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Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Chast paints a portrait of her aging parents' final days through four-color cartoons, short narratives, family photos, and original documents like her mother's handwritten poetry. Chast's colorful, often hilarious drawings are the perfect contrast to the darkness of oncoming loss and looming grief. This book will make you laugh and cry—sometimes simultaneously. - Kristi

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Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9781632861016
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA - September 13th, 2016

The New Well-Tempered Sentence by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

Quite certainly the spiciest use of commas in an educational text. An example of commas between independent clauses: I won’t rise to the occasion, but I’ll slide over to it. Even more ambiguously suggestive: He told her he belonged to another, yet his pajamas clung to her tights. Also the probably immoral, yet proper, usage of semicolons, hyphens, apostrophes, and the dreaded ellipses. - Dave

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The New Well-Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed Cover Image
$10.95
ISBN: 9780618382019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - September 19th, 2003

The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale

In 1857, a child was convicted of murdering his mother after her body was found decomposing in their home. This lurid point of entry belies a fascinating and surprisingly compassionate examination of a crime that gripped Victorian London. Like the best crime narratives, its focus is not on the crime itself, but on the extraordinary ways it shaped the lives left in its wake. - Katherine

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The Wicked Boy: An Infamous Murder in Victorian London Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143110460
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - July 4th, 2017

Europe: A Natural History by Tim Flannery

So sharp! I feel like I laughed out loud every paragraph. Flannery looks at the Europe’s unique roles as a bridge between continents, analyzing paleontology, geology, botany, anthropology and more. Europe couldn't be as funny as it is without a backbone of research. Centuries of scholarship are translated with an irreverent wit that brings the past alive. Absolutely delightful reading. - Clara

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Europe: A Natural History Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802129161
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - February 12th, 2019

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Fisher was an actress, geek icon, and a professional screw-up who held nothing back from her audience. She called herself the product of “Hollywood incest” and never failed to find the humor in life. My nerdy little heart reveled in every moment. The secrets are as juicy as expected. More importantly, it’s full of the wit and self-deprecation we expected from our foul-mouthed princess. - Ivy

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The Princess Diarist Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780399185793
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Blue Rider Press - October 24th, 2017

The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables by Catherine Reid

This book is a beautiful portrait of Prince Edward Island and the forests, meadows, and fields that inspired Anne. Drawing from Montgomery’s archives, her letters and journal entries are interwoven with lush photographs of the place she called home. If you can’t visit Prince Edward Island yourself, this book is the next best thing. - Katherine

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The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables: The Enchanting Island that Inspired L. M. Montgomery Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781604697896
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Timber Press - March 27th, 2018

Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber

Want to understand how the 1% amassed all of their money and power? Want to take power back? Graeber, one of the minds behind Occupy, traces the history of money from the earliest civilizations up to the housing market crash of 2018 and (too big to fail) bail-outs. Graeber introduces new ideas for changing our broken financial system. Viva La Revolution! - Jason

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Debt - Updated and Expanded: The First 5,000 Years Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9781612194196
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Melville House - October 28th, 2014

Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman

I had to get my hands on this after seeing Bregman's clear, assured take-downs of wealth inequality at Davos and on Tucker Carlson. His vision for a modern utopia where technological advancements benefit humans rather than oppress them includes universal basic income, a 15 hour workweek, and open borders. This radical, ambitious, and knowledgeable plan is a must read! - Clara

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Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316471916
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - March 27th, 2018

I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

An absolute must-read for any true crime fan, this horrifying account of a decades-long California crime spree will have you locking your doors and windows at night. The compassion and bulldog advocacy McNamara brought to the story is truly a new standard for the genre, and the killer was recently apprehended in Sacramento due to her efforts.

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I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer Cover Image
By Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Introduction by), Patton Oswalt (Afterword by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062319791
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - February 26th, 2019

Shaya: An Odyssey of Food by Alon Shaya

Part memoir, part cookbook, each page radiates with feeling and flavor. Beautifully written vignettes of Shaya’s life and the people who shaped his cooking lead into clear and visceral recipes. Simple instructions powerfully evoke flavor, texture, aroma, and heat at every step of the dish. This book is warm and delicious and will keep you reading and, (hopefully) eating. - Jocelyn

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Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel: A Cookbook Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780451494160
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - March 13th, 2018

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