Fascinating New Nonfiction for Spring


We Will SurviveWE WILL SURVIVE: TRUE STORIES OF ENCOURAGEMENT, INSPIRATION, AND THE POWER OF SONG, by Gloria Gaynor and Sue Carswell

Remarkable stories reveal that “I Will Survive” has reached people from all walks of life and touched their lives in thousands of unique ways. From individuals triumphing over illness to those suffering from the painful loss of a loved one to others piecing their lives together after bearing witness to national tragedy, “I Will Survive” has become an emotional anthem for them and for millions of Gloria Gaynor’s adoring fans around the world. In We Will Survive, Gloria shares forty of these inspirational, true stories about survivors of all kinds – individuals who have found comfort, hope, and courage through the power of this one song.


FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE WHO SEE: DISPATCHES FROM THE WORLD OF THE BLIND, by Rosemary Mahoney

In the tradition of Oliver Sacks’s The Island of the Colorblind , Rosemary Mahoney tells the story of Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind in Tibet, and of Sabriye Tenberken, the remarkable blind woman who founded the school. Fascinated and impressed by what she learned from the blind children of Tibet, Mahoney was moved to investigate further the cultural history of blindness. As part of her research, she spent three months teaching at Tenberken’s international training center for blind adults in Kerala, India, an experience that reveals both the shocking oppression endured by the world’s blind, as well as their great resilience, integrity, ingenuity, and strength.


DANUBIA: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF HABSBURG EUROPE, by Simon Winder

For centuries much of Europe was in the hands of the very peculiar Habsburg family. An unstable mixture of wizards, obsessives, melancholics, bores, musicians and warriors, they saw off-through luck, guile and sheer mulishness-any number of rivals, until finally packing up in 1918. From their principal lairs along the Danube they ruled most of Central Europe and Germany and interfered everywhere-indeed the history of Europe hardly makes sense without them. Danubia, Simon Winder’s hilarious new book, plunges the reader into a maelstrom of alchemy, skeletons, jewels, bear-moats, unfortunate marriages and a guinea-pig village. Full of music, piracy, religion and fighting, it is the history of a strange dynasty, and the people they ruled, who spoke many different languages, lived in a vast range of landscapes, believed in rival gods and often showed a marked ingratitude towards their oddball ruler in Vienna.


TRAIN: RIDING THE RAILS THAT CREATED THE MODERN WORLD – FROM THE TRANS-SIBERIAN TO THE SOUTHWEST CHIEF, by Tom Zoellner

Tom Zoellner loves trains with a ferocious passion and chronicles the innovation and sociological impact of the railway technology that changed the world, and could very well change it again. From the frigid trans-Siberian railroad to the antiquated Indian Railways to the futuristic MagLev trains, Zoellner offers a stirring story of man’s relationship with trains. Zoellner examines both the mechanics of the rails and their engines and how they helped societies evolve. Zoellner also considers America’s culture of ambivalence to mass transit, using the perpetually stalled line between Los Angeles and San Francisco as a case study in bureaucracy and public indifference. Train presents both an entertaining history of railway travel around the world while offering a serious and impassioned case for the future of train travel


THE MONKEY’S VOYAGE: HOW IMPROBABLE JOURNEYS SHAPED THE HISTORY OF LIFE, by Alan de Quieroz

In The Monkey’s Voyage, biologist Alan de Queiroz describes the radical new view of how fragmented distributions came into being: frogs and mammals rode on rafts and icebergs, tiny spiders drifted on storm winds, and plant seeds were carried in the plumage of sea-going birds to create the map of life we see today. In other words, these organisms were not simply constrained by continental fate; they were the makers of their own geographic destiny. And as de Queiroz shows, the effects of oceanic dispersal have been crucial in generating the diversity of life on Earth, from monkeys and guinea pigs in South America to beech trees and kiwi birds in New Zealand. By toppling the idea that the slow process of continental drift is the main force behind the odd distributions of organisms, this theory highlights the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the history of life.


My Life in MiddlemarchMY LIFE IN MIDDLEMARCH, by Rebecca Mead

Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot’s Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford, and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage and family, Mead read and reread Middlemarch. The novel offered Mead something that modern life and literature did not. In this wise and revealing work of biography, reporting, and memoir, Rebecca Mead leads us into the life that the book made for her, as well as the many lives the novel has led since it was written. Employing a structure that deftly mirrors that of the novel, My Life in Middlemarch takes the themes of Eliot’s masterpiece-the complexity of love, the meaning of marriage, the foundations of morality, and the drama of aspiration and failure-and brings them into our world.


ME, MYSELF, AND WHY: SEARCHING FOR THE SCIENCE OF SELF, by Jennifer Ouellette

As diverse as people appear to be, all of our genes and brains are nearly identical. In Me, Myself, and Why, Jennifer Ouellette dives into the minuscule ranges of variation to understand just what sets us apart. She draws on cutting-edge research in genetics, neuroscience, and psychology-enlivened as always with her signature sense of humor-to explore the mysteries of human identity and behavior. Readers follow her own surprising journey of self-discovery as she has her genome sequenced, her brain mapped, her personality typed, and even samples a popular hallucinogen. Bringing together everything from Mendel’s famous pea plant experiments and mutations in the X-Men to our taste for cilantro and our relationships with virtual avatars, Ouellette takes us on an endlessly thrilling and illuminating trip into the science of ourselves.

To find any of the above titles in the online library catalog, click the titles. From there, you may also place a hold for pickup.

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