Starting in April 2002, and continuing through November 2018, a panel of library staff members have appeared somewhat regularly on Cathy Blythe’s Problems and Solutions program on radio station KFOR 1240 AM & 103.3 FM in a segment called “Book Chat,” sharing information about books, literacy and library programs. Here is a list of the books discussed on the shows during 2013:
One Summer, America 1927
by Bill Bryson [973.91 Bry]
The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record. The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression. All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants
by Malcolm Gladwell [155.24 Gla]
Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David’s victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn’t have won. Or should he have? In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland’s Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms—all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity. In the tradition of Gladwell’s previous bestsellers—The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw—David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us.
Spider Woman’s Daughter
by Anne Hillerman [Hillerman]
Anne Hillerman, the talented daughter of bestselling author Tony Hillerman, continues his popular Leaphorn and Chee series with Spider Woman’s Daughter, a Navajo Country mystery, filled with captivating lore, startling suspense, bold new characters, vivid color, and rich Southwestern atmosphere. Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito witnesses the cold-blooded shooting of someone very close to her. With the victim fighting for his life, the entire squad and the local FBI office are hell-bent on catching the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations forbidding eyewitness involvement. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is in charge of finding the shooter. Bernie and Chee discover that a cold case involving his former boss and partner, retired Inspector Joe Leaphorn, may hold the key. Digging into the old investigation, husband and wife find themselves inching closer to the truth…and closer to a killer determined to prevent justice from taking its course.
by Nora Roberts [Roberts]
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits. Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives. When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package. Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…
Cinnamon and Gunpowder
by Eli Brown [Brown]
In 1819, kidnapped chef Owen Wedgwood transforms meager shipboard supplies into sumptuous meals at the behest of his kidnapper, pirate queen Mad Hannah Mabbot, while she pushes her exhausted crew to track down a deadly privateer.
Thieves of Book Row : New York’s Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man Who Stopped It
by Travis McDade [090.9 McD]
No one had ever tried a caper like this before. The goods were kept in a secure room under constant scrutiny, deep inside a crowded building with guards at the exits. The team picked for the job included two old hands known only as Paul and Swede, but all depended on a fresh face, a kid from Pinetown, North Carolina. In the Depression, some fellows were willing to try anything — even a heist in the rare book room of the New York Public Library. In Thieves of Book Row, Travis McDade tells the gripping tale of the worst book-theft ring in American history, and the intrepid detective who brought it down.
Nebraska Curiosities : Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff
by Rick Yoder and David Harding [917.82 Yod]
Whether you’re a born-and-raised Nebraskan, a recent transplant, or just passing through, Nebraska Curiosities will have you laughing out loud as Rick Yoder and David Harding take you on a rollicking tour of the strangest sides of the Cornhusker State. Go mooclear with two animal husbandry students who, in 1963, participated in the first cattle fallout-shelter survival test — by spending two weeks in close quarters with thirty-five cows…and one bull. Be wowed by the Chickendale Dancers at the annual Wayne Chicken Show — whose attractions also includea “cluck-off” competition. Visit the Avoca Quack-Off — when more than 1,000 people descend on Avoca (pop. 270) in mid-winter to drink beer and howl at the ducks racing across a flooded, frozen tennis court. (You can rent a bird for $5.)
The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France : Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle [Biography Hamilton]
The Secret Race is a definitive look at the world of professional cycling — and the doping issue surrounding this sport and its most iconic rider, Lance Armstrong — by former Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton and New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle. Over the course of two years, Coyle conducted more than two hundred hours of interviews with Hamilton and spoke candidly with numerous teammates, rivals, and friends. The result is an explosive book that takes us, for the first time, deep inside a shadowy, fascinating, and surreal world of unscrupulous doctors, anything-goes team directors, and athletes so relentlessly driven to succeed that they would do anything — and take any risk, physical, mental, or moral — to gain the edge they need to win.
