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Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Listed below are our most recent book reviews for Non-Fiction books. To view additional book reviews, choose a subcategory from the list on the left.

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The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook

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Brown, Ellen(2014)Recently Added Review
The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook

The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook is an idea cookbook for anyone just starting out in cast iron cooking! The book’s 150 modern recipes are prefaced with clear, detailed instructions on how to care for and season your pan, and a few common troubleshooting tips. The recipes span the day from breakfast to desserts. They contain common or easy-to-find ingredients, none with a long list of ingredients, and many are featured in full color photographs. Throughout this book, the reader will get a thorough introduction to the many methods of cooking in cast iron pans, including stovetop, oven, and mixtures of both! While the author has an impressive resume, which included serving as the USA Today food editor, most readers will find this an incredibly accessible cookbook.

Reviewed by Marie H., ImaginOn

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Master thieves : the Boston gangsters who pulled off the world's greatest art heist

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Kurkjian, Stephan(2015)Recently Added Review
Master thieves : the Boston gangsters who pulled off the world's greatest art heist

They stare pleadingly out at the visitor, those empty frames. They await the return of the paintings so brutally stolen from their rightful homes. On March 18, 1990, 13 paintings valued at 500 million were taken from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in what could be described as an amateurish smash and grab. Since then, no trace of the paintings has been found despite some tantalizing leads and mystery sightings. Stephen Kurkjian takes the reader through the murky corners of Boston’s underworld and posits the possible culprits and their reasons for the heist. The FBI has two theories to the artworks’ fate neither of which is encouraging. This reviewer could only look at the empty frames and think of the pieces “wish you were here.`

Reviewed by John C., Main Library

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  Spring 1865 : the closing campaigns of the Civil  War

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Jamieson, Perry F(2015)Recently Added Review
Spring 1865 : the closing campaigns of the Civil War

The final volume of the Great Campaigns of the Civil War takes the reader through the first six months of 1865 as the war grinds to its conclusion. Most know of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia in early April but other Confederate forces were still very active. Two of the major events happened here in North Carolina; (the assault on Fort Fisher near Wilmington and the surrender of the Army of Tennessee at Bennett Place). The final surrenders were in Texas and Oklahoma ironically after the last battle at Palmito Ranch a Confederate victory. Although this reviewer would have to include the cruise of CSS Shenandoah, the author has given us an excellent account of the Civil War’s final days

Reviewed by John C., Main Library

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The Big Book of Sides: More Than 450 Recipes for the Best Vegetables, Grains, Salads, Breads, Sauces, and More

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Rodgers, Rick(2014)Recently Added Review
The Big Book of Sides: More Than 450 Recipes for the Best Vegetables, Grains, Salads, Breads, Sauces, and More

This cookbook, as the subtitle states, is chock full of recipes. Over 450! Many of the recipes call for 10 or less ingredients, and are not complicated to prepare. The author is a chef who often caters special holiday meals, and he includes a few sample menus at the beginning of the book. Even for the sides not included in these sample menus, he gives tips at the beginning of the recipe as to which meats or other sides would pair well together. While not every recipe is photographed, many are, and they are gathered together in full color at two places near the middle of the cookbook. With this many recipes to choose from, every palate is sure to find something to love!

Reviewed by Marie H., ImaginOn

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The Nourishing Homestead

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Hewitt, Ben(2015)Recently Added Review
The Nourishing Homestead

Ben Hewitt and his family live on a 40 acre “practiculture” homestead in Vermont where they raise and grow 90% of the food they eat. In The Nourishing Homestead Hewitt shares how they do everything they do – from what animals they raise and crops they grow, to how they plan out their homestead and how they involve their children. While some of the information is obviously geared toward someone trying to build their own self-sufficient homestead, there is plenty of information that could be helpful to anyone who wants to grow or raise some of their own food. Hewitt has long been writing about food and farming, but this is his most personal book yet detailing his family’s unconventional lifestyle.

Reviewed by Jessica B., Mint Hill Branch

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