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Westerly Sun Column

 

Non-fiction Reads

Recently I was perusing a magazine that had a list of the best books of 2017, so far. It included all types of subjects, but there were definitely a few books that caught my eye. Although I enjoy lots of fiction, non-fiction (usually history) is what I really love to read.

Animals Strike Curious Poses is a collection of essays by Elena Passarello. The essays investigate a different famous animal named and immortalized by humans. Beginning with Yuka, a 39,000-year-old mummified woolly mammoth that was recently found in the Siberian permafrost. The book itself is modeled loosely after a medieval bestiary, which were detailed, illustrated volumes that described animals and rocks. These playful essays traverse history, myth, science, and more, bringing each beast vibrantly to life.

Several months ago there was a segment on CBS Sunday Morning about Douglas Preston’s book, The Lost City of the Monkey God. Preston is the author of one of my favorites, The Monster of Florence. His new book chronicles Preston’s journey to the Honduran interior to find a lost city of immense wealth. In 2012, evidence of such a city was discovered through technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. Preston and the research team battled nature as they ventured into the forest with the hopes of confirming this discovery, and found more than they bargained for during the dangerous journey.

The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South by John T. Edge reveals how the South came to be at the forefront of American culinary culture, and how issues of race have shaped Southern cuisine over the last six decades. The fascinating book tells the story of food and politics in the South over the last half century, beginning with the pivotal role of cooks in the Civil Rights movement. Noted authority John T. Edge narrates the South's food evolution, and traces how the food of the poorest Southerners has become the signature trend of modern American haute cuisine. 

As always, come by the library to browse the shelves to find a book, movie, music, or both!

 

by Caroline Badowski, Reference Librarian