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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

Edward Abbey is a grumpy, offensive desert rat. It is this boldness and direct attitude that makes this book so good. His short, punchy prose is packed with both interesting facts about the Utah desert and his own brand of radical environmentalism, but it’s his vivid descriptions of the desert that make you want what any good nature book should make you want: to get outside!

Reviewed by: 
J
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Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780345326492
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - January 12th, 1985

The Periodic Table by Primo Levi

The Periodic Table is a collection of autobiographical stories of Primo Levi's extraordinary yet simple life. Adventuresome, wistful, lyrical and witty, Levi leads the reader through 1940’s Fascist Italy with wisdom and grace. Named by the Royal Institution of Great Britain as "the best science book ever," Primo Levi's The Periodic Table is so much more.

Reviewed by: 
Rochelle
The Periodic Table (Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics Series) Cover Image
By Primo Levi, Raymond Rosenthal (Translated by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780805210415
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Schocken - April 4th, 1995

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

I'd seen Fear & Loathing a half dozen times before finally picking up the book. Expecting a drug and booze filled Vegas story, I was instead impressed by the (drug and booze filled) biting social commentary. Thompson was an extremely talented journalist, and I was won over by the depth and wit of his writing. This is one hell of a ride by one hell of a writer.

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780679785897
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 12th, 1998

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn

This is a self-help book for kitchen confidence. After helping a woman exchange her processed foods for easy make-at-home dinners, Flinn decided to change how people think about home cooking. Nine volunteers were given weekly cooking classes. Flinn emphasizes the importance of not wasting food, of eating for better health, and of knowing where your food comes from.
Reviewed by: 
Nate
The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143122173
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - September 25th, 2012

Cartoon History of the Universe, Part I by Larry Gonick

If you have a thirst for history knowledge but a short attention span, this series is the way to go! Larry Gonick's detailed research and his lighthearted sense of humor make the eons pass by in a breeze. Covering the Big Bang theory and through the beginning of Western civilization, Cartoon History is a great read for historians of any age.
Reviewed by: 
Andrea
The Cartoon History of the Universe: Volumes 1-7: From the Big Bang to Alexander the Great Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780385265201
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Three Rivers Press - September 10th, 1997

Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

One of my favorite books of all time and a frequent occupant of my handbag. In the first of her three memoirs, Ruth Reichl documents her ten years as the food critic for the New York Times. Her scathing wit and hilariously insightful anecdotes about visiting restaurants under various disguises are paralleled only by her tender, luscious, and genuinely passionate descriptions of food.
Reviewed by: 
Oriana
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143036616
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - March 28th, 2006

My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss

This book is part travelouge and part recipe collection, and I can't decide which part I love more. Weiss grew up flying back and forth between the U.S. and Berlin, and as a young adult she lived in Paris and New York City. Through it all, the kitchen was always the place she called home. You're going to want to cook every recipe in this book, trust me - and you'll have a great time doing so.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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My Berlin Kitchen: Adventures in Love and Life Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780147509741
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 27th, 2013

How to Sharpen Pencils by David Rees

Sharpening pencils is serious business, people. David Rees, master of the craft, is here to show us how it's done. Full of step-by-step instructions, detailed photographs, and inspirational essays, this indispensable guide should be a bookshelf centerpiece for all pencil-wielding citizens of the world.
Reviewed by: 
Andrea

The Convert by Deborah Baker

Margaret Marcus, a young Jewish woman from New York City who converted to Islam
and moved to Pakistan, where she became Maryam Jameelah. Maryam's writings
became hugely influential in Muslim communities. Though clearly intelligent, her
fanatical rants are blood-chilling. Nominated for the National Book Award in
2011, and deservedly so. I couldn't put this one down.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Staff Pick Badge
The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781555976279
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - September 4th, 2012

History of the World According to Facebook by W. Overstreet

Hello, my name is Kimberly and I am addicted to Facebook. It's been about 12 minutes since I last used. I can't help it. I think this book is hilarious. You or someone you love might need this.
Reviewed by: 
Kimberly
The History of the World According to Facebook Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780062076182
Availability: Out of Print
Published: It Books - October 11th, 2011

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