Nonfiction

Trapped Behind Nazi Lines: The Story of the U.S. Army Air Force 807th Medical Evacuation Squadron

Thursday, March 3, 2016
Peter Braun
Trapped Behind Nazi Lines

This is a fascinating story of an incident during World War II. A group of  men and women, Army Air Force medical workers whose work was to care for wounded soldiers, were on a mission when their plane crashed in Albania.

For 6 months they evaded the German troops, climbed mountains, trudged through waist deep snow, and stayed with partisan families in a lot of small towns. They suffered cold and hunger and fear but did finally get to the coast and on a boat going to Italy. Some great photos and illustrations add to the interesting parts of the book. I strongly recommend it.

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Sue N., Youth Services

Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Kathleen Winter
Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage

Kathleen Winter had recently packed a “getaway suitcase” in hopes of traveling when she received an invitation to be a writer on board a ship cruising the “Northwest Passage.” This educational voyage carried other resource staff such as marine biologists, geologists, birdwatchers, and cultural ambassadors (heritage). Kathleen was a long-time resident of Newfoundland, but now she was given the chance to travel closer to the Arctic Circle via Greenland, Baffin Bay, Beechey Island, Prince of Wales Island, King William Island, and Bathurst Inlet. This route was historically unsuccessfully travelled by Sir John Franklin and his entourage of two ships in 1845 in the hopes of finding a northern route “to the Orient.” Kathleen experienced setting foot on “ancient” land that indigenous people inhabited the best way they could, considering glacial melt was making their food sources (polar bears and seals) scarce. Unfortunately, she also experienced a panic when the ship ran aground. This happened because parts of the Northwest Passage were not charted or landmasses had shifted. Her journey's tale is told in Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage.

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Geralyn B., Technical Services

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History

Monday, February 29, 2016
Brian Kilmeade
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

If you enjoy American history add this book to your reading list.  As a history buff, I thoroughly enjoyed learning something new about our early American history and found this book timely in light of the current challenges the United States faces today.  This is a little known story of how a newly independent nation was challenged by pirates and the Muslim powers from the Barbary coast and what happened when Thomas Jefferson decided to stand up to intimidation.   Check our Catalog

Tanya H., Reference

Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story

Friday, February 5, 2016
David Maraniss
Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story

This is a 2016 Michigan Notable Book. The author was born in Detroit and is an associate editor of the Washington Post. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a best-selling author.

This story is about Detroit in 1963 when things on the outside looked so upbeat for the Motor City. Maraniss describes the signs showing that things would soon fall apart for Detroit. It’s a well-told story that captures your interest about an exciting time in Detroit’s history (think Motown), but I can’t recommend the audio because the tracks are long – up to 50 minutes - and, while the author is a good reader, he is not great.  Read the book instead.

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Kathleen Z., Administration

438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea

Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Jonathan Franklin
438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea

Imagine surviving in the Pacific Ocean for 438 days!

Salvador Alvarenga’s story, 438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea by Jonathan Franklin, reveals his tale of “resilience, will, ingenuity and determination” to survive drifting west 6,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean from Mexico to the Marshall Islands. Alvarenga was a shark fisherman who had to travel over 100 miles from shore to fill a cooler because oceans have been overfished. After setting 2,800 hooks, 4,000 pounds of fish brought a man about $150. Alvarenga, being very experienced, felt more at home on the sea, but gale force winds are never predictable.

Two fishermen left Costa Azul, Mexico on November 18, 2012 and one survivor drifted to shore on Tile Islet on January 29, 2014. Besides catching/storing fresh water and food, Alvarenga had to “survive” seeing & conversing with people after his time at sea. It was especially hard because the inhabitants where he landed didn’t speak Spanish. I felt like I was in his boat with a broken motor, catching and eating raw food, and staying out of the sun.

