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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

Vietnamese Food Every Day by Andrea Nguyen

You can't go wrong with any of award-winning author Andrea Nguyen's outstanding cookbooks which are often a deep dive into a particular dish or ingredient (tofu, pho, bahn mi, dumplings). Nguyen is a fantastic teacher who makes even the most detailed recipes doable, but Vietnamese Food Any Day is perhaps her most accessible yet. (My 12-year-old daughter is even cooking from it!) By using ingredients that are commonly found at local grocery stores, Nguyen makes it easy to incorporate delicious Vietnamese food into busy weeknight cooking. From Shaking Beef to Rice Paper Rolls to Shrimp in Coconut Caramel Sauce, Nguyen shares quick dishes that don't compromise on flavor. This cookbook is a game-changer at our house, and will likely be at yours, too. - S.B.

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Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors [A Cookbook] Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780399580352
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - February 5th, 2019

On Writing by Stephen King

Told with the signature, self-deprecating wit of the old master, Stephen King's On Writing is required reading for anyone who considers (or wants to consider) themselves a writer. In these pages, King reviews all the writing tools he's developed over the years and stresses the importance of reading, rewriting, and devoting to one's self to a life of rejection. But it's not all hopeless, he also stresses that the road to literary success is paved with perseverance. - Aric

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On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781439156810
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - July 6th, 2010

Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree brown

adrienne maree brown wrote the book we all needed. Rooted in and expanding on Black radical tradition, brown crafts a whole new understanding of resistance and world-changing. Revolution is not some catastrophic moment, it is a way of living your life in embodied resistance — one that is so beautifully explored in Pleasure Activism. - Citlalli

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Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good Cover Image
By Adrienne Maree Brown (Editor)
$20.00
ISBN: 9781849353267
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: AK Press - March 19th, 2019

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

This book is an achievement—in prose that is engaging and accessible, Zuboff breaks down the logic and operating principles behind today's major tech companies, connecting the emphasis on collection of users' data to the massive profits of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and more. Zuboff unpacks the major stories you've seen in the news, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal that forced Mark Zuckerberg to testify in front of Congress, and provides a thorough analysis of the contemporary moment in order to plan and strategize for the future. Central to this book's analysis is the idea that it is impossible to compare an unprecedented event to something that has happened before, and Zuboff makes the case that the unregulated expansion of behavioral data collection by major tech companies represents an unprecedented event with dangerous implications. This book does for privacy and surveillance what Rachel Carson accomplished with Silent Spring, and should be required reading for any user of the internet or participant in a democracy. - Billy

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The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power Cover Image
$38.00
ISBN: 9781610395694
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: PublicAffairs - January 15th, 2019

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

Wow, I enjoyed the poop out of this book! The Ghost Map is FUN, informative and not for the faint of stomach. An examination of Cholora's horrific decent on London in the mid-1800s reveals fascinating patterns not only in the disease but also in human society, infrastructure, bacteria, the city itself, and, yes, poop (or night soil, excrement, nuisance... this book is a 19th century thesaurus for human waste). - Tori

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The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781594482694
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - October 2nd, 2007

To Be a Machine by Mark O'Connell

A witty and highly fascinating - sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, occasionally disturbing - gonzo-journalistic tour into the world of death-renouncing transhumanists, many of whom are bankrolled by the mysterious Silicon Valley billionaires and by the military-industrial complex. Loved it! - Ksenia

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To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101911594
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - January 16th, 2018

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

True to its name, this cookbook has taught me how to cook every kind of meatless delight, from homemade veggie burgers that taste better than any restaurant’s, to pizza dough, stir fries, and stuffed zucchinis. I flip through this book whenever I need a little inspiration -- either for a quick dinner, or an entire dinner party menu. Great for beginner chefs and fledglings ready to stretch their wings! - Jess

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How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781118455647
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - November 7th, 2017

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

Octopuses are so cool, right? They can lie in wait for prey, camouflaged against the grains of the ocean floor or the craggy rock amid the coral! I was already on board the octopus train when I opened this book one rainy afternoon and found my interest forever expanded. The Soul of an Octopus's wonderful achievement will be making you understand and care for octopuses on an individual level. I didn't expect this book to feel so personal, to me, the author, and the octopus. - Tori

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The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781451697728
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - April 5th, 2016

A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell

Do you know the name of Virginia Hall? The WWII American spy with one leg in Churchill's Special Operation Executive? Progenitor of Allied spy networks in Occupied France? Hall spent her life looked over by those in power for her gender, nationality, and disability, but let none of that stop her from combating evil. Sonia Purnell has written a long-overdue biography for those familiar with WWII France, a chance to know this unsung hero and her epic work. - Jocelyn

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A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735225299
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - April 9th, 2019

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

This book blew me away. Carreyrou is ruthless in his investigation of Theranos--the now infamous Silicon Valley startup--and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes. I was enthralled and appalled by Holmes, who dropped out of Stanford to start Theranos and over the years accumulated millions of dollars from donors to fund a technology that to this day does not exist. An absolute page-turner, the facts uncovered here by Carreyrou are so crazy that they’re almost unbelievable. - Jade

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Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781524731656
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - May 21st, 2018

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