Tag : nonfiction

Chipper Jones – Ballplayer

Submitted by Jon Freeman

Earlier this year Chipper Jones was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. During his time with the Atlanta Braves he was the 1999 National League Most Valuable Player, and also won a batting title in 2008 when he hit .364 while also leading the National League in on-base percentage with a mark of .470. At the end of his 19 years in the big leagues – all with the Braves – Jones had totaled 2,726 hits, 468 home runs and more walks (1,512) than strikeouts (1,409). He was named to eight All-Star Games and finished in the Top 10 of the National League MVP voting five times.

Jones is one of only nine players in big league history with at least 400 home runs, a .300 average, a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging average. His 1,623 RBI are the most of any player whose primary position was third base. But before Chipper Jones amassed these Hall of Fame worthy statistics during his career with the Atlanta Braves, he was a country boy from a small town in Florida who played baseball in the backyard with his dad and dreamed of the major leagues. In his recent autobiography, Ballplayer, Jones tells the story of his rise to the MLB ranks and what it took to stay with one organization his entire career. Beginning with learning the art of switch-hitting and being the number one overall pick for the Braves in the 1990 draft, Jones takes us into the clubhouse of the Braves’ extraordinary dynasty, from the climax of the World Series championship in 1995 to the last division win in 2005. Along the way, he delves into his relationships with Bobby Cox and the famous Braves brothers – Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz – and opponents from Cal Ripken Jr. to Barry Bonds, his overnight rise to super stardom and the personal pitfalls that came with fame, his spirited rivalry with the Mets, and his reflections on modern baseball and his special last season in 2012.

To find out more about the Chipper’s life on and off the baseball diamond check out his autobiography from the Gwinnett County Library’s catalog here.

Personal Finance for Dummies


Are you looking to take charge of your financial situation? Want to read a book that can help give you some basic financial advice? Then Personal Finance for Dummies is worth checking out from your local Gwinnett County Public Library. The book provides information on measuring your financial health and improving your financial literacy, how to deal with debt and reduce your spending, and how you can use technology to help you manage your money. It also covers investment concepts such as saving for retirement, saving for kids college education, saving money in taxable accounts, and even a chapter on working with financial planners.

“The 80/20 Manager” by Richard Koch


The 80/20 Manager is an excellent guide for those who want to receive more by doing less. The 80/20 Principle is a productivity method of achieving great outcomes with little effort by accomplishing the most important projects first. This principle is also called the “Pareto Principle” after Italian economist and philosopher Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923). He wrote “Course d’Economie Politique,” an academic paper about the elite 20% who controlled 80% of Italy during his time. A small group can produce big results.

Author Richard Koch presents many examples in his book how the 80/20 principle worked for him as an entrepreneur and a managing consultant. He outlines ten ways the 80/20 principle can be used, like time-rich management and simplification. Apple’s iPhone was Koch’s core example of simplification. The iPhone is one product (20% work) with many functions: internet, GPS, video recording, and more (80% results). Therefore, Apple has become wildly successful and prolific with the iPhone as opposed to many products with limiting operations (still, Apple make more than just phones).

The 80/20 Manager is aimed at those in business but it can be used by anybody for anything! Since I’ve read this book, my productivity habits have sharply upgraded. Every chapter was filled with rich, useful information. Instead of racing to get everything done by nightfall, knock out the work with the greatest impact and a huge chunk of the day is already done while the sun is still up.

Nine Books on Hope in Troubled Times


Bibliotherapy is based on the idea that books can play an important part in coping with trauma and varied life challenges.  This list is intended as literary antidote to the spate of global violence in recent headline news, and all selections can be found in the GCPL catalog. Also, please stay tuned for a related post featuring books for children.  

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All About Love: Favorite Selections from In the Spirit on Living Fearlessly by Susan L. Taylor

Before Oprah, Susan Taylor (former Editor-in-Chief of Essence magazine) was one who many turned to for spiritual advice.  This book collects the insights shared in her long-running column.


Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations edited by Matthew Fox

Fox is a former priest and spiritual elder.  Here, he brings together the words of ancient and modern voices to celebrate the “love of the earth and the body, and a fierce commitment to community, compassion, celebrative rituals and justice-making.”


