Staff Picks: May 2011

Even Silence Has an End

Even Silence Has an End Book Cover

During her campaign for the Columbian presidency in 2002, Ingrid Betancourt was abducted by the FARC and held captive in the Columbian jungle for over 6yrs. This is the amazing account of those years and what she endured and her reflection on what it really means to be human.

My Reading Life

My Reading Life Book Cover

Conroy revisits a life of reading by sharing anecdotes of humorous and touching stories of his love of books and reading since childhood and the influences they have had on his life and career. From the pleasures of his local library to his relationship with an English teacher, a bookshop owner,a book rep, and the authors he loves, his stories are amazing in their wisdom and honesty. He still reads 200 pages every day.

The Illumination

The Illumination Book Cover

In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, a private journal of love notes from a husband to his wife is passed into the hands of six suffering people. Although completely different, they live in a world in which pain is expressed as illumination, so one’s wounds and suffering glitter and fluorescence. A very original story about a different world and how people are still connected.

Life as We Knew It

Life as We Knew It Book Cover

For 16 year old Miranda along with her friends, family, and classmates, the impending impact of a meteorite striking the moon is an event to look forward to. What they don’t realize is that life after the meteorite hits the moon will change their lives in a way no one expects. Written in the format of Miranda’s journal, the reader experiences the hope that comes along with surviving in a world forever changed.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things Book Cover

Introducing a new industrial revolution: Environmentalism has always been at odds with industry and vice versa; environmentalists trying to rein in industrial growth and industry fighting against the constraints of the environment. The problem lies with the linear life cycle of production: cradle to grave. This means that lots of time and effort is put into extracting raw materials from the earth and producing a product whose life cycle inevitably ends in a landfill where it can never be recovered. Picture instead industry that is cradle to cradle. A product is designed with the idea that all the components are valuable as either biologic or technical nutrients. “Products that, when their useful life is over, do not become useless waste but can be tossed onto the ground to decompose and become food for plants and animals and nutrients for soil; or, alternately, that can return to industrial cycles to supply high-quality raw materials for new products”. With this revolutionary concept, the idea of waste is eliminated. This book provides examples of companies that are succeeding at cradle to cradle design. Instead of merely recycling (which often means down-cycling) these companies and innovators are seeing their products through their whole life cycle rather than just into the consumer’s hands. This change in perspective could make peace between the natural world and human productivity.