Nonfiction Freebies – 7 titles

Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader
Melissa Taylor
5 stars, education/parenting
In Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader, award-winning educator and parent Melissa Taylor gives busy parents of kids ages three to ten engaging, playful, out-of-the box ideas for growing a reader, assisting kids who are learning to read, and gently encouraging reluctant readers. Just a few of the many helpful insights and strategies she shares include:
- The most common reasons why kids find it hard to learn to read or may hate to read (too boring, too tricky, too blurry, too “sitty”)—and what to do about them.
- Activities and product recommendations to facilitate letter recognition, rhyming, sight word skills, phonics, and fluency.
- Approaches for improving word attack and reading comprehension.
- Book lists organized by kids’ interests.
- Printable sight word flashcards and word strategy bookmarks.
Packed with practical, bite-sized ideas that get children reading and loving books, Book Love can be your go-to guide for reading help for kids.

Leaving Story Avenue
Paul LaRosa
5 stars, memoir, 348 pgs, lists at $9.99
Emmy-Award winning CBS News producer Paul LaRosa’s evocative memoir of his days growing up in a Bronx housing project and working as a reporter at The New York Daily News in the late 1970s. Paul was a clueless kid growing up in a Bronx housing project when he discovered there might be more to life. As the projects went from idyllic to dangerous, Paul made his way to The New York Daily News where he became a copyboy and later a reporter. The News was still the largest circulating newspaper in the country but it was in the last, outrageous and often hilarious, gasp of The Front Page era. Reporters wallowed in a swirl of alcohol, hookers and bad behavior but none of it stopped them from delivering an electric and engaging paper every day. Paul, an innocent trapped in a Tabloid World, quickly adapted. As a reporter, Paul had a front row seat to one of the most harrowing five-year periods in New York City history: the city s brush with bankruptcy, the terror reign of Son of Sam, the blackout riots, and the murder of John Lennon. Read what it was like to be in the center of it all.

Seven Days To Say I Love You
Ashley Hames
5 stars, memoir, 290 pgs
When my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer he was told by his doctor that he had “weeks rather than months” to live. If I wasn’t already aware of it, the clock had – at that moment – truly started. It was to stop just one week later when my father died – and it’s those seven days which form the basis of this true account. Divided into seven days, this is a story that faces up to the thoughts and fears that we all have – of growing older, of losing a parent, of saying what we really think, and of learning to live again. So, if you’re having a mid-life crisis…

Good Enough Parenting – The Sensible Discipline Guide for New Parents
Lisl Fair
5 stars, parenting, 111 pgs
Discipline is one of the key aspects of parenting that often makes parents feel as if they are not doing well enough. In fact, many new parents find it difficult to adopt a consistent approach on how to discipline their toddlers and children effectively, and more importantly, without guilt. The wide range of books, formulas and methods about parenting toddlers and child discipline available today unfortunately makes it more complicated for new parents to understand the topic as they usually lack practical ideas that can be adapted and implemented in their own households. In Good Enough Parenting, Lisl Fair encourages parents to stop trying to be the “Perfect Parent” they believe they ought to be. Referencing studies from various books and real-life examples, she helps parents to strike a balance between their children’s needs and their own, and at the same time raise children who will be happy and responsible. Lisl advocates and provides a framework from which parents can make informed decisions on disciplining toddlers and children that fit their own parenting goals and needs. This guide book is for parents who find prescriptive discipline methods limiting and want to learn more about adopting the best toddler and child discipline and parenting approaches based on their own household situation and beliefs.

The Happiness Spreadsheet
Cathy Curtis
5 stars, self esteem/motivation, 27 pgs
The Happiness Spreadsheet is a workbook that leads the reader step-by-step to the creation of a personalized Happiness Spreadsheet. What is a Happiness Spreadsheet? The Happiness Spreadsheet is really three things—an idea, a document and a way of life. Here’s the idea: If you can think differently and more consciously about the relationship between your spending, your values and your happiness, your life can change dramatically. As a document, The Happiness Spreadsheet provides the structure for you to turn this idea into reality. The payoff? You can use your Happiness Spreadsheet to both monitor and recalibrate the role that money plays in your everyday life. By completing the exercises in the book you will: Identify your key values, beliefs and ideals; focus on spending in relation to those beliefs and ideals; and create a spending plan that aligns with your most cherished values while at the same time living within your means.

A Gentleman and a Player
Glenn M. Stewart
5 stars, memoir, 286 pgs
In June 1972, Glenn Stewart boarded the SS France in New York together with his mother, brother and sister. He was heading across the Atlantic towards a new school and a new life – that of an American in England. A stranger in a strange land, he had to learn how to cope with the baffling customs of the people who suddenly surrounded him – and learn fast. Through school, travels across Europe, and on to Oxford University, Stewart rampaged through life, drinking, socialising, chasing girls, and getting in and out of scrapes. ‘A Gentleman and a Player’ is his memoir of those times and places, charting the progress of a youthful, iconoclastic, sexually voracious cultural guerilla’s journey through British society and Oxford University. Over time, he discovered how to be both a Gentleman and a Player – but the lessons were never easily learned. Acutely observed, painfully candid, and often very funny, ‘A Gentleman and a Player’ identifies the strengths and weaknesses, the fine points and the follies of both countries – and those of the author as well. Anyone looking for a comparative cultural and educational critique of America and Britain – or just a few tips on how to find a girlfriend in England – will find ‘A Gentleman And a Player’ essential reading.

Caspian Diary
J.M. Sandler
4.5 stars, memoir, 455 pgs
Shameful secrets, stifled memories, shattered dreams. Azadeh was born in Tehran, but she came of age at seventeen when she traveled across the world alone and penniless to free herself from abuse and poverty and to find the life of which her beloved mother was robbed. She was determined to educate herself and to reassemble her family in America to save them from their tragic destiny, but she quickly discovered that fairness and peace were as elusive in the West as they were in the homeland she had left behind. It would take decades of implausible hardship and two generations of torment for Azadeh to find her own inner peace, but that, too, would be tenuous and short-lived. The immigration of her kin to America, following the Iranian revolution, unleashes the old demons to usurp her calm and security. Now, once again, Azadeh must rise from the ashes of her shattered dream to claim her peace and dignity. It all began when her mother, Esther, was sold at the age of thirteen…