Db-Review – Best books 2016 non fiction

Db-Review – Best books 2016 non fiction

Hi CAMPBELLSWORLD VISITORS!!! Please see below, and thanks so much to all who voted!


Subject: [Db-Review] Best books 2016 non fiction

Pleased to announce the results of the Non-fiction best book contest for


There were 27 entries

2 entries had 2 votes a piece

Our very own Patty Fletcher’s book,

Campbell’s rambles: how a seeing eye dog retrieved my life DB83921 

              2 votes for 7% of the votes

In such good company: eleven years of laughter, mayhem, and fun in the

sandbox DB85597

              2 votes for 7% of the votes.

The remaining books have 1 vote a piece.

The Title author, DB and if available RB numbers, reader, annotation and

comments for all books, in alphabetical order, are listed below.  Each

listing is separated by (3) asterisks ***


  1. Browsings: a year of reading, collecting, and living with books


Dirda, Michael. Reading time: 7 hours, 9 minutes.

Read by Bill Delaney.


Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post and author of

Classics for Pleasure (DB 66597) presents the fifty-two columns he wrote for

The American Scholar between February 2012 and February 2013. Explores the

world of book culture with ruminations on language, sales, authors,

publishers, and collecting. 2015

Download Browsings: a year of reading, collecting, and living with books

Comments;  Very interesting thoughts on books, out-of-print books, why

physical books are great, science fiction authors Dirda likes, his

Fullbright to teach in France in the early 1970s before going to Cornell for

a medieval lit Ph.D.  Maybe, I should send him a copy of my soon-to-be-out

book though it’s nothing as erudite as his.


  1. Campbell’s rambles: how a seeing eye dog retrieved my life DB83921 

Fletcher, Patty L. Reading time: 6 hours, 16 minutes.

Read by Suzanne Toren.


A woman recounts her experiences working with a guide dog after using a cane

for thirty-one years. Describes the training process, finding a connection

with her dog, and the impact on her life after returning home from training.

Discusses the effect of her increased independence on personal

relationships. 2014

Download Campbell’s rambles: how a seeing eye dog retrieved my life

Comments:  I chose this book because  it was inspirational to me.  It also

took me back to a wonderful time in my life when I made a connection to my

seeing eye dog.  If it wasn’t for Frannie, I’m certain I wouldn’t have had

the confidence to go out and experience some of the things in my life I did

when I had her. 

2nd submission:  Since I have never had a guide dog, I was very interested

in reading in detail about the experiences of someone getting a guide dog

for the very first time.  It was even more interesting since the author is

someone I know, someone on this list, someone I have talked to on the phone

and exchanged emails with


  1. The canon: a whirligig tour of the beautiful basics of science



Angier, Natalie. Reading time: 15 hours, 58 minutes.

Read by Madelyn Buzzard.

Science and Technology

Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist reviews the fundamental principles

of chemistry, physics, biology, geology, and astronomy that she thinks the

educated populace should understand. Asserts that basic scientific literacy

is required for informed opinions on such issues as global warming,

alternative energy, embryonic stem-cell research, and missile defense. 2007.

Download The canon: a whirligig tour of the beautiful basics of science

Comments: Given the broad subject matter the author does an excellent job at

introducing the non-scientist to fundamental concepts of physics, molecular

and evolutionary biology, astronomy, chemistry and geology.  The book is a

little dated for example, the human genome project had not finished mapping

the human body when this was written, but the scientific concepts which the

author explores are still relevant 


  1. Clapton: the autobiography DB65207 


Clapton, Eric. Reading time: 12 hours, 35 minutes.

Read by Erik Sandvold.

Music Appreciation and History

Autobiography of rock musician Eric Clapton, who performed with the

Yardbirds, Cream, and Blind Faith until going solo. Describes his childhood

in rural England, rise to stardom, alcohol and drug addictions, affairs and

marriages, and personal road to recovery. 2007.