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Geralyn B., Technical Services

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things

Monday, December 7, 2015
Jenny Lawson
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things

Jenny Lawson admits it: she’s mentally ill and has rheumatoid arthritis. She knows how mental and physical pain claws at the psyche. Lucky for her—and for us—she has decided to be furiously happy whenever her ailments allow and share how she copes when flare-ups inevitably happen. Lawson writes about all sorts of crazy things; some that she experienced, others that seem to come out of nowhere. And she describes her lows uniquely. Lawson’s language is often saltier than I prefer, but she definitely is funny and insightful. Ultimately, hers is a message of hope and encouragement.

I read the audiobook; we also have the print version.

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Doris M., Reference

Masterminds & wingmen : helping our boys cope with schoolyard power, locker-room tests, girlfriends, and the new rules of Boy World

Friday, November 20, 2015
Wiseman, Rosalind
Masterminds & wingmen : helping our boys cope with schoolyard power, locker-room

Like many parents I read many parenting books, tryng to find the elusive answer to dealing with whatever is going on with my boys.  Masterminds and Wingmen doesn't read like a parenting book.  It is an eyeopener.  Written by the author of Queen Bees & Wannabes which helped parents of girls.  Masterminds helps parents of boys gain insight into what the heck they are thinking and feeling.  I am only half way through and it has changed how I see my boys.  We have made huge improvements in how we encourage girls to step out of the traditional role.  This book talks about the box we have kept our boys in and the emotional cost they are paying for it.  This book addresses issues and lets us hear from boys in the situations.  Definately a must read for any parent or teacher of a boy. Check our Catalog



Cindy A. Circulation

Fail, fail again, fail better : wise advice for leaning in to the unknown

Friday, November 6, 2015
Pema Chodron
Fail, fail again, fail better : wise advice for leaning in to the unknown

When Pema Chodron’s granddaughter was accepted to Naropa Univ. she promised she would speak at her commencement ceremony.  This book is that speech.

Pema Chodron’s starts with asking the question, “What do we do when life doesn’t go the way we hoped?”  “We say, I’m a failure.”  Chodron speaks from experience when she goes on tell us that it is OK to fail.  Through failure we learn to be more loving of ourselves and others.  We also learn to see new possibilities.  I found this book to be apositive, inspiring read.  Check our Catalog

Jan H., Technical Services

Simply Retro with Camille Roskelley: Fresh Quilts from Classic Blocks

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Camille Roskelley
Simply Retro with Camille Roskelley: Fresh Quilts from Classic Blocks

"Camille Roskelley, best-selling author of Simplify with Camille Roskelley, puts a brand new spin on traditional-block quilting. By exploring modern print combinations and employing innovative techniques such as supersizing blocks, Roskelley offers a fresh interpretation of classic blocks in 12 achievable projects. Simple enough for beginners, all of the projects are easy to piece using precuts, yardage, and scrap fabrics. And, as always, Roskelley’s fail-proof instructions and expert knowledge will guide and inspire every step of the way.

• Master a variety of simple techniques such as half-square triangles and easy Flying Geese for a bold, sophisticated style
• Classic-block quilting gets a modern makeover with jumbo sizes, fresh prints and colors, and secondary patterns created with color placement
• Bridge the traditional and modern with quilts that have timeless appeal"

I love the fabric selection in the quilts in this book.  The blocks are reworked for ease of assembly so a novice quilter can put together a quilt top relatively quickly.  Since the block patterns are based on traditional blocks, any fabric selection would look lovely.  This book is great for either inspiration or for actual instruction on block construction.  Show me your quilt when you have it all put together! Check our Catalog

Peggy G. - Circulation

Devil at my Heels

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Louis Zamperini with David Rensin
Devil at my Heels

Many people have read Unbroken by Laura Hillelbrand and have seen the movie.  It is an amazing story of courage and survival.  Then I found this book subtitled" a World War 2 Hero's epic saga of torment, survival and forgiveness".  It is fascinating because it is told in his own words, quite different from Unbroken.   It was a great read. 

Sue N., Youth Services       Check our Catalog

 

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