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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

What’s Wrong with My Plant? by Deardorff and Wadsworth

I don’t do so well with plants, so I was delighted to find this book. It outlines common ailments in a clear, straightforward way, with plenty of helpful color drawings for easy identification. It also provides simple solutions for almost every problem you can encounter. With this book, even the most inept gardener (like myself) can keep a plant alive!

Reviewed by: 
Flannery

Hitchens Vs. Blair: The Munk Debates by Christopher Hitchens

The world lost a powerful and important voice with Hitchens’ passing. In 2010, shortly after his diagnosis with esophageal cancer, Hitchens went toe-to-toe with Tony Blair to debate the role of religion in the world. This is a truly electrifying debate that has now been printed for your reading and referencing pleasure. A perfect companion to Hitchen’s other indispensible books.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Hitchens vs. Blair: Be It Resolved Religion Is a Force for Good in the World: The Munk Debates Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781770890084
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: House of Anansi Press - March 15th, 2011

Unpacking My Library by Leah Price

I am the kind of person who pauses the movie when bookshelves appear in the background, so I can identify familiar titles. It’s fun! You should try it. So naturally I immediately adored this book, which features beautiful photographs of the bookshelves of famous writers, accompanied by interviews about how they collect and curate their books. A must-own for bookshelf aficionados.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books Cover Image
By Leah Price (Editor)
$22.20
ISBN: 9780300170924
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yale University Press - November 29th, 2011

Why Do Fools Fall In Love by Anouchka Grose

Around this time of year we often find ourselves asking this exact question…why love? Whether single, attached, happy, or miserable—navigating the treacherous world of romance is an fundamental human experience. Grose blends her knowledge as a psychotherapist with wisdom from philosophy, poetry, science, and even pop culture to create a straightforward guide to love.

Reviewed by: 
Kimberley
Why Do Fools Fall In Love: A Realist's Guide to Romance Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781935639008
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Tin House Books - January 1st, 2011

Behind the Palace Doors by Michael Farquhar

Michael Farquhar delivers what his title promises, and more. Filled with the kind of gossip that drives sales of Us and People, on the people you were bored by in history class, Behind the Palace Doors also offers an analysis of the historical and psychological ramifications of royalty, both in the past and today. A fun read and fascinating study.

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812979046
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - March 1st, 2011

Dance Anatomy by Jacqui Greene Haas

Both a fountain of information and an invaluable guidebook to perfecting the tool of dance: the human body. Explaining which parts of the body are used in basic dance technique, with illustrations so you can see the exact muscles, bones, and tendons at work. This book also provides detailed exercises to strengthen and tone—beautiful, fascinating, and a must for any dancer. --J.S.

Dance Anatomy Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780736081931
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Human Kinetics Publishers - March 12th, 2010

Awkward Family Pet Photos by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack

I love this book. When I get stressed out or sad, I pick a random page or two, and let hilarity take me away. There are animals in ridiculous costumes, animals making fools of their owners, animals in odd situations, and owners making fools of everyone involved. It’s simply amazing. Just try to read it without laughing.

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
Awkward Family Pet Photos Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780307888129
Availability: Backordered
Published: Three Rivers Press - November 1st, 2011

Decoded by Jay-Z

Hip-hop is misunderstood and so is Jay-Z. In Decoded, he immerses the reader in the world that he grew up in, the Marcy Projects. Located in Brooklyn, the projects transformed Jay from a hustler, to the king of the hip-hop movement. Along with amazing graphical illustrations, this book deciphers the inner meanings of hip-hop and its importance to musical history.

Reviewed by: 
Cesar
Decoded Cover Image
By Jay-Z
$30.00
ISBN: 9780812981155
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spiegel & Grau - November 1st, 2011

The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick

Chris Hardwick, now pop culture and nerd culture icon–through his nerd-hub website Nerdist, his podcasts, acting, stand-up, was a depressed, overweight alcoholic. Rather than a memoir on how he turned his life around, this is a guide designed for the nerd-inclined on understanding yourself and taking control of your life (with occasional personal anecdotes and name-dropping).

Reviewed by: 
Jocelyn
The Nerdist Way Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780425243541
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Berkley Hardcover - November 1st, 2011

California Theme Parks by Alex Miller and Bryce Walker

Written by two former UCSC students with a passion for fun, this book is a fabulous guide for the theme park fanatic. With fabulous photos and some background information on the parks, this book explores twenty different parks throughout California. Check out the section on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on page 92!

Reviewed by: 
Tracy
California Theme Parks Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780764334788
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Schiffer Publishing - June 23rd, 2010

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