Fifteen monthly suggestions from the Milk and Cookies bookworms
Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks. Record-setting Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings explores the world of maps and map obsessives. Jennings takes readers on a world tour of geogeeks from the London Map Fair to the bowels of the Library of Congress, from the prepubescent geniuses at the National Geographic Bee to the computer programmers at Google Earth. Each chapter delves into a different aspect of map culture: highpointing, geocaching, road atlas rallying, even the “unreal estate” charted on the maps of fiction and fantasy. Jennings also considers the ways in which cartography has shaped our history, suggesting that the impulse to make and read maps is as relevant today as it has ever been.
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.
How to be a Christian Without Being Religious. Since the days of the early church, Christians have struggled to find a way to be “good”–to please God by their own efforts. They end up carrying a burden God never intended them to bear. And what’s more, their brand of Christianity ends up looking like any other religion of the world–bound by joyless rules and rituals. Fritz Ridenour’s study of the book of Romans provides an antidote to the pharisaical spirit and shows that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. It is not people reaching up, but God reaching down. All Christians can enjoy their birthright when they realize who they are in Christ. The result is a life full of hope, joy, power, and potential.
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense—creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters—brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to Harper Paperbacks. In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, the holidays are anything but merry when a family reunion is marred by murder—and the notoriously fastidious investigator is quickly on the case.
Twelve Extraordinary Women: How God Shaped Women of the Bible. They were ordinary, common, and in some cases shockingly low-caste, yet each was made extraordinary by her life-changing encounter with God. Readers will be challenged and motivated by Twelve Extraordinary Women, a poignant and personal look into the lives of some of the Bible’s most faithful women. Their struggles and temptations are the same trials faced by all believers at all ages. Inside this book, best-selling author and Bible teacher John MacArthur shows that the God to whom they were so committed is the same God who continues to mold and use ordinary people today.
From the teenager
Minecraft: Blockopedia. Discover everything you ever wanted to know about the amazing blocks of Minecraft in this mega-oversized Blockopedia that comes in a ground-breaking new hexagonal format! Presented in a ground-breaking format – a hexagonal book – Blockopedia contains everything you need to know to make the most of the blocks that make up the Minecraft world. It’s a beautiful and comprehensive reference tool for beginners and more experienced players alike.
Car Science. Top Gear’s Richard Hammond is in the driving seat for this turbo-charged tour through the nuts and bolts of car technology – now in paperback! Underneath the bonnet of every car, there’s a lot of fast, furious, and spectacular science going on. G-force, combustion, power, you name it, a car’s got it. Help your child discover all about the science of cars in this explosive tour. Find out how cars revolutionised the world, see how a car functions with jaw-dropping diagrams, cutaway drawings and cool graphics. Steer to the fundamental science behind the mechanics and then sit back for an exciting look into the future of minimal emissions, maximum fun. Plus, find great things your child will love to make and do.
The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective’s Greatest Cases. Forensic expert Wagner has crafted a volume that stands out from the plethora of recent memoirs of contemporary scientific detectives. By using the immortal and well-known Sherlock Holmes stories as her starting point, Wagner blends familiar examples from Doyle’s accounts into a history of the growth of forensic science, pointing out where fiction strayed from fact. The author avoids the technical details that mar so many other efforts in this genre, injecting life into her narrative by weaving in true crime cases that either influenced Holmes’s creator or may have been influenced by a published story from the Baker Street sleuth.
Aftermath: Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This New York Times bestseller reveals what happened after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi. It turns out, there’s more than just the Empire for the good guys to worry about.
For the homeschool
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? A Fast, Clear, and Fun Explanation of the Economics You Need For Success in Your Career, Business, and Investments. This clearly written, award-winning book about economics is a remarkably easy and fun explanation of money (its origin and history), the dollar (its origin and history), investment cycles, velocity, business cycles, recessions, inflation, the demand for money, government (its economic behavior), and more. All explanations and interpretations are according to the Austrian and Monetarist schools of economic theory.
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. With half a million copies in print, How to Read a Book is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader, completely rewritten and updated with new material. Originally published in 1940, this book is a rare phenomenon, a living classic that introduces and elucidates the various levels of reading and how to achieve them—from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading. Readers will learn when and how to “judge a book by its cover,” and also how to X-ray it, read critically, and extract the author’s message from the text.
The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens: 8 Steps to Having More Money Than Your Parents Ever Dreamed Of. From the personal-finance duo Fortune magazine called “funny, smart, cynical, [and] opinionated” comes savvy financial advice for today’s street-smart young investors. The Motley Fool has made investing fun and easy for millions of people. Now, it custom designs its wit and wisdom for today’s money-savvy teens. The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens helps teens stand out from the ho-hum mutual-fund crowd, build a portfolio of stocks they can actually care about, and take advantage of the investor’s best friend—time—to watch their profits multiply.
The Sherlock Holmes Puzzle Collection: 150 enigmas for you to solve, inspired by the world’s greatest detective, Join the world’s greatest fictional detective and use your own powers of deduction to solve these ingenious enigmas. This remarkable collection features all kinds of puzzles to suit all tastes and levels of logical skills from “elementary” to “impenetrable.” These specially commissioned puzzles set in the world of Sherlock Holmes are designed to test your powers of perception, logic and deduction. Solutions to each puzzle are included.
Vocabulary Cartoons: SAT Word Power, volumes I and II. This popular series takes vocabulary a step further by using visual and rhyming mnemonics which makes learning vocabulary fun and effective.
*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.