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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

American Eclipse by David Baron

Following three astronomers across the Great Plains to the point of totality of the 1878 total solar eclipse, each one has their distinct reasons for converging on such a historic event that held great promise for the maturing field of astronomy to test some of its big ideas. But all their reasons are fascinating, engaging, and peculiar. A must for anyone interested by historical astronomy. - Ian

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American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781631494550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - June 12th, 2018

Choose Your Own Disaster by Dana Schwartz

It would be easy to roll your eyes at the idea that any 25 year-old could write a memoir that’s equal parts substantial and entertaining, but Schwartz is the brilliant mind behind @GuyInYourMFA and @YADystopianNovel. Full of raw honesty about her struggles with dating, self-esteem, and eating disorders, this book will make you wish Dana were your best friend. - Jessica

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Choose Your Own Disaster Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781478970392
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 19th, 2018

All the Devils are Here by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera

The reasons for the 2008 housing crisis and ensuing Great Recession are numerous and complicated but McLean and Nocera do an outstanding job of starting at the beginning and telling the story, through all its various strands, in such a way as to make it compelling and comprehensible. I’ve read a handful of books on the financial crisis and this is the best of the bunch. - Rico

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All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781591844389
Availability: Backordered
Published: Portfolio - August 30th, 2011

Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli

Organizing her thoughts around the 40 questions posed to undocumented minors, Luiselli tells the stories of child migrants from their origins, to crossing the border, to experiences with border patrol and immigration court. This compact, powerful book is required reading for public conversation about immigration, the border, and the human costs of racism and nationalism. - Clara

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Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions Cover Image
By Valeria Luiselli, Jon Lee Anderson (Introduction by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781566894951
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - April 4th, 2017

Robin by David Itzkoff

If you're like me, Robin Williams was part of your life at some point. I, unlike a lot of kids my age, was introduced to his standup first rather than his work in Disney. It broke my heart when I heard he passed. This biography is fantastic. It tells the story of Robin the man, not just Robin the performer. Be warned, it's a five alarm snot bomb so bring your tissues. - Karena

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Robin Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781627794244
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - May 15th, 2018

Hot Color, Dry Garden by Nan Sterman

Climate change and drought, on the plus side, have nudged Californians towards more regionally appropriate gardens, towards awareness and creativity. I love this book-- a wonderful guide to joyful, artistic plants and designs, essential for the 21st century homeowner or garden lover. - Natalie

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Hot Color, Dry Garden: Inspiring Designs and Vibrant Plants for the Waterwise Gardener Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781604694574
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Timber Press - April 26th, 2018

How to Be Yourself by Ellen Hendriksen

If you're socially anxious, this book is for you. It follows tried-and-true cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to offer concrete steps towards managing anxiety. Hendriksen is a gentle, witty mentor, and her stories of challenges and triumphs inspire. For a book about anxiety, the book was a breeze to read, and I've already been seeing results in my own life going through the exercises. - Natalie

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How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250161703
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - March 13th, 2018

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

I treat this book like I would a religious text, if I were religious; I take it with me every time I leave the house, I write all over it, I quote passages back to people, I read it before bed. Part memoir, part love letter, part queer familial ethnography, and part critical theory, Nelson sets an astounding precedent for the newly emerging genre of auto-theory. - Wren

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The Argonauts Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781555977351
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - January 26th, 2016

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

Don’t let the title fool you – this book is about much more than a happy marriage. Full of reflections on a broad range of topics such as her writing process, her friendship with an elderly nun, and what it’s like to try out for the LAPD police academy, this essay collection contains observations on all the forms of grace, tragedy, and humor that life has to offer. - Jessica

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This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062236685
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - October 7th, 2014

Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings

Heschel remains one of the most insightful and progressive spiritual thinkers. This collection, edited by his daughter, excerpts speeches and writings on social justice, prayer and inner life, faith and science, and the spiritual center of tradition in modernity. I recommend Heschel to anyone interested in living mindfully and affecting positive change in their communities. - Clara

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Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) Cover Image
$21.00
ISBN: 9781570759192
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Orbis Books - May 18th, 2011

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