brooklyn book store

these just in … 23 June, 2008

Central Park in the Dark: More Mysteries of Urban Wildlife

by Marie Winn

Hardcover $25.00 - 10%

Like her bestseller Red-Tails in Love, Marie Winn’s Central Park in the Dark explores a once-hidden world in a series of interlocking narratives about the extraordinary denizens, human and animal, of an iconic American park. Her beguiling account of a city’s lakes and woodlands at night takes the reader through the cycle of seasons as experienced by nocturnal active beasts (raccoons, bats, black skimmers, and sleeping robins among them), insects (moths, wasps, fireflies, crickets), and slugs (in all their unexpected poetical randiness). Winn does not neglect her famous protagonists Pale Male and Lola, the hawks that captivated readers years ago, but this time she adds an exciting narrative about thirty-eight screech owls in Central Park and their lives, loves, and tragedies there.An eye-popping amount of natural history is packed into this entertaining book—on bird physiology, spiders, sunsets, dragonflies, meteor showers, and the nature of darkness. But the human drama is never forgotten, for Central Park at night boasts a floating population not only of lovers, dog walkers, and policemen but of regulars young and old who, like Winn, hope to unlock the secrets of urban nature. These “night people” are drawn into a peculiar kind of intimacy. While exploring the astonishing variety of wildlife in the city park, they end up revealing more of their inner lives than they expected.

Hack: How I Stopped Worrying About What to Do with My Life and Started Driving a Yellow Cab

by Melissa Plaut
Paperback $13.95
In her late twenties and after a series of unsatisfying office jobs, Melissa Plaut decided she was going to stop worrying about what to do with the rest of her life and focus on what she was going to do next. Her first adventure: becoming a taxi driver. Undeterred by the fact that 99 percent of cabbies in the city were men, she went to taxi school, got her hack license, and hit the streets of Manhattan and the outlying boroughs.Hack traces Plaut’s first two years behind the wheel of a yellow cab traveling the 6,400 miles of New York City streets. She shares the highs, the lows, the shortcuts, and professional trade secrets. Between figuring out where and when to take a bathroom break and trying to avoid run-ins with the NYPD, Plaut became an honorary member of a diverse brotherhood that included Harvey, the cross-dressing cabbie; the dispatcher affectionately called “Paul the crazy Romanian”; and Lenny, the garage owner rumored to be the real-life prototype for TV’s Louie De Palma of Taxi.

With wicked wit and arresting insight, Melissa Plaut reveals the crazy parade of humanity that passed through her cab–including struggling actors, federal judges, bartenders, strippers, and drug dealers–while showing how this grueling work provided her with empowerment and a greater sense of self. Hack introduces an irresistible new voice that is much like New York itself–vivid, profane, lyrical, and ineffably hip.

America America: A Novel

by Ethan Canin
Hardcover $27.00 - 10%
From Ethan Canin, bestselling author of The Palace Thief, comes a stunning novel, set in a small town during the Nixon era and today, about America and family, politics and tragedy, and the impact of fate on a young man’s life.
In the early 1970s, Corey Sifter, the son of working-class parents, becomes a yard boy on the grand estate of the powerful Metarey family. Soon, through the family’s generosity, he is a student at a private boarding school and an aide to the great New York senator Henry Bonwiller, who is running for president of the United States. Before long, Corey finds himself involved with one of the Metarey daughters as well, and he begins to leave behind the world of his upbringing. As the Bonwiller campaign gains momentum, Corey finds himself caught up in a complex web of events in which loyalty, politics, sex, and gratitude conflict with morality, love, and the truth.

America America
is a beautiful novel about America as it was and is, a remarkable exploration of how vanity, greatness, and tragedy combine to change history and fate.

No One Tells Everything

by Rae Meadows
Paperback $13.00
Two lost souls establish a tenuous bond in Meadows’s intriguing tale of an aimless copy editor and a hapless murder suspect. When a female student at Emeryville, a small Long Island, N.Y., college, goes missing, a would-be suitor and fellow student, Charles Raggatt, is arrested and confesses to her murder. The sensational crime strikes a chord with Grace, a copy editor at a weekly Long Island news magazine, who becomes obsessed with the case, especially after she discovers that Charles, like she, is originally from a Cleveland suburb. Though Grace is convinced that there’s more to the story than the public is being told, alternating points of view leave the reader in little doubt about Charles’s guilt. Meadows (Calling Out) artfully sketches the growing relationship between the pair that starts with letters, then phone calls and a visit. There’s a moving irony in this forging of a potentially redemptive friendship in the aftermath of a brutal murder.

