Year: 2013

Water Restrictions in Effect

Well, if you hadn’t yet heard, the City is now under mandatory water restrictions!  I am personally not a fan of the word “mandatory” as it elicits the repsonse that you now have to do something…in this case water your yard.  This is a constant struggle, when to use the “M” word and when not to. Too many times, mandatory water restrictions cause water use to increase in a community or town. That’s exactly what we don’t want to happen! Folks think that since it’s their day to water, they’d better do it, or else it’s x many days before they have the opportunity to water again.  But, hopefully, common sense will prevail…especially with all the rain this week!

With the cooling temperatures, onset of Autumn, and regular rainfall, twice per week watering is more than enough.  Qlake_georgetownuite frankly, it’s too much for many areas like native plants beds and shady turf areas.  Of course, hand-watering is permitted at any time for any area that may need some extra help.  Properties that use rainwater to irrigate with are exempt from the water restrictions; so that’s another good reason to collect and use rainwater!

We have been asked why it has taken Round Rock “so long” to enact mandatory restrictions, which isn’t an easy or quick answer.  It stems from a variety of factors, with the two main ones being:  1. our Drought Contingency Plan (in Chapter 44) states that the City will enter into Stage 1 when Lake Georgetown reaches a level of 770′, currently the lake is at 773′, so we still haven’t met the first criteria for restrictions;  2. Our overall City monthly water usage has been low this year, much lower than use in 2012 or 2011, or 2009. We’ve seen monthly usage very similar to 2010, which was a wet year.  This means our customers (our residences) have already been using water efficiently at their properties.

So, if you choose to water once the rain has all passed, you may hand-water at any time you choose.  Homes with an even address water days are Thursdays and Sundays; homes with an odd-address are Wednesdays and Saturdays.  All commercial and multifamily properties days are Tuesdays and Fridays.  No irrigation is allowed between 10am – 7pm.

The photo is Lake Georgetown, Round Rock’s main water source.

 

Haunting, but not like Halloween

No disrespect implied, but I’ve left witches and pumpkins behind, forging ahead to Thanksgiving mode this week.  It’s all due to Daniel Woodrell.

The Maid’s Version, his brief but masterfully done novel, was on my Don’t Return Home Without It list at Book Expo last spring.  Alas, I came up empty-handed on that score–lots of Woodrell fans (the film Winter’s Bone, with Jennifer Lawrence, was based on a Woodrell tale) at BEA.

But, thanks to a just-arrived review copy of the audio, I spent Saturday afternoon under the spell of Woodrell’s memorable, tragic story: 42 citizens of a small town–including its most promising young folk–perish in a dreadful dance hall fire and explosion in 1929.  Woodrell based his fictional rendition on an actual incident that occurred in 1928, resulting in approximately 30 deaths.

Four hours’ worth of small-town intrigue (nice rural accents by the narrator, too) elapsed in a blur.  I’m still thinking about that story with appreciation, melancholy scenarios and gory details included–and I find TV crime shows too disheartening to watch.

It’s not just English-major respect for fine literary craftsmanship.  It’s the season.  Along with the more obvious bounty of brisk air, family gatherings, and turning leaves, autumn carries an elegiac, somber sense of cyclical balance that humans probably require in regular doses, like vitamins.

Tragic episodes, like autumn, remind us what is important and what we’re made of.

A survey of Book Movement (“The Insider’s Guide to What Book Clubs are Reading Right Now”) lists five great examples in its current Top 100–historical fiction and nonfiction–attesting to popularity of devastating themes:  Allan Brennert’s Molokai (leper colony); Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City (serial killings during Chicago World’s Fair); debut author Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites (accused murderer in Iceland); Jung Chang’s Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (political regimes); Geraldine Brook’s Year of Wonders (plague in 1666).

I can vouch for all five.  But this selection was new to me: The Lives They Left Behind:  Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic.  The title says it all.  It’s on order for the library.

Tragic stories aren’t merely sad; literary definitions of “tragedy” include an element of human failing–moral weakness; character flaw; being overwhelmed by circumstance and demonstrating uncharacteristically poor judgment.  Tragedies aren’t so much rooted in evil as in humanity.

