Multcolib My Librarian Tama: Great nonfiction that must be read til all hours
Annotation:Did you read Into Thin Air? I think most of Portland did. My book club read Buried in the Sky a few months ago and the vote was that this book was better. A stunning read by a Portland author. Its import is, sadly, even greater since the tragic death of more than a dozen Sherpa climbers on Everest recently.
Annotation:It took Curtis over 30 years to capture all the photographs. It's the kind of work that would change anyone, and it changed him profoundly, from detached observer to fierce advocate. He would die penniless and unknown in 1952, just a few years after publishing the last of his twenty volumes. Fascinating, heartbreaking, stunning read.
Annotation:This book's cover will give the impression that it's deadly dull. Nothing could be further from the truth. Who knows anything about James Garfield, our 20th President? Other than he was assassinated, I mean. The psychotic office-seeker who shot him may have actually fired the gun, but at a time when doctors in America doubted the existence of bacteria, who was it that actually killed Garfield? Narrative history at its finest.
Annotation:The title article is the story behind the setup of Joshua Bell playing for handouts in a Washington, D.C. subway station. Would anyone notice who it was playing the bazillion dollar violin? Almost no one. Every other story ranges from a good+ to brilliant. My favorite is the shortest, only a few pages long, where his father is telling him about a vision problem he's having. I would read Gene Weingarten's grocery list.
Annotation:What happens after a clear cut through a forest in the Great Northwest? Most often, a crew of tree-planters come in and stuff saplings into the ground as quickly as humanly possible. I'm not a poetry sort of person, much to the embarrassment of my English degree, but the spare gorgeousness of this writing is about as close as I will come. Winner of the BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction.
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We nonfiction readers know what we want. We want great writing, we want interesting characters, and we want to love what we're learning. And we don't mind a book hangover from staying up too late reading. We're proud of it.