Nonfiction from the 2012 Summer Newsletter

<img src="http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com/files/santacruz/2012_Summer_Newsletter_... width="100" height="130" align="right">These recommendations were published in our <a href="http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com/2012-summer-newsletter">2012 Summer Newsletter</a>.

Like many of you, I am a big fan of Jonathan Franzen’s fiction. But I think his essays may have just a slight edge in my heart. Maybe I just like seeing the compassionate, thoughtful everyman lurking behind the persona of the darkly comic novelist. Whether probing the life of his troubled friend David Foster Wallace, or traveling the world in aid of the vanishing songbirds, Franzen always has something interesting to say, and he is often unexpectedly self-revealing.

Reviewed by: 
Seana
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Farther Away Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374153571
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - April 24th, 2012

Full Body Burden is one of the most important stories of the nuclear era—as personal and powerful as Silkwood, told with the suspense and narrative drive of The Hot Zone. With unflinching honesty, Kristen Iversen has written an intimate and deeply human memoir that shows why we should all be concerned about nuclear safety, and the dangers of ignoring science in the name of national security. [An] essential and unforgettable book that should be talked about in schools and book clubs, online and in the White House.” —Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
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Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307955630
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - June 5th, 2012

The author of The Men Who Stare at Goats has brought us another unexpected journey, this time into the madness industry. Part mystery, part research project, Ronson’s latest will change the way you view insanity, handing out equal parts entertainment and intrigue as he explores the relationship between madness, deception, and power.

Reviewed by: 
Bucket
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The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781594485756
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 1st, 2012

If you’re someone who appreciates a good rant, then chances are you make a few new rules each day yourself. You know, when you’ve had all you can take, and for a moment you imagine you’re omnipotent and you issue a proclamation, a new rule, regarding some bit of nonsense that will no longer be tolerated. However, yours are probably not as hilarious as the ones in Bill Maher’s A–Z collection, The New New Rules.

Reviewed by: 
Joe
The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780452298293
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume Books - May 1st, 2012

Terry Tempest Williams has an uncanny way of reaching toward something by way of language—whether it be nature or writing or feeling. In When Women Were Birds, what Williams reaches toward is greater understanding. Shortly before dying, Williams’ mother tells Terry that she is leaving Terry her journals, but that she must not open them until she is gone. Terry pays heed and opens the diaries after her mother’s death, only to find that they are blank—all of them. The finding, Williams says, sent her into a “double grief.” This book is about the journey Terry goes through to fill in those journals. It is a meditation on voice and understanding, a tribute to flight and identity, to seeking and exploring, to family reconciliation, and to letting go. This is a stunning read.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780374288976
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - April 10th, 2012

I have a new favorite word: wonk. Not to be confused with wonky (although this book is also a little bit of that). Wonk—defined as a studious person—is the self-adopted moniker for “mapheads”—those who are interested in everything map, and Ken Jennings is leader of the map pack. In a charming and witty tone, Jennings blends memoir, humor, anecdote, and serious research to talk about his devotion to the world of maps. From map making to map collecting, to Google maps, to the ways pop icons plan their tour stops (there is in fact an order to the chaos), Jennings wrote this book with one aim in mind: to “rescue geography from irreverence.” Delightful, funny, and perfect for Bill Bryson fans.
Reviewed by: 
S.M.C.
Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781439167182
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - April 17th, 2012

This book takes a close look at an incredible story that happened right in our area. In 2008, a series of lightning strikes ignited hundreds of fires across California, and one of those fires threatened the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in Big Sur, a place accessible by a single unpaved road and particularly vulnerable to fire. The story of how the Center was saved by those who lived and worked there will leave you on the edge of your seat, as well as teach you about the many ways that Zen teachings can prepare you for a wildfire.
Reviewed by: 
Kat
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Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143121374
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 26th, 2012

 

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