Consider these riveting real-life accounts from Round Rock Public Library’s nonfiction shelves:  Curse of the Narrows by Laura M. MacDonald (1917 Halifax explosion/tsunami/blizzard); City on Fire by Bill Minutaglio (1947 Texas City explosion);  Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo; Gone at 3:17… by David M. Brown (New London, Texas, school explosion); Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson (Galveston hurricane); The Immortal Ten: The Definitive Account of the 1927 Tragedy… by Todd Copeland (train-bus collision in Round Rock).

All demonstrate that catastrophe elicits bravery, selflessness, and concrete measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.   Amazing events, unforgettable lessons.

May the choice be with you

Wish someone had caught this on camera for Youtube.

Scene related by reliable witness:  an attentive mother and two children (daughter a couple of years older than the son) indicated the selection of puppets available for checkout at the library.  “Which one do you choose?” she asked both.  The young man didn’t wait for his sister’s preference before declaring, “I want the one she wants!”

Was the little boy so certain of his sister’s astute taste that he knew he’d covet her choice?  Or is he, even at that tender age, already convinced of the joys of sharing?   Does it matter?

Either way, the wisdom of children again illuminates adult life.  Modeling oneself after an exemplar; enjoying communal experience–both are so rewarding.

Had it been published online, this scenario could have invited footnoting in consumer behavior studies.   Trolling the library’s Academic Search Complete database for the subject, you’d note how frequently terms like “confidence”, “loyalty”, “narcissism” and “dissatisfaction” describe content, along with the expected “market analysis”, “green marketing”, “brand”, and so forth.

Product selection is as emotional as it is intellectual, partly because we’re offered a mind-boggling array of choices.  “I’ll have what she’s having” is a practical solution.

Word of Mouth Marketing or WOMM (which to me sounds like Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber) doesn’t just inhabit business literature.  At the library, it’s a favorite customer service strategy.  The overwhelmed patron confronted with banks of shelving can note with relief our approachable book “towers” with a few hand-selected titles.  If that month’s topic proves not to be a favorite, at least it’s clear that focus and assistance are obtainable.  The reference desk slideshow of What We’re Reading Now highlights a dozen or so options; we offer handout lists narrowed to recommended Christian fiction, Sci-Fi classics, critics’ choices, readalikes, etc.

More library WOMM:

Fondly recalling a novel read years ago, the customer had wished to re-connect with it for a long time– difficult without knowing title and author. “It’s about a Confederate hero,” she remembered, “actually, no, more about his wife….” That’s all I needed to hear. I’d seen a review of Allan Gurganus’ forthcoming Local Souls earlier this week, so his 1989 The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (I loved it, too) immediately came to mind. Anyone passing by the ref desk and hearing us gush about it received a massive dose of WOMM.

Hoping to locate the book inspired by Beth Terry’s My Plastic Free Life blog, another patron was delighted to find Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can, Too available. She also recommended Rick Smith’s Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things.

Customer enthusiasm for PBS’ Call the Midwife series on DVD inspired a favorite viewing experience at my house. So here’s a WOMM prompt for other Midwife fans fascinated by depictions of British life in the 1950s: David Kynaston‘s wonderfully informative Austerity Britain, 1945-51; Family Britain, 1951-1957; and Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957-59.

When (Not) to Water

One of the most hotly talked about topics when it comes to watering your yard is: When do I water? or another version is: Does it need water? Is the answer “on Wednesday”, because that’s my day? Or when the plant actually needs it?? You can probably guess the right answer, but it’s hard to know when, exactly, the plant needs it. I can help you determine when it doesn’t need it.

With the rain showers we’ve had recently, it may not be necessary to water at all. Knowing how much rain has fallen in your yard helps make the first–and really, most important–decision for you: is it even necessary for me to water today? The rainfall measurements I take at my house don’t always match up to the City’s collected amounts at the Water Treatment Plant (which aren’t too far apart), so I highly encourage you to take your own rainfall measurement.

The rule of thumb is that half an inch of water is enough on a weekly basis for the spring, fall, and parts of summer. Less than that is needed in winter. rain gauge resizedMore, during the heat of summer. So having a rain gauge, any simple one, is the first way to judge if water is needed. All you have to do is check the gauge to see how much rain your house received, if close to 1/2-inch or greater, then no watering is needed. Easy!

