Truth be Told -- Some Non-Fiction Favorites
Gere Branch Books Talk, April 26, 2010
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story
by John Berendt [364.152 Ber]
John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.
People With Dirty Hands
by Robin Chotzinoff [635 Cho]
Chotzinoff, a columnist for Garden Design, delivers one of the most amusing, eclectic gardening books in recent memory. Curiosity led her to some unusual corners of the U.S.-locales as different as a Louisiana bayou, a New Mexico chile farm, an elegant Virginia estate and Manhattan's wild underbelly to name just a few-where she met with diverse and offbeat gardeners to find out what makes them tick.
The Aztec Treasure House: Selected Essays
by Evan Connell [930.1 Con]
Connell offers stories of the Anazasi, the "old ones" of the Southwestern desert, of the grand explorers Marco Polo, Coumbus, Magellan, and Ibn Batuta, and of heretics, fanatics, scientists, cranks and geniuses.
Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players
by Stephan Fatsis [793.734 Fat]
Scrabble might truly be called America's game. More than two million sets are sold every year and at least thirty million American homes have one. But the game's most talented competitors inhabit a sphere far removed from the masses of "living room players."
The Sweeter the Juice
by Shirley Taylor Haizlip [929.2 Hai]
The Sweeter the Juice is a memoir, a social history, a biography, and an autobiography. Haizlip gives to us the quintessential American story, unveiling truths about race, about our society, and about the ways in which we all perceive and judge one another.
They Went Whistling: Women Wayfarers, Warriors, Runaways and Renegades
by Barbara Holland [305.4 Hol]
Women weren't supposed to take their lives into their own hands, light out by themselves, have independent, off-the-beaten-path adventures. Nonetheless, throughout history there have been women who cast off the shackles of expectation, stepped out of the cave, and slashed their way into history.
Helping Me Help Myself
by Beth Lisick [158.1 Lis]
The author of "Everybody into the Pool" and a self-described skeptic attempts to leave her comfort zone, taking a stranger in a strange land approach to the weird and wonderful world of self-improvement and empowerment to see if she can really change her life.
Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs and Binion's World Series of Poker
by James McManus [795.412 McM]
Black magic, murder, and the science-and eros-of gambling meet in the ultimate book about Las Vegas James McManus was sent to Las Vegas by Harper's to cover the World Series of Poker in 2000, especially the mushrooming progress of women in the $23 million event, and the murder of Ted Binion, the tournament's prodigal host.
The Orchid Thief
by Susan Orlean [635.934 Orc]
The Orchid Thief is Susan Orlean's wickedly funny, elegant, and captivating tale of an amazing obsession. From Florida's swamps to its courtrooms, the New Yorker writer follows one deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man's possibly criminal pursuit of an endangered flower.
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
by Don Tapscott [658.403 Tap]
In just the last few years, in one of the most profound changes of our time, traditional collaboration--in a meeting room, a conference c all, even a convention center--has been superseded by collaborations on an astronomical scale.