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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

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.

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan -- and The Path to Victory Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780312606916
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 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
$50.00
ISBN: 9780811879637
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 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.

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
Arcadia (Faber Drama) Cover Image
$17.95
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!

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion: The TV Series, the Movies, the Comic Books, and More Cover Image
Email or call for price
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.

Reviewed by: 
Kimberly
Q&A a Day: 5-Year Journal Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780307719775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Potter Style - November 23rd, 2010

Cupcakes and Cashmere by Emily Schuman

I love the seasonal layout of this all-encompassing guide to style, beauty, home, food, and entertaining. This summer I've learned how to utilize local fruit, make a mint julep, find the perfect vintage sun dress, and give myself beachy tousled hair. To look forward to this fall? Wearing tights right, rocking bright lipstick, and decorating for Halloween on a budget.
Reviewed by: 
Kimberly
Cupcakes and Cashmere: A Guide for Defining Your Style, Reinventing Your Space, and Entertaining with Ease Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781419702105
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - August 1st, 2012

The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer

Where are you going to take your vacation this year? Disneyland’s too crowded, and Paris is overdone. Wait-how about a when, instead of a where? Oh, well, I guess a where and a when. I’ve got to tell you, I’ve got the perfect guide too. Local customs, idioms, the best food, where to stay–read this and it’s like you’d actually lived there. Where do you want to go this summer?
Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781439112908
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Touchstone - October 25th, 2011

The House of Wisdom by Jim al-Khalil

Al-Khalil traces the origins of foundational scientific concepts throughout the Arabic world beginning centuries before the European Renaissance. Everything from the circulation system, to the heliocentric model of the solar system. How did the same discoveries made by the Europeans, years and centuries later, eclipse those of the Arabic world? Fascinating.
Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143120568
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - March 27th, 2012

Actions by Calderone & Lloyd-Williams

Actors act–but what does that mean? Is acting standing on a stage and pretending to fall in love, get sad, be angry? No. Acting is about actions. You seduce a lover, mourn a loss, aggravate your antagonist. I’m pimping this book to you. An invaluable tool to galvanize an actor, to maneuver a cast, or for anyone to have fun playing with words and actions.

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
Actions: The Actors' Thesaurus Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780896762527
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Drama Publishers/Quite Specific Media - March 17th, 2006

Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin

Picasso and Einstein walk into a bar–no, really. Before they were influential visionaries, Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein were two frustrated, oversexed, 20-something geniuses, sitting in a bar in Paris, waiting for their first breaks, and discussing art, genius, and of course women and sex–not necessarily in that order. One of those few plays that’s as entertaining to read as it is to watch.
Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays: Picasso at the Lapin Agile, the Zig-Zag Woman, Patter for a Floating Lady, Wasp Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802135230
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - August 7th, 1997

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