General Nonfiction

From the creator of the expanded language of Dothraki in the HBO series, Game of Thrones, comes the perfect how-to for the aspiring fictional language creator. By the end of this engaging read, you’ll be dreaming up the exotic tongues of ancient and alien races, and have a grasp of how to bring them to life. –Aric

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The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143126461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 29th, 2015

This is a wonderful book for both writers and readers of memoir. Mary Karr, otherwise known as the queen of memoir for her best-selling books Liar’s Club, Cherry, and Lit, has written a brilliant book that celebrates the genre. With her characteristic wit and insight, Karr discusses her own writing process, focusing on unearthing one’s life story as well as taking us through excellent lessons and exercises on the mechanical how-to’s of writing autobiographical content. This inspiring book is one that you will continue to refer to. Make room on your shelf next to Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and Steven King’s On Writing; Karr has taken on the genre of memoir and gifted us all.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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The Art of Memoir Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780062223067
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - September 15th, 2015

In 2015, we have seen the release of many talented authors making connections across disciplines. Writers like Rebecca Solnit and Ta-Nehisi Coates are flanked by the great American voice of Lauret Savoy. In Trace, Savoy laces geography, geology, and critical race and ethnic studies into a meaningful and felicitous dialogue. We are shown that the landscape of the body and mind can mirror Earth’s faults and craters.

Reviewed by: 
Louise
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Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781619025738
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 10th, 2015

The author of Shop Class as Soulcraft returns with a philosophical examination of how we perceive and interact with the world. In a culture that largely engineers our experiences—every surface, moment between YouTube videos, every bus passing by bombards our mental space—silence is a luxury good and autonomy is valued over interaction. By looking at skilled professions that require complete attention, Crawford’s manifesto argues for reclaiming mindfulness and engagement with the outside world as a means of achieving highest human potential. 

Reviewed by: 
Julia
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The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374292980
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 31st, 2015

This is not a celebrity memoir--it's even better. This is an actual, legitimate guide to dating written with a sociologist after a year-long, worldwide sociological study. Filled with information, personal stories from a variety of people, and anecdotes from Aziz's own life, this book is incisive, educational, and above all, hysterically funny. I absolutely loved this book, and found it honestly helpful.

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
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Modern Romance Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9781594206276
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - June 16th, 2015

Big Magic is a sweeping manifesto heralding the power of inspiration and intuition, of creativity's force in human hearts and mind. Elizabeth Gilbert's wit and wisdom is so unpretentious, so unique to her, so relatable yet inspirational, that--in a sea of how-to and "fix your life" shticks--Big Magic is beyond refreshing. The Creative Living of which Gilbert writes isn't exclusive to professional artists--or even "artists" at all. Are you interested in becoming more receptive to the inspired, un-jaded side of yourself? Open Big Magic. Are you an artist interested in cutting out your (obnoxious, by the way) "tortured artist" act and creating your work joyfully? Open Big Magic. Gilbert is realistic about her convictions, and candid about her failings and doubts; her delightful personality shines so brightly in this marvelously meaningful book.

Reviewed by: 
Julia
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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781594634710
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - September 22nd, 2015

What if we could harness the best qualities we use when we play games to make the real world a better place? Renowned game designer Jane McGonigal wondered that after a severe concussion led her to depression. She created SuperBetter, a web game that saved her life. This research-packed book traces the science behind how games can help us improve memory, mood, resilience, and compassion—even minimize physical pain and protect against posttraumatic stress disorder.

Reviewed by: 
Julia
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Superbetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781594206368
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - September 15th, 2015

Usually when our buyer brings me a book on contemporary queer theory I have to prep myself by brushing up on my vocabulary and pronunciation skills (it's pronounced Foo-ko, Louise, not Full-calt). Nelson doesn't condescend by oversimplifying her critiques and theories; her approach is practical and lucid, and her arguments about identify politics are fresh to death.

Reviewed by: 
Louise
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The Argonauts Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9781555977078
Availability: Special Order
Published: Graywolf Press - May 5th, 2015

Anne Bogart is one of the leading voices and talents of contemporary theatre in the United States. In this one-of-a-kind book she collects 21 conversations with other leading artists and thinkers of our contemporary culture, on topics both intimately personal and farsightedly broad. If you have any interest or concern in the directions that art and story are taking in our society, for good or ill, this is a book you must read.

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
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Conversations with Anne: Twenty-Four Interviews Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781559363754
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Theatre Communications Group - April 3rd, 2012

Sir Terry Pratchett was a fantastic entertainer who will be missed for his fabulous worlds and quick wit. But this collection of his work and general thoughts shows the man, incredibly sharp and intelligent, we lost in 2015. Fascinating, funny, and passionate, you sit down with this book like with an old friend, one whom you greatly respect and are absolutely terrified of--but whom you would never miss meeting, had you the option.

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
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A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Nonfiction Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780804169226
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - September 1st, 2015

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