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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

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: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
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: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Timber Press - May 1st, 2012

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams

For all the fixating, photographing, enlarging, clothing, and unclothing we do to that jiggly pair of fleshy bits, isn't it odd that they're the one body part that doesn't have their own medical specialist? Especially when you consider that breast milk is the number one indicator of the chemicals we ingest. This is a study of how we made such a big deal out of a simple pair of baby-feeders.

Reviewed by: 
Kimberly
Staff Pick Badge
Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780393063189
Availability: Out of Print
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 7th, 2012

I Brake for Yard Sales by Laura Spencer

You may recognize Laura Spencer from "Good Morning America, awesome enough—but start flipping through these pages! She is super passionate about saving money without skimping on style and offers fantastic expert advice on how to make the most of your yard-saling experience. And that's not all - there's even info on how to update and save potential treasures from the dump! – Tracy
Reviewed by: 
Tracy
I Brake for Yard Sales: and Flea Markets, Thrift Shops, Auctions, and the Occasional Dumpster Cover Image
By Lara Spencer, Kathy Griffin (Foreword by)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781584799221
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Harry N. Abrams - April 1st, 2012

Bookshelf by Alex Johnson

With e-books on the rise, bookshelves may seem obsolete--but for booklovers like myself, there's nothing like holding a physical book in your hands that you can flip pages and hug. This is for people like you and me who need creative ways to store all of the books! Marvel at these bookshelves that are shaped like trees, or hold books upside down, or can even walk!
Reviewed by: 
Tracy
Bookshelf Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780500516140
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Thames & Hudson - May 1st, 2012

Lemons and Lavender by Billee Sharp

Author Billee Sharp shares her freecycling, budget-savvy, barter-better wisdom in this step-by-step handbook for revolutionizing spending habits and reclaiming quality in life. This book is loaded with fab recipes and environmentally friendly tips for people seeking a greener and more sustainable lifestyle. It's so useful!
Reviewed by: 
Tracy
Lemons and Lavender: The Eco Guide to Better Homekeeping Cover Image
By Billee Sharp, Anneli Rufus (Foreword by)
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781936740109
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Viva Editions - March 13th, 2012

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Some people might look at Murakami's running habits and think of him as insane. Most writers (or ordinary people) don't run sixty-two miles in one day or run the original marathon course in Greece for fun. In this book, Murakami provides insight into his training along with its interaction with his other passion, writing.

Reviewed by: 
Cesar
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307389831
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - August 11th, 2009

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