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History & Politics

Fiction Ruined My Family by Jeanne Darst

With biting wit and droll presentation, Darst lays into her alcoholic family and the father who failed at fiction. She makes few excuses, spares no one’s pride—not even her own—and delivers laugh after laugh as she describes growing up in a world where using a cliché is far worse than swearing and the books you are reading are more important than your ability to remember where your pants are in the morning.

Reviewed by: 
Nici
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Fiction Ruined My Family Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781594488146
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Riverhead Hardcover - September 29th, 2011

The Orchard by Theresa Weir

This is a memoir that will surely have broad local appeal. Theresa Weir was only 21 when she impulsively married a farmer and moved into a small house on his family’s apple orchard, where she found herself horrified by the widespread use of pesticides. It was a time when most of those chemicals were not yet banned, and the toxins left their mark on Weir’s husband and family. A hugely brave story about love and loyalty.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
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The Orchard: A Memoir Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780446584685
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Grand Central Publishing - September 4th, 2012

It Calls You Back by Luis Rodríguez

“Two decades ago Luis Rodríguez became a superhero in Chicano literature with his survivor’s story of a gang banger youth (Always Running). Here, again, he beautifully details his not-so-ordinary life, its tragedies and graces, but now as a son, husband, father, a worker, journalist, and successful author. With It Calls You Back, Rodríguez maps out his activist past and leads us into the future.” —Dagoberto Gilb, writer

It Calls You Back: An Odyssey through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781416584162
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Atria Books - October 4th, 2011

Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie

Pulitzer Prize–winner Robert Massie is a master of narrative biography, and his intensive attention to detail brings one of the greatest women in history beautifully to life. Brilliant, idealistic, and insatiably curious, Catherine rose from an obscure childhood to empress of Russia and ruled according to the Enlightenment philosophies that so fascinated her. There are few figures so worthy of biography as Catherine the Great, and few biographers as worthy of writing that book as Massie. We should all be grateful that the two have found one another.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780679456728
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Random House - November 8th, 2011

And So It Goes by Charles J. Shields

“This first authorized biography probes both Vonnegut’s creative struggles and family life, detailing his transition from ‘the bowery of the book world’ to counterculture icon. Shields delivers a vivid recreation of Vonnegut’s ghastly WWII experiences as a POW during the Dresden firebombing that became the basis for Slaughterhouse-Five.... Tragedies and triumphs are contrasted throughout, along with an adroit literary analysis that highlights obscure or overlooked influences on Vonnegut.... With access to more than 1,500 letters, Shields conducted hundreds of interviews to produce this engrossing, definitive biography.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780805086935
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Henry Holt & Company - November 8th, 2011

The Turquoise Ledge by Leslie Marmon Silko

Leslie Marmon Silko (author of best-selling Ceremony) has written a book that is part memoir and part nature-writing. Using the backdrop of Arizona’s nature trails, Silko weaves tales from her family’s past into her observations of the landscape around her. In the tradition of Native American storytelling, The Turquoise Ledge is an intimate memoir of memory, nature, observation and the spiritual veins that connects us all. A must-have for both Silko fans and anyone who loves Terry Tempest Williams.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143120100
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 27th, 2011

Pagan Times by Micah Perks

So truth be told, Micah Perks is one of my mentors and friends. I only say this in a confessional tone, because I’m about to sing praises about her memoir, and I wanted to be honest that there is a connection. But please know that I am persnickety and as picky about my mentors and friends as I am about the books that I praise, and Micah and her writing are worthy of both positions. In 1963, Micah’s parents set out to the Adirondacks to build a school/utopian community designed to help teens struggling with addiction and emotional problems. Micah is an infant, and her sister is not yet born and soon this complex dream of her parents, spanning from idealism to struggle, becomes Micah’s home. Told in a sparing and unflinching voice, Micah amplifies the joy and chaos of counterculture life. While she is revealing in her own personal history, she is deft and contained with a gathered subtlety, so that there is a way that her writing reaches forward, toward a broader opening, and we are left examining not only the beauty and heartbreak of Micah’s own story, but also a marked point in our own history; America in the 1960’s. This is a beautiful read.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
Pagan Time: An American Childhood Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781582435398
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 1st, 2009

1493 by Charles Mann

Columbus’ landing in North America sparked massive change, and not just in terms of immigration. Called the Columbia Exchange, driven by trade, it was the first and largest ecological exchange, spreading non-native species across the globe, to varying results. This is a complex, immaculately detailed examination of this era, and its consequences. Exhaustively researched, incredibly interesting and full of unexpected tangents and intriguing information, this book is hard to put down.

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780307265722
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Knopf - August 9th, 2011

What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes

War is among the few human experiences that have changed so drastically, and yet remain the same. What It Is Like To Go To War is bestselling author Karl Marlantes’ (Matterhorn) own personal Iliad and Odyssey. In it he vividly recounts the nightmarish chaos of combat, the primal inner experience of a trained Marine, the confusing and painful journey back to civilian life, and the ways society can make that transition easier.

Reviewed by: 
Joe
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What It Is Like to Go to War Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780802119926
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - August 30th, 2011

Patriot Acts compiled and edited by Alia Malek

After September 11th, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act in record time. Since then, civil liberties have been cast aside in the name of defeating terror. Unfortunately, ordinary citizens have had their rights violated because of their race, religion, political beliefs, and more. This is an examination of this trend, with heartbreaking interviews from people who have been affected. This law needs to end, and this book gives you plenty of reasons why.

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice (Voice of Witness) Cover Image
By Alia Malek (Editor)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781936365388
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: McSweeney's - August 23rd, 2011

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