What’s HOT: Top 10 Nonfiction Books at the Library Right Now!

wrightbros

#1. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot.

Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?

David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading.

When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed.

In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers’ story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.

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tombrow

#2. A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope by Tom Brokaw

From Tom Brokaw, the bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, comes a powerful memoir of a year of dramatic change—a year spent battling cancer and reflecting on a long, happy, and lucky life.

Tom Brokaw has led a fortunate life, with a strong marriage and family, many friends, and a brilliant journalism career culminating in his twenty-two years as anchor of the NBC Nightly News and as bestselling author. But in the summer of 2013, when back pain led him to the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, his run of good luck was interrupted. He received shocking news: He had multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. Friends had always referred to Brokaw’s “lucky star,” but as he writes in this inspiring memoir, “Turns out that star has a dimmer switch.”

Brokaw takes us through all the seasons and stages of this surprising year, the emotions, discoveries, setbacks, and struggles—times of denial, acceptance, turning points, and courage. After his diagnosis, Brokaw began to keep a journal, approaching this new stage of his life in a familiar role: as a journalist, determined to learn as much as he could about his condition, to report the story, and help others facing similar battles. That journal became the basis of this wonderfully written memoir, the story of a man coming to terms with his own mortality, contemplating what means the most to him now, and reflecting on what has meant the most to him throughout his life.

Brokaw also pauses to look back on some of the important moments in his career: memories of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the morning of September 11, 2001, in New York City, and more. Through it all, Brokaw writes in the warm, intimate, natural voice of one of America’s most beloved journalists, giving us Brokaw on Brokaw, and bringing us with him as he navigates pain, procedures, drug regimens, and physical rehabilitation. Brokaw also writes about the importance of patients taking an active role in their own treatment, and of the vital role of caretakers and coordinated care.

Generous, informative, and deeply human, A Lucky Life Interrupted offers a message of understanding and empowerment, resolve and reality, hope for the future and gratitude for a well-lived life.

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residence

#3. The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower

A remarkable history with elements of both In the President’s Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas

America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.

These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion’s 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d’oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level’s basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love.

Combining incredible first-person anecdotes from extensive interviews with scores of White House staff members—many speaking for the first time—with archival research, Kate Andersen Brower tells their story. She reveals the intimacy between the First Family and the people who serve them, as well as tension that has shaken the staff over the decades. From the housekeeper and engineer who fell in love while serving President Reagan to Jackie Kennedy’s private moment of grief with a beloved staffer after her husband’s assassination to the tumultuous days surrounding President Nixon’s resignation and President Clinton’s impeachment battle, The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House.

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toxsick

#4. TOX-SICK: From Toxic to Not Sick by Suzanne Somers

“It’s as if we are all on a big, chemical drunk, and the hangover is a killer.”
—Suzanne Somers, in TOX-SICK

Pioneering health and wellness advocate, Suzanne Somers, delivers a powerful answer in this expose on the immediate and long-term dangers of living in a world that has become increasingly toxic to our health. The build-up of toxins in our bodies can lead to myriad health concerns — including weight gain, food allergies, brain disorders, cancer, among many others. Moved to investigate by her own family’s plight, Suzanne sits down with environmental doctors and specialists who share eye-opening information and practical advice for how to survive, thrive, and stay healthy today. In Tox-Sick you’ll learn how to effectively detox all your body’s systems and the different survival skills that can save your life, from top experts in the field, including:
DR. SHERRY ROGERS, an environmental doctor for over 40 years, shares the truth about detoxification—and where you will likely be if you don’t take it seriously.
DR. NICHOLAS GONZALEZ shares where cancer comes from and how to manage it by detoxifying the liver and supplementing with enzymes.
DR. RITCHIE SHOEMAKER alerts you to mold toxicity, the newest threat to your brain and wellbeing…and just what to do to fight for your health.
DR. WALTER CRINNION teaches what everyday objects to avoid and the simple diet and lifestyle shifts to clean up your health and home in mere weeks!
DR. STEPHEN SINATRA, America’s leading integrative cardiologist, explains that we have been approaching heart disease all wrong: a healthy gut, detoxed body, and quality fats are each crucial and cardioprotective.
DR. GARRY GORDON shares new protocols for removing toxic lead from the body, as well as ways to keep the most important gland in your body, the thyroid, clean and healthy.

From diet and supplement advice to coconut oil cleanses, everything you need to live clean and enjoy great health is in your hands.

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menowar

#5. Men of War: The American Soldier in Combat at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima by Alexander Rose

In the grand tradition of John Keegan’s enduring classic The Face of Battle comes a searing, unforgettable chronicle of war through the eyes of the American soldiers who fought in three of our most iconic battles: Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima.

This is not a book about how great generals won their battles, nor is it a study in grand strategy. Men of War is instead a riveting, visceral, and astonishingly original look at ordinary soldiers under fire.

