The Monitor's Guide to Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction
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13. THE MAN WHO LISTENS TO HORSES, by Monty Roberts, Random House, $23Skip to next paragraph
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Roberts talks the language of horses, and they listen. Equus is the name he gives this silent language, developed over a lifetime of tireless reading of the body movements of "flight" animals such as the horse, mule, and even deer. This autobiography reveals the love, patience, and endurance of one man able to coax horses to voluntarily step out of their wild natures into a working relationship with people. Roberts's troubled childhood mirrored the cruel techniques of his father's approach to horse-breaking. By Jim Bencivenga
14. APHRODITE, by Isabel Allende, HarperCollins, $26
"Aphrodite" is overtly erotic, albeit mostly in describing marriages and loving, monogamous, but serial, relationships. It is written for those of mature years who think personal fulfillment can be found by revitalizing one's sexual life. It is also a work of publishing art. Heavy, high-quality paper and lush illustrations accompany writing that is engaging and intense. The book is full of culinary insights. Recipes and glossaries present the world of aphrodisiac food and its place in the realm of intimacy. By Terri Theiss
15. AT RIGHT 4 YOUR TYPE, by Peter J. D'Adamo with Catherine Whitney, Putnam, $22.95
In the ever-changing world of designer diets, this book takes the tack that your internal chemistry - based on blood type - determines the way you should eat and exercise. Is stress better relieved through aerobics or meditation? Are some grains more desirable than others? Depends on your blood type. Complete with recipes. The meal plan lists and charts are easy to navigate. But some readers may be uncomfortable with the idea of thinking of certain foods as "medicines" and others as "poisons." By Kirsten Conover
IS THE TEMPERATURE RISING? THE UNCERTAIN SCIENCE OF GLOBAL WARMING
By S. George Philander
Princeton Univ. Press
262 pp., $29.95
They sound like questions from a curious child. Why is the sky blue? What makes the winds blow? Why is summer hotter than winter? Where do clouds come from? Yet understanding the answers to such deceptively simple questions is essential to dealing intelligently with the biggest yet-to-be-answered atmospheric question of all: Is human activity causing undesirable climate change?
George S. Philander guides us through this learning experience with grace, wit, and clarity. Like it or not, humans have become a critical part of the climate machinery.
Humans have taken the climate-weather machine for granted. It's big nature. We've considered ourselves, in comparison, to be bit players whose actions are insignificant on a planetary scale. But by changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere, we're changing the settings of the geophysical machinery.
We have yet to appreciate how significantly human activity is changing atmospheric chemistry in other ways.
Dr. Philander tries to help us gain that appreciation in "Is the Temperature Rising? The Uncertain Science of Global Warming" and he succeeds. He lays out the basic facts, explains the science, and outlines the unknowns and uncertainties. He gives enough detail for readers to grasp the subject but avoids nerdish technicalities.