Nonfiction

Little victories : perfect rules for imperfect living book cover

Little victories : perfect rules for imperfect living

Jason (Newspaper columnist) Gay

158.1 /Gay
Nonfiction

"The Wall Street Journal's popular columnist Jason Gay delivers a hilarious and heartfelt guide to modern living. Four times a week, millions of men and women turn to Jason Gay's column in The Wall Street Journal. Why is Gay so celebrated? It starts with his amusing, fan's-eye-view of the sports world, which he loves but doesn't take too seriously. But his most celebrated features are his "Rules" columns, which provide untraditional, highly amusing but useful advice for navigating the minefields of everyday life. In this, his first book, Gay provides witty and wise advice on the Big Questions. Such as how to behave at work: "If you are excited about the company holiday party, this is likely an early-warning signal from the lighthouse to cancel, because you may fit the profile of the person who winds up kissing four co-workers, then stands on the coach at 2:00 a.m. railing against the company healthcare plan before passing out, then waking up twenty minutes later and demanding everyone take a taxi to Atlantic City for breakfast." Gay makes the case that it is not the grand accomplishments like climbing Mt. Everest (which, as he points out, is expensive and stressful) that make life sweet but conquering the small everyday challenges, like putting pants on before 2:00 p.m. on a Saturday. Little Victories is a life guide for people who hate life guides. Whether the subject is rules for raising the perfect child without infuriating all of your friends, rules for how to be cool (related: Why do you want to be cool?) or rules of thumb to tell the difference between real depression and just eating five cupcakes in a row, Gay's essays--whimsical, practical, and occasionally poignant--will make you laugh and then think, "You know, he's kind of right.""--

Meredith's picture

This book was funny and insightful, which isn't easy to do. It seemed to lose this balance towards the end, but maybe that was me, ready to move on the something new. It's a good reminder that nothing is as it seems, we're all moving through life the best we can and sometimes the little things mean the most. Give yourself a break, OK? -Meredith

Heroines book cover

Heroines

Kate Zambreno

809.89287 /Zambreno
Literary Nonfiction, Nonfiction

I am beginning to realize that taking the self out of our essays is a form of repression. Taking the self out feels like obeying a gag order—pretending an objectivity where there is nothing objective about the experience of confronting and engaging with and swooning over literature.”—from Heroines On the last day of December, 2009 Kate Zambreno began a blog called Frances Farmer Is My Sister, arising from her obsession with the female modernists and her recent transplantation to Akron, Ohio, where her husband held a university job. Widely reposted, Zambreno's blog became an outlet for her highly informed and passionate rants about the fates of the modernist “wives and mistresses.” In her blog entries, Zambreno reclaimed the traditionally pathologized biographies of Vivienne Eliot, Jane Bowles, Jean Rhys, and Zelda Fitzgerald: writers and artists themselves who served as male writers' muses only to end their lives silenced, erased, and institutionalized. Over the course of two years, Frances Farmer Is My Sister helped create a community where today's “toxic girls” could devise a new feminist discourse, writing in the margins and developing an alternative canon. In Heroines, Zambreno extends the polemic begun on her blog into a dazzling, original work of literary scholarship. Combing theories that have dictated what literature should be and who is allowed to write it—from T. S. Eliot's New Criticism to the writings of such mid-century intellectuals as Elizabeth Hardwick and Mary McCarthy to the occasional “girl-on-girl crime” of the Second Wave of feminism—she traces the genesis of a cultural template that consistently exiles female experience to the realm of the “minor,” and diagnoses women for transgressing social bounds. “ANXIETY: When she experiences it, it's pathological,” writes Zambreno. “When he does, it's existential.” By advancing the Girl-As-Philosopher, Zambreno reinvents feminism for her generation while providing a model for a newly subjectivized criticism.

Heidi K's picture

If you have any interest in the lives and work of Modernist female authors (Virginia Woolf, Zelda Fitzgerald, Jean Rhys, Anais Nin...) do yourself a favor and pick up this book! Kate Zambreno, author of the novel Green Girl, creates a fascinating work of nonfiction by braiding personal narrative and historical research. She offers fascinating analysis on how feminine creativity has been conflated with mental illness both historically and today. -Heidi K

The library book book cover

The library book

Susan Orlean

COMPACT DISC 027.4794 Orlean
Nonfiction

Susan Orlean re-opens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to the beloved institution of libraries.

Kara's picture

The Library Book by Susan Orlean weaves the story of a catastrophic fire at the Los Angeles Public Library with a narrative about the history and purpose of libraries. Orlean reads the audiobook and her narration is perfect. Orlean’s book is a testament to the importance of libraries and their service to communities. -Kara

Who are you? : the kid's guide to gender identity book cover

Who are you? : the kid's guide to gender identity

Brook Pessin-Whedbee

j305.3 Pessin-Whedbee
Nonfiction

Casey's picture

Added by Casey

We should all be feminists book cover

We should all be feminists

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

eAUDIO
Nonfiction

What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences—in the U.S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad—offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a bestselling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

Meredith's picture

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author, and then I watched the TED Talk. It was amazing! -Meredith

Cribsheet : a data-driven guide to better, more relaxed parenting, from birth to preschool book cover

Cribsheet : a data-driven guide to better, more relaxed parenting, from birth to preschool

