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In a book Kirkus Reviews calls “multilayered, provocative and highly accessible,” Yunte Huang offers the first biography of the fictional Charlie Chan from his beginnings as an actual detective named Chang Apana in territorial Hawaii to his reinvention as a literary sleuth and Hollywood film icon. Packed with intriguing, little–known details, “Charlie Chan” offers penetrating observations about the Chinese experience as seen through both Chinese and Western eyes. Huang is professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. (W.W. Norton & Company, 2010)
Mary Gentile, a consultant and business educator at Babson College, draws on business experiences and social science research to empower business leaders with the skills to voice and act on their values and align their professional path with their principles. The book was inspired by a program Gentile launched at the Aspen Institute with the Yale School of Management, and is now housed at Babson College. (Yale University Press, 2010)
“A Day on the Mountain” is a picture book for children ages 4 to 9, written in rhyme and beautifully illustrated by Erin E. Hunter. Readers meet wildlife—such as bighorn sheep, great gray owls and marmots—while exploring how the habitats change as they travel up the mountain, from the forested bottom to the snow-covered peak. Kevin Kurtz lives in Charleston, S.C., and is the author of “A Day in the Salt Marsh,” a finalist for the national 2007 Green Earth Book Award. (Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2010)
Renowned UCLA media theorist Peter Lunenfeld warns that we are engaged in a secret war between downloading and uploading—between passive consumption and active creation—and the outcome will shape our collective futures. Lunenfeld makes the case for using digital technologies to shift us from a consumption to a production model, interspersing theory and polemic with shorter narrative sidebars about exemplary people, objects and places. (The MIT Press, 2011)
Edmund Sherman, professor emeritus of social welfare at the University at Albany, addresses the philosophical aspects of aging, often overlooked in activity-oriented advice for one’s later years. “Contemplative Aging” guides readers ages 60 and up to the existential and spiritual benefits of gerotranscendence, including positive morale, well-being and a new vision of growing older. (Gordian Knot Books, 2010)
Gary Barwin continues and extends the alchemical collision of language, imaginative flight and quiet beauty that have made him unique among contemporary poets. The poems in this bright, bold and acutely visual book add a surreptitious intensity and wry maturity to Barwin’s trademark gifts for subtle humor, solemn delight, compassion and invention. Barwin also is the author of several books for kids, including “Seeing Stars,” which was nominated for a Canadian Library Association YA Book of the Year. He lives in Hamilton, Ont. (Coach House Books, 2010)
This book offers a witty, informative and nonpartisan overview of contemporary economic ills. Robert E. Wright argues that major economic trouble has almost always been the result of a hybrid failure—a combination of bad policymaking and marketplace deficiencies. The title derives from World War II GI slang for “fouled up.” “Fubarnomics,” the author states, perfectly captures the sorry state of today’s economy. Wright, who is the Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana College, S.D., offers practical solutions as well. (Prometheus Books, 2010)
A must-read for anyone starting or managing a business, “Finance Without Fear” is written in a style that helps remove the fear of finance for the entrepreneur, the small business owner or the manager. It explains the key financial statements, provides tools to analyze them and offers genuine case studies of small businesses. Hettinger is president of Prosperous Communities, a consultancy dedicated to creating economic vitality, and helping individuals and organizations turn ideas into actions. Dolan-Heitlinger is a nationally known consultant and business executive. (Institute for Finance and Entrepreneurship LLC, 2011)
“The Late Night Book” is a children’s e-book for Apple’s iPad. It was written and designed with simple, high-contrast, black-and-white patterned graphics that catch an infant’s attention and rhyming text to encourage adults to read to a baby. Older children can use the iPad-specific graphic animation features on each page to touch, pinch or flip the screen. Each page contains a different animation feature; part of the fun for older children is discovering what each page can do. The author is associate professor in English language and literature at the University of Northern Iowa. Available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch through the iTunes App Store. (Project Tiki, 2010)
In this novel, Jane decides to leave her Wall Street job to join her husband in Tokyo, but unwittingly places herself on a trajectory that challenges her marriage, her career and her life. Author Louise T. Gantress uses her experience as a financial analyst on Wall Street and in the financial services industry in Tokyo to situate her novel in the late 1980s. This was a time when the U.S. felt itself in decline, the former Soviet Union was collapsing and Japan enjoyed prominence. (CreateSpace, 2010)
This book is a great tool for preparing children for the dentist and keeping their teeth healthy. It also offers helpful tips for teaching children about the different tools and techniques the dentist uses. Sherri Alpert has more than 20 years’ experience treating pediatric patients. (New Horizon Press, 2010)
This 400-page guidebook, written primarily for tax practitioners, is a comprehensive resource that covers the full range of statutes, regulations and legal rulings that govern New York State’s sales and use tax. It also includes examples and practice tips that illustrate real–world applications of the rules. (CCH, 2011)
The emotionally powerful songs in this pop CD by Mark Weber are about loss, hope and love. Weber used to write music reviews for Generation magazine at UB; he began writing his own songs during his senior year. “Days Like These” represents more than a decade of life experience since graduation. “3407,” a song about the tragic plane crash near his house in Clarence, N.Y., will especially resonate with listeners. The CD is available on iTunes. (MeetMarkWeber.com, 2010)
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