Mason Jar Nation: The Jars that Changed America and 50 Clever Ways to Use Them Today
by Joann Moser
Learn how to make more than 50 Mason jar projects, including luminaries, planters, and upcycled art, in this eagerly anticipated book for DIYers!
Mason Jar Nation begins by exploring the Mason jar’s impact on America since its 1858 patent. Prior to the jar’s invention, settlers had no reliable and safe way to store food for the winter, which required them to travel great lengths in difficult conditions and obtain expensive canned goods in order to survive. With its hermetically sealable two-piece lid and thick glass sides, the Mason jar changed the way mid-nineteenth century Americans fed their families. Although the popularity of the jars ebbed significantly from the 1950s until the turn of the century, interest in them has exploded in the past few years. Ball, the biggest brand name in Mason jars today, has seen its sales double since 2001. Younger generations, including Millenials, have adopted the iconic jars as emblems of a more sustainable time. The humble Mason jar has been “discovered” as a versatile and beautiful material for creating craft items such as chandeliers, luminaries, planters, containers, and upcycled art. The second half of Mason Jar Nation features over 50 of these adaptations, shown with clear photography, all designed and photographed by author JoAnn Moser, the “DIY Maven.” Readers who appreciate American cultural history, making fun and affordable crafts, and Mason jars themselves will love this new book and its tall, narrow shape that’s based on the proportions of the classic Mason jar.
When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalanithi, Abraham Verghese
For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?
At the age of 36, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air, which features a Foreword by Dr. Abraham Verghese and an Epilogue by Kalanithi’s wife, Lucy, chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient and a new father to a baby girl, confronting his own mortality. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.
Other new titles: Day 21 (The 100 #2), by Kass Morgan; Crazy Messy Beautiful, by Carrie Arcos; Things I Should Have Known, by Claire LaZebnik.
Sheri Holmes is the director of library/media services for the Ellinwood School/Community Libraries.