Nonfiction

Crocodile or Alligator?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Susan Holt Kralovansky
Crocodile or Alligator?

Crocodile or alligator?

If you ever wondered how to tell two similar animals apart, you’ll love this series!  In “Crocodile or alligator?” readers are shown great pictures of real animals and the differences between the two are pointed out very simply.  It was great to go to the zoo after reading this book and some others in the series (such as “Monkey or ape?”) and being able to easily see and understand the differences between them.   A great book/series for multiple ages! Check our Catalog

 

Janice H., Youth Services

 

The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Rinker Buck
The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey

The Oregon Trail: a new American Journey by Rinker Buck isn’t the usual tale of "the Donner Party” traveling West in a covered wagon. The author, his brother Nick with his dog Olive Oyl, a Jack Russell terrier, survived the 2000 mile arduous journey in a covered wagon in the twentieth century. The author did extensive research about the Oregon Trail before planning and completing this challenge. The author had the exciting adventure of traveling in a covered wagon with his family (11 children) and parents when he was 7 years old. His father (with a wooden leg), actually pulled the wagon across a bridge when the mule team shied away from the crossing. One item that survived the 1958 wagon ride and was attached to the current wagon was a wooden sign that said, “See America slowly.” Rink and his brother experienced  a multitude of challenges that pioneers in the 1800s endured: learning to harness and drive a mule team; repairing shoddily-built covered wagons (the brakes and wheels being the most crucial parts); driving blindly through rain and sand storms; finding a route across unmarked terrain; experiencing euphoria in altitudes and disappointment in mirages; bypassing the “planned route” because of overflowing river banks or extremely steep, rocky mountains. They did enjoy meeting helpful, interesting people when they camped at public corrals or actually on privately-owned ranches. When the author read pioneer journals during his research, “recycling” was a common occurrence.  Pioneers, as well as the current travelers, had to lighten their loads in order to travel on. This left permission for whomever following a chance to change into clean clothes if needed or take on food that had been too heavy for their mule team to pull. Olive Oyl earned her keep by scaring up rattlesnakes when crossing arid country. Rinker had a way of telling about his journey that let you experience riding on a narrow ridge with a canyon wall inches from your nose and a wheel on the ledge of a 100 foot drop off.

 

 

Geralyn B., Technical Services

 

 

I've always been interested in the Oregon Trail and this book is a fascinating look at that period of American history. The author and his brother purchased 3 miles drove on the trail as much as they were able. They were gone 5 months. A lot of the trail is now under highways and subdivisions but a lot is still available. Rinker researched for 3 years using diaries, history books, etc., and the book reads like a novel. There are different chapters on mules, types of wagons, the pioneers, the Mormons and their part of the expansion, and the wonderful Americans who helped along the way. It took me two weeks to get through the book because I had to keep researching different things about it. Plus I drove my husband crazy by reading parts of the book to him frequently. I highly recommend putting the hours into this book.

 

Sue N., Youth Services

 

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Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner

Friday, August 14, 2015
Meb Keflezighi
Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner

Whether you’re setting your sights on becoming a world-class runner or, like me, are a recreational runner who enjoys doing road races, you’ll find plenty of good advice from professional runner and 2014 Boston Marathon winner (at age 39!) Meb Keflezighi in this book. He shares his various training routines and shows how to do exercises to improve speed, strength, balance, and flexibility. (Note: Meb points out even nonrunners should do the stretching exercises. Don’t we all want to continue to have mobility as we age?) Meb also talks about preparing for and running a race, including what he eats and drinks—and using petroleum jelly. Run a few races and you’ll know why the last is important knowledge. But I’d advise using Hal Higdon’s training plans instead of Meb’s—unless you’re a pro whose job is running. His just seem too intense. What’s the takeaway from this book? You have to decide what’s right for you as you train to become a better runner.

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Doris M., Reference

 

 

Lessons from Tara

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
David Rosenfelt
Lessons from Tara: Life Advice From the World's Most Brilliant Dog

Life Advice From the World's Most Brilliant Dog

 

This is a super read! It is all about the lessons we learn from owning dogs. It is the story of an incredible couple and all the dog rescues they do. The book talks about how important shelters and rescue teams are and how important placing the dogs is. It is a very positive book; I loved it!

