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The I Hate the 21st Century Reader: The Awful, the Annoying, and the Absurd - From Ethnic Cleansing to Frankenscience, edited by Clint Willis and Nate Hardcastle, Thunder's Mouth Press, 2006, $15.95, 368 pp. This collection, which includes the likes of David Sedaris alongside Calvin Trillin, puts truth in the old expression "The good ol' days".

I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight, by Margaret Cho, Riverhead, 2006, $23.95, 256 pp. Funny Girl, uh, Woman, Margaret Cho delivers in this book of comedic political commentary. Topics run all over the board from homophobia to racism, war and Andy Rooney. Yes, Andy Rooney. You stay girl!

I Like You, by Sandol Stoddard Warburg, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1965, 48 pp. I Like you is a book for friends to give to friends. It's all about liking a person for the things they do, the things they may not do, the way they are and the way they aren't. It recognizes there's not always rhyme or reason to why we like the people we like; we just do. Illustrated by Jacqueline Chwast.

If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World's People, by David J. Smith, Kids Can Press, 2002, $15.95, 32 pp. If you take the world's population and reduce it to 100 people, you have the makings for If the World Were a Village. Designed to put the global population in perspective for children, Smith reveals a load of statistics about us, working with numbers that are easily understood. Illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong.

If Women Ruled the World: How to Create the World We Want to Live in, edited by Sheila Ellison, Inner Ocean Publishing, 2004, $14.95, 269 pp. If Women Ruled is a collection of essays by 150 women with a common theme: Women must take leadership roles to create a just world. It's a good message, but one perhaps a little over-simplified in its assumption all women are peace-seeking vessels of compassion.
I'm No Hero, by Ethel Barrett, Regal Books, 1974, $1.25, 150 pp. Barrett likes to take bible stories and rehash them into contemporary reads for children. No shortage of biblical heroes here.

Imagining Ourselves: Global Voices from a New Generation of Women, edited by Paula Goldman, New World Library, 2006, $26.95, 239 pp. Goldman had the nerve to ask women around the world, "What defines your generation?". In turn, they - the famous to the invisible - responded with songs, essays and poetry that takes this volume beyond Goldman's original vision. Beautifully illustrated.

Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia, by Gore Vidal, Nation Books, 2004, $18.00, 181 pp. He's baaaack! In a new volume of political essays, Vidal reflects upon what we as Americans have learned since the 2000 presidential fiasco. To summarize: Not much. King George, on the other hand, has taken America's memory deficit and ran with it. Case in point: Touchscreen voting terminals in the heavily contested - some might say "rigged" - state of Florida. If banks can't guarantee protection of funds and records from computer piracy, how can the American public trust G. Dubya's own brother to guarantee an untampered with electronic election? Insightful and scathing.

The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear, edited by Paul Rogat Loeb, Basic Books, 2005, $15.95, 422 pp. Chocked full of essays, poems and memoirs, The Impossible provides examples of hope and action through which humankind can achieve a richer existence. Writers include Tony Kushner, Vaclav Havel, Arundhati Roy and others.

In Buddha's Kitchen: Cooking, Being Cooked, and Other Adventures in a Meditation Center, by Kimberly Snow, Shambhala Publications, 2003, $18.95, 182 pp. A chef for six years at a Buddhist retreat, the author shares her experience in In Buddha's Kitchen. Adventures at once funny, hectic and anything but serene, Snow may be the Buddhist community's answer to Erma Bombeck.

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, by Michael Pollan, Penguin Press, 2007, $21.95, 244 pp. Pollan's manifesto can be summed up in seven words: Eat food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants. If that sounds like granola and rye crisp to you, you're not using your imagination. Extremely - and deservedly so - critical of the commercial food industry.

In Our Own Best Interest: How Defending Human Rights Benefits Us All, by William F. Schulz, Beacon Press, 2002, $16.00, 235 pp. Written by the executive director of Amnesty International, this book endeavors to answer the question "Why should I care?". In it, Schulz argues the connection between the West's prosperity and human rights violations abroad. After reading this book, you may not care any more than you did, but you'll at least know why it might be in your best interest to.
In The Beginning, by Hans Samsom and Laura Rous, Derbibooks, 1974, $6.95, 96 pp. In The Beginning opens with the first two chapters of Genesis juxtaposed against an indescript image of a surface of water. Instinctively we understand it represents an infant earth. In the next two pages it leaps from the Earth in its nascence to modern day, complete with skyscrapers, mass-production agriculture, and ultimately, war and destruction. The authors mean it as a warning to humanity, a caution sign thrown up in the face of industrial advancement. Today, In The Beginning feels antiquated, although global destruction of the environment is at an all-time high. We live in a tech-savvy world with technical solutions for addressing over-population, yet population growth marches on unabated. Perhaps we could use more antiquated voices like this.

An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About it, by Al Gore, Rodale, 2006, $21.95, 328 pp. When Gore lost his bid for the presidency in the politicl fiasco of 2000, he could have hung up his hat on championing unpopular causes like the survival of planet Earth and become a saleable politician. Instead, he stuck to his convictions and Inconvenient Truth is the product. While light on text, the crisis of global warming is driven home through graphs and photos.

Infinite Life: Seven Virtues For Living Well, by Robert Thurman, Riverhead Books, 2004, $24.95, 276 pp. Perhaps best known for his famous daughter, Thurman advocates personal transformation through generosity, patience and creativity.

An Instant Guide to Birds, by Mike Lambert and Alan Pearson, Crescent Books, 1985, $3.99, 128 pp. An Instant Guide to Birds - like other titles in the Instant Guide series - delivers, to a point. It's simple, concise, easy to use and aesthetically pleasing. The birds, however, are divided up along four broad categories: Birds of Town, Birds of Country, Birds of Water, and Less Common Species. Helpful categories, but the bird watcher would be better served by regional divisions. In other words, if you're in Boston you don't want to spend your time looking for a Bird of Town you're only likely to lay eyes on in California.

Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America's War on Terror, by Senator Bob Graham, Random House, 2004, $27.25, 296 pp. Connecting the dots: Intelligence Matters asks some tough questions of the Bush administration regarding their policies since 9/11. In it, Graham, a ten year veteran of the Senate Intelligence Committee, reveals areas of flawed decision-making that not only suggest ineptitude on the administration's part, but collusion and cover-up as well. It makes for an unapologetic indictment of a presidency seemingly without conscience.

Interventions, by Noam Chomsky, City Lights, 2007, $12.95, 232 pp. This collection of work by acclaimed political thinker Noam Chomsky consists of essays never published by any major US paper. Relevant.

In the Footsteps of Ghandi: Conversations With Spiritual Social Activists, by Catherine Ingram, Arun Ghandi and Michael N. Nagler, Parallax Press, 2005, $16.00, 272 pp. Features essays by the spiritual community's A-List. Words of wisdom from Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and others abound.
Invitation to the Theatre, by George and Portia Kernodle, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, 370 pp. In this, an updated edition, the Kernobles immerse themselves once again in the varied forms of theatre. That it was published just seven years after the first edition, goes to show how dynamic and evolving live theatre is. It covers the major historical movements (Greek, Medieval, Farce, Romance, Realism and Modern) as well as technical aspects of mounting a production. The technical sections - although helpful - aren't up-to-date, but its historical account remains a useful tool for students and theatre buffs. Includes extensive bibliography and index.

The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach, by James A. Baker and Lee H. Hamilton, Vintage Books, 2006, $10.95, 160 pp. If you're looking for an indictment of the Bush Administration, this isn't it. Rather, it's a very clear outline by experts on foreign policy of how to fix the mess in Iraq. It remains to be seen whether G. Dubya will heed their advice.

Islam: A Short History, by Karen Armstrong, Random House, 2000, $19.95, 227 pp. In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, American's have been struggling to understand the religion behind them. In Islam Armstrong examines the fastest growing religion in the world, revealing a much more diverse faith than its modern fundamentalists would have you believe.

It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush, by Joe Conason, Thomas Dunne Books, 2007, $24.95, 238 pp. After six years of wrapping themselves in the flag while burning the Constitution, the White House, along with their Congressional bullies, got spanked in 2006. Unfortunately, the power amassed by the executive branch in that time has not been quelled. Conason's book is a wake-up call to anyone feeling confident that balance has or will be returned to Washington's power structure without due diligence on the part of its constituency.

It's Called the Sugar Plum, by Israel Horovitz, Dramatists Play Service, 1968, 38 pp. This is an engaging one act play about two college students who deserve each other. Joanna, an art student, shows up at the apartment of the other after he's run over and killed her fiance'. As the play progresses it is revealed they both want the same thing; their full fifteen minutes of fame, and aren't above using the accident to get it. Marsha Mason originated the role of Joanna.
Jack Oakie's Double Takes, by Jack Oakie, Strawberry Hill Press, 1980, $10.95, 217 pp. Jack Oakie was born under a lucky star. His film and television career spanned six decades, beginning in the '20s opposite Laura La Plante and culminating in a 1972 NBC TV special with Johnny Carson. What he gives us in Jack Oakie's Double Takes goes beyond a history about himself; it's an insider's look at sixty years of Hollywood movie-making.

The Jacoby & Myers Practical Guide to Everyday Law, by Gail J. Koff, Fireside, 1985, $9.95, 288 pp. Written by lawyers to help people sue through lawyers, this book covers everything from affidavits to wills. As long as we have lawmakers we'll have updates on this subject.

Jazz Fish Zen, by Howie Green, Charles E. Tuttle, Co., 1992, $16.95, 48 pp. Mamboland is a place where the laws of relativity do not apply. It's a great place to go and converse with the cosmos and re-work your preconceptions, as we learn following Jazz Fish there. The author - also a talented artist - has given us a terrific vehicle for jump starting stuck minds.

Je Suis le Cahier: The Sketchbooks of Picasso, edited by Arnold and Marc Glimcher, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986, $65.00, 349 pp. In his lifetime Picasso filled 175 personal sketchbooks. Some sketches stopped there; others became the groundwork for some of his most celebrated pieces. Although this book doesn't contain every drawing from every sketchbook, it does include six in their entirety and representations of the rest. This is a sumptuous creation, from its jacket (lifted off a sketchbook begun in 1906) to the layout and typography within.

Justin Wilson's Homegrown Louisiana Cookin', by Justin Wilson, MacMillan Publishing, 1990, 270 pp. This is one of those rare gems that found its way into my hands when I wasn't looking. Truly outstanding Cajun fare.

The Kid's Guide to Social Action: How to Solve the Social Problems You Choose - And Turn Creative Thinking into Positive Action, by Barbara A. Lewis, Free Spirit Publishing, 1998, $16.95, 212 pp. Want to raise an activist? This guide may just do the trick. Hailed by the Audubon Society as "the most thorough handbook for citizen action . . .", it covers everything from letter-writing to fundraising.

Kim, by Rudyard Kipling, Airmont Publishing Co., 1965, .50, 253 pp. The protagonist of this novel - like the author - is an English boy raised as a native of India. Kipling tells this story with the thoughtful prose he's loved for, weaving a rich tapestry of the Indian cities and countryside the boy encounters in his travels. In the end, Kim is more than a story about a boy and adventure; it is a dynamic achievement in East-West relations.


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