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2015 Staff Nonfiction Favorites

Devoured by Sophie Egan

Egan’s book on American food culture is absolutely hilarious! Easy to read and full of fun facts, Devoured provides an in-depth history of popular American foods and cuisines. Exploring everything from dieting trends to the most popular foods consumed during the Super Bowl to the inner monologue we struggle with while looking at a box of doughnuts in the breakroom at work, Devoured will leave readers informed and laughing out loud!  —Ashley

 

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Devoured: From Chicken Wings to Kale Smoothies--How What We Eat Defines Who We Are Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062390981
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: William Morrow - May 3rd, 2016

Hold Still by Sally Mann

Inimitable photographer Sally Mann has written Hold Still with her “intensely seeing eye” fully focused, and it is a masterpiece. Whether addressing her childhood, her work, her storied family history in the South or her immediate family on their beloved farm, she writes assuredly, companionably, clear eyed and laid open. It’s both a beautiful work of art (with many photos) and an intimate glimpse of a remarkable life in process.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
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Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316247764
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 12th, 2015

Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew

Kate Mulgrew's search for her daughter given up for adoption is a long thread in the book that ties itself around the heart of her memoir. Mulgrew really dives into her past and in that way I can appreciate her performance as Captain Janeway all the more. She is a true master of the English language, a gift nurtured by her love of poetry and dedication to the art of acting. A fine memoir that will resonate strongly with women.

Reviewed by: 
Louise
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Born with Teeth: A Memoir Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316334310
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 14th, 2015

The Witches by Stacy Schiff

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Cleopatra offers a meticulously researched, insightful look at one of history’s stranger scars. Schiff lends cultural and historical context to the infamous Salem witch trials, which are still steeped in myth. Personal accounts shed light on various elements at play before the trials, while the examination of Puritan culture reveals, absurdly enough, a warped credibility in the proceedings. In this fascinating look behind the curtain, the devil is truly in the details.

Reviewed by: 
Dillon
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The Witches: Salem, 1692 Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780316200608
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 27th, 2015

The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

This is a wonderful book for both writers and readers of memoir. Mary Karr, otherwise known as the queen of memoir for her best-selling books Liar’s Club, Cherry, and Lit, has written a brilliant book that celebrates the genre. With her characteristic wit and insight, Karr discusses her own writing process, focusing on unearthing one’s life story as well as taking us through excellent lessons and exercises on the mechanical how-to’s of writing autobiographical content. This inspiring book is one that you will continue to refer to. Make room on your shelf next to Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and Steven King’s On Writing; Karr has taken on the genre of memoir and gifted us all.

Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
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The Art of Memoir Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780062223067
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper - September 15th, 2015

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs by Lisa Randall

This is the first work of theoretical physics I’ve read and I loved it! In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall artfully introduces her theory in ways that are accessible to an amateur audience. A disk of dark matter, she argues, may have been responsible for rerouting that infamous meteor toward Earth, resulting in the extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. If you’re not already one, Randall will leave you feeling like a physicist!  --Ashley

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Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062328472
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Ecco - October 27th, 2015

Trace by Lauret Savoy

In 2015, we have seen the release of many talented authors making connections across disciplines. Writers like Rebecca Solnit and Ta-Nehisi Coates are flanked by the great American voice of Lauret Savoy. In Trace, Savoy laces geography, geology, and critical race and ethnic studies into a meaningful and felicitous dialogue. We are shown that the landscape of the body and mind can mirror Earth’s faults and craters.

Reviewed by: 
Louise
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Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781619025738
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 10th, 2015

The Prize by Dale Russakoff

When Mark Zuckerberg gave $100 million to reform the Newark, NJ school system, it became a test case for what is possible in American schools. With assured writing, Russakoff follows this project and its major players, as well as the teachers and students affected by the tumult, using the Newark experiment to highlight the issues surrounding schools nationwide. A compelling read and an important book.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
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The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools? Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780547840055
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - September 8th, 2015

The World Beyond Your Head by Matthew B. Crawford

The author of Shop Class as Soulcraft returns with a philosophical examination of how we perceive and interact with the world. In a culture that largely engineers our experiences—every surface, moment between YouTube videos, every bus passing by bombards our mental space—silence is a luxury good and autonomy is valued over interaction. By looking at skilled professions that require complete attention, Crawford’s manifesto argues for reclaiming mindfulness and engagement with the outside world as a means of achieving highest human potential. 

Reviewed by: 
Julia
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The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780374292980
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - March 31st, 2015

Leaving Orbit by Margaret Lazarus Dean

We’ve come a long way since the dawn of American spaceflight, and accomplished the unimaginable (like robots on Mars!). But after the retirement of the last American space shuttle, the future of spaceflight in this country is being made even more vulnerable by budget cuts and public skepticism. Dean’s book is a literary elegy to the astonishing achievements of our recent past, and a critical, curious look at what may be to come.

Reviewed by: 
Cat
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Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977092
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - May 19th, 2015

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