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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

Dance Anatomy by Jacqui Greene Haas

Both a fountain of information and an invaluable guidebook to perfecting the tool of dance: the human body. Explaining which parts of the body are used in basic dance technique, with illustrations so you can see the exact muscles, bones, and tendons at work. This book also provides detailed exercises to strengthen and tone—beautiful, fascinating, and a must for any dancer. --J.S.

Dance Anatomy Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780736081931
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Human Kinetics Publishers - March 12th, 2010

Awkward Family Pet Photos by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack

I love this book. When I get stressed out or sad, I pick a random page or two, and let hilarity take me away. There are animals in ridiculous costumes, animals making fools of their owners, animals in odd situations, and owners making fools of everyone involved. It’s simply amazing. Just try to read it without laughing.

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
Awkward Family Pet Photos Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307888129
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Three Rivers Press - November 1st, 2011

Decoded by Jay-Z

Hip-hop is misunderstood and so is Jay-Z. In Decoded, he immerses the reader in the world that he grew up in, the Marcy Projects. Located in Brooklyn, the projects transformed Jay from a hustler, to the king of the hip-hop movement. Along with amazing graphical illustrations, this book deciphers the inner meanings of hip-hop and its importance to musical history.

Reviewed by: 
Cesar
Decoded Cover Image
By Jay-Z
$30.00
ISBN: 9780812981155
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: One World - November 1st, 2011

The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick

Chris Hardwick, now pop culture and nerd culture icon–through his nerd-hub website Nerdist, his podcasts, acting, stand-up, was a depressed, overweight alcoholic. Rather than a memoir on how he turned his life around, this is a guide designed for the nerd-inclined on understanding yourself and taking control of your life (with occasional personal anecdotes and name-dropping).

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
The Nerdist Way Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780425243541
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Berkley Hardcover - November 1st, 2011

California Theme Parks by Alex Miller and Bryce Walker

Written by two former UCSC students with a passion for fun, this book is a fabulous guide for the theme park fanatic. With fabulous photos and some background information on the parks, this book explores twenty different parks throughout California. Check out the section on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on page 92!

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
California Theme Parks Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780764334788
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Schiffer Publishing - June 23rd, 2010

High Line by Joshua David & Robert Hammond

When I first started flipping through this book I seriously began to cry. It's a park in the sky! My inner-kid's dream comes true. This is the most amazing innovative, creative and inspirational urban reclamation projects in memory. This model for an ecologically sound public space has a great backstory, too, filled with impossible odds and unlikely heroes.

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
High Line: The Inside Story of New York City's Park in the Sky Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9780374532994
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: FSG Originals - October 11th, 2011

Glock by Paul M. Barrett

The closest I’ve ever been to a gun is watching CSI, but I still found this to be an engrossing, entertaining read. Barrett adopts an approachable narrative style to detail the history of this iconic gun, from its invention by a curtain rod maker to its rise as a symbol of rap status, spy badassery, and utterly American coolness.

Reviewed by: 
Andrea
Glock: The Rise of America's Gun Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307719935
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Crown - January 10th, 2012

Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh

What a hard-core story! I can't imagine growing up with such violent and brutal expectations placed on you by the man who is supposed to care for you and protect you. The struggles with his abusive father are just heart-breaking but his spirit and his determination are amazing and the book provides a fascinating look inside the Romany Gypsy world.

Reviewed by: 
Nici
Gypsy Boy: My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780312622084
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Thomas Dunne Books - February 14th, 2012

A Feast of Ice and Fire

For all my kings, queens, and Dothraki horselords: this cookbook is sure to delight and satisfy! With everything from Bowls o' Brown to Cream Swans, you will be able to present a medieval feast fit for the King of the North. Each recipe has both a medieval and a modern version to double the fun.

Reviewed by: 
Katie
A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780345534491
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Bantam - May 29th, 2012

Beard by Matthew Rainwaters

This slim volume is a photographic compilation of epic bearded proportions--men across the country who are proud to rock a face full of hair. Categories include: the best natural full beard, muttonchops, Hungarian/wild west beard, imperial moustache, and Alaskan whaler beard. I'm surprised Santa Cruz didn't make it into Rainwater's beard odyssey.

Reviewed by: 
Kimberly
Beard Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781452101651
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - October 5th, 2011

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