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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

The Other Side by Lacy M. Johnson

At 21, Johnson was kidnapped and held captive by her abusive ex-boyfriend in the soundproof room where he intended to kill her, but her incredible memoir isn’t about that. It’s about the before and after, a reminder to believe survivors when they do the hard work of telling their stories. Johnson tells hers through lyrical prose that turns even the ugliest tragedy into something beautiful. - Kristi

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The Other Side: A Memoir Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781935639831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - July 15th, 2014

A Dash of Style by Noah Lukeman

In every writer’s prose, you find their favorite punctuation marks: commas, ellipses, em-dashes, etc. Lukeman’s guide to the tools of the trade teaches what your underuse, or overuse, of each mark says about your writing. You’ll also learn how to hone and master your usage (because let’s be honest, your writing could use some work). An essential reference for all writers. - Aric

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A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393329803
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 17th, 2007

Grunt by Mary Roach

Rather than focusing on big guns and bravado, Roach sheds light on the less discussed aspects of the military. What makes the gadgets work and how are they tested? What do fashion designers look for when creating a military uniform? What advances have we made in genital reconstructive surgery? Her signature wit had me fascinated by topics I would never have otherwise explored. - Jade

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Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393354379
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 6th, 2017

Barbarian Days by William Finnegan

This is a perfect summer nonfiction read for anytime you want an escape. Finnegan paints with vivid strokes the places and times that shaped his identity as a surfer, from Hawaii to Santa Cruz, to parts few of us will ever hear about, much less see. The passion of a surfer will keep you turning pages that exude salt air and the feel of the ocean beneath a board under your feet. - Jocelyn

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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143109396
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - April 26th, 2016

Green Buddhism by Stephanie Kaza

How can we improve our eco-karma? From the ashram to your personal life, this beautiful book will be your guide. One chapter shows how to use Gary Snyder’s poems to increase one’s environmental consciousness. Others contemplates Buddhist consumer activism, and ways to get your community directly involved. It’s time to bring your practice into the world. - Jason

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Green Buddhism: Practice and Compassionate Action in Uncertain Times Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781611806748
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Shambhala - March 12th, 2019

Talk to Me by James Vlahos

Voice computing represents the biggest shift in how we interact with computers since the advent of the smart phone. The changes brought on by Siri and Alexa are affecting every aspect of our lives. This well researched book provides a fascinating account of how voice computing developed the current state of the technology, and the possibilities and pitfalls of its future. - Trey

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Talk to Me: How Voice Computing Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Think Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781328799302
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 26th, 2019

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

If you have any interest in history, social justice, or true crime, and you haven’t already picked up this book, you need to right now. Grann lays a meticulous thriller, but it’s all true. Introducing vivid characters, painting a living landscape, pacing the twists and turns of the mystery, and highlighting the injustices whose effects echo today, this will keep you up reading, and stay with you. - Jocelyn

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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307742483
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 3rd, 2018

The Bakersfield Sound by Robert E. Price

In an era where Nashville had a lock on the Country Western sound, Bakersfield became the center of a music revolution. Price tells the story of legends like Merle Maggard and Buck Owens through the venues, events, partnerships, and innovations that created a vivid, pulsing sound. Layering country music with rural folk traditions and electric guitar this music is unforgettable. - Clara

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The Bakersfield Sound: How a Generation of Displaced Okies Revolutionized American Music Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781597144155
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Heyday Books - March 1st, 2018

Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler

This is a classic of the modern Witchcraft movement. Adler takes a close look at the religions and spiritual movements of those outside of the norm of organized religion, shedding some light on an otherwise oft-misunderstood demographic of the country. This is perfect for anyone curious about the swiftly growing movement of contemporary witches and pagans. - J Gallo

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Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780143038191
Availability: Backordered
Published: Penguin Books - October 3rd, 2006

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling by John Muir Laws

Laws is known for his beautiful bird guides, but he's also a top notch instructor with a boundless enthusiasm for sharing his love of art and nature with others. This book is a comprehensive course in nature journaling that’s comprehensive in its scope without being overwhelming. If you've been meaning to try nature journaling, this is your excuse to dive in. - Katherine

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The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781597143158
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Heyday Books - March 1st, 2016

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