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
by Susannah Cahalan [Biography Cahalan]
One day in 2009, twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. A wristband marked her as a “flight risk,” and her medical records – chronicling a monthlong hospital stay of which she had no memory at all – showed hallucinations, violence, and dangerous instability. Only weeks earlier, Susannah had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: a healthy, ambitious college grad a few months into her first serious relationship and a promising career as a cub reporter at a major New York newspaper. Who was the stranger who had taken over her body? What was happening to her mind? In this swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her inexplicable descent into madness and the brilliant, lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen. A team of doctors would spend a month – and more than a million dollars – trying desperately to pin down a medical explanation for what had gone wrong. Meanwhile, as the days passed and her family, boyfriend, and friends helplessly stood watch by her bed, she began to move inexorably through psychosis into catatonia and, ultimately, toward death. Yet even as this period nearly tore her family apart, it offered an extraordinary testament to their faith in Susannah and their refusal to let her go. Then, at the last minute, celebrated neurologist Souhel Najjar joined her team and, with the help of a lucky, ingenious test, saved her life. He recognized the symptoms of a newly discovered autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the brain, a disease now thought to be tied to both schizophrenia and autism, and perhaps the root of “demonic possessions” throughout history. Far more than simply a riveting read and a crackling medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity and to rediscover herself among the fragments left behind. Using all her considerable journalistic skills, and building from hospital records and surveillance video, interviews with family and friends, and excerpts from the deeply moving journal her father kept during her illness, Susannah pieces together the story of her “lost month” to write an unforgettable memoir about memory and identity, faith and
Undead and Underwater
by Mary Janice Davidson [Davidson]
When in need, call the queen of the undead and the bitter mermaid. Betsy and Fred team up to save a mutual friend in the title novella. Take a closer look at your coworker in ‘Super, Girl!’ Karen Kilher must tell the love of her life that what she eats gives her crime-fighting superhero energy. In ‘Crying Wolf,’ Leader of the Pack Lara Wyndham tries to resist a sexy Packer while leading her clan to safety after the infamous Kardashian Riots.
Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London
by Nigel Jones [non-fiction]
A dazzling history of the Tower of London, one of the world’s busiest tourist attractions, and the people who populated it. Castle, royal palace, prison, torture chamber, execution site, zoo, mint, home to the crown jewels, armory, record office, observatory, and the most visited tourist attraction in the UK: The Tower of London has been all these things and more. No building in Britain has been more intimately involved in the island’s story than this mighty, brooding stronghold in the very heart of the capital, a place which has stood at the epicenter of dramatic, bloody and frequently cruel events for almost a thousand years. Now historian Nigel Jones sets this dramatic story firmly in the context of national—and international—events. In a gripping account drawn from primary sources and lavishly illustrated with sixteen pages of stunning photographs, he captures the Tower in its many changing moods and its many diverse functions. Here, for he first time, is a thematic portrayal of the Tower of london not just as an ancient structure, but as a living symbol of the nation of Great Britain
Mrs. Queen Takes the Train
by William Kuhn [Kuhn]
After decades of service and years of watching her family’s troubles splashed across the tabloids, Britain’s Queen is beginning to feel her age. An unexpected opportunity offers her relief: an impromptu visit to a place that holds happy memories– the former royal yacht, Britannia, now moored near Edinburgh. When her royal attendants discovers she is missing, they set out to find her and bring her back before her absence becomes a national scandal.
