Nonfiction Recommendations

A Lifetime of Fiction: The 500 Most Recommended Reads for Ages 2 to 102

If you are an avid reader like myself you are always on the lookout for a good book. While browsing the shelves I came upon a helpful and valuable title which includes book lists for all ages. A Lifetime of Fiction contains lists of award winning titles (old and new), and includes recommendations from chief libraries, schools, and parenting organizations. The first five chapters list the top 100 books for divided age groups, from preschoolers (2-5) to Adults (18+), and include an annotation and picture of the book cover.

Sweet Miniatures

I own the first edition of this cookbook filled with tantalizing recipes for desserts in miniature form.  In this revised edition, cookbook author/teacher Flo Braker includes everything from the first edition along with new recipes.  It’s arranged, like many cookbooks, with an introduction, equipment list, ingredients, and tips.  At the end, you’ll find sections on planning ahead, index by type of miniature (bar, drop, etc.), freezing and storing information, an alphabetical index, and table of equivalents.

Upgrading your Mac Illustrated

The “maker” phenomenon has grown over the past few years. Many towns have maker spaces like All Hands Active and Maker Works in Ann Arbor and many in metro Detroit including Mt. Elliott Makerspace, OmniCorpDetroit, both in the City itself .

Buckley : William F. Buckley Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism

I first became acquainted with Bill Buckley, or WFB as he was often known in his magazine National Review, through a series of television appearances he made in the late 1960s arguing conservative positions against liberal champion Gore Vidal.  I was too young to really grasp much of what they were saying, but could tell from the reactions of adults around me that Buckley wasn't the most popular man in the world.  This was further reinforced by the comedy of then popular impressionist David Frye, who would portray Buckley as a sort of lizard.

The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love

Dr. Tashiro has a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert for the Discovery Network’s Fit & Health Channel. He proposes that we realistically get only three wishes in selecting an ideal partner. This is because the odds become more statistically improbable as one’s list of desirable traits becomes longer. For example, a woman who wants a man who is six feet tall or taller has immediately limited her pool to 20% of men. Thus if a room contained 100 available men initially, 80 just walked out the door.

My Gentle Barn

Ellie Laks had a difficult childhood, always feeling more connected to animals than people.  When she realized that others found her odd, she tried to fit in by using drugs, but realized that she was hiding pain with addiction.  She began life anew, and when she started her first animal rescue shelter, knew that she had found her life work.

Haunted Empire: Apple after Steve Jobs

Under CEO and visionary leader Steve Jobs, Apple flourished and created many innovative products. But what has happened to Apple since Jobs died in 2011? Kane, a veteran tech industry reporter, took a look, and Haunted Empire is her response. She opens with Job’s death and a brief look at how he ran Apple, then moves to an examination of Apple’s leadership under current CEO Tim Cook, whom Jobs himself selected for the top job.

Second Opinions

Harvard physician and New Yorker staff writer Dr. Jerome Grossman explores the role of second opinions in medicine through the stories of eight different medical cases, including that of his own infant son and grandfather.  The personal dramas contained in each story holds reader interest; Dr. Grossman writes with compassion as patients and their families grapple with difficult decisions regarding medical treatment.

The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health

This is an entertaining and informative book, intended to “present a worldview—and to motivate people to action.” Early chapters discuss zoo gorillas, whose health markedly improves when they’re fed a diet that closely mimics what their species eats in the wild; the health of our paleolithic ancestors and how it changed after the Agricultural Revolution, as illustrated by human fossils housed at Harvard’s Peabody Museum; and how the Law of Moses may have given Jews an advantage in staying healthy and alive, given that its many rituals promote good hygiene that

Hubble : Imaging Time and Space

In 1965 my father and I visited Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, which houses the largest refractor telescope in the world. The observatory sold packets of glossy black & white photographs of planets and star clusters that I still possess. I thought then they were as interesting as any photographs could be. Today I have three telescopes with which I ply the heavens from my backyard in Ypsilanti, but if you want to appreciate what these celestial objects are really like, this is the book for you.

Destiny of the Republic

"Thus has passed away the faithful boy, the obedient son, the product of struggling toil, the ambitious, untiring student, the successful teacher, the brave soldier, the victorious commander, the long-tried congressman, the recognized statesman, the senator elect, the President whose beginnings were so grandly auspicious." From the Ypsilanti Commercial Newspaper, Saturday, September 24th, 1881.


