Books

Dieting is the premier New Year's resolution; gym memberships rise, along with hope. Often this is a prelude to failure. But JJ Smith (10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse)--author, nutritionist and certified weight-loss expert--has some advice for everyone who wants to slim down (and not fail).
Trinidadian journalist and scholar, Judy Raymond, gives us a snapshot of life as a slave in the Caribbean during the 19th century. With documentary images from Richard Bridgens, an Englishman who lived in Trinidad during the period, and a slave owner himself, The Colour of Shadows: Images of Caribbean Slavery unearths details in vivid hues.
There's not much crazier than starting a diet plan a week before Thanksgiving. It has a higher chance of epic fail than going on the wagon right before your New Year's Eve party. But my husband and I did it, and have maintained; perhaps our strategy is the key to making perennial New Year's diet resolutions stick.
Starting at the top of the world, Thames & Hudson's Mountains: Mapping the Earth's Extremes ($55) uses satellite technology to explore 13 of the world's greatest mountains, with essays about each; with 198 illustrations, it's a magnificent collection. More focused, but still breathtaking, is Alaska Range: Exploring the Last Great Wild by Carl Battreall (Mountaineers Books, $29.95). Battreall has photographed the 650-mile stretch for years--an "isolated wilderness... to be celebrated, something that needs to be preserved."
It is our great pleasure to recommend 20 top-notch 2016 children's and YA titles for holiday gift-giving. But first, we'd like to highlight three bonus shelves of gift ideas. (And look for our Best Children's and Teen Books of the Year on December 13!) "In the deep woolen dark,/ as we slumber unknowing,/ let the sky fill with flurry and flight."
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