Check It Out Category: Nonfiction

Nonfiction: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 3 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

We Should All Be Feminists book cover

We Should All Be Feminists is not what you might think. This is no academic or political diatribe. It is declarative, yes, but it is also gentle. Adapted from her powerful TED Talk, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls out the dated understanding of the word feminist and uses personal stories to illustrate what feminism both is and should be in the 21st century. She seeks to open the discussion so that we listen to one another and then take steps to bring about positive change. As you might expect from the craft of a gifted novelist, these mere 52 pages are beautifully articulated and designed to meet the reader wherever he or she may be.

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This book may be counted as a nonfiction read, one everyone is talking about, a book with a person of color as author, or a book under 150 pages.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book with a person of color as author or as a book highlighted on the MPPL website.

Nonfiction: All the Lives I Want by Alana Massey

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 13 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

All the Lives I Want book cover

Are you a Winona or a Gwyneth? How many times have you seen Mary Kate Olsen without Ashley Olsen? What do these questions mean and why does that matter? In All the Lives I Want: Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to be Famous Strangers, Alana Massey uses her obsession with famous figures to examine womanhood, society, and celebrity culture in general. With chapter subtitles like, “On Lil’ Kim, Nicki Minaj, and the Art of Manufactured Beef,” and “A Case for the Liberation of Scarlett Johansson from Lost in Translation,” Massey covers a lot of ground and digs deep while still maintaining a light touch. This collection is one pop culture aficionados will not want to miss!

 Read this for Summer Reading.

For the DIY Designers…
This book may be counted as a nonfiction book.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book highlighted on the MPPL website and

Graphic Novel: Spotlight on Pioneers

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 19 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

Summer gives us a chance to branch out in new directions or more fully immerse ourselves in areas of interest. Here are three Adult graphic novels that will introduce you to some forward thinkers who were pioneers in their respective fields.

Jim Ottaviani’s Dignifying Science, explores the lives of six women whose mark on science is indelible. Included in this book are Hedy Lamarr, an actress and inventor who was a force behind the concept of the modern-day Bluetooth system, Lise Meitner, a physicist who was among a small team of scientists who discovered nuclear fission, and the Nobel Prize-winning cytogeneticist Barbara McClintock.

 

 

 

 

Henry David Thoreau was a philosopher, writer, naturalist and an early promoter of the idea of civil disobedience. In his beautifully-drawn accompaniment to Thoreau’s writings, John Porcellino’s Thoreau at Walden brings to life this solemn and thoughtful resister.

 

 

 

 

The graphic biography of Margaret Sanger, Woman Rebel by Peter Bagge, reveals the compelling background behind her activism, rooted in the difficult and painful times of her childhood growing up at the turn of the 20th century. This was a time in U.S. history which offered few opportunities to women in almost any area of their lives, and Margaret saw firsthand the deep suffering this caused her mother and eventually, herself. Armed with the passionate belief that women should be able to make their own choices regarding their lives, Margaret became one of the earliest and fiercest voices for women’s rights.

 

 

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
These books may be counted as nonfiction graphic novels, or a book from a genre you haven’t tried before.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book highlighted on the MPPL website.

 

Nonfiction: American Eclipse by David Baron

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 20 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

American Eclipse book cover

With the anticipated solar eclipse in August, now might be the perfect time to read what happened around a similar event in 1878. David Baron’s fascinating new history, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World, delves into the facts to unearth an entertaining narrative with lots of tension and excitement.

Baron directs our attention to three notable observers of that phenomenon: Vassar astronomer Maria Mitchell, striving to prove women’s place in the sciences, James Craig Watson, a somewhat untrustworthy planet hunter, and aspiring inventor Thomas Edison. Their stories weave against the backdrop of the Wild West to illuminate the drama that led to America’s becoming a mover and shaker in the global scientific community and even to the creation of the first national weather service. If only our textbooks were this much fun…

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This book is nonfiction and may count in that category.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book highlighted on the MPPL website.

Nonfiction: The Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

50 Days of Summer Reading BannerThere are 37 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

Disappearing Spoon book cover

Fun fact: a spoon made of gallium, a metal with a low melting point, will come undone in something as mild as a cup of tea. Though that trivia may be the anecdotal inspiration for the title The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table, it’s no spoiler. Author Sam Kean presents witty tidbits from history all inspired from the mapping of elements which make up the periodic table – as well as those yet to be discovered. Written in a light, readable style, but filled with authoritative information probably not included in your science texts, this book (or audiobook) will appeal equally to those with only a passing interest as well as to more dedicated history buffs or to serious science fanatics. Prepare to have your brain tickled with a unique combination of fun and educational.

