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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 Second World War; a Military History

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Corrigan, Gordon(2010)Recently Added Review
The Second World War; a Military History

“Second only to the Black Death of the fourteenth century, the Second World War killed more people than anything else in recorded history, and caused more destruction than earthquake fire or flood.” So Gordon Corrigan gives his valediction to his retelling of World War II. Although we have been here before, Corrigan (military historian and retired British Army officer) provides his own perspective on the events he describes. None of our received heroes escapes Corrigan’s sometime scathing criticisms. Areas of conflict which usually are passed over get their due such as Italy and Burma the Russian campaigns are given the attention sometimes lacking in Western accounts. This reviewer welcomes this addition to the considerable body of World War II literature.

Reviewed by John C., Main Library

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How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran this Country

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O'Brien, Daniel(2014)Recently Added Review
How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran this Country

Take a walk through American history with Daniel O’Brien. As you stroll, he’ll point out interesting facts and bits of trivia about each man who has served in our country’s highest office. He will also tell you how to fight them because you never know when Andrew Jackson might attack you in an alley or on the way to the grocery store. An interesting history book that would be palatable to even the most hesitant history student, the combination of Daniel O’Brien’s writing and Winston Rowntree’s illustrations will have you laughing the entire time. This book is great for history enthusiasts, those with fears of zombie presidents or accidental time traveling, and anyone looking for a bit of humor to brighten their day.

Reviewed by Sarah F., Matthews Branch

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The Dress: 100 Iconic Moments in Fashion

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Hess, Megan(2014)Recently Added Review
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The Dress: 100 Iconic Moments in Fashion

Megan Hess has created not only a wonderfully illustrated book but insight into how the dress fits into society. The book has six chapters with each one offering the reader a glimpse at the very best designers, fashion icons, weddings, music, film and Oscar dresses. Signature looks from designers such as Armani and Chanel, fashion icons Jacqueline Kennedy and Kate Moss, and many more are included. My favorite section was the wedding chapter. Looking at these stunning gowns and reading the stories behind them make the dresses even more gorgeous. Many pop culture dresses are included such as Lady Gaga’s ‘meat dress’, Marilyn Monroe’s pink dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Audrey Hepburn’s LBD (Little Black Dress) from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Reviewed by Angela A., Cornelius Branch

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The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal

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Asbridge, Thomas S.(2014)Recently Added Review
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The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal

Sitting at the left hand of Queen Elizabeth II when she opens Parliament each year is a statue of William Marshal. Notoriously ambitious and political but also loyal, he had the reputation of being a fierce knight, was credited with writing and implementing the Magna Carta and amassing a title and great lands. Perhaps what he is most noted for is the almost unheard of fact that he served five reigning Kings and survived to retire and die in his own bed in 1219. A great Knight and a great Lord, this book is the all-encompassing story of his life and his legacy as the 1st Earl of Pembroke and the title of `the Marshal.`

Reviewed by Deborah D., South County Regional

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The $64 Tomato

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Alexander, William(2006)Recently Added Review
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The $64 Tomato

As any gardener knows, if a garden’s success is measured solely by its bottom line, then very few successful gardens exist. Such is the case in The $64 Tomato, in which author William Alexander battles critters and the land to produce, among other things, his beloved heirloom Brandywine tomatoes. This is an engagingly written story that stretches from the purchase of the author’s house (a serious fixer-upper) through several years of garden harvests. Along the way, there is a marauding groundhog, midnight canning, homemade pasta and a series of other horticultural adventures. And, of course, this story is even better if you, too, have experienced the singular joys (and frustrations) of tending your own garden.

Reviewed by Meredith Y., Matthews Branch

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