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Kelly’s Reviews

Shrinking the Earth

STAFF REVIEW: Widely recognized as the nation's first environmental historian, KU professor emeritus of history, Don Worster, has just released his latest book: Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of American Abundance (Oxford University Press). Each chapter charts the history of North Americans' slow realization of the limits of their continent's natural resources.

Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of Natural Abundance Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780199844951
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - February 5th, 2016

The discovery of the Americas around 1500 AD was an extraordinary watershed in human experience. It gave rise to the modern period of human ecology, a phenomenon global in scope that set in motion profound changes in almost every society on earth.


Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic

Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic offers a lucid description of the decidedly irreligious philosophies of the founders, Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams, among others. In this campaign season, I found it refreshing to read something that so thoroughly incinerates the fundamentalist cudgel that the country was founded on Christian (read: bigoted) principles. Recommended by Kelly

Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393351293
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 6th, 2015

America's founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America's revolutionaries drew their inspiration.


Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic

STAFF REVIEW: Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic offers a lucid description of the decidedly irreligious philosophies of the founders, Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams, among others. In this campaign season, I found it refreshing to read something that so thoroughly incinerates the fundamentalist cudgel that the country was founded on Christian (read: bigoted) principles. Recommended by Kelly

Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393351293
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 6th, 2015

America's founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America's revolutionaries drew their inspiration.


Our Souls at Night

Not surprisingly, Our Souls at Night, Kent Haruf's last before he passed away in 2014, is a quiet, beautiful book. The premise: 70-year-old widow Addie asks her widower neighbor, Louis, who lives two doors down, to come to her house each night and sleep with her–not for sex, but for pillow talk and as an antidote to crushing loneliness. Their unconventional agreement births not only town gossip but also a love and trust neither has before experienced. Recommended by Kelly

Our Souls at Night Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781101875896
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Published: Knopf Publishing Group - May 26th, 2015

A spare yet eloquent, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future.


My Friend Flicka

In my second childhood again (I was one of those little kids begging for a horse), I read My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara, which I'd always thought was a "little horse book for little girls." How wrong I was. Though it can happily be read by a child, it works on several levels. In the stunning backdrop of Wyoming grasslands, this story tells the tale of 12-year-old boy Ken McLaughlin, a rancher's son striving to win his father's approval.

My Friend Flicka Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780060512620
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - December 27th, 2005

The classic story of an aimless teenager, a demanding father,
and aspirited horse -- now a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

As you're looking for gifts, don't forget Betty Smith's groundbreaking novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It chronicles the life of the Nolans, a desperately poor family in the tenements of turn-of-the-20th-century Brooklyn. Though only a child when the narrative begins, the novel's protagonist Francie does her best to make sense of the joys and hardships of her family, becoming a writer before the readers' eyes. Published in 1942, the novel is part coming-of-age story and part historical chronicle. Though occasionally sentimental, the novel's cumulative power is astonishing.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060736262
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - February 1st, 2005

The American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.


The Typewriter Revolution

STAFF REVIEW: Call off the dogs, luddites, the hunt is over. Richard Polt's THE TYPEWRITER REVOLUTION is the perfect book for those of us who have, for whatever reason, held on to our beloved typewriters and are actually still using them. It's also a perfect book for those who might want to dust off and repair a family heirloom. Not only does it have valuable information about how to keep your sweet old Royal, Underwood, etc in top form, but it also has loving testimonials from writers about their beloved machines. Okay, luddites stop reading, it also includes techie typewriter mimics.

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The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist's Companion for the 21st Century Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781581573114
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Countryman Press - November 12th, 2015

What do thousands of kids, makers, poets, artists, steampunks, hipsters, activists, and musicians have in common? They love typewriters the magical, mechanical contraptions that are enjoying a surprising second life in the 21st century, striking a blow for self-reliance, privacy, and coherence against dependency, surveillance, and disintegration.


Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Preoccupied with death since childhood, twenty-something Caitlin Doughty's one career goal was to work in a crematory. This memoir Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is not only a hilarious and poignant account of her realized hope, but also another of several recent books that take a long overdue look at expensive and often tragic results of America's paradoxical obsession with and fear of death. Recommended by Kelly

 

 

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393351903
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 28th, 2015

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty--a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre--took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life's work.


Gut

STAFF REVIEW: For soft science writing about the digestive system, I thought no one could equal Mary Roach's GULP, but Giulia Enders has done just that with GUT. Though not as roll-on-the-floor funny as Roach, Enders' science is much more detailed and, surprisingly, easier to understand than Roach's. With plenty of her own childhood digestive issues prompting her, Enders went into medical school and specialized in microbiology.

Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ Cover Image
By Giulia Enders, Jill Enders (Illustrator), David Shaw (Translator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781771641494
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greystone Books - May 24th, 2015

A New York Times Bestseller

A cheeky up-close and personal guide to the secrets and science of our digestive system


Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home

Pope Francis's encyclical letter ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME: LAUDATO SI brought people to tears as a Mary Evelyn Tucker read from it at the annual Prairie Festival gathering last weekend at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. Because he has a substantial science background coupled with compassion and bravery, his call for humans to address the climate crisis and other ravages of our planet articulates what many other religious and political leaders have neglected to say.

On Care for Our Common Home: Laudato Si' Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781593252830
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Word Among Us Press - July 20th, 2015

Addressed not only to Catholics but to "every person living on this planet," Pope Francis' second encyclical is a challenging call for a "bold cultural revolution" in how we think about technological progress and economic growth.


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