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Record Collecting for Girls: Unleashing Your Inner Music Nerd, One Album at a Time
By Courtney E. Smith

Smith spent years working as a music programmer at MTV, but she doesn’t let her deep musical knowledge intimidate in this witty, accessible guide to the important songs in your life (breakup songs!), the evolution of girl bands, and how to create playlists for any life circumstance. 

Believing is Seeing: Observations on The Mysteries of Photography
By Errol Morris

The documentary filmmaker (Fog of War, Tabloid) dissects some of the world’s most famous images and asks: What parts of these were staged? Can there ever be complete objectivity? Morris becomes a detective, philosopher, and witty skeptic as he explores the medium he loves so dearly. Not just for photography fans.

A History of the World in 100 Objects
By Neil MacGregor

History and culture buffs will love this look at the turning points of civilization told through 100 specific objects. Each were carefully chosen by author MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, for a popular BBC radio series before creating the handsome coffee table book.

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend
By Susan Orlean

From his discovery on a World War I battlefield to blockbuster fame in movies, TV, and radio, this tale of the original Hollywood dog ends up telling the story of the 20th-century entertainment industry. Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, worked 10 years on Rin Tin Tin’s story.

The Night Strangers
By Chris Bohjalian

A rambling Victorian house becomes home to a family in crisis, but they soon learn it’s already occupied. From the award-winning author of Midwives, it’s more psychological thriller than ghost story.

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San Diego New Year’s Eve Guide

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This month we take you inside the San Diego Magazine offices where our editors debate cover options

On Raising the Next Generation of Activists

Invisible Children’s Danica Russell pens a kids’ book on activism
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