★ Dark Skies
I’d never heard of astrotourism until Dark Skies crossed my desk. At a time when 80% of the planet sleeps under light-polluted skies (make that 99% in the USA), stargazing is, more than ever, a brush with the exotic. “Less than one hundred years ago, seeing the unobscured night sky was a birthright; now it is inaccessible to urban and suburban residents across the globe,” writes Valerie Stimac. This thorough book lays out the best dark-sky spots worldwide and contains everything you need to know about astronomical phenomena like meteor showers, aurora and eclipses through 2028. There’s even a section on space tourism (the future is now!).
“One-pot” cookbooks have popped up everywhere lately, but none has drawn me in like Sabrina Fauda-Rôle’s One-Pot Vegetarian. Why? It could be that I’m eager to incorporate more plant-based cooking into my family’s daily routine. But it might also be the nifty design of this title, which makes the most of its double-page spreads. On the left, we see the raw ingredients collected in the pot—everything neatly parceled, as if in a pie chart—and on the right, the finished, cooked dish. Wildly satisfying, this conceit. Chapters include all-veg dishes, those that mix in plant-based proteins (grains, lentils, soy and such), pasta- and rice-driven meals, soups and even desserts. Some recipes call for a fair amount of chopping and slicing, but otherwise the preparations could not be simpler.
How Your Story Sets You Free
Everybody has a story to tell. Though the line has become a bit cliché, let’s not overlook its useful truth. Personal stories are powerful stuff, and that power can be summoned in so many ways: sharing your story, listening to others, learning to craft the story itself. With How Your Story Sets You Free, co-authors Heather Box and Julian Mocine-McQueen distill the storytelling process into a tiny, bright yellow volume that feels like its own kind of golden ticket. “When you take the mic and share your story,” writes Box, “you immediately make more space in our culture for someone else.” The title is part of Chronicle’s HOW series, which all seem like jewels of compressed wisdom.