Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

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: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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

This fascinating book starts out with trying to understand how people in other cultures can believe such crazy things. The author interviews people who had their penises snatched in Lagos, and doctors who treated victims in Hong Kong. But he also investigates some of our American maladies that we take for granted as hard science. That’s where it really gets interesting. - Dave

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The Geography of Madness: Penis Thieves, Voodoo Death, and the Search for the Meaning of the World's Strangest Syndromes Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781612195568
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Melville House Publishing - April 11th, 2017

My favorite part of this book is the layout: a bamboo-eating panda paired with a ribboned seadragon, leafy green—bits mimicking each other. Or the asymmetrical mirroring of corals and wasps, Asian elephants and an elephant shrew. Sartore beautifully balances each animal’s individuality while showing how interwoven we all are on this planet. - Rachel

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National Geographic the Photo Ark: One Man's Quest to Document the World's Animals Cover Image
By Joel Sartore, Harrison Ford (Foreword by), Douglas H. Chadwick (Introduction by)
$35.00
ISBN: 9781426217777
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: National Geographic Society - March 7th, 2017

Are you ready to show your art to the world? This book is for writers, painters, and candlestick makers- and any type of artist who just can’t seem to propel their career beyond the status of garage bands genius. Popular blogger and social media ninja Austin Kleon knows what it takes to be a self-promoting artist. This book inspired me to start a blog and send my work to publishers. - Jason

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Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9780761178972
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Workman Publishing - April 15th, 2014

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