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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: 'Grunt'

"Grunt" by Mary Roach

★★★★ In this book, science author Mary Roach investigates the challenges the military tries to address in order to protect combat troops and provide the tools they need. She brings her trademark sense of humor, curiosity, and empathy to a wide range of topics that you never thought to be interested in. Frankly, some of them you may not rather think about, as...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Eating Well Made Easy'

"Eating Well Made Easy" by Lorraine Pascale

★★★★ This beautifully illustrated new cookbook is a great resource for healthy eaters looking for unique recipes. Inside you'll find everything from brunch recipes to desserts to meals for every occasion. I really enjoyed the enthusiasm the author has for eating well, and that every recipe had an accompanying (very enticing) photo along with it. A great new...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Practically Raw Desserts: Flexible Recipes for All-Natural Sweets and Treats'

"Practically Raw Desserts: Flexible Recipes for All-Natural Sweets and Treats" by Amber Shea Crawley

★★★★ Looking for naturally sweetened, allergy friendly recipes for anyone with a sweet tooth to enjoy? This is the perfect cookbook for you! Packed full with recipes that are dairy, soy, egg, and gluten free (and more), this is a great resource for families or anyone who shares my severe sweet tooth! As the recipes focus on using raw, healthier ingredients,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook: 125 Freezer-Friendly Recipes'

"The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook: 125 Freezer-Friendly Recipes" by Ginny Kay McMeans

★★★★ Are you looking for healthy, delicious recipes that fit a hectic lifestyle? Or do you or family members have food allergies, or are clean eaters wanting new ideas for meals? This is a great new cookbook packed full with tantalizing vegan recipes, all freezer friendly to fit anyone's busy schedule. I appreciated that all of the recipes included were freezer...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City'

"Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" by Matthew Desmond

★★★★★ This book is the result of an ethnographic study undertaken by Matthew Desmond, an associate professor of Sociology at Harvard (who earned his PhD at UW-Madison). Desmond researched the impact of eviction on distressed families in Milwaukee, WI. Over the course of 2008-2009, he lived in a substandard trailer park, whose tenants were largely white, and in an...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land'

"Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land" by John Coy

★★★★★ This beautiful, heart-warming children’s book gave me goosebumps. The photographs portray a multitude of immigrants who came to America from many different countries. In simple, almost lyrical text it imparts the great sacrifices that the previous generation made, not only to bring their family to a new country, but to survive and provide new opportunities...

Audience: children | Genre: nonfiction, history

Cover: 'Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish'

"Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish" by John Hargrove, Howard Chua-Eoan

★★★★★ Have you watched the movie Blackfish? Do you like orca whales? Have you been to SeaWorld? If your answer to any of these questions is yes then this is a book for you! As a lover of all marine animals, especially whales and dolphins, and having been to SeaWorld a few years back, I decided just based off the description of this book that I should give it a...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, animals

Cover: 'Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes'

"Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes" by Dana Shultz

★★★★★ This is a fantastic treasure trove of vegan and mostly gluten-free recipes that are beautifully illustrated. I was thrilled to see Minimalist Baker publish a cookbook, as I've been following their vegan website for a while now. I can personally vouch for the one-bowl funfetti cupcakes, as well as many other recipes, so I'm very excited to start cooking many...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Finding Winnie:  The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear'

"Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear" by Lindsay Mattick, Sophie Blackall

★★★★★ This is the heartwarming story of the real life "Winnie the Pooh." I really enjoyed how the author told the story in two parts and also included real journal entries and photographs from WWI. In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a Canadian veterinarian on his way to care for horses in World War I, happened upon a lost baby bear at a train station. For some reason,...

Audience: children | Genre: caldecott award winner, nonfiction, picture book, read-alouds

Cover: 'Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week'

"Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

★★★★★ This is one of my new favorite vegan recipe resources! I was very pleasantly surprised by this packed cookbook, full of (mostly photographed) delicious looking recipes. Everything from dumpling stew to coconut French toast and marbled banana bread. I'm itching to make the creamy potato-leek soup and pad thai, not to mention a tantalizing chocolate cake with...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology'

"Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology" by Leah Remini

★★★★★ Have you heard about Scientology but have no clue what it is about? This book gives us an inside view of the workings of this religion from the viewpoint of former Scientologist, Leah Remini. Leah Remini is a actress who is best known for her role in the television comedy "King of Queens". From a very young age she was brought up in Scientology when her...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography and memoir

Cover: 'Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital'

"Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital" by Eric Manheimer

★★★★ What do a South American Immigrant, a cancer patient, and prisoners that live in New York all have in common? They all were somehow treated or impacted by the Bellevue Hospital. The author Eric Manheimer, writes about 12 different patients that he has treated and gotten to know during this time at the hospital, along with history about the medical field,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: '$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America'

"$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America" by Kathryn Edin, H. Luke Shaefer

★★★★★ When conducting research in 2010, Edin, who had been researching poverty for 20 years noticed a fundamental change in many families she interviewed—they were living without any visible cash income. In the summer of 2012, Edin joined forces with Shaefer, a leading expert on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and they started in-depth...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Cooking Light Global Kitchen: The World's Most Delicious Food Made Easy'

