Friday, September 4, 2009

Flavor of the Month Time!

You thought I forgot, didn’t you? You’ve been waiting with bated breath for the next Flavor. Well, buck up, friendly readers, for I will reveal it now: Nonfiction that reads like Fiction! I know, I know, I wish I could have come up with a snappier name, but I wanted to make sure we weren’t including cookbooks and atlases. And these books actually do read like fiction, except they’re true, which makes them all the better. I think sometimes it’s hard to browse the nonfiction section (no, really). I mean, the Dewey Decimal system works well to keep books in their place, and I’m sure the books are pretty happy about it, but I can tell some of you would like something a little more self explanatory. But every career has its mysteries, and the Dewey Decimal system is ours (that and how we are able to deliver such amazing service while keeping the cost low for you, our dear patron). So, about nonfiction. Let’s see, there’s true crime and adventurous travelers. Real haunted towns and audacious hope (memoirs and biographies). And it may be a little overwhelming, but that’s what I and the other friendly librarians are here for. So let’s get started! These suggestions come from the Travel Writing bookmark, so take a look and enjoy!

Cold: Adventures in the World’s Frozen Places by Bill Streever
Streever delivers a poetic, anecdotal narrative complete with polar expeditions, Ice Age mysteries, igloos, permafrost and hailstorms. Two of the most fascinating segments are the arduous task of scientific reconstruction of past climates and the magical navigation of migratory birds to warmer lands. This is a wonderful collection of one man's first-rate observations and commentary about the history and importance of cold to the earth and its occupants.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Like most quests, travel writer Elizabeth Gilbert's didn't come about because she was perfectly happy at home. So she decided to heal herself by dedicating a year to studying the things she believes are critical to a truly happy and fulfilled life.

Whatever you do, Don’t Run by Peter Allison
At age 19, Australian-born Allison headed to Africa for challenge and adventure, planning to stay no more than a year; having found work as a safari guide, he's still there some 13 years later. In this fun, fearless memoir, Allison shares his experiences taking "guests" through the African wilderness, trips that often don't go quite as planned-due especially to the unpredictability of the animals around them.

Assassination Vacation By Sarah Vowell
From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to Key West, cultural critic and radio commentator Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by assassination, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism.

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
In this often hilarious, seductive book Peter Mayle manages to transport us info all the earthy pleasures of Provencal life and lets us live vicariously in a tempo governed by seasons, not by days. George Lang, who was smitten, suggests: "Get a glass of marc, lean back in your most comfortable chair, and spend a delicious year in Provence."

Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
Weiner set out on a yearlong quest to find the world's unheralded happy places. Having worked for years as an NPR foreign correspondent, he'd gone to many obscure spots, but usually to report bad news or terrible tragedies. Now he'd travel to countries like Iceland, Bhutan, Qatar, Holland, Switzerland, Thailand and India to try to figure out why residents tell positive psychology researchers that they're actually quite happy.