MCPL logo

Marathon County Public Library

Skip Navigation ATTENTION: All MCPL locations will be closed Mon., 1/17.

Staff Reviews: nonfiction

Check out these reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library! (For reviews in all genres, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews are also published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.


Cover: 'Gravity'

"Gravity" by Jason Chin

★★★★★ What if? This book asks just this question about gravity and what would happen if there was none. Gain a glimpse of our universe as if gravity did not exist. Jason Chin does a wonderful job getting a young reader introduced to the sometimes complex understanding of gravity. The words are few and basic yet they help the youngest of minds to begin thinking...

Audience: children | Genre: nonfiction, outer space, science

Cover: 'Carry On, Warrior'

"Carry On, Warrior" by Glennon Doyle Melton

★★★★ Carry On, Warrior takes the reader on a journey of discovery, emotion, and healing, as she recounts pivotal life moments, thoughts, and feelings. While her novel tends to jump around, and I couldn't connect fully with some of the experiences I have not shared with her, I appreciated the journey all the same. Her writing is humble, humorous, and captivating...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'The Tipping Point'

"The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell

★★★★★ Gladwell explores how and why major changes in culture happen, i.e. “the tipping point”, or to use an even more current term, “go viral”. He has researched why and how trends, social movements, pop culture phenomena and epidemics occur. Gladwell contends that social and cultural events don’t just “happen”, but rather require essential elements to occur. For...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'The Oh She Glows Cookbook'

"The Oh She Glows Cookbook" by Angela Liddon

★★★★★ The "Oh She Glows Cookbook" is an amazing resource for anyone who is vegan or has other food intolerances, allergies, or clean-eating habits. Included are a plethora of fully illustrated, enticing recipes, as well as tips for healthy eating. Every recipe also notes whether it is gluten, nut, soy, sugar, and/or grain free in addition to vegan, so there is a...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'The Boy on the Wooden Box'

"The Boy on the Wooden Box" by Leon Leyson

★★★★★ Ten-year-old Leon Leyson’s idyllic days playing on the streets and streetcars of Krakow, Poland quickly changed to a life of fear, degradation, humiliation and a day-to-day struggle to stay alive. Why? He was Jewish. His detailed memoir recounts these horrific days when the Third Reich invaded their town and began their increasingly brutal effort to...

Audience: teens | Genre: nonfiction, history, holocaust

Cover: 'Joyous Health'

"Joyous Health" by Joy McCarthy

★★★★ Joyous Health is chock full of recipes and tips for anyone wanting to eat healthy, because of dietary needs or a lifestyle change. Superfoods, detoxing, supplements, and healthy habits are all discussed in an easy to read and understand format. Recipes for each section are included, and all list if they are dairy-free, gluten-free, and/or vegetarian, etc. A...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Outliers'

"Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell

★★★★★ This book is a must read for those interested in success or as a personal roadmap to “how to get ahead” in this world. Gladwell busts the popular conception that success is based upon luck. In fact, using countless examples of real success stories (i.e. the rich and famous), Gladwell demonstrates that success isn’t primarily due to luck, but rather, hard...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'The Can't Cook Book'

"The Can't Cook Book" by Jessica Seinfeld

★★★★ Oh, yes you can...cook, as the front cover says! This beginner's cookbook has a list of all the basic cooking gear needed to get started without fear. I love the "how-to" section for preparing many everyday items; it even tells you when to keep your fingers away from the knife. The cook book has recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, quickies, and my...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Cook it Fast'

"Cook it Fast" by Weight Watchers

★★★★ Are you looking for healthy recipes, with nutritional information included, that fit into your busy schedule? This new cookbook brought to us by Weightwatchers includes 250 recipes that take only 15, 20, or 30 minutes to prepare and cook. Most recipes are illustrated and have cook's notes and further tips to prepare the meal even faster. If you're looking...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Blink'

"Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell

★★★★★ This book is an excellent discussion of how we "think", i.e. what really goes on in our brains as we make decisions, evaluate and consider options. Gladwell arrives at the conclusion (with much evidence) that some of our most profound thinking goes on at a level he labels "behind the closed door". The reality appears that when, for example, we need to make...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'The Very Best Healing Foods'

"The Very Best Healing Foods" by Rachel Fontaine

★★★★ The Very Best Healing Foods is a fantastic resource for healthy eating. The first half of the book is dedicated to the health benefits, home remedies, cautions, culinary use, recipes, health and beauty hints, and more for every kind of fruit and vegetable. The second half features recipes to put to use all of the great information you just learned in the...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Taco Night!'

