Nonfiction

Meet me by the fountain : an inside history of the mall book cover

Meet me by the fountain : an inside history of the mall

Alexandra Lange

381.11 /Lange
Nonfiction, Business, History

Since their birth in the 1950s, malls have been temples of commerce. Amid the aftershocks of financial crises, a global pandemic, and the rise of online retail, abandoned shopping centers have become one of our era's defining images. Lange chronicles the postwar invention of the mall, and shows how the design of these marketplaces played an integral role in the cultural ascent. She shows that they are environments of both freedom and exclusion, of consumerism but also of community. --

Candice's picture

Oh wow, when I first saw this title, every remnant of my teenaged self reached for the Aqua Net and whatever dayglo clothing I could find! The mall was such a feature of my adolescent years, the word was synonymous with both fashion and social life. Now that I'm older and the wants and ways of people and buying have changed, the mall takes on a bittersweet/wasted space element. Lange's book, however, not only looks back at what the mall was, but also forward, finding ways to repurpose and make equitable the space and resources they provide. Is there hope for the mall yet?? Find out! -Candice

Pandora's jar : women in Greek myths book cover

Pandora's jar : women in Greek myths

Natalie Haynes

292.211 /Haynes
Nonfiction

The Greek myths are among the world's most important cultural building blocks and they have been retold many times, but rarely do they focus on the remarkable women at the heart of these ancient stories. Stories of gods and monsters are the mainstay of epic poetry and Greek tragedy, from Homer to Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, from the Trojan War to Jason and the Argonauts. And still, today, a wealth of novels, plays and films draw their inspiration from stories first told almost three thousand years ago. But modern tellers of Greek myth have usually been men, and have routinely shown little interest in telling women's stories. And when they do, those women are often painted as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil. But Pandora--the first woman, who according to legend unloosed chaos upon the world-- was not a villain, and even Medea and Phaedra have more nuanced stories than generations of retellings might indicate. Now, in Pandora's Jar, Natalie Haynes--broadcaster, writer and passionate classicist-- redresses this imbalance. Taking Pandora and her jar (the box came later) as the starting point, she puts the women of the Greek myths on equal footing with the menfolk. After millennia of stories telling of gods and men, be they Zeus or Agamemnon, Paris or Odysseus, Oedipus or Jason, the voices that sing from these pages are those of Hera, Athena and Artemis, and of Clytemnestra, Jocasta, Eurydice and Penelope.

Anne M's picture

I love Haynes' novel "A Thousand Ships" as well as her podcast, "Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics." This book is also a delight. Haynes provides an incredibly engaging and enjoyable relook at the women of Greek myths, from Medea to Pandora to Clytemnestra to the Amazons. She goes back to the original texts, shows the differences in how their stories are told, how later authors and artists intepreted these women, and how their stories echo into the 21st century. -Anne M

Last call at the Hotel Imperial : the reporters who took on a world at war book cover

Last call at the Hotel Imperial : the reporters who took on a world at war

Deborah Cohen

070.922 /Cohen
Nonfiction, Biographies, History

"Married foreign correspondents John and Frances Gunther intimately understood that it isn't only impersonal, economic forces that propel history, bringing readers so close to the front lines of history that they could feel how personal pathologies became the stuff of geopolitical crises. Together with other reporters of the Lost Generation--American journalists H.R. Knickerbocker, Vincent Sheean, and Dorothy Thompson--the Gunthers slipped through knots of surveillance and ignored orders of expulsion in order to expose the mass executions in Badajoz during the Spanish Civil War, the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, the millions of dollars that Joseph Goebbels salted away abroad, and the sexual peccadillos of Hitler's brownshirts. They conjured what it was like to ride with Hitler in an airplane ("not a word did he say to any soul"); broke the inside story about Mussolini's claustrophobia and superstitions (he "took fright" at an Egyptian mummy that had been given to him); and verified the hypnotic impression Stalin made when he walked into a room ("You felt his antennae"). But just as they were transforming journalism, it was also transforming them: who they loved and betrayed, how they raised their children and coped with death. Over the course of their careers they would popularize bringing the private life into public view, not only in their reporting on the outsized figures of their day, but in what they revealed about their own (and each other's) intimate experiences as well. What were intimate relationships, after all, but geopolitics writ small?"--

Anne M's picture

I thought this book had a slow start, but as soon as we got to Europe and in the thick of war reporting, I was hooked. Learning about Dorothy Thompson, Frances Gunther, John Gunther, H.R. Knickerbocker, and Vincent Sheean and how they reported on Europe in the 1930s and 1940s showed how important journalists are. -Anne M

Hell's half-acre : the untold story of the Benders, a serial killer family on the American frontier book cover

Hell's half-acre : the untold story of the Benders, a serial killer family on the American frontier

Susan Jonusas

364.1523 /Jonusas
Nonfiction, True Crime, History, Literary Nonfiction

"In 1873 the people of Labette County in Kansas made a grisly discovery. Buried on a homestead seven miles south of the town of Cherryvale, in a bloodied cellar and under frost-covered soil, were countless bodies in varying states of decay. The discovery sent the local community and national newspapers into a frenzy that continued for over two decades, and the land on which the crimes took place became known as 'Hells Half-Acre.' When it emerged that a family of four known as the Benders had been accused of the slayings, the case was catapulted to infamy."

