by Jane Cumberbatch
Beautiful: All American Decorating & Timeless Style by Mark Sikes
Here are two books that are simply a visual feast. Check them out just for the photographs! –Kristin
Google Drive & Docs in 30 Minutes
by Ian Lamont
If you are trying to teach yourself Google Drive then this is the perfect book. While it is what is called an unofficial guide, it is short and well laid out. Written for real people and not by engineers! –Kristin
by Chip & Joanna Gaines
Chip & Joanna Gaines share their love story and journey to their TV show Fixer Upper. It was nice to hear both points of view (which proved to be humorous when they disagreed!)
Sounds like they worked hard to achieve their fame today! –Kristin
by J.D. Vance
Author J.D. Vance shares with us his childhood experiences in one of the poorest towns in the Rust Belt. Much more than a memoir, Vance digs deep into the culture that surrounded him. His childhood was challenging and at times heartbreaking. His honesty is brutal but beautiful. I promise you won’t be able to put it down. –Kristin
Salt Sugar Fat
by Michael Moss
It took me a LONG time to finish this. I read some of the print book then mostly listened to the audio v
ersion. This is a super important book that everyone in America should read. This book is well researched and tells many truths about the science and marketing behind our food. If you don’t have time, do yourself a favor and look up the term “bliss point.” It isn’t easy to stomach the information (excuse the pun) but in his epilogue he closes with a crucial point:
“They may have salt, sugar and fat on their side, but we, ultimately, have the power to make choices. After all, we decide what to buy. We decide how much to eat.” –Kristin
Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter
By David Sax
If you are anything like me, you are feeling totally overwhelmed by the pace of technology these days, and may be yearning for more analog things. If that is the case, then this book is for you. Sax makes some pretty strong arguments for analog devices like record players, photographic film and handwriting! He might just have you believing they are making a comeback! –Kristin
Talking As Fast As I Can
by Lauren Graham
Fans of Gilmore Girls will love Graham’s new book. The pace and humor reminded me a lot of her character on Gilmore Girls. While most of it is funny & genuine, it is just far too short! Certainly leaves you wanting more. If you like Graham she does have a novel called Someday Someday Maybe. –Kristin
David Pogue has released a series of “basics” books that are fun, easy and VERY helpful! Most can be read in one or two sittings. Pogue offers basic and understandable tips on everything from smartphones to how to save money when booking a flight. DO check them out! –Kristin
Mindfulness (25th Anniversary Edition)
by Ellen J. Langer
While I did keep in mind that this book was published many moons ago, most of the content is still valid today. However, I found it read much like a text book, which turned me off a bit. I do like the comparison of mindfulness to mindlessness. It is interesting how our brain works on a mindlessness matter when it comes to tasks we do every day. If you are big on non-fiction and enjoy reading studies and tests then you’ll enjoy this one. I, however, admit, I had to scan a bit to get to the end.
Yet another sarcastic, biting collection of essays about real life interactions with people the author hates. More trickle down from Fey & Poehler. Occasionally funny. Better to listen to the audio to understand her tone.