The Beatles were certainly icons of my youth in the 1960s.  Their impact was immediate in 1964 when they arrived with the rest of the British Invasion.  Girls in my class who had only the year before been singing jump rope songs were now experts at all the Beatles hits, and hardly a day went by when the radio wasn’t marveling at yet another hotel operator who was selling one inch square samples of bedsheets the boys had reputedly slept on for $5.00 a crack.  Like many boys of the era, I watched nearly adult women writhe and scream en masse and wondered what on the earth

The Soul of Medicine: tales from the bedside

Sherwin Nuland, physician and author of  the award winning title “How We Die”, has written a short book on the practice of medicine.  Nuland gathers vignettes from a variety of medical practitioners (surgeon, cardiologist, internist, etc.) and presents them in the style of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, with each story illustrating aspects of the field of medicine such as the doctor-patient relationship, the mentor-student relationship, or topics such as medical ethics or the impact of technology on the practice of medicine.  In the end, Nuland writes,

Angela's Ashes

The 1997 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for biography, Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes is an engaging, entertaining memoir by a skilled storyteller. The eldest son born in Brooklyn to immigrant Irish parents who returned to their native country to live in on public assistance in the slums of Limerick, McCourt recounts the dismal circumstances of his desperately poor youth.

An Unintended Journey: A Caregiver's Guide to Dementia

When the author’s mother, a feisty, independent woman, fell and was hospitalized, it became obvious that her cognitive issues had advanced to such a degree that she could no longer live alone.  Thus begins the “unintended journey” of the title as the author is suddenly thrown into the role of caregiver and all that it entails. Given her mother’s prickly personality and desire to stay in her own home, assisted living was not a good option to start, although health issues eventually resulted in a move to an assisted living facility.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

Allie Brosh has created a delightful book from her also delightful (and award-winning) web blog of the same name.  Somewhere between a graphic novel and an illustrated memoir, Hyperbole consists of short essays of varying degrees of  piercing wit and hilarity as Allie (represented by a very expressive line drawing) interacts with the world inside and outside of her head.  Some new material and some of the best of her blog (Simple Dogs, The God of Cake) — the Allie of her book is a wildly sophisticated commentator on the human (and canine) condi

American Mirror : The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell

Art critic Deborah Solomon spent ten years in meticulous research of Norman Rockwell, including many interviews with friends and family members who granted access to archival and private material.  The result is her wonderfully engaging biography of a man everyone knew from his Saturday Evening Post covers, but few reallyknew.  Rockwell was an insecure, anxiety-ridden individual who constantly undervalued his artistic talent.  Art critics and museum curators virtually ignored him as merely an illustrator not on par with serious artists; but he was a superb visual storyteller

Harvey Pekar's Cleveland

Harvey Pekar, along with R. Crumb (with whom he often collaborated) is disputably one of the most influential people in the world of independent comics. While R. Crumb and many others in the Underground Comix movement of late sixties San Francisco started to open up the medium, Pekar's later influence was huge. In the seventies, in cultural opposition to the corporate dominance of the comic medium with stories of superheroes, which still pervades, Pekar started writing American Splendor, a comic about his everyday life as a file clerk at a VA hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.

Untold History of the United States

The chapter headings give the best overview of the subject matter covered.  Noted filmmaker Oliver Stone has  written a book as vitally important as Howard Zinn’s Peoples History of the United States. A look behind the headlines and White House/CIA/Pentagon controlled  news, this is an  eye-opener. Also available as a  BOCD; DVD available Spring 2014 of 10-part documentary television series.

Paradise Under Glass

The subtitle of this delightful read is An Amateur Creates a Conservatory Garden; this is the memoir of science writer Ruth Kassinger as she plans and populates her own backyard conservatory (also called a winter garden or glass house).  Dealing with a death in her family and her own cancer diagnosis, she decides to create a new lease on life for herself and family.  Once the construction is done, Ruth ventures out to various conservatories as well as her local garden center expert to find the perfect plants for her indoor environment.  As she talks

Long Time Leaving

Nationally known writer and humorist Roy Blount Jr. is both a Southerner and a Northerner. He was raised in Georgia and maintains strong Southern ties, but he has lived in the North since moving there after college. In this collection of essays Blount reflects on these two distinctive American regions with his signature humor. The book opens with a general introductory essay and the reader immediately gains an understanding of Blount’s attitudes and beliefs regarding the North and the South.

Mothers Who Can't Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters

Many women have difficulty navigating an adult relationship with their mothers.

One Doctor: close calls, cold cases, and the mysteries of medicine

Dr. Brendan Reilly, a well-known medical educator and researcher, currently works in New York City as an educator, administrator, and hospitalist, a doctor that practices only in hospitals.  In this book, Dr. Reilly takes a look at the practice of medicine in the United States, with emphasis on the role of doctors and the doctor-patient relationship.  Throughout, Dr.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Never having gotten around to watching The Office, I first became aware of Mindy Kaling through her relatively new TV show, The Mindy Project. After avidly devouring the entire first season, I began to hunt around for more information on her and, lo and behold, I found this book. Knowing, of course, that many times what an actress or actor puts on the screen doesn't always reflect who they actually are, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I cracked open the cover and started reading.

Regions of Cooperation Report

Did you know that you can use your YDL library card at many different libraries in Metro Detroit? Any library on this list with an asterisk by its name is part of the reciprocal borrowing agreement of The Library Network, our local library cooperative! That means people who live in those districts can check out materials from our library and we can check out from theirs, like one big family! But where did these cooperatives come from? Are there other library cooperatives in Michigan?