Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
When it comes time for your holiday gift shopping, you won’t go wrong with books. Here is a look at some titles on a range of subjects.
“Bringing Modernism Home-Ohio Decorative Arts, 1890-1960” by Carol Boram-Hays was released by Ohio University Press. This title features furniture as well as metal work, glass, and ceramics. It showcases a number of styles, including Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Arts and Crafts. For each of these, there is an in-depth introduction and a chapter devoted to each of the four kinds of items along with a complete profile and chronology for each artist. This is beautifully illustrated with color photos.
“Mary Black’s Family Quilts-Memory and Meaning in Everyday Life” by Laurel Horton was published by the University of South Carolina Press. This book has gorgeous full color photos as well as historic black and whites. The author reveals the rich family and social history associated with these quilts. She explains the significance these had to family members, why they were created, how these represent an important legacy that Black left, and what they mean to the present generation.
“Botanical Companions-a Memoir of Plants and Place” by Frieda E. Knobloch is part of the American Land and Life Series from the University of Iowa Press. More than just a biography of two Rocky Mountain botanists—Aven Nelson and Ruth Ashton Nelson—this book is unique for the author adds elements of the memoir by sharing her experiences along with portions of her own journal along with letters she wrote to Ruth. Those interested in nature and the environment would definitely treasure this book.
“The Desert Reader-a Literary Companion” was edited by Gregory McNamee. Published by the University of New Mexico Press, this anthology contains works of many genres from folktales and stories to poetry and excerpts from a ship log. These are arranged by geographic region from Antarctica to Asia, Africa, and the New World. Among the authors are contemporary ones as well as historic figures, such as Pliny the Elder, and Herodotus.
“Feeding the World-an Economic History of Agriculture, 1800-2000” by Giovanni Federico was published by Princeton University Press. This engaging, well-researched title is destined to be a classic. The author explains the forces that were responsible for the rapid agricultural development that has occurred during the period. He examines in detail all of the agents that were responsible for the sweeping changes from the social to the political.
“The Emergence of the Moundbuilders-the Archaeology of Tribal Societies in Southeastern Ohio” was edited by Elliot M. Abrams et al, and published by Ohio University Press. Readers will learn about the pre-historic life in the region and the different cultural groups that lived there as revealed through the archeology records covering nearly 5000 years. This documents changes from hunting and gathering to agriculture. For each of the archaeological sites, the authors provide a complete analysis with maps, charts, and drawings that explain what the settlements were like, the dwellings, pottery, and tools.
“French Women Don’t Get Fat-the Secret of Eating for Pleasure” by Mireille Guiliano has become one of the most talked about diet books for good reason. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, this is based on the author’s experiences growing up in France and her subsequent move to America. She shares her simple secrets in a witty, tongue-in-cheek manner, often using her clients as successful examples of what one can achieve. She suggests healthy lifestyle changes to get people moving, and shows that dieting isn’t about doing without but rather focusing on flavor first.
Peter Heather re-examines the fall of the Roman Empire reaching startling new conclusions in “The Fall of the Roman Empire-a New History of Rome and the Barbarians,” released by Oxford University Press. The author is a scholar and teacher and a leading expert on the barbarians. This engrossing title presents a comprehensive look at all the factors that were responsible for the meteoric rise of the empire. The author focuses specifically on how the Roman policy towards the barbarians eventually led to their subsequent rise of power of the invaders—particularly the Goths, Vandals, and Huns.
“Come Walk With Me-the Art of Dorris Curtis” from the University of Arkansas Press features a collection of this self-taught artist’s widely acclaimed works. She began painting after retiring from a career of teaching, and began painting what she loved best—scenes from her life in Oklahoma and Arkansas. In this volume, the works are arranged by subject, such as seasons. The introduction by Robert Cochran is a fitting tribute to the artist, and provides details about her life and art. The paintings are reproduced in lush, full-page color photos with the facing page giving a complete story about the work and its date.
“America’s Wetland-Louisiana’s Vanishing Coast” features breathtaking photos by award-winning photographer Bevil Knapp and text by award-winning journalist Mike Dunne. It was published by the Louisiana State University Press. This remarkable book takes readers on a tour of the coast to reveal the crucial role this area plays in the future of the entire country. It stresses the economic, social, and environmental importance of the region, and addresses the threats to its future as well as long-term solutions.