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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

The Friendly Orange Glow by Brian Dean

40 years before the internet became popular, an alternate digital universe was the genesis of dungeon games, Flight Simulator, Castle Wolfenstein, Freecell, Lotus Notes, chat rooms, email, the first online community, and Richard Powers' novel Galatea 2.2. The Plato System flourished nationally and then disappeared from our memory. This is the first book to tell its story. - Dave

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The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9781101871553
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pantheon - November 14th, 2017

An American Childhood by Annie Dillard

This memoir is an ode to clever, curious girls who strain against the path. Dillard approached childhood with a furious joy, consuming everything her quiet upbringing offered with an infectious vitality. "I read some few books with such reverence," Dillard writes, "I didn't close them at the finish, but only moved the pile of pages back to the start." I felt the same. - Katherine

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An American Childhood Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060915186
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - October 15th, 2013

Proud by Ibtihaj Muhammad

In 2016, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first hijab-wearing Muslim American woman to compete -and medal- in the Olympics. Her inspiring memoir details how she challenged stereotypes surrounding black and Muslim woman in America, and how she overcame self-doubt, racism, misogyny, and Islamophobia to proudly represent the United States on the world stage. - Stuart

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Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316518963
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - July 24th, 2018

The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard

Australian chef Lepard pays homage to the bread belt of Europe, selecting some phenomenal, varied favorites from each country. The instructions on making and using sourdough starters as well as yeast are helpful and engaging, and I found success with every recipe I tried. - Natalie

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The Handmade Loaf: The book that started a baking revolution Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781784724429
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mitchell Beazley - March 6th, 2018

The Campout Cookbook by Jen Stevenson and Marnie Hanel

Get your holiday gift early--this book is perfect for the camper in your life. From backcountry breakfast boards to skillet pizza to campfire skills, gorp, and canteen cocktails, this book has you covered. The charming illustrations and mouthwatering recipes have inspired my next camping trip and will yours, too. - Natalie

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The Campout Cookbook: Inspired Recipes for Cooking Around the Fire and Under the Stars Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781579657994
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Artisan - May 29th, 2018

Everyday Watercolor by Jenna Rainey

I first discovered Rainey’s loose, floral watercolor style through social media. I’m always on the lookout for a good how-to watercolor book and hers is a favorite. You start off learning the materials and the medium and then move into color theory, value pigmentation, shapes, strokes and techniques such as wet on wet. A great book for a beginner or intermediate artist! - Rechelle

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Everyday Watercolor: Learn to Paint Watercolor in 30 Days Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9780399579721
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Watson-Guptill - October 10th, 2017

City of Light, City of Poison by Holly Tucker

This history book was written for anyone who loves true crime or scandalous drama. The narrative follows Nicolas de la Reynie, the man appointed by Louis XIV to clean up crime-ridden Paris as the city’s first chief of police. La Reynie’s investigation into the twisted “Affair of the Poisons” takes us deep into a thrilling story of murder, witchcraft, intrigue, sex, and revenge. - Clara

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City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393355437
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 10th, 2018

Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer

Female friendships are beautiful, wonderful things and yet through media we've been told they aren't important, that women are shallow, and we'll outgrow them when/if we get married. I love that Schaefer reminds us to surround ourselves with women better than ourselves. As she says in the intro, "text me when you get home, let's continue the conversation." - Karena

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Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781101986127
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - February 6th, 2018

The Devil's Teeth by Susan Casey

Almost everyone has seen Jaws or has some other preconceived notion about Great White sharks. However, it is only recently that scientists have even begun to understand what makes these fish tick. Casey’s immersive account of living on the Farallon Islands and participating in the shark research there is thrilling and horrifying; a truly fascinating read. - Jade

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The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780805080117
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holt Paperbacks - May 30th, 2006

Am I There Yet? by Mari Andrew

Maybe you know her brilliant Instagram illustrations. Maybe this book is your intro to the whimsical, soulful, and heart-nourishing work of Mari Andrew. Either way, Am I There Yet? is full of art and essays to make your tender heart feel cradled and seen. An honest, vulnerable exploration of dating, working, and living in the world, this book is a perfect gift for any millennial. - Jessica

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Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood (@bymariandrew) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781524761431
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - March 27th, 2018

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