Candice's picture

Sometimes, when summer comes, you just want a good, historical true crime book to get lost in. This book does the trick. The author does a good job of telling the eerie story of the Benders and their crimes, while giving context through the descriptions of burgeoning frontier towns, the hardworking people who populated them, the political schemes of the day, and the lawlessness that pervaded an environment that was created by taking the land from one people and giving it to another. A great mix of crime and solid history. -Candice

Mushroom rain book cover

Mushroom rain

Laura K. Zimmermann

j579.6 Zimmermann
Picture Books, Nonfiction, Nature

"Through lyrical text and colorful detailed artwork, the mysterious and sometimes bizarre world of mushrooms is explored. Back matter includes a glossary and science facts"--

Casey's picture

Budding mycologists and those less passionate about fungi will equally enjoy this beautifully illustrated nonfiction title. -Casey

Deliberate evil : Nathaniel Hawthorne, Daniel Webster, and the 1830 murder of a Salem slave trader book cover

Deliberate evil : Nathaniel Hawthorne, Daniel Webster, and the 1830 murder of a Salem slave trader

Renehan, Edward, 1956- author.

364.1523 /Renehan
Nonfiction, True Crime, History

The 1830 murder of wealthy slaver Joseph White shook all of Salem, Massachusetts. Soon the crime drew national attention when it was discovered that two of the conspirators came from Salem's influential Crowninshield family: a clan of millionaire shipowners, cabinet secretaries, and congressmen. A prosecution team led by famed Massachusetts senator Daniel Webster made the case even more newsworthy. Meanwhile, young Salem native Nathaniel Hawthorne-- who knew several of the accused-- observed and wrote.

Candice's picture

This looks to have a lot of interesting facets to it...wealthy and powerful families, a savvy prosecutor, a canny witness to unfolding events, and a murder. And of course, Salem. -Candice

Hell's half-acre : the untold story of the Benders, a serial killer family on the American frontier book cover

Hell's half-acre : the untold story of the Benders, a serial killer family on the American frontier

Susan Jonusas

364.1523 /Jonusas
Nonfiction, True Crime, History

"In 1873 the people of Labette County in Kansas made a grisly discovery. Buried on a homestead seven miles south of the town of Cherryvale, in a bloodied cellar and under frost-covered soil, were countless bodies in varying states of decay. The discovery sent the local community and national newspapers into a frenzy that continued for over two decades, and the land on which the crimes took place became known as 'Hells Half-Acre.' When it emerged that a family of four known as the Benders had been accused of the slayings, the case was catapulted to infamy. The idea that a family of seemingly respectable homesteaders--one among thousands who were relocating further west looking for land and opportunity after the Civil War--were capable of operating 'a human slaughter pen' appalled and fascinated the nation. But who the Benders really were, why they committed such a vicious killing spree, and what became of them when they fled from the law is a mystery that has remains unsolved to this day--not that there aren't some convincing theories. Part gothic western, part literary whodunnit, and part immersive study of postbellum America, Hell's Half-Acre sheds new light on one of the most notorious cases in our nation's history while holding a torch to a society under the strain of rapid change and moral disarray. Susan Jonasus draws on extensive original archival material, and introduces us to a fascinating cast of characters, including the despairing families of the victims as well as the fugitives that helped the murderers escape. Hell's Half-Acre is not simply a book about a mass murder. It is a journey into the turbulent heart of nineteenth century America, a place where modernity stalks across the landscape, violently displacing existing populations and wearily building new ones. It is a world where folklore can quickly become fact, and an entire family of criminals can slip right through a community's fingers, only to reappear at the most unexpected of times"--

Candice's picture

I love true crime and I love history, so this book hits a sweet spot. The writing is so good--super informative and interesting, and vividly descriptive of not just the crimes, but also the time and setting. A good book to kick the summer off with! -Candice

Queer : the ultimate LGBTQ guide for teens book cover

Queer : the ultimate LGBTQ guide for teens

Belge, Kathy, author.

306.766 /Belge
LGBTQ+, Nonfiction, Young Adult, Self Help

Belge and Bieschke give LGBTQ teenagers everything they need to know about dating, coming out, safe sex, dealing with queerphobia, and standing up for their rights. This revised edition is a must-have for all teens who think they might be queer, or know someone who is. -- adapted from back cover.

Candice's picture

Added by Candice

The queer advantage : conversations with LGBTQ+ leaders on the power of identity book cover

The queer advantage : conversations with LGBTQ+ leaders on the power of identity

Gelwicks, Andrew, author.

306.76 /Gelwicks
LGBTQ+, Nonfiction, Memoir, Self Help

"Collecting incisive, deeply personal conversations with LGBTQ+ trailblazers about how they leveraged the challenges and insights they had as relative outsiders to succeed in the worlds of business, tech, politics, Hollywood, sports and beyond, The Queer Advantage celebrates the unique, supercharged power of queerness"--

Candice's picture

Added by Candice

As a woman : what I learned about power, sex, and the patriarchy after I transitioned book cover

As a woman : what I learned about power, sex, and the patriarchy after I transitioned

Williams, Paula Stone, author.

306.768 /Williams
LGBTQ+, Nonfiction, Biographies

As a father of three, married, and holding several prominent jobs within the Christian community, Williams made the life-changing decision to physically transition from male to female at the age of sixty. Almost instantly, her power and influence in the evangelical world disappeared and her family had to grapple with intense feelings of loss and confusion. Struggling to create a new safe space for herself where she could reconcile her faith, her identity, and her desire to be a leader, Williams found that the key to her new career as a woman came with a deeper awareness of the inequities she had overlooked before her transition. In pulling back the curtain on her transition journey, Williams sheds light on the gendered landscape that impacts many in the LGBTQ+ community. She urges men to recognize the ways in which the world is tilted in their favor and validates the experiences of women who have been disregarded based solely on their gender. -- adapted from jacket and Amazon info

Candice's picture

Added by Candice