Download Clapton: the autobiography

Comments;  Since this is the musical genre I listened to as my favorite

preference, it was interesting to realize that these rock icons are actually

people who make mistakes and suffer just like the reader does


  1. Dreamland: the true tale of America’s opiate epidemic DB82460

Quinones, Sam. Reading time: 16 hours, 49 minutes.

Read by J.P. Linton.

Psychology and Self-Help

Health and Medicine

True Crime

Journalist investigates the impact of addiction to opiates, including

morphine, OxyContin, and heroin. Focusing particularly on the town of

Portsmouth, Ohio, the author discusses the ways people become addicted and

the ways those addictions are fed, primarily through prescriptions and drugs

smuggled from Mexico. 2015

Download Dreamland: the true tale of America’s opiate epidemic


  1. A fighting chance DB78668

Warren, Elizabeth. Reading time: 11 hours, 19 minutes.

Read by Elizabeth Warren.

Government and Politics


United States senator from Massachusetts Warren (born 1949) details her

family history, early years as a lawyer, and advocacy of consumer

protections. Explains her vision for the ways the government can assist in

the stabilization of the middle class. Narrated by the author. Unrated.

Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2014.

Download A fighting chance

Comments;  She makes me believe further, deeper & stronger that we do have

the right, the ways, the capacities & the responsibility to BE A

SURVIVING/THRIVING Middle Class of committed American citizens


  1. Furiously happy: a funny book about horrible things DB83517


Lawson, Jenny. Reading time: 8 hours, 22 minutes.

Read by Jenny Lawson.

Psychology and Self-Help


Lawson, better known as “The Bloggess,” returns with another collection of

essays following Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (DB 74647). Candid and

conversational, topics range from taxidermy to cat stories to honest

revelations about the author’s struggles with mental illness. Unrated.

Commercial audiobook. 2015.

Download Furiously happy: a funny book about horrible things

Comments:  The author brings the reader into her world of mental illness

without whining or self-pity.  She simply shared what it is like to be her

and helped me to empathize with a dear friend of mine


  1. Hamilton: the revolution DB84175

Miranda, Lin-Manuel; McCarter, Jeremy. Reading time: 6 hours, 5 minutes.

Read by Mariska Hargitay.


Music Appreciation and History

An account of the creation of the hugely successful musical about an

unlikely topic: founding father Alexander Hamilton. The show’s creator and

cultural critic McCarter chronicle Hamilton from its start as a performance

at the White House. Includes the full libretto with commentary from Miranda.

Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2016.

Download Hamilton: the revolution

Comments:  Like so many people I know, I was absolutely mind-blown and

entranced by the music from the Broadway smash, “Hamilton.” For a Hamilton

addict like me, this book is the perfect accompaniment. It gives some

behind-the-scenes accounts of the play, from inception to performance. You

also get a greater sense of Linn Manuel-Miranda himself, both as a creative

genius and a regular guy. This book isn’t long nor is it exhaustive, but

it’s a great deal of fun


  1. In order to live: a North Korean girl’s journey to freedom DB82685

Park, Yeonmi. Reading time: 9 hours, 39 minutes.

Read by Eji Kim.


Social Sciences

Government and Politics

World History and Affairs

An autobiographical recounting of life in the repressive North Korean

society in which the author was raised, and her subsequent escape. She

describes her family, the culture of leader worship, her father’s

imprisonment and torture, and how, even after her escape, she was sold into

sexual slavery in China. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

Download In order to live: a North Korean girl’s journey to freedom

Comments:  I had no idea before reading this book how terrible people’s

lives are in North Korea.  This valiant girl takes a journey through hell to

get to freedom for herself and her family.  A truly eye opening book with

the realization how very blessed we are to live in a free country.


  1. In such good company: eleven years of laughter, mayhem, and fun in

the sandbox DB85597  

Burnett, Carol. Reading time: 8 hours, 3 minutes.

Read by Carol Burnett.