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

by Naomi Klein
Paperback $16.00
Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn’t just some relic from the bad old days. It’s alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.”At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq'’ civil war, a new law is unveiled that will allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves… Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly outsources the running of the ‘War on Terror’ to Halliburton and Blackwater… After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts… New Orleans residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be re-opened.” Klein not only kicks butt, she names names, notably economist Milton Friedman and his radical Chicago School of the 1950s and 60s which she notes “produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today.” Stand up and take a bow, Donald Rumsfeld.
There’s little doubt Klein’s book-which arrived to enormous attention and fanfare thanks to her previous missive, the best-selling No Logo, will stir the ire of the right and corporate America. It’s also true that Klein’s assertions are coherent, comprehensively researched and footnoted, and she makes a very credible case. Even if the world isn’t going to hell in a hand-basket just yet, it’s nice to know a sharp customer like Klein is bearing witness to the backroom machinations of government and industry in times of turmoil.

The People on the Street: A Writer’s View of Israel

by Linda Grant
Paperback $16.95
“The further away anyone was from that block of Ben Yehuda street, the easier it seemed to find a solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, that stubborn mess in the center of the Middle East and the more I studied these solutions, the more I thought that they depended for their implementation on a population of table football men, painted in the colors of the two teams: blue and white for the Israelis, green, red and black for the Palestinians. All the international community had to do was to twist the levers and the little players would kick and swing and send the ball into the net, to victory.” One block of a Tel Aviv street is the starting point for Linda Grant’s exploration of the inner dynamics of Israel—not the government and its policies, but the people themselves in all their variety. Iraqi shop-keepers, teenage soldiers, mob bosses, Tunisian-born settlers, Russian scientists, and the father of the victim of a suicide bomber are just some of the people she meets.

Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History

by Xiaoming Wang & Richard H. Tedford, illustrated by Mauricio Anton
Hardcover $29.95 - 10%
Xiaoming Wang and Richard H. Tedford have spent the past 20 years studying the evolutionary history of the family Canidae. Both are well known for having established the modern framework for the evolutionary relationship of canids. Combining their research with Mauricio Antón’s impeccable reconstructions of both extinct and extant species, Wang and Tedford present a remarkably detailed and nuanced portrait of the origin and evolution of canids over the past 40 million years.The authors cull their history from the most recent scientific research conducted on the vast collections of the American Museum of Natural History and other leading institutions. The fossil record of the Canidae, particularly those from their birth place in North America, are the strongest of their kind among known groups of carnivorans. Such a wonderfully detailed evolutionary history provides access to a natural history that is not possible with many other groups of carnivorans.

With their rich fossil record, diverse adaptations to various environments, and different predatory specializations, canids are an ideal model organism for the mapping of predator behavior and morphological specializations. They also offer an excellent contrast to felids, which remain entrenched in extreme predatory specializations. The innovative illustrated approach in this book is the perfect accompaniment to an extremely important branch of animal and fossil study. It transforms the science of paleontology into a thrilling visual experience and provides an unprecedented reference for anyone fascinated by dogs.

The Other

by David Guterson
Hardcover $24.95 - 10%
When John William Barry and Neil Countryman meet at a high school track meet in the early 1970s, they are two sides of the same coin: John is a trust fund baby and student of a prestigious private school while Neil is solidly working class, but they share an affinity for the outdoors and apprehension over impending changes in their lives. After an unintentionally challenging week lost in the wilds of the North Cascades, John is compelled to an ascetic path: life in a remote river valley in the Olympic Peninsula rainforest, where he chips a shelter from a granite wall and immerses himself in the esoterica of Gnostic dualism -a philosophy that holds that the material world is illusional and destructive. Neil meanwhile chooses a traditional path as a father and school teacher, despite his troubled friend’s exhortations to eschew “hamburger world” and find truth in a simpler, stripped-down existence. Nothing is that simple, of course, and The Other compellingly explores the compromises we make to balance meaning and security in our lives through the choices (and their subsequent consequences) of these two men.

