Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Publishing insiders suspect that Behind the Beautiful Forevers: : [life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity] is going to be the big breakout book of 2012. Here is the description from Random House:
Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most-everything girl”—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”
But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.
The Globe 100: Non-Fiction
This is a selection from the Globe & Mail's 100 best-reviewed titles of 2011 - Non-Fiction
For the complete list, go to this link - the non-fiction starts about half way down the page.
Excerpts from the Globe & Mail reviews appear below each title.
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The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1944-1945 by Ian Kershaw
In this remarkable book, Kershaw (author of a definitive biography of Hitler) tells the story of the mass murder and homicidal suicide of the Third Reich in its final days with a mastery of detail so compelling that I could not put it down. A magnificent account of the “twilight of the Nazi gods.” – Jonathan Steinberg
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Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean
Orlean gives us an extraordinary narrative about the careers of the many Rin Tin Tins and the man who “discovered” the canine silent film star. Deeper, larger issues are brought to bear as well: our need for creating permanence; the promise of friendship and how we find completion; our abiding wish to be remembered. – M.A.C. Farrant
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Blue Nights by Joan Didion
This book about the death of Didion’s daughter, Quintana, is heartbreaking in part because it is somewhat jumbled. The shards of memory, shimmering as they are, do not finally fit together, quite. Instead, in its elliptical, kinetic way, the book offers something braver than coherence: a raw and rare integrity that resists resolution. – Leah Hager Cohen
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Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Economic rationality, psychologist Kahneman argues in his brilliant work on how we make choices, is all about coherence and logical consistency. This is a magisterial work, stunning in its ambition, infused with knowledge, laced with wisdom, informed by modesty and deeply humane. If you can read only one book this year, read this one. – Janice Gross Stein
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DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You by Misha Glenny
British writer Glenny’s history of how cyber-crime went from the domain of lone-wolf hackers to a highly organized criminal underworld is entertaining, well written and any number of insightful diagnoses, such as the competitions between hackers, or the reasons why law-enforcement agencies have such difficulty working together. – Jeffrey Hunker
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When the Gods Changed: The Death of Liberal Canada by Peter C. Newman
The end of the Liberals and the rise and fall of Michael Ignatieff animate this important, timely and engaging book, the first to look at the 2011 election, probably a watershed in our history. Few do substantive, long-form journalism like this any more, and no one does it with octogenarian Newman’s eye, ear and ego. – Andrew Cohen
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Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
Check out the New Releases page on the Regina Public Library website.
Here is one of the books mentioned in the Best-Selling Nonfiction Releases:
Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
Summary: Dugard recounts, in her own words, her story of being kidnapped on June 10, 1991. She was 11 years old.
from the Maclean's review: When Jaycee Dugard appeared on TV in an interview with Diane Sawyer last July, her poise was astonishing. The California woman was kidnapped at age 11, held captive for 18 years, and raped repeatedly by her captor, Phillip Garrido. Dugard calmly acknowledged that certain sounds still haunt her—locks clicking, beds squeaking. She radiated compassion for her own children, to whom she gave birth when she was 14 and 17, and both of whom were fathered by Garrido. So dignified, so down-to-earth, so…normal. At least one viewer wondered: how is that possible?
Her new memoir sheds some light. . . . Click here to read the entire Maclean's review.
Don't miss Sh*t My Dad Says
Sh*t My Dad Says (2010) New!
by Justin Halpern
What has got to be one of the most unconventional memoirs out there, Sh*t My Dad Says will make you scream with laughter, and humble you with its sassy insights and basic truths about life (and all the sh*t it brings). What began as Halpern's Twitter feed dedicated to the quotable quotes spewing from his 74 year old dad, morphed into this best-selling book, and is now slated to become a sitcom starring William Shatner as Halpern's father. Do yourself a favour, and don't miss this reading experience; you will treasure every cantankerous, politically incorrect, illuminating pearl of wisdom contained within its pages.
