Saturday, July 26, 2014

On My Radar:

Four Boots - One Journey: A Story of Survival, Awareness & Rejuvenation on the John Muir Trail
Jeff Alt
Beaufort Books
Trade Paperback

From the publisher's website:


Beth Alt is a woman who prefers hotels, hot showers, and warm beds. But her husband, Jeff, persuades her to go out of her comfort zone and attempt a journey that even seasoned hikers find extremely difficult. Together they walk the entire John Muir Trail—over 218 miles of rugged remote mountain terrain traversing three national parks—in her brother’s memory as a depression awareness campaign. Their breathtaking scenic hike is riddled with adventure, humor, and inspiration. From the moment they set foot on the trail, the fast paced adventure begins with menacing bears, lightning bolts, a mountain rescue, the constant threat of cougars, food shortages, fascinating characters, and altitude sickness.

Four Boots One Journey is an entertaining adventure on the John Muir Trail—and a story of what survival really means. The further they travel down the trail, the more Beth and Jeff discover things they never knew about each other—and with Jeff’s help, Beth becomes a true nomadic survivor. Not only does she complete the expedition, she discovers the joys of backpacking with her husband. They emerge from the trail with their marriage strengthened and their souls rejuvenated.

Friday, July 25, 2014

In My TBR Stack:

Travels with Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country
Benoit Denizet-Lewis
Simon and Schuster
Hardcover

From the publisher's website:

A moody Labrador and his insecure human take a funny, touching cross-country RV trip into the heart of America’s relationship with dogs.

“I don’t think my dog likes me very much,” New York Times Magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis confesses at the beginning of his journey with his nine-year-old Labrador-mix, Casey. Over the next four months, thirty-two states, and 13,000 miles in a rented motor home, Denizet-Lewis and his canine companion attempt to pay tribute to the most powerful interspecies bond there is, in the country with the highest rate of dog ownership in the world.

On the way, Denizet-Lewis—known for his deeply reported dispatches from far corners of American life—meets an irresistible cast of dogs and dog-obsessed humans. Denizet-Lewis and Casey hang out with wolf-dogs in Appalachia, search with a dedicated rescuer of stray dogs in Missouri, spend a full day at a kooky dog park in Manhattan, get pulled over by a K9 cop in Missouri, and visit “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan in California. And then there are the pet psychics, dog-wielding hitchhikers, and two nosy women who took their neighbor to court for allegedly failing to pick up her dog’s poop.


Travels With Casey is a delightfully idiosyncratic blend of memoir and travelogue coupled with an exploration of a dog-loving America. What does our relationship to our dogs tell us about ourselves and our values? Denizet-Lewis explores those questions—and his own canine-related curiosities and insecurities—during his unforgettable road trip through our dog-loving nation.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

On My Radar:

The Secrets of Lost Cats: One Woman, Twenty Posters, and a New Understanding of Love
Dr. Nancy Davidson
St. Martin's Press
Trade Paperback

From the publisher's website:

When her orange tabby, Zak, disappeared, Nancy Davidson did what countless people before her had done. She made a lost cat poster. And after days of frantic searching, she found him. Nancy was ecstatic. Zak seemed happy, too—although being a cat, it was hard to tell.

Zak may have remained his old self, but Nancy had changed. From that moment on, she became acutely aware of lost cat posters. She studied their language, composition, and design. She was drawn to their folk art. Mostly, however, she was intrigued by the messages themselves—the stories behind the posters. It wasn’t long before Nancy reached out to other owners of lost and found cats to offer empathy and support. They told hilarious and often poignant stories. They sought advice.  

That’s when Dr. Nancy, the cat lover and the seasoned therapist, stepped in and offered insights brought to light by her shrewd, but never self-serious analysis. What they told her—and what she learns – creates a captivating look into the heart of our relationships with our pets and each other. For seven years, Dr. Nancy followed the lost cat trail discovering answers to a question that eventually touches all of us: What will you do for love?

