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Non-Fiction Reviews

Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic

STAFF REVIEW: Nature's God: the Heretical Origins of the American Republic offers a lucid description of the decidedly irreligious philosophies of the founders, Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams, among others. In this campaign season, I found it refreshing to read something that so thoroughly incinerates the fundamentalist cudgel that the country was founded on Christian (read: bigoted) principles. Recommended by Kelly

Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393351293
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 6th, 2015

America's founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America's revolutionaries drew their inspiration.


Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

Carrie Brownstein’s terrific memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl is necessary reading for anyone who constructs their identity around the music they listen to. Regardless of your experience with Brownstein’s mighty band Sleater-Kinney, there’s much to delight in here, from immersive portraits of the early-90s Olympia rock scene, to poignant reveries about the pains of touring and the challenges of friendship and collaboration. Uniting all of the memorable scenes and anecdotes is Brownstein’s level-headed voice, plainly and beautifully capturing what animates her as an artist.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781594486630
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - October 27th, 2015

From the guitarist of the pioneering band Sleater-Kinney, the book Kim Gordon says "everyone has been waiting for" and a New York Times Notable Book of 2015-- a candid, funny, and deeply personal look at making a life--and finding yourself--in music.


The Typewriter Revolution

STAFF REVIEW: Call off the dogs, luddites, the hunt is over. Richard Polt's THE TYPEWRITER REVOLUTION is the perfect book for those of us who have, for whatever reason, held on to our beloved typewriters and are actually still using them. It's also a perfect book for those who might want to dust off and repair a family heirloom. Not only does it have valuable information about how to keep your sweet old Royal, Underwood, etc in top form, but it also has loving testimonials from writers about their beloved machines. Okay, luddites stop reading, it also includes techie typewriter mimics.

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The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist's Companion for the 21st Century Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781581573114
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Countryman Press - November 12th, 2015

What do thousands of kids, makers, poets, artists, steampunks, hipsters, activists, and musicians have in common? They love typewriters the magical, mechanical contraptions that are enjoying a surprising second life in the 21st century, striking a blow for self-reliance, privacy, and coherence against dependency, surveillance, and disintegration.


Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Preoccupied with death since childhood, twenty-something Caitlin Doughty's one career goal was to work in a crematory. This memoir Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is not only a hilarious and poignant account of her realized hope, but also another of several recent books that take a long overdue look at expensive and often tragic results of America's paradoxical obsession with and fear of death. Recommended by Kelly

 

 

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393351903
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 28th, 2015

Most people want to avoid thinking about death, but Caitlin Doughty--a twenty-something with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre--took a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life's work.


Gut

STAFF REVIEW: For soft science writing about the digestive system, I thought no one could equal Mary Roach's GULP, but Giulia Enders has done just that with GUT. Though not as roll-on-the-floor funny as Roach, Enders' science is much more detailed and, surprisingly, easier to understand than Roach's. With plenty of her own childhood digestive issues prompting her, Enders went into medical school and specialized in microbiology.

Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ Cover Image
By Giulia Enders, Jill Enders (Illustrator), David Shaw (Translator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9781771641494
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greystone Books - May 24th, 2015

A New York Times Bestseller

A cheeky up-close and personal guide to the secrets and science of our digestive system


Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home

Pope Francis's encyclical letter ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME: LAUDATO SI brought people to tears as a Mary Evelyn Tucker read from it at the annual Prairie Festival gathering last weekend at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas. Because he has a substantial science background coupled with compassion and bravery, his call for humans to address the climate crisis and other ravages of our planet articulates what many other religious and political leaders have neglected to say.

On Care for Our Common Home: Laudato Si' Cover Image
$12.95
ISBN: 9781593252830
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Word Among Us Press - July 20th, 2015

Addressed not only to Catholics but to "every person living on this planet," Pope Francis' second encyclical is a challenging call for a "bold cultural revolution" in how we think about technological progress and economic growth.


The Seven Good Years by Etgar Keret

Near the beginning of Israeli writer Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret’s son is born in the same hospital that’s treating the victims of a terrorist attack. A reporter approaches Keret for a quote, thinking a writer would be a good source. The reporter is disappointed to hear that Keret was “merely” there for the birth of his son, not injuries sustained in a terrorist attack. It’s a funny story, and it is simultaneously political and delicately personal.

The Seven Good Years: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781594633263
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - June 16th, 2015

A brilliant, life-affirming, and hilarious memoir from a "genius" (The New York Times) and master storyteller. With illustrations by Jason Polan.


Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast

Give yourself a few hours when you start this one; I couldn’t tear myself away until I had read it all in one sitting. Chast’s comic memoir (and I mean “comic” as in “funny” and as in “composed of words and pictures”) tells the story of her parents’ deaths. Certainly it gets harrowing at points—Chast’s mother’s decline in particular is not smooth.

Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781608198061
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - May 6th, 2014

#1 New York Times Bestseller

2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST


Under This Beautiful Dome by Terry Mutchler

In a heartbreaking new memoir, UNDER THIS BEAUTIFUL DOME, former AP journalist, Terry Mutchler, recounts the story of her closeted marriage to Illinois Democratic Senator Penny Severns, mentor to then young Senator, Barack Obama. After Severns' death from breast cancer, her family locked Mutchler out of their home and appropriated their mutual possessions.

Under This Beautiful Dome: A Senator, a Journalist, and the Politics of Gay Love in America Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781580055086
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Seal Press (CA) - September 23rd, 2014

One of the greatest love stories I have ever heard played out right here, under this beautiful dome. But it was a secret. . . . Penny and Terry just wanted what so many people wantto express their love through marriage. Illinois Representative Ann Williams


The Gentle Barn

THE GENTLE BARN, Ellie Laks' memoir, is in part a story of overcoming a difficult childhood through her positive relationship to animals. As an adult, she felt called to rescue animals she found in abusive situations. Her earliest intervention was persuading an uncaring "petting zoo" owner to let Ellie buy a malnourished goat, Mary, after a week of daily visits.

My Gentle Barn: Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780385347662
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harmony Books - March 25th, 2014

My Gentle Barn is a wonderful book. You'll love Ellie Laks and the animals she rescued--and who rescued her back. Sy Montgomery, The Good Good Pig


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