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Notable New Nonfiction: June 2017

Here are some highlights from the new nonfiction titles added to the catalog recently.

Find more reading suggestions at Books & More.

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The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won't Work and What to Do Instead by Kristen Ulmer

A revolutionary guide to acknowledging fear and developing the tools we need to build a healthy relationship with this confusing emotion—and use it as a positive force in our lives. We all feel fear. Yet we are often taught to ignore it, overcome it, push past it. But to what benefit? This is the essential question that guides Kristen Ulmer’s remarkable exploration of our most misunderstood emotion in The Art of Fear. Once recognized as the best extreme skier in the world (an honor she held for twelve years), Ulmer knows fear well. In this conversation-changing book, she argues that fear is not here to cause us problems—and that in fact, the only true issue we face with fear is our misguided reaction to it (not the fear itself). Rebuilding our understanding of fear from the ground up, Ulmer starts by exploring why we’ve come to view it as a negative. From here, she unpacks fear and shows it to be just one of 10,000 voices that make up our reality, here to help us come alive alongside joy, love, and gratitude. Introducing a mindfulness tool called “Shift,” Ulmer teaches readers how to experience fear in a simpler, more authentic way, transforming our relationship with this emotion from that of a draining battle into one that’s in line with our true nature.

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Heretics! The Wondrous and Dangerous Beginnings of Modern Philosophy by Steven Nadler

This entertaining and enlightening graphic narrative tells the exciting story of the seventeenth-century thinkers who challenged authority--sometimes risking excommunication, prison, and even death--to lay the foundations of modern philosophy and science and help usher in a new world. These contentious and controversial philosophers--from Galileo and Descartes to Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Newton--fundamentally changed the way we look at the world, society, and ourselves, overturning everything from the idea that the Earth is the center of the cosmos to the notion that kings have a divine right to rule. More devoted to reason than to faith, these thinkers defended scandalous new views of nature, religion, politics, knowledge, and the human mind. With masterful storytelling and color illustrations, Heretics! offers a unique introduction to the birth of modern thought in comics form--smart, charming, and often funny.

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How to Fall in Love With Anyone: A Memoir in Essays by Mandy Len Catron

What really makes love last? Does love ever work the way we say it does in movies and books and Facebook posts? Or does obsessing over those love stories hurt our real-life relationships? When her parents divorced after a twenty-eight year marriage and her own ten-year relationship ended, those were the questions that Mandy Len Catron wanted to answer. An insightful, charming, and absolutely fascinating memoir from the author of the popular New York Times essay, “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This,” (one of the top five most popular New York Times pieces of 2015) explores the romantic myths we create and explains how they limit our ability to achieve and sustain intimacy.

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No is Not Enough by Naomi Klein

According to Klein, Trump's vision--a radical deregulation of the U.S. economy in the interest of corporations, an all-out war on "radical Islamic terrorism," and a sweeping aside of climate science to unleash a domestic fossil fuel frenzy--will generate wave after wave of crises and shocks, to the economy, to national security, to the environment. In No Is Not Enough, Naomi Klein explains that Trump, extreme as he is, is not an aberration but a logical extension of the worst and most dangerous trends of the past half-century. In exposing the malignant forces behind Trump's rise, she puts forward a bold vision for a mass movement to counter rising militarism, nationalism, and corporatism in the U.S. and around the world.

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Finding Gobi: A Little Dog With a Very Big Heart by Dion Leonard

Finding Gobi is the miraculous tale of Dion Leonard, a seasoned ultramarathon runner who crosses paths with a stray dog while competing in a 155-mile race through the Gobi Desert in China. The lovable pup, who would later earn the name Gobi, proved that what she lacked in size, she more than made up for in heart, as she went step for step with Dion over the Tian Shan Mountains, across massive sand dunes, through yurt villages and the black sands of the Gobi Desert, keeping pace with him for 77 miles. As Dion witnessed the incredible determination and heart of this small animal, he found his own heart undergoing a change as well. Whereas in the past these races were all about winning and being the best, his goal now was to make sure he and Gobi’s friendship continued well after the finish line. However, before he could take her home, Gobi went missing in the sprawling Chinese city where she was being kept. Dion, with the help of strangers and a viral outpouring of assistance on the internet, set out to track her down, and reunite forever with the amazing animal that changed his life and proved to him and the world that miracles are possible.

