Non-fiction

This is the cover for the book, Devotions, by Mary Oliver

Devotions

Mary Oliver
5
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Sunday, Dec 10, 2017

This is a superb collection of Mary Oliver's poetry. I believe there is a poem for every person in this volume. Interestingly, from Oliver's books I like least (Thirst and Felicity, for example), the chosen poems for this collection are strong and really resonate with me. I plan on reading those collections again, thanks to Devotions. On the flip side, my favorite books by Mar

book cover of They Left Us Everything by Plum Johnson

They Left Us Everything

Plum Johnson
5
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Wednesday, Dec 6, 2017

​They Left Us Everything is an emotional journey through Plum Johnson's grief and search for self after losing her parents and childhood home. After almost twenty years spent caring for her aging parents, Alex and Virginia, Plum is both liberated and burdened by their deaths, which happen just a mere three years apart. Though Plum loses them, and the loss is enormous, she finds them again through their belongings as she clears out their house, her childhood home, and prepares to sell it.

Book cover

The Faraway Nearby

Rebecca Solnit
4
Rated by
Chris K.
Friday, Dec 1, 2017

This evocative collection of meditations emerged from a time of crisis in Solnit's life, and centers on her mother's descent into Alzheimer's and her own diagnosis of and treatment for potential cancer. Solnit's writing is fluid and meandering, flowing lyrically from thought to thought, topic to topic.

Book cover of Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura

Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, Ella Morton
4
Rated by
Hannah Jane C.
Thursday, Nov 23, 2017

When I started this book, my intention was to skip around and read only about the places that jumped out at me. It turns out that everything jumped out at me, and I was held captive by this giant book for several months. With pictures galore, an astonishing amount of research, and hours of happy reading, Atlas Obscura is a one-of-a-kind travel book that invites you to explore all the hidden wonders of the globe.

Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017

Shirley Jackson is one of my favorite authors, and I really enjoyed this biography about her life. Even if you are unfamiliar with Jackson, however, you can appreciate this well-researched biography that chronicles the social and political background that shaped the author's writing, as well as the mindset of America during her adult life in the 1930s through the 1960s. Each chapter describes two to four years of her life, from her birth in California in 1916, through her move to New York, until finally her death in Vermont at the age of 48.

DVD cover

The Story of Film: An Odyssey

Mark Cousins
5
Rated by
Michelle H.
Sunday, Nov 5, 2017

The Story of Film is loaded with movie clips from all over the world, beginning at the first moment pictures moved and ending in the early 2000s. Director Mark Cousins invites us to consider how each of the films he mentions contribute to the language of movie-making. He’s a deep thinker who speaks clearly – a rare combination.

Thursday, Oct 26, 2017

Beginning when Gus and his twin brother were born and continuing to the present, Newman shares her sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and always insightful and upbeat recollections of their lives. She touches on many of the issues with autism, but To Siri With Love is not a "how to" book. It is a positive, yet honest look into one family's journey with autism, and among others, how technology, especially Siri, is helpful to Gus.

Thursday, Oct 19, 2017

When it comes to nonfiction science books, I definitely have a "type." (I blame Mary Roach for this.) And when I heard that I Contain Multitudes could teach me something about the world around me with engaging clarity and humor, I needed to read it.

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017

When Steve Jenkins agrees to adopt an abandoned micro pig from an old friend, he has no idea that his life is about to drastically change forever. Rather than maxing out at 70 pounds, the wee “micro pig” turns out to be a commercial sow who grows to a whopping 600 pounds. As Esther grows in size, Steve and his partner transform from bacon-eating and city-dwelling folks to buying and operating a farm to use as a sanctuary for animals in need of a safe home.

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017

Here’s a familiar situation that we’ve all been in - you see someone you know that has recently lost a loved one, or is going through a serious illness, or recently got divorced and that little voice in your head says “do I say something or not . . . I don’t know them that well . . . what do I say that won’t make matters worse . . . . " Well, here’s a practical and humorous guide encouraging us to go ahead, reach out and fumble; it’s better than not reaching out at all!

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