Thursday, April 3, 2014

5 Nonfiction Titles to Look for This April

Lots of great looking non-fiction being published this month: here's a few we think might be of interest.

The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed
the World by Russell Gold (April 8). With fracking—the system of hydraulic fracturing of rock used to extract natural gas from underground deposits—becoming more and more an issue that Nova Scotians are facing, this title, although American in focus, is well timed for local readers wanting to know more. "Russell Gold, a brilliant and dogged investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal, has spent more than a decade reporting on one of the biggest stories of our time: the spectacular, world-changing rise of “fracking.” ...Fracking has vociferous critics and fervent defenders, but the debate between these camps has obscured the actual story: Fracking has become a fixture of the American landscape and the global economy. It has upended the business models of energy companies around the globe, and it has started to change geopolitics and global energy markets in profound ways. Gold tells the story of this once-obscure oilfield technology—a story with an incredible cast of tycoons and geologists, dreamers and drillers, speculators and skeptics, a story that answers a critical question of our time: Where will the energy come from to power our world—and what price will we have to pay for it?"

All Fishermen Are Liars by John Gierach (April 15). If you're tired of slinging a snoshovel around—and let's be honest, who amongst us isn't—perhaps you should think of all that tossing and swinging as exercise training for a more pleasant activity: fly fishing. "In All Fishermen Are Liars, Gierach travels across North America from the Pacific Northwest to the Canadian Maritimes to seek out quintessential fishing experiences. Whether he’s fishing a busy stream or a secluded lake amid snow-capped mountains, Gierach insists that fishing is always the answer—even when it’s not clear what the question is. All Fishermen Are Liars covers fishing topics large and small: the art of fly-tying and the quest for the perfect steelhead fly; fishing in the Presidential Pools previously fished by the first President George Bush; and the importance of traveling with like-minded companions when caught in a soaking downpour. (“At this point someone is required to say, ‘You know, there are people who wouldn’t think this is fun.’”) Gierach may occasionally lose a fish, but he never loses his passion for fishing or his sense of humor. All Fishermen Are Liars proves yet again that life’s most valuable lessons—and some of its best experiences— can be found while fly-fishing."

Big Tiny by Dee Williams (April 22): The idea of downsizing has
been gaining popular attention for awhile: more specifically the idea of not just small but tiny homes seems to be something I am seeing more and more in the news, blogs and books. Big Tiny is a memoir of someone who has embraced the tiny house movement: "Dee William’s life changed in an instant, with a near-death experience in the aisle of her local grocery store. Diagnosed with a heart condition at age forty-one, she was all too suddenly reminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to be spending hers with the people and things she truly loved. That included the beautiful sprawling house in the Pacific Northwest she had painstakingly restored—but, increasingly, it did not include the mortgage payments, constant repairs, and general time-suck of home ownership. A new sense of clarity began to take hold: Just what was all this stuff for? Multiple extra rooms, a kitchen stocked with rarely used appliances, were things that couldn’t compare with the financial freedom and the ultimate luxury—time—that would come with downsizing. Deciding to build an eighty-four-square-foot house—on her own, from the ground up—was just the beginning of building a new life. Williams can now list everything she owns on one sheet of paper, her monthly housekeeping bills amount to about eight dollars, and it takes her approximately ten minutes to clean the entire house. It’s left her with more time to spend with family and friends, and given her freedom to head out for adventure at a moment’s notice, or watch the clouds and sunset while drinking a beer on her (yes, tiny) front porch."

I'm Movin' On by Vernon Oickle (April 30). A Nova Scotia icon gets the biographical
treatment in a new book published by Nimbus this month. "Born in tiny Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, Hank Snow enjoyed a musical career that spanned five decades and sales of more than 80 million albums. In I'm Movin' On, journalist Vernon Oickle chronicles Snow's hardscrabble life, from his destitute childhood in Queens County to international fame. Leaving no stone unturned in his richly detailed profile of The Singing Ranger, Oickle exposes the highs and lows of Snow's career, and his journey ("Everywhere, man,") from small East Coast radio stations to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville."

If Hank Snow isn't your style then perhaps this next book will be:  Gods of the Hammer: The Teenage Head Story by Geoff Pevere (April 30). "In the late 1970s and early 1980s, no Canadian band rocked harder, louder or to more hardcore fans than Hamilton, Ontario's own Teenage Head. Although usually lumped in the dubiously inevitable 'punk rock' category of the day, this high - energy quartet - consisting of four guys who'd known each other since high school - were really only punk by association. In essence they were a full-on, balls-to-the-wall, three-chord, kick-out-the-jams band that obliterated categories and labels with the sheer force of their sonic assault, and everywhere they played they converted the merely curious to the insanely devoted. And they almost became world famous. Almost. This is their story, told in full and for the first time, and by those who lived to tell the tale."

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