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Favourite Nonfiction of 2019


Here are some of our favourites from the many books that we have read so far in 2019 - we loved them, and hope that you will too! Keep checking back for additions to this newest list of "must reads". All guaranteed to get you thinking.

Sims, Stacy T.

I'd like to press this book into as many hands as possible. Sims, trained in exercise physiology and nutrition spent several years at Stanford where she explored gender differences with respect to exercise and eating. This book focuses on her research, firmly planted in science, not on the whims of some celebrity know-nothing popular on the internet. A very readable and actionable book for all women with questions about exercise and eating. Phil (Staff) (Queen's Square Library)

Flannery, Tim F.

Few people seem able to imagine the past much past the 20th century. Flannery can and does in his most readable look over the past 100 million years when Europe was just a couple of islands yet to be the landmass of so much human history. In clear and precise terms he explores the greater history of Europe, from tropical archipelago to the Ice Ages and then the recent history when humans showed up. Full of awe inspiring creatures from the past, Flannery weaves in the stories of the paleontologists and amateur bone hunters alike. Phil Robinson (Staff) (Queen's Square Library) 14/05/19

Østby, Hilde
Adventures in memory

Why do we remember some things and forget others? Can we improve our memory? Where are memories stored in the brain and what do seahorses have to do with memory? This book answers all these questions and more in a fascinating look at memory. Written by sisters, one a neuropsychologist and the other a novelist, the book reads like a novel but explains all the science of memory in an easy to understand manner. If you are at all interested in that intangible thing we call memory, this book is for you. Jessica (Staff) (Hespeler Library) 06/05/19

Roberts, Donna Twichell.
The good food cookbook for dogs

This cookbook features recipes for a variety of doggy treats, from stews and gravies to biscuits and birthday cakes. The recipes are simple and easy to follow, and I found the information about canine nutrition really helpful. My dog particularly enjoyed the Snickerpoodles and Peanut Butter Bones. Two paws up! Jessica Sheff (Staff) (Preston Library)

Newport, Cal.
Digital minimalism

Do you find yourself sneaking glances at your smartphone during a dinner date? If Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are taking up too much room in your life and starting to crowd out everyday pleasures, this book can start your digital detox. Digital minimalism asks you to make strategic choices about your technology to keep your screen time within reasonable limits and avoid the emotional pitfalls of social media. This means not only cutting out tech that isn’t making your life better, but also figuring out smarter ways to use the tech you still want to keep in your daily routine. There are plenty of good recommendations here for anyone who wants to free themselves from unthinking dependency on apps and devices. Meghan Casey (Staff) (Queen's Square Library)

McBride, James
Kill 'em and leave

This is an outstanding biography of a complicated celebrity singer, shadowed by poverty and racism. McBride's writing is direct, funny and fast-moving as we travel with him in his search for the deliberately elusive James Brown. Brown's legacy lives on, and so does the enactment of his contested will, which left his dwindling estate to the poor children of South Carolina, still being devoured by lawyers years after his death. Linda Foster (Staff) (Queen's Square Library)

Sims, Cliff.
Team of vipers

I was intrigued by this book, as the author claimed that it would be written from the perspective of someone who is on Trump's side. Having read several of the other current books about Trump's White House, I thought this might help balance my perspective. And it did. Sims is a good writer, which makes sense as he worked in Trump's communication teams on the campaign and the white house. He is right wing politically, but shares in the book how his personal politics have been informed by his mission trips overseas to work with Muslim refugees. Sims has a compassionate and friendly view of Trump. He thinks highly of the President, but does also share about some perceived weaknesses. Sims is careful to only share about his own direct experiences, so we don't get much of a window into some of the more controversial incidents of the presidency, since he wasn't in the room for those. However, he does share plenty of meaty recollections in a plausible way. Sims comes off as a reliable source in a current world full of unreliable ones about Trump. Sarah Pump (Staff) (Queen's Square Library)