To help make that even easier for you, the City’s Water Conservation Program is giving out free rain gauges like the one pictured. You can pick one up at the Utility Billing Office in City Hall (limit one per address). There’s a limited supply, of course, but try to get one if you can.

Now, thanks to Mother Nature’s rainfall, you can leave your irrigation system off for about a week for every half inch of rain–depending on the current temperatures.  With the current storms and the temperatures in the low 90s, no outdoor watering is necessary for the next week.  Enjoy letting nature do the work for you!

Betwixt and between

If you’re a grownup (especially thirty-plus and a parent/guardian/aunt or uncle) you, too, may have savored a sandwich meal involving no sandwiches.

A recent lunch–if that’s what you call chugging a homemade smoothie–found me checking emails on my iPad. My daughter had inquired about supplies for the curtains I was sewing for her; my mother reported that that the Etsy gift card we’d sent for her birthday was yielding mixed results (wonderful merchandise, yes; easy credit redemption process, no).  

Ultimately, the curtains turned out as hoped; the Etsy snag was resolved and the desired product delivered.  For those of us in the Sandwich Generation, these are
the problems we’d choose to sort out–happy ones, easily within one’s capability.

Questions we’re asked at the reference desk remind us that life in the Sandwich lane often involves weightier issues, such the one advised by U.S News & World Report’s nursing home assessmentMedicare’s Nursing Home Compare, and the Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator.  And the oft-heard “how can my son/daughter and I speak the same language and still not communicate?” can be addressed with, among other options, the annually eye-opening Beloit College Mindset List.

Sandwich people feel doubly responsible, but on good days we celebrate successes on two fronts.

Another bonus:  tips and memorable anecdotes from two diverse vantage points.  My daughter recommends films and apps that I wouldn’t discover soon (or
ever).  And as for the parent angle, you know how a chance remark can trigger the unspooling of a dramatic episode starring you but previously not on your radar screen due to your very young age when it occurred.  Chatting with my mom recently, I observed that whooping cough is on the rise again.   Her resulting memory suggests that I was one those rare children scarier as an infant than as a teen. 

1940 Census posterAnd that incident pales in comparison to distant ancestors’ travails.  As this Bloomberg article observes, the release of 1940 census information hasn’t merely attracted researchers; it has created a volunteer bonanza.  Because the initial census format is not generally searchable by name (yet), thousands of volunteers are assisting with indexing.  Whether motivated by altruism or the chance of winning an iPad or Kindle, participants demonstrate massive multigenerational power.

Also at their best: favorite authors with new or soon-to-be-released family sagas.  Philipp Meyer’s The Son, termed “heartstopping”, “magnificent”, “stunning”, “volcanic”, and “masterly” by critics, also garnered raves from readers at last month’s Barnes & Noble (Round Rock New Neighbors) book discussion.  Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement (coming in November) rises to Tan’s previous standard–high praise.

One of many readers who loved Leila Meacham’s Roses and Tumbleweeds, I think that Meacham gets better with each new title (watch for Somerset, prequel to Roses in February).  Jhumpa Lahiri’s much-anticipated The Lowland will be released on September 24; The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love), deemed “sweeping” and “rich”, comes out in October. Jonathan Lethem’s “illuminating” and “provocative” Dissident Gardens has just arrived at the library. 

Why not represent the first generation in your clan to get your hands on these?

Welcome to The Water Spot!

I’m very excited to start a new blog for Round Rock’s Water Utilities and Environmental Department!  I’m Jessica Woods, the City’s Water Conservation Program Coordinator and my plan with this blog is to provide timely information regarding the City’s water conservation program–what new rebates we are offering, landscaping information, drought updates, water reuse project information, and whatever else seems interesting to me and hopefully to you!before_farout

What was a major catalyst for more water outreach is the drought.  We (along with the rest of the State) have been experiencing a drought for the last four years (more or less) and have received many questions from our residents about starting a program to encourage folks to remove grass from their yard and install native shrubs and plants instead (like Austin’s programs).  Well, we haven’t created a program like that yet, but we have begun taking a hard look at our own, outdoor water use and are slowly converting the landscapes at the City buildings to native plants and shrubs, smaller turfgrass areas, and more efficient irrigation systems.