Jason Priestley: A Memoir
by Jason Priestley
I was never allowed to watch Beverly Hills 90210 because my parents thought it too risqué. Recently I started watching it on HULU. I decided to pick up this books to maybe get the inside scoop on the cast. While there’s very little scoop, it’s still a nice little glimpse into Priestley’s life. Nice quick read. –Kristin
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
By Jenny Lawson
This book is absurd and partially made-up. The author admits it immediately in the beginning of the book. I wanted to like this. Listening to the audio version was like being stuck with a stranger who never stops talking. But I did appreciate the few times she was actually funny and how she was very honest and sentimental about her pregnancy and keeping her daughter safe. Can’t say I’ve ever read anything like it. –Kristin
Here is a nice quick read for Halloween. Author Rory Raven shares ghost stories set in many familiar places in Providence. –Kristin
I listened to the audio version of this, read by the author. It was fantastic. She is candid & funny. I previously was familiar with Chenoweth only as a performer in the hit broadway show Wicked. She will be starring ina live version of Hairspray on NBC winter 2016! -Kristin
I wanted to like this, really, I did. What a perfect size for a book about all these wonderful composers. I played piano many moons ago and thought it would be a nice refresher course while enjoying a good laugh here & there. Well, this certainly fell short of my expectations. While some parts were funny, there were FAR TOO MANY FOOTNOTES. And most of the footnotes were almost one-liners or sarcastic remarks. Kudos, anyway, to Barber for cramming all these wonderful composers into one book! –Kristin
Advanced Style &
Advanced Style: Older & Wiser
If you love fashion then these books are a MUST. As with most books these days, this set started as a blog by photographer/writer Ari Seth Cohen. The book is full of color photos of the best dressed women around. You’ll notice they have something in common – they are not young girls fresh out of the fashion magazines. Most are 50+ and fabulous. If you don’t have time to read about the women and their theories on fashion and life, please at least pick it up for the photography & fashion.
It is just great! –Kristin
Jim Henson: The Biography
by Brian Jay Jones
It took me a while to finish this. I wanted to read it slowly because it was so detailed. Jim Henson was a remarkable guy. I don’t want to put him too high on a pedestal, but we could learn a lot from him. While his ability to communicate his feelings and resolve conflict was not to be admired, his ideas about inspiring the world (and children) with his artistry was outstanding. I so enjoyed learning about his family and how his grandmother influenced his path to art. Just great! -Kristin
Keep Curious and Carry a Banana
by H.A. Rey
YES this is a book for adults. This is a sweet little reminder of what life is really about – and that Curious George is still our favorite monkey!! -Kristin
by Walter Hoving
I was watching a documentary about Tiffany’s called
“Crazy about Tiffany’s” and a reference was made to this book. The library copy I read was the 1989 edition. It was totally charming and some parts were laugh-out-loud funny. -Kristin
Running with Scissors
by: Augusten Burroughs
Fans of Glass Castle and books by David Sedaris will enjoy this memoir. Burroughs shares with us his very troubled (and interesting) childhood. He’s a great writer and his story is very unique! – Kristin
When We Are No More: How Digital Memory is Shaping Our Future
by: Abby Smith Rumsey
Don’t be put off by the first half of the book. She focuses a lot on Jefferson and history; mostly things we already know. In Part three she will tie all of the information together nicely.
“In Jefferson’s vision, access to organized knowledge is necessary to promote the progress and well-being of humanity. In the developed world, market capitalism plays important roles , but long term investment in the public good is not one of them. Google boasts
that they organize knowledge for the world. But the vision of Jefferson and the Founders proposes that the organization of access to knowledge is to be a public utility, wholly owned by the people for the purpose of self-government.” What an important and profound statement. Do read this book! -Kristin
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik
The title of this book is a spinoff of the artist Notorious B.I.G. a very famous rapper/hip-hop artist. This book came about after the Notorious RBG blog: NotoriousRBG . This book is an easy yet inspiring read. This would be a great start before reading her biography. The author’s write (a well researched book) about her life but keep a sense of humor along the way, much like the blog, but they never take away from the inspiration that is Ruth Bader Ginsburg – fearless leader and strong woman! -Kristin
Dog Years: Faithful Friends. Then & Now
by Amanda Jones
Check this book out simply for the photographs.
If you are a dog lover and will just touch your heart!
So glad I found this book!
I dabbled a bit in succulents but really just went in blind. I have been trying to find a good companion book. I have been looking for a book that is part reference and included some fun projects. Well this is it. Daigle provides great information along with great step-by-step photos for reference! If you are curious about succulents or are looking for some creative ideas to display them, then this book is for you! -Kristin
This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
by Daniel Levitin
5 out of 5 stars from Jane!
This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession presents readers with a comprehensive scientific-musical understanding of how humans experience music and how it plays an important role in our lives regardless of one’s musical educational background.