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This book may count as your nonfiction read or as a book of (true) stories.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a challenged (controversial) book, a book of true stories, or as a book highlighted on the MPPL website.

Nonfiction: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

50 Days of Summer Reading Banner

There are 48 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

It seems appropriate to highlight Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime during the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to ban laws prohibiting interracial marriage. While that ruling certainly did not completely resolve all our troubles, South Africa wouldn’t even begin to enact their legal resolution to end racial discrimination in relationships until 1991, with the end of apartheid. Thus it is that 33 year old Trevor Noah can tell his story of growing up under the cruel, state-mandated discrimination that truly made his birth, the son of a black mother and white father, illegal. Noah is an able comedian, and there are many parts of this story that will have you laughing out loud. But the painful, piercing evil of segregation that permeates the book is never far from the humor. This too is a work of love, as Noah pays tribute to his incredibly strong and loving mother, whose intentionally strict parenting style was cultivated to ensure he knew he was different, special, and destined for something beyond their small home.

Read this for summer reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This could count as a book that everyone’s talking about or a nonfiction book.

For the Master Class Designers…
This could count as a book with a person of color as the main character and as a book highlighted on the MPPL website.

Staff Pick- Andy Warhol was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History’s Great Personalities by Claudia Kalb

Picture of LarryAndy Warhol was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History’s Great Personalities is an account of how the possible mental illness of high-profile historical figures may have affected their lives and had an impact on their fame and success. The lives of Andy Warhol, Princess Diana, Abraham Lincoln, Betty Ford and others are reviewed from a psychological perspective revealing how their maladies may have impacted their accomplishments. With the help of experts, biographers, and historical records, Claudia Kalb has written an intriguing narrative that mixes biography and psychology, providing a fascinating perspective on creativity and the human condition.

 

Staff Pick- The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd by Mary Rose O’Reilly

Carla from Admin suggests The Barn at the End of The World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd by Mary Rose O’Reilly

The Barn at the End of the World book coverThe Barn at the End of The World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd, by Mary Rose O’Reilly, is a rich narrative of the author’s midlife journey into sheep barns and spirituality.

In 98 short vignettes, O’Reilly lets us into her life. She gives us a look at raising sheep in Minnesota and a glimpse of monastery life at Plum Village in France. We are introduced to some of her teachers: a young barn worker who says “Never turn your back on a buck ram” and a spiritual director who shares “It’s nice to be calm, but the real purpose of meditation if to obtain wisdom”.

Quotes from poets find their way into the book.  We hear from Robert Frost, Mary Oliver, Walt Whitman and others. We learn that the author relishes the Augustinian phrase “the tranquility of order”. The Barn at the End of the World is highly recommended as an oasis for busy lives.

For more spiritual memoirs, try…

Traveling Mercies book coverTraveling Mercies
by Anne Lamott
Combining elements of spiritual study and memoir, Anne Lamott describes her odyssey of faith, drawing on her own sometimes troubled past to explore the many ways in which faith sustains and guides one’s daily life.

by Radhanath Swami
Following Richard Slavin from the suburbs of Chicago to the caves of the Himalayas as he transforms from young seeker to renowned spiritual guide, The Journey Home is a glimpse into the heart of mystic traditions.

 

The Sound of Gravel book coverThe Sound of Gravel
by Ruth Wariner

An account of the author’s coming-of-age in a polygamist Mormon Doomsday cult describes her childhood as one of her father’s more than 40 welfare-dependent children, the extreme religious beliefs that haunted her daily life and her escape in the aftermath of a devastating tragedy.
Seeking Englightment Hat by Hat book coverSeeking Enlightenment– Hat by Hat: A Skeptic’s Path to Religion
by Nevada Barr
Nevada Barr recounts her spiritual quest for meaning in her life, describing her experiences as an actor, writer, and adventure-seeker, and sharing her transition from atheism toward a sense of being part of something greater than herself.
Autobiography of a Yogi
by Paramahansa Yogananda
An autobiographical account of an early nineteenth-century yogi as he reaches self-realization, identification with his larger self, mankind, and union with his God.

 

Graphic Novel: Scenes From an Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine

Scenes from an Upending Marriage book coverAptly titled Scenes from an Impending Marriage, writer and artist Adrian Tomine episodically illustrates snippets of his prenuptial experience. The black and white sketches pack a punch as he shares in the ridiculous, D. J. Buttercream, and heartening moments, volunteering to get out of the “black hole of nuptial narcissism,” that went along with planning his wedding with his now wife.

A notable element of the short strips is while Tomine doesn’t put his relationship  front and center, their dynamic is vividly portrayed making it easy to invest oneself in sharing the joys and tribulations that come with wedding planning, whether you’ve done it or not.