Jane Brox’s Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light (Mariner, $15.95) is fascinating and compulsively readable. Brilliant is saturated with research and amazing facts about the subject, but, even more, it explains the reciprocal relationship between science and society. From the stone lamps that facilitated our first cave paintings to an overabundance of modern light that impedes our observation of the stars, Brox takes us step by step through our own history, and how our mastery of light has shaped who we are.

Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547520346
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - July 7th, 2011

The Hare With Amber Eyes (Picador, $16) was one of 264 Japanese netsuke Edmund de Waal inherited in 1994. Feeling “a responsibility to them and to the people who had owned them,” de Waal set out to tell the stories of these figures and of the remarkable Ephrussis. His family memoir follows the netsuke from 1871, when Charles Ephrussi (a model for Proust’s Charles Swann) purchased them in Paris during a wave of japonisme. The collection next went to the Vienna branch of the family, gracing a dressing room in the Palais Ephrussi on the Ringstrasse. Barely surviving the First World War, the banking dynasty was shattered by the Second. The netsuke disappeared. Then resurfaced after the War, emigrating with de Waal’s grandmother to England. De Waal is a ceramicist, concerned with how things feel; he has endowed his narrative with the heft and texture of objects, conveying both the fine detail of the lives and the tremendous sweep of the times. His evocation of the Anschluss, for instance, is a pulse-quickening, heart-breaking account of events, told as family history.

The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312569372
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Picador - August 2nd, 2011

In this important and illuminating book, journalist and poet Eliza Griswold roams The Tenth Parallel (Picador, $16) to discover how the globe’s largest populations of Muslims and Christians mingle, co-exist, and clash “from village to village and street corner to street corner.” Griswold spent nearly a decade in Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, where competition—for resources as well as souls—is fierce. She skillfully fills out individual stories with lessons in history and geography: the legacy of colonialism, the implications of climate change. Her sharp curiosity and intimate, compassionate style of reporting highlight the daily realities in some of the world’s most perilous places.

The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312569365
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Picador - August 2nd, 2011