Nonfiction

Buffalo for the Broken Heart: Restoring Life to a Black Hills Ranch

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Dan O'Brien

Dan wanted to live a noble life, one true to his beliefs, and he found it on the wind-swept prarie of the Black Hills.  O'Brien gives you a glimpse into ranch life and doesn't shy away from the financial hardships that it brings.  He has a fierce love of the land and displays it in every page.  His beautiful writing brings the Western Great Plains to life whether he's describing the habits of the buffalo, how falcons hunt, or how the grasslands can be restored.   Read every page and loved it!



Margaret, Reference

**This book in only available through MelCat interlibrary loan

Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Megan Nicolay

If you’re looking for a fun thing to do to end your summer, then look no farther than Megan Nicolay’s book; Generation T. This unique, totally chic book will instruct you on how to transform old, unwanted t-shirts into totally new, stylish ones. It will teach you how to slash, cut, sew, and tie your t-shirts into practically anything; including a wedding dress. I had tons of old t-shirts laying around and I had so much fun with them using this book. You don’t even need any crafting experience; all of the projects are rated from easy to hard.



Laura W., Circulation

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Bad Mother: a Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Ayelet Waldman

Author Ayelet Waldman raised the ire of mothers across America, when the The New York Times published an essay of hers in 2005, called "Truly, Madly, Guiltily" where she said that she loves her husband more than her children see http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/27/fashion/27love.html
 
With Bad Mother, Waldman who is married to the writer Michael Chabon, explores many other topics sure to get tempers flaring at the next playgroup get together, or at least spur a healthy discussion of all that is expected of mothers in this century.  Competitive parenting, the "bad mother" police and balancing the work-family dyanamic are just a few of the ideas she explores. I especially liked an essay called "Drawing a Line" where she found a way to help her third grader who was drowning in homework each night.

I also found it interesting to read these essays because of the perspective Waldman offers. She lives in Berkeley, California which seems like a world away from Livingston County.



I enjoy Waldman's essays because when I read them I feel a little like I've just met a smart, funny girlfriend for coffee. We all need that kind of coffee break once in a while.



Cyndi L., Reference

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Just Listen

Friday, August 6, 2010
Mark Goulston

This book is good for just about anyone.  Have a teenager?  Have a difficult boss, employee, client, family member, spouse, neighbor?   The author helps reshift a pattern of dealing with situations.  Instead of getting more emotional and trying to persuade, encourage, argue, and push the author encourages the reader to listen, breathe, ask, echo what you've heard.  One of the first chapters was very informative regarding how our brain reacts to situations.  It talks about our fight or flight response and how our rational brain basically gets hijacked.

It also describes many situations where we think we are listening and encourages us to listen differently so we can really hear what is going on with the other person.  Sometimes we get stuck on the words we hear and not what is behind the words.

This is a great tool.  It is an easy read, but you are going to want to read slowly to soak it in.  Again, one of those books you'll read a few times to master some of the skills.

Cindy A., Circulation

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The Teeth May Smile But The Heart Does Not Forget

Friday, August 6, 2010
Andrew Rice

This is an elegantly written story.  The book shares the detailed history and pain in Uganda from years of brutal dictatorships and civil wars.  The topic is overwhelming emotionally and intellectually.  Journalist, Andrew Rice, makes it accessable by writing about one man's story. The book reads like a murder mystery.  Duncan Laki, almost 30 years after the disappearance of his father seeks justice.  Throughout the book we see how the Ugandan people  must deal with their history of civil war and the brutality that came with it.  "Public sentiment was complex-people were fatigued, people wanted the wars to end, people were wary of courtroom confrontations-but the decisive factor, according to Ugandans themselves, was a simple desire to forgive.  Reconcilation is an integral concept in African culture."  
 
Ar the end, you will have a detailed knowledge of Ugandan history.  But, what you will be left with is the haunting in your heart of what it means to forgive, to forget.
 