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Marilyn S., Circulation

Dogtripping

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
David Rosenfelt
Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Ad

25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure

 

This is a lovely story about two great people, a husband and wife. They live in California but were originally from the East Coast. They decide to go back to the East Coast but they have a "boat load" of Golden Retrievers that they have rescued. They recruit several volunteers with campers and vans and make the trip. This is a great read!

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Marilyn S., Circulation

A Lion Called Christian

Friday, August 7, 2015
Anthony Bourke and John Rendall
A Lion Called Christian

When I began this book, I was concerned that two men were purchasing a lion cub from Herrod's Department Store in London. But this time, such a purchase turned out alright. It became a remarkable bond between the friends and Christian the lion. They  raised him for about 7 months and then had him transported to Africa to be in his rightful home. With help, he managed to become integrated into a lion's life and several years later, the men returned and were welcomed affectionately by Christian.

It is a heartwarming story when you often hear of wild animals who do not fare as well in society. Well worth reading.

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Sue N., Youth Services

Elephant Company

Monday, July 6, 2015
Vicki Croke
Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who He

The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II

 

One of the BEST books ever! It's about a young Englishman who goes to Africa to work with elephants in the teak wood industry. It's really enlightening on that topic. Then World War II happens. He is now married and continues to be in the service for WWII. This inside information on the important role that elephants played in the victory of WWII in Africa is amazing.

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Marilyn S., Circulation

Very good lives : the fringe benefits of failure and the importance of imagination

Monday, June 22, 2015
J. K. Rowling
Very good lives : the fringe benefits of failure and the importance of imaginati

This book is the commencement address J. K. Rowling gave at Harvard University. In it she tells the graduates she would like them to remember two things. The first is the benefits of failure, when she failed it made her stop pretending and become what she really is. The second is the importance of imagination. She implores the graduates to imagine themselves in others shoes and then imagine better and set out to fulfill that dream. All in all an inspiring book. One we can all learn something from.

Jan H., Tech Services

Better than before : mastering the habits of our everyday lives

Thursday, June 11, 2015
Gretchen Rubin
Better than before : mastering the habits of our everyday lives

Gretchen Rubin illustrates the core principles of habit formation with dozens of strategies that she uses herself and tests out on others. She presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good.  I like the idea of being better than I currently am. I like self-help books.  I am fascinated with the idea that if I make something a habit I won’t have to think about it anymore, I will just do it.  Will I really exercise regularly, eat what will make me feel and act better, not procrastinate, etc?  We are not all the same.  There is a quiz at the back of the book so you can determine whether you are an Upholder, a Questioner, an Obliger or a Rebel.  Each individual forms habits differently depending upon which you are.  And you may overlap and have tendencies from more than one group. I especially like the last two sentences on the book jacket. “Change is possible. When we master our habits, we can make our lives better than before.” I am going to continue working on good habits – so that I don’t come home in the evening, crash and eat every carb I can get my hands on. I will have a plan and hopefully it will be a habit so I will automatically do the healthful thing. At least it is worth a try! This book held my interest.  I wanted to know what she had to say on the subject and she backed up her ideas with research. I have even looked at her blog which has more good ideas  Check our Catalog

Betsy H., Reference

the life-changing magic of tidying up

Saturday, June 6, 2015
marie kondo
the life-changing magic of tidying up

“This international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear you clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.”  With a claim like that, I had to give the life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese are of decluttering and organizing a try.  I’m a saver, a have piles of stuff, and boxes of stuff.  I become emotionally attached to objects.  I hate to throw away stuff that is still in usable condition.  But clutter is stressful and it needs to go!  Kondo’s approach definitely has an eastern feel, but ultimately it makes sense to me.  First answer the question of why you want to tidy up? Then approach your belongings in a certain order and for each item ask “does this bring me joy?”  Realize that objects serve a purpose and once they have fulfilled that purpose, it’s time for things to go.  The book is easy to read, written in small sections allowing you to read a little at a time if you choose.  Good Luck if you take on this decluttering approach.  Check the catalog for the hard cover.  Check the catalog for the audio CD.

Holly, Youth Services

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