What a Difference a Year Makes

A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck

By Jane Smiley

Go to catalog

"The Pulitzer Prize--winning author of  A Thousand Acres gallops into territory she first explored in her acclaimed best-selling novel, Horse Heaven with this irresistible account of her lifelong love affair with horses. Smiley draws upon her firsthand knowledge of horses, as well as the wisdom of trainers, vets, jockeys, and even a real-life horse whisperer, to examine the horse on all levels-practical, theoretical, and emotional. She shares not only 'cute stories' about her own horses, but also fascinating and original insights into horse-and human-behavior. To all this she adds an element of drama and suspense as two of her own horses begin their careers at the racetrack. As the sexy black filly Waterwheel and the elegant gray colt Wowie aspire to the winner's circle, we are enchanted, enthralled-and informed about what it's really like to own, train, and root for a Thoroughbred."

Reserve this title

A Year in Provence

By Peter Mayle

Go to catalog

They had been there often as tourists. They had cherished the dream of someday living all year under the Provencal sun. And suddenly it happened. Here is the month-by-month account of the charms and frustrations that Peter Mayle and his wife -- and their two large dogs -- experience their first year in the remote country of the Luberon restoring a two-centuries-old stone farmhouse that they bought on sight. From coping in January with the first mistral, which comes howling down from the Rhone Valley and wreaks havoc with the pipes, to dealing as the months go by with the disarming promises and procrastination of the local masons and plumbers, Peter Mayle delights us with his strategies for survival.

Reserve this title

A Year in the Maine Woods

By Bernd Heinrich

Go to catalog
A professor of zoology and his pet raven spend a year in what we might call "minimalist" surroundings. His phone was in a neighbor's privy! We can enjoy a full and fascinating year outdoors in Maine without leaving the comforts of our living rooms!
Reserve this title

A Year Without "Made in China" -- One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy

By Sara Bongiorni

Go to catalog

On January 1, 2005, Sara Bongiorni's family embarked on a yearlong boycott of Chinese products. They wanted to see for themselves what it would take, in will power and creativity, to live without the world's fastest growing economy—and whether it could be done at all.

Reserve this title

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

By Barbara Kingsolver

Go to catalog

When Kingsolver and her family move from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they take on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally produced diet, paying close attention to the provenance of all they consume. "Our highest shopping goal was to get our food from so close to home, we'd know the person who grew it. Often that turned out to be ourselves as we learned to produce what we needed, starting with dirt, seeds, and enough knowledge to muddle through. Or starting with baby animals, and enough sense to refrain from naming them."

Reserve this title

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology

By Eric Brende

Go to catalog

The author and his spouse spent 18 months in Amish country living without electricity and its dependent technologies. Here he recounts the experience, not only detailing the daily activities and frequent difficulties they found necessary to maintain existence without electricity, but also touting the benefits of such a life and exploring the culture of their adopted community.

Reserve this title

Bomb Squad: A Year Inside the Nation’s Most Exclusive Police

By Richard Esposito and Ted Gerstein

Go to catalog

An unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the men who protect us from the most frightening prospect of life in the age of terrorism.

Reserve this title

Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches From the Unfinished Civil War

By Tony Horwitz

Go to catalog

"Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America's greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance... . Written with Horwitz's signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones 'classrooms, courts, country bars' where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War."

Reserve this title

Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy Brought Our Family Home

By Susan Pohlman

Go to catalog
"Tired, empty, and disillusioned with married life, Susan Pohlman was ready to call it quits. As soon as she and husband Tim wrap up a business trip in Italy, she planned to end their eighteen-year marriage. During their last day as they walked along the Italian Riviera, Tim fantasizes aloud that, perhaps, they could live there. Susan initially dismisses the notion as nonsense but is inexplicably overwhelmed with a desire to give the marriage another try. Defying all logic, the couple find a school for their children and sign a lease for an apartment. Maybe a life in such a charmed setting could help them find their way back to each other. Together with their children, they trade in their breakneck Los Angeles pace for adventure and a slower, more intimate lifestyle. This is the remarkable story of an ordinary American family that inspires and offers hope that all of us who find the courage to listen to our hearts and follow our dreams can experience a new beginning."
Reserve this title

Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets

By Simon David

Go to catalog

"...the classic book about homicide investigation that became the basis for the hit television show The scene is Baltimore. Twice every three days another citizen is shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death. At the center of this hurricane of crime is the city's homicide unit, a small brotherhood of hard men who fight for whatever justice is possible in a deadly world. David Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit, and this electrifying book tells the true story of a year on the violent streets of an American city. The narrative follows Donald Worden, a veteran investigator; Harry Edgerton, a black detective in a mostly white unit; and Tom Pellegrini, an earnest rookie who takes on the year's most difficult case, the brutal rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl."

Reserve this title