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Nonfiction Recommendations from our 2021 Winter Newsletter

These titles were featured in our 2021 Winter Newsletter.


These Precious Days by Ann Patchett

Recently, I had the most remarkable experience. I spent an entire day conversing with Ann Patchett, just like old friends do, about life, friendship, family, dogs, and more. Trick is, she had no idea. Instead, I merely dove headfirst into her new collection of essays, These Precious Days, where she uses her unique storytelling powers to infuse each subject with humor, warmth, and honesty, just like an intimate conversation between friends. In these chaotic and overwhelming days, this book is everything we need right now. —Casey 

Don’t miss our virtual event with Ann Patchett on December 2nd, 2021.

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These Precious Days: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063092785
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Harper - November 23rd, 2021

The Heroine with 1001 Faces by Maria Tatar

The Heroine with 1001 Faces takes the Joseph Campbell classic book, The Hero with 1000 Faces, and asks the question, “What does the hero’s journey look like when women are the main characters?” Tatar uses familiar heroic women like Persephone, Nancy Drew, and Carrie Bradshaw to show us how the familiar hero’s journey changes when the “feminine” strengths of empathy and community are at the forefront of the story. —Jae

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The Heroine with 1001 Faces Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631498817
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - September 14th, 2021

Bibliophile: Diverse Spines by Jamise Harper & Jane Mount

In Bibiliophile, a beautifully illustrated and meaningful showcase of underrepresented literature, Jamise Harper and Jane Mount feature groupings such as book people and legends, book group picks, award-winning books, books by genre, and books recommended by author. Each page highlights the stories (and the stories behind the stories) that have shaped how a diverse range books impact our world. I challenge you to read this collection and not walk away with a whole new reading list. —Casey

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Bibliophile: Diverse Spines Cover Image
By Jamise Harper, Jane Mount, Jane Mount (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781797211916
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - November 2nd, 2021

Inter State: Essays from California by José Vadi

Other people have chronicled the good and the bad of the Golden State but few have done it with as much verve, off-beat humor, and thought-provoking analysis as José Vadi. In seven lively and lyrical essays, he views the place through the lives of people who, for one reason or another, missed out on the California Dream but are nonetheless uniquely Californian, including a laid-off tech worker, the grandson of migrant workers, and an obsessive skateboarder. Excavating often-ignored personal and community histories, the pieces deepen our understanding of the place we call home.—Rico

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Inter State: Essays from California Cover Image
ISBN: 9781593766955
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soft Skull - September 14th, 2021

This is Ear Hustle by Nigel Poor & Earlonne Woods

In 2017, Ear Hustle became the first podcast produced entirely inside a prison. It featured stories about prison life from inmates at San Quentin. In their new book, creators Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor amplify the voices of people both currently and formerly incarcerated with a collection of new essays and interviews. Thoughtful and frank, this is important reading to better understand the lives of the more than 2 million incarcerated people in the US. —Molly

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This Is Ear Hustle: Unflinching Stories of Everyday Prison Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593238868
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - October 19th, 2021

Orwell's Roses by Rebecca Solnit

The gift of Rebecca Solnit is that while she writes about Orwell and his roses, she also writes beyond them, touching on tangential subjects with an effortless grace that is far-ranging and ever-connecting. Coming upon the surviving roses that George Orwell planted in 1936, Solnit writes a captivating series of essays that explores Orwell’s life, the horticulture and literature of roses, and somehow both remarkably and classically Solnit, how one finds balance in the beauty and struggle of 20th century humanity and today. —Melinda

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Orwell's Roses Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593083369
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 19th, 2021

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber

From one of the founding members of the Occupy movement and author of the critically acclaimed Debt comes a posthumous epic that will change the way you see the past. It fundamentally questions major epochs (like the hunter-gatherer era) asking what really happened. It analyzes old structures and offers new paradigms from which to organize society. Readers of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Sapiens will be riveted by this well-researched and important new masterpiece of anthropology.—Jason

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The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374157357
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 9th, 2021

Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller by Nadia Wassef

Do you dream of the easy, literary life of a bookseller? Want to own your own shop where you can loll around at the register, dispensing wisdom and raking in the cash? Prepare to be disabused of your conceptions. Nadia Wassef gives us a taste of the hectic, inspiring, and sometimes heartbreaking life of a Cairo bookseller. She contends with the usual bookseller challenges and also with a deeply misogynist society, bureaucrats, censors, corruption, and large-scale larceny. Not to mention corrupt larcenous censorial misogynistic bureaucrats. —Dave

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Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374600181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 5th, 2021

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