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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

Upstream by Mary Oliver

A gorgeous collection of autobiographical essays on Oliver's curiosity for her environment and the great writers who kept her company throughout her life. Her vivid descriptions of the natural world are stunning, reminding one to notice and find awe in our surroundings. Few pages were left without folds or underlines and many parts have seldom left my mind. - Natalie O.

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Upstream: Selected Essays Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781594206702
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Penguin Press - October 11th, 2016

Brothers of the Gun by Marwan Hisham & Molly Crabapple

From young Arab Spring protester in 2011 to war journalist in Raqqa at the height of the Syrian War. This vivid coming-of-age tale of Hisham and his two childhood friends' wildly different paths paints a complicated picture of the breadth of experiences and factors at play in the conflict. Crabapple’s illustrations brings alive the people and emotions on the ground in Syria. - Clara

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Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590627
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: One World - May 15th, 2018

Dirty River by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

I experienced every emotion I’ve ever experienced, plus maybe one or two new ones, while reading this book. “Dirty River” is about a queer, disabled, woman of color building community, facing her trauma, and building a better life for herself. A clever voice and an incredible life makes for a great read. - Wren

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Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781551526003
Availability: Backordered
Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - November 3rd, 2015

Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel

Reading this book feels like a vindication; long overlooked, the women of abstract expressionism are revealed not just as muses and supporting players, but the founders of a movement. Don't let the size intimidate you; Gabriel's use of interviews and firsthand accounts takes what could be a dense tome down to a personal scale that feels intimate to read despite its scope. - Katherine

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Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316226189
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 25th, 2018

Let's Go (So We Can Get Back) by Jeff Tweedy

It comes as no surprise that one of the most unique songwriters and best lyricists of the past twenty years is also a damn fine prose writer. Tweedy's book detailing his formative years in the seminal punk-country-folk band Uncle Tupelo and the formation and history of Wilco (one of my favorite bands ever) is funny, sad and deeply honest. For music fans, this is absolutely essential. - Rico

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Let's Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc. Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781101985267
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Dutton - November 13th, 2018

How to Date Men When You Date Men by Blythe Roberson

Smart, bold, and funny - How to Date Men When You Hate Men is an array of reflections on the author's personal experience on dating. A playful collection of stories that illustrate the writer's experience with the male species. While heavy on the patriarchy topic, Roberson is full of great information and witty comebacks to misogynistic comments. - SC

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How to Date Men When You Hate Men Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250193421
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - January 8th, 2019

American Overdose by Chris McGreal

The opioid crisis has recently received considerable coverage in the media nation-wide. However, it is not in any way, a new phenomenon, and for years, a great effort was expended to obscure its severity. McGreal’s investigative journalism reads like true crime and the story he tells is tragic, common, and ongoing. - Jade

American Overdose: The Opioid Tragedy in Three Acts Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781610398619
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: PublicAffairs - November 13th, 2018

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair

A combination of art, fashion, history, and chemistry. Kassia St. Clair offers a unique exploration on art and history through color. The discovery and proliferation of 75 different colors are examined through trivia tidbits and historical anecdotes, making Secret Lives of Color a fascinating read. Formatted and designed beautifully, this book is great for any color or history lover. - R.H.

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The Secret Lives of Color Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780143131144
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - October 24th, 2017

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

If you’ve heard Beyonce’s song “Flawless,” you’ve already been exposed to a sampling of this incredible treatise. Adichie explains feminism in a straightforward way that makes it easy for everyone to claim it. Set this one out in a prominent place in your home and use it as a litmus test for anyone you’re newly dating. If they nod along to it while they’re reading, they’re a keeper! - Jess

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We Should All Be Feminists Cover Image
$8.95
ISBN: 9781101911761
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - February 3rd, 2015

The Birth of Loud by Ian S. Port

Throughout this fascinating history of the electric guitar and the rivalry between Leo Fender and Les Paul, the rich detail and description allow the reader to hear legends like Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix play the instruments that revolutionized rock music. This genre-crossing book will satisfy readers of postwar American history to music enthusiasts and beyond. - Kristi

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The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781501141652
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Scribner - January 15th, 2019

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