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Fall Reading 2023 Non-Fiction

The Great White Bard: How to Love Shakespeare While Talking About Race by Farah Karim-Cooper

This book is part of our 2023 Fall Reading Challenge. Read more about the challenge here.

I love Shakespeare, even though elements of his work are, as the kids say, cringe. But don’t worry! Shakespeare scholar Farah Karim-Cooper makes the case that we can enjoy the plays and still acknowledge and engage with the issues of racism, misogyny, and othering implicit in them which often go ignored or even cut from productions. The Great White Bard is topical, accessible, and easily one of my favorite books this year.

—Aaron

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The Great White Bard: How to Love Shakespeare While Talking About Race By Farah Karim-Cooper Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780593489376
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - August 15th, 2023

Climate Resilience: How We Keep each Other Safe, Care for Our Communities, and Fight Back Against Climate Change

This book is part of our 2023 Fall Reading Challenge. Read more about the challenge here.

While most everyone knows that the planet is in crisis, it’s hard to know how to help when the task feels overwhelming. Flanagan’s book, a collection of essays from activists, community organizers, and climate experts, does not allow you to shy away from the responsibility we all owe to the earth and to each other. It does provide a lot of excellent history and background, and I especially appreciate the “action sections” that give a range of ways you, as an individual, can help. I went into this book hoping to be challenged, and while I certainly was, I also found hope and a wealth of resources.

—Jax

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Climate Resilience: How We Keep Each Other Safe, Care for Our Communities, and Fight Back Against Climate Change By Kylie Flanagan Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781623179021
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: North Atlantic Books - August 1st, 2023

Anansi’s Gold: The Man Who Looted the West, Outfoxed Washington, and Swindled the World by Yepoka Yeebo

In this thrilling history of post-colonial Ghana, a man named Blay-Miezah returns home with evidence of secret millions in a Swiss bank that ex-president Nkrumah revealed to him on his deathbed. The problem? That isn’t his name and he was a prisoner in America when Nkrumah died. He will get the money though he promises. But first he just needs cash from everyone. An election, a coup, jail-time, and several heart-attacks commence, but the clock ticks!

—Stuart

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Anansi's Gold: The Man Who Looted the West, Outfoxed Washington, and Swindled the World By Yepoka Yeebo Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781635574739
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - August 1st, 2023

Daughter of the Dragon: Anna May Wong’s Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang

Even if you never learned her name, you will recognize Anna May Wong, the first Asian-American international movie star. Yunte Huang approaches her life and complex legacy with care and nuance, simultaneously traversing 20th century history to draw a full picture of the world in which she was born and became a star. A multilingual polymath, world traveler, discreet lover, activist, and a dedicated, singularly talented performer, you will love—and be fascinated by—the time you spend with Anna May Wong and her world.

—Jocelyn

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Daughter of the Dragon: Anna May Wong's Rendezvous with American History By Yunte Huang Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781631495809
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - August 22nd, 2023

Thin Skin: Essays by Jenn Shapland

What I love about essays is their ability to put my own thoughts into a broader and yet often more succinct context. Jenn Shapland’s magnificent collection does just that. Through the framework of her “thin skin” condition, an extreme sensitivity to the outside world, she investigates the barrier between self and other, how permeable it is, how interconnected we are. Whether speaking to gender dynamics, consumerism, or environmental concerns, Shapland’s work is both introspective and expansive—it is wonderful.

—Melinda

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Thin Skin: Essays By Jenn Shapland Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593317457
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - August 15th, 2023

The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth by Elizabeth Rush

In 2019, Pulitzer Prize finalist Elizabeth Rush joined a research vessel sailing to study the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica, called the Doomsday Glacier for its potential effect on sea level rise. What follows is a wondrous combination of environmental journalism, travel writing, and memoir that also asks: how do we build community in the face of escalating climate change? How can we choose to bear children into this world of uncertainty? Amiably and thoughtfully articulated, Rush shines refreshing light on science, her on-board crew, and an offer of collective, intentional hope.

—Melinda

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The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth By Elizabeth Rush Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781571313966
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - August 15th, 2023

A Taste for Poison: Eleven Deadly Molecules and the Killers Who Used Them by Neil Bradbury

Neil Bradbury's A Taste of Poison is an entertaining mix of historical and modern poison tales. Explore body-chemistry escapades, poison history, and surprise positive twists. Chemistry newbie? No worries! This page-turner welcomes all. Dive into true crime and science fun with a narrative that'll keep you hooked. A must-read for true-crime lovers and science buffs, alike!

—Kristina

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A Taste for Poison: Eleven Deadly Molecules and the Killers Who Used Them By Neil Bradbury Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781250624512
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - August 15th, 2023

No Meat Required: The Cultural History and Culinary Future of Plant-Based Eating by Alicia Kennedy

Alicia Kennedy chronicles the history of plant-based eating in the US in her compelling book No Meat Required. From compassion for animals to concerns about the environment to the fight for food justice, Kennedy presents the many reasons people eat meat-free—but she also asks important questions about what happens when a counterculture movement becomes a darling of capitalism. What is the future of meat-free eating now that it has become mainstream and “food tech” (lab meat, 3D printing) has taken over? Is it possible to pursue “the joy of sharing vegetables and fruit” and a radical restructuring of food systems, rather than the almighty dollar?

—S.B.

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No Meat Required: The Cultural History and Culinary Future of Plant-Based Eating By Alicia Kennedy Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780807069172
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beacon Press - August 15th, 2023

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