One of our major accomplishments so far is the Police Station.  The property had two front parking areas and a lot of grass and weeds in the front.  Police Chief after_frontTim Ryle was interested in a major landscape overhaul, as the front parking lot was going to be removed.  See the before and after pictures of the remodeled Police Department below as proof.  It is still a work in progress, but the majority of the landscaping is completed–there are now crushed gravel walking paths, all native plants, trees, and cacti, and three types of turfgrass (Habiturf and two Bermuda varieties).  The existing irrigation system was basically junked and new drip irrigation was installed in all the beds.  The turfgrass is watered with efficient rotary nozzles.  Plant identification markers have been installed to name what the plants are and some interesting features about them.

Part of the parking lot is still under construction; however in the spring it should be looking fantastic!  We’d like to hold small landscape and irrigation seminars on-site to take advantage of the beautiful space.  Go past and see it for yourself!after_front_right

Now, I would love to see what changes you have made to your home landscapes to increase the drought tolerance and water efficiency of it!  It could be anything from removing turf, to collecting rainwater.  I drive around town A LOT during the work day and see many, many gorgeous yards that I do occasionally take pictures of for inspiration.  Please, send me pictures of your beautiful, water-smart yard and a little caption about why you changed it, or what you’ve noticed since changing it.  We’ll post these on our City Flickr page (in the Native Landscapes set) to give everyone a change to admire your hard work!  And, I’d personally love to see what you’re doing to get ideas for my own shady yard!  You can email me at jwoods@roundrocktexas.gov

Send me those pics!! 🙂

 

 

This post is not cardiologist-approved

Suspense fiction fans love to encounter surprises and mystery in books they’ve chosen.

But not like this.  Co-worker Carolyn handed me a still-new copy of a popular thriller, outlining the customer complaint:  someone had taken it upon himself/herself to cross out and “revise” phrases throughout.  Surprise!

Not that it matters, but the grammatical edits weren’t even correct.  And the mystery was, as Chip put it, “what would possess anyone to think that was a good idea?”

Still muttering over the disruptive markups, I spotted one of our regular customers strolling by the reference desk.   What a great opportunity to share my little outrage!

But this patron hadn’t received the Scribbling is Bad memo.  He curiously flipped pages, assessed the inky text interruptions, and grinned.  “I have to disagree”, he shrugged, “Ever since Gutenberg, print has been one-dimensional and non-participatory.  And now someone has made this copy interactive.”

Fine.  Customer approval always makes our day.  But I still can’t bring myself to equate a defaced library book with “interactivity”–especially when September, promising fall and its beloved festivities (even beyond football, I mean) is nearly here. Mingling in outdoor vistas, sampling new delicacies, marveling at creative talent:  now that’s interaction.

The State Fair of Texas opens this year on September 27.  Check out SFT’s timeline for an enlightening scan of innovations, celebrities, and organizational changes reflecting a microcosm of Texas life.  But you’ll have to wait until September 2 to learn whether deep fried versions of Nutella, Thanksgiving dinner, King Ranch casserole, or another crispy delight/cardiac health threat snagged this year’s coveted Big Tex Choice Award.

This week’s Scout Report sported–in addition to its always-impressive slate of educational links like Pew Internet’s Infographics and American Biology Teacher–a feature devoted to that notorious annual phenomenon: the national buffet of state fair fried food specialties (try saying that three times fast).

Atlantic Wire’s photo spread of trendsetting fair fare may leave you wondering how many more iterations of the corn dog are possible (also how you, too, can get your hands on Cocoa Cheese Bites).  The Scout Report staff even highlighted this portal for state-fair-winning recipes.  Compared to the Deep Fried Hot Dog Wrapped in French Fries, pie sounds like health food.

You should award Round Rock Arts Council’s popular Chalk Walk (a feast for your eyes) a spot in your  calendar for October 4-5.  Texas Book Festival will crown the October 26-27 weekend.  Stay tuned for soon-to-be-revealed announcements of author appearances and events, but you can go ahead and contribute to the cause or register to be an event volunteer now.

Even before these rewarding events, there’s another chance to engage in a mass effort–remotely.  Work From Home Day (9/10/13) challenges Austin-area esidents to improve air quality by “removing 20,000 cars from city roads” for one day.   Round Rock Public Library’s online resources stand ready to support our cardholders in that effort.

