If you have always wanted to draw, "Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner," by Claire Watson Garcia, is a great resource. Garcia has been teaching this method in classrooms for more than 20 years. Now, she brings her experiences and expertise to the print format.

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"Painting the Impressionist Watercolor," by Lee Boynton and Linda Gottlieb, serves both beginning and experienced artists. One hundred and fifty full-color illustrations accompany the text and instruction. All topics are covered, from getting started and mixing colors to completing two full paintings.

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Cradle-to-grave brand loyalty does not come cheap: Today's corporate America is willing to spend an estimated $15 billion annually to insure that children get their parents to buy, buy, buy. In "Consuming Kids: The hostile Takeover of Childhood," Susan Linn asserts that commercial pressure on children has increased dramatically, and that it has become an acute societal problem. With chapters on marketing in preschools through elementary schools, the promotion of violent toys and influencing early alcohol and tobacco use, Linn ends with a chapter on what you can do to make a change.

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Ursula K. LeGuin talks about readers, writers, imagination and the richness of life in her new book of essays, "The Wave in the Mind." There are several sections, including Personal Matters, Readings, Discussion and Opinions, and On Writing. Each essay is crisp, clear, insightful and written with LeGuin's obvious love of words.

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When Sam Pickering spent a sabbatical in Australia, he wrote a unique kind of travelogue. Woven into the daily events, the people and places of Australia are stories from a fictional town in Tennessee in his new book, "Waltzing the Magpies: A Year in Australia." Pickering is a professor of English at the University of Connecticut and he is also the inspiration for the film, "Dead Poets Society." While the film portrays one side of Pickering, his writing indicates a broad and engaging range. "The Best of Pickering," another new selection, celebrates the diversity and power of his writing.

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Having trouble getting that garden started? Wishing that big project at work would just somehow go away? "The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play," by Neil Fiore, has all the means to get you started and keep you focused. Fiore offers a solid program for changing yourself from a procrastinator to a producer.

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Karen Hughes, former counselor to George Bush, left the White House to be with her family. Her new book, "Ten Minutes to Normal," chronicles her experience. She describes the campaign trail and working from home. She continues to advise the White House while caring for her family.

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Women's bodies can be uniquely proportioned and subject to different reactions to illness than male bodies. "The New Harvard Guide to Women's Health," by Karen Carlson, M.D., Stephanie Eisenstat, M.D. and Terra Ziporyn, Ph.D., was written to educate women and to answer the specific health questions relative to women. There is an alphabetical table of contents as well as a detailed index.

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Few men are brave enough to walk the Devil's Highway. Even the Border Patrol fears it. Yet in May 2001, 26 men entered the desert, hoping to emerge in America. Only 12 came out, and one of the survivors, Luis Alberto Urrea, writes of the ordeal in "The Devil's Highway."

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Alessandra is caught in a Florence that is changing from luxury and vibrancy to religious violence. In an arranged marriage to an older man, she indulges her love of art and the young painter who stole her heart when she was 15. "The Birth of Venus" is a new historical novel from Sarah Dunant.

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