ON THE SHELF: Nonfiction reads for your body, mind and soul

Published 8:00 am Sunday, March 27, 2022

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

This week’s column features titles from our New Adult Nonfiction collection. Remember you can get further titles and suggestions on our blog at http://wcvpl.blogspot.com.

Anthropologist Jennifer Raff brings us the untold story and fascinating mystery of how humans migrated to the Americas in her book “Origin: a Genetic History of the Americas.” This book is meant to be the story of who the first peoples in the Americas were, how and why they made the crossing, how they dispersed south and how they lived based on their complete genome. Twenty thousand years ago, people crossed a great land bridge from Siberia into Western Alaska and then dispersed into both North and South America. Until we colonize other planets, this migration remains the last time our species has populated an entirely new place. This event has been a subject of deep fascination and controversy because no written records and very little archaeological evidence exist to tell us what happened and how it took place. This book explores how genetics is currently used to construct narratives that profoundly impact Indigenous people of the Americas. Anyone interested in how genetics has become entangled with identity in the way that society addresses the question “Who is indigenous?”

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Thriving with Kidney Disease: A Practical Guide to Taking Care of Your Kidneys and Yourself by Walter A. Hunt helps those whose kidneys no longer function as well as they should. Kidney disease was fatal in the past, but thanks to new studies and treatments, including dialysis and transplantation, people can live long and healthy lives. The author is a medical researcher who had kidney disease and received a kidney transplant, walks you through what science says about taking care of your kidneys, including what foods to avoid and what treatment options may be best for you. A few new sections in this latest edition include:

  • Coping skills for caregivers
  • Kidney disease in children
  • Environmental causes of chronic kidney failure
  • Conservative care for those who wish to decline treatment
  • Related conditions like gout, depression and sleep disturbances
  • Insurance issues
  • Potential new treatments

Spring is here and author Tara Nolan brings us “Raised Bed Revolution: Build It, Fill It, Plant It… Garden Anywhere!” Raised bed gardening is one of the fastest-growing gardening strategies today and this book helps you master this proven and effective method. You will learn size requirements for constructing raised beds, height suggestions, types of materials you can use and creative tips for fitting the maximum garden capacity — including vertical gardening — into small spaces. This book also covers growing-medium options, rooftop gardening, cost-effective solutions, planting tips, watering strategies — automatic water drip systems and hand watering — and more. There is an extensive gallery of design ideas and step-by-step projects that include beautiful photography. With raised beds, gardeners can practice space efficiency as well as accessibility since the beds can be customized in height. Raised beds also allow gardeners to use their own soil and they can be designed with wheels if partial sunlight is a problem. Water conservation and pest control are also easier for those who use raised beds. Create a more interesting yard by joining the raised bed revolution!

For those crafters who use a digital cutting machine, author Libby Ashcraft offers “Crafting With Digital Cutting Machines: Machines, Materials, Designs and Projects.” These little machines are perfect for sewing, quilting, scrapbooking and all sorts of arts and crafts. This book includes six unique fabric projects with step-by-step instructions and photos along with technique tutorials and ideas for getting your starting your own projects. Also included is a how-to manual with a complete overview of the most popular models like Cricut (R), Maker (TM), Silhouette Cameo (R) or Brother’s ScanNCut (R). After the introductory sections on common materials and essential crafting techniques, the author presents the six projects chosen for this book: a drawstring gift bag, a raw-edge applique owl quilt, felt-lettered pillows, holiday ornaments and more. You also get access to design files and a gallery of design ideas as well as a glossary of terms and list of resources for crafters.

Planning on taking a trip this summer? Is your family the adventurous type? Joseph R. Yogerst offers “50 States, 500 Campgrounds: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do.” This one-of-a-kind resource can help you plan your next getaway to the great outdoors. You’ll discover the top tent and cabin campsites, as well as RV resorts and glamping destinations around the United States and Canada. In addition to destination information — location, contact info, open seasons,  and amenities — you’ll get expert recommendations for activities including hiking, biking and water sports. There are also listings for the best restaurants for days when you need a break from the camp stove and nearby attractions — not just within nearby national and state parks, but also local museums, etc. Yogerst gives you a choice of 10 sites in each state, Western and Eastern Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Do you want to stay in a cabin at Yogi Bear’s Delaware Beaches Jellystone Park Camp-Resort? Perhaps in a tent near the stunning waterfall at the Grand Canyon’s Havasupai Campground? What about a cozy yurt in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado? Whichever you choose, this book can help you plan the perfect trip for you and your family or friends.