Architectural Drawing Course: Tools and Techniques for 2D and 3D Representation

Paperback $23.99

High school and college students who have a budding interest in architectural design will value this book for its solid foundational orientation and instruction. Author Mo Zell introduces readers to architecture’s visual language, showing them how to think spatially and getting them started in architectural drawing with a series of instructive tutorials. Presenting three-dimensional design problems, she coaches students through the fundamentals of proportion and scale, space and volume, path and place, and materials and textures. A series of 40 work units covers virtually every aspect of architectural drawing, including:

  • Learning to see and sketch with accuracy
  • Developing fundamental drawing and modeling skills
  • Mastering subjective representation and rules of perspective
  • Employing spatial strategies: rendering and diagramming ideasShe concludes with practical advice for young people who are considering careers in architectural design, offering ideas on building a portfolio, getting advanced training, and continuing on a path to a professional career. More than 800 instructive illustrations.
  • Good-Bye

    by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
    Hardcover $19.95
    Good-Bye is the third in a series of collected short stories from Drawn & Quarterly by the legendary Japanese cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi, whose previous work has been selected for several annual “top 10” lists, including those compiled by Amazon and Drawn in 1971 and 1972, these stories expand the prolific artist’s vocabulary for characters contextualized by themes of depravity and disorientation in twentieth-century Japan.

    Some of the tales focus on the devastation the country felt directly as a result of World War II: a prostitute loses all hope when American GIs go home to their wives; a man devotes twenty years of his life to preserving the memory of those killed at Hiroshima, only to discover a horrible misconception at the heart of his tribute. Yet, while American influence does play a role in the disturbing and bizarre stories contained within this volume, it is hardly the overriding theme. A philanthropic foot fetishist, a rash-ridden retiree, and a lonely public onanist are but a few of the characters etching out darkly nuanced lives in the midst of isolated despair and fleeting pleasure.

    A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It

    by Stephen Kinzer

    Hardcover $25.95 - 10%

    From Publishers Weekly
    Kinzer (All the Shah’s Men) has penned a hagiographic account of Rwandan president Paul Kagame, the Tutsi refugee who organized the Rwandan Military Front in 1994 and helped halt the genocide in Rwanda. Instead of settling scores, Kagame embarked on a program of reconciliation and reconstruction; Kinzer eloquently describes a physical and psychological recovery unmatched in Africa: a Rwanda whose people are bubbling with a sense of unlimited possibility. Kagame’s goal, modeled on the successes of Asian tigers like Singapore, aims to transform Rwanda into the continent’s first middle-income country in a single generation, eschewing foreign aid in favor of reliance on business-driven development. Kinzer does not conceal the bloody realities behind Kagame’s acquisition of power nor does he deny Kagame’s rigorous, absolutist approach to governing. Nevertheless, he is transparently trusting in Kagame’s capabilities and intentions, and while his eloquent prose invites optimism, a half-century of experience urges caution.

    The Lemur: A Novel

    by Benjamin Black
    Paperback $13.00
    John Glass’s life in New York should be plenty comfortable. He’s given up his career as a journalist to write an authorized biography of his father-in-law, communications magnate and former CIA agent Big Bill Mulholland. He works in a big office in Mulholland Tower, rent-free, and goes home (most nights) to his wealthy and well-preserved wife, Wild Bill’s daughter. He misses his old life sometimes, but all in all things have turned out well.

    But when his shifty young researcher-a man he calls “The Lemur”-turns up some unflattering information about the family, Glass’s whole easy existence is threatened. Then the young man is murdered, and it’s up to Glass to find out what The Lemur knew, and who killed him, before any secrets come out-and before any other bodies appear.Shifting from 1950s Dublin to contemporary New York, the masterful crime writer Benjamin Black returns in this standalone thriller-a story of family secrets so deep, and so dangerous, that anyone might kill to keep them hidden.

    Turtle Feet

    by Nikolai Grozni
    Hardcover $24.95 - 10%
    Nikolai Grozni was a music prodigy, a jazz pianist training at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, when suddenly he decided to transform his life. He moved to India to become a Buddhist monk—shaving his head, learning Tibetan, and donning long traditional robes. In the Himalayas—living in a hut a stone’s throw from the Dalai Lama’s compound— Grozni became entrenched in a sometimes comical, sometimes reverent, always intriguing community comprised of feisty nuns, bossy monks, violent chess players, demanding teachers, and a spectacular friend called Tsar, a fallen monk from Bosnia.