Detroit: An American Autopsy
by Charlie LeDuff [977.434 LeD]
Back in his broken hometown, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff searches through the ruins for clues to its fate, his family’s, and his own. Detroit is where his mother’s flower shop was firebombed in the pre-Halloween orgy of arson known as Devil’s Night; where his sister lost herself to the west side streets; where his brother, who once sold subprime mortgages with skill and silk, now works in a factory cleaning Chinese-manufactured screws so they can be repackaged as “May Be Made in United States.” Having led us on the way up, Detroit now seems to be leading us on the way down. Once the richest city in America, Detroit is now the nation’s poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age – mass production, blue-collar jobs, and automobiles – Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, dropouts, and foreclosures. It is an eerie and angry place of deserted factories and abandoned homes and forgotten people. Trees and switchgrass and wild animals have come back to reclaim their right¬ful places. Coyotes are here. The pigeons have left. A city the size of San Francisco and Manhattan could neatly fit into Detroit’s vacant lots. After revealing that the city’s murder rate is higher than the official police numbe – making it the highest in the country – a weary old detective tells LeDuff, “In this city two plus two equals three.” With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation only a native son possesses, LeDuff sets out to uncover what destroyed his city. He embeds with a local fire brigade struggling to defend its city against systemic arson and bureaucratic corruption. He investigates politicians of all stripes, from the smooth-talking mayor to career police officials to ministers of the backstreets, following the paperwork to discover who benefits from Detroit’s decline. He beats on the doors of union bosses and homeless squatters, powerful businessmen and struggling homeowners, and the ordinary people holding the city together by sheer determination. If Detroit is America’s vanguard in good times and bad, then here is the only place to turn for guid¬ance in our troubled era. While redemption is thin on the ground in this ghost of a city, Detroit: An American Autopsy is no hopeless parable. LeDuff shares an unbelievable story of a hard town in a rough time filled with some of the strangest and strongest people our country has to offer. Detroit is a dark comedy of the absurdity of American life in the twenty-first century, a deeply human drama of colossal greed and endurance, ignorance and courage.
A Spear of Summer Grass
by Deanna Raybourn [Raybourn]
Exiled to Kenya after her latest scandalous exploit, Delilah Drummond, now the mistress of her step-father’s crumbling estate, falls into the decadent pleasures of society until she meets Ryder White who becomes her guide to the beauty of this complex world. Set in 1920s British Kenya.
by Nora Roberts [Roberts]
Suffering an intense year of public and police scrutiny after being wrongly implicated in his soon-to-be ex-wife’s murder, Boston lawyer Eli Landon takes sanctuary in a centuries-old family home and falls in love with resident housekeeper Abra Walsh, with whom he is entangled in an old, life-threatening mystery.
The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks
by Amy Stewart [641.874 Ste]
Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet? In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol over the centuries. Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs—but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history. This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology—with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners—will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.
Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned From Judy Blume
by various authors [813 BloYo]
Whether laughing to tears reading Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great or clamoring for more unmistakable “me too!” moments in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, girls all over the world have been touched by Judy Blume’s poignant coming-of-age stories. Now, in this anthology of essays, twenty-four notable female authors write straight from the heart about the unforgettable novels that left an indelible mark on their childhoods and still influence them today. After growing up from Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing into Smart Women, these writers pay tribute, through their reflections and most cherished memories, to one of the most beloved authors of all time.
If you’re fat and fail every diet, if you’re thin but can’t get thin enough, if you lose your job, if your child dies, if you are diagnosed with cancer, if you always end up with exactly the wrong kind of person, if you always end up alone, if you can’t get over the past, if your parents are insane and ruining your life, if you really and truly wish you were dead, if you feel like it’s your destiny to be a star, if you believe life has a grudge against you, if you don’t want to have sex with your spouse and don’t know why, if you feel so ashamed, if you’re lost in life. If you have ever wondered, How am I aupposed to survive this? This is How.
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag: A Memoir of Life Through Events, the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don’t
by Jennifer Gilbert [Biography Gilbert]
A robust, gutsy, and adventurous young woman, Jennifer Gilbert was brutally attacked at age 22. Although she survived, she spent years suppressing her feelings about the event. During those years, she worked as an event planner, and she assisted others with celebrating the significant moments of their lives. Jennifer finally realizes her emotionless existence isn’t enough, and she deserves to have some significant moments of her own.