Eating animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
This latest book from the author of Everything is illuminated centers on the factory farm phenomenon. Foer became a vegetarian when his son was born, feeling that he needed to contribute responsibly to the world his son would inherit. He examines development and current practices in factory farming, focusing on its impact on consumer health and purchasing patterns, and on environmental and agricultural issues. He provides an analysis based on statistics from many sources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. He interviewed a number of individuals involved in animal welfare, and toured some small-scale farming operations and slaughter facilities in order to understand the processes involved in bringing an animal to our plates. The book is an indictment against corporate farming in America. He presents a picture of modern day agricultural practice which routinely produces tainted meat, degrades our environment, and is responsible for the obscenely cruel treatment of farmed animals. His broad treatment of the subject includes modern fish farming and large scale fishing practices around the world, and how small family farming operations continue to struggle in the face of enormous pressures from these corporations. He urges us all to be aware of our contribution to the continued suffering of the animals we eat.
A new book is coming out in February that will undoubtedly be one of the best reads of 2010, if not the entire decade:
This Book is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson
Summary: In This Book is Overdue!, acclaimed author Marilyn Johnson celebrates libraries and librarians, and, as she did in her popular first book, The Dead Beat, discovers offbeat and eloquent characters in the quietest corners. In defiance of doomsayers, Johnson finds librarians more vital and necessary than ever, as they fuse the tools of the digital age with love for the written word and the enduring values of truth, service to all, and free speech. This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals who organize our messy world and offer old-fashioned human help through the maze.
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Not sure you believe me when I tell you this will be the most important book you read next year? Well, as any good librarian will tell you, you need to check your source...
Sinful Sweets for the Calorie Conscious
Hungry Girl: 200 under 200
By Lisa Lillien
Hungry Girl is back and she’s hungrier than ever. In this rendition of Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien brings her faithful followers 200 recipes under 200 calories. Who could ask for more? From breakfast ideas to mini meals and who can forget desserts (3 chapters worth no less), there’s something for every taste. Black Forest Cheesecake Parfait anyone? (page 320)
To get more fabulous guilt free recipes, check out Lillien’s first best-selling cookbook called Hungry Girl: recipes and survival strategies for guilt-free eating in the real world which is also available at the Regina Public Library.
Posted by the Rogue Reader
"Memory is a magpie after chips of colored glass and ribbon
rather than the upright accuracy of objective sequence."
--What I Think I Did, Larry Woiwode
I love memoirs -- if I'm going to take time out from novels and read non-fiction, 90% of the time, it's gonna be a memoir. These are often searing accounts of a particular time and place told from a very intimate point of view. I find most biographies and autobiographies too confining -- and ultimately, boring -- in their approach, too literal and chronological an account of an entire life (beginning, middle and end). It's a just the facts, m'am process that fails to inspire me.
Memoirs tend to appeal to our hearts (rather than our minds) and are not afraid to go for the jugular. Whereas its cousins tend to be overly analytical in their appeal to our intellect. From the controversial A Million Little Pieces by James Frey to Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize winning Angela's Ashes, memoirs cover a lot of ground and subjects, and are as unique and varied as the people who write them.
Click on the following book covers for some memorable memoirs available at RPL.
Be sure to check out this suggested reading list compiled by one of our dedicated staff, who is not only a voracious reader herself, but the creative director behind RPL's Book Club in a Bag service, as well as founder of the Dewey Dames book club (comprised of current and past RPL staff).
Frank McCourt dies at age 78
Frank McCourt (19 August 1930 - 19 July 2009)
Beloved Irish-American memoirist Frank McCourt, passed away Sunday, July 19th, at the age of 78. McCourt, who had spent his working career as a high school English teacher in New York City, arrived at fame late in life; he was 66 years old when Angela's Ashes was published -- his bestselling and Pulitzer prize-winning account of an impoverished Irish Catholic childhood in Limerick. McCourt had been battling a type of skin cancer, and succumbed to his illness at a Manhattan hospice.
McCourt also published a follow-up to Angela's Ashes -- 'Tis -- as well as an account of his teaching years, called Teacher Man.
Click here to find Frank McCourt in the RPL catalogue.
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