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History & Politics

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman

Written as imagined life narratives, this is the most interesting history book I've read all year. Hartman revisits old sources about urban, black Philadelphia to interpret them through the overlooked eyes of young black women navigating social change at the turn of the 20th century. Her methodology dials in on women’s lived experiences and reads like short stories. Love! - Clara

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Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780393285673
Availability: Out of Print
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 19th, 2019

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

With poetic irony, Ackerman tells the little-known true story of two zookeepers in 1930s Warsaw, Poland. Their world-view and extraordinary compassion led them to save hundreds of Jews imperiled by the Nazi invasion. This heroic narrative highlights contradictions of vulnerability and strength, good in the face of loss, and the rich compatibility of beauty and sadness. - Kären

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The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393333060
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 17th, 2008

What You Have Heard is True by Carolyn Forché

My current favorite work of nonfiction, written by one of our best poets. It chronicles in stunning fashion her work in support of the revolutionary movement in El Salvador. Includes some of the stories she told us when she first visited Bookshop in the early 80's. Beautifully written and compelling. - Patrick

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What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525560371
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Penguin Press - March 19th, 2019

Rome: A History in Seven Sackings by Matthew Kneale

Here is recounted a selection of the more notable sackings that Rome has endured: Gauls, Goths, More Goths, Normans, Spanish and Lutherans, French, Nazis. Kneale tells the story of the attack and the sack, but he mostly uses this as a framework to tell the history of Rome and describe its changing landscape and people. Also the origin story of deep fried artichokes. Love it. - Dave

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Rome: A History in Seven Sackings Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781501191091
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 15th, 2018

Madame Fourcade's Secret War by Lynne Olson

A gripping narrative for history buffs and thrill-seekers, Olson shows WWII from the perspective of Marie-Madeline Fourcade, leader of the largest intelligence network for the French resistance. Olson vibrantly draws out the story of the spymaster, self-described wife, mother, and Catholic who fought one of the least-acknowledged and most-effective wars in the Western theatre. - Jocelyn

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Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy Network Against Hitler Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780812994766
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Random House - March 5th, 2019

Call Them by Their True Names by Rebecca Solnit

The vision of a better future doesn’t have to deny the crimes and sufferings of the present; it matters because of them.” Solnit covers topics from the gentrification of San Francisco to the horror of the 2016 election. I was kicked in the teeth with every sentence, but it also reverberated in my brain that even though we have miles to go, there are others to help us on the journey. - Karena

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Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781608469468
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Haymarket Books - September 4th, 2018

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: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: One World - May 15th, 2018

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: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: PublicAffairs - November 13th, 2018

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

Maid by Stephanie Land

The way this country reviles people in need of government assistance has always appalled me. As a child of parents who have, at one time or another been those people, Maid resonated. Land thoughtfully recounts her experiences being a working mom with no support and abusive partners, proving yet again how this country is built on the backs of the invisible and ignored. - Karena

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Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316505116
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Legacy Lit - January 22nd, 2019

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