Levitin, before becoming a neuroscientist, worked in L.A. as a session musician, sound engineer and record producer. Friends include Sting, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton and Paul Simon. His scientific-musical investigative studies are published extensively in scientific journals and music trade magazines. Levitin’s combined knowledge of music and neuroscience makes for an entertaining, informative book. “This Is Your Brain On Music” is recognized as an important book by musicians and neuroscientists. It is viewed as a springboard to further musical/scientific studies on how music touches/helps us and how music may play an even more fundamental role in our lives than language.
This should be required reading for students, Americans and especially our politicians. This book defines what the American people are all (or should be) about. This well researched book tells the true stories of many of the founding mothers like Martha Washington and Abigail Adams as well as some of the lesser known (but just as important) Catharine Littlefield “Caty” Greene Miller, Esther Burr and Deborah Read Franklin. None of our Founding Fathers could have done what they did without the help of their wives, mothers and sisters at home. More than just keepers of homes and caregivers to their children, these women offered their intelligent political advice, tended to wounded soldiers, some actually FOUGHT by the side of the great men of the Revolutionary War. These women (and their families) had great morals and were proud of their country. They believe in freedom and their country and its people. I cannot stress how important this book is. SO, so enjoyable! -Kristin
5 out of 5 stars from Jane!
Readers of Wicked Plants are forewarned that ‘the book will reveal the sordid lives of plants behaving badly.’ The planning of the book consists of beautiful plant etchings & drawings by Briony Morrow
Cribbs and Jonathan Rosen, along with scientific and historic plant descriptions within chapter headings: dangerous, painful, intoxicating, destructive & deadly.
5 out of 5 stars from Jane!
This helpful, visually pleasing guidebook was developed from a column from Men’s Health Magazine by the authors Zinczenko & Goulding. It is a go-to foodie book with up-to-date research on the best and worst foods commercially known to us on the grocery store shelves as well as fast food menu selections, sit-down diners and high end restaurants.
Eat This Not That uncovers menu items i.e. ‘Worst Foods In America’ list of known restaurant chains to be swapped out to healthier menu choices. The food products/menu items were attractively photographed with listed levels of calories, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and sugar content. Nutritious alternatives include higher levels of fiber & protein.
*The Eat This Not That free website is regularly updated with food/menu selections research and tips. There is also a helpful free iPhone app!*
Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects
by: Amy Stewart
5 out of 5 stars from Jane!
Picked this book up after reading Girls Waits with Gun (by the same author) It’s beautiful! This small, useful book includes drawings and etchings by Briony Morrow Cribbs. They are magnified and detailed elegantly done with a scientific eye. Organized into wicked bug sections: horrible, deadly, painful, dangerous, destructive, etc. Descriptions following the etchings include scientific, historical and hysterical anecdotes. The entertaining bug facts softens the ‘bugs horribleness.’ Many times this reader needed to put the little bug book down to be picked up after its sting of horribleness had lessened.
Deep Down Dark : the Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Hector Tobar
In 2010, 33
men were trapped for 69 days in a mine in Chile. This book is the story of how they came to be there, what they did to survive, and how the world set out to rescue them. This book is very well researched and interestingly written. Hector Tobar was the only journalist given access to the men and their families to write their story. I highly recommend this true-life story if you watched this event along with the rest of the world as it was unfolding. –Cheryl
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
Everyone knows the Wright brothers invented the “aeroplane”. Mr. McCullough tells of their humble beginnings and absolute genius in pursuing their passion to fly. The book is a wealth of information told in a very readable and accessible way. The dedication of these two men to their craft and their family is told with an eye to detail but not overwhelming so. This book will delight and inform all who read it. – Cheryl
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant
by: Roz Chast
Roz Chast is a non-superhero graphic memoir. Chast honestly and without holding back, chronicles the last few years of her parents lives. As one who had never read a graphic novel (although this is not a novel but non-fiction), I found this book to be hilarious as well as sad with spot on graphics and pictures. Chast is part of the “sandwich” generation and her worries, angst and love come through on every page. Well worth the few hours it will take for you to read. – Cheryl
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed : Sixteen Writers on the Decision not to have Kids
Edited with an introduction by Meghan Daum.