"Taco Night!" by Oxmoor House

★★★★ Who doesn't love tacos? If you do, grab this fully illustrated collection of recipes for new ideas. With easy to follow recipes and ideas for burritos, quesadillas, tacos, drinks, sides, and even desserts, there is a multitude of tasty recipes for anyone to try. You will get hungry just looking through this book!  

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Year of No Sugar: A Memoir'

"Year of No Sugar: A Memoir" by Eve O. Schaub

★★★★ Based on the blog of the same name, this memoir chronicles adventures, missteps, and lesson learned the occur as Eve, her husband, and her two young daughters attempt to live without sugar from January until December. The title is a little misleading because each family member is allowed to choose one item they can have as a "cheat" throughout the year (Eva...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'What's for Supper?'

"What's for Supper?" by Southern Living

★★★★ Are you looking for simple and quick meals for your hectic weeknights? This collection of recipes is fully illustrated with recipes that are easy and with ingredient lists that are not a mile long. Included with many of the recipes are budget tips and meal ideas as well. A great resource for speedy meals that won't break your schedule or your budget!

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts'

"Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts" by Jeni Britton Bauer

★★★★★ Any baker or person desiring desserts need look no further. This collection of unique and tasty treats contains great descriptions, illustrations, and instructions for anyone wanting to try out a new treat. Although as a dairy intolerant person I am unable to make Jeni's recipes, her book made me (as always) wishing that I could, and it's sure to be a great...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Year of No Sugar'

"Year of No Sugar" by Eve O. Schaub

★★★ A more accurate title is Year of Reduced Sugar! The author and her family still indulge in a sweet treat every month, and each family member is granted an exception item, which contains sugar. (The author chose red wine.) Sugar really is in almost everything we consume (even bacon and chicken broth!), and the family's quest to attend community events,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'You Are Not Special and Other Encouragements'

"You Are Not Special and Other Encouragements" by David McCullough Jr.

★★★★ McCullough’s book came after a similarly themed graduation speech of 2012. His thoughts are well received and regarded because he speaks from the position of an educator of nearly 30 years (Interestingly he spent nearly a decade teaching in the Hawaii high school where President Obama admitted to spending his high school years mostly getting high and “by”...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'The Organic Family Cookbook'

"The Organic Family Cookbook" by Anni Daulter

★★★★★ What a refreshing cookbook and way to think about healthy eating! This cookbook really makes you feel as though you can eat healthy and organic fairly easily.  There are excellent ideas for meals and snacks that are easy and don't require strange sounding, organic ingredients that can sometimes break a budget. The pictures are great and the book also...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'I am Malala'

"I am Malala" by Malala Yousafzai

★★★★★ This fascinating and thought provoking memoir takes us into the world of schoolchildren in the Swat Valley of Pakistan; a world not often experienced by outsiders since the takeover of the Taliban. Malala faces adversity, including the brutal attack in which she was shot in the face by the Taliban, with the courage that comes from being passionate about...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook'

"The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook" by Tricia Cornell

★★★ Going to the farmer's market and need some ideas for what to make with your purchases? This book may be able to help. A variety of regionally grown produce is featured in this pretty cookbook. Each fruit or vegetable is featured individually and general facts are given on each one in addition to some recipes. I was hoping for more recipes than there were in...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'The Devil's Dozen'

"The Devil's Dozen" by Katherine Ramsland

★★★★ This non-fiction collection is comprised of cases of serial killers beginning with the nineteenth century through modern times, with a special caveat; all were solved with the most cutting-edge forensics of the day, by detectives that were unrelenting and dogged in their pursuit of the perpetrators of unspeakable crimes. H.H. Holmes (portrayed in "Devil in...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, true crime

Cover: 'A Mouthful of Stars'

"A Mouthful of Stars" by Kim Sunée

★★★★ Are you a lover of travel and exploring food? Then this is the cookbook for you! Kim has been a world traveler all of her life and uses this cookbook to highlight delicious recipes from her adventures across the globe. The pictures of the food are beautiful and her anecdotes included in each chapter add to our wanderlust as a reader. This is definitely a...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Pages