Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

Written by two former UCSC students with a passion for fun, this book is a fabulous guide for the theme park fanatic. With fabulous photos and some background information on the parks, this book explores twenty different parks throughout California. Check out the section on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on page 92!

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
California Theme Parks Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780764334788
Availability: Special Order
Published: Schiffer Publishing - June 23rd, 2010

When I first started flipping through this book I seriously began to cry. It's a park in the sky! My inner-kid's dream comes true. This is the most amazing innovative, creative and inspirational urban reclamation projects in memory. This model for an ecologically sound public space has a great backstory, too, filled with impossible odds and unlikely heroes.

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
High Line: The Inside Story of New York City's Park in the Sky Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780374532994
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - October 11th, 2011

The closest I’ve ever been to a gun is watching CSI, but I still found this to be an engrossing, entertaining read. Barrett adopts an approachable narrative style to detail the history of this iconic gun, from its invention by a curtain rod maker to its rise as a symbol of rap status, spy badassery, and utterly American coolness.

Reviewed by: 
Andrea
Glock: The Rise of America's Gun Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780307719935
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - January 10th, 2012

What a hard-core story! I can't imagine growing up with such violent and brutal expectations placed on you by the man who is supposed to care for you and protect you. The struggles with his abusive father are just heart-breaking but his spirit and his determination are amazing and the book provides a fascinating look inside the Romany Gypsy world.

Reviewed by: 
Nici
Gypsy Boy: My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780312622084
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - February 14th, 2012

For all my kings, queens, and Dothraki horselords: this cookbook is sure to delight and satisfy! With everything from Bowls o' Brown to Cream Swans, you will be able to present a medieval feast fit for the King of the North. Each recipe has both a medieval and a modern version to double the fun.

Reviewed by: 
Katie
A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780345534491
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - May 29th, 2012

This slim volume is a photographic compilation of epic bearded proportions--men across the country who are proud to rock a face full of hair. Categories include: the best natural full beard, muttonchops, Hungarian/wild west beard, imperial moustache, and Alaskan whaler beard. I'm surprised Santa Cruz didn't make it into Rainwater's beard odyssey.

Reviewed by: 
Kimberly
Beard Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781452101651
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books (CA) - October 5th, 2011

This exciting book provokes oohs and aahs galore! Nelson reveals architectural wonders not only in the United States where treehouses are proliferating rapidly, but also in the forests of Brazil, Bali, Costa Rica, and Japan, among others. Be inspired by the Free Spirit Spheres in Canada (pg 26), or learn about the Secret Garden Treehouse in Seattle.

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
New Treehouses of the World Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780810996328
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: ABRAMS - May 1st, 2009

This compact book is filled cover-to-cover with photographs of houses that make a myriad of choice design solutions that may inspire you to create or enhance your daily environment. It happily includes layouts, architectural details, and the factors that impact the homes such as location, climate and space. My favorites are the waterside homes beginning on page 78.

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
Houses DesignSource Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780061374708
Availability: Special Order
Published: Collins Design - August 1st, 2009

The abundance of options we face in all aspects of life may have significant negative consequences, including decreased satisfaction with the choices we do eventually make. Our culture may equate more choice with greater freedom, but do we really benefit from having to constantly navigate an endless sea of possibilities, just to do something as simple as buy toothpaste?

Reviewed by: 
Laura
The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060005696
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco Press - January 1st, 2005

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