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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

Castles by Charles Stephenson

A castle isn't just a fancy stone building with spires, towers, torches, and princesses inside. Castles of the medieval world were defensive and architectural masterpieces, designed to repel increasingly innovative siege weapons. The book includes tons of great dissected drawings, illuminated manuscripts, maps, and paintings. It's a must-read for all medieval history aficionados!

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Castles: A History of Fortified Structures: Ancient, Medieval & Modern Cover Image
By Charles Stephenson (Editor)
ISBN: 9780312541408
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - August 30th, 2011

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen

This is the book that taught me to love history, in all its fascinating study. We grow up, learning stories that don’t seem to have anything to do with us. But the history we learn is just that: stories. The “facts” are twisted, rewritten, or simply left out to create a narrative that has everything to do with how we perceive our world and ourselves. Eye-opening.

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Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780743296281
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Atria Books - October 16th, 2007

March was Made of Yarn by Elmer Luke

History is not a thing of the past, but is being made around us. In 2011 Japan was wracked by a tsunami and an impending nuclear disaster--its present destroyed, future suspect, and the massive cultural history of thousands of years threatened. 22 writers use fiction, prose, and even manga to process and comprehend this historic event, reaching through catastrophe towards hope.

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March Was Made of Yarn: Reflections on the Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Meltdown Cover Image
By Elmer Luke (Editor), David Karashima (Editor)
ISBN: 9780307948861
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Vintage - March 6th, 2012

Pirates of Barbary by Adrian Tinniswood

Have you got a little pirate in you? Does glittering treasure catch your eye? Do you long for freedom; endless horizon over an ever-changing sea? Or do you just like rum? Find out who and what the pirates really were, outside of Disney and Treasure Island. The personalities, politics, and passions are laid out here in an exciting epic foretelling the complications of our current world.

Pirates of Barbary: Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594485442
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Riverhead Books - September 6th, 2011

Operation Mincemeat by Ben MacIntyre

While many battles of WWII have been painstakingly examined and recreated, the less obvious fronts of the War have been neglected. This awesome book chronicles one of the plots within the Allied disinformation campaign. Discover how an unlikely espionage team and a dead man may have tipped the balance. Better than any spy novel–this story’s real.

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Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307453280
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Broadway Books - April 5th, 2011

Operation Dark Heart by Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer

Despite receiving Army clearance to publish, Shaffer found himself under attack by the DIA, NSA, and CIA, who asserted that his book contained state secrets. The Defense Department spent $47,300 to purchase and destroy the entire first printing. While Shaffer fights to get the original republished, this redacted edition gives us a glimpse of what they didn't want us reading.

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Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan -- and The Path to Victory Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312606916
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - October 11th, 2011

The Art of Pixar by Amid Amidi

This is one of the most gorgeous books I’ve seen. Covering 25 years, from the initial, ground-breaking work done on Toy Story, through Up and Cars 2, this book shows how much sheer art is in Pixar’s films. Beyond the innovation of CGI animation, color, style, design, and art go into each of these films to create beautiful worlds, reproduced here for your wonder and enjoyment.

The Art of Pixar: 25th Anniv.: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation Cover Image
ISBN: 9780811879637
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - November 2nd, 2011

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard

What does a little leaf matter, in the grand scheme of Creation? Or a drop of jam? A love affair, a duel, a bad book review–the life of a young girl, or a misanthropic man? Tom Stoppard jumps between the present and past on a Victorian estate, measuring the meaning of a life, throughout a dance of mathematics, notes, sex, love, and the beautiful mystery of the universe.

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Arcadia (Faber Drama) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780571169344
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Faber & Faber - May 10th, 1993

The Joss Whedon Companion

This amazing collection of essays gives introductions for the new Whedon fan, as well as in-depth analyses of everything from sexuality in Buffy to humanism in Firefly, and destiny in Dr. Horrible, for the diehard Browncoats. Covering comics, movies, internet, fan sensations, and even failed projects-- discover new things about the director/writer you love!

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Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion: The TV Series, the Movies, the Comic Books, and More Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780857689863
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Titan Books - May 1st, 2012

Q & A: A Five Year Journal

Each day has one question, and a place for you answer it--for 5 years in a row. Questions in this fabulous little volume range anywhere from basic (Are you wearing socks today?) to soul searching (Who are you fooling?). My go-to birthday gift; I firmly believe there is a place for this book in everyone's lives, complementing avid writers and occasional journalers alike.

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Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307719775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Potter Style - November 23rd, 2010


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