Nonfiction Nightstand Titles

Posted on May 2, 2014. Filed under: Nonfiction | Tags: , , , , , , , |

During this Spring’s “What’s on Your Nightstand” event at the beginning of the semester, the following nonfiction books were discussed.

Remember, if Oakton doesn’t own the book or our copy is checked out, you can order a copy to be sent from one of our consortium libraries for FREE! Most books take less than a week to arrive.

book cover for Da Vinci's GhostDa Vinci’s Ghost: Genius, Obsession and How Leonardo Created the World in His Own Image
by Toby Lester

“Everybody knows the image, but nobody knows its story. In 1490, Leonardo da Vinci produced his iconic drawing of a man inscribed in a circle and a square: Vitruvian Man. Today the image appears on everything from coffee cups and T-shirts to corporate logos and spacecraft, and has become the world’s most famous cultural icon. Yet few people know anything about it.

In this remarkable book, Toby Lester, the author of the award-winning Fourth Part of the World, tells the picture’s story, weaving together a saga of people and ideas that sheds surprising new light on the life and work of Leonardo, one of history’s most fascinating figures” (descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Grain BrainGrain Brain: The surprising truth about wheat, carbs and sugar-your brain’s silent killers
by David Perlmutter and Kristin Loberg

“Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that’s been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more.

Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age. He offers an in-depth look at how we can take control of our ‘smart genes’ through specific dietary choices and lifestyle habits, demonstrating how to remedy our most feared maladies without drugs” (descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Joseph AntonJoseph Anton: A memoir
by Salmon Rushdie

“On February 14, 1989, Salman Rushdie received a call from a journalist informing him that he had been ‘sentenced to death’ by the Ayatollah Khomeini. It was the first time Rushdie heard the word fatwa. His crime? Writing a novel, The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being ‘against Islam, the Prophet, and the Quran.’

So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground for more than nine years, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. Asked to choose an alias that the police could use, he thought of combinations of the names of writers he loved: Conrad and Chekhov: Joseph Anton. How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for over nine years? How does he go on working? How does despair shape his thoughts and actions, and how does he learn to fight back?

In this memoir, Rushdie tells for the first time the story of his crucial battle for freedom of speech. He shares the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and the close bonds he formed with his protectors; of his struggle for support and understanding from governments, intelligence chiefs, publishers, journalists, and fellow writers; and of how he regained his freedom. What happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that is still unfolding” (descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Lean InLean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
by Sheryl Sandburg

“Facebook COO Sandberg examines the dearth of women in major leadership positions, and what women can do to solve the problem, in this provocative tome.

While acknowledging that women have made great strides in the business world, she posits that they still have a long way to go and lays out a plan for women to get there. ‘I have written this book to encourage women to dream big, forge a path through the obstacles, and achieve their full potential,’ she explains.

The author’s counsel—gleaned from her own experiences—includes suggestions for increasing self-confidence, particularly in the business world; understanding the role of mentors and how to identify them; building emotional relationships at work; not focusing on being liked; juggling marriage and children with a demanding job; and the importance of taking risks. ‘Hard work and results should be recognized by others, but when they aren’t, advocating for oneself becomes necessary,’ Sandberg opines. A new generation of women will learn from Sandberg’s experiences, and those of her own generation will be inspired by this thoughtful and practical book” (descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for OutliersOutliers: The story of success
by Malcolm Gladwell

“There is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition.

Gladwell argues that the true story of success is very different, and that if we want to understand how some people thrive, we should spend more time looking ‘around’ them—at such things as their family, their birthplace, or even their birth date. And in revealing that hidden logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential” (descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cvoer for Steal Like an ArtistSteal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about  Being Creative
by Justin Kleon

“You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.

When Mr. Kleon was asked to address college students in upstate New York, he shaped his speech around the ten things he wished someone had told him when he was starting out. The talk went viral, and its author dug deeper into his own ideas to create Steal Like an Artist, the book. The result is inspiring, hip, original, practical, and entertaining. And filled with new truths about creativity: Nothing is original, so embrace influence, collect ideas, and remix and re-imagine to discover your own path. Follow your interests wherever they take you. Stay smart, stay out of debt, and risk being boring—the creative you will need to make room to be wild and daring in your imagination” (Amazon).

-posted by Gretchen Schneider

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YEs There is a story that is usually told about extremely successful people, a story that focuses on intelligence and ambition.

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