History, Biography, and Politics

Lest you think that Irish heritage is confined to the madcap experience of St. Patrick’s Day, here is a book that shows Irish spirit, tenacity and love of the written word. The poetry, science and philosophy so hard won by the ancients might have been lost forever, were it not for the daring exploits of the Catholic monks of Ireland. This might sound like the plot of a high action thriller, but the history Cahill recounts is every bit as true as it is fascinating. —Jax

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How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385418492
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor Books - February 1st, 1996

Lindy West writes about difficult subjects with a hilarious, sharp style that may make you squirm, and is guaranteed to make you laugh—possibly quite loudly. Shrill is bursting with extraordinary insights into the social system that contains and ruins us, and ways to expand beyond what we’ve internalized (“We were all raised in the same f---ing septic tank,” she writes. “Real change is slow, hard, and imperceptible. It resists deconstruction.”). With a vulnerable (but again: hilarious) rendering of her own experiences, West gives the reader an inside look at what it means to be a brave, troll-fighting, fat feminist, and she somehow does so with simultaneous unapologetic intellectual passion and with a gorgeous empathy. Like me, you might find the packed-on layers of your assumptions soften and lift, your eyes widen in surprise as you come face to face not only with the ways in which you fold yourself to fit into an artificial system of self-hatred, but judge others on their failure to do so as well. West’s resounding concerns are fatphobia and feminism, but she is far from oblivious of the privilege she does possess, and in this way, Shrill also contains the kind of intersectional critique we need today. She also is a gifted writer with lovely, masterful sentences that are a pleasure to read. Be prepared to be more lit and awake through reading these essays! - Chorel

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Shrill Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316348461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - February 28th, 2017

In the pursuit of truth and its exposure, photojournalist Lynsey Addario is always trying to get closer to the place where truth is happening. For a photographer documenting war-torn Libya, the lives of women under Taliban rule, or the effect of violence in Congo, that very often means putting herself in mortal danger. This memoir is blunt and intense (Addario is, at heart, an adrenaline junkie and adventure addict), raising questions of journalistic ethics and how one can truthfully, respectfully document others’ lives and deaths. —Julia

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It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143128410
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - November 8th, 2016

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

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: On Our Shelves Now
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

I laughed slash sobbed reading this book. It's a hilariously written reflection on the life of average upper class white ladies which wasn't as bad as their less fortunate counterparts, but was still pretty horrifying, hence the sobbing. From the organ crushing corsets to the terrifying institutionalizing to the demonizing of their lady parts, this book covers it all. - Karena

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Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316357913
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - October 25th, 2016

In these pages, nature writer and activist Terry Tempest Williams intimately and gracefully shares her reflections on our national parks, piecing together personal memoir, history, social critique, and beautiful black and white photos. Take your time reading this book, as you may have to put it down to go take a road trip, picking it up again only when you're ready for another journey. - N.D.

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The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374280093
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - May 31st, 2016



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