Utne Reader Book Sampler

By Staff
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Every season, Utne Reader reviews and previews a selection of current and upcoming book releases. This sampler was curated by editor Ben Sauder. To find more books that pique our interest, visit the Utne Reader Bookshelf.

Winter 2015 Book Sampler


City on a Grid: How New York Became New York
by Gerard Koeppel (Da Capo Press)
Hardcover, $20.00 (available now)

There are a number of iconic elements that make up New York City: the Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty. But long before these landmarks could come to define the Big City, its very structure had to be developed. City on a Grid: How New York Became New Yorkis the first book to tell just that story: how New York’s city streets came to form the rectilinear grid that millions of people now walk through every day. (Publisher preview)

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Finding Home: Shelter Dogs and Their Stories
by Traer Scott (Princeton Architectural Press)
Hardcover, $19.95 (available now)

Bold or retiring, serious or sparkling, quirky and loving – the dogs in Traer Scott’s luminous portraits regard us with good humor, dignity, and an abundance of character. Scott, a longtime volunteer in animal shelters, has photographed hundreds of dogs over the last decade, and her previous collections of these images, Shelter Dogs, is treasured by animal lovers everywhere. In Finding Home, Scott introduces an entirely new group of dogs. (Publisher preview)

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Global Chorus: 365 Voices on the Future of the Planet
edited by Todd E. Maclean (Rocky Mountain Books)
Softcover, $22.00 (available now)

Global Chorus is a remarkable, illustrated collection of 365 daily meditations around some very large and increasingly crucial themes: “Do you think that humanity can find a way past the current global environmental and social crises? Will we be able to create the conditions necessary for our own survival as well as that of other species on this planet? What would these conditions look like? In summary, then, and in the plainest terms, do we have hope, and can we do it?” (Publisher preview)

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The Luck Archive: Exploring Belief, Superstition, and Tradition
by Mark Menjivar (Trinity University Press)
Softcover, $24.95 (available now)

Through photographs and first-person accounts, The Luck Archive takes the best of these thoughts and objects and gives readers a glimpse into the cultures and superstitions of a colorful array of humanity. Artist and author Mark Menjivar tells the story of the gentleman on an airplane who regaled him with a seemingly endless list of illnesses and misfortune, only to live on the bright side as the luckiest man alive. The minor league ballplayers who obsessively shuffle through the same rituals every game so as not to tempt fate. And the woman who has carried a talisman in her pocket for years to keep evil in check. (Publisher review)

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Seriously, You Have to Eat
by Adam Mansbach (Akashic Books)
Hardcover, $15.95 (available now)

From the author of the international best seller Go the F**k to Sleep comes the profanity-free, kid-friendly version of his latest hit, You Have to F**king Eat: Seriously, You Have to Eat. Featuring whimsical illustrations from Owen Brozman and hilarious text from Adam Mansbach, Seriously, You Have to Eat finally lets kids in on the fun. (Publisher preview)

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Hartwood: Bright, Wild Flavors from the Edge of the Yucatán
by Eric Werner & Mya Henry (Artisan Books)
Hardcover, $40.00 (available now)

Have you ever daydreamed of going abroad and starting a new life in another country? Eric Werner and Mya Henry turned that fantasy into reality when they left their jobs in New York City to build a restaurant of their own off the grid in Tulum, Mexico. Five years later, Werner’s forward-thinking and regionally rooted cooking at their restaurant, Hartwood, draws international acclaim from chefs such as Alice Waters and René Redzepi. Their first book, Hartwood, takes readers on a trip to that dazzling restaurant between the jungle and the sea, and offers the secrets to capturing its alluring, tropical flavors at home. (Publisher preview)

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National Geographic: Rarely Seen Photographs of the Extraordinary
by Susan Tyler Hitchcock (National Geographic)
Hardcover, $40.00 (available now)

“Since the invention of the camera, the photographer’s role has been to make the unknown known,” writes National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez in his foreword to a new book, National Geographic Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary. For 127 years, National Geographic has published those discoveries and shared the places, moments and objects that astonish and inspire – revealing the exotic and shining a light on what would otherwise be hidden from view. The dazzling photography collection is the perfect gift for aspiring armchair travelers and avid photographers alike. Inspiring an provoking, Rarely Seen is 400 pages of once-in-a-lifetime moments, natural wonders and little-seen objects from the far reached of the globe. (Publisher preview)


The Mindfulness Coloring Book – Volume Two
by Emma Farrarons (The Experiment)
Softcover, $9.95 (available now)

Coloring books are everywhere, and adults cannot get enough. Bookstores, Twitter and Instagram feeds, bestseller lists, print and online features, therapy session, adult coloring parties…the interest continues to grow. In a world dominated by technology, it’s clear that the mindful calm coloring is a welcome break, and coloring books for grownups are sure to top many a holiday wish list. When The Mindfulness Coloring Book released in June 2015, it helped usher in the adult coloring trend-becoming an instant and continuing national bestseller. Now, artist Emma Farrarons is back with The Mindfulness Coloring Book-Volume Two: More Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People. (Publisher preview)

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AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda
based on the film by Paola di Florio and Lisa Leeman (Self-Realization Fellowship)
Hardcover, $45.00 (available now)

AWAKE is an account of Yogananda’s personal journey in America during a time of upheaval and change – exploring the challenges he encountered with racism and yellow journalism while speaking to Western audiences, his breakthrough teachings on the link between science and spirituality, and stories of his childhood and spiritual training in India which ultimately led to his pioneering role as the father of Yoga in the West. (Publisher preview)

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