Ten Non-Fiction Books We Loved in 2018

As the New Year approaches, join our librarians in looking back on our favorite reading of the year gone by. By popular acclaim, here are ten non-fiction titles that made the biggest impact on us in 2018. (Fiction and books for youth will follow in the days to come).

2018 was a huge year for books about society and politics, and while journalistic potboilers focused on the executive branch may have garnered all the hype, we think that long after most of these are forgotten, Jill Lepore’s magisterial and insightful These Truths: A History of the United States is likely to be stimulating and provoking conversation among readers. Likewise, Mona Hanna-Attisha’s gripping first-hand account of the Flint water crisis, What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, provides a powerful and inspiring account of the confluence of environmental and racial issues in America today. Continue reading “Ten Non-Fiction Books We Loved in 2018”

New Nonfiction Roundup – December 2018

December’s not just about the holidays. Enjoy these nonfiction titles being released this month.

12/4: Babel. Gaston Dorren explores the twenty most widely spoken languages in the world, which accounts for half of the Earth’s population.

12/4: Congo Stories. Fidel Bafilemba and John Prendergast consider the impact of five decades of exploitation of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Continue reading “New Nonfiction Roundup – December 2018”

DIY Holidays: Crafty Gifts and Gifts of Food

Today is Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season and historically the busiest shopping day of the year. If the idea of battling frenzied crowds for the latest must-have doo-dad makes you want to pull the covers over your head and never come out, we have an idea for you – make your own gifts! You’ll get to stay home, avoid the clogged streets, and maybe even learn a new skill. And nothing says you care like a homemade present! Here are a few recent titles to inspire you:

Miniature Terrariums
Terrariums are among some of the easiest, quickest and cheapest crafts to make. Try it out yourself at our Holiday Craft workshop coming up next Thursday, November 29th at the Central Library, 5:30 pm (free and open to all while supplies last).

Take a Tin by Jemima Schlee
You’ve probably got a few tin cans lying around the house somewhere. Upcycle these ubiquitous household items into lamps, storage and other fun gifts. Continue reading “DIY Holidays: Crafty Gifts and Gifts of Food”

Practice Gratitude

We live in a pretty fast paced world, one that can cloud our gratefulness for what we have, what we’ve been given, and those we share our lives with. I challenge you to take the time (and not just in November) to practice gratitude.

Focus on areas of your life you can be more grateful for like your home, your partner, or just time to be with yourself and disconnect:

Learn to engage in positive self-talk. Too often we beat ourselves down when we should be lifting ourselves up:

Continue reading “Practice Gratitude”

The Homeless Mathematician

When I was growing up, an unusual houseguest would show up at our door every few years. With steeply-arched eyebrows, a mile-wide grin, gigantic ears that looked like they could flap in the wind, and a wild tousle of white hair, he seemed to my 8-year-old self to resemble nothing less than an oversized hamster or rabbit. In a distinctive, nasal-whiney voice he would utter words in some unintelligible language that nevertheless seemed related to English. He called me and my brother “epsilons” and spoke of a mysterious food called “pea-napple-uppsheed-did-doven-tosh.” After a couple of weeks, he would disappear as suddenly as he had shown up.

Only years later, as an adult, did I learn that this man was one of the most famous mathematicians in the world: Paul Erdős. Continue reading “The Homeless Mathematician”