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Modern Iran

Illuminating Fiction and Non-Fiction

How well is post-Revolution Iran understood in the West? Today this ancient society is known primarily for the activities of its theocratic government. The following collection of ebooks and audiobooks includes two novels, two memoirs and two analyses. Many of the authors selected were either born in Iran or spent several years in the country. My hope is to offer the reader an insider's perspective on this enigmatic land.    

Grant

24 Hours of Audiobooks

Audiobooks that will keep you occupied

No matter the reason for finding yourself with a lot of time on your hands, there are many ways to make the best of it. One of those ways is by diving into a super long book on audio. All of these books are not only critically acclaimed, but they’ll also take you more than a day to listen to. That’s right, each of these audiobooks clocks in at over 24 hours long, so you won’t find yourself without something to read and listen to for quite a bit.

Ninety Percent of Everything

Seafaring Journeys with Cargo

Nonfiction Explorations of Maritime Shipping

Last year I traveled as a passenger for almost four weeks on two transatlantic cargo ships. Since I've returned, I have been reading books to gain further insight into the world of maritime shipping. Many products we use every day, including the device you're reading these words on and many library books, have journeyed across oceans on cargo ships. Yet, the shipping world is invisible to most of us. Without leaving land you too can journey into this fascinating world by reading the books below.

Lost Children Archive cover

Andrew Carnegie Medals 2020

During the American Library Association Mid-Winter Conference, the winners of the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Non-Fiction were announced. The winners will received their prizes in June.  Below are the winning titles.  Copies are available to check out and download from the library. Fiction

Books by Year 1965-1971

What Year is it, Anyway? Part 1

Five books about 1965-1969 music and culture (with the year in the title!)

I love reading about rock and roll, and I love reading about rock and roll in a historical context. So when I noticed a theme emerging in the stacks of music books at our branches, I took note. That theme was "the year as title," a not-so-subtle bid that tells you exactly what you are in for at first glance. These tomes are fun and informative and so full of music-history-as-sociology minutiae, you can find all kinds of facts you did not know before.  

Cover of the book The Complete Book of Coffee

All about Coffee

Books on coffee beans, the coffee trade, and the glories of the marvelous brew

Ah… coffee. A cuppa, Java, liquid lightning… It gets us on our feet in the morning, it’s our afternoon treat, or it’s our all-day fuel and provider of comfort. In the DMV, two-thirds of us drink at least one cup of coffee every day, and the area is home to some excellent coffee shops (and plenty of Starbucks locations too). But how much do you really know about coffee? How are the beans harvested and processed? What are the particulars of the global trade in coffee? What role has the coffeehouse played over time? What are the medical benefits (and hazards) of coffee?

A People’s History of the United States

"Those Who Do Not Remember the Past...."

Nonfiction on forgotten or obscure American history

You’ve probably heard the George Santayana quote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Or maybe you’ve heard it as, “Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it.” The following recommendations are focused on the history of the United States and include forgotten history, obscure stories, and potentially niche but fascinating historical facts. From the whitewashing of the American wild west to the creation of the United States Postal Service, every book here is about history you may not have learned in school.  

The Public Library: A Photographic Essay

This is What a Library Looks Like

Books about libraries.

When you think of a library what do you see? Do you picture a hushed building with musty shelves and leather-bound volumes? Yes, that’s accurate in some cases, but libraries can stretch beyond physical spaces; they stimulate intellectual curiosity, provide economic and physical relief, and perhaps most importantly, are intersectional institutions that embody a democratic and cooperative spirit.

The Plantagenets

English Royals and Their Families

Most of us get along pretty well with our immediate relatives. However, if you’re royalty, that might not be the case. Rivalry for the crown can create problems in the best of families, as the following books illustrate.   The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones

Algeria is Beautiful Like American

Bad Lands

Travels to Challenging Places

There are places that we are advised or warned not to travel to. There are places that are unstable. There are places that are downright dangerous and that should be avoided at all cost. Syria and Mali come to mind. Our Department of State keeps citizens abreast with its list of “Travel Advisories.” It’s usually a good idea to take a look at this service before embarking upon a trip outside the United States. I’ve selected a few graphic novels and one other book to highlight traveling to countries such as these.

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