Tag Archives: adult non-fiction

Adult Summer Reads: Moving Memoirs

 

Intimate, personal, and heartfelt. These memoirs will take you on a personal journey.

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What is it about memoirs? Is it a voyeuristic streak in the reader? What motivates us to read what celebrities and others have to say about intimate parts of their lives? Perhaps we seek inspiration, perhaps reassurance that for all their glamour famous people have the same mundane problems as we do. Then there is the non-celebrity memoir, why do we want to read about someone else’s friendships, childhoods or family relationships?

Reading any of our Adult Summer Reads: Moving Memoirs selections answers some of these questions. It does help put our lives in perspective to realize that others, famous or not deal with the same highs and lows, health issues both physical and mental, loves, losses and general vicissitudes of life as the average person.

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Mozart’s Starling (by Lyanda Lynn Haupt)

31932836I came across this book at a book event a few month ago. Not knowing much about Mozart or starling, I started reading not knowing what to expect (except for the fact that the person at the even spoke highly of it).

I usually read non-fictions pretty slowly, but not this time. Mozart’s Starling is a lighthearted charming little book inspired by starlings, the most hated birds among ornithologists since it is considered an aggressive invader to the local species, and the fact that the most well respected composer in the world Mozart had a pet starling during his most productive and turbulent years of his short life. In order to understand the bird and how it is like living with one, Haupt raised a baby starling. This book is a mixture of fun facts, unknown history, and reflection on inspiration, harmony, and the natural world.

Part natural history, part story, Mozart’s Starling will delight readers as they learn about language, music, and the secret world of starlings.

You might also like…

The Urban Bestiary

Crow Planet

The Hidden Life of Trees

Wesley the Owl

Corvus

Mozart

The Thing with Feathers

 

 

Vikings, and Tolkien, and Thor, Oh My!

I’ve been exploring Norse mythology and Viking history  off and on for the past year or so, and I thought I would share some of the items we have in the collection that I found interesting. Let’s set sail and travel through Viking history and lore:

Northmen: The Viking Saga, AD 793-1241 by John Haywood – This book is a good one to start with if you’re looking for an overview about the Viking Era. It also demonstrates how far their travels took them – from Europe, to Asia, and of course, North America. It’s informative and well-researched, and I found it really interesting with enough detail and examination to satisfy my curiosity. I also really liked how the author chose to organize the material based on geographical area. If you have a particular interest in English history, follow Northmen with The Norman Conquest: The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England by Marc Morris which explores what led to the Battle of Hastings and its aftermath. For those of you interested in North American history, try Graeme Davis’ Vikings in America.  Although I believe some of Davis’ claims require more proof, and would have liked more information about the artifacts discovered, it may have identified some questions which could lead to further research into the extent of Viking expeditions to North America. Continue reading