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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: '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

Cover: 'Food Cures: Fight Disease with Your Fork'

"Food Cures: Fight Disease with Your Fork" by Reader's Digest Association

★★★★★ This is the best resource I've found so far for anyone looking for natural and healthy ways to fight and prevent numerous health issues. As someone with four health issues that very much affect my everyday life, I'm always looking for books that touch on the nutrition factor of foods to fight disease or help with ailments, or, sometimes even more important...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Forgotten Bones:  Uncovering a Slave Cemetery'

"Forgotten Bones: Uncovering a Slave Cemetery" by Lois Miner Huey

★★★★★ I'm always curious about the past and how important it is recognize the impact the past has on the present. This book, "Forgotten Bones: Uncovering a Slave Cemetery" really piqued my curiosity. I enjoy reading about how these relics from the past are discovered and analyzed. In this case, the cemetery is located near Albany, NY, and discovered during an...

Audience: teens | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Home Remedies: An A-Z Guide of Quick And Easy Natural Cures'

"Home Remedies: An A-Z Guide of Quick And Easy Natural Cures" by Meredith Hale

★★★★ Looking for chemical-free, safe ways to remedy common illnesses and problems? This is a great, illustrated resource packed full of information for anyone looking for safe (and cheaper) home remedies to common problems like headaches, toothaches, nausea, burns, and allergies. This also includes helpful tips on most topics, like how to prevent certain...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, health

Cover: 'The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism'

"The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism" by Naoki Higashida, K. A. Yoshida

★★★★★ There are books written by adults with autism and from the perspective of family members, educators, and others who work with children with autism, but this book is unique because it is written by a thirteen-year-old boy with autism. Higashida retains the perspective of a child but has the introspection of an early teen. It’s a rare look into the thoughts...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, differing abilities

Cover: 'Wildflower'

"Wildflower" by Drew Barrymore

★★★★★ I loved this book! Reading it is like sitting down with a good friend over a cup of cocoa and listening to their stories. Drew writes with such emotion and honesty that you feel like she is in the room with you. This book made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me realize what a beautiful soul she is. This book is written as a collection of stories from...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, memoir, celebrities

Cover: 'Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption'

"Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption" by Bryan Stevenson

★★★★★ As a twenty-three-year-old Harvard law student, Stevenson had his first encounter with an inmate on death row. That meaningful encounter led him to commit his law career to representing the legally underrepresented: death row inmates, children sentenced to life without parole, and others marginalized by the system. He founded and currently serves as the...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

Cover: 'Black Earth:  The Holocaust as History and Warning'

"Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning" by Timothy Snyder

★★★★★ Timothy Snyder's book "Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning" attempts to place Hitler and Nazi Germany within a political and cultural context. Starting with Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and tracing how Hitler's opinions expressed there found fruition in the Nazi state, Snyder explains how Hitler's negative views of Jews became one of the main thrusts...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, history

Cover: 'Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide'

"Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn

★★★★★ This book was amazing! It brought the issue of oppression to the forefront and made doing something to combat it attainable. Women make up half of the global population and yet they still face daily oppression and adversity. While many across the globe are standing up, there is still much work to be done. From big activism like fighting for education...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, gender issues

Cover: 'The Great British Bake Off: Christmas'

"The Great British Bake Off: Christmas" by Lizzie Kamenetzky

★★★★ Who doesn't love a Christmas cookbook? This particular Christmas cookbook comes with recipes from participants of a British reality TV cooking program. The food is somewhat different that what we are used to seeing here in the United States, however it is not too different that you would not enjoy all of the recipes. The Shepherd's Pie looks great, as well...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook, holiday

Cover: 'The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2016: The Year's Best Recipes, Equipment Reviews, and Tastings'

"The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2016: The Year's Best Recipes, Equipment Reviews, and Tastings" by America's Test Kitchen

★★★★★ Straight from the America's Test Kitchen comes their newest collection of recipes from the last year. They are known for their precise recipes, having tested each recipe a variety of ways in order to get the best possible outcome for each dish. This book does a superb job explaining why you make each dish a certain way and includes illustrations for more...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Chocolate-Covered Katie: Over 80 Delicious Recipes That Are Secretly Good for You'

"Chocolate-Covered Katie: Over 80 Delicious Recipes That Are Secretly Good for You" by Katie Higgins

★★★★★ This is a must read for anyone with a sweet tooth! Plus, the author of the popular blog, "chocolatecoveredkatie.com," created these recipes with a healthy goal in mind. As a woman who wanted treats that satisfied her sweet tooth without using artificial sweeteners and unhealthy ingredients, the recipes in this cookbook use natural sweeteners and real...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Happy Cooking'

"Happy Cooking" by Giada De Laurentiis

★★★★ This is my favorite cookbook so far from chef Giada De Laurentiis! There's something here for everyone, even a few vegan recipes, which made me super happy to see! Giada included vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free recipes for all of us allergy sufferers, as well as recipes to be enjoyed by those without allergy concerns. Included in this cookbook are main...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction, cookbook

Cover: 'Modern Romance'

"Modern Romance" by Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg

★★★★★ For those of you who aren’t familiar with Aziz Ansari, he is an actor (perhaps best known from Parks & Recreation) and a stand-up comedian, but this isn’t a typical book by a comic. The book was inspired in part by a segment of his stand-up routine and is filled with humor throughout, but it’s actually a carefully researched book that examines the state...

Audience: adults | Genre: nonfiction

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