Welcome to our latest non-fiction and biography book reviews. Non-Fiction stimulates, entertains, educates, and enlightens. We look for new non-fiction books - biographies, science books, art books, and books on humor and entertainment to review that we think are worthy of your time and your hard-earned dollars. Here are our reviews of the best non-fiction books that we've seen recently.
Ronald Mendlin shows managers and small business owners how to conquer the problem of managing your time. We all face the demon procrastination at some time (some of us more than others), and it often ends up with so many things on your To-Do List that you feel you'll never catch up. And you won't unless you take matters in hand. Mr. Mendlin offers some great advice for organizing your office and then moves on to show you how to tackle the tasks you face. Prioritization is certainly one key, but so is looking for obstacles - both emotional and organizational - that prevent you from completing the most important jobs. Speaking as a professional procrastinator, I can attest to the value of the lessons presented here. Of special note is the chapter on recognizing and dealing with stress, and understanding how stress can kill productivity. Here's a book that is truly worth the time it takes to read.
Taken from the diary of Judah Magnes, one of the founders of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Joseph Heller presents a history of the birth of Israel and the struggle between Magnes and David Ben-Gurion for the structure of the state. Would Israel be a Jewish-only state or one that could include both Jews and Arabs. This struggle continues to this day as Arabs seek justice for lands taken from them and as the Jews seek a secure homeland. Today we too often see this conflict as simply the Israelis expansion into Arab territories and Palestinian terrorism without any historic context. I'm sure I'm not the first to notice the irony that this author shares the name of the creator of "Catch-22". Heller gives us a very personal look at the men who were so critical at the time of the creation of Israel that also gives us an insight into the philosophy of those involved.
"Dear Homefolks" tells the story of Roy Thompson as he entered the US Army and served in France during World War I. It's a touching, personal account of this remarkable man's experience from the rigors of training through the horrors of that war's imfamous trench warfare. Roy's son, Dale Thompson, compiled his letters home, his diary, and other documents, including photographs and postcards and other momentoes of his life. Thompson's service changed the course of his life dramatically from the farming background of his youth. The Army was fortunate to have noticed Roy's mechanical skills and trained him to be an auto mechanic. This led to him becoming a noted mechanical engineer, an inventor, and a champion of education. Few biographies are told with such a personal perspective and charm. It's a delightful and inspiring life story.
Charles Temple gives us a veritable encyclopedia of the themes in Japanese art, that is so richly embued with the cultural history of that people. The book explains the underlying meanings of the recurring symbols and styles of traditional Japanese art and how it carries the culture through history in its foundation in folklore and religion. This is the resource you need to have if you are studying this unique genre.
Written by the amazingly talented staff of Disney Imagineering - the people who actually design and build the Disney theme parks, so dubbed by Walt himself - this is a guide to help you appreciate those designs as they were used in Disneyland in California. The book brings to light the artistry and showmanship of Disney that one senses when you visit the park, but probably don't fully appreciate the consideration that went into the details of every aspect of the buildings and attractions. Of special note is how the book is filled with artwork by so many Disney artists, many of whom were responsible for designing the originals. From Disney Legends like Sam McKim and Herb Ryman, to more contemporary artists like Tony Baxter and Colin Campbell. Its the stories behind the designs that make Disneyland an even more magical place to visit, and learning about things like why there's always a light burning in the window over the firehouse, and who are the people whose names appear in the windows on Main Street. At a simpler level, the book tells you all about the rides so you can decide which ones to try first on your next visit to The Happiest Place on Earth. Just a treat for any Disney fan.
"Crazy Town" is the true story of a man who marries a woman who is addicted to methamphetamine. The story is intertwined with a history of the drug, including how it found its way to become the most addictive and abused drug today. The victims seldom overcome their addiction, and their lives are completely devastated. The story is compelling for its lack of rationalizing by either the author or his wife. It brings the danger posed by this killer drug into sharp focus.