And, to prepare for the later festivities, why not accessorize your green telecommute with a verdant, leafy lunch?

Extra! Extra! Read all about it

That message had no business landing in work email in the first place.  I would delete it, but it represents a career path of potential interest to the library’s job seekers and vocational explorers.

OK, so  I’m rationalizing; I kept it because it intrigues me personally.

Sent by Onlocation Casting, recruiting local extras for the NBC television series Revolution (“filming in Austin, TX and various surrounding areas”) the notice asks us to publicize their casting call.  Links (further details, Facebook page, an application) accompany the letter.

Applicants are encouraged to complete the form and cautioned not to pay for unnecessary “active” upgrades.  I found that tip even more interesting than the promise of free snacks and references to other company projects:  Friday Night Lights, Crazy Heart, Titanic.

But why would an introvert like me find this opportunity even remotely appealing?

Certainly not my prior film career: the highlight was a close-up on a local TV children’s show years ago.  The camera panning the row of seven-year-olds in Blue Bird vests caught my freckled nose and wide grin then devoid of two front teeth and zoomed in.

And last summer, what might be my shoulder is visible in audience sweeps on The Colbert Report and The Daily Show.

Aha.  Now I remember the lure of “extra” work: behind-the-scenes access. For the price of waiting in several consecutive queues, I discovered how much smaller the Colbert set is in real life than it appears on television and how Colbert interacts out of character (just as funny, but really charming).

Studio audiences also see how glitches are managed. Singer Regina Spektor flubbed a couple of notes — she was the only one who thought so — and requested a do-over. The intro was repeated, the built-in time lag covered the re-shoot, and an apparently seamless musical segment was broadcast. But Spektor’s grace under pressure and warmth lent our onsite perspective added value.

On a film set, in costume and in close proximity to actors, directors, and whatever unscripted goings-on transpire, an extra witnesses the good, the bad, and the ugly.  For me, that (and the $8 per hour) would represent a nice payoff for filling out the application, waiting in more lines, and devoting a vacation day or two to the project.

Cinema fans who are Round Rock Public Library cardholders now have a new way to participate:  The Library’s new IndieFlix resource (accessible 24/7 with your library barcode) allows our patrons to stream thousands of independent films, including documentaries and shorts.

Because IndieFlix was founded by filmmakers and assembles the best (or, as their FAQ page notes, “possibly the weirdest, depending on your taste”) offerings from film festivals, you not only provide worthy productions with an audience, you help to fund future creations and innovations. IndieFlix shares revenues with filmmakers and even invites film submissions.

Important notes:  (1) To view IndieFlix for free as a cardholder, always start from the library’s homepage to log in. (2)  After you’re “discovered” on the Revolution set or presented with a statuette for your film, please tell the Academy that you owe it all to the library!

No time (or reason) for summertime blues

Ah, summertime at the place across from the Main Street Plaza fountains.  We’re also known as Rocksssanne’s home or the library, where incidentally, you can still enter the adult summer reading program if you hurry, and where we daily witness the joys of vacation time.

Joy, yes.  Leisure, no.

Summer reading program stats for all ages are soaring. So, too, are mountains of materials to be checked in and re-shelved. More visitors with more genealogy questions, teachers happily loading up on books they typically don’t have time to enjoy, young customers with hours to fill: all demonstrate why folks around here view the library as a top summertime destination.

Flip-flipsWe like to think that the vibe on the other side of the service counter feels relaxed.  It appears so: flip-flips softly thunking as they convey patrons with bags of beach reads, smiling parents shepherding kids back out to the car, cognizant that the contents of the program just attended will be rehearsed all the way home.

A popular question these days concerns hours for the Main Street Plaza fountains.   (Other timely, albeit less entertaining, water wisdom can be viewed on City of Round Rock’s Water Conservation pages.)

We’re never too busy to enjoy reactions of triumphant grownups scouting for the Pop-Up Prize sign with an accompanying giveaway at the reference desk.  (Hint:  This being the last week of Summer Readers’ Bonanza, we’re putting out more frequent freebies).   Yesterday, a savvy reader spotted a prize from clear across the room and squealed, “Yesssss!”  to the amusement of onlookers.