The Secrets of Lost Cats traces the evolution of Nancy Davidson’s seven-year passion for lost cat posters. From the astonishing, almost implausible posters she encounters across the country—and indeed, the world—to the daring, dedication, and emotional complexity of the cat owners themselves, The Secrets of Lost Cats offers readers an absorbing journey that illuminates love, loss, and learning to love again, even more deeply.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On My Radar:

Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure
David Rosenfelt
St. Martins Press
Trade Paperback

From the publisher's website:

When mystery writer David Rosenfelt and his family moved from Southern California to Maine, he thought he had prepared for everything. They had mapped the route, brought three GPSs for backup, as well as refrigerators full of food, and stoves and microwaves on which to cook them. But traveling with twenty-five dogs turned out to be a bigger ordeal than he anticipated, despite the RVs, the extra kibble, volunteers (including a few readers), and camping equipment. Rosenfelt recounts the adventure of moving his animal companions across the United States with humor and warmth, and tells the tale of how he and his wife became passionate foster parents for rescue dogs, culminating in the creation of the Tara Foundation and successfully placing several thousand dogs with loving families.


Monday, July 21, 2014

In My TBR Stack:

The Science Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained
DK Publishing
Hardcover

From the publisher's website:

With over 225,000 copies in print, DK's Big Ideas series has struck a chord with readers fascinated-but also intimidated-by complex subjects like philosophy, psychology, politics, and religion.
The newest title in this successful and acclaimed series is The Science Book, an inventive visual take on astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. With eye-catching artwork, step-by-step diagrams, and illustrations that break down complicated ideas into manageable concepts, The Science Book will have readers conversant in genetic engineering, black holes, and global warming in no time. Along the way are found mini-biographies of the most well- known scientists, and a glossary of helpful scientific terms.
For students, and students of the world, there is no better way to explore the fascinating, strange, and mysterious world of science than in The Science Book.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

In My TBR Stack:

Miracle at Fenway: The Inside Story of the Boston Red Sox 2004 Championship Season
Saul Wisnia
St. Martin's Press
Hardcover

From the publisher's website:


The players and coaching staff of the 2004 Boston Red Sox are now and forever, legends. After all, it had been eighty-six years since Boston last won a World Series, a fact anybody even remotely associated with the team as a player, executive, or fan was reminded of on a daily basis. For members of the 2004 Red Sox roster, winning that October was one of the greatest experiences in their lives. For fans, the '04 team will always be remembered as the one that finally silenced the "1918" chants.


Hundreds of articles and numerous books were written in the immediate aftermath of the thrilling ’04 season, but ten years have passed and Miracle at Fenway has a fresh perspective, including the type of analysis and insight that comes with a decade of reflection. As a Red Sox fan since birth, and from having written about and worked alongside the team for his entire professional life, Saul Wisnia has cultivated relationships with people at every level of the Sox organization. From the players to the fans to the upper echelons of team management, he has their accounts of 2004 as they saw it and as they remember it today, now that the memories have had time to take root and blossom.



In the winning tradition of baseball oral histories, Wisnia tells the story of 2004 as experienced by the people who lived it, in an engaging style filled with insight and excitement.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

BookSpin Giveaway!

Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age - From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between
Jason Boog
Touchstone
Trade Paperback

Touchstone Books has graciously provided several copies of BORN READING for giveaway. To enter to win, simply retweet my tweets about the giveaway. My twitter name is @Book_Dude. Us entries only, please.  If you do not have twitter, promote the giveaway on other social media or promote it in some way and send me a link at the email address found in the upper right-hand corner of this page.


From the publisher's website:

A program for parents and professionals on how to raise kids who love to read, featuring interviews with childhood development experts, advice from librarians, tips from authors and children’s book publishers, and reading recommendations for kids from birth up to age five.

Every parent wants to give his or her child a competitive advantage. In Born Reading, publishing insider (and new dad) Jason Boog explains how that can be as simple as opening a book. Studies have shown that interactive reading—a method that creates dialogue as you read together—can raise a child’s IQ by more than six points. In fact, interactive reading can have just as much of a determining factor on a child’s IQ as vitamins and a healthy diet. But there’s no book that takes the cutting-edge research on interactive reading and shows parents, teachers, and librarians how to apply it to their day-to-day lives with kids, until now. 

Born Reading provides step-by-step instructions on interactive reading and advice for developing your child’s interest in books from the time they are born. Boog has done the research, talked with the leading experts in child development, and worked with them to compile the “Born Reading Essential Books” lists, offering specific titles tailored to the interests and passions of kids from birth to age five. But reading can take many forms—print books as well as ebooks and apps—and Born Reading also includes tips on how to use technology the right way to help (not hinder) your child’s intellectual development. Parents will find advice on which educational apps best supplement their child’s development, when to start introducing digital reading to their child, and how to use tech to help create the readers of tomorrow.


Born Reading will show anyone who loves kids how to make sure the children they care about are building a powerful foundation in literacy from the beginning of life.