Almanac Weekly | Books

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Ready to go on a “carbon diet”?

Ready to go on a “carbon diet”?

Wednesday, Jan. 22: In his new book Live Sustainably Now: A Low-Carbon Vision of the Good Life, Karl Coplan chronicles the joys and challenges of a year on a carbon budget: kayaking to work, hunting down electric vehicle charging stations, eating a Mediterranean-style diet and enjoying plenty of travel on weekends and vacations while avoiding long-distance flights.

Why Religion? Historian Elaine Pagels Reconnects at St. Gregory’s

Why Religion? Historian Elaine Pagels Reconnects at St. Gregory’s

Sunday, Dec. 15: Pagels is best-known for research and publication involving a cache of over 50 ancient Greek texts discovered translated into Coptic in Upper Egypt in 1945. After completing her doctorate at Harvard University, she participated with an international team of scholars to edit, translate and publish several of these texts as The Gnostic Gospels. It was the loss of her young son that inspired her deep exploration on the questions asked in this illuminating book.

Rosendaler Dylan Thuras releases new edition of Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders

Rosendaler Dylan Thuras releases new edition of Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders

Sometimes described as a “National Geographic for Millennials,” Atlas Obscura was founded in 2009 by journalist Joshua Foer and documentary filmmaker Dylan Thuras. In 2016, the company began organizing guided tours to some of the remarkable sites that it describes so enticingly. That same year, it also published its first book for the armchair traveler: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders (Workman). Now a brand-new Second Edition has just been released, adding more than 100 new places and featuring a dozen city guides and a fold-out map for a round-the-world dream itinerary. A version for younger readers, The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid, was released in the fall of 2018.

Janis: Holly George-Warren explores the complex mind of a legend

Janis: Holly George-Warren explores the complex mind of a legend

Woodstock reading on Sunday, November 3: Many of the myths regarding Joplin read out like cautionary, puritanical sermons, luridly celebrating her passionate performances as something inspired and beyond her control, meanwhile excoriating her for her weakness, the demons and hedonism that ultimately defeated her. The standard line on Janis has allowed precious little acknowledgment of her personal agency, her seriousness of purpose and her accelerating artistic growth and self-determination, all of which are major and richly substantiated themes in George-Warren’s deeply engaging new biography.

Kristin Kimball to read new memoir Good Husbandry in Rhinebeck

Kristin Kimball to read new memoir Good Husbandry in Rhinebeck

Tuesday, Oct. 22: Kimball left city life behind and, with her new husband from New Paltz, took on the immense job of starting and running a CSA near Lake Champlain, known as Essex Farm. It currently comprises 1,100 acres and is managed with horsedrawn farm machinery rather than tractors, using no chemical pesticides or fertilizers. The goal was to supply its 150 members year-round (up to 200 now) with ingredients for three organic meals a day – not just vegetables, salad greens, herbs and a few fruits, but also grains, flour, beans, eggs, meat, dairy, honey, maple syrup, cut flowers, even soap. Kimball calls it “the world’s first full-diet CSA, as far as we know.”