Filed under Nonfiction

The Free State of Jones

Do you think the only Civil War was between the Union and the Confederacy?  If so, then you haven’t been to Jones County, Mississippi! From fall 1863 to mid-1864, Newton Knight and his band of deserters battled the Confederate cavalry from their hideout in the Piney Woods of southeast Mississippi.  Declaring their loyalty to the …
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Every Song Ever

Every Song Ever cover art

This highly-engaging book is a deep analysis of music, how we relate to it, connect with it, and listen to it. According to the author, New York Times jazz and pop critic Ben Ratliff, we now live in a time that allows us to chart our own musical path. We can download one song instead …
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Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway

Razzle Dazzle cover

If you’ve ever wanted to know the history of Broadway – and some of its dirty little secrets – Razzle Dazzle will give you the inside look. Michael Riedel, theater critic for the New York Post, shares his rich knowledge of theater history by following the rise and dominance of the Shubert Organization. The book …
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The Shepherd’s Life

The Shepard's Life cover

Long before Romantic poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge made the Lake District a celebrated landscape, generation after generation of shepherds were farming this mountainous region of northwest England. These “nobodies,” as The Shepherd’s Life author James Rebanks likes to say, are “the great forgotten silent majority of people who live, work, love and die without leaving much of a trace that they were ever here.” Rebanks can no longer claim to be a nobody. On his popular Twitter account (@herdyshepherd1), he shares picturesque scenes from his Lake District sheep farm with his 68,000 followers, and now he’s written a best-selling book about the cycles of the shepherding year, his deep roots in Cumbria, and the farming culture of the region.
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H is for Hawk

H is for Hawk cover

Devastated by the sudden death of her beloved father, H is for Hawk author Helen Macdonald attempts to deal with her grief by acquiring and training a goshawk named Mabel, intending, like the famous British author and falconer T.H. White, to become “ferocious, feral and free.” H is for Hawk is a seamless blend of memoir, nature writing, and literary criticism: not only does it chronicle the development of Macdonald’s extraordinary relationship with Mabel , but it also follows the arc of the author’s grief and examines White’s process of training his own goshawk, drawing from his aptly named classic The Goshawk.
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The Splendid Things We Planned

If you have an interest in memoirs about addicts, alcoholics, the mentally ill, or anyone who is just generally self-destructive, this book has it all!  In Splendid Things, author Blake Bailey, known for his biographies of John Cheever and Richard Yates, tells the story of his own family.  While Bailey is truly open and honest in his depiction of both his own chaotic life and that of his parents; his father Burck, a lawyer from Oklahoma and his narcissistic, German born mother Marlies,  the memoir primarily focuses around his brother Scott, an undiagnosed, mentally ill addict and alcoholic.
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