The Biblio File: Library News

Updated 2017/05/18

Focus on non-fiction

The white road
The White Road: journey into an obsession
by Edmund de Waal
A white spine, fragments of pottery – the outside of this book doesn’t shed much light on what might between the covers.  I decided to find out more and came across an online review (below).  If you like biography, travel, history and some mystery, here’s one to try.

“In The White Road, bestselling author and artist Edmund de Waal gives us an intimate narrative history of his lifelong obsession with porcelain, or “white gold.” A potter who has been working with porcelain for more than forty years, de Waal describes how he set out on five journeys to places where porcelain was dreamed about, refined, collected and coveted–and that would help him understand the clay’s mysterious allure. From his studio in London, he starts by travelling to three “white hills”–sites in China, Germany and England that are key to porcelain’s creation. But his search eventually takes him around the globe and reveals more than a history of cups and figurines; rather, he is forced to confront some of the darkest moments of twentieth-century history.
Part memoir, part history, part detective story, The White Road chronicles a global obsession with alchemy, art, wealth, craft and purity. In a sweeping yet intimate style that recalls The Hare with Amber Eyes, de Waal gives us a singular understanding of “the spectrum of porcelain” and the mapping of desire.”

New non-fiction
The Last Goodnight: a World War II story of espionage, adventure, and betrayal by Howard Blum
Science of the Magical: from the Holy Grail to love potions to superpowers by Matt Kaplan
The New Tsar: the rise and reign of Vladimir Putin by Steven Lee Myers
A River Runs Again: India’s natural world in crisis, from the barren cliffs of Rajasthan to the farmlands of Karnataka by Meera Subramanian
Canada Before Television: radio, taste, and the struggle for cultural democracy by Len Kuffert
Where Song Began: Australia’s birds and how they changed the world by Tim Low
What to do When Machines do Everything: how to get ahead in a world of AI, algorithms, bots, and big data by Malcolm Frank, Paul Roehrig and Ben Pring

New fiction
Against All Odds by Danielle Steel
City of Friends by Joanna Trollope
First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
The House Where Angels Dwell: 1992-1993 by Henry K. Ripplinger (Angelic Letters #6)
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
Autumn by Ali Smith