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general non-fiction

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Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

A hilarious and entertaining investigation into the messy realm that is modern dating, Aziz Ansari provides comic relief upheld by facts, anecdotes and research.  Reading the book is not unlike watching one of his stand up specials, as he projects his humor on different cultural perspectives of relationships, online dating and texting.  What makes Modern Romance so enjoyable is Ansari’s own lens and light judging of the socially awkward, weird and desperate in all of us.

BiblioTech by John Palfrey

How do libraries survive the age of Google while simultaneously bracing for slashed budgets? In BiblioTech, John Palfrey provides a guide for libraries in the digital age. Some of his proposed ideas might be met with resistance from those hanging on to the library of their youth; however, “nostalgia can actually be dangerous,” Palfrey cautions.

Griftopia by Matt Taibbi

Has America become a veritable paradise for those willing to lie, cheat, and steal to get to the very top?  In Griftopia, Matt Taibbi's electrically charged exploration of the 2008 mortgage crisis, the author makes a convincing argument that indeed our country has been overrun by egomaniacal crooks (insert favored Wall Street banker here) who will stop at nothing to earn that quick million, especially when their disastrous efforts are met with golden parachutes and not stainless steel handcuffs.  A perfect summertime read for those who prefer a healthy dose of indignation while hitti

MassBook Awards Must-Read books in Non-Fiction for 2015

book coversJust released today, the short-list of nonfiction Must-Read Books from the MassBook Awards!

The Best American Travel Writing, 2014 edited by Paul Theroux

Need a break but don’t have the time or the money to get away? This is the perfect escape for you - two dozen tales that span the globe. Arranged alphabetically by author’s last name, I thought at first that this would be a very strange way to organize things, but it ended up working fabulously well. There was one piece that didn’t work very well for me, but it was short, and followed by a piece that completely redeemed the volume.

Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves by James Nestor

Beginning with the almost sado-masochistic endeavors of those engaged in competitive freediving and ending in the abyssal depths of the hadal zone five miles below the surface and crawling with organisms that have never seen the light of day, Nestor conducts a fascinating underwater travelogue. He swims with sharks. But he also swims with school bus sized sperm whales who, we learn, don’t use those powerful jaws to catch prey but emit jackhammer “clicks” that stun their food. A fascinating read.

Liberty’s Torch : The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty by Elizabeth Mitchell

America’s most recognizable icon was originally referred to as the “Bartholdi Statue.” Over time the sculptor’s name disappeared from popular memory. The fascinating story of the Statue of Liberty is the tale of potent whimsy, self-promotional hustle, dogged determination and French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi’s reach for his own version of immortality. Check our catalog

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

If I could, I would make this book required reading for everyone of voting age in this country. In this age of mass-incarceration, with truly horrifying and mind-numbing statistics documenting our floundering with the administration of justice, this book provides powerful hope for how we can move forward. With incredibly engaging stories from the frontline of the struggle, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.

Crafty Bastards: Beer in New England from the Mayflower to Modern Day by Lauren Clark

Local journalist and beer brewer Lauren Clark has delivered a well researched and witty book about the history of beer and the explosive emergence of craft beer brewing in the New England area. Starting with the Pilgrims first landing in Plymouth, Lauren explores the rich history and vital importance that beer had on the first settlers of America. With scarce resources, the early settlers of our nation had to get creative, using corn, spruce tree branches, pumpkins (actual pumpkins, not our modern nutmeg laced “pumpkin” beers), and molasses, as ingredients.

Confessions of the World’s Best Father by Dave Engledow

I chose this because I thought, “Aha, someone’s finally written my story!” Then I discovered it was by and about--horrors-- A Pretender to the Throne! A hilarious pictorial parody of a clueless (but outrageously clever) father and his adorable daughter. I laughed so hard that I, well, a washing machine was involved. Check Our Catalog

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