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Land on Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West by Gary Ferguson

Wildfire season is burning longer and hotter, affecting more and more people, especially in the west. Land on Fire explores the fascinating science behind this phenomenon and the ongoing research to find a solution. This gripping narrative details how years of fire suppression and chronic drought have combined to make the situation so dire. Award-winning nature writer Gary Ferguson brings to life the extraordinary efforts of those responsible for fighting wildfires, and deftly explains how nature reacts in the aftermath of flames. Dramatic photographs reveal the terror and beauty of fire, as well as the staggering effect it has on the landscape.

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L.A. Mexicano: Recipes, People & Places by Bill Esparza

Richly photographed and deeply authentic, L.A. Mexicano showcases the diverse, complex and delicious Mexican-food culture in America's capital of great Mexican food. It includes home-tested recipes; inspiring profiles of chefs, bakers, restaurateurs and vendors; and neighborhood guides. Part cookbook, part food journalism and part love song to Los Angeles, it's the definitive resource for home cooks, lovers of Mexican food and culture and hungry Angelenos and visitors. With a foreword by Taco USA's Gustavo Arellano and more than 100 photos by Staci Valentine.

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The First Tour de France: Sixty Cyclists and Nineteen Days of Daring on the Road to Paris by Peter Cossins

The first Tour De France was a far cry from the polished international sporting event we see on television today. Organized by the financially free falling L'Auto magazine, the desperate editors thought that organizing a grand cycling tour was the only thing that could save their publication. But in 1903, cyclists weren't enthusiastic about what was pitched to them as a heroic race through roads more suited to hooves than wheels, with bikes weighing up to forty-four pounds, on a single fixed gear, for three full weeks. Assembling enough riders for the race meant bribing unemployed laborers from the suburbs of Paris, including a butcher, a blacksmith, a chimney sweep, and a wrestler. There was no indication that a ramshackle cycling pack would draw crowds to throng France's rutted roads and cheer the first Tour heroes. But they did, and cycling would never be the same again.

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The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote by Sharyl Attkisson

The veteran journalist and best-selling author of Stonewalled exposes the practices of opposition research to reveal how political leaders use their influence to shape public opinion, connecting popular misconceptions to strategic smear campaigns that have influenced voters. The trick of the Smear is that it is often based on some shred of truth, but these media-driven "hit pieces" are designed to obscure the truth. Success hinges on the Smear artist’s ability to remain invisible; to make it seem as if their work is neither calculated nor scripted. It must appear to be precisely what it is not.

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In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea by Danny Goldberg

Danny Goldberg's new book is a subjective history of 1967, the year he graduated from high school. It is, he writes in the introduction, "an attempt at trying to remember the culture that mesmerized me, to visit the places and conversations I was not cool enough to have been a part of." It is also a refreshing and new analysis of the era; by looking at not only the political causes, but also the spiritual, musical, and psychedelic movements, Goldberg provides a unique perspective on how and why the legacy of 1967 lives on today.

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The Close Encounters Man: How One Man Made the World Believe in UFOs by Mark O'Connell

The wildly entertaining and eye-opening biography of J. Allen Hynek, the astronomer who invented the concept of "Close Encounters" with alien life, inspired Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster classic science fiction epic film, and made a nation want to believe in UFOs. Tracing Hynek’s career, from his early days debunking UFO sightings for the Air Force to his pronouncement that UFOs are real, O'Connell examines Hynek’s often-ignored work as a professional astronomer to create a complete portrait of a groundbreaking enthusiast who became an American cult icon and transformed the way we see our world and our universe.

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Shark Drunk: The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean Through Four Seasons by Morten Andreas Stroksnes

A salty story of friendship, adventure, and the explosive life that teems beneath the ocean, for readers of Bill Bryson and such classics as The Snow Leopard. In the great depths surrounding the Lofoten islands in Norway lives the infamous Greenland shark. At twenty-six feet in length and weighing more than a ton, it is truly a beast to behold. But the shark is not just known for its size alone: its meat contains a toxin that, when consumed, has been known to make people drunk and hallucinatory. Shark Drunk is the true story of two friends, the author and the eccentric artist Hugo Aasjord, as they embark on a wild pursuit of the famed creature--from a tiny rubber boat.