2014 Staff Nonfiction Favorites

Reading The Disaster Artist is like witnessing the strange, improbable birth of something that should never exist, yet does. Both hilarious and heartbreaking, actor Sestero tells the story of eccentric and lonely director Tommy Wiseau’s film debacle turned cult-phenomenon in a bizarrely human story about the complexity of our relationships. 

Reviewed by: 
Dillon
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The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476730400
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 7th, 2014

The perfect stocking stuffer for a beginning stargazer or space enthusiast, this clever little book explains the origins of cosmology using only the thousand most common words in the English language. Substituting simplifications like "star-crowds" for "galaxies", and "all-there-is" for "universe", makes for an entertaining and thoughtful read. 

Reviewed by: 
Andrea
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The Edge of the Sky: All You Need to Know about the All-There-Is Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780465044719
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Basic Books (AZ) - September 23rd, 2014

Thoughtful, truthful, and wry, Rebecca Solnit's essays are the kind that make enjoy nonfiction, a rare occasion for me. This collection spans a vast number of subjects and settings: the west coast's dwindling water supply, California's punk scene in the 70s, flora and ruins in the Arctic circle. Each essay is a little dark jewel that will open your eyes to something strange and new. 

Reviewed by: 
Andrea
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The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781595341983
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Trinity University Press - October 28th, 2014

This fantastic resource for new or budding cooks includes not only recipes, but guides on organizing, stocking, and cleaning your kitchen - including beautiful photographs of cooking spaces that will spur you to make your own kitchen dazzling. It's a perfect gift for someone who has just begun cooking or who has just moved into a new home. I read it from cover to cover! 

Reviewed by: 
Andrea
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The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9780770434434
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - October 7th, 2014

In her early 20’s, Caitlin Doughty worked in an Oakland mortuary running the cremation machines. In her memoir, Doughty blends mortuary stories with the history of death rituals and argues for a cultural need to become more familiar with death. Her charming voice makes this an enjoyable, fascinating read. It may seem unorthodox, but we all know someone who will love this!

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780393240238
Availability: Special Order
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 15th, 2014

Some birds are good birds, some birds are definitely not. In this hilarious guide, the talented Mincing Mockingbird presents the troubled birds, and boy do they have issues. Funny captions and character backstory, paired with the Mockingbird’s beautiful bird paintings, make this the perfect gift for any bird lover (or hater). 

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
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The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399170911
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blue Rider Press - June 12th, 2014

I love invertebrates, and the ocean brims with weird animals lacking skeletal systems. Middleton photographs a wide variety of invertebrates against black or white backgrounds, highlighting the amazing biodiversity residing beneath the waves. Filled with sea cucumbers, starfish, and many more, any ocean lover will adore this book, as will anyone who simply loves odd creatures. 

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
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Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates, the Backbone of Life Cover Image
By Susan Middleton, Sylvia A. Earle (Foreword by)
$50.00
ISBN: 9781419710070
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: ABRAMS - October 21st, 2014

We live in a crucial moment in time, as environmental concerns grow and are ignored. Local author Paul Fleischman asks us to really look around, see what’s happening, and get involved. Filled with a wide variety of graphics and written with Fleischman’s dry wit, this engaging book provides an in-depth look at environmental issues and gives a crash course on media literacy. 

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
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Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines Cover Image
By Paul Fleischman, Various (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780763675455
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - September 23rd, 2014

This is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. Beyond being funny and visually amazing, it is genuinely inspiring. I honestly felt like a more confident, beautiful person after reading it. - Flan Amy Poehler’s book is fantastic of course (plus, pictures!) but some stories are just meant to be heard. I loved listening to her entirely. I dare say we’re BFFs now.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
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Yes Please Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062268341
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dey Street Books - October 28th, 2014

This book hit me hard. Solnit’s fierce, impassioned essays make me want to be a stronger person. Their fact-littered, precisely worded sentences make me angry and inspired. They make me want to be stand up and scream for equality. Everyone should read it, and as this new edition contains two new essays and is reasonably priced, now’s the time. It’s worth it.

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
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Men Explain Things to Me Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781608464968
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Haymarket Books - November 11th, 2014

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