Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

I treat this book like I would a religious text, if I were religious; I take it with me every time I leave the house, I write all over it, I quote passages back to people, I read it before bed. Part memoir, part love letter, part queer familial ethnography, and part critical theory, Nelson sets an astounding precedent for the newly emerging genre of auto-theory. - Wren

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The Argonauts Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781555977351
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - January 26th, 2016

Don’t let the title fool you – this book is about much more than a happy marriage. Full of reflections on a broad range of topics such as her writing process, her friendship with an elderly nun, and what it’s like to try out for the LAPD police academy, this essay collection contains observations on all the forms of grace, tragedy, and humor that life has to offer. - Jessica

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This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062236685
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - October 7th, 2014

Heschel remains one of the most insightful and progressive spiritual thinkers. This collection, edited by his daughter, excerpts speeches and writings on social justice, prayer and inner life, faith and science, and the spiritual center of tradition in modernity. I recommend Heschel to anyone interested in living mindfully and affecting positive change in their communities. - Clara

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Abraham Joshua Heschel: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781570759192
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbis Books - May 18th, 2011

See chronicles her ancestors’ immigrant experience coming from China to California. Spanning 100 years of family history, from dynamiting railroads into mountainsides to rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood elite, See shares the triumphs and the devastations along the way. I was charmed by See’s honest, often emotional rendering of her family’s remarkable journey. - Jade

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On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307950390
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - February 7th, 2012

I think I raved to everyone who would listen about how much I loved this book. Lockwood is hilarious, yet her words are thoughtful and heartfelt as she describes her ‘walking warning label’ of a mother and her priest father who has a habit of dropping his collar (and pants) at the door. Families aren’t perfect and Lockwood’s is no different. - Karena

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Priestdaddy: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399573262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 1st, 2018

A book about the past mixed with the politics of the today, all told through captivating reporting. It celebrates the true thrilling story of the people who smuggled old, rare books and scripts out of West Africa as they confront the new dangers of the present. Badass Librarians is both inspiring and page-turning. - Ian

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The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476777412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 4th, 2017

A book for anyone who wants to waste less food, get more creative in their use of leftover ingredients, or generally feel more confident in the kitchen. Full of enormously practical advice, Adler's essays on cooking and eating are also beautifully written and reassuringly focused on eating well rather than 'correctly'. - Ilana

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An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace Cover Image
By Tamar Adler, Alice Waters (Foreword by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781439181881
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - June 19th, 2012

Straight from the land of Shaolin comes a poignant memoir about one of the Wu-Tang Clan’s underrated members, chronicling childhood traumas, first run-ins with Wu-Tang Clan members (his young Method Man stories are insightful and hilarious), and the beginnings of the Wu-Tang. Heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud hilarious, RAW is the definitive hip-hop memoir of the year. - Gabe

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Raw: My Journey Into the Wu-Tang Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781250191168
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - March 6th, 2018

I urge you to pick up this. I loved learning about microscopic, indestructible water bears, moss diapers, peat bogs, and the grueling fun of being a scientist.  Kimmerer has something that few science writers have: lyrical writing and an infectious curiosity for the world around her. This gem of a book instills a sense of delight and awe and gratitude for living things. - Natalie

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Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780870714993
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oregon State University Press - March 1st, 2003

Gripping, evocative, and richly detailed, Tara Westover's clear-eyed account of how she achieved a Ph.D.— despite the fact that her father's religious fundamentalism kept her out of school until she was 17 (and she and her siblings out of hospitals, despite some truly horrendous injuries)—is a must-read. I couldn't put this memoir down. - Stuart

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Educated: A Memoir Cover Image
$22.40
ISBN: 9780399590504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018

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