This year’s Pulitzer Prize winner in Biography was also the best book I’ve listened to in 2013. The Black Count by Tom Reiss is both informative and entertaining. Read by Paul Michael, an actor who gave the story even more depth with his expressive style and excellent pronunciation, this book is a step above the average biography. I was enthralled not only by the amazing adventures of the man who was the inspiration for the Count of Monte Cristo but by the writing style of the author.
If you have a child in public schools or even if you don’t, you have likely heard of the Common Core curriculum. Common Core sets benchmarks in learning for each grade level K-12. Here is a quick overview directly from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Meet the most adorable sloths in Costa Rica's Sloth Sanctuary! The photographs are stunning and the humorously presented information about sloths will keep the reader’s attention.Meet the cutest baby sloths and some of their older companions.Learn about all their goofy personalities and silly antics.Also learn how the sanctuary he
In 1891 a school teacher named James Naismith, desperate to manage a rowdy gym class in Springfield, Massachusetts, invented a new game he called "Basket Ball". It started with a list of rules scratched on paper, two old peach baskets and a soccer ball. The game was an instant sensation. The origin of the national sport of basketball is humorously written and illustrated in this picture book. Enjoy the original first draft of "Basket Ball" rules inside the cover. Author's notes add biographical details for the curious reader.
Malcolm Gladwell has made a career of looking at things we thought we knew from a different perspective, as he did in his previous best-sellers Blink and The Tipping Point. In Outliers, he examines success. What makes someone successful? Sure it’s hard work—did you know that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated work to master just about any field?—but it’s also opportunity. And culture. And pure accident. Using examples from the famous and the unknown, along with the most recent scientific studies, Gladwell presents a surprising c
Just in time for the holidays, this short cookbook has new and traditional sweet and savory cheese ball recipes. If you are inclined, take the time to copy the cheese-ball-sculptures; it will definitely amuse your friends and family. While I'm not one to spend much time on presentation (solely due to lack of skill), the recipes themselves are really good on their own.
Almost everyone has heard of Amelia Earhart, but Ruth Elder is a new name to many. Ruth wanted to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in 1927, just like Charles Lindbergh. Unfortunately, after 36 hours in the air, Ruth had serious trouble with an oil line rupture and had to abandon her plane in the ocean. Fortunately, there was a ship nearby to rescue her. Ruth charmed her way into the public's eyes, and by 1929 forty women met to begin a cross country race.
Claire Conner was raised in the John Birch Society. Her father, Stillwell Conner was a national spokesman for JBS, and her mother, Laurene, made it her lifelong obsession. Her parents first met Robert Welch in 1955 and three years later paid a considerable sum to be life members of the JBS.
If you believe that zombies are only in scary stories or movies…think again. If you are grossed out at the thought of creatures that take over the bodies and brains of other creatures, this review--let alone this book--is not for you. Just walk away.
At the time that Mary Ellin Barrett’s parents met, her father Irving Berlin was the world’s most popular, famous, and financially successful songwriter. He had started as a penniless Russian Jewish immigrant, an uneducated child who had scrounged for a living by singing to the drunken wastrels of New York’s sleazy bowery. A dozen years after the death of his first wife (who passed away just months after their marriage), Berlin met the much younger Ellin Mackay, daughter of Clarence Mackay, a fabulously wealthy businessman. Ellin was Catholic, well educated, socially promin
This bilingual English/Spanish book celebrates the life of the great Latin Jazz musician Ernest “Tito” Puente (1923-2000). Readers learn about Tito in different stages of his life: as a baby (in New York City of Puerto Rican parents), banging out rhythms on pots and pans; as a kid drumming and dancing his way to talent show success (but still finding time to play baseball with the neighborhood kids); as a young man in the Navy serving his country while developing his gift of playing and writing music; and as a professional musician who wins fame, fortune, love and admiration by using
The author of “Manson: The life and times of Charles Manson” brings us a life story, rather than the history of the Manson murders.
Charles Manson was born in 1934 to a teenaged mother. He often said that his mother was a prostitute, but here was no evidence of that. She did get pregnant at 15 and when the father didn’t want any part of the baby, she somehow talked William Manson into marrying her before Charlie was born. Kathleen Manson was a party girl who liked a good time and drinking and dancing, which her Nazarene mother strongly objected to.
Comic books, especially superhero comics, are not a part of my daily life, but I couldn’t resist the lure of the infographics in this book. Once I started looking at the charts, I had to read every page, despite not recognizing many of the characters—especially the villains.
Hi, everyone! My name is Miss Kristi (a.k.a. the new Library Assistant in Children’s Services). With my reviews, you will find a lot of picture books, books about art, books to film and YA fiction. To get us started, I recently read Alphasaurs and Other Prehistoric Types by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss. Awesome doesn’t even begin to describe this book!
From brats on the grill and festival fare to fresh farm market fruits and veggies, food is an essential part of summer fun in Wisconsin. Savor the flavors with this feast of fun facts, history and recipes by local food expert Allen and local history writer Malone.
