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Space, by James A. Michener, Ballantine Books, 1982, $4.95, 808 pp. Space is an exhaustive account of America's space program. In it Michener spins an intriguing tale of political maneuvering and personal ambition that blends fiction with fact as only he can. If, after reading Space, you don't want to become an astronaut, you weren't paying attention.

Spanish in 10 Minutes a Day, by Kristine Kershul, Bilingual Books, 1988, $14.95, 112 pp. This is the "King's Spanish" as opposed to Spanish spoken south of the border. It promises you can learn Spanish in just ten minutes a day using the stickers and fill-in-the-blank exercises provided. Ten minutes is not a long time, and for many (myself included) it'll take longer to get their mind around a foreign language.

A Spell For Chameleon, by Piers Anthony, Del Rey, 1984, $2.95, 344 pp. In the land of Xanth, magic is key; if you lack it, you're expelled. In this, the first volume of Piers Anthony's wildly popular The Magic of Xanth series, we follow Bink, a 25-year-old struggling to discover what his unique magic is. Beyond Xanth, Anthony compels each and every one of us - if not to find, then at least to ponder - what magic is unique to us.

The Spiritual Activist: Practices to Transform Your Life, Your Work, and Your World by Claudia Horwitz, Penguin, 2002, $16.00, 272 pp. Written on the premise that social change comes about through spiritual transformation, The Spiritual Activist is a guide with which to reach it. Includes activities for connecting with core values, and testimonials from socially conscious leaders.

Spiritual Adventures: A Traveler's Guide to Extraordinary Vacations, by Stephanie Ocko, Citadel Press, 2003, $14.95, 256 pp. If you're looking to add some spiritual enlightenment to your next vacation, this book's the ticket. Includes tours to sacred sites, activities to connect you with the creatures who share their planet with us, and (my favorite) vision quests.

Stanley Kramer: Film maker, by Donald Spoto, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1978, $12.95, 367 pp. Growing up, I adored Kramer's films. He was about as left of center as a mainstream filmmaker dared be. Stanley Kramer: Film Maker is not so much a biography about the man as it is a critique of his movies. Spoto has an acumen for picking things apart to reveal their whole.
A Star Called Henry, by Roddy Doyle, Penguin Books, 1999, $14.00, 383 pp. Set primarily in the late 1910s, A Star Called Henry fits snug against its historical Irish backdrop. It's a fictional account of the making of a rebel during the revolution under which the IRA was formed, eventually leading to civil war. In Henry, Doyle's created an everyman hero for the rebellion. One who's loyal to a fault and unquestionably dedicated to the cause of Irish independence, but Henry's no chess player. While he plays at checkers, the men planning Ireland's future are playing chess, a discovery Henry makes too late in the game to change its outcome.

Start Making Sense: Turning the Lessons of Election 2004 into Winning Progressive Politics, edited by Don Hazen and Lakshmi Chaudhry, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2005, $12.00, 232 pp. If anything was learned from the 2004 elections, it was this: The Democratic Party needs to reconnect with Americans. That's not to say they're to learn to swagger and talk real folksy like. They need to reconnect by showing some spine instead of cowering every time a wife-beating, nuke-loving, neo-conservative bigot calls them liberal. The editors offer lots of ideas on reconnecting in this book.

State of the World 1984: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet, by Worldwatch Institute, W. W. Norton & Co., 2013, $28.00 One of the earliest discussions of global warming in a mass circulated publication. Focusing on education, it discusses changes in curriculum to reflect our changing planet. Excellent reference for average Joe's and parent's alike.

State of the World 2004: A Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress Toward a Sustainable Society, by Worldwatch Institute, W. W. Norton & Co., 2003, $16.90, 272 pp. In this, its twentyfirst issue, the emphasis is on positive change we can make now: Namely, consume less. Easy-to-read charts.

State of the World 2005: Redefining Global Security, by Worldwatch Institute, W. W. Norton & Co., 2005, $18.95, 237 pp. In this, its twentysecond issue, the emphasis is on achieving global security by protecting the health of the planet's eco-systems, environment and people.

State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?, by Worldwatch Institute, W. W. Norton & Co., 2013, $46.00, 441 pp. The issue of sustainability is debated. Have we time left to achieve it, or have we passed the tipping point? More questions than answers.

State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, by James Risen, Free Press, 2006, $26.00, 240 pp. New York Times national security writer James Risen rises to the occasion in State of War. In it he unveils a campaign by G. Dubya and his cronies in cahoots with the CIA to systematically dismantle the Constitution in a power grab that would seal their grip on society. In Washington and the press, a little adopted country bumpkinship goes a long way toward subverting disclosure.
Step-by-Step Guide to Microwave Cooking Basics, Litton, 1981, 128 pp. Published mostly as a way to sell product, Step-by-Step Microwave Cooking is the only microwave cookbook I've come across that explains - and therefore removes - the mystery of microwaves. A word of caution: Just because you can cook it in a microwave, doesn't mean you should.
The Stickleback Cycle, by Oxford Scientific Films, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1976, $7.95. At last the three-spine stickleback's story can be told. Common to northern temperate climates, the stickleback (a small freshwater fish) is the unlikely subject of this slim book. The big photographs by David Thompson hardly leave room for text, but there's not much to say on the subject so that's all right. The coolest thing the reader is likely to learn: Males raise the young in the stickleback's world.

