Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

I'm convinced that everything by or about Paul Farmer should be read. One of my personal heroes in the world of social justice, the comprehensiveness with which he discusses the tragedy in Haiti is fantastic- he provides not only a historical context but also includes intimate reports from survivors and relief workers. The result is educational, awe-inspiring, touching, and simply a must-read.

Reviewed by: 
Laura
Haiti After the Earthquake Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781610390989
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: PublicAffairs - July 10th, 2012

Not only was this beautiful volume compiled by one of the best contemporary science writers, it also includes a foreword by the always-entertaining Mary Roach, who elucidates why those so enamored with science, are compelled to mark themselves permanently with the objects of their obsessions. Gorgeous photos that will excite and inspire fans of body art and biology alike.

Reviewed by: 
Laura
Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed Cover Image
By Carl Zimmer, Mary Roach (Foreword by)
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ISBN: 9781402783609
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Sterling - November 1st, 2011

After reading Goodwin’s other book When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, I was instantly obsessed with the history and politics of Zimbabwe, a country too often ignored or forgotten in the mainstream news. Godwin's journalistic experience combines with his personal connection to the region to allow him to write with a tender eloquence that is both touching and informative.

Reviewed by: 
Laura
The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780316051873
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - October 12th, 2011

A castle isn't just a fancy stone building with spires, towers, torches, and princesses inside. Castles of the medieval world were defensive and architectural masterpieces, designed to repel increasingly innovative siege weapons. The book includes tons of great dissected drawings, illuminated manuscripts, maps, and paintings. It's a must-read for all medieval history aficionados!

Reviewed by: 
Andrea
Castles: A History of Fortified Structures: Ancient, Medieval & Modern Cover Image
By Charles Stephenson (Editor)
$29.99
ISBN: 9780312541408
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - August 30th, 2011

This is the book that taught me to love history, in all its fascinating study. We grow up, learning stories that don’t seem to have anything to do with us. But the history we learn is just that: stories. The “facts” are twisted, rewritten, or simply left out to create a narrative that has everything to do with how we perceive our world and ourselves. Eye-opening.

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
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Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780743296281
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Touchstone Books - October 16th, 2007

History is not a thing of the past, but is being made around us. In 2011 Japan was wracked by a tsunami and an impending nuclear disaster--its present destroyed, future suspect, and the massive cultural history of thousands of years threatened. 22 writers use fiction, prose, and even manga to process and comprehend this historic event, reaching through catastrophe towards hope.

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
March Was Made of Yarn: Reflections on the Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Meltdown Cover Image
By Elmer Luke (Editor), David Karashima (Editor)
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307948861
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - March 6th, 2012

Have you got a little pirate in you? Does glittering treasure catch your eye? Do you long for freedom; endless horizon over an ever-changing sea? Or do you just like rum? Find out who and what the pirates really were, outside of Disney and Treasure Island. The personalities, politics, and passions are laid out here in an exciting epic foretelling the complications of our current world.

Pirates of Barbary: Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594485442
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 6th, 2011

While many battles of WWII have been painstakingly examined and recreated, the less obvious fronts of the War have been neglected. This awesome book chronicles one of the plots within the Allied disinformation campaign. Discover how an unlikely espionage team and a dead man may have tipped the balance. Better than any spy novel–this story’s real.

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780307453280
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - April 5th, 2011

Despite receiving Army clearance to publish, Shaffer found himself under attack by the DIA, NSA, and CIA, who asserted that his book contained state secrets. The Defense Department spent $47,300 to purchase and destroy the entire first printing. While Shaffer fights to get the original republished, this redacted edition gives us a glimpse of what they didn't want us reading.

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan -- And the Path to Victory Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780312606916
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martins Press-3pl - October 11th, 2011

This is one of the most gorgeous books I’ve seen. Covering 25 years, from the initial, ground-breaking work done on Toy Story, through Up and Cars 2, this book shows how much sheer art is in Pixar’s films. Beyond the innovation of CGI animation, color, style, design, and art go into each of these films to create beautiful worlds, reproduced here for your wonder and enjoyment.

The Art of Pixar: The Complete Colorscripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation Cover Image
$50.00
ISBN: 9780811879637
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - November 2nd, 2011

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