Off the Shelves – June 9

The following items are available at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road. For more information on the library’s collection or to reserve a title, visit

Adult Fiction

“The Throwback Special” by Chris Bachelder

“The Throwback Special” is the story of 22 men who gather every fall to painstakingly reenact what ESPN called “the most shocking play in NFL history” and the Washington Redskins have dubbed the “Throwback Special”: the November 1985 play in which the Redskins’ Joe Theismann had his leg horribly broken by the New York Giants’ Lawrence Taylor on live TV. We meet Charles, a psychologist; George, a garrulous public librarian; Fat Michael, envied and despised by the others for being exquisitely fit; Jeff, a recently divorced man; and many more. During the course of a weekend, the men reveal their secret hopes, fears and passions as they choose roles and spend a long night preparing for the play for what may be the last time. Along the way, mishaps, misunderstandings and grievances pile up, and the traditions holding the group together threaten to give way. Winner of the “Paris Review” Terry Southern Prize for Humor.

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Adult NonFiction

“The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School” by Ed Boland

In a fit of idealism, Ed Boland left a 20-year career as a nonprofit executive to teach in a tough New York City public high school. But his hopes quickly collided headlong with the appalling reality of his students’ lives and a hobbled education system unable to help them: Freddy runs a drug ring for his incarcerated brother; Nee-cole is homeschooled on the subway by her brilliant homeless mother; and Byron’s Ivy League dream is dashed because he is an undocumented immigrant. In the end, Boland isn’t hoisted on his students’ shoulders and no one passes AP anything.

Teen Materials

“Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original ‘Girl’ Reporter” Nellie Bly by Deborah Noyes

Young Nellie Bly had ambitious goals, especially for a woman at the end of the nineteenth century when the few female journalists were relegated to writing columns about cleaning or fashion.

But Nellie wanted more and pulled a major journalistic stunt that skyrocketed her to fame: feigning insanity, she had herself committed to the notorious asylum on Blackwell’s Island.