100 Best Nonfiction Books

Time Magazine has just revealed their list of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books. The list is comprised of their choices of the most influential nonfiction books written in English since 1923 (when Time Magazine first published), and are taken from all categories, including biorgraphy, history, politcs, health, business, sports and culture. While lists like these are always subject to debate, it is certainly a starting point for some great reading. Although the Library doesn't own every title, a majority can be found throughout our various collections:

Autobiography / Memoir

The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

Black boy: (American hunger): a record of childhood and youth by Richard Wright; with a forward by Edward P. Jones

Dreams from my father: a story of race and inheritance by Barack Obama

Time Marches On

History is full of days and years which have special meaning. 1492? Columbus discovered America. 1776? America declared its independence. 1929? The stock market crashed. We all learned about these significant dates in school. However, these are just some of the years in history worth remembering - for better or for worse. Check out the following list for more:

69 A.D.: the year of four emperors by Gwyn Morgan

The year 1000: what life was like at the turn of the first millennium: an Englishman's world by Robert Lacey, Danny Danziger

The National Jukebox

The Library of Congress recently unveiled a fantastic new site called the National Jukebox which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. Included are more than 10,000 recordings orginally made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925 that were originally issued on labels now owned by Sony Entertainment. Available selections come from several genres including classical, blues, ragtime, jazz, religious, spoken word and even yodeling and whistling! The database will be increased on a regular basis with contributions from other Sony-owned labels such as Columbia and Okeh.

Eating Green

Looking for tasty, fresh ingredients? A smaller grocery bill? A smaller carbon footprint? A smaller waistline? Check out these great titles for an organic solution:

Anna Getty's easy green organic : cook well, eat well, live well by photographs by Dan Goldberg and Ron Hamad

Clean food : a seasonal guide to eating close to the source, with more than 200 recipes for a healthy and sustainable you by Terry Walters

The conscious kitchen : the new way to buy and cook food- -to protect the earth, improve your health, and eat deliciously by Alexandra Zissu

Remembering Peter Falk

Actor Peter Falk, best known for his role as the rumpled cop on the television series Columbo, died Thursday in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 83. He was a five-time Emmy winner for the career-defining role as an absent-minded detective who always got his man. In addition to television, Falk appeared in numerous films and received successive Academy Award nominations for Murder, Inc. and Pocketful of Miracles. He also appeared in the critically acclaimed A Woman Under the Influence and the family favorite The Princess Bride.

Detroit Windsor International Film Festival

moviesel.jpgWednesday, June 22 is the opening night for the 2011 Detroit Windsor International Film Festival, which will take place on Wayne State University's campus. Running through Sunday, the 26th, the festival will screen a variety of short films, documentaries, and music videos. Now in its fourth year, the festival includes several films with local interest. "Cornertore" — about life in a party store on Six Mile Road — and "Fordson: Faith - Fasting - Football" — about an Arab-American high school football team from Dearborn — are just two of the entries with Detroit area ties. A Tech Fair for aspiring filmmakers will also be held on June 25 from 11:30AM to 4:00PM. Tickets for the festival are $5. For more information call (313) 222-8879.

Life is an Adventure!

Agent Zigzag: a true story of Nazi espionage, love, and betrayal by Ben MacIntyre — A charming British thief and con man becomes a spy during World War II – and turns double agent

Beneath the sands of Egypt: adventures of an unconventional archaeologist by Donald P. Ryan — Archaeologist excavates Egypt’s Valley of the Kings

Blood and thunder: an epic of the American West by Hampton Sides — Kit Carson – trapper, soldier and scout in the 19th century Southwest – confronts  Manifest Destiny

Boone: a biography by Robert Morgan — Legendary frontiersman helps open the trans-Appalachian West, and along the way fights in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution

Michigan in the Civil War

More than 90,000 Michigan men — nearly a quarter of the state's male population in 1860 — served in the United States Civil War. Over 14,000 Michigan soldiers died in the service of their country — roughly 1 of every 6 who served. Michigan supplied a large number of troops and several generals, including George Armstrong Custer's Michigan Wolverine Cavalry. In all, Michigan fielded 31 Regiments of Infantry, 11 Regiments of Cavalry, 14 batteries of Artillery, 1 regiment of Sharpshooters, and 1 regiment of Engineers. Among the more celebrated units was the 24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, which suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Gettysburg. To find out more about Michigan's Civil War history check out the following books, DVDs, and websites:

150th Anniversary of the Civil War

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of U.S. Civil War. The first shots were fired on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor. It raged on for four more years until Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. You can learn about Michigan's involvement — by both the military and the civilians — through the eyes of Michigan's Senator Jacob M. Howard who represented Michigan in Congress from 1862 to 1871. The senator will be portrayed by David Tennies, a local Civil War historian and reenactor. Join us on Tuesday evening, June 14 from 7-8:30PM for what should be a fascinating encounter. No registration is required.

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