6 Booklist April 1, 2017 www.booklistreader.com
and empathetic prose, Nealy powerfully
makes the case for what can be done to
ease the pain of these children. A must-read
for anyone who wants to help trans youth.
YA: Nealy’s book will be a lifesaver
for trans teens or any nonbinary youth
desperately looking for answers. CM.
Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give.
By Ada Calhoun.
May 2017. 192p. Norton, $24.95 (9780393254792).
Because telling newlyweds to just be nice
to one another, stay stubborn enough to
never get divorced, and remember that soul
mates are made, not born, doesn’t seem exactly congratulatory, Calhoun (St. Marks
Is Dead, 2015) says she’ll keep the “toasts”
gathered here to herself. (But thank goodness she didn’t, really.) Married for more
than a decade, Calhoun plumbs personal
material for her explorations into how to
guide others through a wedding’s great beyond while drawing on extensive research
and interviews with scholars, clergy, and acquaintances at di;erent stages of marriage.
She hits all the universal, scary-to-ponder
topics—boredom, temptation, isolation—
and readers will marvel at the connections
she makes through her many-limbed approach. Calhoun’s synthesis ultimately
a;rms that, as both a catalyst for an endless
stream of imagined paths not taken and a
determined, deliberate act of love, marriage
is many things—but it’s not mundane. ;is
despite-appearances celebratory book is
moving, refreshing, funny, and not incidentally coming out in time for wedding season.
Place it prominently. —Annie Bostrom
Wild Lives: Leading Conservationists on
the Animals and the Planet They Love.
By Lori Robinson and Janie Chodosh.
Apr. 2017. 224p. Skyhorse, $21.99 (9781510713642);
e-book (9781510713659). 333.72.
A children’s-zoo veterinarian who became
an advocate for the world’s dwindling cheetah
population. An intrepid Indian scientist who
confronted the dangerous scourge of elephant
poaching. A pioneering female biologist who
became the world’s leading expert on gira;es.
Who knows why some people develop the
passion that de;nes their life’s work? For
some, such as investigative wildlife photo-
journalist Paul Hilton, it was a love of animals
that started in childhood. For others, such as
internationally renowned treetop ecologist
Meg Lowman, it was an a;nity for nature
that began in the woods of rural upstate New
York. With the world facing an unprecedent-
ed spate of species extinction, the survival of
iconic wildlife, such as the polar bear and such
lesser-known creatures as Israel’s long-billed
hoopoe, is often up to courageous individu-
als who commit to their passion and sacri;ce
their comfort so that the planet maintains a
healthy biodiversity. ;anks to the environ-
mentally committed interviewers Robinson
and Chodosh, 20 conservationists succinctly
tell their stories in this illuminating volume
that may well inspire readers to take up the
cause. —Carol Haggas
YA: ;ese vibrant stories of unsung heroes
of the conservation movement will provide
excellent material for YAs interested in
wildlife and the environment. CH.
The Physics of Everyday Things: The
Extraordinary Science behind an
By James Kakalios.
May 2017. 256p. Crown, $26 (9780770437732). 530.
No one will ever mistake the bedroom,
kitchen, highway, or business o;ce for
the physics laboratory. But because physics informs his vision, Kakalios discerns in
such ordinary places extraordinary lessons
in the scienti;c laws that explain the devices, vehicles, and technologies we rely on
daily. When scienti;cally interrogated, even
relatively simple mechanisms (a pendulum
clock, an elevator) yield surprising insights
into the dynamics of matter and energy. And
when he turns his attention to more complex
technology (the touch screen of an ATM
kiosk, the television remote control), Kakalios teases out more profound principles of
electromagnetism and quantum mechanics.
Writing in the accessible style that made his
;e Physics of Superheroes (2005) a reader
favorite, Kakalios illuminates scienti;c precepts with few technical terms and almost
no mathematics. Sure to awaken in readers a
new awareness of science operating beneath
familiar surfaces, this analysis also opens a
historical perspective on the inventions that
have reshaped the world—once dependent
on little-understood steam engines, now
exploiting ingeniously engineered semiconductors. A fascinating inquiry exposing
hidden science. —Bryce Christensen
Geek Girl Rising: Inside the Sisterhood
Shaking Up Tech.
By Heather Cabot and Samantha
May 2017. 272p. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (9781250112262).
Despite increasing jobs in the tech indus-
try, the number of women pursuing these
careers is in decline. However, Cabot and
Walravens admirably show that though
women are a minority in this historically
white, male industry, they are an inspira-
tional force to be reckoned with. ;is book
dismantles stereotypes surrounding women’s
capabilities, highlights obstacles impeding
their entry into the tech “boys club,” and en-
courages women of all ages to persevere and
follow their passions. Cabot and Walravens
accomplish this task by pro;ling a wonder-
fully diverse range of female entrepreneurs,
;nanciers, company founders, and men-
tors—all of them intelligent, driven, and
committed to creating a supportive commu-
nity for women in (or trying to break into)
tech. Included are such ;gures as Debbie
Sterling, creator of GoldieBlox engineer-
ing dolls; Sheila Marcelo, founder of Care.
com; and Michelle Phan, You Tube celebrity
and Ipsy cosmetics company founder. ;is
enlightening read reveals many problems
embedded in start-up culture, but, more im-
portantly, it is an invigorating call to action
and testament to the wide-ranging successes
of women in this ;eld. —Julia Smith
YA: Any teen with an interest in coding
or STEM careers will ;nd inspiration
here, but girls in particular will be drawn
to the strong female role models ;lling its
Gatherings: Recipes for Feasts Great and
By Flora Shedden.
Apr. 2017. 288p. illus. Mitchell Beazley, $34.99
Shedden, a 20-year-old recent contestant
on the BBC’s international sensation Great
British Baking Show and current columnist
for the Scotsman, writes that although hosting dinner is stressful and full of expectations,
gatherings are the no-pressure, fun-for-all alternative. Emphasizing “commonsense food”
(“nothing overly fussy or complicated”) that’s
nourishing, satisfying, and—key to this
cookbook—beautiful on a plate, Shedden im-presses. Handsomely produced and chock-full
of gorgeous photographs of food and tables-capes, this volume includes shareable recipes
for all meals of the day, organized loosely but
with a useful index. (One chapter is titled
“Food to Fling Together.”) For casual breakfast, there are drop scones and baked eggs, and
sunny soups and salads are tucked in before
heartier mains, like steak with olive gratin,
sloe-gin braised venison, asparagus risotto, and
homemade pastas. And don’t think she forgot
bakes—both savory and sweet, all are standouts. Pickles, preserves, and condiments round
out the bunch. (Only a few ingredients will be
unfamiliar to U.S. readers, and most measurements are given in weight.) —Annie Bostrom
Give a Girl a Knife.
By Amy Thielen.
May 2017. 304p. Clarkson Potter, $26 (9780307954909).
From her childhood in a rural town north of
Minneapolis, through years homesteading with
the artist who would become her husband, on
to New York’s hottest restaurants, and then
back to rural Minnesota with a new baby, chef,
Food Network host, and cookbook author
(;e New Midwestern Table, 2013) ;ielen
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