I love looking at cookbooks. Though many of the recipes have the same basic background, each cook or chef can give them a little twist to make them new again. Sometimes cookbooks are also art. There are even awards for artistic merit in cookbooks. Two recent additions to the Appleton Public Library cookbook collection fall into the "art + cookbook" niche.
Moss Hart was an enormously successful playwright (“You Can’t Take It With You,” “The Man Who Came to Dinner”), screenwriter (“A Star is Born”), and stage director (“My Fair Lady,” “Camelot”), but this classic memoir deals not with those masterworks, but with his beginnings. It tells the tale of his impoverished New York childhood and the steps leading to his first success, a collaboration with the legendary George S. Kaufmann. This is one of the great memoirs of the era and a must read for anyone interested in theater.
I had long heard of Mary Roach's titles but never tried one. Gulp fell into my lap when a coworker heard about it and placed it on hold for me, figuring I would like it. I can see why Mary Roach's writing is so popular: she mixes great, science-y information with a fantastic sense of humor that is typically presented in tongue-in-cheek or dry asides as well as side-splitting footnotes.
This outstanding non-fiction picture book for older readers tells the story of African American artist Horace Pippin. A quote from the book: "Pictures just come to my mind...and I tell my heart to go ahead," is touching when you think of a child who did not have real art supplies of his own until he won a contest. During World War I Horace was wounded in the right shoulder, and was unable to draw the way he had loved to so much.
I picked this book off the shelf without knowing the back story on it. I thought it odd that is was in the fiction section, as it seemed to be a book that might be connected with Antiques Roadshow. I opened it up to a page with a wine glass that had a Women & Infants logo. Wondering what the story was behind that I started reading and found myself pulled into a story about family lies, abandonment, reunion, understanding and forgiveness. This, along with some great wine reviews. All on a single page! (Tasting Notes, by Jeff Turrentine).
In 1775, the British Army had settled in Boston, and General Washington had no way of getting them to leave. Bookstore owner Henry Knox had the idea to retrieve 59 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga...in the middle of the winter. This involved traveling over ice, snow, mountains, woods, lakes, and once in a while there was a road to follow. After fifty days of traveling from Fort Ticonderoga, Henry arrived in Boston with all 59 cannons.
This sweet, sweet book is aimed directly at people like me who like pretty much anything with fur, feathers, or four feet. Written by National Geographic magazine writer Jennifer Holland, it was suggested to me after a co-worker --who also has a menagerie of cats (and birds) at home-- happened upon it one day while perusing the New Books display shelves.
I love being outside; hearing, smelling, and feeling nature. As a kid, I spent many afternoons just sitting up in “my tree.” I would read or write little stories about the things I saw in the clouds. I would actually get excited when it rained in the spring so I could go searching for worms that had been flushed from their homes.
This recipe book is separated into “Savory” and “Sweet” sections, as well as an “And More” section that incorporates popcorn into meals (I have never done anything from that last section). The very beginning of the book talks a little about popping corn, including how to make your own microwave popcorn in paper lunch bags if you don’t own a popper or don’t like to make it on the stovetop.
This superb factual tale of John Price is fascinating. John Price escaped from slavery in January 1856. After crossing the frozen Ohio River, he was in Ohio, was slavery was not allowed. He wasn't completely safe though, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed slave owners to capture their runaway slaves anywhere in the United States, even in states where slavery was against the law, like Ohio. Canada was Price's destination; slavery was completely outlawed there. Price stopped for the winter in Oberlin, Ohio.
The transformative power of literary fiction is debated, challenged, and celebrated in "Reading Lolita in Tehran" by Azar Nafisi. A former professor of literature in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nafisi uses prolific authors the likes of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov to connect with students coming of age during a very tumultuous time in Iran's history. The Memoir illuminates the delicate fabric that is Iran by weaving a story set against the backdrop of a revolution and subsequent war with neighboring Iraq.
“Line up every kind of plant and animal on Earth…and one of every four will be a beetle.” So begins the Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins, a treasure trove of fascinating facts about beetles the world over, including information about body structure, life cycles, communication, defenses, and other beetle behaviors.
Meet Wendell, Wilmer, Willy Woody and Walter—5 bird-like juggler brothers who perform together in a hilarious stage show, while demonstrating basic math concepts such as counting, addition, subtraction and comparison. The reader audience will learn as they laugh at the Wing Wing Brothers’ antics and comic appearance. Parents and teachers will appreciate that the book meets the Common Core Standards for kindergarten mathematics; kids will appreciate the goofiness and fun.
In the Perspectives Flip Book series, readers look at critical times in history and in essence read two books, each looking at the time period from a variety of perspectives. In this book, we start with the allies perspective, and when we flip the book we get the axis perspective. The series currently includes a book about the American Revolution, the Civil War and about Westward Expansion.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of biographies have been written about Winston Churchill, but none are as insightful, or as gracefully written, as this brilliant work by William Manchester. The book is in two parts: Visions of Glory, which covers the first 58 years of Churchill’s life; and Alone, detailing the 1930s, when Churchill was out of government.