Reviews and Blog Posts: nonfiction

Look to the Skies

Do you ever look up to the sky and ponder the moon, planets, and constellations? Wish you knew more about the science behind ice moons, the asteroid belt, space travel, and what the heck NASA is up to? Check out some of these books and know more about what you're looking at when you're looking up!

The Planets, Dava Sobel

scent of the missing: love and partnership with a search and rescue dog

scent of the missing: love and partnership with a search and rescue dog

Dogs are doing their part to help tsunami-ravaged Japan. Remember the photos from Katrina? 9/11? Oklahoma City? Do you ever wonder about the stories behind the search and rescue teams whose photos capture our hearts? Are these people paid rescue workers or volunteers? Could you and your dog form a search and rescue team?

Humans have long used dogs, with their remarkable scenting abilities, to pursue and recover people who have fallen prey to crime, misadventure, or catastrophe. Recent tragedies such as the tsunami in Japan and Hurricane Katrina have brought search and rescue (SAR) recovery to the forefront of daily news. In Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search and Rescue Dog, Susannah Charleson introduces us to this world as she vividly describes the adoption and training of her puppy, Puzzle.

Lammy Finalists Announced Today

Inseparable: Desire Between Women in Literature

The Lambda Literary Foundation announced the finalists for the 23rd annual Lambda Literary Awards today. Winners will be announced on May 26.The Lammys honor achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing.

With 114 finalists in 24 categories of LGBT literature, there will be books of interest to many on this extensive list. Showing the evolution of LGBT publishing, this is the first year that the Transgender category has had enough nominations to be divided into fiction and nonfiction (the Bisexual category was first split just last year). Other categories include Anthology, Children's/Young Adult, Drama, Poetry, SF/Fantasy/Horror, Gay & Lesbian Debut Fiction, Memoir & Biography, Mystery, and Romance.

A Dandy Dozen of Hot New Titles!

The Time-Traveling Fashionista

Are you as excited to be placing holds again on hot new releases as I am? Check out this dandy dozen of great new titles, both fiction and nonfiction, that weren't available a few days ago but are now! What hot new releases are you most excited about?

Fiction

Colorado Authors Series: Carol Denker

Carol Denker

The Fresh City Life My Branch Colorado Authors Series presents Carol Denker, author of Autumn Romance: Stories and Portraits of Love After 50 on Saturday, February 5 at 2:00 p.m. at the Ross Cherry Creek Branch Library.

When Denver author Carol Denker fell deeply in love at age 62, she was startled to see how nothing in society reflected her experience. Not one image of an older couple in love! For almost three years, she traveled the U.S. seeking couples who had found true love in the second half of life--and photographers to take their pictures. The result is a paean to ordinary people who never gave up. Inside Autumn Romances' pages are beautiful black and white photos of mature couples and true tales of courage, coincidence, happiness, and healing.

Educations of Wandering Men

Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L'Amour

Encouraged by Louis L'Amour's call to become a "wandering reader," I discovered three titles that offer adventure and the kinship of wonderful storytellers.

At the age of 15, L'Amour left school and made the world his classroom. In Education of A Wandering Man, he shares, "The greatest gift anyone can give to another is the desire to know, to understand...Life is for delving, discovering, learning."

Popular Science

2010 was a great year for accessible science writing. If you want to learn something and be entertained at the same time, try out some of these recent popular science and natural history titles.

The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean, Susan Casey

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, John Vaillant

For the Birds

I just finished reading Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O'Brien, and it made me think of the other interesting stories of birds and bird watchers out there.

Wesley is a rescued wild bird who the author, a biologist, raises from when he is just days old. O'Brien's insights into owl behavior, along with this very personal story (and absolutely adorable pictures!), make this an interesting and thought-provoking read. If you're interested in finding out about the diversity of birds, try Sy Montgomery's Birdology: Lessons Learned from a Pack of Hens, a Peck of Pigeons, Cantankerous Crows, Fierce Falcons, Hip Hop Parrots, Baby Hummingbirds, and One Murderously Big Cassowary.

Celestial Happenings

Tonight starting around 11:00 p.m. marks the start of a full lunar eclipse. Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year, celebrated by many earth-centered religions. Want to learn more about these phenomena and how people celebrate the Solstice?

Yet Another End of the Year List

It seems like everyone from the New York Times to NPR is coming out with Best Books of the Year lists right now. As "best" is subjective,  I instead offer you some of my favorites in various categories. Most of these are 2010 books, but are some are older books that I first read or listened to this year.

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction (no zombies): The Passage, Justin Cronin

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction (with zombies): The Reapers are the Angels, Alden Bell, Feed, Mira Grant

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