Non-Fiction Beach Reads Summer 2017


Non-Fiction Beach Reads
Summer 2017
 Think non-fiction can't be enjoyable as a beach read? Think again! Staff has curated a fantastic list of sensational murders, lady pirates, suspense-filled thrillers, fun crafts, oddball humor, comics, science fiction/fact, strange cats, weird people, offbeat cookbooks, the paranormal, the ewwww factor, and salacious romance (ok, not that)....... 
I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons
by Kevin Hart

The award-winning actor and comedian presents an inspirational memoir on the importance of believing in oneself, sharing stories about the addiction and abuse that marked his childhood and how his unique way of looking at the world enabled his survival and successful career.
Man Vs. Child: One Dad's Guide to the Weirdness of Parenting
by Doug Moe

Written from a dad’s perspective, a popular Upright Citizens Brigade performer presents a hilarious parenting guide filled with heartfelt advice that takes on the cringe-inducing questions of childhood and breaks fatherhood down into survival lessons. 
Revenge of the Nerd: Or... the Singular Adventures of the Man Who Would Be Booger
by Curtis Johnathan Armstrong

An account of the comedy veteran's unlikely journey from mid-20th-century misfit to successful actor explores how typecasting cemented his career, exploring his achievements in such productions as Risky Business, Revenge of the Nerds and New Girl. 
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road
by Nick Bilton

Describes how a former boy scout launched Silk Road on the Dark Web, where people could buy anything anonymously including drugs, spying software, forged passports, counterfeit cash and rocket launchers and the Federal agents who spent two years trying to find him.
Scraps, Wilt + Weeds: Turning Wasted Food into Plenty
by Mads Refslund

The co-founder of the celebrated restaurant, Noma, in Denmark presents 100 flavorful and easy-to-follow recipes that use scraps from vegetables, fruits and animal proteins—food that would normally go to waste—and capture the author’s passion and respect for ingredients, nature and the land. 
Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers who Ruled the Seven Seas
by Laura Sook Duncombe

In the first-ever comprehensive survey of the world’s female buccaneers, Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas tells the story of women, both real and legendary, who through the ages sailed alongside—and sometimes in command of—their male counterparts. These women came from all walks of life but had one thing in common: a desire for freedom. From ancient Norse warriors like Awilda, Stikla, and Rusla; to Sayyida al-Hurra of the Barbary corsairs; from Grace O’Malley, who terrorized shipping operations around the British Isles during the reign of Queen Elizabeth; to Cheng I Sao, who commanded a fleet of four hundred ships off China in the early nineteenth century. In this book, pirate women are pulled from the shadows into the spotlight that they deserve.
51 Things to Make with Cardboard Boxes
by Fiona Hayes

Provides step-by-step, illustrated instructions for crafts made with cardboard boxes, including such items as a Christmas tree, a picnic basket, and a robot.
The Book of Magic: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment
by Brian Copenhaver

This is a book filled with incantations, charms, curses, summonings, cures, and descriptions of extraordinary, shadowy, only half-understood happenings from long ago. It features writers as various as Thomas Aquinas, John Milton, John Dee, Ptolemy, and Paracelsus along with anonymous ancient and medieval works that were, in some cases, viewed as simply too dangerous even to open.The Book of Magic will be welcomed by everyone from those with the most casual interest in the magical tradition to anyone drawn to the Renaissance and the tangled, arcane roots of the scientific tradition. 
The Science of Science Fiction
by Matthew Brenden Wood

Uncovers the real science behind classic and modern science fiction stories, exploring such topics as time travel, cloning, artificial intelligence, and life on other planets.
California Dreamin': Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas
by Pénélope Bagieu

Explores the life of Cass Elliot, before she became Mama Cass and gained fame with the Mamas and the Papas, detailing how the singer struggled keep sight of her dream and who she was.
Uneasy: Portraits 1986-2016
by Chris Buck

Uneasy is a book of Chris Buck's portraits of the famous, with 338 color and black-and-white photographs, from 1986 to 2016. For three decades Buck has been carving out a unique space in the world of celebrity portraiture, capturing its ineffability--its danger, its oddness, its warped sense of reality. Uneasy constructs a road map of contemporary culture, featuring a wide range of subjects, including many of the most recognizable names today: President Barack Obama, George Clooney, Joaquin Phoenix, Lena Dunham, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Louis C.K., Philip Seymour Hoffman, William Shatner, Aziz Ansari, Kristen Stewart, Jay Z, Cindy Sherman, Jimmy Fallon and Donald Trump. Many of his portraits have become the iconic images of these subjects, including Steve Martin, Andy Samberg, Chris Farley, Billy Bob Thornton, and Michele Bachmann.
Adventure Cats: Living Nine Lives to the Fullest
by Laura J. Moss

