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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

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: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
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: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 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: Backordered
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: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 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: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Grove Press - August 7th, 1997

Darth Vader & Son by Jeffrey Brown

I'd never considered what it would have been like if Vader had been the one to raise Luke, but I'm glad that Jeffery Brown did. Turns out, it would have been delightfully, adorably hilarious. Full of awesome movie references, this book makes me ridiculously happy. Now this would be a Star Wars movie I could get behind!
Reviewed by: 
Flannery
Darth Vader and Son (Star Wars Comics for Father and Son, Darth Vader Comic for Star Wars Kids) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781452106557
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - April 18th, 2012

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

This vividly detailed book follows the lives of several slum dwellers, all with different positions and castes, whose lives intersect through one event. Boo completely removes herself from the narrative, letting the people pull you in, and the result is a fascinating look at a violently different culture that reads like a novel. This is non-fiction at its best.

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
Staff Pick Badge
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781400067558
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Random House - February 7th, 2012

Quiet by Susan Cain

For a successful society, thinkers are just important as doers, yet in the last century we have come to emphasize action over thought. This is an eloquent, incisive examination of how our culture came to devalue introversion, and why the suppression of this trait is to all our detriment. This excellent book will empower introverts and educate extroverts.
Reviewed by: 
Flannery
Staff Pick Badge
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780307352149
Availability: Backordered
Published: Crown - January 24th, 2012

The Puzzler’s Dilemma by Derrick Niederman

As a self-proclaimed logic junkie, I can’t recommend this book enough! It’s readable for anyone curious about puzzles, and does a thorough but fun job untangling riddles, paradoxes, and other mind-boggling curiosities. So when Monty Hall reveals a goat behind door #3, you know whether or not to switch.

Reviewed by: 
Andrea
The Puzzler's Dilemma: From the Lighthouse of Alexandria to Monty Hall, a Fresh Look at Classic Conundr ums of Logic, Mathematics, and Life Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399537295
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: TarcherPerigee - March 6th, 2012

Lavender Lover's Handbook by Sarah Bader

One of my favorite things about springtime in Santa Cruz is the wild abundance of lavender. This lovely compendium of everything lavender will take you step-by-step through different varieties, where to find them, and how to use them. Included are fantastic recipies for sweet and savory dishes, simple syrups, and even center pieces. Redundant, I know, but I love this book!
Reviewed by: 
Kimberly
The Lavender Lover's Handbook: The 100 Most Beautiful and Fragrant Varieties for Growing, Crafting, and Cooking Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781604692211
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Timber Press - May 1st, 2012

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