Stage and Screen

Actress and comedian reminisces about her groundbreaking TV program The

Carol Burnett Show, which ran from 1967 to 1978. Includes stories about the

cast, guests, and some of her favorite skits from the show. Unrated.

Commercial audiobook. 2016.

Download In such good company: eleven years of laughter, mayhem, and fun in

the sandbox

Comment:  What can I say? I was raised on the Carol Burnett show. To this

day, certain episodes from her shows still pop up in my conversations with

family and friends.  As an added bonus, the  download includes a recording

of Carol singing  her theme song, with all the verses during her final

episode. OK. So you really need to be a Carol Burnett fan for this.

2nd submission:  I loved this book because I was a Carol Burnett fan from

the time I saw her on the old Gary Moore show, and I loved her variety show

on Saturday nights


  1. Infamy: the shocking story of the Japanese American internment in

World War II DB82586

Reeves, Richard. Reading time: 10 hours, 21 minutes.

Read by Barry Bernson.

War and the Military

U.S. History

Historian Richard Reeves recounts the American internment of thousands of

Japanese Americans after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He discusses

the process of rounding them up, citizens and aliens alike, and the

conditions of their imprisonment. Reeves utilizes survivor interviews,

letters, memoirs, and various archives as sources. Some strong language.


Download Infamy: the shocking story of the Japanese American internment in

World War II

Comments:  Discusses the internment of  120,000 Japanese-Americans after the

attack on Pearl Harbor told through the stories of several individuals.  I

had always known about this part of our history but had not really known

much about it and this book gave me a better understanding of what happened

and why.  The individual stories really brought this to life for me. 


  1. Jim Henson: the biography DB82632

Jones, Brian Jay. Reading time: 21 hours, 20 minutes.

Read by Kirby Heyborne.

Stage and Screen

The creator behind the Muppets is profiled, from his youth in Mississippi to

his untimely death at only fifty-three. Interviews with Henson’s family,

friends, and colleagues, as well as access to the archives of his company

help round out a portrait of the imaginative puppeteer and filmmaker.

Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2013.

Download Jim Henson: the biography

Comments: I’ve always been a huge fam of the Muppets and this biography

offered a thorough presentation of Henson’s life with a good mix of personal

and stage and screen details.  I very much enjoyed learning how the Muppets

came into existence and re-living the excitement of that TV show


  1. Killing the rising sun: how America vanquished World War II Japan


O’Reilly, Bill; Dugard, Martin. Reading time: 9 hours, 24 minutes.

Read by Robert Petkoff.

War and the Military

A depiction of the Pacific Theater of World War II in 1944 and 1945. General

Douglas MacArthur has made a triumphant return and plotted a full-scale

invasion of Japan, even as Oppenheimer and his team test their bomb. Told in

the same style as Killing Reagan (DB 83693). Unrated. Commercial audiobook.


Download Killing the rising sun: how America vanquished World War II Japan

Comments:  This is a book everyone should have to read. After reading this

book no one would want to use a nuclear bomb again. This book is full of

many things you have probably never heard about even if you have read many

books on the war against Japan. This book is also very good even if you

don’t like to read war stories because it tells about some people life story

about how they survived the two atomic bombs in Japan. It also tells about

what they did the rest of their lives after the bomb was drop. You will find

their life stories very interesting and it will bring a tear to your eyes

like it did mine


  1. A mother’s reckoning: living in the aftermath of tragedy DB83764

Klebold, Sue; Solomon, Andrew. Reading time: 11 hours, 27 minutes.

Read by Andrew Solomon.

True Crime


In 1999, teens Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed thirteen and wounded

others before shooting themselves at Columbine High School. Drawing upon her

journals, videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and interviews with

mental-health experts, Dylan’s mother chronicles her efforts to come to

terms with the incomprehensible. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2016.

Download A mother’s reckoning: living in the aftermath of tragedy

Comments;  I was impressed with the candid way Sue Klebold put everything

out there and didn’t sugar coat it, sharing her feelings about her son who

she loved, and her attempts to come to grips with what he had done. 


