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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 Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo'

"The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo" by Amy Schumer

★★★★ Celebrity memoirs almost always seem to promise to "bare it all" and give the reader an uncensored look at the star's life, but most only half-heartedly keep that promise. Amy Schumer, however, is not one of those stars. In her debut book, Schumer (perhaps best known for her Comedy Central sketch series or her semi-autobiographical comedy film "...

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

Cover: 'Steve McQueen: The Actor and His Films'

"Steve McQueen: The Actor and His Films" by Andrew Antoniades, Mike Siegel

★★★★★ A complex and enigmatic individual, Steve McQueen became a screen legend playing anti-authoritarian loners.   Authors Antoniades and Siegel combine talents to produce this weighty and wonderful account of the life and film career of McQueen. The book is an entertaining tribute to the King of Cool, featuring over 1,000 color and black and white...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, celebrities

Cover: 'Churchill Style: The Art of Being Winston Churchill'

"Churchill Style: The Art of Being Winston Churchill" by Barry Singer

★★★★★ Of all the major political figures of the 20th Century, Winston Churchill certainly lived life to the fullest. A master of the English language, prolific author and lover of cigars and fine brandy, Churchill relished the political and intellectual world as few others did. Barry Singer’s book offers an insightful and altogether charming portrait of the...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, history

Cover: 'Born a Crime'

"Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah

★★★★★ Before Trevor Noah was an internationally known comedian and host of The Daily Show he lived a modest life in South Africa with his mother. The two made a remarkable “team,” as he calls them, constantly trying to get ahead at the center of a world attempting to keep them behind. Trevor Noah’s father is white, Swiss, and German. His mother is black and...

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

Cover: 'The Airport Book'

"The Airport Book" by Lisa Brown

★★★★★ Join a young boy, his toddler sister, and their parents as they journey through a busy airport. From leaving the house to experiencing turbulence, and from boarding the plane to the baggage claim, the siblings take you through the entire process of going to the airport and flying on a plane. There is even a fun subplot about the sister's toy monkey and his...

Audience: children | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth'

"The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth" by Ruby Roth

★★★★★ Are you a parent or family member looking for healthy, fun meals for your youngest family members? This fun, new cookbook is a great resource for anyone looking for healthy recipes that will tempt even the pickiest eaters. Not only are all recipes vegan, so they are allergy friendly and environmentally conscious, but the author did a great job of...

Audience: children | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Chloe's Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way'

"Chloe's Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way" by Chloe Coscarelli, Neal D. Barnard

★★★★★ As always, Chloe Coscarelli's cookbooks are packed full of recipes for vegans and contain all the information you need to make over a hundred delicious meals. Not only will you find appetizers, soups, main meals, and pasta dishes, but Chloe has put together a tantalizing dessert section in this cookbook. I've got chocolate crème brulee, sea salt toffee bars...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Vegan Bowl Attack!: More than 100 One-Dish Meals Packed with Plant-Based Power'

"Vegan Bowl Attack!: More than 100 One-Dish Meals Packed with Plant-Based Power" by Jackie Sobon

★★★★ Looking for nourishing, vegan meals that smoothly fit into one dish? This is a fun new cookbook with tantalizing photographs of vegan meals. Favorites like shepard's pie and cinnamon rolls are not only given a vegan do-over, but the author's creativeness can be seen in each of the recipes. I found this a great new resource for vegans and clean eaters alike...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Home is Burning'

"Home is Burning" by Dan Marshall

★★★★★ Dan Marshall had it made at 25. After being brought up in a privileged (some may say spoiled) home, he had a great job in Los Angeles, a devoted long-term girlfriend and no bigger problem than deciding where to vacation next. Then, while lounging in Palm Springs, that life instantly vanishes when Marshall gets a call from his parents telling him that his...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, health

Cover: 'The Song Poet'

"The Song Poet" by Kao Kalia Yang

★★★★★ This is the true story of a courageous family who put family and love first. In some ways it is the continuing story of the author, Kao Kalia Yang’s family told in her first book, “The Late Homecomer”, only the focus of this book is her father, Bee Yang, who was orphaned as a young child, something that affected him his whole life. Bee Yang is a Song Poet,...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

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'

"Evicted" 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'

"Troublemaker" 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, memoir, celebrities, television, spirituality

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

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