The cofounder of—the first and only resource for information on safely exploring the great outdoors with your feline friend—presents a collection of amazing photos and stories of real-life cats, and all the how-to cat owners need to take their cats beyond the backyard. 
The Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop: Handmade Accessories for Your Tiny Living World
by Janit Calvo

The Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop is the next big thing for the crafters and gardeners already captivated by gardening small. Organized by playful themes—including gardens around the world, holidays, and fantasy gardens—it’s a fun-filled guide to creating one-of-a-kind gardens and the accessories that make them shine. Thirty-seven projects are included with fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions. For a Japanese garden, you will learn how to create a miniature sand garden. For a Halloween garden, you'll learn how to make a flying ghost and zombie. And for a space garden, you'll learn how to make a tiny space ship and alien. The Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop is for anyone enchanted by the whimsy of creating a tiny world.
The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story
by Miriam C Davis

From 1910 to 1919, New Orleans suffered at the hands of a serial killer. The story has been the subject of short stories, novels, and the television series American Horror Story. But the full story of gruesome murders, accused innocents, public panic, the New Orleans Mafia, and a mysterious killer has never been written—until now. Iorlando Jordano and his son Frank were wrongly accused of one of those murders; corrupt officials convicted them with coerced testimony. Miriam C. Davis here expertly tells the story of the search for the Axeman and of the exoneration of the Jordanos. She proves that the person suspected of being the Axeman was not the killer—and that the Axeman continued killing after leaving New Orleans in 1919.
The Vacation Guide to the Solar System: Science for the Savvy Space Traveler!
by Olivia Koski

Imagine taking a hike along the windswept red plains of Mars to dig for signs of life, or touring one of Jupiter's sixty-four moons where you can photograph its swirling storms.  For a shorter trip on a tight budget, the Moon is quite majestic and very quiet if you can make it during the off-season. The Vacation Guide to the Solar System is the must-have planning guide for the curious space adventurer, covering all of the essentials for your next voyage, how to get there, and what to do when you arrive. Written by an astronomer from The American Museum of Natural History and one of the creators of the Guerilla Science collective, this tongue-in-cheek reference guide is an imaginative exploration into the “What if” of space travel, sharing fascinating facts about space, the planets in our solar system, and even some moons!
by Guy Delisle

In this graphic novel, the best-selling author and artist recounts the harrowing story of Christophe André who was kidnapped and held by armed men while he was working for Doctors without Borders in the Caucasus region.
Agent M: The Lives and Spies of MI5's Maxwell Knight
by Henry Hemming

Drawing on declassified documents, family archives and original interviews, a biography follows the great MI5 spymaster and inspiration for the James Bond character M, who did more than any other to break up British fascism during World War II, and also reveals, for the first time in print, the names and stories of the men and women recruited by him. 
Dazzling Duct Tape Designs: Fashionable Accessories, Adorable Décor, and Many More Creative Crafts you Make at Home
by Tamara Boykins

Provides step-by-step instructions for creating such duct tape projects as bracelets, headbands, bookmarks, key chains, and banners.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays
by Samantha Irby

Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire. With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., “bitches gotta eat” blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form.  Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette—she's "35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something"—detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father's ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms—hang in there for the Costco loot—she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.
It's All a Game: The History of Board Games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan
by Tristan Donovan

Board games have been with us longer than even the written word. But what is it about this pastime that continues to captivate us well into the age of smartphones and instant gratification? In It’s All a GameBritish journalist and renowned games expert Tristan Donovan opens the box on the incredible and often surprising history and psychology of board games. He traces the evolution of the game across cultures, time periods, and continents, from the paranoid Chicago toy genius behind classics like Operation and Mouse Trap, to the role of Monopoly in helping prisoners of war escape the Nazis, and even the scientific use of board games today to teach artificial intelligence how to reason and how to win. With these compelling stories and characters, Donovan ultimately reveals why board games have captured hearts and minds all over the world for generations.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Official Pizza Cookbook
by Peggy Paul Casella

Straight out of the sewers and right into the kitchen, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' favorite pizzas are finally yours to create and enjoy! Join Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo on a seriously ooey, gooey, cheesy, adventure inspired by the beloved original cartoon series.
Finding Fibonacci: The Quest to Rediscover the Forgotten Mathematical Genius who Changed the World
by Keith J Devlin

Finding Fibonacci is Devlin's compelling firsthand account of his ten-year quest to tell Fibonacci's story. Devlin, a math expositor himself, kept a diary of the undertaking, which he draws on here to describe the project's highs and lows, its false starts and disappointments, the tragedies and unexpected turns, some hilarious episodes, and the occasional lucky breaks. You will also meet the unique individuals Devlin encountered along the way, people who, each for their own reasons, became fascinated by Fibonacci, from the Yale professor who traced modern finance back to Fibonacci to the Italian historian who made the crucial archival discovery that brought together all the threads of Fibonacci's astonishing story. Fibonacci helped to revive the West as the cradle of science, technology, and commerce, yet he vanished from the pages of history. This is Devlin's search to find him.
Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
by Jim Al-Khalili

