As they say, never assume. This week’s email inviting City workers to a training session on “time management” sounded more ambitious than it was meant to. I envisioned the topic as tailor-made for library staffers serving increasing numbers of customers; we want to maximize productivity, both on and off the job. By the time I’d processed all the details (including the fact that “time management” actually consists of directions for using the new timesheet reporting system), I was all set for a major enrichment experience, not just a useful demonstration.
Not that a streamlined payroll process isn’t appreciated, but clearly I needed to look elsewhere for lifestyle-enhancing sorts of things. Thankfully, stacks of them awaited me in New Nonfiction.
Call me superficial, but the mere sight of shiny, just-delivered volumes promising artsy graphics and /or fresh insights instantly lifts my spirits. And (also call me cheap) the realization that I can borrow them for free further energizes my thrifty soul.
In my role as library customer, I checked all these out to sample new material that empowers: inspiring stories, explorations of contemporary concerns, effective strategies. As a librarian, though, I’m anxious to share. So, I’ll return them just as soon as I finish writing this!
- The King’s Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi. Even without Colin Firth, the book version of the story will charm and inspire.
- Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella by Neil Lanctot. Not just for baseball fans, this biography of the first African-American catcher in the major leagues examines not only Campanella’s personal life but also his contributions to physical therapy research.
- Epiphany: True Stories of Sudden Insight to Inspire, Encourage, and Transform by Elise Ballard. The director of Lord of the Wiens (documentary about the Buda Wiener Dog Races) asked notables this: “Have you ever experienced an epiphany, a life-changing moment or realization?” Read what Maya Angelou, Deepak Chopra, and others replied.
- No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale by Felice C. Frankel and Georg M. Whitesides. Nourish your brain cells and dazzle your eyes with dozens of full-page photographs illustrating topics like “writing with light”, ” sequencing DNA”, and “the cell as circus”. The impressively lucid commentary may convince you that you already understood more than you thought.
- 4 Ingredients: More than 400 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Recipes Using 4 or Fewer Ingredients by Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham. By lightening your shopping list, this un-intimidating recipe collection offers supreme encouragement.
- Getting Your Share of the Pie: The Complete Guide to Finding Grants by Valerie J. Mann. The author observes that “it is the organizations that cannot afford grant writers who need grant funds the most.” Don’t miss these insider tips.
- Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us by John Quiggin. An economics professor sheds light on the global financial crisis (and ways to prevent future crises) by tracing historic economic concepts and their consequences.
- The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins. The Loner, The Nerd, The Weird Girl, The Band Geek–whether you know them, were one of them, or just want to reassure them that their qualities will ultimately be valued, this book is worth seeking out.
- The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry) by Siva Vaidhyanathan. I think the title says it all.