Nonfiction: December 2007 Archives

What's your secret?

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I've got a secret. But I'm certainly not going to write it here.

I might consider writing it on a postcard and sending it to Frank Warren, though. Ever since Warren started his "Post a Secret" project several years ago, folks have been writing down their deepest secrets on postcards and sending them off into the universe.

Warren's third book in the project, A Lifetime of Secrets (William Morrow, 288 pages, $26.95) is as depressing as the first two, but I couldn't put it down.

A Lifetime of Secrets

Working for a living

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How often have you gotten into shoving matches or fistfights at work over the last three years?

That question was asked of Alex Frankel during an interview for a job at Home Depot. Frankel, a writer, went "undercover" to work at some of America's biggest retail companies to find out what it is about these environments that creates such dedicated (if underpaid) employees.

Frankel, who has written about business before, in publications such as Wired, Fast Company, the New York Times Magazine and Outside, put the results of his research — two years worth — in book form this time: Punching In: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-Line Employee (Collins, 208 pages, $24.95).

Punching In

Miracles can happen

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People of faith like to believe that miracles happen every day; not the kind that you read about in the books of the saints, but the small things: the baby stopped crying after four straight hours; finding a parking space right away on a busy street; farmer gets a rainstorm after two weeks of drought.

The big ones rarely happen, but a couple of years ago in Buffalo, N.Y., a firefighter who had been in a vegetative state for 10 years, "woke up." He started talking, and for the good part of a day was able to interact with his family and friends. Journalist Rich Blake, the cousin of the firefighter's wife, has written a riveting account of Herbert's life and miraculous awakening in The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up: A True Story (Harmony Books, 246 pages, $23) ...

The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up

Here, kitty kitty

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I never expected to be a pet owner in adulthood — too much responsibility. What if I go on vacation, what do I feed it, it'll make my house smell, the shedding will never end, it'll get sick and die and I'll be heartbroken. But, a few years ago, circumstances led young Clarence into my life and, well, here I am, a happy cat owner.

Clarence is remarkably agreeable and, to my knowledge, has never been ill. So far, so good. He has, however, put on weight, which I don't understand because he doesn't really eat much. The vet made some dietary suggestions but I wanted to do some investigating on my own. Coincidentally The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know (Gotham, 370 pages, $17.50) came across my desk a couple of months ago...

The Cat Bible

Seize the day

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Author Harry Mount begins his book with explanations of one of Angelina Jolie's tattoos, specifically one spelled out on her belly: Quod me nutrit me destruit.

It means "What nourishes me destroys me" — a curious little phrase to be permanently marked on one's person, but this book is so not about Angelina. Carpe Diem: Put a Little Latin in Your Life (Hyperion, 259 pages, $19.95) is a Latin primer for the layperson...

Carpe Diem

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Nonfiction category from December 2007.

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