Water and prizes aren’t the only elements appealing to one’s inner child.  Sharing (a year-round challenge) is a principle we encounter early on and never cease considering.

In a recent related chat, a library patron recommended a substantial policy change, then listened patiently while I extolled the values of the procedure in place.

The issue:  study rooms.  Check into a library study room (no reservations — first come, first served, one turn per day) and it’s yours for an hour.  That’s the minimum; if no one else is waiting, you can stay on.  But on high-traffic days, we’ll need to re-assign the room as others queue up for a turn.

Given a population of over 100,000 and only five study rooms, this scheme works very well. The nicely-spoken gentleman agreed with nearly all of it.

The inconsistency he highlighted:  some folks (if they’re lucky and study room traffic dissipates after they check in), may get more than an hour.   To be perfectly fair, he suggested, we should kick everyone out after their hour.

Acknowledging his excellent point, I explained that we’ve chosen to err on the side of chance and generosity, so that everyone gets fairness at minimum and will likely benefit from fairness-plus sometimes. Nobody ever claimed that sharing was easy.

The discussion ended pleasantly.  It’s easier to be gracious when you believe you’re in the right (and we both did).

And perhaps we were subconsciously soothed by the distant splashing of the fountains…

Please, thank you, and mine!

Ever worked a customer service desk?  Then you’re familiar with the Conflicted or I Hate to Bother You, But… Complaint.  This nice library patron was even conflicted about the reason.

With hands apart, palms up (the universal “this is probably futile” signal), she reported that a clearly audible cell phone chat from two rows back had jolted her out of fiction-browsing mode.

Mind you, this was on second floor, AKA The Quiet Floor.  As if being reluctantly cast in the role of tattletale weren’t enough, the customer couldn’t decide which seemed more unfair: the interruption or the extreme non-urgency of the conversation.

The disturbance, we agreed, was unfortunate–also unintentional.  Those tall shelving units look awfully substantial, perhaps capable of preventing sound transmission.   But not even in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section do collected volumes assume Sonic Deflection Shield capability.

If such issues don’t resolve themselves quickly (which happened even as we discussed this one), a gentle reminder does the trick.  It’s easy to forget that cell phoning isn’t appropriate everywhere.

Our customers tend to be demonstrably polite, evidenced by responses to our Summer Readers’ Bonanza.  We offer several “pop-up prizes” each week at the reference desk.  At random intervals and without fanfare, the “It’s a Pop-up Prize!” sign appears on the reference desk with a book or bag from Book Expo America.

Whoever spots the prize first may take it.  (Think of the King Arthur legend:  you’re Arthur and the prize is Excalibur. Go for it.)

We’ve been surprised to see library customers look right past the sign and charmed to witness folks who see it but can’t bring themselves to take the prize.  Some customers track back and forth a time or two.   They might stop, gingerly touch the item, then replace it, needing the assurance of a staffer’s smile, nod, or thumbs-up before claiming it.

Also, there’s this:  Unlike the King Arthur story, our prizes aren’t pre-ordained for accessibility only to the perfect match.

Some pop-ups ultimately claimed by ecstatic winners were first caught and released by well-mannered readers rightly viewing them as Not My Type.  The man who spied Sylvia Day’s Entwined With You briefly surveyed the contents, commenting, “some woman will be thrilled to have this; I’ll leave it for her.”  What a gentleman.  And he was correct.

To demonstrate that I, too, was raised right, I brought back my advance copy of Charles Belfoure’s The Paris Architect (mentioned last week, now finished) for pop-up sharing.  Unlike the other pristine giveaways, it’s had one reader but is a terrific find for grown-up readers of both genders.

Some upcoming pop-ups might be deemed “chick books”, but we’ll also offer  DK’s The Conquest of the Ocean, Filip Bondy’s Who’s on Worst: The Lousiest Players, Biggest Cheaters, Saddest Goats and Other Antiheroes in Baseball History; Don J. Snyder’s Walking with Jack: A Father’s Journey to Become His Son’s Caddie; Robert Boswell’s Tumbledown; James R. Hannibal’s Shadow Catcher; and Michael Paterniti’s The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese.

And it would be downright rude not to mention this Books for Dudes” list from Library Journal Online.