  1. Murder at the Brown Palace: a true story of seduction & betrayal


Kreck, Dick. Reading time: 8 hours, 16 minutes.

Read by Sharon Huckins. A production of Colorado Talking Book Library.

True Crime

On May 24, 1911, one of the most notorious murders in Denver’s history

occurred. This riveting tale involves high society, adultery, drugs,

multiple murder and more, all set in Denver’s grand old hotel, the Brown

Palace. As foreword writer and historian Tom Noel proclaims, “Hollywood

murder mystery writers could not have contrived a thriller as chilling as

this factual account.”

Download Murder at the Brown Palace: a true story of seduction & betrayal

Comments:  This wasn’t a fabulous book but it told of an event which

happened in Denver in 1911 at a beautiful hotel which I have visited and I

knew nothing of this event which was rather like a soap opera with a violent



  1. Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the raid on Entebbe Airport,

the most audacious hostage rescue mission in history DB83119

David, Saul. Reading time: 14 hours, 52 minutes.

Read by Peter Ganim.

World History and Affairs

Historian recounts the 1976 hijacking of a flight from Tel Aviv to Paris by

a group of Arabs and Germans demanding the release of 53 terrorists. He

describes the mission to rescue the hostages after the flight’s diversion to

Uganda. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.

Download Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the raid on Entebbe Airport,

the most audacious hostage rescue mission in history


  1. Rawhide down: the near assassination of Ronald Reagan DB73178

Wilber, Del Quentin. Reading time: 10 hours, 48 minutes.

Read by Robert Sams.

True Crime

U.S. History

Chronicles the March 30, 1981, assassination attempt on seventy-year-old

president Ronald Reagan by mentally ill gunman John Hinckley Jr. Discusses

the heroism of Secret Service Agent Jerry Parr and the wounding of D.C.

police officer Thomas Delahanty, press secretary James Brady, and Secret

Service Agent Tim McCarthy. 2011.

Download Rawhide down: the near assassination of Ronald Reagan

Comments;  Definitively a great read so that we who were to young to

understand or care of world news, could catch on what happened on that

important day, on which US history might have repeated itself once again. 


  1. Sally: unconventional success DB31611

Raphael, Sally Jessy; Proctor, Pam. Reading time: 6 hours, 53 minutes.

Read by Mimi Bederman.

Stage and Screen


Raphael’s climb to the top was not an easy one because she was trying to

break into a male-dominated field. From her first jobs as a radio talk-show

host in places such as Puerto Rico, Miami Beach, and Bridgeport,

Connecticut, to her winning an Emmy in 1989 as the year’s best talk-show

host, her candid autobiography will give readers an insight into the hard

times–and the good–in her struggle to reach stardom.

Download Sally: unconventional success

Comments; In a world with puffed up celebrities eager to share every

thought, this book was a refreshing change.  Sally didn’t achieve success

easily or quickly.  She struggled with doubt. She got hurt along the way but

remained true to the vocation she loved.  The love of her husband and her

willingness to take chances so much a part of faith were a constant theme in

this book.  I read this book longing to spend time with this creative fun

loving couple, their family and friends.  You will too.  It is one of the

best books about a celebrity I have read.    


  1. Silent witness: the Karla Brown murder case DB37568

Weber, Don W; Bosworth, Charles. Reading time: 14 hours, 23 minutes.

Read by Ray Foushee.

True Crime


In 1978, twenty-two-year-old Karla Brown was raped and brutally murdered in

the basement of her newly purchased Wood River, Illinois, home. Prosecuting

attorney Weber and reporter Bosworth discuss the years-long investigation,

the lack of evidence to tie the crime to either of the two main suspects,

and the out-of-town experts who provided the instructions to finally crack

the case. Bestseller.

