Friday, November 9, 2012

New Nonfiction

Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America’s Clovis Culture by Dennis Stanford
According to the now familiar story, mammal hunters entered North America some 12,000 years ago via a land bridge that spanned the Bering Sea. Archaeologists Dennis J. Stanford and Bruce A. Bradley, drawing from original archaeological research and genetic studies, challenge the old narrative. The authors apply rigorous scholarship to a hypothesis that places the antecedents of Clovis in Europe and argues that the first Americans crossed the Atlantic by boat and arrived earlier than previously thought.– Summary.

Blood Diamonds by Greg Campbell
“First discovered in 1930, the diamonds of Sierra Leone have funded one of the most savage rebel campaigns in modern history. These blood diamonds are smuggled out of West Africa and sold to legitimate diamond merchants in London, Antwerp, and New York, often with the complicity of the international diamond industry. Eventually, these very diamonds find their way into the rings and necklaces of brides and spouses the world over. Blood Diamonds is the gripping tale of how diamond smuggling works, how the rebel war has effectively destroyed Sierra Leone and its people, and how the policies of the diamond industry - institutionalized in the 1880s by the De Beers cartel - have allowed it to happen.”–Back cover.

Everything but the coffee: learning about America from Starbucks by Bryant Simon
"Everything but the Coffee probes the company's psychological, emotional, political, and sociological power to discover how Starbucks' explosive success and rapid deflation exemplify American culture at this historical moment. Most importantly, it shows that Starbucks speaks to a deeply felt American need for predictability and class standing, community and authenticity, revealing that Starbucks' appeal lies not in the product it sells but in the easily consumed identity it offers." – Publisher.

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy
“Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters—the Googleplex—to show how Google works.”–Jacket.

The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha
The Book of Awesome reminds us that the best things in life are free (yes, your grandmother was right).With laugh-out-loud observations from award-winning comedy writer Neil Pasricha, The Book of Awesome is filled with smile-inducing moments on every page that make you feel like a kid looking at the world for the first time. Read it and you’ll remember all the things there are in the world to feel good about.”–Jacket.

The Book of (Even More) Awesome by Neil Pasricha
In this follow-up to The Book of Awesome, Neil Pasricha looks at even more of the little things that make us smile every day. Entries include: - When a cop finally passes you after driving behind you for awhile – The sound of snow crunching under your boots – Dropping your cell phone on the sidewalk and then realizing it is totally fine. Because couldn't we all use (Even More) Awesome? – Summary.

The Dictator's Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy by William J. Dobson.
An esteemed Foreign Affairs editor and journalist analyzes the ongoing battle between dictatorships and those who oppose them, tracing uprisings in such nations as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya while exploring the sophisticated resources and methods used by modern dictators to maintain their power. – Summary.

The Early Settlement of North America: The Clovis Era by Gary Haynes
"This history of the first people to settle in the New World starts with a summary of the archaeology of Clovis-fluted point-makers in North America. Gary Haynes evaluates the wide range of interpretations given to facts about the Clovis. He then presents his own fully developed and integrated theory, which incorporates vital new biological, ecological, behavioral and archaeological data." – Publisher.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Each month, during her year-long quest to learn how to better enjoy the life she already had, Gretchen Rubin pursued a different set of resolutions–go to sleep earlier, tackle a nagging task, bring people together, and keep a gratitude notebook–along with dozens of other goals. She read everything from Thoreau to Oprah to the Dalai Lama, developing her own definition of happiness and a plan for how to achieve it. She kept track of which resolutions worked and which didn’t. Her conclusions are sometimes surprising. – Summary.

The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company by Constance L. Hays.
“The Real Thing is a portrait of America’s most famous product and the people who transformed it from mere soft drink to symbol of freedom. With fresh insights and a penetrating eye, New York Times reporter Constance L. Hays examines a century of Coca-Cola history through deft portraits of the charismatic, driven men who used luck, spin, and the open door of enterprise to turn a beverage with no nutritional value into a remedy, a refreshment, and an international object of consumer desire.”–Back cover.

The Rise of Rome by Anthony Everitt
“From Anthony Everitt, the bestselling author of acclaimed biographies of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian, comes a riveting, magisterial account of Rome and its remarkable ascent from an obscure agrarian backwater to the greatest empire the world has ever known.” –Jacket.

Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the Rest of the World by Dambisa Moyo
“In her new book, international economist and bestselling author Dambisa Moyo explains the commodity dynamics that the world will face over the next several decades, focusing in particular on the implications of China’s rush for resources around the world. The scale of China’s campaign for hard commodities (metal and minerals) and soft commodities (water and foodstuffs) is among the most aggressive in history, surpassing even the voracious demands for raw materials sparked by the Industrial Revolution. Winner Take All is the story of how China’s seemingly unstoppable drive to increase economic development will have global consequences for all.” –Jacket.