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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Travels to New York City

     One of the greatest cities in the world is just a short car or train ride away from us on Long Island. Whether you’re going on a day trip or a weeklong vacation, look under Dewey number 917.47 for New York City travel books to suit a wide range of interests.

     Here are some new books that focus on some of the more popular aspects of travel: sightseeing, shopping and eating.

     The Art Lovers’ Guide New York: The Finest Art in New York by Museum, Artist, or Period, is a fully illustrated manual about its art museums and galleries. The reader is presented with half and full page black-and-white and color photos of sample paintings, sculptures, and other works of art, accompanied by text that describes more than sixty museums and galleries. Maps and indexes accentuate the guide’s usefulness.

     The Stylist’s Guide to NYC, is written by Sibella Court, who is an “in the know” interior stylist. She introduces the reader to the city’s various stores, services, galleries, markets, and places to eat. Color photos, maps, concise, informative text and an index make this a dependable handbook.

     Zagat 2013: New York City Shopping is billed as a survey “covering 2,212 stores in New York City, as rated and reviewed by 14,407 avid shoppers on”. Stores are rated based on their quality of merchandise, display, service and cost. Entries are listed alphabetically; lists are arranged by special features, merchandise, and locations

     Zagat New York City Food Lover’s Guide 2012/13 is a combination of brief reviews and lists compiled by category, ethnic focus, and food tours. It is “based on the opinions of 6,909 avid food lovers . . .covering 1,537 food and entertaining resources in New York City."

     Let’s not forget Brooklyn! Food Lovers’ Guide to Brooklyn: Best Local Specialties, Markets, Recipes, Restaurants, and Events, written by Sherri Eisenberg, contains summaries of “Foodie Faves”, “Specialty Stores, Markets, and Producers”, and “Food Events” presented in chapters arranged by neighborhood. Maps and indexes help the reader access information.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dog Stories

     Man’s best friend (and woman’s too), the dog, is featured in a few new non-fiction books.

      Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs Who Became Showbiz Superstars is written by Bill Berloni, a theatrical animal trainer and Jim Hanrahan. This second edition tells the story of Bill’s first discovery of the dog that became Sandy in the Broadway play Annie; and continues with chapters about other dogs featured in the plays Gypsy, Anything Goes, the Wizard of Oz, Oliver and more, films and television shows. The book features several color and black-and-white photos of the stars, both dog and human. Berloni’s thirty-plus year career as an animal trainer earned him the 2011 Tony Honor for Excellence in Theater award.

     A Dog Named Boo: How One Dog and One Woman Rescued Each Other – and the Lives They Transformed Along the Way, is written by Lisa J. Edwards, whose decision to take on the runt of the litter was of benefit to both of them. Edwards, a dog trainer with her past history of being physically abused identified with the disabled dog. Boo joins her family, which includes her husband and other dogs and cats. He trains to become a therapy dog and is able to change the lives of several individuals, including Lisa’s.

     Sophie: the Incredible True Story of the Castaway Dog, written by Emma Pearse, tells the story of an Australian cattle dog who, lost at sea, managed to rescue herself by swimming through shark-infested waters to land, surviving in the wild for five months. This is a harrowing adventure with a heartwarming ending in which Sophie is reunited with her owners. Color photos add to the reader’s enjoyment.

     What Dogs Want: A Visual Guide to Understanding Your Dog’s Every Move, is written by Arden Moore, an animal behavior consultant and author of several books about dogs and cats. Using color photos and easy-to-read text, Moore describes 100 different postures, expressions, sounds and actions; for each she identifies what the dog wants, how to respond, and whether the behavior is limited to certain breeds or is displayed by all dogs. This is an entertaining book for all dog owners.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dreams of Joy: A Novel

     Written by Lisa See, this is a sequel to the novel Shanghai Girls, in which sisters Pearl and May flee war-torn China and escape to California and arranged marriages. In Dreams of Joy, Pearl’s daughter Joy learns the truth about her birth, kept secret by her mother and aunt for many years. She travels to Mao Tse-Tung’s Communist China, both to find her real father, an artist, and to support the revolution, a cause she naively supports since her year as a college student. Pearl follows close behind, yearning to save her daughter from danger and heartbreak.

     The story is told from two points of view; that of mother and daughter. Each is determined to fight for what is believed to be right. Joy finds hardship, disillusionment and maternal love in her life in China; she settles in a rural area during a famine, in a loveless marriage, struggling to keep her infant daughter alive. Pearl learns to allow her daughter her independence; she renews old relationships and learns not to blame herself for her husband’s earlier suicide. How the two of them survived and managed to escape is an adventure in itself; the book’s greatest strengths are its multi-faceted characterization and emotional intensity.