, $26.00)

Horse of a Different ColorWhen former Chicago Tribune newspaper editor Jim Squires became a horse breeder in bluegrass Kentucky, no one believed he would making a living. But Squires had been raising horses for 20 years, including equine athletes.

This is Squires’s rollicking tale of how a novice in the world of Kentucky horse culture did more than merely stay in business: he brought together the stallion and mare who produced Monarchos, the colt who won the 2001 Kentucky Derby.

Read a sample of this book on Google Preview before you purchase it.

Squires lays bare the close-knit and secretive world of the thoroughbred community, tweaking the self-important owners at the Keeneland and Saratoga auctions, and skewering the preening trainers at Churchill Downs and Gulfstream Park. Black and white photos.

“The idea that I could get one all the way to the Kentucky Derby is strictly a fairy tale, and someone with a greater understanding of life than I have will have to explain how I bred him,” Squires told PBS Online NewsHour.

“John Steinbeck once went [to the Kentucky Derby], and he said it was an emotion, turbulence, one of the most satisfying experiences he’d ever had in life,” Squires continues. “And if you’re there watching the race, it’s a time when time stands still. There is no past. There is no future. There is only now.”

“Squires weaves a spellbinding tale of millionaire owners, trainers, and auction houses,” writes Library Journal. “It is a journey of great frustration, doubt, hope, and, more than anything, enormous good luck when a Derby prospect can be noticed, trained appropriately, and prevented from career-ending injury.”

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April 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

National Parks Week Books: Ansel Adams: The National Park Service Photographs, Underwater Wonders of the National Parks, Hey Ranger! Kids Ask Questions About Grand Canyon National Park

National Parks Week starts tomorrow, running from April 17th through April 25th. For the next 7 days, all national parks are free, and are hosting celebrations. Here are three books that we offer on National Parks:

Ansel Adams: The National Park Service Photographs

Ansel Adams:
The National Park Service Photographs

Photos by Ansel Adams, Introduction by Alice Gray
(Hardcover, 144 pages, 1995, $25)

In 1941 Ansel Adams was hired by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior to photograph America’s national parks for a series of murals that would celebrate the country’s natural heritage. Because of the escalation of World War II, the project was suspended after less than a year, but not before Adams had produced this group of breathtaking images.

These stunning photographs of the natural geysers & terraces in Yellowstone, the rocks & ravines in the Grand Canyon, the winding rivers & majestic mountains in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks, the mysterious Carlsbad Caverns, the architecture of ancient Indian villages, and many evocative views of the American West demonstrate the genius of Adams’s technical and aesthetic inventiveness.

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Underwater Wonders of the National Parks Underwater Wonders of the National Parks: A Diving and Snorkeling Guide Compiled by the National Park Service
by Daniel J. Lenihan and John D. Brooks (Paperback, 338 pages, 2000, $20)

Perhaps the single best-kept secret about our National Parks is the underwater realm that they include: millions of acres of submerged lands, only a small fraction of which has been explored by divers.

From geysers on the bottom of Yellowstone Lake, to the coral reefs of the Dry Tortugas, to steamers sunk in the frigid waters of Isle Royale in Lake Superior, to the kelp forests of the Channel Islands, the National Parks have much to offer the diver. Almost all 61 NPS areas with significant water holdings are of some interest to divers.

This guide introduces divers and others interested in water sports to this dimension of the National Parks, such as snorkeling rare coral reefs; shipwreck diving and underwater archaeological sites. Color photos and detailed maps.

National Parks Traveler used this book as a reference for the Top 10 favorite diving and snorkeling parks.

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Hey Ranger!: Kids Ask Questions about Grand Canyon National ParkHey Ranger!: Kids Ask Questions about Grand Canyon National Park
Written by Kim Williams Justesen, Illustrations by Judy Newhouse
(Paperback, 46 pages, 2006, $10)

Kids ask the greatest questions! Is the Grand Canyon cursed? Why are there so many bugs here? Do park rangers feed the animals? This book answers the real questions — some smart, some silly — that kids ask Grand Canyon National Park rangers every day. Filled with fascinating facts and ready-to-color illustrations, this fun and educational guide offers hours of entertainment for explorers of all ages.

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April 16, 2010 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Weekly Book Special: Forget not Mee and My Garden . . . : Selected Letters, 1725-1768, of Peter Collinson, F.R.S. (American Philosophical Society)

March 15th-21st Weekly Half-Price Book Special

Warm weather and buds on the trees means only one thing: spring is right around the corner! Coinciding with the season, this week’s special is:

Forget Not Mee and My Garden:
Selected Letters, 1725-1768, of Peter Collinson, F.R.S.

by Alan W. Armstrong (Hardcover, 300 pages, 2002, $60.00)

Forget Not Mee and My Garden

English-style gardens around the world, from suburban yards to large parks, owe their foundations to businessman Peter Collinson.