“First comes love, then comes marriage then comes baby in a baby carriage.” I am sure at least once in our lives we have listened to or sung that line. My initial fear was that this book would be full of essays by women with “mommy issues.” While there were some, many were written by strong, independent women who can confidently say they are not interested in having children, despite pressure from family, friends and religious tradition! Notice the word DECISION in the title. Some of these women truly enjoy children or even have careers that involve dealing with children on a daily basis, yet still have reached the decision to skip motherhood. Great read.
The Four Agreements
by: Don Miguel Ruiz
I think this book will be my new “bible” in regards to conduct of life.
Ruiz lays out four agreements that one should commit to in their personal lives in order to live a fulfilling life for oneself as well as others. You can read this in one sitting and it is sure to inspire. –Kristin
Pogue’s Basics: Essential Tips & Shortcuts (That No One Bothers To Tell You) For Simplifying the Technology in Your Life
by: David Pogue
Finally, a great technology how-to book! This books covers tips & tricks for all devices & operating systems including Apple, Windows, Android etc. I would recommend this book for (confident) beginners. I even learned a few new things from this book! Get it from your library today! –Kristin
The Internet is Not the Answer
by: Andrew Keen
This is the second book I’ve read by Keen. His older book entitled Cult of the Amateur was spot on. This book is just as good! I think everyone should read this book. I must admit, some parts can read like a text book, but it is a really important book if you care about the effects technology is having on the economy of our country. –Kristin
Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography
by: Fred Schruers
Fans of Joel will LOVE this book and love Joel even more once they’re done! The author based the book on the countless interviews with Joel. While there is lots of information about his romantic & business life, it is well done and readers will understand how Joel pours his heart and soul into his music!
Frida: A Biography
by Hayden Herrera
This is hands down the best biography of Mexican artist Frida Kalho. It is a big book but it is accurate and interesting. The popular film starring Salma Hayak follows it quite closely. The film is a visual feast! You can check it out from the library! –Kristin
Until recently, Maier was virtually unknown to the world. She was a nanny and amateur photographer. In 2007 John Maloof, Ron Slattery and Randy Prow purchased her old film & slides at auction. Soon after John Maloof started a blog with her photography and it went viral. After that, 2 books and a documentary were released. She is a very odd yet interesting individual!
Checkout this documentary from our library: Vivian Maier–Kristin
This is a really small, super quick read that will have you laughing.
This book is full of actual test answers from students that are just so wrong (and fresh) that you will be sure to smack your forehead is disbelief!!
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
By Laura Hillenbrand
Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit, shares WWII veteran Louie Zamperini’s life story. This book is moving and unforgettable. Zamperini started as, what some might call, a punk kid. Always getting into trouble, Zamperini’s older brother encouraged Louie to try running. He realized his potential & trained him in track. Soon, his spirit took him to the Olympic games. It is that same spirit & determination that helped him survive the war. Angelina Jolie recently directed & produced a film based on the book. –Kristin
Edited by Emily Spivack
Here is a quick read of short stories by multiple people like artists, fashion icons etc. Each story involves the author’s favorite article of clothing. They share with us a special memory or time when they wore the piece. Great read for any fashion lover! –Kristin
Johnson’s well researched and well written book will leave you frustrated and amazed. James Dewolf was undoubtedly the most powerful man in Bristol, RI and in the United States during the time of the slave trade. His pursuit of money and power was relentless. Even during the times the government outlawed the transportation of slaves from other countries, Dewolf was always able to find a loophole and bring them to the United States. Finally, a warrant was made for his arrest and he managed to flee to the West Indies to escape his trial. The book was just fascinating and gives you a better understanding of the foundation of Bristol, RI. –Kristin
The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee
by Marja Mills
I may be in the minority when I say I was very disappointed with this book. Fans of To Kill a Mockingbird long for the day when Harper Lee would release another novel. We’ll never see the day. Lee is clearly not one to step into the limelight. She also knows she hit gold when she wrote her first and only novel, so how does one top that? I would have done the same thing if I were in her shoes. Mills, a journalist from Chicago, writes about her time with Lee after moving next door to her & Lee’s sister Alice. Readers will learn about the town of Monroeville Alabama and a bit about her friends and family. The author is able to convey only the surface of Lee’s personality and intelligence. And while I appreciated that, the book just wasn’t fulfilling enough. Mills was constantly held back by Lee insisting she not publish particular conversations or statements. I am still left wondering about this mysterious Harper Lee. The book barely whet my appetite. –Kristin
Here is a great book for anyone who loves books & libraries.
