I was first introduced to Mary Roach with Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadaversand I quickly fell in love. Roach has the ability to make nonfiction fun and informative. In Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Roach tackles life in space. This book is chock full of everything you ever wanted to know about the history of space exploration and a bunch of stuff you never thought about and will never forget. Roach spends a big portion of the book dealing with human digestion and how to deal with it in space. Our bodies don’t work quiet the same in zero gravity as they do on Earth. So eating and everything that comes after have to be dealt with in special ways. Roach details everything from different sized condom-type urine collection bags, to fecal popcorning, to space toilets, to recycling waste into food (highly unpalatable). There are also the problems of how to eat in space and how your clothes break down after going unwashed for weeks. I was not aware that underwear would disintegrate after a couple weeks of constant wear/definitely not something I have had to experience! Roach doesn’t just focus on the absurd and the gross, she is truly fascinated by space travel and has a deep appreciation for those who work in the industry.
I am so glad narrative nonfiction is becoming the “in” thing because it is so much more interesting to read than boring old regular nonfiction! This book is as compelling as any novel I have read. Sheinkin did an amazing job researching the events and the people that led up to the creation of the bomb. I can’t imagine all the FBI files he had to read to get some of this stuff. In Bomb, he takes a look at how the Americans started the race to beat the Germans to the atomic bomb and how the Russians stole the plans. We get first-hand accounts of the events and what the people involved thought at the time. It was truly fascinating and hard to put down.
This is a 2013 Newbery Honor Book, the 2013 Sibert Medal Winner, and a 2012 National Book Award finalist.
There are many stories of people helping their Jewish neighbors during WWII, but this is one I had not heard of. The Grand Mosque in Paris was responsible for saving many Jews by hiding them and getting them Muslim identification papers. Of course this only worked on those Jews who could pass for Muslim. There are many individual stories in this book and it all paints a picture of heroism at a time of great risk. The illustrations are wonderful and beautiful. Definitely a book to recommend to those interested in WWII, history or heroism.
There is just something about WWII stories that really pulls at my heart. I find the people who worked for the underground movements and helped the Jewish people fascinating. There is something about their courage and heroism that really makes you look at your own life and wander what you would have done in a similar situation. Not everyone was strong enough to stand up for what was right, but Irena Sendler was definitely one of those heroes. Her story is similar to others who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, but it is definitely worth knowing. I thought this picture book biography did a good job of showing her courage and dedication to doing what is right. She is a hero from a very dark time in our history and her story deserves to be told.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were two of our founding fathers. They could not have been more different yet they believed in the same thing…an independent America. Together they helped this country become free and were both presidents. They even died on the same day. I think their story is an interesting one and this book does a great job of illustrating the time period and their friendship. The illustrations are wonderful and very child friendly. The entire book read like a Saturday morning special…School House Rocks maybe. 2013 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children honor book.
I loved this book. Everyone knows that John Wilkes Booth killed Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater, but I never the story behind the assassination or the plot to kill him. This was a very fast read and I learned so much more about this event in history than I ever knew before. Bill O’Reilly is correct when he states that every American should know the story of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. This book gets a 4-Star rating from me!
This was a fun, informative book. Great for all Downton Abbey fans. It is written by a British author so occasionally a British term or two. Each chapter covers a different section of life in a wealthy home usually starting with how the lord and lady and their family were expected to behave then the upper servants down to the lowly kitchen maid, poor Daisy.
This illustrated book takes you on a guided tour of a single day in an wealthy English home of the Edwardian era. Starting with the servants hard at work while the family is still asleep in their beds, and ending with a lavish dinner party, this book includes accounts from actual masters and servants. It also contains feature pages on famous figures like Winston Churchill and Virginia Woolf and their comments about their home life and their servants.
In Atlantis and the Silver City, Peter Daughtrey posits that Atlantis was actually the Portuguese city of Silva on the Iberian coast. He basis his hypothesis on the writings of Plato that describe Atlantis and its location. He uses dozens of points from Plato to “proof” that Atlantis once existed in Iberia. His research and claims are extensive and his proof seems pretty plausible. However, there isn’t a whole lot of evidence other than his conjecture to prove his hypothesis. The book is a lot of conjecture and hopeful thinking. Everything he says seems plausible and intriguing. Atlantis could have existed in Spain/Portugal. I have no reason to believe it didn’t just as I have no proof that it did. Daughtrey’s arguments on the location are pretty extensive and interesting. They do make you think and seem entirely possible. Towards the end of the book he brings up a bunch of other things that I think seem less plausible. He tries to tie instances of red-heads, pyramids and the DNA symbol around the world to the migration of the Atlantian people. More intriguing is his argument about Phoenician not being the first written alphabet/language. This book is full of interesting ideas about the beginnings of mankind. It would be really interesting if they were true. Maybe one day archaeological evidence will support Daughtrey’s claims.
I receive a copy of this book from the publishers on Netgalley.
The bestselling author of “Devil in the White City” turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.
A good piece of well-known history from a different perspective.
This is a true story about the theft of a very expensive pearl necklace. This happened during the Edwardian era in London and it amazed me how easy it was to steal this necklace. After the crime the thieves had a much harder time selling it. Scotland Yard was starting to use more modern investigating tools like finger printing. But it was just the old reliable stake out plan that caught the guilty men.
Immigration and the growing Latino population of the United States have become such contentious issues that it can be hard to have a civil conversation about how Latinoization is changing the face of America. So in the summer of 2007, Louis Mendoza set out to do just that. Starting from Santa Cruz, California, he bicycled 8,500 miles around the entire perimeter of the country, talking to people in large cities and small towns about their experiences either as immigrants or as residents who have welcomed–or not–Latino immigrants into their communities. He presented their enlightening, sometimes surprising, firsthand accounts in Conversations Across Our America: Talking About Immigration and the Latinoization of the United States.
Now, in A Journey Around Our America, Mendoza offers his own account of the visceral, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of traveling the country in search of a deeper, broader understanding of what it means to be Latino in the United States in the twenty-first century. With a blend of first- and second-person narratives, blog entries, poetry, and excerpts from conversations he had along the way, Mendoza presents his own aspirations for and critique of social relations, political ruminations, personal experiences, and emotional vulnerability alongside the stories of people from all walks of life, including students, activists, manual laborers, and intellectuals. His conversations and his experiences as a Latino on the road reveal the multilayered complexity of Latino life today as no academic study or newspaper report ever could.
This is mainly a photo collection of the history of theme park, Silver Dollar City and Marvel Cave starting with the cave’s discovery. The photos also feature the theme park’s festivals, craftsman and visitors having fun in the park. It was a fun read for me, since I first went to Silver Dollar City as a sophomore in high school with my aunt and uncle, then when in college Branson was only an hour away so it was a great get-away spot for a day of fun with friends. So, the area holds lots of good memories for me.
Not only is this a good source for the history of Jazz but it also discusses the record industry. How and why the 78 record evolved into the 45 and 33 long playing albums. Why ASCAP was started and how World War II helped musicians learn more and find jobs. The economy and geography of America had a lot to do with Jazz and still does.
Look around your kitchen at all your gadgets and cooking tools and there is a reason they were all invented. Since eating is the most important part of living these tools made our cooking chores easier. Depending on what your culture and lifestyle is you may use different tools then the Chinese and French. Cooking was a dangerous job early on mostly because of fire and metal pots that might poison you. Bee Wilson did a lot of research finding out why our everyday utensils, like the wooden spoon, was invented. If you like to cook and eat this book is for you.