Emily Oster

649.122 /Oster
Nonfiction

"From the author of EXPECTING BETTER, an economist's guide to the early years of parenting With Expecting Better, award-winning economist Emily Oster spotted a need in the pregnancy market for advice that gave women the information they needed to make the best decision for their own pregnancies. By digging into the data, Oster found that much of the conventional pregnancy wisdom was wrong. In Cribsheet, she now tackles an even great challenge: decision making in the early years of parenting. As any new parent knows, there is an abundance of often-conflicting advice hurled at you from doctors, family, friends, and the internet. From the earliest days, parents get the message that they must make certain choices around feeding, sleep, and schedule or all will be lost. There's a rule--or three--for everything. But the benefits of these choices can be overstated, and the tradeoffs can be profound. How do you make your own best decision? Armed with the data, Oster finds that the conventional wisdom doesn't always hold up. She debunks myths around breastfeeding (not a panacea), sleep training (not so bad!), potty training (wait until they're ready or possibly bribe with M&Ms), language acquisition (early talkers aren't necessarily geniuses), and many other topics. She also shows parents how to think through freighted questions like if and how to go back to work, how to think about toddler discipline, and how to have a relationship and parent at the same time. Economics is the science of decision-making, and CRIBSHEET is a thinking parent's guide to the chaos and frequent misinformation of the early years. Emily Oster is a trained expert--and mom of two--who can empower us to make better, less fraught decisions--and stay sane in the years before preschool"--

Anne M's picture

Being a parent is incredibly rewarding. But with most rewarding things, it also means it is hard. There are also a lot (A LOT) of opinions on how to be a good parent; it is hard to know what to do and easy to second-guess yourself. Emily Oster's Cribsheet addresses this by going through what has been studied and what the data means. From potty training to child care, this book is a tool to help you make decisions. More or less, you have to find what works for you, your child, and your family--which isn't bad advice. -Anne M

An inconvenient alphabet : Ben Franklin and Noah Webster's spelling revolution book cover

An inconvenient alphabet : Ben Franklin and Noah Webster's spelling revolution

Beth Anderson

j428.1 Anderson
Kids, Picture Books, Nonfiction, History

Details the origins of Noah Webster's first American English dictionary and the struggles of Webster and Ben Franklin to help unify the new country through language in the 1780s.

Morgan's picture

The differences between American English and British English have always fascinated me. Why did all the "u"s disappear from words like favo(u)rite and colo(u)r; why is it theater and not theatre; who decided music(k) didn't need a "k"? The answers can be found in this fun romp through the linguistic pursuits of Ben Franklin and Noah Webster. -Morgan

If I could tell you just one thing... : encounters with remarkable people and their most valuable advice book cover

If I could tell you just one thing... : encounters with remarkable people and their most valuable advice

Richard (Entrepreneur) Reed

170.44 /Reed
Nonfiction

In If I Could Tell You Just One Thing . . . some of the world's most remarkable people share their most valuable pieces of wisdom. Life lessons from 50 of today's most accomplished, diverse, and influential voices in an engaging collection of profiles including: President Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Stephen Fry, Dame Judi Dench, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Caitlyn Jenner, Margaret Atwood, Sir David Attenborough, Annie Lennox, Sir Richard Branson, Jude Law, Harry Belafonte, Simon Cowell, Jo Malone and James Corden. From advice for grads, to guidance on work and relationships, creativity, spirituality and survival, there are words in these pages that will comfort, motivate and inspire. If I Could Tell You Just One Thing . . . will surprise, entertain, and encourage readers--and leave a lasting impression. -- Amazon.com.

Meredith's picture

If you are looking to be inspired, this is the book for you! -Meredith

Chasing American monsters : 251 creatures, cryptids, and hairy beasts book cover

Chasing American monsters : 251 creatures, cryptids, and hairy beasts

Jason Offutt

001.944 /Offutt
Nonfiction, Paranormal

"The Black Dog of Hanging Hills, the Tommyknockers of Pennsylvania, the Banshee of the Badlands--these beasts and hundreds more will hold you spellbound, unable to look away from their frightful features and their extraordinary stories. Come face to face with modern-day dinosaurs, extraterrestrials, dragons, lizard men, giants, and flying humanoids. This illustrated collection includes more than 250 monsters and cryptids that will make your hair stand on end when you hear something go bump in the night."

Candice's picture

An amazingly thorough guide to all the various monsters and half-human beasties you've heard about in spooky campfire tales or stories about weird, small towns. Thoughtfully organized by state, so it would make an interesting sort of travel guide as well! -Candice

Who are you calling weird? book cover

Who are you calling weird?

Marilyn Singer

j591.5/Singer
Kids, Nonfiction, Animals

Delve into the forests, burrow under the ground, and dive into the deep to discover nature's most peculiar creatures and learn about their behavior, diet, and habitat, as well as folk beliefs about each animal. Hidden away in Earth's forests, caves, and oceans, these creatures might look or behave in peculiar ways but, as you will soon find out, every oddity serves a purpose: the long, skeletal finger of an aye-aye, used by this lemur to tap on trees to locate hollow tunnels where delicious insects hide, the barrel-shaped eyes of a Pacific barreleye fish that turn upward to watch for prey above through its transparent head, the big, bulbous nose of a proboscis monkey designed to attract mates, the armor-like scales of a pangolin that are so tough that even lions and tigers can't bite through them. Come face-to-face with the most curious creatures from across the globe, and decide for yourself who's the weirdest of them all.--Amazon

Morgan's picture

Added by Morgan