Dawson started his jounery in 1994. He has been all over the United States taking photos of an array of libraries from the smallest to the largest. You will see some pretty unique buildings! Look closely for some local gems in Providence & New Bedford!
Also includes essays by Ann Patchett, Ann Lamott, Barbara Kingsolver & others. –Kristin
by Kristin Green
I must admit, the closest I’ve come to gardening is admiring the gardens of the Blithewold mansion grounds. Being such a fan of Blithewold, I just had to pick up this book. If you don’t know Kristin Green, she is the Interpretive Horticulturist at Blithewold. In her book, Green shares her knowledge & thoughts on gardening & plants. Might I suggest reading her book then visiting the mansion? It will be a treat. –Kristin
Orr: My Story
by Bobby Orr
“One of the greatest sports figures of all time breaks his silence in a memoir as unique as the man himself. He has never written a memoir, authorized a biography, or talked to journalists about his past, but now he is finally ready to tell his story.” As a youngster, my entire family would sit and watch the Boston Bruins, almost every game. I was and am a huge Orr fan, to this day he is my favorite athlete. So I had to read his book. It is a memoir from a young age to now, told in his own words. He remains humble despite his achievements and his take on the current state of the game (I still watch when I can!”) is interesting. A definite read if you were/are of fan of the arguably greatest hockey player ever. –Cheryl
The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness
Interpretation of Epictetus by Sharon LeBell
This book is a quick read sure to inspire you. The principles are so simple. Sometimes when we are so caught up in the stresses of life, we just need to read and remember these simple philosophies. –Kristin
Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things with the Stuff You Already Have
by Danny Seo
It is the Do-It-Yourself generation. Pinterest and social media are filled with ideas for recycling and repurposing goods one already has in the home. This book is a nice inspiration for those looking to live a more green lifestyle by creating new things from old objects. What a fun book!
Essential Car Care for Women
By Jaimie Little
This book consists of clear and concise examples and facts about cars. It would be a great read for young ladies just starting driving lessons. Small enough to keep in the car for emergencies! –Kristin
Natural Woman: A Memoir
by Carole King
I just adore King. Her thoughtful and warm memoir is one that sits on my shelf. Learn about her life through her own words. King always has kind and positive words about her life and the many encounters she’s had. Never conceited or boastful, King is a role model for me. Read this as her life comes alive on the new broadway show Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong
by Jen Yates
Here is a great laugh for anyone who is a stickler for GRAMMAR! Yates began as a blogger, collecting photos of cakes with terrible misspellings and artwork. The blog grew so popular that she ended up publishing a book. Some of these cake errors are just unbelievable. (Be warned – you’ll find a few questionable ones!)-Kristin
by Joey Green
Here’s a super quick, inspiring little read for all you Wizard of Oz fans. Green’s self-help interpretation of many of the elements of WOO is delightful. It’s nothing mind blowing, but still inspiring! –Kristin
by Jean-Dominique Bauby, Jeremy Leggatt (Translator)
Hands down the most inspiring book I have ever read. In the mid 90s, Editor-in-chief of French Elle magazine, Jean-Doninique Bauby suffers from a stroke leaving him completely paralyzed. Bauby, through sheer determination, communicates with his nurses through simply blinking his eyes. You have to read the book to understand. It is incredible.
Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY and the Lost Story of 1970
by David Browne
I grew up listening to my parent’s music. They loved the Beatles & James Taylor. This book is a a great mix of music & politics. Although I was not alive in the 1970s, it painted a great picture of the times and journeys of the artists, especially CSNY and Simon & Garfunkel. –Kristin
Fans of the classic movie “Sound of Music” starring Julie Andrews will enjoy this book. Maria Augusta Trapp writes her memoirs about life at the abbey, her new life with the Trapp family and their escape from Nazi Germany!
A true, harrowing, interesting and well written narrative of a man born free in the state of New York, kidnapped in Washington, DC and sold into slavery. First published in 1853, he tells his tale of living the life of a slave in Louisiana for 12 years. I found the writing and the ability to tell this story in the first person fascinating and was absorbed in his journey from beginning to end. –Cheryl
Easily my favorite books of 2013!! The PBS tv series “Call the Midwife” is based upon Worth’s memoirs as a midwife in post World War II London. She so vividly paints the picture of London’s slums and the people who live there. By the end of book two I was moved to tears. The books read so smoothly and will leave you yearning for more. Her characters are truly unforgettable, from the patients she attends to, to the nuns she boards with. This is a set I will keep on my bookshelf forever. – Kristin
Boys in the Boat is a very well written, thoroughly researched, narrative non-fiction book about rowing! As someone who has only viewed rowing on TV during the Olympics, this book gave me a wealth of knowledge about the sport as well as interesting information about the Berlin Olympics in 1936 (when Hitler was in power). The author follows the story of Joe Rantz, a University of Washington student who joins the “crew” to obtain scholarship money and the eventual 9 man crew who row to fame. You will learn what it means to row, how the boats were made and meet true athletic, American heroes. Don’t miss this gem of a book. – Cheryl
Well researched and interesting, Last covers the subject matter of fertility decline and how, in the near future, it will have a huge effect on our population. As a woman in my 30s, I found it interesting to learn how the economy can have an effect on when women decide to have children. Countless examples of fertility decline offered in this book off set the notion of overpopulation. Last is a conservative, but the book does not come across as such (although you will notice a few digs in his commentary). Great read! – Kristin
Summary – This non-fiction book concerns the last two years of Mary Anne Schwalbe’s life. She and her son, the author, form a “book club” and discuss books they have read while Mary Anne undergoes chemotherapy and Will sits by her side.
The author is not overly sentimental when speaking of his mother, who was a pioneer in the women’s movement. Although they have always been close, the bond between the two becomes stronger over the 2 years described in the book. The two read and discuss an array of literature, but some of the best scenes are those when Will is describing family gatherings and his mother’s braveness in the face of her illness. Not many books reduce me to tears but the love and admiration the author has for his mother comes through the pages. I also appreciated the provided list of books discussed . – Cheryl
Local author Lawrence Verria writes a wonderful and well researched book about the identity of the famous couple in the”Kissing Sailor” photograph. Many people stepped forward claiming to be the famous couple, photographed on V-J day in 1945. Read about the in-depth research and detective work applied to finding the identities of the individuals. A great read! –Kristin
Fessler is a professor at RISD. I remember seeing her name in the newspaper and attending her book talk at Borders. I was under the assumption the book would be about art, but in fact, it was not. She began to talk about her book and I was blown away. I was absolutely unaware that women were forced to give their babies up for adoption in the 1950s/60s. The book is well written and just heart breaking. The instant I closed the book I was so thankful for the rights I have as a woman living in the 21st century! – Kristin
I cannot possibly imagine taking on the burden Bongiorni & her family did. For one year she vowed to not purchase any items made in China. I think we all know that this task would be almost impossible. While the book was okay, I wish she incorporated more research. It read a bit more like a whiny memoir. Still though, I had to finish the book to find out if they made it for the whole year! – Kristin
There really isn’t much text in this book, but I just love it. I always share this title with my friends. If you are practical, sensible and into recycling/repurposing, this book is for you. Waste not want not. Discover new uses for everyday household items like tin foil, baking soda & clothes pins! – Kristin