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
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.
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
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.
Discover the intriguing stories behind caviar, rubber, barbed wire, the electric chair and the color blue — among others!
Bananas: an American history by Virginia Scott Jenkins — Before 1880, most Americans had never seen a banana, but by 1910 bananas were so common that the streets were littered with their peels.
If Prince William and Kate Middleton's upcoming wedding has piqued your interest in all things royal, then check out the following films and television series from the Library's collection. And don't forget to set your alarm clock for 6:00AM Friday morning to catch all of the festivities!
Elizabeth I by HBO Films
Elizabeth R. Discs 1 & 2 by British Broadcasting Corporation
You've probably heard the expression "Every picture tells a story." Well, it seems that even the most familiar objects have a story to tell. If you've ever wondered about the origins of your microwave, or why teacups have handles, or just where did those foam peanuts in your package came from, then this is the place for you!
At home: a short history of private life by Bill Bryson — While walking through his own home, a former Church of England rectory built in the 19th century, the author reconstructs the fascinating history of the household, room by room. The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade, and on and on.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War. The first shots were fired on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Harbor. Confederate forces let by Brig. General P.G.T. Beauregard demanded the surrender of the fort and opened fire when the Union commander, Maj. Robert Anderson, refused. He was forced to evacuate the next day, however, and this battle became the first engagement of the war. It raged on for four more years until Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulyssses S. Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia.