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General Nonfiction

White Magic by Elissa Washuta

Millennial, writer, Cowlitz Indian Tribe member, witch, popular culture consumer - through these individual but interconnected essays Washuta has formed a sampling of her very soul. In these funny, poignant, sincere yet self-aware, and at times painfully familiar essays, Stevie Nicks, Twin Peaks, and Red Dead Redemption share equal time with childhood memories, oppressed heritage, adult heartbreak, and magic in ways that will have you demanding more beyond the last page. - Jocelyn

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ISBN: 9781951142391
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - April 27th, 2021

The Immortality Key by Brian Muraresku

Classicist Brian Muraresku tried to move on from his obsession with dead languages and became a lawyer, but couldn’t stop his mind from wandering back to the ancient world. He became fixated on the Eleusian Mysteries of the Greeks, and a psychoactive concoction imbibed in the chthonic ceremony called the kykeon. Told with a conversational tone, and using years of extensive research, Muraresku’s narrative sheds new light on the origins of religious experience. - Aric

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The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name Cover Image
By Brian C. Muraresku, Graham Hancock (Contributions by), Graham Hancock (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781250207142
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 29th, 2020

Intimations: Six Essays by

These little essays about life during Covid contain so many nuggets of graceful wisdom. Smith writes about the embarrassment of having family members fully witness how we spend our days during quarantine; about menopause and the guy who hoverboards in the park; flowers in a garden and the way boys are indoctrinated by the toxic masculinity of our culture. She contains multitudes, and so does Intimations. - Jess

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Intimations: Six Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593297612
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Published: Penguin Books - July 28th, 2020

Pacific Coasting: A Guide to the Ultimate Road Trip, from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest by Danielle Kroll

Summer is coming, which means: Vacation! Doesn’t a road trip sound fun? But where should you go? What should you see? If you’re planning a trip along any part of the West Coast of the US, this is the book for you! With gorgeous, whimsical illustrations from author-illustrator Danielle Kroll, Pacific Coasting will make planning your next trip a dreamy and engaging experience. Plus, when you’re done planning, you’ll have a beautiful coffee-table book to show for it! — Jess

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Pacific Coasting: A Guide to the Ultimate Road Trip, from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest Cover Image
ISBN: 9781579658717
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Published: Artisan - March 16th, 2021

The End of the Golden Gate: Writers on Loving and (Sometimes) Leaving San Francisco Introduction by Gary Kamiya

This book gathers the work of 25 writers exploring their personal San Francisco, working to pinpoint what they loved and what has been lost—or if there was anything there to begin with. While the lack of Latinx and Native voices is marked, the writers in The End of the Golden Gate stretch across generations, backgrounds, and heritage, from the 1960s old guard to 21st-century transplants, from “natives” to out-of-state pilgrims, artists to techies. Peans to the diversity and progressive values of the City sit right next to chapters on the reality of being a person of color in the Bay. Throughout the beautiful writing is an indelible connection to the City, a snapshot of this moment in time, an empathetic exploration for anyone who has ever yearned for the City by the Bay in any way, a reflection while we see what San Francisco will next become. — Jocelyn

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The End of the Golden Gate: Writers on Loving and (Sometimes) Leaving San Francisco Cover Image
By Gary Kamiya (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781797210285
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Published: Chronicle Prism - May 25th, 2021

Hollywood Eden: Electric Guitars, Fast Cars, and the Myth of the California Paradise by Joel Selvin

The long-time pop music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of many rock band bios takes us back to 1950s Southern California to tell the stories of the songwriters and musicians who would go on to create a particular brand of rock music and help define the very idea of modern California. As he recounts the origin stories of Jan and Dean, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Mamas and the Papas, and others, he describes a place today’s Californians will hardly recognize—inexpensive houses, empty beaches, open roads, and few people. (To wit, Jan and Dean, Nancy Sinatra, and some of the Beach Boys all attended the same high school—at the same time.) But of course the tricky thing about paradise is that it usually has a few seamy aspects. Fortunately for us, Selvin delves into those parts the most. The book is crisply written, loaded with great anecdotes, and offers a wonderful ride back in time. — Rico

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Hollywood Eden: Electric Guitars, Fast Cars, and the Myth of the California Paradise Cover Image
ISBN: 9781487007218
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: House of Anansi Press - April 6th, 2021

The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are by Libby Copeland

What happens when you spit into a tube and discover that you were adopted? How can “discovering” our genetic ancestry affect, sometimes radically, our identities and self-understanding? If we know that race is socially constructed, why do so many people still think, incorrectly, that it is biologically determined? And since our genes are shared with our biological relatives, how do we conceive of and regulate genetic privacy? As biotechnology improves, these questions are increasingly relevant. Weaving biology with personal stories, Copeland explores the draws and dangers of at-home DNA testing, showing that despite the scientific potential, direct-to-consumer DNA testing currently remains a predominantly commercial enterprise. — Kalina

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The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419747939
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Published: Abrams Press - June 1st, 2021

The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000–2020 by Rachel Kushner

Whether she is riding her motorcycle at 130 miles an hour down Highway 1 in Baja, Mexico, name-dropping her favorite authors, or writing with joy about her hometown, San Francisco, Rachel Kushner is irresistibly cool. You don’t need to get all the references she makes (I certainly don’t) in order to enjoy her effusive and daring criticisms. By the end she will feel like a bosom buddy, one whose opinion you definitely want on whatever has captured the collective imagination this week. — Celeste

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The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982157692
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Published: Scribner - April 6th, 2021

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performers by Hanif Abdurraqib

Funny, informative, thought-provoking, empathetic—and in addition to all of that, beautiful. Hanif Abdurraqib is a reporter, memoirist, and poet, eliding moment to meaning, emotion to word, shared experience to understanding. In A Little Devil in America, Abdurraqib educates on and analyzes moments and figures of Black performance, but to read this book is to relive and revitalize the feeling of their art. You will start this book surprised and entertained, finish moved and changed. Worth every page. — Jocelyn


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A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984801197
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Published: Random House - March 30th, 2021

The Compton Cowboys by Walter Thompson-Hernández

While reading The Compton Cowboys, what struck me most—and most often—were the relentless challenges, hurdles, roadblocks, and grief that the riders, the students, and the founder of the Compton Jr. Posse, Mayisha Akbar, had to overcome every day to keep on going. Olympic-caliber high jumpers, women rodeo champions, recovering gang members, and kids dodging trouble after school, The Compton Cowboys are part of a centuries-old tradition of Black riders in America. — Dave

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The Compton Cowboys: The New Generation of Cowboys in America's Urban Heartland Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062910615
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - April 20th, 2021


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