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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: '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

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, 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 Emotions' Survival Guide'

"The Emotions' Survival Guide" by Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger

★★★★★ Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger from Disney/Pixar's "Inside Out" are here to help children ages 8-12 navigate their feelings. The book covers ways to deal with sadness, fear, anger, disgust, and ways to find happiness in all situations. It gives ideas of things to do when feeling sad, ways to calm down when feeling angry, and how to deal with change....

Audience: children, tweens | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Better Homes and Gardens Make-Ahead Meals: 150+ Recipes to Enjoy Every Day of the Week'

"Better Homes and Gardens Make-Ahead Meals: 150+ Recipes to Enjoy Every Day of the Week" by Better Homes and Gardens

★★★ If you're looking for a cookbook with fantastic illustrations of make-ahead recipes, look no further! This is a great resource for anyone who, like me, cooks large portions of meals in batches and needs freezer friendly recipes. This cookbook also contains helpful 'base recipes', such as ground beef or shredded pork recipes that you can freeze and use as...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'The Four Seasons of Pasta'

"The Four Seasons of Pasta" by Nancy Jenkins

★★★★ This cookbook is a perfect fit for anyone who has a passion for pasta. It includes a gorgeous selection of recipes and memories, and is packed full of helpful information about techniques and ingredients. This is a must read for anyone with a love of Italian food! As someone with food allergies who still found a few recipes I had to make copies of, there is...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'John Hughes: A Life in Film'

"John Hughes: A Life in Film" by Kirk Honeycutt

★★★★ John Hughes is the creative force behind numerous memorable films throughout the 1980s and early '90s, including "The Breakfast Club", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Home Alone", "Sixteen Candles," and "Pretty in Pink". In this book, author Honeycutt gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at each of the films Hughes wrote (and sometimes directed), and...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Soup & Comfort: A Cookbook of Homemade Recipes to Warm the Soul'

"Soup & Comfort: A Cookbook of Homemade Recipes to Warm the Soul" by Pamela Ellgen

★★★★ Looking for a cozy, homemade soup recipe now that winter is here? Have family members that have allergies, or have them yourself? This cookbook has over a hundred recipes of enticing soups. There is something for every soup lover! None of the recipes look too intimidating or time consuming, and I especially liked that this cookbook listed if each recipe was...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Duff Bakes: Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home'

"Duff Bakes: Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home" by Duff Goldman

★★★★ This almost fully illustrated cookbook is packed full of delicious items to try, from breads to cookies to pies. While I was flipping through in envy, since I can't eat regular baked goods, I was very happily surprised to find a vegan and gluten-free chapter hidden in here. With fourteen safe and enticing recipes for me, I was pleasantly surprised by this...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All the Junk'

"Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All the Junk" by Lara Ferroni

★★★★ Craving Thin Mints, Hot Pockets, or even Twinkies, but don't want all the preservatives, food dyes, and other mysterious ingredients? This cookbook is packed full of recipes for homemade versions of your favorite snacks you ate as a kid. They are healthier, homemade versions of all those snacks you remember craving. What I appreciated the most about this...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Between the World and Me'

"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates

★★★★★ In this letter to his adolescent son, Coates reflects upon what it means to grow up and live in the United States while inhabiting a black body. It is a combination of history, social commentary, and memoir as Coates explains to his son the complexities of his own journey to adulthood and explores the larger context of the history of race in the United...

Audience: teens | Genre: nonfiction, award-winning, alex award winner

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