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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: '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

Cover: 'Douglas Fairbanks and the American Century'

"Douglas Fairbanks and the American Century" by John C. Tibbetts

★★★★ Fans of silent cinema will enjoy this in-depth look at the films of Douglas Fairbanks, the swashbuckling hero from such silent classics as The Mark of Zorro and Robin Hood. While not for readers looking for a biographical account of Fairbanks’s life and his marriage to Mary Pickford, this volume is perfect for those who are more interested in a cinematic...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, history

Cover: 'My Accidental Jihad'

"My Accidental Jihad" by Krista Bremer

★★★★★ A captivating and moving memoir about a women's journey through love, interethnic marriage, parenthood, and life. This memoir follows Krista from her surfing days to a journalism career to a chance encounter with a runner that eventually leads to a discovered pregnancy, and soon a cross-cultural marriage. The author shows us her experiences being married to...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'Body Language'

"Body Language" by Aaron Brehove

★★★★ I have read a number of books on the "science" of non-verbal communication i.e. "body language" and this book was one of the better ones I have read. Scientists have indicated that most communication occurs non-verbally via body signals which we give out unconsciously. While our words convey some meaning, some studies indicate that non-verbal communication...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'I Don't Know What You Know Me From'

"I Don't Know What You Know Me From" by Judy Greer

★★★ You may know Judy Greer from her numerous roles as a co-star in movies such as 13 Going on 30 and The Wedding Planner, and her collection of essays is perfect for readers looking for a light read this summer. Greer has a tendency to ramble as she recounts her life and her career as an actress. Sometimes she is quite funny, especially the essay describing a...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir

Cover: 'The World According to Bob'

"The World According to Bob" by James Bowen

★★★★★ A continuation of his first book, "A Street Cat Named Bob," Bowen details more adventures with his beloved and extraordinary cat, Bob, and provides further insights into his own life. It is heart-warming once again to witness the transformative power of the human/animal bond and the lessons that can be learned if one's heart is open to them. I freely admit...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Life's That Way'

"Life's That Way" by Jim Beaver

★★★★★ Life's That Way is a beautiful and moving memoir by Jim Beaver, the talented actor who I came to know from the TV series Supernatural. His memoir is a heartbreaking, touching, but also uplifting recounting of his wife's battle with cancer and daughter's battle with autism. Told through the heart-wrenching emails Jim Beaver sent to their family and friends,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, celebrities, television

Cover: 'In New York'

"In New York" by Marc Brown

★★★★★ Learn about New York City, the beloved home to the author and illustrator of this book! This is a great book for elementary school aged children, who will learn facts about New York's history to the present day. Of course all of the landmarks are beautifully depicted through the artwork and illustrations of this book. You definitely get the feeling that the...

Audience: children | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'The Romanov Sisters'

"The Romanov Sisters" by Helen Rappaport

★★★★★ This book navigates the daily lives of the four Russian Grand Duchesses: Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia until their death in 1918.  Rappaport discusses how unusual Alexandra’s upbringing of her children compared to other Russian royalty and also, how her ill health often affected her children’s lives. Rappaport also delves into the girls varying...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, history

Cover: 'Lunch In Paris'

"Lunch In Paris" by Elizabeth Bard

★★★★ If you are a travel and food enthusiast, then this is a great book for you! Lunch In Paris is a memoir telling the story of how the author, Elizabeth, met her Parisian husband and ended up living in Paris. Not only does Elizabeth give up a life in the United States for love but she needs to learn a new way of life while discovering a new direction for her...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, cookbook

Cover: 'A Walk in Paris'

"A Walk in Paris" by Salvatore Rubbino

★★★★ Accompany a girl and her grandfather on their walk through Paris! All of the splendor of the most well known landmarks of the city are visited and portrayed in a sight-seeing tour. The beautiful illustrations and simple story make for a wonderful journey for any young reader. In addition to the story, there are fun facts about Paris on every page for the...

Audience: children | Genre: nonfiction, travel

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