Nonfiction

Texts From Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with your favorite literary characters by Mallory Ortberg

In this hilarious take on literary favorites, Mallory Ortberg holds imaginary and hilarious conversations via text message with everyone’s favorite characters and writers. From Achilles to Hamlet, Jessica Wakefield to Hermione Granger, Ortberg perfectly captures them in texts. This is a must read for literature lovers, English majors, and anyone who ever wanted to be best friends with a fictional character. 

Humor ORTBERG, M.

I Stand Corrected: How Teaching Western Manners in China Became Its Own Unforgettable Lesson by Eden Collinsworth

Hired to write a book explaining Western etiquette to the Chinese, long-time businesswoman Collinsworth spent a year living in China, exploring the differences between the cultures and customs of China and the West. I Stand Corrected is a funny and entertaining story of her life in China, her struggle to explain Western customs to her Chinese readers and her explanation of the ways China changed in the past decade.

395 COL 

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This moving memoir, written in free verse, follows Jacqueline Woodson through her childhood as a young, black girl growing up during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The use of poetic verse allows Woodson to capture poignant moments in her childhood and share them in a way that really resonates with the reader.  She talks of growing up with her mother, grandparents, and siblings, first in South Carolina and then in New York City.

Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke

Englishman Billy Williams landed a job in Burma in 1920 as a “forest man” for a teak company and became enamored with the elephants used by the company to haul logs through remote jungle. Elephant Company is the story of these elephants, their native keepers and Billy’s increasing skill at handling them and fascination with their intelligence and personalities. When Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Billy and the elephants had another job—helping the war effort and saving lives.

So We Read On by Maureen Corrigan

NPR’s Book Critic, Maureen Corrigan, lets us readers in on her love affair with The Great Gatsby in a funny, passionate, and conversational tone. There is an intimate relationship between a book and its readers; none more so than The Great Gatsby and Corrigan brings it all to light. Even if you thought you knew everything about one of America’s favorite novels, you will learn to appreciate something new here. This is not The Great Gatsby you remember from your high school English class.

813.09 FIT

Paper Love by Sarah Wildman

Twenty-something Sarah Wildman stumbles across a secreted cache of photographs during the clean out of her late grandparent’s family home in New England. Sarah’s grandfather, Karl Wildman, emigrated from Vienna during the war establishing a family medical practice in Pittsfield, Massachusetts before marrying Sarah’s grandmother during the early 1940’s. These photographs, featuring a beautiful young woman and prominently signed “Your, Valy,” signal the beginning of Sarah’s odyssey to learn the story behind the woman her grandfather loved and left behind in occupied Berlin.

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham

Even if you’ve never heard of the hit HBO show “Girls” or its creator & star, Lena Dunham, there is much to enjoy in this collection of biographical essays. Focusing on sex, love, friendship, and work, Dunham happily shares all the details of her privileged NYC upbringing, awkward sexual encounters & her lifelong struggle with her body image. Some of the most enjoyable stories are about her mother, a well-known artist who may or may not have invented the selfie.

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

This is the story of the House of Romanov: Tsar Nicolas II of Russia, the wealthiest monarch in the world who ruled over 130 million people; his powerful wife; their friend Rasputin and his influence on them; and their five children. Included throughout are pictures and diary entries of the family, as well as those of the peasants who were just trying to survive.

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides

On July 8, 1879, George Washington De Long led an expedition that set sail on the USS Jeannette headed for the North Pole. After journeying north of the Bering Strait, they became trapped in ice and the Jeannette sank to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Marooned with three open boats, the crew began a long fateful march across the frozen sea to the Siberian coast. A spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most unforgiving territory on Earth. 

910.452 SID

The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like a Local by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein & Jonathan Krisel

Food plays a very special role in Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s gently satiric sketch comedy Portlandia. In this spin-off, various characters from the show share their recipes (and yes, they are real recipes) from cult-raised chicken and Stu’s stews to pickled veggies and foraged green salads. Imagine an issue of Cook’s Illustrated edited by Patton Oswalt, and maybe you’ll get an idea of the flannel wearing flavor of Portlandia. And yes, there is much more to it than just “Put an egg on it!”

641.59795 ARM

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