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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

A rotating selection of some of our staff's favorite titles. New reviews added quarterly.

Impossible Owls by Brian Phillips

This quirky, clever essay collection showcases an impressive variety of topics. Part travelogue, part memoir, and part investigative journalism, Phillips applies his sense of humor and keen observations throughout the work. Phillips’ writing is reminiscent of David Sedaris, but with less snark and more heart. - Jade

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Impossible Owls: Essays Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374175337
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: FSG Originals - October 2nd, 2018

The Best American Food Writing 2018 edited by Ruth Reichl

This compilation of essays transcends the stereotypical expectation that food writing has to be light, fluffy, and simple. While there is plenty of gastronomical content, the topics covered here range from feminism, to body image, to politics, to race. The depth and importance of this book, and the effect that it had on me, far exceeded my expectations. - Jade

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The Best American Food Writing 2018 (The Best American Series ®) Cover Image
By Ruth Reichl (Editor), Silvia Killingsworth (Editor)
$15.99
ISBN: 9781328662248
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - October 2nd, 2018

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

I fell in love with this book for the wonderfully written, humorous, heart-breaking story of Doughty herself. If you’re a fan of weird science or the macabre, chances are you’ve heard of this – the entertainingly honest memoir of a modern-day mortician. If, like me, you put off picking it up, take my word for it and hesitate no longer. I was fascinated by the humanizing facts of death. - Jocelyn

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393351903
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 28th, 2015

Grief Lessons by Euripides

In Carson's unique translation the language is as lively and resonantly human as Euripides' plays should be. Included is “Hekabe,” one of the most powerful dramatic tragedies of all time with all its timely reckoning with civilization and its collapse. Carson’s opening essay about tragedy and catharsis speaks to my soul. Myth, rage, beauty, and grief in equal parts. - Clara

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Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides Cover Image
By Euripides, Anne Carson (Translated by), Anne Carson (Introduction by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590172537
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: NYRB Classics - September 16th, 2008

The Wave by Susan Casey

Casey’s quest to understand more about waves takes her all over the world. Guided by insight from the people who know waves most intimately—surfers, mariners, and wave scientists—Casey discovers that waves have a far larger effect on humanity than most realize. Fun, engaging, and sometimes frightening, Casey takes a rather obscure topic and makes it a truly exciting. - Jade

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The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780767928854
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - May 31st, 2011

Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Easy, cheap, and always delicious. Isa is a food genius. I find myself daydreaming about her recipe for Seitan and Wild Mushroom stew more often than I’d like to admit. I’ve loved everything I’ve made in this book so far. Whether you’re a vegan or not this book hits all the marks - accessible, delectable, alluring photography, and witty. - R.H.

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Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780316221900
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 22nd, 2013

Deep Creek by Pam Houston

It takes a certain kind of person - animal-lover, star-gazer, adventure seeker - to thrive while living at 9,000 feet. Pam Houston’s full heart and indomitable spirit are on full display in this memoir, which contains all the meditative and hopeful vignettes fans of Houston have come to expect. A great choice for fans of Cheryl Strayed and Terry Tempest Williams! - Jess

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Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393241020
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 29th, 2019

The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson

The stunning follow up to her 2005 memoir in verse, Jane, this book's form is what makes it so powerful. Part true crime, part memoir, The Red Parts is most interesting when the moving personal story of grief at its core becomes a cultural critique of America's obsession with violence against women. - Kristi

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The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977368
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - April 5th, 2016

The Sentient Machine by Amir Husain

A great introduction to Artificial Intelligence, deep learning, neural networks and machine learning. Hussain is a well-known AI technologist and entrepreneur. He presents a comprehensive view of the potential benefits and dangers of AI in a well written and easy to understand format. Recommended for anyone interested in what is coming in this field a few years down the road. - Trey

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The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501144684
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - November 6th, 2018

Call Them by Their True Names by Rebecca Solnit

The vision of a better future doesn’t have to deny the crimes and sufferings of the present; it matters because of them.” Solnit covers topics from the gentrification of San Francisco to the horror of the 2016 election. I was kicked in the teeth with every sentence, but it also reverberated in my brain that even though we have miles to go, there are others to help us on the journey. - Karena

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Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781608469468
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Haymarket Books - September 4th, 2018

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