Nonfiction

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters In the End

Friday, September 18, 2015
Atul Gawande
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters In the End

I read this book as a result of a friend telling me she was so impressed with the book that she wanted to buy a copy and loan it to friends. I decided to check it out.

The first part talks about what is currently being done to many of our elderly which is placing them in a nursing home or a hospital after they can no longer care for themselves at home, rather than family caring for them at home as was done many years ago. The second part asks the question "when do heroic measures to save or prolong lives actually make things worse, and what should be done instead?"

Dr. Gawande shows how end-of-life physical conditions are often treated as medical crises needing to be "fixed," instead of managed for quality of life when treatment has become futile. He relates attention-getting true stories, including ones about hospice.I didn’t want to put the book down.

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Betsy H., Reference

When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II

Monday, August 31, 2015
Molly Guptill Manning
When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II

We’ve all heard about the GI Bill, but how many of us have heard about the Armed Services Editions (ASE) program? Without the latter, the education component of the former probably wouldn’t have been as successful. Post-World War II, some 2.2 million servicemen went to college and another 5.6 million signed up for advanced training thanks to the GI Bill. Many of those men discovered the joy of reading—and their potential for learning—thanks to ASE books. Originally a response to the Germans burning books, the ASE program aimed to put more books than were destroyed by the Germans into the hands of servicemen.  The books helped men, many of whom hadn’t been readers, beat boredom as they waited in foxholes and elsewhere and cope with emotional distress. They also inspired learning: men requested technical books be added to the lists of novels. This is a great addition to WWII history, as well as publishing history. Like me, it might motivate you to read one of the books repeatedly mentioned. I read When Books Went to War on CD, but the library also has a print copy.

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Doris M., Reference

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

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