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Sunday, February 22, 2015

You CAN Handle the Truth: New Non-Fiction Picks February 2015

Posted by the Information Services Department (Gwen B., Amanda E., Lisa E., Kristen R., & Joyce D.)

Here's the latest list of our new non-fiction book picks! Listed below, along with their Dewey Decimal classification, are our top picks of the non-fiction books that looked most interesting, ultra-informative, or just plain fun.

From high heels to protective boots, shoes are powerful objects of desire as well as a practical necessity. They are also fascinating indicators of the fashions, social attitudes, and economic backdrop of the times in which they were made and worn. This lavishly illustrated volume takes the reader on a glorious journey through many centuries of footwear from antiquity to the present, showcasing a dazzling array of shoes from all over the world. 

In a nation where religion plays such a big role, how can you raise a child without God? How do you instill morality, answer questions about mortality, and handle believers who expect to get a one-way ticket to heaven by converting you? Deborah Ann Mitchell, who has blogged and written columns on the subject, provides guidance to agnostics and atheists struggling with how to assert their beliefs in a reasoned, nonconfrontational, and honest manner.

Montgomery Ward's Mail-order Homes includes a field guide to Wardway Homes, with easy-to-read drawings and floorplans, vintage illustrations and original catalog images, contrasted and compared with contemporary photos. Organized by housing style, this field guide will allow readers to quickly determine if their home could be a Wardway Home. This book provides a fascinating look into early 20th Century kit homes that were ordered from the Ward's catalog.

Timeless Toys represents one of the finest documentaries and displays of modern toys ever written. Author Tim Walsh, a successful toy inventor himself, reveals a world of commerce, toys, and wonder that is equally fun, fascinating, and nostalgic. Readers of every age and background will find it impossible to pick up this book, turn a few pages, and not become spellbound by its insightful stories and the personal memories that the text and 420 brilliantly colored photographs bring forth.

In his sci-fi epic Interstellar, Christopher Nolan takes on the infinite canvas of space to deliver a cutting-edge, emotionally charged adventure that will amaze audiences of all ages. Interstellar: Beyond Time ad Space documents the making of Nolan's latest masterpiece in fascinating detail and features interviews with the acclaimed director, along with screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, producer Emma Thomas, and other key members of the production team. Delving into the science and philosophy behind the film, Interstellar: Beyond Time and Space dynamically showcases its incredible concept art, including costume designs, storyboards, and other fascinating preproduction elements.

The African-American actors and actresses whose names have shone brightly on Broadway marquees earned their place in history not only through hard work, perseverance, and talent, but also because of the legacy left by those who came before them. Like the doors of many professions, those of the theater world were shut to minorities for decades. While the Civil War may have freed the slaves, it was not until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's that the playing field began to level. In this remarkable book, theater producer and historian Stewart F. Lane uses words and pictures to capture this tumultuous century and to highlight the rocky road that black actors have traveled to reach recognition on the Great White Way.

A 1977 assignment for Look magazine took Stephen Shames to the Bronx, where he began photographing a group of boys coming of age in what was at the time one of the toughest and most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States. The Bronx boys lived on streets ravaged by poverty, drugs, violence, and gangs in an adolescent "family" they created for protection and companionship. Shames' profound empathy for the boys earned their trust, and over the next two-plus decades, as the crack cocaine epidemic devastated the neighborhood, they allowed him extraordinary access into their lives on the street and in the homes and "crews."

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