The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to Being in Harm’s Way by Alice Walker 

Alice Walker’s writings often draw upon her Southern Protestant upbringing, her reverence for nature and her Buddhist practice.  This collection includes letters, observations about current events and chapters bearing titles like “A Recipe for Difficult Times: Anxiety Soup.”


Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society by Thich Nhat Hanh  

Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh has earned a devoted following because of his unwavering commitment to promoting individual as well as global peace.  Here, he directly addresses concerns such as violence and terrorism.


Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott 

Novelist and nonfiction writer Anne Lamott’s signature blend of humor and sincerity has caused her to be recognized by many as the “People’s Author.” In this sleek, slender volume she speaks on the no-nonsense way to approach problems through prayer.


In a Single Garment of Destiny: A Global Vision of Justice by Martin Luther King, Jr. 

A collection of King’s speeches addressing topics such as poverty, global community and the need for interfaith dialogue with each thematic section introduced by historian, author and professor Lewis V. Baldwin.


One Buddha Is Not Enough: A Story of Collective Awakening by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village  

This book speaks about the importance of the sangha or spiritual community and “is dedicated to the idea that awakening is a collective process, and that we and our community are our own most important teachers.”


Healing Your Grieving Soul: 100 Spiritual Practices for Mourners by Alan Wolfelt

Though expressly written for those coping with the loss of immediate friends or loved ones, this text offers straightforward exercises likely to also be effective for those wounded by collective loss.


Visions of a Better World: Howard Thurman’s Pilgrimage to India and the Origins of African American Nonviolence by Quinton Dixie and Peter Eisenstadt 

Thought-leader and clergyman Howard Thurman had a profound influence on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.  This book traces the ways that Gandhi’s teaching by way of Thurman helped galvanize the 20th century U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

Nine More Books on Hope in Troubled Times: Titles for Children


In October, the Peachtree Corners Branch hosted a Sunday afternoon craft where children were invited to learn the basics of origami. Each participant made two paper cranes: one to take and one to put on display in the branch. The activity was inspired by Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, a story about the aftereffects of that the atomic bomb had on a child of Hiroshima and how she used traditional Japanese paper folding as therapy. Below is an assortment of titles on civil rights as well as ones that parents and caregivers can use to explore children’s creativity and its potential to heal and transform feelings confusion and loss.

Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement by Ann Bausum

Published by National Geographic and illustrated with vintage photos and maps, this  nonfiction book is useful for introducing children to the idea of the Beloved Community and the Freedom Rides of the 1960s, which Lewis describes in the introduction as “a ride meant to stir the local and indigenous people to gather their courage to stand up and speak out for equality in America.”

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh

Voted one of the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2015, Funny Bones profiles the life and art of Jose Guadalupe Posada, creator of the skeleton cartoons used to celebrate Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos.  

More-igami by Dori Kleber

Written by a native of Atlanta, More-igami is the lighthearted tale of an African American child who becomes fascinated by the art of paper folding and will not stop until he becomes a master of the art form.

The Origami Master by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer

Shima is an old man who lives alone on top of a hill with only his origami to keep him company.  One day, a warbler decides visits Shima and leaves him with beautiful gifts.  Instead of feeling gratitude, Shima decides to capture the bird to learn its secrets. In the end, the man and the bird use origami to create keys to freedom and friendship.  

The Remembering Day/El dia de los muertos by Pat Mora

“Long ago in what would come to be called Mexico, as Mama Alma and her granddaughter, Bella, recall happy times while walking in the garden they have tended together since Bella was a baby, Mama Alma asks that after she is gone her family remember her on one special day each year.” An excellent companion to the adult title Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive by Allison Gilbert

What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada

“This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.

What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada

“This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult.”

When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders by J. Patrick Lewis

When Thunder Comes is a collection of narrative poems profiling courageous civic and religious leaders, explorers, athletes and everyday heroes from the Asia, Latin America and the United States.

Why Do We Fight? By Niki Walker

Arranged in an conversational Q&A format, this book is a critical thinking guide aimed at helping teens develop informed opinions about world affairs.   An excellent companion to Kobi Yamada’s What Do You Do With a Problem? and What Do You Do With an Idea?

Click here to read a School Library Journal feature article on this topic.