October 28, 2020
For this month's quest, you will have to explore the NonFiction shelves and discover a title based on facts, real events, and real people! NonFiction is a popular literary genre that allows people to explore our own world and learn about the people, places, and things that inhabit it. Some common sub-genres of NonFiction include:
- Travel Guides & Travelogues
- Political Science
- True Crime
- How-To & DIY Guides
- And many more...
After you've finished your NonFiction book, don't forget to stop by one of our Help Desks to claim your Genre Quest Charm.
Need some inspiration? Check out one of these great titles!
Mill Town: Reckoning with what remains by Kerri Arsenault
A galvanizing and powerful debut, Mill Town is an American story, a human predicament, and a moral wake-up call that asks: what are we willing to tolerate and whose lives are we willing to sacrifice for our own survival? In Mill Town, Arsenault undertakes an excavation of a collective past, sifting through historical archives and scientific reports, talking to family and neighbors, and examining her own childhood to present a portrait of a community that illuminates not only the ruin of her hometown and the collapse of the working-class of America, but also the hazards of both living in and leaving home, and the silences we are all afraid to violate.
Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy by Ben Macintyre
In 1942, in a quiet village in the leafy English Cotswolds, a thin, elegant woman lived in a small cottage with her three children and her husband, who worked as a machinist nearby. Ursula Burton was friendly but reserved, and spoke English with a slight foreign accent. They didn't know that she was a high-ranking Soviet intelligence officer. They didn't know that her husband was also a spy, or that she was running powerful agents across Europe. This true-life spy story is a masterpiece about the woman code-named "Sonya." Her story reflects the great ideological clash of the twentieth century-between Communism, Fascism, and Western democracy-and casts new light on the spy battles and shifting allegiances of our own times. With unparalleled access to Sonya's diaries and correspondence and never-before-seen information on her clandestine activities, Ben Macintyre has conjured a page-turning history of a legendary secret agent, a woman who influenced the course of the Cold War and helped plunge the world into a decades-long standoff between nuclear superpowers.
Children of Ash and Elm: A history of the Vikings by Neil Price
The Viking Age--between 750 and 1050--saw an unprecedented expansion of the Scandinavian peoples. As traders and raiders, explorers and colonists, they reshaped the world between eastern North America and the Asian steppe. Based on the latest archaeological and textual evidence, Children of Ash and Elm tells the story of the Vikings on their own terms: their politics, their cosmology, their art and culture. From Björn Ironside, who led an expedition to sack Rome, to Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir, the most traveled woman in the world, Price shows us the real Vikings, not the caricatures they've become in popular culture and history.
Owls of the Eastern Ice: A quest to find and save the worlds largest owl by Jonathan C. Slaght
When he was just a fledgling birdwatcher, Jonathan C. Slaght had a chance encounter with one of the most mysterious birds on Earth. Bigger than any owl he knew, it looked like a small bear with decorative feathers. He snapped a quick photo and shared it with experts. That first sighting set his calling as a scientist. Despite a wingspan of six feet and a height of over two feet, the Blakiston's fish owl is highly elusive. They are easiest to find in winter, when their tracks mark the snowy banks of the rivers where they feed. They are also endangered. And so, as Slaght and his devoted team set out to locate the owls, they aim to craft a conservation plan that helps ensure the species' survival.
The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A memoir by Sara Seager
In this luminous memoir, an MIT astrophysicist must reinvent herself in the wake of tragedy and discovers the power of connection on this planet, even as she searches our galaxy for another Earth. Sara Seager has always been in love with the stars: so many lights in the sky, so much possibility. Now a pioneering planetary scientist, she searches for exoplanets--especially that distant, elusive world that sustains life. But with the unexpected death of Seager's husband, the purpose of her own life becomes hard for her to see. Suddenly, at forty, she is a widow and the single mother of two young boys. For the first time, she feels alone in the universe. As she struggles to navigate her life after loss, Seager takes solace in the alien beauty of exoplanets and the technical challenges of exploration. At the same time, she discovers earthbound connections that feel every bit as wondrous, when strangers and loved ones alike reach out to her across the space of her grief. Probing and invigoratingly honest, The Smallest Lights in the Universe is its own kind of light in the dark.
If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation invented the future by Jill Lepore
A brilliant, revelatory account of the Cold War origins of the data-mad, algorithmic twenty-first century, from the author of the acclaimed international bestseller, These Truths. The Simulmatics Corporation, founded in 1959, mined data, targeted voters, accelerated news, manipulated consumers, destabilized politics, and disordered knowledge--decades before Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Cambridge Analytica. Silicon Valley likes to imagine it has no past but the scientists of Simulmatics are the long-dead grandfathers of Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Borrowing from psychological warfare, they used computers to predict and direct human behavior, deploying their "People Machine" from New York, Cambridge, and Saigon for clients that included John Kennedy's presidential campaign, the New York Times, Young & Rubicam, and, during the Vietnam War, the Department of Defense. Jill Lepore, distinguished Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, unearthed from the archives the almost unbelievable story of this long-vanished corporation, and of the women hidden behind it. In the 1950s and 1960s, Lepore argues, Simulmatics invented the future by building the machine in which the world now finds itself trapped and tormented, algorithm by algorithm.
