Recommended Reading: The Ring in the Rubble

April 27, 2010

Unexpected change can happen at any time. Gary Bradt, author of The Ring in the Rubble, uses the metaphor of change, the kind that leaves one’s life turned upside down and in a pile of rubble, to be the time of significant personal growth and renewal.

The image of digging through a pile of rubble is used to describe the process that one goes through in order to find the opportunities that are part of any crisis. The choice comes down to staying stuck in negative emotion and attitude, or working through the pain, fear, and uncertainty to find the “golden ring of opportunity” that is hidden in each unique situation.

The author begins each chapter by sharing with the reader how he lived through a serious family crisis and thereby learned the method he shares in the book of how to persevere and find the opportunity in change. Each chapter ends with five questions that assist the reader with applying the concept discussed in the chapter and encourages the reader to dig deeper in order to grow and benefit from the process.


Librarian’s Pick: Environmental Crime: A Sourcebook

April 5, 2010

The purpose of the book Environmental Crime: A Sourcebook by Ronald G. Burns and Michael J. Lynch is to focus on the need for those who study crime and justice to use environmental data more. The point is made that environmental crimes not only cause damage to nature, though that in itself is significant. Estimates suggest that ten times more people die from the results of environmental crimes than die from homicide. The estimated number of victims who suffer debilitating diseases and injuries due to exposure to toxins is in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps reaching a million. The authors state that these “deaths, injuries, and illnesses are more common, and have a greater impact on the average person than ordinary crime.”

The strength of this book is that it is not only for criminal science students. The environment affects all of us. Reading just a chapter or two will raise your consciousness about why this topic is important to you.

February 4, 2010

Thomas Keller‘s  Ad Hoc at home is the chef’s take on classic family meals. As the title suggests, his newest book is geared more towards home cooks, providing foundational advice on becoming a better cook and accessible recipes. His previous books (The French Laundry Cookbook, Bouchon, and Under Pressure) are esoteric using complicated methods only master chefs with access to equipment like an immersion circulator could replicate. Ad Hoc is a beautiful book inspired by Mr. Keller’s father and the last meal he cooked for him before he died. Ad Hoc is placed on reserve at the North Miami Campus Library.

NPR – Best Books of 2009

December 11, 2009

NPR has a really nice section on their site devoted to books of the year:

The Positive No

October 18, 2009

William Ury is the author of several books on the topic of negotiation and is recognized worldwide for his negotiation and mediation skills. He is currently the director of Harvard’s Global Negotiation Project. His most recent book, The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes, provides a three step process (Yes! No. Yes?) that allows the user to more effectively get what is desired through negotiation.

Step one of a Positive No creates the understanding that saying “No” is actually saying “Yes!” to yourself. The second step of a Positive No conveys the reality that saying “No” states what it is that you do not agree to. The third step of a Positive No bridges to a point of agreement and respect. Ury also explains the process as: the first step expresses your interests, the second step asserts your power, and the third step furthers your relationship.

The effectiveness of a Positive No allows one to stand on ones own two feet, create what is wanted, protect what is valued, and change what does not work. The key to using this technique is respect. Although this may sound like common sense, Ury contends that it is uncommon, as so often the Nos used in negotiation and life do not follow this pattern, and the results are far from productive.

The Power of a Positive No is a fairly quick read and may provide you with an effective life long communication and negation tool. Can you recommend other self-help type books that you have found to be helpful? Posting your thoughts to these blog entries is always appreciated. We invite you to share your thoughts with other blog readers.

The Green Revolution

October 4, 2009

“Student by student, school by school, teacher by teacher, neighborhood by neighborhood, the American Re-Generation is growing and changing the culture around green, making it not only “hip” but also more central to our lives.” So states New York Times writer Thomas L. Friedman in his latest book: Hot, Flat and Crowded.

The warming of the planet, the “flattening” effect of technology on the global marketplace, and the spiraling world population growth, especially in nations that can least sustain overpopulation, are the trends Friedman identifies as the driving forces of the new Energy-Climate Era. It is in coping with and developing solutions for the problems generated by this hot, flat, crowded world, that Friedman sees America coming again to its role as the world leader. Furthermore, it is in the process of American leadership taking on the challenges of energy efficiency and environmental preservation, that America will renew its identity and self-confidence.

Each chapter reminds the reader of the importance of the topic and the necessity for change and leadership. In conclusion, Friedman uses the analogy of all of us sailing as pilgrims on the Mayflower, and arriving at a place where we have not been before. The nature of the decisions we make about sustainable development will define who we are as Americans, and, in a very real way, define a moment in history as a true turning point where the nations that develop the big solutions to the big problems will lead the new era.

What are your ideas for sustainable living and development?

eBook – The American History Cookbook

September 24, 2009

The American History Cookbook by Mark Zanger covers a wide range of American history cookery from the pre-colonial to school lunches.  Many of the recipes were selected from historical cookbooks with the intention to illuminate techniques used by the people of the time, and thus history.  The book is arranged chronologically by time periods (50 Chapters in total) and each chapter opens with a brief historical background then gives a typical recipe of that period.   The recipes include detailed instructions on how to prepare the dish authentically with instructions for substitutes for hard to find ingredients and difficult techniques.

American History Cookbook

The American History Cookbook is available as an eBook through Greenwood Digital Collection database.  To access this resource go to the library homepage, select databases, then scroll down to Greenwood Digital Collection and choose your location (either on or off campus).  Once you are in the database, click on “American History” subject heading to expand your options, then expand “American History (General)” and you’ll see The American History Cookbook.