    Grozni went to India in search of knowledge, but learns that the people who can teach him the most are not wearing uniforms and following special diets, but rather those who, like him, struggle with doubts and cannot accept an established system of faith. Instead, he journeys with his colorful cast of friends to a new understanding of himself and his place in the world.

    Like Anne Lamott or Elizabeth Gilbert, Nikolai Grozni offers the insights of a religious pilgrim from the inside—in his case, from a male, Buddhist perspective. Thoughtful, funny, and elegantly written, Turtle Feet details the reality of a world much mythologized in the West and tells a wonderfully bittersweet story of a spiritual journey.

    Mark Rothko

    edited by Katy Spurrell & Oliver Wick
    Hardcover $75.00 - 10%
    Recently breaking the record price for post-war art at a Sotheby’s auction, Rothko’s White Centre (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) is indicative of this artist’s tremendous and enduring legacy as a master of color. This beautifully produced, oversized monograph presents roughly 100 works (70 paintings in full-color plates and 28 drawings) from private and public collections, tracking the evolution of his signature style. The monograph begins with Rothko’s early work, focusing specifically on the delicate hues and subtle textures of his relatively small paintings on gesso board. It continues with an exploration of the stratified and chalky color that appear in his surrealist works that signal his increasing pull toward abstractionism and ends with a survey of his mature works, where all of these techniques culminate into the gradated colors in rectangular forms that would become hallmarks of his style. The portion addressing his late works is divided into three sections: a group of paintings from the early 1950s; ten paintings that were shown at the 1958 Venice Biennale; and the nucleus of the former Panza Collection. The Blackform paintings from the 1960s and the ultimate Black on Greys conclude the monograph, providing glimpses of an even more austere art at its inception, and creative horizons the artist would die before realizing. A fine selection of works on paper is also included to outline specific aspects of each period of Rothko’s artistic career.The book also includes a tribute by Michelangelo Antonioni, an interview by Gillo Dorfles, a preface by Christopher Rothko, five essays by international specialists, a chronology, and a complete bibliography.

    Into the Wind: The Art of the Kite

    by Hans Silvester
    Hardcover $24.95 - 10%
    For thousands of years, kites have allowed human beings to possess the sky. Unable to fly but haunted by the dreams of Icarus, people throughout the world have used their imagination to design these fragile but brilliant objects. Whether they resemble fish, dragons, birds, mythical animals or just bits of colored paper, kites have given wings to the people that hold their strings, giving them a sensation of freedom. Over the course of his many trips, Hans Silvester photographed the flight of these great imaginary birds. From China to Bolivia, Italy to Sri Lanka, each of his images catches the beauty and grace of these objects, which belong to the world of children and adults alike.

    The Consequences to Come: American Power After Bush

    by Robert B. Silvers
    Paperback $14.95
    For the past seven years The New York Review of Books has critically examined the Bush administration’s policies at home and abroad. In this collection of essays, nine of the Review’s contributors assess the human and political costs of the war on terror and the occupation of Iraq, and look ahead to the issues shaping the 2008 election campaign.

    The presidency of George W. Bush, as Jonathan Freedland noted, has created a near consensus that the “invasion of Iraq was a calamity” and has “reduced America’s standing in the world and made the United States less, not more secure.” Joan Didion described Vice President Dick Cheney as “the central player in the system of willed errors and reversals that is the Bush administration.”
    Peter Galbraith argued that from the beginning of the occupation of Iraq, Bush “facilitated the very event he warned would be a disastrous consequence of a US withdrawal from Iraq: the takeover of a large part of the country by an Iranian-backed militia.”

    As the presidential campaign got underway, Michael Tomasky explained that “despite Bush’s failures and the discrediting of Republican governance, there is every chance that the next Republican president, should the party’s nominee prevail…will be just as conservative as Bush has been—perhaps even more so.” And Frank Rich predicted that it would take the Democrats’ “full powers of self-immolation” to lose the White House in 2008.

    The Consequences to Come contributors: Joan Didion, Joseph Lelyveld, Mark Danner, Peter Galbraith, Jonathan Freedland, Jonathan Raban, Frank Rich, Michael Tomasky, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

    No Comments »

    No comments yet.

    RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

    Leave a comment