An education-reference book recommendation: Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2iwgxLg.
This book is published as narrative nonfiction for young readers, but the equal measures of hope and hardship in its pages lend appeal to an audience of all ages.
Book description from Google Books:
A New York Times bestseller“Both moving and memorable, combining the emotional resolve of a memoir with the rhythm of a novel.” —New York Times Book ReviewIn 1945, in a now-famous piece of World War II archival footage, four-year-old Michael Bornstein was filmed by Soviet soldiers as he was carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother’s arms. Survivors Club tells the unforgettable story of how a father’s courageous wit, a mother’s fierce love, and one perfectly timed illness saved his life, and how others in his family from Zarki, Poland, dodged death at the hands of the Nazis time and again with incredible deftness. Working from his own recollections as well as extensive interviews with relatives and survivors who knew the family, Michael relates his inspirational Holocaust survival story with the help of his daughter, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat. Shocking, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, this narrative nonfiction offers an indelible depiction of what happened to one Polish village in the wake of the German invasion in 1939.This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
The book is rated 4.58/5 at goodreads.com, from 658 ratings. See 144 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h6NKgg.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iymN5d.
Google Books preview available in full post.

An education-reference book recommendation: American Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to US Crime Fiction, Film & TV (Pocket Essential series)

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2ixktvs.
Some entries are no more than a paragraph, too short to say much. But Forshaw is immensely knowledgeable about the field and is always worth reading. A hugely entertaining guide that demonstrates the breadth and vitality of the genre in the US.
Book description from Google Books:
The word “Noir” is used here in its loosest sense: every major living American writer is considered (including the giants Harlan Coben, Patricia Cornwell, James Lee Burke, James Ellroy and Sara Paretsky, as well as non-crime writers such as Stephen King who stray into the genre), often through a concentration on one or two key books. Many exciting new talents are highlighted, and Barry Forshaw’s knowledge of–and personal acquaintance with–many of the writers grants valuable insights into this massively popular field. But the crime genre is as much about films and TV as it is about books, and this book is a celebration of the former as well as the latter. American television crime drama in particular is enjoying a new golden age, and all of the important current series are covered here, as well as key important recent films.
The book is rated 4.50/5 at goodreads.com, from 2 ratings.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2h7eqNK.

An education-reference book recommendation: The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2ixt3dJ.
McDonald bookends his long and impressively researched account with a portrait of Casey Gerald, an African-American who delivered a 2014 Class Day speech that’s been viewed online over 200,000 times, and is featured on the school’s “Making a Difference” website.
Book description from Google Books:
A riveting and timely intellectual history of one of our most important capitalist institutions, Harvard Business School, from the bestselling author of The Firm.With The Firm, financial journalist Duff McDonald pulled back the curtain on consulting giant McKinsey & Company. In The Golden Passport, he reveals the inner workings of a singular nexus of power, ambition, and influence: Harvard Business School. Harvard University occupies a unique place in the public’s imagination, but HBS has arguably eclipsed its parent in terms of its influence on modern society. A Harvard degree guarantees respect. An HBS degree is, as the New York Times proclaimed in 1978, “the golden passport to life in the upper class.” Those holding Harvard MBAs are near-guaranteed entrance into Western capitalism’s most powerful realm—the corner office.Most people have a vague knowledge of the power of the HBS network, but few understand the dynamics that have made HBS an indestructible and powerful force for almost a century. As McDonald explores these dynamics, he also reveals how, despite HBS’s enormous success, it has failed with respect to the stated goal of its founders: “the multiplication of men who will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways.” While HBS graduates tend to be very good at whatever they do, that is rarely the doing of good.In addition to teasing out the essence of this exclusive, if not necessarily “secret” club, McDonald explores two important questions: Has the school failed at reaching the goals it set for itself? And is HBS therefore complicit in the moral failings of Western capitalism? At a time of pronounced economic disparity and political unrest, this hard-hitting yet fair portrait offers a much-needed look at an institution that has a profound influence on the shape of our society and all our lives.
The book is rated 3.25/5 at goodreads.com, from 105 ratings. See 24 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2izwpgn.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2izwxMT.

An education-reference book recommendation: The Rituals of Dinner

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2h6ak8Q.
This is a book that, like a great meal, it would be a shame not to share. Read it to a friend who is cooking you dinner. Tell them about Visser on the food fads of her time…
Book description from Google Books:
With an acute eye and an irrepressible wit, Margaret Visser takes a fascinating look at the way we eat our meals. From the ancient Greeks to modern yuppies, from cannibalism and the taking of the Eucharist to formal dinners and picnics, she thoroughly defines the eating ritual. “Read this book. You’ll never look at a table knife the same way again.” The New York Times.”
The book is rated 3.79/5 at goodreads.com, from 389 ratings. See 51 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h5ICZE.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iwS3lj.

