Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

Do you feel intrigued? Titillated? If you’re embarrassed… don’t be! Moen and husband Matt use playful art, a diverse cast, and an admittedly pink palette to, yes, review sex toys – but also to clearly and comfortably explore sex practices, sexual health, and good communication. The cover reads “sex toy,” but this is all about empowerment, affirmation, education, and fun! - Jocelyn

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Oh Joy Sex Toy, Volume 1 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620103623
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oni Press - October 18th, 2016

A father-daughter relationship like none other – but heartbreaking in many familiar ways. A memoir that took Alison Bechdel years to write, she chronicles childhood through adulthood through a lens of discovery of both herself and her father – a man struggling with what he was and was not. With frank exploration of mental health and sexuality, this book is a revelation and just may make you feel right at home. - Jocelyn

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Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618871711
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - June 1st, 2007

Jeff Change writes with clear and fluid prose simply but rigorously sourced facts to excavate and historically contextualize an important sample of the issues of race in our culture today – from political correctness to #BlackLivesMatter, Donald Trump to Beyonce. I walked into this book thinking I already knew what it had to teach me. I’m thankful to say I write here humbled, but much better educated and touched by this slim volume. - Jocelyn

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We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312429485
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - September 13th, 2016

More than ever, a lesson every person needs: history is not facts; history is a story. More specifically, the United States of America is a story carefully constructed out of selective historical facts and a vivid narrative that is not necessarily true. Noted historian James Loewen gives a sample of how the “history” of a nation is constructed and for what purpose – and leaves it to you to judge the “facts” for yourself. - Jocelyn

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Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743296281
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Touchstone Books - October 16th, 2007

When a high school crush inadvertently ignites Rebecca Schuman’s love for all things German, she follows her passion and doesn’t recoil when things get weird. From illegal basement bars in East Germany to pursuing a graduate degree in German --and having to explain why-- Schuman is hilarious. Quirky and quick-witted, she dishes on Kafka, kissing, and everything in between. - Jade

This book makes me so happy as it fills in the details other cannibalism books have glossed over. Focusing on the animal kingdom, Schutt covers the phenomenon full-circle, from tadpoles in rapidly disappearing puddles to the cannibalism that takes place among humans today. A must-read for anyone interested in the tasty underbelly of nature. - Rachel

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Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616204624
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - February 14th, 2017

From the newly discovered world’s tiniest frog (pg. 481) up to the three pound Giant Bullfrog (pg. 599), this book has all the frogs you could ever want. The photography is gorgeous and clean, highlighting the ridiculously amazing variety found in these amphibians. - Rachel

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The Book of Frogs: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from Around the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226184654
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Chicago Press - January 29th, 2016

A debut collection and my favorite poetry release of 2016. Incredibly beautiful and artful, with affecting imagery, intelligent allusions, small pieces of language like glass shards perfectly placed to catch you in the heart. Ideal for fans of Rankine's Citizen. Bennett is an exceptional writer, almost mandatory reading. I looked up each reference as I went, and then read it straight through the second I'd finished. - a.c.

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The Sobbing School Cover Image
By Joshua Bennett, Eugene Gloria (Selected by)
ISBN: 9780143111863
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 27th, 2016

I appreciated this chance to sit and listen to Vance tell the story of his childhood, and his concerns for those like his family that live below the poverty line. If the work of reading is imagining others complexly, then this will definitely make you work. He offers no easy answers, nor is this a comprehensive look at the poverty stricken population in our country. It is a window, and a very good place to start. - Jax

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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062300546
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - June 28th, 2016

This is a gut-wrenching, heart-opening memoir. As Glennon recovers from multiple addictions, and deals with her husband’s infidelity, she goes on a deep spiritual journey, and in so doing rediscovers herself and a new relationship with god. She is a living example of how to be a Christian, a mother, AND a feminist. Uplifting, and impossible to put down, my wife and I both read this book in three days. - Jason

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Love Warrior: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250075727
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - September 6th, 2016



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