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Fall Reading 2020 Nonfiction Recommendations

See the full list of great reading recommendations for Fall 2020 here.

Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots by Morgan Jerkins

Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing) tracks her family’s genealogy from the Deep South to New Jersey but along her journey she unravels traditions of food, spirituality, labor and social life by deep diving into African American history by way of family trees. It excellently balances intimate field research with insightful personal revelations. A must read for those interested in genealogy, American history, and the multilayered bonds of kinship, familiar and otherwise.  —Celeste 

This book is part of our Fall Reading Challenge. Read more here.

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Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062873040
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - August 4th, 2020

Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas by Roberto Lovato

Ranging back and forth between the United States and El Salvador, and from the ‘30s of his father’s childhood to his own journey of discovery, Roberto Lovato uncovers the history, trauma, resilience, and love which powers Salvadoreños across the Americas. From the US supported massacres of the indigenous people of El Salvador, to the ongoing gang and immigration hysteria, Lovato uncovers how unforgetting our history lets us begin to heal. Go on this journey with him. You won’t forget it.  —Dave

This book is part of our Fall Reading Challenge. Read more here.

 

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Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062938473
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - September 1st, 2020

You Belong: A Call for Connection by Sebene Selassie

On the front cover of her life-affirming book, Sebene Selassie self-identifies as Nerdy Black Immigrant Tomboy Buddhist Weirdo and I am all for it. You Belong is the perfect self-help companion in this year of disruption, tumult, tragedy, and disconnection; Selassie does not shy away from the current moment, but meets us in it and provides us with tools. Whether you are just beginning or need a refresher course, Selassie’s thoughtful, joyful, multi-disciplinary work will help you reconnect, and her own personal stories will be a welcomed friend along the way. —Melinda

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You Belong: A Call for Connection Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062940650
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperOne - August 25th, 2020

The Fixed Stars by Molly Wizenberg

On November 30th, 2016, in a beautifully written, tenderly honest post on her award-winning blog Orangette, Molly Wizenberg announced that she and her husband were divorcing. A result of the fact that, since having their child, her sexual orientation had changed. In her new memoir, she shares more about this incredibly personal experience. The Fixed Stars is an unflinchingly vulnerable and frank account of sexuality, relationships, love, and self-discovery, that can only lead to further reflection on what we want and need and are. —Jocelyn

 

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The Fixed Stars Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781419742996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - August 4th, 2020

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliot

Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott, her family, and her people have experienced depression—what in Mohawk could be described as “a mind spread out on the ground.” In this incisive collection of autobiographical essays, she picks up and names these pieces, historical and current, of harm still being done to Indigenous North Americans. Here, these realities and their effects are explored through the intersections of poverty, politics, racism, and abuse, making for a book that is complex, clear-eyed, and in its truth-telling, full of life, light, and humanity. —Melinda

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A Mind Spread Out on the Ground Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781612198668
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Melville House - August 4th, 2020

To the Lake: A Balkan Journey of War and Peace by Kapka Kassabova

Like a carp along the bottom of the lake, Kassabova stirs through the murky depths of the Balkan past. As she journeys through her grandmother's place of origin, the people and places she encounters tell the stories of a region long defined by conflict. Part biography, part history, part geography, To the Lake is a pellucid reflection of the weight and trauma of national division, and an urgent call to overcome it. Prepare for a deep dive! —Kalina

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To the Lake: A Balkan Journey of War and Peace Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781644450260
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - August 4th, 2020

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig

Part memoir, part manifesto, Sitting Pretty challenges all of us to imagine a world that is accessible and that invites disabled people to be a part of our most important communications. Rebekah Taussig addresses sticky situations of exclusion and ableism with humor and tact. This book truly made me laugh out loud and made me hopeful for a future that considers all bodies—not for some inclusion award, but because when everyone is included in the conversation we all win. —Celeste

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Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062936790
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Published: HarperOne - August 25th, 2020

Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger: A Memoir by Lisa Donovan

Award-winning southern pastry chef Lisa Donovan earned wide praise for her talents, but still struggled to make a living in an industry dominated by men (whose careers were very often built on the culinary contributions of female cooks and cooks of color). In her fantastic memoir, she follows the advice of culinary icon Diana Kennedy who once told her to “stop letting men tell your story,” and tells her own. With passion and pragmatism (and a good bit of humor), she writes about her career, mixed-race heritage, experiences with abuse, and making a life. An empowering read.  —S.B.

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Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525560944
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - August 4th, 2020

Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms by Maya Schenwar & Victoria Law

As the nation revolts in protest to the police’s extrajudicial execution of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, and sleeping Black woman, Breonna Taylor, police and prisons are being challenged. In Prison by Any Other Name, Schenwar and Law call for abolishing prisons. Using lived experiences and well-researched statistics, they illuminate how “alternatives” to mass incarceration, like parole and mandatory treatment, expand the state’s power to incarcerate in our everyday lives. A must-read to understand what it means to destroy the ever-expanding cages threatening us all!   —Citlalli

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Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781620973103
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New Press - July 21st, 2020

Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today by Anne Willan

Many of us have a connection to a particular woman who commanded the kitchen at family gatherings, as well as memories that evoke sounds, smells, tastes, and sights that we try and recreate with our present day families from recipes scrawled on index cards. Anne Willan unpacks the stories of female cookbook writers throughout history and their recipes, methods,and backgrounds that have influenced many aspects of our own kitchen practices today. Women like Fannie Farmer, Irma Rombauer, Julia Child, Edna Lewis, and Marcella Hazan, with all of their notoriety, still had a process of utility, economy, discovery, sometimes failure, and ultimately creation. —Jenny

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Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501173318
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - August 11th, 2020

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