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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

If you enjoy hiking, camping, trees, bears, granola bars, backpacking, lakes, or noodles you need to read this book. Bryson makes me want to call in sick for the next year, spending the time wandering the forest without having to worry about a schedule. Plus the writing is intelligent and hilarious. Anyone want to walk the John Muir Trail with me next month?

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A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail Cover Image
ISBN: 9780767902526
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - May 4th, 1999

The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch

After being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrom at age 30, Finch realizes that his social and personal difficulties are tied to the particular way his brain functions. He creates a list on instructions to himself--his "Journal of Best Practices"--as a way to become the husband, father, and person he wants to be. This compulsivly honest memoir shows the difficulties he faced, his family's frustrations, and the strengths his approach provided. His insights on his illness and on life in general are presented in a quirky, often hilarious narration.

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The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781439189719
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Scribner - January 3rd, 2012

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

I'm not usually a fan of "self-empowerment" books, but this one certainly has the strength of science behind it. Duhigg presents a fascinating break down of just how habits are formed and what you can do to change them. With lots of supporting materials, interesting annecdotal evidence, and a "Reader's Guide to Using These Ideas" this book can help you overcome a habit, or better understand yourself.

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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400069286
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - February 28th, 2012

Tough Sh*t by Kevin Smith (audio)

Self-proclaimed "whore to hear his own voice" Kevin Smith (known formerly as Silent Bob) reads aloud his newest memoir Tough Sh*t. Not only does Smith give a riotous outline of his own life but he also gradually gives advice based on his own successful experiences. Smith has a particularly funny and poignant perspective on life. I've loved listening to this!

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Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good Cover Image
By Kevin Smith, Kevin Smith (Read by)
ISBN: 9781611760613
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Penguin Audiobooks - March 1st, 2012

Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp

As someone who shares the same love, I fell easily into this all too common tale of the high-functioning alcoholic. The honesty with which Knapp writes is refreshingly undramatic. There are a lot of gritty rock-bottom memoirs out there, but Drinking manages to have the soul baring quality of a best friend’s confidence without the gut wrenching cringe factor.

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Drinking: A Love Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385315548
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Press Trade Paperback - May 12th, 1997

The Beginning Runner’s Handbook by Ian MacNeill

There are so many reasons to start running, but saying that it’s easy really isn’t one of them. Sure, all you need is a good pair of shoes and a solid surface…but if you are just starting out—stepping out the door can be the hardest part. The basis of this book is a generous 13-week plan, which is a fabulous way to physically ease your body to running. The rest is pure mental motivation.

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The Beginning Runner's Handbook: The Proven 13-Week Runwalk Program Cover Image
ISBN: 9781553658603
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greystone Books - March 27th, 2012

Big Sex, Little Death by Susie Bright

Susie Bright has the kind of life that memoirs were invented for—and finally she has written one! Chock full of “did-that-really-happen” moments and the fiercely intelligent and empathetic insight that she is known for, Big Sex Little Death is not to be skipped. Perfect for book group or class discussions

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Big Sex Little Death: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781580053938
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Seal Press - April 24th, 2012

The Elements of Style by Strunk & White, illustrated by Maira Kalman

Even though some of these rules are largely ignored in modern American English, this is a valuable guide to avoiding common mistakes. It covers the basics - "your tool" / "you're a tool!" - before moving on to more general refinements of style. My favorite bit of advice: "Do not dress words up by adding -ly to them, as though putting a hat on a horse."

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The Elements of Style Illustrated Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143112723
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 28th, 2007

The Science of Yoga by William Broad

Broad conducts a demythologizing look into a practice often portrayed as a magical cure-all. Part of Broad’s study is to examine the history of yoga, from its sacred ancient Indian origins to the largely commercialized, secular variations of modern times. A fascinating account for beginners and experts who want to really understand the physical effects of this spiritual art.

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The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451641424
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 7th, 2012

Cables & Arans: 250 Stitches to Knit by Interweave Press

Covering basic to complicated stitches, this Harmony Guide to cables is one of my all-time most used knitting references. Cabled stitches may look complicated and scary, but realistically are not that difficult! With this Harmony Guide's super easy to follow stitch charts by your side, you'll be able to add warmth and texture to any piece--and not to mention impress all your friends.

Harmony Guides: Cables & Arans Cover Image
By Erika Knight (Editor)
ISBN: 9781596680586
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Interweave Press - October 1st, 2007


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