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Getting Up: Subway Graffitti in New York

Terrific ethnographic look at New York's graffiti scene during the early-1980s heyday of subway painting. It's rare to have such a thorough observer at the birth of a subculture.  

E2c9d62b tiny Sam Holleran
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A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 BC (Blackwell History of the Ancient World)

This is probably the most complete and readable history of Ancient Mesopotamia.

C665bf45 tiny Andrew Coletti for ancient history and mesopotamia
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Cooking in Ancient Civilizations (The Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series: Cooking Up History)

This is the book that got me excited about the food of the ancient world--really well-researched with a great range of recipes.

C665bf45 tiny Andrew Coletti
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The Last Taboo: Opening the Door on the Global Sanitation Crisis

I thought this book was great at explaining the context for why toilets don't exist everywhere - both in terms of the technical engineering side as well as the social side. Want to understand what the current challenges are in the world with regards to toilets? Read this book?

7a6593fa tiny Kimberly Worsham
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Up in the Old Hotel

Joseph Mitchell is one of the best writers about NYC ever - he achieves the sublime via endless fascinating detail.

Cf64fa5f tiny Richard Exelbert
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The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World

A lot of people ask me, "Why are you so interested in water & sanitation?", feel like this book explains in a fantastic storytelling way why. Without understanding how diseases and biology work, like they did in the 1800s in London, people die horrible deaths. This book explains the beginning of understanding clean water and safe fecal management.

7a6593fa tiny Kimberly Worsham
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The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters

This book is a fantastically concise and understandable book. It really goes into the wide-ranging issues (and curiosities) around sanitation from different areas and times. I found the writing humorous and interesting, and whenever someone is interested in learning more about sanitation at a higher level, I eagerly nag them to read this book.

7a6593fa tiny Kimberly Worsham
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Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn

I could eat the food in this book every day! It's worth picking up a copy just for the kosambri recipe alone, but there are so many wonderful, easy dishes. Everything is vegetarian too! 

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The Joys of Jewish Preserving: Modern Recipes with Traditional Roots, for Jams, Pickles, Fruit Butters, and More--for Holidays and Every Day

We're excited to have Emily joining us in June for an event and I can't wait to try her recipes! 

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The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)

Brooke's been teaching fact-checking at the Brainery for a few years now, and it's great to see her class transformed into a full-legnth book. It's a great handbook for anyone who deals with facts! 

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Food Swap: Specialty Recipes for Bartering, Sharing & Giving _ Including the World's Best Salted Caramel Sauce

This book is full of wonderful, crowd-pleasing recipes. And you definitely don't need to use them only for a food swap - they're great for parties, holiday gifts, or just to spice up your pantry and fridge. I love it! 

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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. 

jewelry
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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