Staff Nonfiction Favorites

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

How do we create harmonious, livable, equitable, and resilient cities? Learn about the history of urban life, as well as innovations in cities worldwide to build bike paths, equalize access to health care and mass transit, recycle water and waste in new ways, and more. This book inspired me to make my very own Santa Cruz a more livable, sustainable, and compassionate community. - Natalie

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The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062234735
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Wave - September 12th, 2017

Shared with me by a local writer last winter, this collection offers powerful gifts—from Firoozeh Dumas of Funny in Farsi to Marjan Kamali, whose voice “clicked” in my head like that of a sister. Given trump’s threats on Iran and immigration, I want to see this 2006 anthology in our hands once more as a promise between women: our grace to build and rebuild a life wherever we land should define global history. - a.c.

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Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora Cover Image
By Persis M. Karim (Editor), Al Young (Translated by)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781557288202
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Arkansas Press - May 1st, 2006

This is not normal. Forget the Whitehouse—politics now is not normal. Daley pulls together the story of how following Obama’s 2008 election, key Republicans developed a meticulous, well-funded, often illegal plan to take over the U.S., by gerrymandering congressional district lines to create the nigh-unbreakable majority (and extreme politics) we’re dealing with today. - Jocelyn

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Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781631493218
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - July 4th, 2017

This author’s quest for happiness takes him across the globe. Everywhere he goes, Weiner poses the same questions to the natives: “are you happy?” Despite being a self-declared grump, Weiner’s narrative is witty and fun and he delves into some fascinating cultural analyses. A great read for anyone in need of a good laugh. - Jade

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The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780446698894
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Twelve - January 5th, 2009

This is a must read for anyone living or working with adolescent girls. Orenstein bridges the generation gap to analyze how modern girls experience their bodies, sexuality, and sex. It’s a painful truth that the realm of sexuality remains potentially dangerous and damaging despite progress in women’s rights, but Orenstein’s writing is a great contribution to the conversation. - Clara

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Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062209740
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - March 7th, 2017

Terry shares recipes, both traditional and “remixed,” that creatively highlight Southern and African diaspora foods and culture. Some, are simple and hearty, others are vegan comfort food, while others still are new takes on tasty greens. I loved everything I tried. Bonus: fantastic music suggestions for each recipe! - Natalie

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Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed Cover Image
$27.50
ISBN: 9781607745310
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - April 8th, 2014

This book simply fills me with joy. Turn to any random page and Munroe has taken a completely unlikely scenario and demonstrated just what the scientific consequences and possibilities would be if it were real. With simple illustrations and easy-to-follow explanations, you can expand your scientific knowledge and imagination at the same time. - Jocelyn

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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780544272996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin - September 2nd, 2014

This book provides a comprehensive deconstruction of digital privacy. Broken down into small vignettes that highlight either a historical or digital obfuscation, Finn & Nissenbaum offer an interesting guide for privacy in the 21st century. An excellent nightstand book, this is a vital tool for understanding just how the State can intrude upon our individual freedoms. - Gabe

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Obfuscation: A User's Guide for Privacy and Protest Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780262529860
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mit Press - September 2nd, 2016

A 2010 research dive into six companies that have been alternatively held darling or spurned by CSR hawks. Hawthorne’s work reveals so much about how we oversimplify corporate ethics. Are responsibly sourced yet prohibitively priced items moral? Do organizations with good benefits get a pass for anti-union sentiment? A fun overview to read years later. - a.c.

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Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780807000601
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Beacon Press - March 19th, 2013

A nostalgic look back, this book showcases some of the show’s most memorable moments and reveals behind-the-scenes secrets that you didn’t know you needed to hear. If you miss seeing Jon Stewart’s charming smirk on your television every evening, then this book is for you! - Jade

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The Daily Show (the Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests Cover Image
By Jon Stewart (Foreword by), Chris Smith
$18.99
ISBN: 9781455565368
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - October 10th, 2017

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