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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

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: 
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise Cover Image
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.
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My Berlin Kitchen: Adventures in Love and Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780147509741
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
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.
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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: 
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The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555976279
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
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.
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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

The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches by Susan Russo

Like Joey on Friends, sandwiches are definitely my favorite food. I could probably live off them alone. Some of the all-stars included in these delicious pages: the Hoagie, Cubano, Monte Cristo, French Dip, Chicken Salad, Hamburger, BLT, Denver, Falafel Pita, and SO MUCH MORE. My only advice: avoid the Doughnut Sandwich on page 78. Everything else: two thumbs up.
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The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes, History, and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread Cover Image
By Susan Russo, Matt Armendariz (Photographs by)
ISBN: 9781594744389
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Quirk Books - April 5th, 2011

Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh

Put on your top hat and prepare to class it up, Ted Haigh’s insightful recipes (with surprisingly easy to obtain ingredients, despite “forgotten” in the title) will elevate your cocktails to the next level. Filled to the brim with anecdotes and vintage artwork, this awesome compendium details the history behind cocktail culture. Practical and fun--it simply can’t be missed.
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Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind Them Cover Image
ISBN: 9781592535613
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Quarry Books - October 1st, 2009

The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flynn

The true story of a woman who loses her job and follows her dream to learn to
cook at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Equal parts uncomfortable and exhilarating, we
feel what it’s like to discover a city, a skill and something about ourselves.
Love story, food memoir and more proof that it takes courage to really lead a

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The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World's Most Famous Cooking School Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143114130
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Penguin Books - September 2nd, 2008

Oink! My Life With Mini Pigs by Tim Whyman

Tim Whyman’s house was full of life: children, cats, chickens and a dog. Then
came the mini-pigs, adorable and tiny. Hilarious adventures unfold as Tim
struggles to balance work from home with a growing brood. I laughed out loud at
the pigs’ antics and the author’s solutions and couldn’t wait to turn the page.

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Oink: My Life with Mini-Pigs Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451618297
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 18th, 2012

Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke

I was not already a disciple of the mindfulness movement, but I think Nancy may
have won me over. This book is full of stories, advice, and exercises to help
you prepare for child birth and a life-time of parenting. The lessons are
presented in a very positive, non-judgmental manner that allowed me to select
what was working for me and leave be those things that didn’t.

Reviewed by: 
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Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061963957
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: HarperOne - July 10th, 2012


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