Jack Reacher’s Rules
by Val Hudson, with an introduction by Lee Child [813 ChiYh]
Jack Reacher’s Rules is the ultimate fan’s guide to the World of Reacher! Featuring selections from all seventeen electrifying Jack Reacher novels and an introduction from Lee Child himself, this one-of-a-kind book compiles timeless advice from maverick former army cop Jack Reacher, the hero of Lee Child’s blockbuster thrillers and now the star of a major motion picture.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
by Rachel Joyce [Joyce]
British retiree Harold Fry receives a letter from a long-ago co-worker, Queenie Hennessy — informing him that she has cancer and just wanted to say goodbye to him before she passed. This simple letter launches Harold on a remarkable journey of self-discovery, when he decides to write her a letter in response, but instead of sticking it in the nearest post box, he starts walking…from the southern tip of England to Queenie’s nursing home at the northern tip of England — over 600 miles away. Along the way, Harold, ill-prepared for a cross-country journal, finds himself relying on the kindness and generosity of strangers, sharing his story as he goes, and contemplating the depressing state of his own marriage to wife Maureen, and the events associated with their son that forced a wedge between them. Alternately light-hearted and humorous, and serious and introspective, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry would be an excellent volume for book discussion groups to consider!
Lucky Me: My Life With — and Without — My Mom, Shirley Maclaine
by Sachi Parker [Biography Parker]
Shirley MacLaine is an Academy Award winning actress who has graced Hollywood with her talent for decades, known for her roles in The Apartment, Terms of Endearment, and recently the BBC/PBS smash Downton Abbey. Yet—as her daughter Sachi Parker can attest—growing up with the movie star was far from picture perfect. The only child of MacLaine and her husband of thirty years, Steve Parker, Sachi’s surreal childhood began when she was sent to Japan at the age of two—though her mother would sometimes claim Sachi was six—to live with her mercurial father and his mistress. She divides her time being raised by a Japanese governess and going back and forth to L.A. to be with her mother, hamming it up on movie sets, in photo shoots, and Hollywood parties, even winning—and then abruptly losing—the role of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. As she gets older and attends boarding school in England and Switzerland, becomes a Qantas stewardess, and becomes involved in a series of abusive relationships she tries to unravel the mysteries of her childhood and her parents’ unconventional marriage. Including twenty never-before-seen personal photos, Lucky Me is a fascinating look at Hollywood and what it takes to succeed there, the incredible ambition of Shilrey MacLaine and the fallout it had on her only child, as well as a woman’s attempt to understand and connect with her extremely complicated parents.
by John Scalzi [Scalzi]
Scalzi’s latest science fiction novel is a loving parody/tribute of the old Star Trek trope that the only folks to die on “away team” missions were the red-shirted security or support staff who always accompanied the senior officers off the ship. Set in a universe very similar to Star Trek, but slightly different, Redshirts involved a new group of cadets being assigned to the flagship of the Universal Union. Ensign Andrew Dahl notices some bizarre behavior patterns from some of the crew, and starts to put together a collection of anecdotal evidence and patterns that suggests that if you’re not an essential crew member, with a compelling storyline, you’re likely to be cannon fodder when visiting an alien planet with the captain, first officer or any of the other senior staff. Dahl’s attempts to providence evidence for his theories opens into a broad farce, involving fictional characters recognizing their own literary mortality, and attempting to break out of their fictional world in order to survive. A hilarious scifi spoof that turns remarkably serious and sentimental near the end!
I Brake for Yard Sales: And Flea Markets, Thrift Shops, Auctions and the Occasional Dumpster
by Lara Spencer [747.1 Spe]
Lara Spencer is co-anchor of Good Morning America and host of the new HGTV show Flea Market Flip. “I Brake for Yardsales…” is a how-to, inspirational guide for all junking enthusiasts. Lara shares her tips on what to look for, how to fix it up, and what to do with it once you have it.
