Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Five (+) Books For Mom This Mothers' Day From My Personal Wishlist

Yeah, you've still got time to shop for mom.  And since I'm a bookish mom, I thought I'd share some of the books I have on my wishlist... maybe they'll sound good to your mom too?  I've inlcuded five (+) non-fiction books with their jacket descriptions and the reasons I want them, and a word of caution or two if applicable about getting them for your mom.

At the very least, you'll learn a little bit more about me, right?  At best, you'll find the perfect book for your mom this Mother's Day.  You still have time to ring up your local Indie to see if they have what you want in stock, and you probably still have time to order from BN or Amazon if you have 2-day shipping if your Indie is a no-go.  Good luck and happy shopping!

1.  The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing. 
Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles? 
Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 
With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

Why Is This On My List?  Because I am horrible at tidying up.  It's true.  I can organize the crud out of an event or a bunch of people, but when it comes to my stuff?  I'm kinda hopeless.  So, I take inspiration where I can get it.  And this method kinda intrigues me.  So, I wanna learn.
The Caution:  You might not want to get this for her if she's sensitive about her housekeeping methods.  You don't want to make her feel bad.  But, if she's on a clutter cleanse or is moving soon, or something of the sort, this could totally be thoughtful.

2. How To Write Awesome Dialogue!  by Tom Leveen

Outstanding dialogue is often the difference between a good book and a great book. How does yours stack up? With seven books published with imprints of Random House, Abrams, and Simon & Schuster, and more than twenty years of experience as an actor and director, author and writing teacher Tom Leveen guides you through everything you need to make your dialogue shine! ~ Learn how to start with a solid plot and conflict to form the foundation of awesome dialogue ~ Discover actors’ techniques to give your characters strength and purpose ~ Improve on setting scenes and building relationships between characters ~ and more!
Why Is This On My List?  I sat through Tom's dialogue seminar that he gave at Phoenix Comicon last year.  It. Was. Amazing.  Plus, have you read any of his books?  Sometimes I get it in my head that I'd like to write a novel before I die.  I think this will probably sit on my shelf so that I can reference it when I need some help with a character's direction.  And at $8.95, it's a steal.
The Caution: I don't really see any drawbacks to this one.  If your mom is an aspiring writer of any type, be it theater or screen or novels, I'm sure she could use some of Tom's advice.  And if she already knows what's going on in this?  It'd be a great reminder.

3.  The Library: A World History  by James W.P. Campbell

A library is not just a collection of books, but also the buildings that house them. As varied and inventive as the volumes they hold, such buildings can be much more than the dusty, dark wooden shelves found in mystery stories or the catacombs of stacks in the basements of academia. From the great dome of the Library of Congress, to the white façade of the Seinäjoki Library in Finland, to the ancient ruins of the library of Pergamum in modern Turkey, the architecture of a library is a symbol of its time as well as of its builders’ wealth, culture, and learning.

Architectural historian James Campbell and photographer Will Pryce traveled the globe together, visiting and documenting over eighty libraries that exemplify the many different approaches to thinking about and designing libraries. The result of their travels, The Library: A World History is one of the first books to tell the story of library architecture around the world and through time in a single volume, from ancient Mesopotamia to modern China and from the beginnings of writing to the present day. As these beautiful and striking photos reveal, each age and culture has reinvented the library, molding it to reflect their priorities and preoccupations—and in turn mirroring the history of civilization itself. Campbell’s authoritative yet readable text recounts the history of these libraries, while Pryce’s stunning photographs vividly capture each building’s structure and atmosphere.

Together, Campbell and Pryce have produced a landmark book—the definitive photographic history of the library and one that will be essential for the home libraries of book lovers and architecture devotees alike.

Why Is This On My List?  I can't think of a better way to de-stress than to sit down with a collection of beautiful libraries and drool.  Just the thought of curling up with this baby summons a calm I can't really articulate and an excitement that I can't really contain.
The Caution:  This is expensive.  Like Amazon's price on it is nearly $50.  But, I'd rather have this book than go to five movies, so if your mom is like me that way?  This is a sure win.

4. Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn

Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn inspired a revival of artisanal sausage making and bacon curing with their surprise hit, Charcuterie. Now they delve deep into the Italian side of the craft with Salumi, a book that explores and simplifies the recipes and techniques of dry curing meats. As the sources and methods of making our food have become a national discussion, an increasing number of cooks and professional chefs long to learn fundamental methods of preparing meats in the traditional way. Ruhlman and Polcyn give recipes for the eight basic products in Italy’s pork salumi repertoire: guanciale, coppa, spalla, lardo, lonza, pancetta, prosciutto, and salami, and they even show us how to butcher a hog in the Italian and American ways. This book provides a thorough understanding of salumi, with 100 recipes and illustrations of the art of ancient methods made modern and new. 100 illustrations; 16 pages of color photographs

Why Is This On My List?  I have this crazy goal of learning charcuterie.  I want to learn how to make meats into other meats and preserve them.  It's a long-term goal, sure.  But, I need to start somewhere.  And when I was looking for books to help teach me how?  This one got excellent reviews.  So, it's parked on my wishlist until someone gifts it to me.
The Caution:  Obviously not for your vegan or vegetarian mom.  Also, not for the mom who buys books to learn how to do something but never does?  I've successfully learned how to do a lot of home preservation from books, so this is just like a step up for me.

5. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: A 21st Century Bestiary by Caspar Henderson

From medieval bestiaries to Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, we’ve long been enchanted by extraordinary animals, be they terrifying three-headed dogs or asps impervious to a snake charmer’s song. But bestiaries are more than just zany zoology—they are artful attempts to convey broader beliefs about human beings and the natural order. Today, we no longer fear sea monsters or banshees. But from the infamous honey badger to the giant squid, animals continue to captivate us with the things they can do and the things they cannot, what we know about them and what we don’t. 
With The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Caspar Henderson offers readers a fascinating, beautifully produced modern-day menagerie. But whereas medieval bestiaries were often based on folklore and myth, the creatures that abound in Henderson’s book—from the axolotl to the zebrafish—are, with one exception, very much with us, albeit sometimes in depleted numbers. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings transports readers to a world of real creatures that seem as if they should be made up—that are somehow more astonishing than anything we might have imagined. The yeti crab, for example, uses its furry claws to farm the bacteria on which it feeds. The waterbear, meanwhile, is among nature’s “extreme survivors,” able to withstand a week unprotected in outer space. These and other strange and surprising species invite readers to reflect on what we value—or fail to value—and what we might change. 
A powerful combination of wit, cutting-edge natural history, and philosophical meditation, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is an infectious and inspiring celebration of the sheer ingenuity and variety of life in a time of crisis and change. 

Why Is This On My List? It seems like another book to get lost in, but this time in an imagination capacity.  I feel like this could inspire me, move me, intrigue me, entertain me, and take over me, all at the same time.  I feel like it would be a wonderful thing to look at with my toddler - something that could keep both of us engaged and inspire all kinds of play.
The Caution: It's probably not for the mom who tells you that art is a waste of time.  Other than that, I can't really see why she wouldn't want it, unless she already has it.

5 more books on my wishlist: 

(click to view on Amazon)

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