Nonfiction

The New Earth

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Eckhart Tolle

Tolle is able to take complex concepts about enlightenment, human nature and behavior and weave in examples from the Bible, Buddhism, Taoism, as well as history’s greatest thinkers and artists. His skill at tying all of this together is very impressive. He thoroughly describes all the facets of living a life with presence and awareness, rather than living out the roles and inner thoughts by which we have come to define ourselves. Some of his terminology can be challenging, but he usually gives clear definitions as he goes along. For example, his explanation of a human being: Human is "...the functions you fulfill, whatever you do--all that belongs to the human dimension". Being is "found in the still, alert presence of Consciousness itself, the Consciousness that you are." "Human is form. Being is formless. Human and Being are not separate but interwoven."

Kathleen Z., Library Director

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Running With the Bulls; My years with the Hemingways

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Valerie Hemingway

An interesting look at a life style that is so different from my own. As a teenager, Valerie Danby-Smith gets a job working for Ernest Hemingway during his years in Spain and Cuba (about 1959-1961). Her relationship with the Hemingways is what this book is all about. She does have a lot of insight and revelations about the years spent with them and tells her story in a interesting way. I didn't care for all the name dropping but it was probably necessary to tell the story of their lives. After Ernest death, Valerie marries Gregory, his son. This was one roller-coaster of a marriage and a tragic story itself. It was brave of her to tell it.

Margaret, Reference

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The Peacock Princess

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Sara Harris and Barbara Mosallai Bell

I found this book while looking for princess stories for the kids. It is the true life story of an American woman (and her daughters) who married an Iranian man and was trapped in Iran with brutal conditions and home life. It reminded me of Sally Field's "Not Without My Daughter" and its always amazing to me how some of the middle eastern men do a complete turnabout when they leave the U. S. and return to their homeland.

Sue N, Youth Services
 

Beautiful boy, a father's journey through his son's addiction

Monday, May 19, 2008
David Sheff

This is a must-read for anyone interested in drug/alcohol addiction.

Sheff, an author/ journalist, tells the story about his struggle with his meth-addicted son, and how it affected him, his entire family and group of friends. It is both heart- warming and heart-wretching . He has meticulously researched the dependency ... to the drug and to the addiction.

The New York Times Magazine article, My Addicted Son, won an award from the American Psychological Association. The son, Nic Sheff, published a memoir from his perspective, entitled Tweak, soon to be available at HCDL.

Donna O., Reference
 

Forgotten Ellis Island: the Extraordinary Story of America's Immigrant Hospital

Monday, May 19, 2008
Lorie Conway

Most of us know something of Ellis Island and the amazing number of immigrants who entered the United States in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.We study the hows and whys that so many left their native countries and traveled here.We know of the terrible conditions that many traveled in on the long journeys.But, did you ever stop to think of the number of immigrants who arrived on the shore of Ellis Island ill or carrying a contagious disease?What happened to those people?

Enter America’s Immigrant Hospital.“The hospital was massive and modern- 22 state-of-the-art buildings crammed onto two small islands, which were man-made from rock and dirt excavated during the building of the New York subway system.” (page 5).Read about the controversy surrounding ill immigrants, the building of the hospital, the staff that provided amazing care, and the patients.This is a fascinating look at an extraordinary institution, filled with photos of both then and now.Lorie Conway produced a documentary about the hospital, and this is the companion book.I haven’t been able to find a copy of the documentary available for purchase, but I’ll keep looking.

Holly, Youth Services

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Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Sunday, April 13, 2008
Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Why do some ideas thrive while others die? How do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators, and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. The brothers assert that “sticky” messages of all kinds—from the infamous “organ theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a product vision statement from Sony—draw their power from the same six traits. It’s a fast-paced tour of idea success stories (and failures)—the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of the Mother Teresa Effect; the elementary-school teacher’s simulation that actually prevented prejudice. This book was written for everyday people and may be applied to everyday life.

Sue A2, Reference

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Truth and Beauty

Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Ann Patchett

A very interesting read. This is a story (nonfiction) about the friendship between Ann and a fellow writer, Lucy Grealy. If you are interested in gaining insights into what a writer's life is like, you would enjoy this book. Most of all, it is about friendship. I think it would be a good book club pick because it would generate lots of good discussion questions.

Margaret, Reference

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How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci: Seven Steps to Genius Everyday

Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Michael Gelb

Oddly enough, I picked upHow to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci: Seven Steps to Genius Everyday by Michael Gelbbecause it was referenced in an article I read in the paper about creatively budgeting money.The author of the article said that after years of failed budgets, she was able to apply the DaVinci principals to her personal finances.What???I couldn’t help myself; I had to check out this book.And you know what I found out?There are lots of ways to apply the DaVinci principals to the problems of everyday life.When I was reading the book, I kept thinking “Hey, I used to do that…”But you all know how it goes.You get busy, you have to make dinner every night and take your kids to birthday parties and swim practice and pretty soon you feel like the least creative person in the world.The questions posed in the book really made me think (like Leonardo DaVinci?)…and it was fun!I’ve even started keeping a journal again for the first time in many years.If you’re in a rut try How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci - it’s a breath of fresh air.

Kathleen M., Administration

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Author Russell Freedman...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I discovered Russell Freedman when I stumbled acrossEleanor Roosevelt: a life of Discovery.I enjoyed the book so much; I ended up naming our cats Franklin and Eleanor.Russell Freedman draws you into his current subject and doesn’t let you go.I eagerly await his new titles.The latest is Who Was First? Discovering the Americas. Freedman writes for the teen audience, but he pays them the same respect as one would an adult audience and thoroughly researches his subjects.After reading The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan (Livingston Reads! 2008 selection) I picked up Freedman’sChildren of the Great Depression.Give Freedman a try, regardless if you are no longer in the “teen audience”, you will be surprised by what you find.

Holly, Youth Services

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The Future of Management

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Gary Hamel

Surely you’ve heard that Toyota surpassed Ford Motor and is now the #2 automaker in the world. Are you familiar with the (business) chant Innovation, Innovation, Innovation? Read The Future of Management, by Gary Hamel, visiting professor at London Business School since 1983, “the world’s leading expert on business strategy” (Fortune magazine), “the world’s reigning strategy guru” (The Economist), and author of business bestsellers.

Hamel buries our existing management model, which is as old as its long deceased creators. He implores today’s managers to set aside their self-interest and study the successful, though sometimes eccentric, upstarts and incorporate their strategies – Whole Foods Market, W.L. Gore (Gore-Tex) and Google. Hamel’s Management 2.0 proposes to take Innovation out of R&D and give it to everyone –empowering employees, flattening and lattice-ing management’s hierarchy. It’s easier for upstarts but existing businesses can, painfully, join the new century, succeed … and thrive!

The case studies alone are worth the read. And what about Toyota? According to Hamel, Toyota empowered “ordinary people” to problem solve. And Google? Well,… you have to read it for yourself.

Donna O, Reference

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