TOP SHELF BOOKS


Vroom vroom. Two powerful motorcycle books from the great publishing house Quarto: ONE PERCENTER REVOLUTION: Riding Free in the 21st Century, $28.00, finishes the trilogy started by best-selling author and editor of Easyriders magazine Dave Nichols with ONE PERCENTER: The Legend of the Outlaw Biker and The ONE PERCENTER CODE: How to Be an Outlaw in a World Gone Soft. The biker lifestyle began in earnest in the years following World War II and hit its first peak in the 1960s and ’70s. That popularity was renewed in the 21st century. It makes sense. In this world of declining earning power and fiercely enforced politically correctness, the anti-hero figure of the outlaw biker stands above the crowd, a beacon of freedom. One Percenter Revolution introduces readers to a whole new generation of rebels dedicated to living on the edge and letting their freak flags fly! The book is populated with nonconformists, from 20-something bikers breathing new life into the 1970s outlaw lifestyle to city-dwelling café racers who ride the razor’s edge. From Euro parkour disciples of danger to wing suited batmen, this revolution is gaining in momentum like a rat rod doing a smoky burnout. One Presenter Revolution follows a whole new generation of wolves thriving in a land of sheep. Sons of Anarchy has inspired young people to don leathers and twist the grip on stripped down motorcycles, looking to quell their thirst for rebellion, and films like Mad Max: Fury Road preaches to would-be War Boys, the stage is set to explore the evolution of outlaw bikers and the revolution of the modern savage.

And go on a 60-year ride with Harley-Davidson’s Sportster. Things got a little weird in the American motorcycle industry after World War II. People hungered for new motorcycles, buying just about everything manufacturers could build. But on rare occasions a manufacturer produced a machine that nobody wanted. Such was the case with the Harley-Davidson Model K. The Model K had most of the features buyers wanted in a modern machine, like hand-operated clutches, foot-operated shifters, and cool-running aluminum heads, but it lacked perhaps the most important technological upgrade: a modern overhead-valve valve-train design. The Model K retained the antiquated side-valve design because of arcane AMA racing rules written when Harley-Davidson and Indian competed head-to-head on American racetracks, but by 1952 Indian was on its last legs. This should have made the Model K a massive sales success. What nobody counted on was the British bike invasion. Thanks to their modern overhead-valve engines, the lightweight British bikes humiliated the side-valve Harleys on the track and on the street. Upgrades to the Model K didn’t help; Harley finally relented and introduced a new overhead-valve middleweight for the 1957 model year. Dubbed the Sportster, it was everything the Model K was not. More importantly, it was faster than the British competition. Thus began the Sportster’s sixty-year reign. HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER: Sixty Years, $45.00, tells the complete Sportster story. Noted Sportster expert Allen Girdler covers all the bikes–the XLCH, Café Racer, XR1000, XLX, 883, Iron, Forty-Eight, Seventy-Two, and Nightster–that have made the Sportster one of the most iconic motorcycles on earth.

THE GREAT BIG SEARCH and FIND ACTIVITY BOOK, Quarto Publishing, illustrated by Joelle Dreidemy, an action-packed book crammed full of amazing things to find, exciting scenes to color and spot-the-difference puzzles. Guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment, it features a wide range of topics from dinosaurs to the solar system, with fun facts throughout. Ages 4 to 7.

SHELBURNE FARMS: House, Gardens, Farm, and Barns by Glenn Suokko with a foreword by Alec Webb, Rizzoli, $65, celebrates the beauty of Vermont’s Shelburne Farms, a National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain. This is the fascinating story of a magnificent Gilded Age country estate conceived by America’s leading aristocrats of the day, Lila Vanderbilt and William Seward Webb. Built between 1886 and 1905, the houses and barns, designed by architect Robert H. Robertson, include Shelburne House, the Webbs’ stunning Shingle-and Queen Anne-style residence with a formal Italianate flower garden, and the Breeding Barn, which was the largest open-span wooden structure in America. Landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted planned the 4,000 acres of pastureland, woodlands, and trails. Period photographs capture the Webbs’ original vision, while new photography showcases the splendid results of decades-long restoration. The property is now open to the public. Shelburne House, transformed into an inn, showcases many original paintings, furnishings, and decorative arts. A gorgeous large format book filled with breathtaking photos.

ATLAS OF MINIATURE ADVENTURES, Emily Hawkins, author, Lucy Letherland, illustrator, Wide Eyed Editions, just 64 pages but what a powerful little pocket-sized book–follow one boy and girl as they discover the world’s best miniature adventures from the four corners of the globe. A perfect collection of small-scale wonders for kids from 6 to 9.

COLLECT VALUE DIVEST: The Savvy Appraiser by Elizabeth Stewart. Either sophisticated collector or someone looking to divest, Dr. Stewart answers many questions in her new book that delivers short, concise chapters so that any collector can easily learn how to value their paintings, books, artifacts, and treasured possessions. Dr. Stewart condenses her thirty years as a certified appraiser into easy-to-read anecdotes that cover commonly asked questions about value. She provides tips on how to buy, sell, insure, and auction, and explains how to bequeath pieces. Using real-life cases and rich images, Stewart instructs on the Dos and Don’ts of collecting: how, what, and where to collect; the next big thing; clues to identification and worth; online tools for finding value; how to sell and what to donate; and what your kids do not want.

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