Drawing on an immense range of firsthand sources from the battlefield, Alexander Rose begins by re-creating the lost and alien world of eighteenth-century warfare at Bunker Hill, the bloodiest clash of the War of Independence—and reveals why the American militiamen were so lethally effective against the oncoming waves of British troops. Then, focusing on Gettysburg, Rose describes a typical Civil War infantry action, vividly explaining what Union and Confederate soldiers experienced before, during, and after combat. Finally, he shows how in 1945 the Marine Corps hurled itself with the greatest possible violence at the island of Iwo Jima, where nearly a third of all Marines killed in World War II would die. As Rose demonstrates, the most important factor in any battle is the human one: At Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima, the American soldier, as much as any general, proved decisive.

To an unprecedented degree, Men of War brings home the reality of combat and, just as important, its aftermath in the form of the psychological and medical effects on veterans. As such, the book makes a critical contribution to military history by narrowing the colossal gulf between the popular understanding of wars and the experiences of the soldiers who fight them.

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beachfat

#6. Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat? by Lisa Scottoline & Francesca Serritella

The unstoppable, irreverent mother-daughter team presents a new collection of funny stories and true confessions that every woman can relate to. From identity theft to the hazards of bicycling to college reunions and eating on the beach, Lisa and Francesca tackle the quirks, absurdities, and wonders of everyday life with wit and warmth. As Lisa says, “More and more, especially in the summertime when I’m sitting on the beach, I’m learning not to sweat it. To go back to the child that I used to be. To see myself through the loving eyes of my parents. To eat on the beach. And not to worry about whether every little thing makes me look fat. In fact, not to worry at all.”

So put aside your worries and join Lisa and Francesca as they navigate their way through the crazy world we live in, laughing along the way.

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nearlyperf

#7. The Almost Nearly Perfect Couple: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth

The whole world wants to learn the secrets of Nordic exceptionalism: why are the Danes the happiest people in the world, despite having the highest taxes? If the Finns really have the best education system, how come they still think all Swedish men are gay? Are the Icelanders really feral? How are the Norwegians spending their fantastical oil wealth? And why do all of them hate the Swedes?

Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians, on and off, for over ten years, perplexed by their many strange paradoxes and character traits and equally bemused by the unquestioning enthusiasm for all things Nordic that has engulfed the rest of the world, whether it be for their food, television, social systems or chunky knitwear.

In this timely book he leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success and, most intriguing of all, what they think of each other. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterised by suffocating parochialism and populated by extremists of various shades.

They may very well be almost nearly perfect, but it isn’t easy being Scandinavian.

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hiddenstory

#8. The Hidden Story of America at War: Untold Tales from Yorktown to Fallujah by Kenneth C. Davis

Multi-million-copy bestselling historian Kenneth C. Davis sets his sights on war stories in THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF AMERICA AT WAR. In prose that will remind you of “the best teacher you ever had” (PeopleMagazine), Davis brings to life six emblematic battles, revealing untold tales that span our nation’s history, from the Revolutionary War to Iraq. Along the way, he illuminates why we go to war, who fights, the grunt’s-eye view of combat, and how these conflicts reshaped our military and national identity.

From the Battle of Yorktown (1781), where a fledgling America learned hard lessons about what kind of military it would need to survive, to Fallujah (2004), which epitomized the dawn of the privatization of war, THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF AMERICA AT WAR takes readers inside the battlefield, introducing them to key characters and events that will shatter myths, misconceptions, and romanticism, replacing them with rich insight.

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piratew

#9. Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship

Finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea. But two men—John Chatterton and John Mattera—are willing to risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister. At large during the Golden Age of Piracy in the seventeenth century, Bannister’s exploits would have been more notorious than Blackbeard’s, more daring than Kidd’s, but his story, and his ship, have been lost to time. If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history—it will be just the second time ever that a pirate ship has been discovered and positively identified. Soon, however, they realize that cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything aren’t enough to track down Bannister’s ship. They must travel the globe in search of historic documents and accounts of the great pirate’s exploits, face down dangerous rivals, battle the tides of nations and governments and experts. But it’s only when they learn to think and act like pirates—like Bannister—that they become able to go where no pirate hunters have gone before.

Fast-paced and filled with suspense, fascinating characters, history, and adventure, Pirate Hunters is an unputdownable story that goes deep to discover truths and souls long believed lost.

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francis

#10. The Francis Miracle: Inside the Transformation of the Pope and the Church by John L. Allen Jr.

There is no other organization whose inner workings are more secretive than the Vatican – the spiritual and physical center – of the Catholic Church. Now, with a dynamic new leader in Pope Francis, all eyes are upon the church, as this immensely popular Pope seeks to bring the church back from the right to center, in what can almost be described as a populist stance, blurring the lines between politics, religion and culture. With topics including women, finance, scandal, and reform at the fore, never before have so many eyes been upon the church in what could be its defining moment for modern times.

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About Avalon Free Public Library

Avalon is a bustling little shore town in southern NJ. Our small population of 1800 expands to about 30,000 at the height of summer. We like to think that we serve them all and then some! Our goal is to make our library available to our patrons wherever they may roam.

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