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The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea

They're not lying about calling it the BIG book of kombucha. I don't think there's a question you could possibly have about the fizzy, vinegary drink that won't be answered by this book. Essential if you want to brew at home! 

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How to Create Your Own Jewelry Line

If you make your own jewelry and want to take your hobby to the next level, this book is essential. Brainery teacher Emilie Shapiro breaks down everything involved in creating a full jewelry line, from marketing to finance, production, publicity and way more. 

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The Flower Chef: A Modern Guide to Do-It-Yourself Floral Arrangements

If, like me, you never know what flowers to pair with one another or how to make a pleasing arrangement in your vase, Carly's book will be a godsend. She gives you tons of clear recipes, telling you exactly what to buy, the difficulty level, and what your expected cost will be for each flower arrangement. There's a wide variety of styles and compositions, so it's the perfect gift for anyone.  

floral arranging, diy, design, and interior design
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Birding at the Bridge: In Search of Every Bird on the Brooklyn Waterfront

Heather has taught both juggling and birding at the Brainery, and her guide to the birds of Brooklyn Bridge Park is the perfect accompaniment to a morning exploration of the park. For those of us used to seeing only sparrows and pigeons, it's a great reminder of the wide variety of birds all around us.  

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Ample Hills Creamery: Secrets and Stories from Brooklyn’s Favorite Ice Cream Shop

I love this book. It completely captures the spirit of the shop and makes you feel like you're there. Besides excellent recipes that allow you to make your favorite Ample Hills flavors at home, there are employee introductions, activities, and stories. Because the ice creams feature so many delcious mix-ins, the recipes are a bit more on the advanced side, but the book is worth adding to your shelf even if you only dream about making the recipes. 

ample hills, ice cream, ice cream making, recipes, gift, and brooklyn
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Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine

The first book by our friend and Brainery teacher Sarah Lohman explores the history of American cuisine through eight important flavors and ingredients. It'll be out just in time for the 2016 winter holidays, and you won't want to miss it. 

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The Up South Cookbook: Chasing Dixie in a Brooklyn Kitchen

Every single recipe in Nicole's looks delicious and accessible. The photography is lovely and makes leafing through a total pleasure as well! 

16ec9eca tiny Jen
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Gowanus: Brooklyn's Curious Canal

Joseph has taught a class on the history of the Canal for the past few years here at the Brainery, and we could not be more excited to see all of his research and hard work make it to print. 

16ec9eca tiny Jen for gowanus, nyc, new york city history, gowanus canal, and superfund
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Brooklyn Spaces: 50 Hubs of Culture and Creativity

Written by our friend and awesome local writer Oriana Leckert, this book explores some of the coolest places in our very fair borough. 

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Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World

Everything you ever (or never) wanted to know about bed bugs, perhaps a New York City resident's most feared animal. Written by Brainery friend and teacher Brooke Borel

16ec9eca tiny Jen
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Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, 2nd Edition

Among my most cherished books, which sit stacked up on the nightstand next to my bed, the spines lined up so I can gaze at them all at once, sits Natalie Goldberg's classic, Writing Down the Bones. 

Simply put, Writing Down the Bones taught me how to be a writer. Natalie's prose is simple, her tone accessible and advice comforting. I use it in all my classes to help students push past the fog of doubt and remind them they have a tool they can return to again and again. 

8c9260b5 tiny Jennifer Mattson for writing
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Coming into the Country

A long, wonderful, and in-depth portrait of Alaska in the 1970's. I wasn't even particularly interested in Alaska when I picked it up, and now I practically want to move there. Politics, bears, oil, gold mining, it's all there. 

16ec9eca tiny Jen for alaska, american history, and nonfiction
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The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

The dramatic story of the shipping container and the innovation that made globalization possible, by economist Mark Levinson. 

Fa7b4b43 tiny Inna Guzenfeld for engineering and transportation
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Chainbreaker Bike Book: A Rough Guide to Bicycle Maintenance (DIY)

The first half is a friendly, readable manual for basic bike maintenance and repair. The second half is a compilation of a series of zines (called Chainbreaker) about all things bike. The zine was written by a (female) bike mechanic from New Orleans.