This collection of thought-provoking and fascinating essays discusses the latest developments and advances in the search for intelligent life in the universe and includes contributions from cosmologists, astrophysicists, planetary scientists, and the director of the Center for SETI.
The Trials of Walter Ogrod: The Shocking Murder, So-Called Confessions, and Notorious Snitch that Sent a Man to Death Row
by Thomas Lowenstein

This engrossing exposé and investigation into the tragic 1988 murder of four-year-old Barbara Jean Horne and its aftermath leads readers through the facts of the case in compelling, compassionate, and riveting fashion. Award-winning journalist Thomas Lowenstein makes a convincing, evenhanded case for the wrongful conviction of Walter Ogrod, a man with autism spectrum disorder who lived across the street from the girl’s family and who has been on death row since 1996. 
Eat the Beetles!: An Exploration of Our Conflicted Relationship With Insects
by David Waltner-Toews

Who'd have thought a book about entomophagy—the human consumption of insects—could be fun and also a serious investigation of the ecological and cultural issues involved? Waltner-Toews (emeritus, veterinary science, Univ. of Guelph, Ont.) has written about icky subjects before (The Origin of Feces), and here again his combination of witty and critical approaches goes beyond the sensational to ponder deeper questions: Is eating bugs good for us? For them? For the planet? Can an insect-based industry ameliorate the mistakes of the agri-business model? What can insect-eating cultures (comprising some 2 billion people) tell us? General science readers will enjoy Waltner-Toews's roving intelligence, while those squeamish about creepy crawlies will appreciate his disarming humor.
by Calvin Trillin

These stories, which originally appeared in The New Yorker between 1969 and 2010, are vivid portraits of lives cut short. An upstanding farmer in Iowa finds himself drastically changed by a woman he meets in a cocktail lounge. An eccentric old man in Eastern Kentucky is enraged by the presence of a documentary filmmaker. Two women move to a bucolic Virginia county to find peace, only to end up at war over a shared road. Mexican American families in California hand down a feud from generation to generation. A high-living criminal-defense lawyer in Miami acquires any number of enemies capable of killing him.  Stark and compassionate, deeply observed and beautifully written, Killings is “that rarity, reportage as art” (William Geist, The New York Times Book Review).
Never be without a book you love!
Do any of these titles sound interesting to you??



Summer Road Trips: Audio Books for Kids

I do not have a DVD player in my car, and I can honestly say that I NEVER WILL.

My kids enjoy reading, and they L.O.V.E. audio books when we spend any sort of significant time in the car.

We've listened to so many audio books in the car. The ones that really stick out are Harry Potter (difficult with the strong English accents), Magic Tree House, and to date, their favorite audio book was Tuck Everlasting.

We'll be traveling this summer, spending a few days of 10+ hours in the car, and I've got our list of audio books ready to be downloaded on Overdrive!

So what will we be listening to this summer?

The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman. He's fantastic and can't wait to listen to this story!

Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman. This story sounds fantastic (a bit Mulan-like) and I know my trio will LOVE it!


I am also a HUGE fan of John Grisham and have never had the opportunity to read his Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer series, so I have this series all ready to go in my queue. Not sure what the kids will think of it, but if they don't like it, no harm, no foul. Just delete it and move on.


Another of my favorite adult authors that has crossed over to YA is James Patterson. I can not wait to listen to his Maximum Ride series!! Just listen to this synopsis!  "Six unforgettable kids — with no families, no homes — are running for their lives. Max Ride and her best friends have the ability to fly. And that's just the beginning of their amazing powers. But they don't know where they come from, who's hunting them, why they are different from all other humans... and if they're meant to save mankind — or destroy it."

That's the series we're going to start with and I'm pretty confident that I'll be #WINNING after that story!! 9 books in that one series! That could keep us busy the entire summer!!

So, what about you?? What's on your audio books for kids list??

Music Monday: Summertime!

Every summer there seems to be ONE song that becomes my "song of summer."  My trio also seem to pick the same summer songs that I do, and we enjoy jamming out to them at home, in the car, on our bike rides. We turn it up, we sing loudly, and shake our groove thing!

This is our Song of Summer for 2013


This was our Song of Summer 2012


This was our Song of Summer for 2011

This was our Song of Summer for 2010


And kicking it back to the Song of Summer for 1996!!

I Love You Always and Forever  transports me back to a very special time in my life. I was in college and I was home for summer break and had the most amazing group of friends; Nina, Tyke, Pat and Denis. I still have Nina and Denis in my life. Pat I haven't heard from since that summer. and Tyke. Dear Sweet Tyke. He took his own life in 2000. We were the best of friends, always together when I came home from college. We never had a romantic relationship, and I miss him terribly. He was my confidant, my sounding board, my "go-to" wedding date, and so much more.

Do you have a Song of Summer?? What's your 2013 song?