Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

This is the book that keeps resurfacing in my mind and in my conversations. I can’t stop talking about it! My personal understanding of “belonging” and my cultural understanding of “belonging” have been given a new language and a new mission. I think this shift in thinking has unlimited potential and such hope for better conversations with friends and foes, alike. - Jenny

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Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812995848
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - September 12th, 2017

The ‘How Stuff Works’ series by DK publishes some of my favorite books. This iteration is no different. Simple in its display of facts and easy to follow, How Food Works forms a fantastic introduction to nutrition and the role food plays in maintaining a healthy human. - Ian

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How Food Works: The Facts Visually Explained (How Things Work) Cover Image
By DK
$20.00
ISBN: 9781465461193
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) - May 23rd, 2017

The sexual politics of college (and post-college) life are central to successful discussions of gender equality. In this must-read book Wade investigates what hookup culture looks like, the unequal impacts of it (oftentimes along racial and gender lines), and its relationship to an ever-changing lineage of American youths and how they initiate and experience sex and romance. - Clara

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American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393355536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 13th, 2018

Inside the Arician forests of Ancient Rome, a freed slave holds a sword and a tree branch. His title is Rex Nemorensis, the King of the Wood, and as long as he holds that branch, he remains so. This tale is just one of many others recounted by Sir William Frasier in his seminal work, The Golden Bough, which is a must-read for all those curious about the oddities of ancient culture. - Aric

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The Golden Bough: Abridged Edition (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Cover Image
By James Frazer, George W. Stocking (Introduction by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780140189315
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - January 1st, 1998

In a masterful blend of science and storytelling, Rutherford journeys through human history, using DNA as a guide. Rutherford's writing is accessible, informative, and humerous. I found this book absolutely fascinating and learned a lot. If you enjoyed Sapiens and Guns, Germs, and Steel and you're looking for your next great read: this is it! - Jade

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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781615194049
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Experiment - October 3rd, 2017

With tips on form, style, and craft, this artist’s manual gives you skills and wisdom that are hard to find elsewhere. After using many different books as references for my own lettering work, I found this guide to be incredible with info for the beginner as well as great advice for those wanting to pursue lettering more seriously in the professional world. Check this one out! - Grace

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In Progress: See Inside a Lettering Artist's Sketchbook and Process, from Pencil to Vector Cover Image
By Jessica Hische, Louise Fili (Preface by)
$29.95
ISBN: 9781452136226
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - September 15th, 2015

As common as cotton is to your lives and persons, it's become so ubiquitous to the point of irrelevance. But its history stretches back thousands of years, wars have been fought, peoples subjugated, and revolutions propelled. A history of cotton is an economic history of the modern world. - Ian

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Empire of Cotton: A Global History Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780375713965
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - November 10th, 2015

Desmond, a Harvard sociologist, lived in low-income neighborhoods for three years, recording this true story of people in the slums of Milwaukee, as they struggled (and failed) to keep a roof over their heads. Evicted engages the topic of income inequality with honest reportage and real solutions to ensure that everyone has a place to call home. - Jason

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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780553447453
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - February 28th, 2017

You might think you're not interested in orchids, or the Hoover Dam, or in Caltrans' creation of the "diamond lane" in LA, but that's because you haven't talked to Joan about it. Insightful, poetic critiques of class and socio-political events combine with compelling portraits of California in the 70's and of Didion herself in this informative and entertaining read. - Wren

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The White Album (FSG Classics) Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780374532079
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - November 10th, 2009

I love nonfiction writing that teaches through objects. Color melds history, science, travel writing, economics, and color theory in a meandering exploration of the world through the pigments that dazzle our eyes at every moment. Finlay has a talent for ferreting out stories and painting pictures with her words. This is a great read for fueling your curiosity! - Clara

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Color: A Natural History of the Palette Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812971422
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - December 30th, 2003

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