Best Books of the Month - October
5 Books | by Amazon
A stunning memoir from the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station--a candid account of his remarkable voyage, of the journeys off the planet that preceded it, and of his colorful formative years. The veteran of four spaceflights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now, he takes us inside a sphere utterly hostile to human life. He describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both life-threatening and mundane: the devastating effects on the body; the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk; and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home--an agonizing situation Kelly faced when, on a previous mission, his twin brother's wife, American Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot while he still had two months in space. Kelly's humanity, compassion, humor, and determination resonate throughout, as he recalls his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and the youthful inspiration that sparked his astounding career, and as he makes clear his belief that Mars will be the next, ultimately challenging, step in spaceflight. A natural storyteller and modern-day hero, Kelly has a message of hope for the future that will inspire for generations to come. Here, in his personal story, we see the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the infinite wonder of the galaxy.
“Robert Olmstead gets better with every book. If you know all of his previous books, you know how startling this fact is, and how startlingly good this writer is.” --Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter In September 1873, Elizabeth Coughlin, a widow bankrupted by her husband’s folly and death, embarks on a buffalo hunt with her estranged and mysterious brother-in-law, Michael. With no money, no family, no job or security, she hopes to salvage something of her former life and the lives of the hired men and their families who depend on her. The buffalo hunt that her husband had planned, she now realizes, was his last hope for saving their land. Elizabeth and Michael plunge south across the aptly named Deadline demarcating Indian Territory from their home state, Kansas. Nothing could have prepared them for the dangers: rattlesnakes, rabies, wildfire, lightning strikes, blue northers, flash floods, threats to life in so many ways. They’re on borrowed time: the Comanche are in winter quarters, and the cruel work of slaughtering the buffalo is unraveling their souls. They must get back alive. This is a gripping narrative of that infamous hunt, which drove the buffalo population to near extinction--the story of a moment in our history in which mass destruction of an animal population was seen as the only route to economic solvency. But it’s also the intimate story of how that hunt changed Michael and Elizabeth forever.
Leonardo da Vinci
“Majestic...Isaacson takes on another complex, giant figure and transforms him into someone we can recognize...Enthralling, masterful, and passionate.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “A monumental tribute to a titanic figure.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) He was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography. Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy. He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius. His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions. Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different.
Lighter Than My Shadow
Growing up, Katie Green had a normal and extremely happy childhood. However, as a child, she had an aversion to finishing certain foods (like toast), foods that she would end up hiding behind her bookshelf when she didn't want to eat them. As Katie entered her teenage years, she found herself becoming more averse to eating altogether. Before she knew it, she had become obsessive about consuming very limited amounts of calories and within months, found that she was severely anorexic. In Katie's inspirational graphic memoir "Lighter than My Shadow," Katie takes readers on her painful journey, as she goes from starving herself to binging and purging. Along the way, Katie tries everything to cure herself (including having an extremely manipulative and dangerous relationship with a zealous alternative healer). It is not until she gives in to her passion for drawing (something she'd tried to ignore all her life) that she begins the long process to her recovery. Katie's voice is both honest and accessible and her art is mesmerizing and beautiful. This is the kind of book that is not just for those suffering from an eating disorder but the perfect read for anyone struggling with their emotional life or with
The Sun and Her Flowers
Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms. this is the recipe of life said my mother as she held me in her arms as i wept think of those flowers you plant in the garden each year they will teach you that people too must wilt fall root rise in order to bloom