Friday, 4 May 2012

Top 5 most requested nonfiction items for April 2012

"To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations - such is a pleasure beyond compare."
- Kenko Yoshida

I'm not going to bend your ear (eyeballs?) for too long this morning, except to say that I forgot to celebrate something the other day. After the tweet about The Hunger Games and the rather funny responses we received (in what some might have perceived as being somewhat of a facepalm moment), I forgot to celebrate the fact that people are reading. I have always believed that HOW we're reading isn't important, whether it's through libraries or through bookstores. The fact that we are is what counts. The fact that, for a brief moment, we were all talking about the popularity of a book and how much people want to read it - that's the real story. I temporarily lost sight of that. I won't do so again. Here is today's list: our top 5 most recent nonfiction items for April 2012.

Sweet poison : why sugar makes us fat / David Gillespie
David, a smart corporate lawyer equipped with an enquiring mind, begins to query why it is we are so much heavier than previous generations and discovers a culprit: sugar, or, more specifically, the fructose component of sugar.

Rushing woman's syndrome : the impact of a never ending to-do list on your health / Libby Weaver
Stress management. Rushing Woman's Syndrome describes the biochemical and emotional effects of constantly being in a rush and the health consequences that urgency elicits. It doesn't seem to matter if a woman has two things to do in her day or two hundred, she is in a pressing rush to do it all. She is often wound up like a top, running herself ragged in a daily battle to keep up. There is always so much to do, and she very rarely feels like she wins, is in control and gets on top of things. In fact her deep desire to control even the smaller details of life can leave her feeling out of control, even of herself.

Steve Jobs / Walter Isaacson
Biography. Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years, as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues, the author has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering. Although Jobs's cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted. Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple's hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

Treats from Little and Friday / Kim Evans ; photography by Rene Vaile
Baking. Cookbook. New Zealand. You know you're on to something when the queue for a cafe stretches out to the pavement most weekends. So it is at Little and Friday's two Auckland locations. Those in the know flock to the Little and Friday stores in Takapuna and Newmarket for addictive cream-filled donuts, buttery brioche, melt-in-the-mouth sweet tarts, and moreish savoury pastries. In this delightful cookbook owner Kim Evans, a self-taught baker, shares the recipes for her most popular tarts, biscuits, savouries and cakes. Adapted for the home cook, Kim's approachable recipes and helpful hints allow even the novice baker to master the delights of her delicious café treats.

That woman : the life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor / Anne Sebba
Biography. Born in 1895 [or 1896] in Baltimore, Bessie Wallis Warfield endured an impoverished and comparatively obscure childhood which inflamed a burning desire to rise above her circumstances. Neither beautiful nor brilliant, she nevertheless became one of the most talked about women of her generation, and inspired such deep love and adoration in Edward VIII that even giving up a throne and an empire for her was not enough to prove his total devotion. Wallis lived by her wit and her wits, while both her apparent and alleged moral transgressions added to her aura and dazzle. Accused of Fascist sympathies, having Nazi lovers and learning bizarre sexual techniques in China, she remains the subject of gossip and fascination. In death, the Duchess became a symbol of empowerment and a style icon, a woman whose unequivocal aim was to win in the game of life.

1 comment:

kowhai reader said...

Interesting timing as I was just looking at a list of the most borrowed books in United States of America libraries in March and the only similarity is Steve Jobs. While the Auckland Libraries list is quite a mixture of different subjects, the top 15 list in the U.S. trends heavily towards history and biography.

Their top five is:
5. Steve Jobs (Walter Iaacson)
4. Bossypants (Tina Fey)
3. In the garden of Beasts: Love, terror and an American family in Hitler's Berlin (Erik Larson)
2. Killing Lincoln: The shocking assassination that changed America forever (Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard)
1. Unbroken: A World War II story of survival, resiliance and redemption (Laura Hillenbrand).

if I get a minute I will have a look at the U.K. list to see how that trends.