Nonfiction

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

Tuesday, May 20, 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

Monday, April 14, 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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How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci: Seven Steps to Genius Everyday

Wednesday, March 26, 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...

Wednesday, March 26, 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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Truth and Beauty

Wednesday, March 26, 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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A Lifetime of Secrets

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Frank Warren

This book is a compilation of postcards containing life secrets that were sent to the author. These amazing secrets reveal that most people are so much alike, but are terrified that they are alone and different. This is an incredibly moving book and easy read - filled with visuals of the postcards that aid the secrets themselves. This book is for anyone who wants to feel a connection to others.

Jen, Circulation & Administration

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Prisoner of Tehran: A Memoir

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Marina Nemat

In 1982, 16 year old Marina Nemat was arrested, tortured and sentenced to death for political crimes. One of the guards fell in love with her eventually made her convert to the Islam faith and marry him in order to save her life. Part of the book tells of her life before the 2 years in prison. You get a feel for the political history and terrible unrest of Iran and Iraq in the 1980s.

With the situation in that part of the world today, this is an excellent background book as well as a fascinating one.

Sue N, Youth Services

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90 Minutes in Heaven

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Don Piper

This is an extraordinary 'true story of death and life'.Don Piper was killed when a semi crashed and landed on top of his car. He was left for dead for 90 minutes until someone realized he was breathing.During this time he went to heaven and the early part of the book describes in great detail his wonderful experience there. He had no desire to return to earth. The remainder of the book tells how this changed his life and gives encouragement to people with serious injuries. It took him several years to heal and more than 2 before he could talk about what happened.The book is very hard to put down but very inspirational and moving.

 

Sue N, Youth Services

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The Education of Little Tree (Book and DVD)

Sunday, February 24, 2008
Forrest Carter
The Education of Little Tree

This story tells a tale both harrowing and enlightening about American Indian children taken from their parents and brought up to conform to the
customs of  "the white man." The author is a descendant and his story is that of his grandfather. This is a brilliant read and must watch movie.

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Marilyn S., Circulation

Touching Snow

Sunday, February 24, 2008
M. Sindy Felin

This small book packs a lot of emotion. This is a story of a family of Haitian immigrants and the abuse the young girls suffered at the hands of their step-father. If you don't have a strong stomach I would not recommend this book. The details can be awfully vivid. Once again, this book shows the reader how one person can live through extreme situations and make it. Anyone who has ever suffered abuse, or know someone who has, can relate deeply to themain character's struggles.

Jen, Circulation & Administration

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