Nonfiction

Ashley's war : the untold story of a team of women soldiers on the Special Ops battlefield

Friday, June 5, 2015
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Ashley's war : the untold story of a team of women soldiers on the Special Ops b

I'm interested in the women in the military and this book was exceptional. The reader gets to know the women well, their applications for the military, their training and the actual work they were doing with the Afghan women and children.  As men soldiers were not allowed near the women, Ashley and her teammates were able to get a lot of pertinent information as to what was going on with the insurgents and terrorists.  It was dangerous and very hard and these women are heroes. It was a difficult reading but a worthwhile one. Check our Catalog

Sue N., Youth Services

Unbroken : a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Laura Hillenbrand
Unbroken : a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption

About the book:

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

 

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

 

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

 

My review:

This is an excellent book that is well worth the read.  Check our Catalog

Tania K., Circulation

 

Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

Friday, May 22, 2015
Erik Larson
Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed Ame

This book is in the 364 true crime section of the library but it reads like fiction and you forget it is non fiction.  The White City is the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.  A serial killer lures women to the fair and a lot of the book is about him. Also we read about Chicago in the late 1800s and the poliltics involved in building the fair, and the opening of it.   There is so much history and it is told so well that it is hard to put down even though is is a very long book.  Check our Catalog

Sue N., Youth Services

The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History

Monday, May 18, 2015
Thor Hanson
The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the

My initial thought on this book "How interesting can a book about seeds be?"  The author's writing style changed my mind, he makes seeds interesting with his story telling and conversation. The author creates interest with his conversational writing style and humor. Through the author's stories I learned a great deal of information about seeds and human history.  I learned new ways of seeing how something as small as a seed can cause great change in the world.  This is definitely a book to read whether you enjoy gardening or not. Check our Catalog

Jeremy E., Administration

Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun

Friday, May 8, 2015
Erik Larson
Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun

How the travels of a single handgun expose the roots of America's gun crisis.

This is a compelling and frightening book beginning with a 16 year old boy in Virginia shooting teachers and students in his school.

Larson studies our gun culture, the NRA, gun dealers, firearm manufacturers, and what is happening in our country today. A fascinating read!

Check our Catalog

Sue N. Youth Services

Small-space vegetable gardens : growing great edibles in containers, raised beds, and small plots

Friday, May 1, 2015
Andrea Bellamy
Small-space vegetable gardens : growing great edibles in containers, raised beds

A great book for any gardener. Learn how to assess your space and plan your garden. There is also advise on pest control, pruning, harvesting, and a whole section on edibles that are suited for small spaces. So whether you have a balcony, patio, or small yard this book will inspire you to start that garden of your dreams. Check our Catalog

Jan H. Technical Services

The Boys in the Boat

Friday, April 24, 2015
Daniel Brown
The Boys in the Boat

I listened to this audio book on a trip recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a nonfiction book that reads like great fiction. It is the story of the 1936 University of Washington rowing team that went on to the Olympics in Germany as things were becoming very difficult leading up to the United States entering World War II. It also took place during the depression and these young men endured many hardships to pursue their dreams. It is a great story of strong character, especially in the main character of the story. It includes fascinating descriptions of the "boys" and their families. I highly recommend it. Check our Catalog

Jan K.,Youth Services

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Erik Larson
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

As World War I entered its tenth month, transatlantic shipping was becoming a dangerous business. The German submarine fleet was doing its best to disrupt British naval traffic as well as any boats thought to be concealing troops and munitions bound for the war effort. Up to this point, civilian passenger ships and those from neutral countries were generally considered off limits, but Germany was determined to change the rules of the game. On May 1, 1915 the luxury liner Lusitania sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool with a record number of women and children aboard. It was considered the fastest ship on the seas and it was generally thought that it would be able to outrun any U-boat attack.

In Dead Wake, Erik Larson brings to life the story of the forces that lead to the ultimate demise of the Lusitania. The cast of characters ranges from captains of both the Lusitania and the German U-boat, to some of the colorful passengers, to President Woodrow Wilson as he tries to maintain American neutrality but is eventually led to declare war.  This was a very intriguing read about a subject that I remember as being touched on only briefly in history class as a trigger to U.S. involvement in the war. I highly recommend it. Check the catalog.

Sue A., Reference

World Heritage Sites: A Complete Guide to 878 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
UNESCO
World Heritage Sites

This fantastic book is a complete guide to 878 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  The book covers 1978 till 2008 when it was published.  Since I travel a lot, I love going to as many sites as I can.  The book has descriptions and photographs and is a great travel incentive.  I thought I had seen a lot but actually had only seen 58, which is about 6% of all of them.

This is a great browsing and educational book.  I strongly recommend it. Check our Catalog

Sue N. Youth Services

 

Account Rendered: A Dossier on My Former Self

Friday, March 13, 2015
Melita Maschmann
Account Rendered: A Dossier on My Former Self

My first big-girl job was with an insurance company, at its Detroit branch.  I worked with a woman, Pat, who was born and raised in Germany and crossed the pond as a GI bride. We were fascinated by Pat's backstory but we didn't ask. She didn't speak about growing up until one night, at a company celebration, she told us how she had had a glorious girlhood, living with a group of girls her age up in the mountains where it was beautiful and invigorating and such. We asked if she knew what what going on around her. Then she became evasive.  She had said too much to us. We wouldn't understand.

Last year, I read  The monuments Men : Allied heroes, Nazi thieves, and the greatest treasure hunt in history . Looking at the bibliography at the end, I found an older memoir written by a young German women, Melita Maschmann, allegedly to her childhood best friend, a young German Jewish girl, entitled Account Rendered. I thought of Pat.

In the early 1960's, Maschmann addressed the question of "how was it possible for so many apparently normal people to be led into a state of mind in which they could commit these crimes without thinking that they were doing wrong? how could they condone them; or turn a blind eye to what was being done - often under their very noses?"  Maschmann tried to explain it, in her case, "change a simple, pleasant young German girl into a dedicated Nazi, without feelings and without pity".

Her story is interesting; the larger context is fascinating. I think I understand Pat a little bit better. I hope that she made peace with herself.

Check it out on MEL

Donna O., Reference

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