"Cooking Light Global Kitchen: The World's Most Delicious Food Made Easy" by David Joachim

★★★★ This is a new, beautifully illustrated cookbook that celebrates international cuisine on every page. Gorgeous pictures of completed meals are surrounded by a plethora of brightly added stories and information concerning the ingredients and culture behind each recipe. Even if you don't immediately want to start cooking one of the recipes, it's a great...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Tinder Nightmares'

"Tinder Nightmares" by Unspirational

★★★★ For the unfamiliar, Tinder is a mobile dating app that helps pair up singles with others in their geographical area. Swiping right on a person’s profile means you like them and if they like you back, the app will let you know you’re a match. Sounds simple, right? In “Tinder Nightmares”, it’s less about the simple and more about the absurd. Comprised of real...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Gratitude'

"Gratitude" by Oliver Sacks

★★★★★ It is hard to write a review on a book this brief without spoiling the contents. What I can say is that this short collection of essays, written in the two years leading up to Dr. Sacks’ death, is deeply and beautifully human. These essays show us the depth of coming to terms with death and celebrating, with gratitude, the life that you have lived. There is...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, biography and memoir

Cover: 'Superfood Snacks: 100 Delicious, Energizing, & Nutrient-Dense Recipes'

"Superfood Snacks: 100 Delicious, Energizing, & Nutrient-Dense Recipes" by Julie Morris

★★★★★ If you are looking for snacks that are both delicious and super-healthy, this is a great book to pick up. I have made the cookie dough protein bites, the mocha energy bites, and the chocolate whip dip. There are also savory dip and kale chip recipes. I appreciated the first chapter, called "The Superfood Treatment," which outlines the items to stock in your...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Baking with Mary Berry'

"Baking with Mary Berry" by Mary Berry

★★★★★ If you have ever watched the popular British cooking show, The Great British Bakeoff, you will know the treasure that this cookbook holds! Mary Berry is a British baking superstar who has made an easy to follow cookbook that will help us all master a sponge cake or a choux pastry. For me, this cookbook has just want I would want to learn and master from...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Wild Eats and Adorable Treats: 40 Animal-Inspired Meals and Snacks for Kids'

"Wild Eats and Adorable Treats: 40 Animal-Inspired Meals and Snacks for Kids" by Jill Mills

★★★★★ This book totally lives up to its name; it is adorable! There are some seriously cute ways to make snacks and meals for you and your family. Adults and kids will both enjoy the recipes in this fun filled cookbook. Adults, you’ll find lots of healthy recipes and treats that you can make with your kids or for them as a surprise. Kids, you will find cool...

Audience: children | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'National Geographic Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary'

"National Geographic Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary" by Susan Tyler Hitchcock, Stephen Alvarez

★★★★★ This book is absolutely gorgeous! From the highest mountains to the deepest caves, National Geographic brings us images from some amazingly talented photographers. These aren’t just any photos, but images of places and events that many of us will never get the chance to see in our lifetime. Some are secluded or protected places, some are once in a lifetime...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'What Is Punk?'

"What Is Punk?" by Eric Morse, Anny Yi

★★★★★ Did you grow up listening to Punk music and wish to share it with your kids or reminisce about it? "What Is Punk" covers the rise of the Punk movement, the various bands associated with it, and its fashion. Experience this book in all its glory as you learn all about the Ramones to The Slits to the Descendents in a fun story that rhymes and is illustrated...

Audience: children | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

"The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens" by Phil Szostak

★★★★★ At first glance, this book appears to be filled with nothing more than large, colorful concept art images from the planning of “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens”. As it turns out, it has so much more to offer. Author Phil Szostak worked alongside the “Star Wars” art department as a researcher and image archivist from the early days of “The Force...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, movie tie-ins

Cover: 'Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic'

"Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic" by Rebecca Leffler

★★★★ This lovely lifestyle book is packed full of plant-based, gluten-free recipes, all inspired by the French culture, for each season. I loved the passion in this book, from the lifestyle tips to the wonderful recipes, to the yoga routines. Plus, I learned so much more about a plant-based diet reading it. Did you know that (contrary to what the media and some...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World's Most Amazing Places'

"Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World's Most Amazing Places" by National Geographic Society

★★★★★ This book will give you more than enough ideas and inspirations to feed your wanderlust. National Geographic lives up to their reputation by giving you amazing destinations to visit broken down into categories of things to see around the world: nature unbound, hand of man, sea & shore, mountain majesty and town & country. As if that isn't enough,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, travel

Cover: 'The Classic Slow Cooker: Best-Loved Family Recipes to Make Fast and Cook Slow'

"The Classic Slow Cooker: Best-Loved Family Recipes to Make Fast and Cook Slow" by Judy Hannemann

★★★ This new collection of beloved slow cooker recipes is full of tantalizing photos of beef, pork, chicken, and pasta recipes. Also included are appetizers, soup, and desserts. There is definitely something in here for any lover of classic, comforting dishes that are perfect fits for your slow cooker.

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

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