An education-reference book recommendation: Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2iwgxLg.
This book is published as narrative nonfiction for young readers, but the equal measures of hope and hardship in its pages lend appeal to an audience of all ages.
Book description from Google Books:
A New York Times bestseller“Both moving and memorable, combining the emotional resolve of a memoir with the rhythm of a novel.” —New York Times Book ReviewIn 1945, in a now-famous piece of World War II archival footage, four-year-old Michael Bornstein was filmed by Soviet soldiers as he was carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother’s arms. Survivors Club tells the unforgettable story of how a father’s courageous wit, a mother’s fierce love, and one perfectly timed illness saved his life, and how others in his family from Zarki, Poland, dodged death at the hands of the Nazis time and again with incredible deftness. Working from his own recollections as well as extensive interviews with relatives and survivors who knew the family, Michael relates his inspirational Holocaust survival story with the help of his daughter, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat. Shocking, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, this narrative nonfiction offers an indelible depiction of what happened to one Polish village in the wake of the German invasion in 1939.This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
The book is rated 4.58/5 at goodreads.com, from 654 ratings. See 144 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h6NKgg.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iymN5d.
Google Books preview available in full post.

An education-reference book recommendation: The Mayor of Casterbridge (Penguin Classics)

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2ivRvMi.
Hardy’s reworking of Oedipus Rex, set in the author’s native Wessex in the 1840s. Michael Henchard, a drunken journeyman labourer…The novel is Hardy’s most powerful study of will and character and the irresistibility of fate.
Book description from Google Books:
A haunting study of guilt and lost love in Penguin Classics, Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge is edited with an introduction and notes by Keith Wilson. In a fit of drunken anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive pride and temper. Subtitled ‘A Story of a Man of Character’, Hardy’s powerful and sympathetic study of the heroic but deeply flawed Henchard is also an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town. This edition includes an introduction, chronology of Hardy’s life and works, the illustrations for the original serial issue, place names, maps, glossary, full explanatory notes as well as Hardy’s prefaces to the 1895 and 1912 editions. Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), born Higher Brockhampton, near Dorchester, originally trained as an architect before earning his living as a writer. Though he saw himself primarily as a poet, Hardy was the author of some of the late eighteenth century’s major novels: The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891), Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), and Jude the Obscure (1895). Amidst the controversy caused by Jude the Obscure, he turned to the poetry he had been writing all his life. In the next thirty years he published over nine hundred poems and his epic drama in verse, The Dynasts. If you enjoyed The Mayor of Casterbridge, you might like George Eliot’s Silas Marner, also available in Penguin Classics. ‘The greatest tragic writer among the English novelists’ Virginia Woolf ‘Visceral, passionate, anti-hypocrisy, anti-repression … Hardy reaches into our wildest recesses’ Evening Standard
The book is rated 3.80/5 at goodreads.com, from 45024 ratings. See 1696 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h7KsZT.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2h5h9r1.

An education-reference book recommendation: Strange Labyrinth: Outlaws, Poets, Mystics, Murderers and a Coward in London’s Great Forest

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2yzMuf3.
What emerges is a work of what you might call reality-non-fiction, having something in common with that other great local export…
Book description from amazon.com:
Strange Labyrinth
The book is rated 4.00/5 at goodreads.com, from 27 ratings. See 8 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yAma4E.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2xR6VAI.

An education-reference book recommendation: The Genius of Birds

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2yr29xa.
And this is before she even begins to unpack the complexity of what bird calls might actually mean, or stand for. There is another world of intelligence out there, and this is a great introduction to it.
Book description from Google Books:
Birds are astonishingly intelligent creatures. According to revolutionary new research, some birds rival primates and even humans in their remarkable forms of intelligence.   In The Genius of Birds, acclaimed author Jennifer Ackerman explores the newly discovered brilliance of birds. As she travels around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research–the distant laboratories of Barbados and New Caledonia, the great tit communities of the United Kingdom and the bowerbird habitats of Australia, the ravaged mid-Atlantic coast after Hurricane Sandy and the warming mountains of central Virginia and the western states–Ackerman not only tells the story of the recently uncovered genius of birds but also delves deeply into the latest findings about the bird brain itself that are shifting our view of what it means to be intelligent.   Consider, as Ackerman does, the Clark’s nutcracker, a bird that can hide as many as 30,000 seeds over dozens of square miles and remember several months later where it put them, or the mockingbirds and thrashers, species that can store 200 to 2,000 different songs in a brain a thousand times smaller than ours.   But beyond highlighting how birds use their unique genius in technical ways, Ackerman points out the impressive social smarts of birds. They deceive and manipulate. They eavesdrop. They give gifts. They kiss to console one another. They blackmail their parents. They alert one another to danger. They summon witnesses to the death of a peer. They may even grieve.   This elegant scientific investigation and travelogue weaves personal anecdotes with fascinating science. Ackerman delivers an extraordinary story that will both give readers a new appreciation for the exceptional talents of birds and let them discover what birds can reveal about our changing world. Richly informative and beautifully written, The Genius of Birds celebrates the triumphs of these surprising and fiercely intelligent creatures.
The book is rated 4.02/5 at goodreads.com, from 2074 ratings. See 386 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2xITgeO.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: .

