Non-fiction

The Birds of Pandemonium

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The Birds of Pandemonium: Life Among the Exotic and the Endangered Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781616201364
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Algonquin Books - October 7th, 2014

A backyard filled with 350 endangered birds?  Pandemonium Aviaries began eighteen years ago with the rescue of one bird and has since grown into a recognized breeding facility for threaten species of New Guinea. Owner Michele Raffin has since become a certified aviculturist and a consultant to zoo and other breeders. And yes, all in her backyard.

Robin


Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant

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Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781608198061
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 6th, 2014

This graphic novel provides a first-hand look at the awkward initial conversations with aging parents about disability, assisted living, and death and takes the reader through the struggle to come to terms with the parent-child relationship after the parents are gone. While the specifics of Chast’s story are personal, the journey is universal, and the overall feeling from reading Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant is that of having a good friend nearby during this difficult time of life.

Porter Square Book Club


Serving Victoria

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Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062269928
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Harper Perennial - April 22nd, 2014

From equerries and ladies-in-waiting to grooms and scullery maids, it took thousands of people to keep Queen Victoria's palaces running. Most kept quiet about royal secrets during Victoria's reign, but their letters and diaries reveal everything from the mundane to the scandalous.Sarah


Testament of Youth

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Testament of Youth Cover Image
By Vera Brittain, Mark Bostridge (Introduction by), Shirley Williams (Preface by)
$21.00
ISBN: 9780143039235
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - May 31st, 2005

One of the most heartrending and “romantic” memoirs of World War I. Testament of Youth is a classic, first published in 1933, among the literature of  the Great War, in its description of the impact of the war on women and the middle class. The unimaginable loss and sacrifice of a generation is rendered  beautifully through Brittain’s words. Her experiences as a volunteer nurse (VAD) in the armed services, a university student before and after the war, and a  tireless advocate for peace and feminist causes make this a defining and timeless work. A film version of Brittain’s work releases in the UK  in 2015.

Ellen


Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces

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Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9781451678741
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - July 22nd, 2014

Michelangelo’s impossibilities (antisocial as well as artistic)are the reason we think of an "artist" as other than an anonymous skilled laborer. Arranged around 6 major works, Unger's book beautifully blends history (bad popes, Medicis) biography and perceptive analysis. A fascinating study of an artist and his time (the High Renaissance - with Leonardo, Machiavelli, Raphael, Vasari etc.) regardless of your aesthetic.

Gary


Nightingales

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Nightingales: The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780345451880
Availability: Backordered
Published: Random House Trade - September 13th, 2005

Gill goes beyond a simple biography of Florence Nightingale to take in the whole extended family, part of the wealthy community of reformers that drove England in the 19th century. The story itself is great, but if you're a fan of detail, read to the end: the notes are almost better than the narrative.

Sarah


The Pilot and the Little Prince

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The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery Cover Image
By Peter Sis, Peter Sis (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780374380694
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - May 27th, 2014

This is a perfect example of a picture book that is appropriate for older readers. Peter Sis tells the story of the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, both in extraordinary pictures, and text. Get comfortable and spend time with this incredibly interesting book about an incredibly interesting person. You won’t be sorry.

Carol


Elephant Company

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Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781400069330
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Random House - July 15th, 2014

‘Somewhere on the border of Burma and India...carved on a giant teak tree, are the words BANDOOLA BORN 1897, KILLED IN ACTION 1944.’ Billy Williams, the war hero known as Elephant Bill, said elephants  made him a better man. He loved and trained  them, worked beside them as they carried supplies, built bridges, and transported the sick through WW1 in Burma, and especially mourned Bandoola’s death as an old friend. ELEPHANT COMPANY  is an inspirational war epic; part history, part wildlife adventure, and part biography – all of it poignant and fascinating.

Megan



The Zhivago Affair

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The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780307908001
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact Us for More Info
Published: Pantheon Books - June 17th, 2014

The Zhivago Affair brings to light the involvement of the CIA in the distribution of Pasternak’s epic novel in the USSR which had banned its publication, an involvement which would likely have profoundly disturbed Pasternak had he known about it. But this book tells us much more than just that episode of Doctor Zhivago’s history. It’s really a fuller biographical portrait of the Nobel Prize winning author and a fascinating history of the writing and publication of this his most renowned work undertaken during Stalin’s repressive regime.

Dale


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