New Years Past
WORDS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD
By Richard Greene with Florie Brizel (Prentice Hall Press, $50)


Greene, a master speech analyst who works with politicians, celebrities, and business leaders, has brought together a stunning collection of 21 history-shaping speeches from a group of the world’s most impressive orators — Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, and Lou Gehrig, among others. Two audio CDs are included.

OUR READ: A TESTAMENT TO THE POWER OF WORDS



THE 25 BEST WORLD WAR II SITES: PACIFIC THEATER
By Chuck Thompson (Greenline Publications, $20)


Across the Pacific, physical remains of World War II make it possible to visit the places where the defining story of the modern world was played out. Walk across the undisturbed battlefields of Guadalcanal, swim on the shore of the island that John F. Kennedy and his crew swam to after their PT-109 was sunk, and touch and photograph the tanks, airplanes, guns, and other timeless relics of the 1940s. This well-researched book shows you how and where.

OUR READ: A THOROUGH TOUR GUIDE TO WWII’S MOST IMPORTANT PACIFIC SITES


MUSEUM CAFéS & ARTS
By Sharon O'Connor (Menus and Music Productions, $32)


Museum cafes have become destinations in their own right, and here, art, music, and food come together as more than 60 works of art are accompanied by recipes such as New England clam chowder from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; fig and Gorgonzola tart from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and cheesecake from the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art in New York. A companion chamber-music CD leaves only the choice of wine.

OUR READ: A SENSUAL FEAST

FRESH SOUNDS IN MUSIC

Aaron Lines
LIVING OUT LOUD (RCA)


At 24, this country music newcomer from Alberta, Canada, is ready to take the bull by the horns. Co-writing the majority of the songs on this 11-track debut, Lines cuts his chops on the catchy “Love Changes Everything” and “I Will Be There,” brings it down a notch with the romantic “Close,” and turns it back up with “Turn It Up (I Like the Sound of That).” The fact that he resembles and tells heartfelt stories à la fellow countryman Bryan Adams doesn’t hurt his chances for success.

Various Artists
1 GIANT LEAP (Palm Pictures)


More than just an album (there’s also a recently released DVD), this mesh of world-music-meets-contemporary- artists started as a film project for Brits Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman, who traveled the globe recording music in destinations such as India, Africa, New Zealand, London, and Sydney, and ended up with some of the most innovative and interesting sounds out there today. Standouts include Michael Stipe on “The Way You Dream,” Robbie Williams on “My Culture,” and Speech and Nenah Cherry on “Braided Hair.” — J.E.M.