Stop Global Warming: The Solution is You!, by Laurie David, Speaker's Corner Books, 2006, $9.95, 96 pp. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. And judging by the size of this slim volume, the solution takes minimal effort. Lots of celebrity soundbites.

Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change, by G. Dauncey and P. Mazza, New Society Publishers, 2000, $19.95, 270 pp. Finally, a guide to what's getting the planet so hot under the collar and simple things you can do to stop it.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories, by Robert Louis Stevenson, Reader's Digest, 1991, 336 pp. At the time of publication, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde received instant acclaim by breaching the topic of split personalities, a subject unfamiliar to most of the population at the time. Stevenson plays with themes of human duality - good and bad residing in the same person - and the temptation to feed them both. Since publication, the story's central theme has enjoyed such popularity and is recounted in so many books and films it's practically an industry unto itself. As with other stories in this volume, a main theme of Jekyll and Hyde is that wishes are double-edged swords. What began as a harmless way to feed the Doctor's dark compulsions leads to criminal behavior, ultimately ending in murder. Illustrated by Joseph Ciardiello.

The Street Lawyer, by John Grisham, Dell Publishing, 1998, $7.99, 452 pp. The Street Lawyer opens inside the elevator of a swanky Washington, D.C. law firm. A hostage situation ensues involving a homeless man and nine of the firm's lawyers. For the novel's protagonist, it is a life-changing experience. Over the course of the following week he discovers what the hostage-taker's beef is with the firm, and in due course jumps ship for a non-profit law clinic that provides legal representation to the homeless in an effort to make things right. Grisham writes fast-reading popular fiction. Street Lawyer is no exception.

Street Scene, by Elmer L. Rice, Samuel French, 1956, 239 pp. Sporting a cast of sixty, this big play in three acts is set on the stoop of a walk-up in a mean New York City neighborhood. It is a study of how a community in all its diversity manages to function. It's got cops, crooks, young lovers and aging tenants. Rice weaves a rich tapestry of inner city life in the twenties.

A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams, Signet, 1947, $1.75, 142 pp. Williams is a playwright so big he had to be named after a state. In A Streetcar Named Desire, he brings that bigness to the stage with the story of Blanche DuBois. It's a tale about building a false life in order to flee its misery, broken dreams and scandal. But Williams is nothing if not a realist, and so he knocks her carefully constructed world down around her as a reminder there's no escaping life's consequences.

Strength to Love, by Martin Luther King, Jr., Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1963, $16.00, 158 pp. This is King's classic collection of sermons which served to outline his philosophy of nonviolence as a means to raising social consciousness.

Strong, Smart & Bold: Empowering Girls for Life, by Carla Fine, Cliff Street Books, 2001, $12.95, 235 pp. Doctor Spock move over. Strong, Smart & Bold is a gender-specific child-rearing guide based on the approach of Girls, Inc., the nation's leading girl-empowerment organization. Its goals are to help parents raise confident, courageous and self-sufficient girls. Sound sexist? It is, but in a PC sort of way. Foreword by Jane Fonda.

Stupid White Men: And Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!, by Michael Moore, HarperCollins, 2001, $24.95, 304 pp. In Stupid White Men, everybody's favorite populist Michael Moore (Roger and Me) targets America's most influential special interest group: white males. It's rumored this book so inflamed the censors due to its criticism of the Bush Administration that publication was delayed for several months. God bless America.

Sun, Moon, Stars, by Sri Chinmoy, Jharna-Kala Card Co., 1995, 60 pp. With the publication of Sun, Moon, Stars, Chinmoy has 1074 books to his credit. A huge promoter of peace through concerts, marathons and philosophical teachings, his basic ideology is simple: better the world by bettering yourself. This book is full of platitudes; some need no interpretation, while others require a second look.

Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000, by Alan M. Dershowitz, Oxford University Press, 2001, $14.95, 275 pp. Legal expert Alan Dershowitz's scathing critique of the 2000 presidential election debacle which politicized the American justice system.

Sure of You, by Armistead Maupin, Harper & Row, 1989, $18.95, 263 pp. When PBS aired Tales of the City - Maupin's affectionate study of San Franciscan life in the early seventies - it drew the largest audience of any PBS series ever. Nevertheless, PBS canceled plans to air the rest of the Tales stories due to the "offensive" nature of Maupin's characters (read homosexuality and casual drug use here). Sure of You is the final installation in this series, the book that nicely wraps up all that has gone before it. The characters are - in true Maupin form - as offensive as ever.

"Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!", by Richard P. Feynman, Bantam Books, 1986, $4.50, 322 pp. Feynman won the Nobel prize in physics. He also cracked the "uncrackable" safe holding America's atomic secrets. He has the curiosity of Timothy Leary combined with the genius of Albert Einstein. This gem isn't so much a scientific tome as it is an autobiographical statement about Feynman's insatiable quest to figure things out. An excellent read.

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