Nonfiction Book Group

The Nonfiction Book Group is now meeting in person at the Library. Registration is required; attendance is limited to 15 people. To register, call 262-253-7760 or register online at Germantown Community Library Event Calendar.

The library’s former History Book Group has been folded into the Nonfiction Group. For their past selections, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

Selections for 2021:

  • January 15: Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love / Dani Shapiro
  • February 19: Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission / Bret Baier
  • March 19: My Life in France / Julia Child
  • April 16: In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette / Hampton Sides
  • May 21: They Called Us Enemy / George Takei
  • June 18: Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language / Gretchen McCulloch
  • July 16: Vesper Flights / Helen Macdonald
  • August 20: Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World / Timothy Brook
  • September 17: Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir / Natasha Tretheway
  • October 15: The Splendid and the Vile / Erik Larson
  • November 19: No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Animal in History / Edward Huckelbridge
  • December 17: The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey / Rinker Buck

PAST SELECTIONS

2020:

  • January 3: The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit /  Michael Finkel
  • February 7: The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine and Murder Most Foul /Eleanor Herman
  • March 6: The Genius of Birds / Jenifer Ackerman
  • April 3: Cancelled
  • May 1: Cancelled
  • June 5: Cancelled
  • July 3: The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain / Bill Bryson
  • August 7:  Lab Girl / Hope Jahren
  • September 4: Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military / Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • October 2: In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History /  Mitch Landrieu
  • November 6: Underland: A Deep Time Journey / Robert MacFarlane
  • December 4: Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know / Malcolm Gladwell

2019:

  • January 4:  Other Minds:  The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness / Peter Godfrey-Smith
  • February 1:  An Odyssey:  A Father, a Son, and an Epic / Daniel Mendelsohn
  • March 1:  Automating Inequality:  How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor / Virgina Eubanks
  • April 5:  Walking Home Ground: In the Footsteps of Muir, Leopold, and Derleth / Robert Root
  • May 3:  How to Change Your Mind:  What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence / Michael Pollan
  • June 7:  American Nomads:  Travels with Lost Conquistadors, Mountain Men, Cowboys, Indians, Hoboes, Truckers, and Bullriders / Richard Grant
  • July 5:  Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures / Bill Schutt
  • August 2:  The Last Girl:  My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State / Nadia Murad
  • September 6:  The Death and Life of the Great Lakes / Dan Egan
  • October 4:  How Do We Look:  The Body, the Divine, and the Question of Civilization / Mary Beard
  • November 1:  How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them / Jason Stanley
  • December 6: Survival of the Beautiful:  Art, Science, and Evolution / David Rothenberg

2018:

  • January:  Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family’s Genetic Destiny, and the Science that Rescued Them / Gina Kolata
  • February: The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us / Bruce Feiler
  • March:  Lost City of the Monkey God / Douglas Preston
  • April:  The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between / Hisham Matar
  • May:  A Flag Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of National Symbols / Time Marshall
  • June:  Mozart’s Starling / Lyanda Lynn Haupt
  • July:  The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer / Kate Summerscale
  • August:  Champagne Baby: How One Parisian Learned to Love Wine – and Life – the American Way / Laure Dugas
  • September:  Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy / Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
  • October:  Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student and a Life-Changing Friendship  / Michelle Kuo
  • November:  Your Atomic Self: The Invisible Elements That Connect You to Everything Else in the Universe / Curt Stager
  • December:  Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening / Manal Al-Sharif

2017:

  • February:  My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her  Family’s Nazi Past / Jennifer Teege & Nikola Sellmair
  • March:  The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating / Elisabeth Tova Bailey
  • April:   I Had to Survive: How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired My Calling to Save Lives / Dr. Roberto Canessa
  • May:   The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World / Peter Wohlleben
  • June:  Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl / Stacey O’Brien
  • July:  The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts / Joshua Hammer
  • August:   The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World / Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu
  • September:  Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End / Atul Gawande
  • October:  Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland   by Dan Barry
  • November:  Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter / David Sax
  • December:  Cold: Adventures in the World’s Frozen Places / Bill Streever

In January 2021, the History Book Group was folded into the Nonfiction Book Group. Listed below are their titles from 2017-2020.

2020:

  • January 17: The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824 / Harvey Sacks
  • February 21: Eight Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Biland’s History-Making Race Around the World / Matthew Goodman
  • March 20: Cancelled
  • April 17: Cancelled
  • May 15: Cancelled
  • June 19: Cancelled
  • July 17: The Geography of Genius / Eric Weiner
  • August 21: The Wright Brothers / David McCullough
  • September 18: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History / Elizabeth Kolbert
  • October 16: Lake of the Ozarks / Bill Geist
  • November 20: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder & Memory in Northern Ireland / Patrick Radden Keefe
  • December 18: Barnum: An American Life / Robert Wilson

2019:

  • January 18:  Black Tudors:  The Untold Story / Miranda Kaufmann
  • February 15:  Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts from the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History / Catherine Arnold
  • March 15:  Ruthless Tide:  The Heroes and Villains of the Johnstown Flood, America’s Astonishing Gilded Age Disaster / Al Roker
  • April 12: Once a Professor: A Memoir of Teaching in Turbulent Times / Jerry Apps
  •  May 17:  The Last Palace:  Europe’s Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House / Norman Eisen
  • June 21:  Ants Among Elephants:  An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India / Gidla Sujatha
  • July 19:  Dog Man:  An Uncommon Life on a Faraway Mountain / Martha Sherrill
  • August 16:  Atlas of a Lost World:  Travels in Ice Age America / Craig Childs
  • September 20:  Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages that Shaped Europe / Deborah Cadbury
  • October 18:  In the Heart of the Sea:  The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex / Nathaniel Philbrick
  • November 15:  Damnation Island:  Poor, Sick, Mad & Criminal in 19th-Century New York / Stacy Horn
  • December 20:  A Time of Gifts:  On Foot to Constantinople:  From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube / Patrick Leigh Fermor

2018:

  • January:  The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill / Greg Mitchell
  • February:  Washington’s Farewell: The Founding Father’s Warning to Future Generations / John Avlon
  • March:  Hitler’s First Victims: The Quest for Justice / Timothy Ryback
  • April:  The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City: Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World’s Fair / Margaret Creighton
  • May:  Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty / Dan Jones
  • June:  The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution / Robert P. Watson
  • July:  The Sensational Past: How the Enlightenment Changed the Way We Use Our Senses / Carolyn Purnell
  • August:  Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe / Inara Verzemnieks
  • September:  Water Tossing Boulders: How a Family of Chinese Immigrants Led the First Fight to Desegregate Schools in the Jim Crow South / Adrienne Berard
  • October:  The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss and the American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home / Benise Kiernan
  • November:  Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer and Their Journey Back from War / Thomas Brenna & Finbarr O’Reilly
  • December:  A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression / Jane Ziegelman & Andrew Coe

2017: 

  • April: The Fever of 1721: The Epidemic that Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics / Stephen Coss
  • May:  Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helen’s / Steve Olson
  • June:  Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 / Adam Hochschild
  • July:  The Medici: Power, Money and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance / Paul Strathern
  • August:  How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World / Steven Johnson
  • September:  The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free / Alex Perry
  • October:   Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 / Madeleine Albright
  • November:  The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War / Don H. Doyle
  • December:  The Gates of Europe: The History of Ukraine / Serhili Plokhy