Finish the Fight!: The brave and revolutionary women who fought for the right to vote by the Staff of the New York Times.
Who was at the forefront of women's right to vote? We know a few famous names, like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but what about so many others from diverse backgrounds--black, Asian, Latinx, Native American, and more--who helped lead the fight for suffrage? On the hundredth anniversary of the historic win for women's rights, it's time to celebrate the names and stories of the women whose stories have yet to be told.
Torpedoed: The true story of the World War II sinking of "The Children's Ship" by Deborah Heiligman
Amid the constant rain of German bombs and the escalating violence of World War II, British parents by the thousands chose to send their children out of the country: the wealthy, independently; the poor, through a government relocation program called CORB. In September 1940, passenger liner SS City of Benares set sail for Canada with one hundred children on board. When the war ships escorting the Benares departed, a German submarine torpedoed what became known as the Children's Ship. Out of tragedy, ordinary people became heroes. This is their story.
Teen Cuisine by Matthew Locricchio
This cookbook for teens presents more than fifty recipes for teenagers who want to cook, with detailed instructions and advice on ingredients, kitchen equipment, and cooking techniques.
The Secret Life of Spies by Michael Noble
Meet double agent Nathalie Sergueiew, who helped collect information for the Allies during World War II; high-altitude pilot Gary Powers, who flew to great heights to take photographs of Soviet military installations; and mathematical genius Alan Turing, whose incredible work helped crack Nazi encryptions. These incredible people, along with a host of other amazing individuals, have all helped shaped the history of espionage through their dedicated work.
Ick!: Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinner, Dwellings, and Defenses by Melissa Stewart
From award-winning author Melissa Stewart comes the grossest journey through the animal world you'll ever take. From ants to zebras, get ready to discover some seriously strange animal behaviors. Slurp up soupy insides with houseflies, spit sticky saliva to build nests with birds, and fend off predators with poop-flinging caterpillars and farting snakes. And that's just the tip of the dung pile! These yucky habits may seem surprising to us, but they're totally normal for these animals. In fact, their survival depends on them.
I Am Not a Label: 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists from past to present by Cerrie Burnell
This book brings together 34 disabled artists, thinkers, athletes and activists from past and present. Find out how these iconic figures have overcome obstacles, owned their differences and paved the way for others by making their bodies and minds work for them. These short biographies tell the stories of people who have faced unique challenges which have not stopped them from becoming trailblazers, innovators, advocates and makers. Each person is a leading figure in their field, be it sport, science, maths, art, breakdance or the world of pop. Challenge your preconceptions of disability and mental health with the eye-opening stories of these remarkable people: Ludwig van Beethoven, Gustav Kirchoff, Henri Matisse, Eliza Suggs, Helen Keller, Frida Kahlo, John Nash, Stephen Hawking, Temple Grandin, Stevie Wonder, Nabil Shaban, Terry Fox, Peter Dinklage, Wanda Diaz Merced, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, Dr Victor Pineda, Farida Bedwei, Stella Young, Lady Gaga, Arunima Sinha, Naoki Higashida, Isabella Spingmuhl Tejada, Aaron Philip, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Redouan Ait Chitt, Jonas Jacobsson, Trischa Zorn, Ade Adepitan, and Nick Jonas.
3D Pinters by Julie Murray
Technology keeps progressing and advancements in 3D printers will continue to amaze mankind for years to come. Readers will learn about amazing inventions throughout the years, what they do, why they're important, and what technology of the future might look like. This title is at a Level 3 and is specifically written for transitional readers.
Baby Loves the Five Senses: Touch! by Ruth Spiro
Accurate enough for experts, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the science of touch. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby's sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two as well.
Odin, Dog Hero of the Fires by Emma Bland Smith
One October night in 2017, when wildfire raged in Sonoma and Napa counties, the Hendel family was suddenly evacuated from their homes and farms to escape to safety and forced to leave behind their Pyrenees dog, Odin. Odin refused to leave his nightly post of guarding the family's eight young goats, despite the family's desperate attempts to lead him away. Brokenhearted, the Hendels were sure they would never see their dog again. But when the fire calmed and the family returned home, to their shock they found Odin singed yet safe, along with all the goats and several orphaned deer the dog had protected as well. Odin, Dog Hero of the Fires is a touching and inspirational true tale that honors the bravery and strength of Odin as well as commemorates the stories of those affected by the Tubbs Fire.