The Last American Man

Thursday, July 22, 2010
Elizabeth Gilbert

Eustace Conway was enamored with a pioneer spirit and living off the land at a young age. After graduating high school, he lived in a teepee for 17 years. He has accomplished many adventures including walking the 2175 mile Appalachian Trail; surviving on what he hunted and gathered; hiking across the German Alps (in sneakers); kayaking across Alaska; living with the Navajo in New Mexico and the Mayans in Guatemala; and traversing the United States from east to west and south to north using horse power.

Eustace set a record by crossing the U.S. by horse in 103 days. Besides learning survival skills from natives, Eustace soaked up his mother’s tomboy inclinations and his grandfather’s tutelage of nature. One of his missions in life is to encourage others to live off the land. He visits schools and communities dressed in animal furs, encouraging other humans to go back to nature. He invites apprentices to his Appalachian utopian wilderness called Turtle Island near Boone, North Carolina. Most of them leave because Eustace’s expectations are too high—he strives for perfection. Visit for more insight into the last American man. I hope to read more personal narratives of humans going “back to the land.” Who knows, someday I may be one of them.  FYI, Gilbert also wrote Eat, Pray, Love and Committed.

Geralyn, Technical Services

**This item is only available through MelCat Interlibrary loan.  See library staff for assistance!


Gold Medal Fitness

Thursday, July 22, 2010
Dara Torres

When Gold Medal Fitness came across the circulation desk as a recently returned item I caught a glimpse of the cover and initially thought, “Here’s another “quick fix” fitness book.” But, I took a second to identify the woman on the front. Dara Torres is one of the most celebrated swimmers of all time and at the age of 42, competes with girls half her age. Now intrigued to find out what she is promoting, I tossed her latest title into my bookbag as a potential vacation read.

Once settled into my beach chair overlooking Deep Lake at our family’s cabin in Northern Michigan I picked up Gold Medal Fitness and skimmed the entire book in one sitting. Dara’s inspirational writing gives those interested in fine tuning their fitness an excellent nutrition plan to prepare your body for the stretching and strengthening exercises she used to transform her body. She also incorporates ways to enjoy cardiovascular activities and why rest and recovery are so important for your body in any sports training plan. I look forward to integrating some of the concepts that Dara touches on and also working through her stretching exercise to help improve my physical health.

Emily D., Circulation

Check the catalog

Design Your Natural Midwest Garden

Thursday, July 22, 2010
Patricia Hill

I love colorful gardens.  I hate cutting the grass.  I want a garden to be beautiful from spring to summer.  I don’t want to spend time and resources endlessly watering my garden.  I believe that compost is better than chemical fertilizers.  I believe that native plants, and lots of them, are the way to garden.  If your gardening philosophy matches mine, or you just like gardening books with great pictures, time spent with this title will be time well spent.  I’m currently plotting and planning to turn a lot of my grass into gardens.

Holly, Youth Services

Check the catalog

The Daily Coyote

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Shreve Stockton
The Daily Coyote: A Story of Love, Survival, and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming

A Story of Love, Survival, and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming


A woman leaves New York for life in San Francisco and decides it is still not what she likes. She drives across the States, comes through Wyoming, and falls in love with it. She returns to live there. It is a great story that provides lots of insight into life in another great state, plus a look at coyotes and their precarious lives.

Check the catalog for this book.

Marilyn S., Circulation

Stuff: compulsive hoarding and the meaning of things

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee

Informative, introspective, insightful and ... a little scary.  The authors, from Smith and Boston U, have studied hoarding, in its various forms and degrees, for 20 years.  And guess what?  Their conclusions do not validate the ever-popular belief that hoarding is the result of suffering through the Great Depression.  Rather it cuts across all socio-economic groups and the all the stuff actually means something. Very Interesting case studies, read-able and highly motivating!

Donna O., Reference and Technical Services

Check the catalog

The Knife Man: The Extraordinary Life and Times of John Hunter, Father of Modern Surgery

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Wendy Moore

This book is both repugnant and fascinating. Anatomist John Hunter had an insatiable curiosity about the human body, as well as those of animals. He had no qualms about dissecting hundreds of bodies, nearly all "resurrected" from their graves, some acquaintances (such as a giant who thought his friends would prevent his being cut apart by Hunter), and preparing specimens from them for his collection. His collection included women at different stages of pregnancy. Hunter also conducted human experiments, including one on himself to test his theory regarding venereal disease. The discoveries Hunter made and the surgical techniques he developed helped spur new thought regarding medicine, which at the time still prescribed bloodletting as a treatment for disease. And what's more fascinating than anecdotes about Hunter's work? He married, had children, and continued to dissect people in his house.

Doris, Reference

Check the catalog

Who Do You Think You Are? The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Megan Smolenyak

There is no such thing as an ordinary family.  Every family has its own unique stories just waiting to be discovered by YOU!  This guide gives you all the information you need to start sleuthing into your own family history.  Megan does a great job of providing the basics to get you started, without overwhelming you with too many details.  This book is bursting with tips, shortcuts, recommendations, and things I wish I would have known when I started doing genealogy.  This book is billed as the companion to the hit TV series recently on NBC called "Who Do You Think You Are?"  There is a recap in the book of the celebrities and how they traced their family history.   I especially like the chapters on researching military records and birth, marriage and death records.  Highly recommended!!

Margaret, Reference

Check the catalog

Merle's Door

Thursday, July 1, 2010
Ted Kerasote
Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

Lessons from a Freethinking Dog


Another great story and look at life in Wyoming. Out of nowhere, a dog "happens" to join a group of people camping, backpacking, and canoeing - so they adopt him! He's given a life jacket and he joins one man's life forever. A fabulous book!

Check our catalog for this book.

Marilyn S., Circulation

Women, Food and God

Thursday, July 1, 2010
Geneen Roth

I've been a fan of author Geneen Roth since back in the days when she wrote a monthly article for Prevention Magazine.  She writes easily and practically about our collective compulsion with food.  One of my favorite topics! 

This is not a "diet book," nor is it a solution to overeating.  But it does offer a substantial helping of "food for thought."  She devotes more than one chapter to what she calls "The Voice," that is the way we talk to ourselves and the fact that most of us believe it!  For them to make a difference, the lessons here need to be practiced, and practiced and practiced again (like yoga). 

I love this quote from the book, "Freedom from obsession is not about something you do; it's about knowing who you are.  It's about recognizing what sustains you and what exhausts you.  What you love and what you think you love because you believe you can't have it."  It seems to me as though this advice can be applied to many aspects of life.

I cautiously recommend this book, and, for me, it was worth reading.

Kathleen M., Administration

Check the catalog

Sh*t My Dad Says

Thursday, July 1, 2010
Justin Halpern

My initial skimming of this book left me in stitches and laughing out loud with co-workers, family and friends at the bluntness of this father's words and advice.  Laced with four letter words and a straightforwardness that would make many uncomfortable, this father has a remarkable ability to speak his mind without self-censorship.  To many this could be interpreted quite negatively and even looked down upon as being crude, unfeeling or uncaring, but with further reading and reflection, it became clear to me that this father's gift is having a knack for telling it like it is.  This book is not for those that are easily offended by real life conversations that are uncensored with PC because of the frank and seemingly brutal honesty that this book delivers.  Overhearing my Dad talking to his Dad about this book and their own memories of their special father child relationship brought a smile to my face.  This book of more than just a bunch of funny recollections; it shows us the very important role a father figure can play in all our lives.

Emily D., Circulation

Check the catalog


Follow Us on Twitter