Staff Nonfiction Favorites

A rotating selection of some of our staff's favorite titles. New reviews added quarterly.

I'm 25, frugal, and I generally can't distinguish much about a wine beyond whether it's red or white, but Bianca Bosker really drew me in to the wine world with her funny, straightforward approach. Follow her journey from civilian to sommelier as she tries to discern what makes a good wine, and why. - Jade

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Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143128090
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - March 28th, 2017

A customer recommended this book to me, and I’m so glad she did! Horwitz and his wisecracking, alcoholic friend follow the same course as the legendary sailor Captain James Cook. Horwitz’s journey helps him strike a balance between admiration for Cook’s achievements, and an acknowledgement of the irreversible catastrophes he unintentionally wrought on the native cultures he encountered whilst circumnavigating the globe. - Jade

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Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780312422608
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - August 1st, 2003

Starting off with opioids and paralyzed legs, Fry’s biography is a rollercoaster ride through his childhood to the present day. Criss-crossing the globe in search of critters, venom, and shenanigans, Fry buddies up with Komodo dragons, milks stonefish, and collects scorpions, all in the name of venom. Dun dun dunnnn… - Rachel

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Venom Doc: The Edgiest, Darkest, Strangest Natural History Memoir Ever Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781628726992
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arcade Publishing - October 4th, 2016

I’m super late to the party with this one, but this book is hilarious! I’m a huge fan of Bourdain’s TV shows and his voice comes out  into his writing. When he’s not busy being a smartass, Bourdain also has lots of interesting and useful tips for navigating the restaurant world. - Jade

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Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060899226
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - January 1st, 2007

I am totally obsessed with this cookbook. I don’t usually like to cook with recipes, but Clark’s instructions and ingredient lists  are both exciting and manageable. I’ve tried several dishes from various sections and I have yet to be disappointed. This book truly has something for everyone! - Jade

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Dinner: Changing the Game Cover Image
By Melissa Clark, Eric Wolfinger (Photographer)
$35.00
ISBN: 9780553448238
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter Publishers - March 7th, 2017

Exotic animal drama microhistories are my favorite subject, and this fits the bill perfectly. In her hunt for arowanas, a grotesque, ancient-looking fish that can command up to $150,000 for a single specimen, Voight finds herself searching through dark jungles, convention halls, and New York apartments. - Rachel

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The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World's Most Coveted Fish Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781451678956
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 9th, 2017

This adorable little book is the perfect guide for beginner plant parents. Helpful photos and an uncomplicated layout make it easy to use and it’s so small you can even bring it along to the nursery for reference. It also has lots of suggestions for fun pots to house your new succulent friends. - Jade

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The Little Book of Cacti and Other Succulents Cover Image
By Emma Sibley, Adam Laycock (Photographer)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781849499149
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quadrille Publishing - March 7th, 2017

"Why write? Life is a cage of empty words" (pg 41) - Edward the Hamster

Thankfully for us, Edward keeps writing, giving us insight to the tormented mind of a uniquely unconventional household pet. Through his suffering, we become enlightened. And could you ask for anything more? - Rachel

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The Diary of Edward the Hamster, 1990-1990 Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780399165979
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Blue Rider Press a Member of Penguin Group (U - September 26th, 2013

Santa Cruz native Noah Levine couldn’t kick. All the punk life had gotten him was high and behind bars, until his dad (Buddhist teacher Stephen Levine) visited him in jail, and said “learn to meditate.” Since then, this bad-boy-turned-spiritual-Guru has started an international movement of Buddhist-based recovery from drugs and alcohol. - Jason

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Dharma Punx Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060008956
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperOne - May 4th, 2004

In this harrowing autobiography, Ali boldly narrates the journey from her violent and impoverished upbringing in Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu, to a career in Dutch politics. At times horrifying, her tale is especially poignant today, as refugees are so frequently being turned around at the threshold. - Jade

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Infidel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780743289696
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Free Press - April 1st, 2008

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