1b8271aa tiny Laurel Leckert
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The Accidental Playground: Brooklyn Waterfront Narratives of the Undesigned and Unplanned

This engaging account traces the evolution of the former Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal, documenting the people, stories, and activities that populated the Williamsburg waterfront from the early nineties to the post-2000 development boom. 

Fa7b4b43 tiny Inna Guzenfeld
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Recycling Reconsidered: The Present Failure and Future Promise of Environmental Action in the United States (Urban and Industrial Environments)

This book is a critical examination of recycling in the Unites States since the 1970s. MacBride argues that recycling has not achieved the goals of the environmental movement, but has instead shifted the responsibility of waste prevention from industry to consumers and municipalities. Required reading for anyone with a compelling interest in the subject. 

Fa7b4b43 tiny Inna Guzenfeld
6d1dba62 tiny Mickey Davis for agriculture, cooking, organic, and history
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The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

What I consider the best read of all time. A game changer!

6d1dba62 tiny Mickey Davis for history, Pop Culture, and nutrition
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Fat of the Land: Garbage of New York -- The Last Two Hundred Years

The definitive history of solid waste management in New York City, written by a former director of policy for the Department of Sanitation. An engaging account of the politics of garbage collection and waste disposal filled with insalubrious stories and controversial characters. Currently out of print. 

Fa7b4b43 tiny Inna Guzenfeld for nyc, recycling, Environmental Science, Waste Management, department of sanitation, and Garbage
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Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers

The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi is intrinsic to everything I make, but especially kokedama. This book gives a beautifully detailed and thorough explanation of the very-hard-to-define concept, which is related to the appreciation of the imperfections of natural beauty.

9a124ac9 tiny Anna Macoboy for Arts, crafts, philosophy, Aestetics, and japan
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From Beirut to Jerusalem

The book is essentially split into two parts. The first discusses the politics of the Arab world, particularly those of autocratic Arab rulers and how they rule domestically. The second discusses the politics of Israel and how it acts both internally and with its neighbors. Though somewhat dated, it is a great introduction to the sociology of Israel and Arab countries and explains the trends and societal factors at play. The particular lens of the book is through the Lebanon civil war, which is fascinating in and of itself.

Missing Jordan J for middle east, history, and politics
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Concrete Crafts: Making Modern Accessories for the Home and Garden

This is a great introductory book for concreting. The author takes you step by step through a whole range of projects and clearly explains all the basics of concreting, plus provides a range of different formulas for concrete mixes. I refer to it all the time!

9a124ac9 tiny Anna Macoboy for Concrete, Concreting, Home and Garden, and crafts
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A History of the Modern Middle East

An easy-to-read comprehensive history to the Middle East from the 1800s to today. Delves deeply yet understandably into the nuances of each country in the region, without bias. Provides all the necessary historical background to those who seek to understand the politics of the Middle East today.

Missing Jordan J for history, middle east, and islam
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Morning Glory: A Biography of Mary Lou Williams

Mary Lou Williams was singular. The most important woman in jazz history, though her contributions are almost completely overlooked. This biography digs deep into her personal and spiritual life and rescues her reputation as one of jazz's most important composers and arrangers.

58ef2454 tiny Christopher Bussmann for jazz, history, Biography, and nyc
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Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide

This is a lovely color photo field guide to city weeds, or spontaneous urban plants, by botanist and lecturer Peter del Tredici, who argues in an inspiring and logical introduction that the plants ""naturally"" growing in a city are those requiring the least resources to maintain, the weeds. Del Tredici makes a case for cultivating beautiful, sustainable urban landscapes using the wildflowers already abundant around us, then curates an excellent field guide for identifying them.

Or you could use Michael Pollan's review below, which I copied from Amazon.com:

""Peter Del Tredici has written one of those rare books that completely overturns the way you look at the landscape—in this case, the landscape of the city's derelict cracks and corners, which in his hands becomes a place of unusual interest, value, and beauty. Though ostensibly a field guide, this book is much more than that—it offers a deep and wise reconsideration of our most cherished ideas about nature. You will never look at an 'invasive species' the same way again.""—Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire and The Omnivore's Dilemma"

4fdba1ac tiny Rae Winkelstein for crafts, hobbies, gardening, landscaping, home, encyclopedia, and nyc