these just in … 7 July, 2008

Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A do-it-Ourselves Guide

by Scott Kellogg & Stacy Pettigrew, illustrated by Juan Martinez

Paperback $16.00

The tools you need to create self-sufficient, ecologically sustainable cities

“A surprisingly effective model for connecting people with dreams to the resources they need.” —Austin Chronicle

With more than half the world’s population now residing—and struggling to survive—in cities, we can no longer afford to think of sustainability as something that applies only to forests and fields. We need sustainable living right where so many of us are: in urban neighborhoods. But how do we do it?

That’s where Toolbox for Sustainable City Living comes in. In 2000 the dynamic Rhizome Collective transformed an abandoned warehouse in Austin, Texas, into a sustainability training center. Here, with their first book, Scott and Stacy, two of Rhizome’s founders, provide city dwellers—those who have never foraged or gardened along with those who dumpster-dive and belong to CSAs—with step-by- step instructions for producing our own food, collecting water, managing waste, reclaiming land, and generating energy. 

With vibrant illustrations created by Juan Martinez of the Beehive Collective and descriptive text based on years of experimentation, Stacy and Scott explain how to build and grow with cheap, salvaged, and recycled materials. More than a how-to manual, Toolbox is packed with accessible and relevant tools to help move our communities from envisioning a sustainable future toward living it.

The Death of Ivan Ilych

by Leo Tolstoy, Translated by Ian Dreiblatt

Paperback $10.00

A new translation of one of the most revered and exquisite novellas ever written: After a simple accident at home, a middle-aged man gradually realizes he’s dying. But is it too late to realize life’s meaning?

Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages

by Ammon Shea

Hardcover $21.95 - 10%

An obsessive word lover’s account of reading the Oxford English Dictionary cover to cover.

“I’m reading the OED so you don’t have to. If you are interested in vocabulary that is both spectacularly useful and beautifully useless, read on…”

So reports Ammon Shea, the tireless, word-obsessed, and more than slightly masochistic author of Reading the OED. The word lover’s Mount Everest, the OED has enthralled logophiles since its initial publication 80 years ago. Weighing in at 137 pounds, it is the dictionary to end all dictionaries.

In 26 chapters filled with sharp wit, sheer delight, and a documentarian’s keen eye, Shea shares his year inside the OED, delivering a hair-pulling, eye-crossing account of reading every word, and revealing the most obscure, hilarious, and wonderful gems he discovers along the way.

Telex from Cuba: A Novel

by Rachel KushnerHardcover $25.00 - 10%

Kushner’s colorful, character-driven debut succinctly captures the essence of life for a gilded circle of American expats in pre-Castro Cuba, chronicling a mélange of philandering spouses, privileged carousers and their rebellious children. K.C. Stites and Everly Lederer are raised among the American industrial strongholds of the United Fruit Company sugar plantation and the Nicaro nickel mines. As adolescents, they are confronted by the complexities of local warfare and backstabbing politics, while their parents remain ignorant of the impending revolution. Meanwhile, in Havana, burlesque dancer Rachel K and her former SS officer companion become entangled in Castro’s revolution. Toward the end of 1957, K.C.’s brother, Del, joins the rebels, and within a month the United Fruit Company’s cane fields are ablaze. Throughout the following year, the attacks on U.S.-operated businesses intensify; political and personal loyalties are shuffled and betrayed; and the violence between the rebels and Batista’s forces escalate. The action, while slowed at times by Kushner’s tendency to revisit plot points from multiple points of view, culminates in a riveting drama. Given the recent Cuba headlines, Kushner’s tale, passionately told and intensively researched, couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

Lost Waterfront: The Decline and Rebirth of Manhattan’s Western Shore

by Shelley Seccombe

Paperback $21.95

For more than a century, the Hudson River piers in Greenwich Village bustled with the maritime commerce that made New York the greatest port in the country. By the 1960s, after years of economic decline, the great waterfront was disappearing. After the West Side Highway was closed in 1973, many of the piers, now abandoned, burned, while others collapsed into the river. By the 1990s, only ghosts were left.Yet there came a moment in time—fifteen years, perhaps—when the decaying piers supported a thriving other life. These ravaged iron structures became the Jones Beach of Manhattan; rotting wooden decks were now stages for musicians, dancers, and acrobats; fishermen trawled for eel and old tires; and the collapsing docks soon created a unique cityscape.In this evocative book, photographer Shelley Seccombe documents 30 years of decay, transformation, and rebirth along the waters of Manhattan’s west side Here are all 68 full color photographs in a unique record of a waterfront long since past—and a vibrant celebration of new city gem, Hudson River Park, opened in 2003. Where once tugs and freighters nosed into gritty docks, today there are green spaces where peoplecome to lie in the sun, listen to water, paddle kayaks, and wonder at the passing vessels. These unforgettable photographs capture a city in change, and the pioneering creation of a new urban space that once again gives the river back to New Yorkers.

Faces in Stone: Architectural Sculpture in New York City

by Robert Arthur King

Hardcover $20.00 - 10%

An architectural impulse book, gift-sized and -priced, for those who love finding unknown corners of New York City. This collection of one hundred architectural details features brief introductions and contextual photographs to show the buildings on which the ornaments appear, the addresses, and transportation information. 322 duotone photographs.

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