The Second Mountain by David Brooks

The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks

About This Book

In The Second Mountain, David Brooks explores the four commitments that define a life of meaning and purpose: to a spouse and family, to a vocation, to a philosophy or faith, and to a community. Our personal fulfillment depends on how well we choose and execute these commitments. Brooks looks at a range of people who have lived joyous, committed lives, and who have embraced the necessity and beauty of dependence. He gathers their wisdom on how to choose a partner, how to pick a vocation, how to live out a philosophy, and how we can begin to integrate our commitments into one overriding purpose.

In short, this book is meant to help us all lead more meaningful lives. But it’s also a provocative social commentary. We live in a society, Brooks argues, that celebrates freedom, that tells us to be true to ourselves, at the expense of surrendering to a cause, rooting ourselves in a neighborhood, binding ourselves to others by social solidarity and love. We have taken individualism to the extreme–and in the process we have torn the social fabric in a thousand different ways. The path to repair is through making deeper commitments. In The Second Mountain, Brooks shows what can happen when we put commitment-making at the center of our lives.

Becoming Dr. Seuss by Brian Jay Jones

Becoming Dr. Seuss by Brian Jay Jones

About This Book

“The definitive, fascinating, all-reaching biography of Dr. Seuss Dr. Seuss is a classic American icon. His work has defined our childhoods and the childhoods of our own children. More than twenty-five years after his death, his books continue to find new readers, now grossing over half a billion dollars in sales. His whimsical illustrations and silly, simple rhymes are timeless favorites because, quite simply, he makes us laugh. Theodor Geisel, however, led a life that goes much deeper than the prolific and beloved children’s book author. In fact, the allure and fascination of Dr. Seuss begins with this second, more radical side. He had a successful career as a political cartoonist, and his political leanings can be felt throughout his books–remember the environmentalist of The Lorax? Geisel was a complicated man, who introduced generations to the wonders of reading while teaching young people about empathy and how to treat others well”

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

About This Book

This beloved classic describes a lost world, a world reflecting the innocence and wonder of childhood, and illuminating an era without electricity or telephones. This is England on the cusp of the modern era, but it could have been anywhere. — From Amazon

Harpo Speaks by Harpo Marx

Harpo Speaks by Harpo Marx

About This Book

“This is a riotous story which is reasonably mad and as accurate as a Marx brother can make it. Despite only a year and a half of schooling, Harpo, or perhaps his collaborator, is the best writer of the Marx Brother. Highly recommended.” — From Library Journal

Every Tools a Hammer by Adam Savage

Every Tools a Hammer: Life is What You Make It by Adam Savage

About This Book

“Every Tool’s a Hammer is a chronicle of my life as a maker. It’s an exploration of making and of my own productive obsessions, but it’s also a permission slip of sorts from me to you. Permission to grab hold of the things you’re interested in, that fascinate you, and to dive deeper into them to see where they lead you. Through stories from forty-plus years of making and molding, building and breaking, along with the lessons I learned along the way, this book is meant to be a toolbox of problem solving, complete with a shop’s worth of notes on the tools, techniques, and materials that I use most often. Things like: In Every Tool There Is a Hammer — don’t wait until everything is perfect to begin a project, and if you don’t have the exact right tool for a task, just use whatever’s handy; Increase Your Loose Tolerance — making is messy and filled with screwups, but that’s okay, as creativity is a path with twists and turns and not a straight line to be found; Use More Cooling Fluid — it prolongs the life of blades and bits, and it prevents tool failure, but beyond that it’s a reminder to slow down and reduce the friction in your work and relationships; Screw Before You Glue — mechanical fasteners allow you to change and modify a project while glue is forever but sometimes you just need the right glue, so I dig into which ones will do the job with the least harm and best effects. This toolbox also includes lessons from many other incredible makers and creators, including: Jamie Hyneman, Nick Offerman, Pixar director Andrew Stanton, Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, artist Tom Sachs, and chef Traci Des Jardins. And if everything goes well, we will hopefully save you a few mistakes (and maybe fingers) as well as help you turn your curiosities into creations. I hope this book inspires you to build, make, invent, explore, and — most of all — enjoy the thrills of being a creator.” —

A Well-Read Woman by Kate Stewart

A Well-Read Woman by Kate Stewart

About This Book

Librarians, the stereotype would have it, are quiet and unassuming. Not so Ruth Rappaport. This remarkable woman found her calling in librarianship only after a life that included her fleeing Nazi Germany at 15 to live with a series of relatives in the U.S., losing both her parents to the Holocaust, working in the Zionist movement, and trying out a number of occupations here and abroad. Rappaport started her library career in Vietnam, expanding a system of libraries to serve the U.S. military personnel stationed there during the war, and she eventually worked at the Library of Congress, where she cataloged books in the social sciences for 20 years. Stewart, currently an archivist at the Arizona Historical Society, has combed through letters, diaries, personal papers, and other resources to create a wonderful, nuanced portrait of a singular woman whose life, though fraught with personal trauma, persecution, and political unrest, was grounded in an abiding love for books and reading and the solace they bring. An inspiring story told with genuine affection and respect.–Carolyn Mulac Booklist