The Traveler's Guide to the Hudson River Valley Tim Mulligan Black Dome Press, 2006 ($17.95)Written with the warmth and ease of a conversation with a friend, this wonderfully accessible guide celebrates a well-earned 20 years in print. Mulligan's love and awe for the Hudson Valley manifests itself in his imaginative descriptions, and simple pen-and-ink sketches prove a welcome addition to the lively text. Where Should I Sit at Lunch? The Ultimate 24/7 Guide to Surviving the High School Years Harriet S. Mosatche, PhD, and Karen Unger, MA McGraw Hill, 2006 ($14.95) Cheerful and frank, with chapter titles like "Body Stuff: Deal With It," this backpack-ready guidebook by Poughkeepsie Day School's Unger and Girl Scout advice columnist Mosatche is like having a new best bud. Hundreds of live-wire quotes from local teenagers and education professionals make this an addictive read. Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape Thomas E. Rinaldi & Robert J. Yasinac University Press of New England, 2006 ($35) Two ardent preservationists find beauty amid the ruins of manor houses, Dutch barns, foundries, railroad stations, and the Hop-O-Nose Knitting Mill. Meticulously researched and full of evocative photographs, this is a yearning ode to our vanishing architectural heritage. The authors will read at Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, 12/16 at 3:30pm. Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons Nava Atlas Amberwood Press, 2006 ($15.95) Hudson Valley favorite Atlas has updated her 1992 classic with a "vegan makeover," adding 20 delectable new recipes for soups and stews prepared without meat or dairy. Warm your spirits with Potage Polenta, go exotic with seitan Pho Bo, or chill out with Cool as a Cucumber Soup. The Science of the Dogon: Decoding the African Mystery Tradition Laird Scranton Inner Traditions, 2006 ($16.95) In this mind-bending study, Albany author Scranton explores the intricate cosmology of West Africa's Dogon people. Dogon symbols and creation myths underlie ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Judaic rituals, and uncannily presage many "breakthrough" concepts in Western physics as quantum mechanics, black holes, and string theory.