New & Recommended Nonfiction from the 2014 Winter Newsletter

These titles were featured in our 2014 Winter Newsletter.


If you love Mary Roach, you are going to adore Caitlin Doughty. She is a funeral director known for her fascinating, hilarious YouTube series Ask a Mortician. Her mission: To convince the masses that a preoccupation with the macabre isn’t a red flag, but a healthy way of alleviating anxiety and coming to terms with mortality. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is a memoir about her first crematory job in Oakland, and how she wound up “America’s (Kinda Dark) Sweetheart.” I love every page of this book, and I can’t wait to recommend it to everyone I know.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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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

Unique personalities, scandals, lucky breaks, forgotten injustices, and more fill this fascinating, important history. Walter Isaacson has written a biography not of a single genius but of our digital world itself, told through the lives and innovations of the scientists, inventors, and businesspeople that together brought about the world we take for granted today. To understand the technology that runs our society is important, but luckily it can also be engrossing and highly entertaining.
Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
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The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781476708690
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 7th, 2014

We all know texting while driving is dangerous. So why do we keep doing it? Could it be that we *can’t* stop the compulsion to stay connected; that we are so overstimulated by our social networks and so pressured to multitask that we are addicted and in collective denial? A Deadly Wandering is a riveting account of the fatal tragedy and subsequent seminal legal (and moral) battle that led to bans on texting while driving being signed into law. It links neuroscience research, legal undertakings, and narrative nonfiction—full of vivid, heartbreaking real-life “characters”—to expose and objectively question our modern glorification of multitasking and tech-connectedness. Richtel’s exceptional reporting will absolutely change the way you think about the devices that keep us online: You will close this book transformed. This is astonishing, moving, eye-opening stuff—and a crucial conversation as we grow frighteningly more and more attached to our devices. One of the most important books of our time.
Reviewed by: 
Julia
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A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062284068
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - September 23rd, 2014

A book by Amy Poehler? Yes please, indeed! I’m a long-time fan of Amy Poehler, my love cemented by Parks and Recreation. In her new memoir, Poehler pairs essays about her life and career with hilarious sketches and tidbits. This may seem staid, but it’s Amy Poehler, so it’s funny, smart, and infused with her irrepressible spirit, making it surprising and unique. It made me love Poehler even more—something I didn’t think was possible.
Reviewed by: 
Flannery
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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

Reading Azar Nafisi is like coming home. Part literary treatise, part history lesson, and part memoir, The Republic of Imagination is a tea-infused midmorning conversation with your best friend, your book group, or your professor. Nafisi (Reading Lolita in Tehran) effortlessly fills all of these roles, using key books from America’s history to remind us that as readers we are not alone and our role is integral to a functioning free-thinking democracy.
Reviewed by: 
Melinda
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The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780670026067
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Viking Books - October 21st, 2014

Rebecca Solnit’s writing is honest and poignant. In this collection of iconic and lesser-know essays, she takes the reader on a journey through politics, history, justice, war and peace, while also exploring art, community, and place. Once again, Solnit manages to offer searing critiques of our times, but also a great deal of hope among the despair.
Reviewed by: 
Sara
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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

Have you ever questioned what’s printed on the page? Not whether something is written well, but literally the symbols you’re looking at and how they ended up in front of you. Keith Houston takes the reader across space and history to find the sources and stories for the periods, commas, and more esoteric symbols that create meaning and communication. Funny and endearing, you will be surprised by all you didn’t know, and at how fascinating it can be.
Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
Staff Pick Logo
Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393349726
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 20th, 2014

 

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