Cindy A., Circulation

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Friday, August 6, 2010
Rebecca Skloot

This book is nonfiction, but reads more like a story.  It documents the life of a woman named Henrietta Lacks, who in 1951 was a victim of an aggressive case of cervical cancer.  The book delves into her challenges as a black woman from a poor family getting medical care during the times of segregation.  She was treated at Johns Hopkins by leading doctors who determined that the cells from her tumor tissue could be cultured and grown in a way never seen before. Ultimately her cells, call HeLa (first two letters of her name, Henrietta Lacks) were used extensively through history for medical research and became the basis for developing the cure for polio; research and treatments for cancer, bacterial and viral infections and more.   Meanwhile, Henrietta’s family knew nothing of how her cells were being used.



The author’s decade-long research of Henrietta’s family and medical situation is blended with details of scientific research.   The author discusses the ethical impact Henrietta’s case had on the medical world. The book provides a good background on the development of informed consent and provokes thought of our rights on the use of human tissues for the future.



Donna L., Administration

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When Evil Came to Good Hart

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Mardi Link
Seven year old Mardi Link was in the back seat of the family Ford, on her way to a relative's cottage, when WJR interrupted a ballgame to break news of the grisly discovery. Link is the author of the first nonfiction account of the murders. 'I guess I was struck by the fact that Susie and I were the same age,' Link says. 'I was always intrigued by the case. Who would kill an entire family? And why?' Police asked those same questions.

Link's look at the case is a great example of how a mystery, when well presented, can be even more compelling than one that's been solved. In digging through evidence, reading numerous newspaper accounts from that time, and talking to a score of Good Hart residents, Link explores more than just the Robison case. In presenting the facts, she asks questions about the nature of evil, and comments on loss of innocence in many ways, her own, the town's, the era's. Her descriptions vary from melodic and wistful to hard-hitting, a combination that keeps the pages turning fast.

For the Robisons, she writes, it was to be their first full summer in Good Hart, a result of business success: "It was a simple but enduring dream, shared by thousands of Michigan families, but one that for the Robisons this summer in 1968, lasted just eight days."

Diane, Administration

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The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Richard Florida

The Great Reset presents an interesting, sometimes fascinating, framing of our current economic situation or crisis. Florida sets the stage by looking back at two time periods, the Long Recession of the 1870’s and the Great Depression of the 1930’s, both which have striking similarities with the present. Florida’s argument is that we aren’t in a “crisis” but a “reset”. A “reset” isn’t limited to just the economy, but reaches out broadly across social order and geography. For me, The Great Reset helped put things in perspective, especially the historical comparisons. Florida also looks forward, not with crystal ball clarity, about what changes we need to make as we progress through this reset to a new social and economic framework. Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, is the author of The Rise of the Creative Class and Who’s Your City. His work is referenced in the MI Prosperity Initiative and the New Economy training presented by the Land and Policy Institute, MSU. This is not a textbook filled with technical jargon; it is totally accessable and easy to read.

Holly, Youth Services

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Strength Training for Women

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Joan Pagano
Strength Training for Women

This is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to strength training for women, showing techniques to help tone muscle, burn fat, and defy the ageing process. It is a resource for women of all ages looking to improve their overall health. An anatomy chart that depicts the major muscle groups and the exercises that are best suited to them is included. Exercises are labeled as beginner, intermediate or advanced level. Many of Pagnano's beginner exercises require no special equipment, relying instead on everyday fixtures like chairs, walls and kitchen countertops. Other exercises use free weights, stretch bands and stability balls. The color photos, diagrams and clear explanations make the exercises easy to follow, and Pagano provides full training programs for improving posture and strengthening the lower, upper and core muscles of the body. This book may be one of the best substitutes for pricey gym memberships and personal trainers. After reading through this book I have ordered a copy for myself and hope if I have it always available at home I will use it at least occasionally.

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Betsy H., Reference

 

The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog

Thursday, July 29, 2010
Nancy Ellis-Bell
The Parrot Who Thought She Was a Dog
A most interesting saga of an orphaned parrot that was adopted by a woman and all the fun trial and tribulations they go through before the parrot “adopts” her. The family is turned upside down by this "potty mouthed, one footed, blue and gold macaw." Super book!
 
Marilyn S., Circulation

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