ON THE SHELF: New nonfiction titles to enlighten the masses

Published 8:00 am Sunday, May 7, 2023

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

This week we have more New Nonfiction to share.

Kelly and Juliet Starrett are sharing what they have learned about physical wellbeing with their book “Built to Move: The Ten Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully.” For decades the authors have worked with pro-athletes, Olympians, and Navy Seals and now they are sharing what they have learned with the rest of us. What makes a durable human? How do we continue to feel great and function well at any age? Can we counteract the effects of dependence on tech, sedentary living, and other modern constraints on our body’s natural need for activity? The answers to these questions lie in an easy formula the Starretts have come up with for basic mobility maintenance: 10 tests plus 10 physical practices equals 10 ways to make your body better. Included here are easy mobilization practices to increase your range of motion and avoid injury, intuitive ways to integrate more movement into your daily life and break free of sedentary habits, as well as basic breathing practices to manage stress and pain. There are no-fuss guidelines for improving nutrition and sleep and quick, simple assessments to gauge your progress and what needs improving.

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Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling recounts his journalistic journey through the world of fringe medicine in his book “If It Sounds Like a Quack…” Welcome to the world of leeches, baking soda IVs, and, according to at least one person, zombies. With American healthcare becoming more and more costly and politicized, more people are turning to non-traditional treatments. There has been an uptick in the so-called “medical freedom” movement. In this book, you’ll meet medical freedom advocates including an international leech smuggler, a gold miner turned health drink salesman who may or may not be from the Andromeda galaxy, and a man who says he can turn people into zombies with aerosol spray. One by one, these alternative practitioners find customers, then expand their influence, always looking for that one thing that will take their business to the next level — the support and approval of the government. Mostly, this book explores the answers to the questions: Should the government dictate what is and what is not medicine? Can we have public health when disagreements over science are so profound? Seriously, can you turn people into flesh-eating zombies?

Max Miller brings you a companion book to his YouTube channel with “Tasting History: Explore the Past Through 4,000 Years of Recipes.” What began as a passion project when Miller was furloughed due to Covid-19 has become the viral YouTube sensation: “Tasting History with Max Miller.” Miller recreates a dish from the past, often using historical recipes from vintage texts, but updated for the modern kitchen. He also explores the stories behind the cuisine and the culture. From ancient Rome to Ming China to medieval Europe and beyond, Miller has collected some of the best-loved recipes from around the world and has shared them with his fans. Illustrated with beautiful photos and artwork throughout, the sixty-plus dishes feature include: Tuh’u which is a red beet stew with leeks dating back to 1740 BC, Globi or deep-fried cheese balls with honey and poppy seeds, Soul Cakes which are yeasted buns with currants from the 1600s, and Pumpkin Tourte — a crustless pumpkin cheesecake with cinnamon and sugar on top from around 1570. Miller also includes the original recipes with his modern updates so that both avid cooks and history buffs alike are sure to enjoy these delicious recipes.

“Biography of a Phantom” is the story of blues master Robert Johnson written by Robert McCormick. When Johnson’s little-known blues recordings were rereleased to great fanfare in the 1960s, very little was known about his life, giving rise to the legend that he gained success by selling his soul to the devil. Musicologist McCormick spent his life searching for the truth. He spent decades reconstructing Johnson’s mysterious life and developing theories about his untimely death at the age of 27. McCormick’s work was not published until after the author’s death in 2015, but it shows the effort he made knocking on doors and searching for Johnson’s loved ones and friends. Johnson lived in Mississippi during the Jim Crow era and its sometimes-brutal racism. While Johnson died before achieving widespread recognition, his music took on a life of its own and inspired future generations. This work includes 40 unseen black-and-white photographs documenting McCormack’s search.

“All My Knotted-Up Life” is a memoir by Beth Moore. The author is a best-selling author, speaker, and founder of Living Proof Ministries who has devoted her whole life to helping women across the globe come to know the transforming power of Jesus. At times thoughtful, funny, and vulnerable, this memoir offers a glimpse into the life and work of Moore. She started her career as a writer of many books and Bible studies for women on spiritual growth and personal development. Now, she explores her childhood, love, marriage and motherhood and gives her insights into what it was like when she was “waist-deep in a season of loss.” She also details her 2018 break with the Southern Baptist movement as well as the origins of Living Proof Ministries. This book — including 8 pages of photos — is written with candor about some of the personal heartbreaks and behind-the-scenes challenges in Moore’s life. She hopes the reader will come away with a poignant reminder of God’s enduring faithfulness.