Nonfiction

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

A prominent surgeon and journalist takes a clear-eyed look at aging and death. Modern medicine can perform miracles, but it is also only concerned with preserving life rather than dealing with end-of-life issues. Drawing on his own experiences observing and helping terminally ill patients, Gawande offers a timely account of how modern Americans cope with decline and mortality. Rather than simply inform patients about their options or tell them what to do, some doctors are choosing to offer guidance that helps patients make their own decisions regarding treatment options and o

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Competitive rowing in 1936 was popular and dominated by upper class, East Coast men. Author Brown gives us a thrilling look at a group of working class students from the University of Washington who were molded into the perfect rowing team and who peaked at just the right time for the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The story of the struggles of the team members coming of age during the Great Depression, the training and tactics needed to win, and the thrill of competing in Berlin are all woven into this exciting account of the triumph of these Americans on the world stage.

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More Love Less Panic: 7 Lessons I Learned About Life, Love and Parenting After We Adopted Our Son from Ethiopia by Claude Knobler

Moved by an article about the plight of orphans of the AIDS epidemic in Africa, Knobler and his wife adopted a five-year-old boy from Ethiopia. The energetic and free-spirited Nate quickly brought change to the dynamic of their quiet Jewish family that included their biological son and daughter. In this heartwarming memoir, Nobler weaves moving stories such as meeting Nate’s dying mother in Ethiopia with the hilarious tales of Nate’s adjustment to his new life. 

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.

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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.

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