brooklyn book store

these just in … 27 February, 2008

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy
by Ian W. Toll

Paperback $16.95

From Publishers Weekly
It’s hard to imagine a better place for listening to this shrewdly abridged, excitingly read audio version of Toll’s impressive history of the founding of the United States Navy than aboard some sort of seagoing vessel. One of Patrick O’Brian’s warships would be perfect, but anything from a smaller sailboat to the Staten Island Ferry would be almost as auspicious. Veteran actor Lang, his voice instantly recognizable from films and television, never lets that familiarity take over. He trusts instead to Toll’s virtuoso combination of details large and small (everything from the uniquely horrible ways men died during sea battles to the greed of shipbuilders and their representatives in government) to keep listeners intrigued—changing his voice in subtle ways when he brings to life the real words of American and British naval heroes from Lord Nelson to the officers who won the war of 1812. Lang is a lucid guide through the stormy seas of politics and commercial intrigue surrounding the birth of the U.S. naval fleet, which would soon surprise the world—especially the British navy, which thought of itself as invincible.

Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century (Paperback)
by Alex Steffen, forward by Al Gore
Paperback $19.95

From Publishers Weekly
This 600-page companion to the eco-friendly website of the same name ( is chock-a-block with information about what is going on right now to create an environmentally and economically sustainable future-and what stands in opposition. Along the way, editor Steffen and his team make the stakes perfectly clear: “Oil company experts debate whether we will effectively run out of oil in twenty years or fifty, but the essential point remains: if you’re under thirty, you can expect to see a post-oil civilization in your lifetime.” The organization of the hefty volume mimics that of the website, divided into sections on Stuff, Shelter, Cities, Community, Business, Politics and Planet. Typical readers will be introduced to new concepts such as harvesting rainwater, zero-energy houses, South-South science and the use of flowers to detect land mines in entries on everything from “Knowing What’s Green” to “Demanding Human Rights.” Each entry is brief but comprehensive; for example, the passage on “Better Food Everywhere” focuses on “Where it Matters Most,” “Better Restaurants,” “Community Gardens,” and “Urban Farming.” All entries wrap up with reviews of pertinent resources-including books, websites and moves-where readers can get more detailed information. With color photos on nearly every page, and written by a small army of contributors living and working around the world (with biographies almost as fascinating as their contributions), it’s hard to imagine a more complete resource for those hoping to live in a future that is, as editor Steffen puts it, “bright, green, free and tough.”

Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated into What America Eats
by Steve Ettlinger

Paperback $15.00

Like most Americans, Steve Ettlinger eats processed foods. And, like most consumers, he didn’t have a clue as to what most of the ingredients on the labels mean. So when his young daughter asked, “Daddy, what’s polysorbate 60?” he was at a loss—and determined to find out.

From the phosphate mines in Idaho to the oil fields in China, Twinkie, Deconstructed demystifies some of the most common processed food ingredients— where they come from, how they are made, how they are used—and why. Beginning at the source (hint: they’re often more closely linked to rock and petroleum than any of the four food groups), we follow each