Data, a Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match
by Amy Webb [Biography Webb]
After yet another online dating disaster, Amy Webb was about to cancel her JDate membership when an epiphany struck: It wasn’t that her standards were too high, as women are often told, but that she wasn’t evaluating the right data in suitors’ profiles. That night Webb, an award-winning journalist and digital-strategy expert, made a detailed, exhaustive list of what she did and didn’t want in a mate. The result: seventy-two requirements ranging from the expected (smart, funny) to the super-specific (likes selected musicals: Chess, Les Misérables. Not Cats. Must not like Cats!). Next she turned to her own profile. In order to craft the most compelling online presentation, she needed to assess the competition—so she signed on to JDate again, this time as a man. Using the same gift for data strategy that made her company the top in its field, she found the key words that were digital man magnets, analyzed photos, and studied the timing of women’s messages, then adjusted her (female) profile to make the most of that intel. Then began the deluge—dozens of men wanted to meet her, men who actually met her requirements. Among them: her future husband, now the father of her child. Forty million people date online each year. Most don’t find true love. Thanks to Data, a Love Story, their odds just got a whole lot better.
Speaking From Among the Bones
by Alan Bradley [Bradley]
Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case.
Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
by Jennifer Chiaverini [Chiaverini]
In Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, novelist Jennifer Chiaverini presents a stunning account of the friendship that blossomed between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Keckley, a former slave who gained her professional reputation in Washington, D.C. by outfitting the city’s elite. Keckley made history by sewing for First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln within the White House, a trusted witness to many private moments between the President and his wife, two of the most compelling figures in American history.
by Janet Evanovich [Evanovich]
After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it’s on Stephanie to track down the con man. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape . . . or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff’s lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it’s hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Stephanie is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case. The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly Special Forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did they? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck, she’ll have to remember: No guts, no glory….
My Year With Eleanor
by Noelle Hancock [Biography Hancock]
After losing her high-octane job as an entertainment blogger, Noelle Hancock was lost. About to turn twenty-nine, she’d spent her career writing about celebrities’ lives and had forgotten how to live her own. Unemployed and full of self-doubt, she had no idea what she wanted out of life. She feared change—in fact, she feared almost everything. Once confident and ambitious, she had become crippled by anxiety, lacking the courage required even to attend a dinner party—until inspiration struck one day in the form of a quote on a chalkboard in a coffee shop: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” —Eleanor Roosevelt. Painfully timid as a child, Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated herself to facing her fears, a commitment that shaped the rest of her life. With Eleanor as her guide, Noelle spends the months leading up to her thirtieth birthday pursuing a “Year of Fear.” From shark diving to fighter pilot lessons, from tap dancing and stand-up comedy to confronting old boyfriends, her hilarious and harrowing adventures teach her about who she is and what she can become—lessons she makes vital for all of us.
Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive in the New World of Work
by Alison Maitland and Peter Thomson [658.3 Mai]
The way we work is overdue for change. Businesses want to increase efficiency and attract the best talent and skills. The new workforce wants a fresh deal. Aided by technology, companies now have the tools to boost output and cut costs, to give employees more freedom over how they work, and to contribute to a greener economy. But many organizations are slow to realize this. They cling to a rigid model of fixed working time and presence better suited to the industrial age than the digital age. This is bad for business. There is ample evidence that trusting people to manage their own work lives, whether individually or in teams, pays off. Organizations that measure and reward people by results, rather than hours, benefit from higher productivity, more motivated workers, better customer service, and lower costs. Future Work sets out the compelling business case for a change in organizational cultures and working practices, drawing on a unique international survey and dozens of examples of companies making the transition. It explains: Why current flexible work arrangements fail to achieve the business benefits of a wholesale shift to an autonomous work culture; Why future work requires leadership styles that play to female strengths; Why offices of the future will be meeting places rather than workplaces; How managers can help virtual teams to collaborate and ensure that technology is our servant, not our master. It takes bold leadership and a break with old habits. But future work will not wait for those who fail to grasp the opportunities now.
by Juliet Nicolson [Nicolson]
In a tale set against a backdrop of pre-World War II turbulence in England and Edward VIII’s scandalous affair, a fatherless chauffeur shares an undeclared love with a complex Oxford undergraduate, a housekeeper hides her Nazi sympathies and a woman struggles with escalating tensions in her friendship with Wallace Simpson.
Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love
by John and Sherry Petersik [747 Pet]
This debut book by bloggers Sherry and John Petersik is filled with hundreds of fun, deceptively simple, budget-friendly ideas for sprucing up a home. With two home renovations under their (tool) belts, 5 million blog hits per month, and an ever-growing audience since the launch of Young House Love in 2007, Sherry and John are home-improvement enthusiasts primed to pass on a slew of projects, tricks, and techniques to do-it-yourselfers of all levels. Whether an experienced decorator or a total novice, on a tight budget or with money to spend, any homeowner or apartment dweller will find ideas for his or her own home makeovers here. Learn to trick out a thrift-store mirror, spice up plain old roller shades, “hack” your Ikea table to create three distinct looks, and so much more. Packed with 243 tips and ideas–both classic and unexpected–every project pictured was exclusively executed for the book. With more than 400 photographs and illustrations, this is a book that readers will return to again and again for the creative projects and easy-to-follow instructions in the relatable voice the Petersiks are known for. Adding a little wow factor to your home has never been more fun!
The Perfect Hope
by Nora Roberts [Roberts]
Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out—with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He’s surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a tool belt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except apparently Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro… As the former manager of a D.C. hotel, Hope is used to excitement and glamour, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate the joys of small-town living. She’s where she wants to be—except for in her love life. Her only interaction with the opposite sex has been sparring with the infuriating Ryder, who always seems to get under her skin. Still, no one can deny the electricity that crackles between them…a spark that ignited with a New Year’s Eve kiss. While the Inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope’s experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome—and embarrassing—appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder’s emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him…
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Cheryl Strayed [Biography Strayed]
A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again. At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy and Hard Times
by Jennifer Worth [Biography Worth]
At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in post war London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she meets while delivering babies all over London-from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives to the woman with twenty-four children who can’t speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side-illuminate a fascinating time in history. Beautifully written and utterly moving, The Midwife will touch the hearts of anyone who is, and everyone who has, a mother.
A Capitalism for the People: Recovering the Lost Genius of American Prosperity
by Luigi Zingales [330.122 Zin]
Born in Italy, University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales witnessed firsthand the consequences of high inflation and unemployment—paired with rampant nepotism and cronyism—on a country’s economy. This experience profoundly shaped his professional interests, and in 1988 he arrived in the United States, armed with a political passion and the belief that economists should not merely interpret the world, but should change it for the better.In A Capitalism for the People, Zingales makes a forceful, philosophical, and at times personal argument that the roots of American capitalism are dying, and that the result is a drift toward the more corrupt systems found throughout Europe and much of the rest of the world. American capitalism, according to Zingales, grew in a unique incubator that provided it with a distinct flavor of competitiveness, a meritocratic nature that fostered trust in markets and a faith in mobility. Lately, however, that trust has been eroded by a betrayal of our pro-business elites, whose lobbying has come to dictate the market rather than be subject to it, and this betrayal has taken place with the complicity of our intellectual class.Because of this trend, much of the country is questioning—often with great anger—whether the system that has for so long buoyed their hopes has now betrayed them once and for all. What we are left with is either anti-market pitchfork populism or pro-business technocratic insularity. Neither of these options presents a way to preserve what the author calls “the lighthouse” of American capitalism. Zingales argues that the way forward is pro-market populism, a fostering of truly free and open competition for the good of the people—not for the good of big business.Drawing on the historical record of American populism at the turn of the twentieth century, Zingales illustrates how our current circumstances aren’t all that different. People in the middle and at the bottom are getting squeezed, while people at the top are only growing richer. The solutions now, as then, are reforms to economic policy that level the playing field. Reforms that may be anti-business (specifically anti-big business), but are squarely pro-market. The question is whether we can once again muster the courage to confront the powers that be.