Splendid solution : Jonas Salk and the conquest of polio book cover

Splendid solution : Jonas Salk and the conquest of polio

Jeffrey Kluger

614.549 /Kluger

For children today, the word "polio" means little more than a series of shots, a mundane part of health care. Fifty years ago, however, polio was a dark shadow that arrived every summer, a deep fear hanging over every child and parent. Every year, the disease left tens of thousands of children crippled, paralyzed or, worse, reliant on an iron lung to aid them in breathing. Time magazine senior writer Kluger, coauthor of the bestselling book that was the basis for the movie Apollo 13, tells how polio was beaten 50 years ago in one of the triumphs of modern medicine. The narrative naturally centers on Jonas Salk, whose lab developed the first polio vaccine, but this is by no means a simple biography. Kluger is best when describing science as a team enterprise, and this account offers a keen understanding of the vast machine of people and resources mobilized to combat polio. The book is well researched and accessible, made all the more tense and gripping by the author's depiction of the pre-vaccine world-by describing what it was like to live in fear of polio, Kluger reminds us how joyous and heroic an event its conquest was.. PW, Jan, 2005

Susan C's picture

The first nonfiction All Iowa Reads. Growing up in the 50's and early 60's polio was a very important concern and this story of developing the vaccine is fascinating. -Susan C

Underground book cover


Haruki Murakami

363.320952 /Murakami
Nonfiction, Literary Nonfiction

In this haunting work of journalistic investigation, Haruki Murakami tells the story of the horrific terrorist attack on Japanese soil that shook the entire world. On a clear spring day in 1995, five members of a religious cult unleashed poison gas on the Tokyo subway system. In attempt to discover why, Haruki Murakmi talks to the people who lived through the catastrophe, and in so doing lays bare the Japanese psyche. As he discerns the fundamental issues that led to the attack, Murakami paints a clear vision of an event that could occur anytime, anywhere.

Anne M's picture

Novelist Murakami interviews both victims of the 1995 Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack, as well as members of the cult, Aum Shinrikyo, which was responsible for the attack. It is a pretty amazing work--one that captures an historical moment--what happened and the aftermath both for the individuals and the attack's meaning to Japanese society. -Anne M

Voices on the landscape : contemporary Iowa poets book cover

Voices on the landscape : contemporary Iowa poets

811.008 /Voices
Poetry, Nonfiction

Maeve's picture

Editor and poet Michael Carey has brought together a marvelous collection of poems by and about Iowa. While not strictly a travel guide, many of the poems evoke a vision of Iowa that might just inspire you to take a trip to explore the poems' inspiration. -Maeve

Goosetown : a Bohemian & German neighborhood in Iowa City book cover

Goosetown : a Bohemian & German neighborhood in Iowa City

977.7655 /Goosetown
History, Nonfiction

Maeve's picture

Local author and historian Marybeth Slonneger and other Goosetown residents provide the background story to Iowa City's Goosetown neighborhood. Learn about the Bohemians and Germans who settled in north side of Iowa City and the many houses and building in the historically significant part of town. -Maeve

The great Iowa touring book : 27 spectacular auto tours book cover

The great Iowa touring book : 27 spectacular auto tours

Mike Whye

917.7704 /Whye/2004
Travel, History, Nonfiction

It traveling by car is more your cup of tea, this is the book for you. The fastest way to cross the state is I80 or I35, but for a slower and much more scenic view of Iowa try some of out state highways and county roads. There are amazing bridges and overlooks that might surprise you. This guidebook has 27 auto tours encompassing urban and rural areas--back roads and byways, well-known and little-known places, the famous and the infamous, rivers big and small, great lakes and rare ponds, prairie and forests, plains and hills, old settlements, and brand new communities.

Maeve's picture

If your idea of traveling is by car and you want to explore Iowa, this is the book for you. The fastest way to get across Iowa may be I80 or I35, but to see and learn much more about the state, try some of the state highways and county roads. Iowa's countryside is beautiful and following the Great River Road along the Mississippi gives you an entirely new view of the state. Have fun! -Maeve

Grant Wood's Iowa : a visitor's guide book cover

Grant Wood's Iowa : a visitor's guide

Wende Susan Elliott

917.7704 /Elliott/2013
Art / Art History, Travel, Nature, Nonfiction

Solving the problem of what to do while driving across the middle of America, this book identifies points of cultural interest along I-80 from Chicago to Omaha. In particular, Rose and Elliott provide a thoughtful, detailed exploration of the life and the historical context of Iowa artist Grant Wood, best known for his painting American Gothic, by discussing both his work and the landscape that inspired it. The book includes five itineraries, complete with self-guided museum tours, maps, color photos, and local ancillary attractions like regional art festivals and nature hikes.

Maeve's picture

When you think of Iowa and artists the first name that comes to mind is Grant Wood. Grant Wood's Iowa : a visitor's guide can help you learn much more about our celebrated author. Explore Anamosa and Stone City, where he had his academy, visit Iowa City and Cedar Rapids to see where he lived and visit museums to see his work. There are maps and guided museum tours and even some hikes. -Maeve

Iowa curiosities. book cover

Iowa curiosities.

917.77 /Curiosities
Travel, History, Nonfiction

Maeve's picture

Where is the largest frying pan or ball of twine? And what is the story behind these and many other curiosities? Iowa Curiosities can help you find so many interesting places to explore and along the way learn about some unique Iowa stories. Dan Coffey, former Iowa City resident and Ducks Breath Mystery Theatre star wrote the first edition of this book. -Maeve

The official Rails-to-Trails Conservancy guidebook. Rail-trails Iowa and Missouri. book cover

The official Rails-to-Trails Conservancy guidebook. Rail-trails Iowa and Missouri.

917.7704 /Rails/2017
Nature, Sports, Nonfiction

Maeve's picture

Whether you are a walker or a rider you will find this an excellent guide to trails where the railroad used to pass through a town or countryside. This ever expanding network of trails offer a great way to explore Iowa (and Missouri). -Maeve

The Iowa road guide to haunted locations book cover

The Iowa road guide to haunted locations

Chad Lewis

917.7704 /Lewis/2007
Travel, Paranormal, Nonfiction

Maeve's picture

Chad Lewis is a paranormal investigator with a Master of Science degree in Applied Psychology He is also the organizer and speaker for The Unexplained conferences. He is the host of The Unexplained radio and television programs. Terry Fisk is also a paranormal investigator who studied philosophy and religion at the University of Wisconsin. He is an authority on death and the afterlife and is also the host of The Unexplained radio talk show. -Maeve

Paddling Iowa : 128 outstanding journies by canoe and kayak book cover

Paddling Iowa : 128 outstanding journies by canoe and kayak

Nate Hoogeveen

917.7704 /Hoogeveen/2012
Nature, Sports, Nonfiction

There is something especially wonderful about being on a river or stream in a canoe or a kayak. Your vantage point to observe the world around you is near perfect. Sitting silent allows you to see all sorts of activity from the birds and mammals at the shoreline, to water snakes and fish below you. Maybe my favorite part of paddling is watching the clouds play across the water.

Maeve's picture

There is something very special about being on a river in a canoe or kayak. You are able to observe all sorts of activity on the shoreline, watch turtles sunning on a log and see fish jump and maybe if you are really lucky, see an otter or a mink. -Maeve