Download Silent witness: the Karla Brown murder case

Comments:  Choosing my non-fiction book was easy, but it was a really tough

decision for my favorite fiction.  There were 2 other books that contended

for my nomination.  I finally went with this one mainly based on the

narrator.  NLS got the commercial edition and Simon Vance is an outstanding



  1. Smarter faster better: the secrets of being productive in life and

business DB84171

Duhigg, Charles. Reading time: 10 hours, 25 minutes.

Read by Mike Chamberlain.

Psychology and Self-Help


A reporter for the New York Times asks why some people are so much more

productive than others. He interviews neurologists, business leaders,

government officials and more, coming up with certain qualities that

productive people all share. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller.


Download Smarter faster better: the secrets of being productive in life and


Comments:  When I downloaded this title I was expecting a productivity

manual of sorts.  Instead I found a book that used real world stories to

highlight insights into becoming more productive and finding motivation.  I

particularly appreciated the sections that talked about the impact that

making choices for oneself, even if those are small insignificant, leads to

a sense of control in situations largely outside of one’s control.   


  1. Teaching your computer to talk–a manual of command and response


Teja, Edward R. Reading time: 6 hours, 39 minutes.

Read by Richard Dorf.


A do-it-yourself guide and sourcebook describing voice technology and its

application to computers. Includes chapters on speech recognition and

synthesis, talking data bases, applications for handicapped people,

converting text to speech, existing voice technology systems, and “chatty”


Download Teaching your computer to talk–a manual of command and response


  1. Time on fire: my comedy of terrors DB43714

Handler, Evan. Reading time: 9 hours, 54 minutes.

Read by Gregory Gorton.


Health and Medicine

A young actor’s candid chronicle of his five-year battle with leukemia.

Recounts with grim humor the horrors of chemotherapy, the excruciating pain

of bone marrow aspirations, and the furtive sessions of “hospital sex” with

his girlfriend. Conveys the will to survive that he believes led to his

recovery. Strong language and descriptions of sex.

Download Time on fire: my comedy of terrors

Comments; This book provided what seemed to be a realistic story of fighting

cancer and all that goes along with it. Both the funny and the sad were

incorporated to round it out,


  1. To hell and back: the last train from Hiroshima DB83367

Pellegrino, Charles R. Reading time: 17 hours, 7 minutes.

Read by Michael Scherer.


War and the Military

World History and Affairs

A narrative accounting of the events and aftermath of the nuclear bombing of

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The author draws on accounts from survivors

and forensic archaeology findings. He also includes stories from those who

fled Hiroshima, only to be bombed once more in Nagasaki. Violence. 2015.

Download To hell and back: the last train from Hiroshima

Comments:  This is the most informative and readable accounts of the two

events in August, 1945 that brought about the end of World War II. Nothing

is spared in the descriptions and Uncle Sam doesn’t come out looking like a

saint, just so you know


  1. When breath becomes air DB83643 


Kalanithi, Paul; Verghese, A. Reading time: 5 hours, 37 minutes.

Read by Sunil Malhotra; Cassandra Campbell.

Health and Medicine



On the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon,

the author was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Kalanithi wrote about

his own experience with dying to help others face their mortality. His

wife’s epilogue follows his 2015 death. Unrated. Commercial audiobook.

Bestseller. 2015.

Download When breath becomes air

Comments:  Had a friend that passed this year, and his story touched me in a

very personal way.


  1. The Witch of Lime Street: séance, seduction, and Houdini in the

spirit world DB82855

Jaher, David. Reading time: 14 hours, 7 minutes.

Read by Simon Vance.


Occult and the Paranormal

During a wave of self-proclaimed psychics in the 1920s, Margery, the

so-called Witch of Lime Street, came to embody the debate over Spiritualism.

She entered a competition to become the first psychic declared authentic,

and convinced all but one of the judges–Harry Houdini. Unrated. Commercial

audiobook. 2015.

Download The Witch of Lime Street: séance, seduction, and Houdini in the

spirit world

Comments:  This is a fascinating look at a time when mediums & spirituality

were all the rage in the US.  It was interesting to learn many tricks of the

trade & to learn more about Houdini in the process



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