A Final “Thank You” for 2019

Wrapping up another full revolution around the sun, this week’s list features some of the top non-fiction books published in 2019. These titles are all available at the Lititz Public Library or via request from the Library System of Lancaster County. From Harper Lee and the emotional lives of animals to social media and creative inventiveness, these books prove that not only does politics make for strange bedfellows but end of year book lists do as well. I hope these titles inspire you down whatever literary path you choose. The staff of Lititz Public Library would like to wish you all a blessed holiday season. We thank you all for what you bring to our community and for your continued patronage.

Furious Hours : Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper LeeFurious Hours : Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee / Casey Cep
“The stunning true story of an Alabama serial killer, and the trial that obsessed the author of To Kill a Mockingbird in the years after the publication of her classic novel–a complicated and difficult time in her life that, until now, has been very little examined. Now, Casey Cep brings this nearly inconceivable, gripping story to life on the page. This vividly told, elegiac account of Harper Lee’s quest to write a second book after To Kill a Mockingbird is a deeply moving portrait of this beloved writer’s struggle with fame, success, and the mysteries of artistic creativity”

Trick Mirror : Reflections on Self-delusion / Jia Tolentino
This collection of essays tackles the conflicts, contradictions, and sea changes that define America in the 21st century. This enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion touches on the complexities of modern life through the internet, reality TV, and social media. Has a world in which we can fabricate ourselves in new and inventive ways for others led us to fool even ourselves?

How to Do Nothing : Resisting the Attention EconomyHow to Do Nothing : Resisting the Attention Economy / Jenny Odell
Have you ever thought of the attention you spend as a resource? Artist and critic Jenny Odell asks us to consider that proposition in this provocative action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism.

Mama’s Last Hug : Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves / Frans de Waal
Following up on his best-selling work on animal intelligence, De Waal examines the emotional lives of animals Mama’s Last Hug. This beautifully written work demonstrates the capacity for love, hate, fear, shame, guilt, joy, disgust, and empathy exhibited by members of the animal kingdom other than humans.

Every Tool's a Hammer : Life Is What You Make ItEvery Tool’s a Hammer : Life is What You Make It / Adam Savage
Adam Savage–star of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters makes a compelling case for using what you have to make the most of what you’ve got. This paean to inventiveness acknowledges that conditions are often not perfect, but they are always ripe for creativity. Once you start down the path of clever invention and creative problem-solving there is no telling where it might lead.


Ryan McCrory
December 18, 2019