Flowers and plants in these gardens are descended from the hundreds of seeds that Collinson imported from celebrated American botanist John Bartram in the 1700s.

This limited-edition book published by the American Philosophical Society, in shrinkwrap, features Collinson’s nearly 200 letters to the colonial world’s top scientists, including Batram, Carl Linnaeus and Benjamin Franklin, and features more than 100 full-color illustrations.

My favorite spread is of the Chestnut, Dogwood and Fringe Trees (click to enlarge):

Forget Not Mee: Trees

“All letters in this volume are Collinson’s; they’re fully footnoted, and all correspondents are well-introduced,” writes Book News. “The color plates of correspondents, flora, and fauna make this a beautiful, as well as informative, read.”

“[The] deft match of text and image and [the] superb but unobtrusive editing,” writes historian Eugenia Herbert, “leave no doubt the Quaker merchant’s seminal role in the grand Enlightenment project of mapping the natural world.”

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March 15, 2010 at 10:13 am Leave a comment

Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark Publications

Today is the 106th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase.

On March 10, 1804 there was a formal ceremony in St. Louis to transfer ownership of the territory from Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte of France to the United States. This territory included most of the Westward Expansion of the U.S., with the present-day Midwest, Great Plains and Western states, plus New Mexico and Louisiana.

We offer you a wide selection of publications on the Lewis and Clark Expedition from 1804-1806. Below are two of our highlights:

1814 Printed Map of Lewis and Clark’s Track Across the Western Portion of North America. From the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean:
From the Original Drawing of William Clark

Cover of the 1814 Printed Map of Lewis and Clark's Track

The principal objective of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery 1804-06 was the mapping of the West to the Pacific Ocean. Clark’s final cartographic achievement was his 1814 engraved map. One of the great maps of all times, it is perhaps the single most influential one of the American West, for it was upon this map that our modern understanding of the topography of that vast areas would evolve.

1814 Lewis and Clark Map

The first publication of the Lewis and Clark journals was Nicholas Biddle’s 1814 two-volume chronological narrative containing the map. In 1998 there was another “run” of the map produced by means of offset lithography, printed by our affiliate the American Philosophical Society. Size: 2-1/2′ long x 14″. Tan. One thousand regular copies were printed, with Black plus 1 PMS ink for duotone. Also includes a 10-page booklet on the history of the expedition and the map.

Purchase this map for $75.00:
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Jefferson’s Botanists: Lewis and Clark Discover the Plants of the West
by Richard McCourt and Earle Spamer
(Academy of Natural Sciences, Paperback, 25 pages, $20)
Jefferson's Botanists

This beautiful concise book discusses how Meriwether Lewis collected plant specimens on the journey of exploration that he and William Clark led across the American West to the Pacific Ocean & back, sent by President Thomas Jefferson. It includes facsimile excerpts from their original journals.

The task of plant collecting was Lewis’s military duty, but he seems to have had a real flair for collecting and describing the specimens. It is clear that he spent long hours observing the specimens, perhaps with a magnifying glass, cross-checking the anatomy of the plant before him with an illustrated edition of Linnaeus’s botany book.

The hundreds of Lewis and Clark specimens that survive today, known as the Lewis and Clark Herbarium, are stored in protective folders in special storage cabinets, in a climate controlled room at our affiliate, the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Visiting scholars can readily retrieve and study the plants. Illus. (Paperback, 25 pages.)

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March 10, 2010 at 2:16 pm 1 comment

Weekly Book Special: Savour of Ireland: A Photographic and Gastronomic Tour of Ireland a Century Ago

March 7th-14th Weekly Half-Off Book Special

To commemorate the upcoming holiday of St. Patrick’s Day, this week’s special is:

Savour of Ireland:
A Photographic and Gastronomic Tour of Ireland a Century Ago

by George Morrison (Paperback, 127 pages, 1996, $17.00)

Savour of Ireland

Imagine a tourist embarking on a journey through 19th-century Ireland, beginning in 1860. This hard-to-find book imported from the U.K. describes such an experience.

This book includes romantic narrative, more than 50 never-before-seen historical photos and more than a dozen period recipes combine to give a flavor of the country.

My favorite spread is of Clifden Castle, built in 1865 (click to enlarge):

Clifden Castle

Author George Morrison is also an Irish documentary filmmaker, best known for the groundbreaking films Mise Éire (I Am Ireland) in 1959 (Alan at the GaelMovies blog calls it “Ireland’s most important film”) and Saorise? (Freedom?) in 1961, both about the fight for Irish independence. Morrison received the Lifetime Contribution Award at the 2009 Irish Film and Television Awards.

“The process of identification, salvage and restoration of these fragile artifacts,” says Awards President Mary McAleese, “ensured the survival of a…record of a period of Irish history which would otherwise have disappeared.”

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March 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm 1 comment

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