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Book Club, Narrative Nonfiction

Consider this your invitation to read and discuss Narrative Nonfiction. We will not be reading cookbooks (though there may be a recipe or two.) No self-improvement books, (though you may find yourself changed for the better.) We will be reading across the genres of nonfiction, from history to adventure, memoir/biography and beyond. Please join us. We meet on the first Thursday of the month at 10:00AM in the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room. Pick up a copy of the next book at the reference desk.

April 2, 2015
Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard By Laura Bates
“Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before -- supermax solitary confinement. (…) Thus begins the most unlikely of friendships, one bonded by Shakespeare and lasting years--a friendship that, in the end, would save more than one life.”

May 7, 2015
Elephant Company: the Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in WWII by Vicki Croke
“Elephant Company chronicles Billy Williams's love for elephants as they provide him lessons in courage, trust, and gratitude. It is also a tale of war and daring. When Japan invaded Burma in 1942, (…) Williams’s war elephants carried supplies, built bridges, and transported the sick and elderly over treacherous terrain.”

June 4, 2015
The Map Thief: the Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps by Michael Blanding
“Once considered a respectable rare-map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley made millions and was highly esteemed for his knowledge; until he was arrested for slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library. Though pieces of the story have been told before, Blanding is the first reporter to gain access to Smiley himself after he'd gone silent.”

July 2, 2015
The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table by Tracie McMillan
“In the tradition of Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed, an ambitious and accessible work of undercover journalism that fully investigates our food system to explain what keeps Americans from eating well and what we can do about it.”

August 6, 2015
Doctored: the Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sanjeep Jauhar
“Provoked by his unsettling experiences, Jauhar has written an introspective memoir that is also an impassioned plea for reform. With American medicine at a crossroads, Doctored is the important work of a writer unafraid to challenge the establishment and incite controversy.”

September 3, 2015
Mrs. Adams in Winter: a Journey in the Last Days of Napoleon by Michael O'Brien
“Early in 1815, Louisa Catherine Adams and her young son left St. Petersburg in a heavy Russian carriage and set out on a difficult journey to meet her husband, John Quincy Adams, in Paris. She traveled through the snows of eastern Europe, down the Baltic coast to Prussia, across the battlefields of Germany, and into a France then experiencing the tumultuous events of Napoleon's return from Elba.”

Past titles read with the Narrative Non-Fiction Book Group. Updated 03/10/2015