non-fiction

From podcasts like "My Favorite Murder" to the award winning Showtime miniseries, "Escape at Dannemora," true crime stories are everywhere. The people, motives, emotional fall-out, and ensuing court cases can be fascinating for listeners, watchers, and readers of the genre.

Below are a few of the new true crime books available on library shelves.

The story of poison is the story of power. For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended on tasters, unicorn horns, and antidotes tested on condemned prisoners. Servants licked the royal family's spoons, tried on their underpants and tested their chamber pots.

Ironically, royals terrified of poison were unknowingly poisoning themselves daily with their cosmetics, medications, and filthy living conditions. Women wore makeup made with mercury and lead. Men rubbed turds on their bald spots. Physicians prescribed mercury enemas, arsenic skin cream, drinks of lead filings, and potions of human fat and skull, fresh from the executioner. The most gorgeous palaces were little better than filthy latrines. Gazing at gorgeous portraits of centuries past, wedon't see what lies beneath the royal robes and the stench of unwashed bodies; the lice feasting on private parts; and worms nesting in the intestines.

In The Royal Art of Poison, Eleanor Herman combines her unique access to royal archives with cutting-edge forensic discoveries to tell the true story of Europe's glittering palaces: one of medical bafflement, poisonous cosmetics, ever-present excrement, festering natural illness, and, sometimes, murder. 

What is it like to learn that your ordinary, loving father is a serial killer?

In 2005, Kerri Rawson heard a knock on the door of her apartment. When she opened it, an FBI agent informed her that her father had been arrested for murdering ten people, including two children. It was then that she learned her father was the notorious serial killer known as BTK, a name he'd given himself that described the horrific way he committed his crimes: bind, torture, kill. As news of his capture spread, Wichitacelebrated the end of a thirty-one-year nightmare.

For Kerri Rawson, another was just beginning. She was plunged into a black hole of horror and disbelief. The same man who had been a loving father, a devoted husband, church president, Boy Scout leader, and a public servant had been using their family as a cover for his heinous crimes since before she was born. Everything she had believed about her life had been a lie.

Written with candor and extraordinary courage, A Serial Killer's Daughter is an unflinching exploration of life with one of America's most infamous killers and an astonishing tale of personal and spiritual transformation. For all who suffer from unhealed wounds or the crippling effects of violence, betrayal, and anger, Kerri Rawson's story offers the hope of reclaiming sanity in the midst of madness, rebuilding a life in the shadow of death, and learning to forgive the unforgivable.

While fiction titles are often what is featured in the monthly "Look What's In Large Print..." blog posts, did you know that CPL also regularly purchases non-fiction titles in large print? Shelved at the beginning of the Large Print collection (with new titles displayed on top of the shelves), our non-fiction Large Print titles range from a large print thesaurus to "Alexander Hamilton" by Ron Chernow to various biographies on a wide range of popular individuals like Jimmy Carter, Michael Caine, and Sally Field. 

Below is a sampling of new non-fiction titles available in large print.

Becoming [large print] by 1964- Michelle Obama
Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America--the first African American to serve in that role--she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her--from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it--in her own words and on her own terms. 

Also available in: print

John Kerry tells the story of his remarkable American life -- from son of a diplomat to decorated Vietnam veteran, five-term United States senator, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and secretary of state. A Yale graduate, Kerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1966 and served in Vietnam. He returned home highly decorated but disillusioned, and testified powerfully before Congress as a young veteran opposed to the war. Kerry served as a prosecutor in Massachusetts, then as lieutenant governor, and was elected to the Senate in 1984, eventually serving five terms. In 2004, he was the Democratic presidential nominee and came within one state -- Ohio -- of winning. Kerry returned to the Senate, chaired the important Foreign Relations Committee and succeeded Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in 2013. In that position he tried to find peace in the Middle East, dealt with the Syrian civil war while combating ISIS, and negotiated the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement. Kerry tells stories about colleagues Ted Kennedy and John McCain, as well as President Obama and other major figures. He writes of recovering his faith while in the Senate, and deplores the hyper-partisanship that has infected Washington.

January brings with it a lengthy list of new titles in Large Print. The full range of new Large Print offerings can be found here. This list is updated as additional titles are ordered. 

If you prefer to browse in-person at the library, new Large Print titles are displayed across the top of the shelves in the Large Print area as well as on the sides of each shelf range. Just look for the yellow "New" sticker!

Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

When Armand Gamache receives a peculiar invitation to an abandoned farmhouse, he discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension and frankly curious, Gamache accepts and learns that none of the three executors had ever met the elderly woman . . .

Liar, liar [large print] by 1947- James Patterson
Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Detective Harriet Blue from Never Never is back. And she is hunting her brother's killer. Detective Harriet Blue is a good cop on the run, and now there is a price on her head. However, Harriet is not the only one who has gone rogue. A known killer roams free, searching for his next victim, and leaving a grisly trail to the scene of a long-abandoned cold case. As the police race to save one of their own, Harriet edges toward the dark side. At stake are her innocence and her freedom.

Sara Walker's DIETLAND is not for the faint hearted.  It's a challenging read, thought provoking.  Box office tickets to Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton" are sold out through January 2017; if you can't see the play, then read about the infamous Hamilton/Burr conflict. Fans of GRANTCHESTER, recently shown on local PBS Masterpiece Mystery, will want to read the James Runcie story collections featuring Canon Sidney Chambers and Inspector Geordie Keating. 

Dietland by Sarai Walker

"A fresh and provocative debut novel about a reclusive young woman saving up for weight loss surgery when she gets drawn into a shadowy feminist guerilla group called "Jennifer"--equal parts Bridget Jones's Diary and Fight Club"--.

When auctioneer Wren Morgan begins cataloging the contents of the Campbell mansion, she's unprepared to find something that can't be appraised--a dead man. After the body turns out to be a criminal with ties to a recent jewel heist, Wren comes face-to-face with Death Bogart. A private eye and part-time bounty hunter, Death is searching for the stolen jewels needed to convict a murderer. Death finds a friend and willing ally in Wren, but they aren't the only ones searching for treasure. Two ruthless men are also on the hunt, and they will do anything to eliminate the competition. To survive, Death and Wren must solve two mysteries spanning a century and a half and outwit a pair of cold-blooded killers. Praise: "Ross' thoroughly entertaining debut combines smart details about the auction business with two engaging mysteries and a uniformly appealing cast. Fans of small-town cozies, especially those by Denise Swanson, will love this, as will mystery readers who double as thrift-store aficionados and followers of auction reality shows.

Fun and Activities for the Whole Family

Ruins of Detroit

The ruins of Detroit by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre; with essays by Robert Polidori and Thomas J. Sugrue; [translations by Sébastien de Villèle] Over the past generation Detroit has suffered economically and its urban decay is now glaringly apparent. The authors have documented this disintegration, showcasing with amazing photograhs structures that were formerly a source of civic pride.

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