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'A 'Spring without Bees"

By Michael Schacker

The Lyons Press, $24.95

This thoughtful book, subtitled "How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply," is about our future as a society.

Michael Shacker is an investigative science writer and a student of regenerative agriculture. He discusses the chemical IMD, or imidacloprid, a relatively new but widely used insecticide that often replaces DDT. A number of beekeepers and researchers think IMD is responsible for the increase in the annual die-off rate of honeybees in the United States.

The author believes that bees are essential to the production of fruit, nut and vegetable crops, meaning that if bees disappear, it would trigger a catastrophe for our food supply and the global economy.

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'The Actor's Art and Craft'

By William Esper and Damon DiMarco

Anchor Books, $13.95 (softcover)

The authors teach the famed, creative technique pioneered by Sanford Meisner. They contend that the exercises taught in this little book work well from soap operas to Shakespeare. Such well-known actors as Patricia Heaton, Jeff Goldblum, Olympia Dukakis and Calista Flockhart are quoted as favoring the Meisner method.

Among other things, the authors discuss how to develop concentration and how to justify absolutely anything. The authors favor spontaneity as a way of creating exciting scenes. It is also essential that each actor listen carefully to fellow actors, so that they connect with each other.

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'Joshua and Isadora'

By Michael Benanav

The Lyons Press, $24.95

The author, a New York Times writer, tells the story of his grandparents, who embarked from Romania to Istanbul in December 1944. Isadora Rosen was 20 at the time. She and her brother, Yisrael, were two of 600 orphans who had emerged from the "Forgotten Cemetery" of the Holocaust.

Joshua Szereny, a Czech citizen, was also on board. He had escaped over the Apuseni Mountains from a Jewish slave labor unit in the Hungarian Army. Otherwise, he would have ended up in Auschwitz.

He was put in charge of all aspects of passenger life on the ship. In that capacity he stumbled on Isadora crying. Within three days, they had married and were taking a train across the Turkish countryside. It's a compelling story.