An education-reference book recommendation: The Village News: The Truth Behind England’s Rural Idyll

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2xPZlpO.
He is – as he admits – no expert, but he certainly has lots of good ideas. The Village News may be a light read but someone in Whitehall should really take it seriously.
Book description from Google Books:
‘An entertaining book, written with Fort’s characteristic conversational style… A real pleasure to read’ – BBC Countryfile   ‘Charming…Mr Fort doesn’t only focus on the visually delightful in village life, he tells it as it is – without any firm conclusion, possibly, but with cordiality and wit.’ – Country Life   ‘A witty, charming and informative book… full of shrewd insights peppered with nostalgia and humour’ – Countryside magazine   ‘The headline news is that village life is still alive and well and it is great fun looking for it’ – Best of British   ‘A chatty and often amusing summary of his enquiries into twenty-odd English villages… Warm and thoughtful’ – The Oldie     ‘A wide-ranging, intelligent and bracingly enjoyable book’ – The Literary Review   ‘Timely, myth-busting march through English rural history… this pedal around the parishes is an entertaining and provocative read on a subject close to every English heart.’ – The Spectator   ‘Meticulously researched and seasoned with wry humour, this is a perceptive and richly rewarding read’ – Mail on Sunday    ‘Tom Fort is one of those delightfully curious sorts of fellow who writes delightfully curious sorts of books about delightfully curious sorts of things… He is – as he admits – no expert, but he certainly has lots of good ideas. The Village News may be a light read but someone in Whitehall should really take it seriously.’ – guardian We have lived in villages a long time.  The village was the first model for communal living.  Towns came much later, then cities.  Later still came suburbs, neighbourhoods, townships, communes, kibbutzes.  But the village has endured. Across England, modernity creeps up to the boundaries of many, breaking the connection the village has with the land. With others, they can be as quiet as the graveyard as their housing is bought up by city ‘weekenders’, or commuters. The ideal chocolate box image many holidaying to our Sceptred Isle have in their minds eye may be true in some cases, but across the country the heartbeat of the real English village is still beating strongly – if you can find it. To this mission our intrepid historian and travel writer Tom Fort willingly gets on his trusty bicycle and covers the length and breadth of England to discover the essence of village life. His journeys will travel over six thousand years of communal existence for the peoples that eventually became the English. Littered between the historical analysis, will be personal memories from Tom of the village life he remembers and enjoys today in rural Oxfordshire.
The book is rated 3.71/5 at goodreads.com, from 7 ratings. See 3 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yz1da8.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2xQqcBZ.

An education-reference book recommendation: The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2xLiF7u.
Feiler plunges into this thicket with verve, intelligence and style. He’s done a miraculous thing, the literary equivalent of breathing life into a figure made of clay — taken a story I’ve been hearing since services were held in the old sanctuary and made me experience it again as if for the first time.
Book description from Google Books:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and Abraham comes a revelatory journey across four continents and 4,000 years exploring how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships, family, and togetherness. Since antiquity, one story has stood at the center of every conversation about men and women. One couple has been the battleground for human relationships and sexual identity. That couple is Adam and Eve. Yet instead of celebrating them, history has blamed them for bringing sin, deceit, and death into the world. In this fresh retelling of their story, New York Times columnist and PBS host Bruce Feiler travels from the Garden of Eden in Iraq to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, from John Milton’s London to Mae West’s Hollywood, discovering how Adam and Eve should be hailed as exemplars of a long-term, healthy, resilient relationship. At a time of discord and fear over the strength of our social fabric, Feiler shows how history’s first couple can again be role models for unity, forgiveness, and love. Containing all the humor, insight, and wisdom that have endeared Bruce Feiler to readers around the world, The First Love Story is an unforgettable journey that restores Adam and Eve to their rightful place as central figures in our culture’s imagination and reminds us that even our most familiar stories still have the ability to surprise, inspire, and guide us today.
The book is rated 3.93/5 at goodreads.com, from 207 ratings. See 54 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yu9kVb.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2yuryWX.