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Non-Fiction Reviews

Religion for Atheists

Alain de Botton's Religion for Atheists makes the argument that those who do not claim a faith of their own shouldn't "throw out the baby with the bathwater." Without religion, we would be bereft of some of the greatest music, books, architecture, and art. Also, he maintains that the church has had some pretty excellent ideas about organizing our lives and communities that we would do well to follow. Recommended by Kelly

Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307476821
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Published: Vintage - January 8th, 2013

What if religions are neither all true nor all nonsense? Alain de Botton's bold and provocative book argues that we can benefit from the wisdom and power of religion--without having to believe in any of it.


The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks

Lovers of Terry Tempest Williams' writing (and those who never read her before--these are usually the only two categories) rejoice. In time for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, her new book The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks chronicles one of America's best-known and beloved nature writer's visits to twelve national parks and monuments.

The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374280093
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Published: Sarah Crichton Books - May 31st, 2016

America's national parks are breathing spaces in a world in which such spaces are steadily disappearing, which is why more than 300 million people visit the parks each year.


And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East

NBC war correspondent, Richard Engel, recalls 20 years of experience and history of the Middle East and North Africa. From the Arab Spring to the rise of major terrorist cells, he retells his life story as a writer, getting kidnapped, and coming home. He addresses questions such as how ISIS formed, why its numbers continue to grow, and whether or not the United States is at fault.

And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781451635119
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - February 9th, 2016

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Gripping reading...an astute, fast-paced overview... Engel] gives us sharp, unnerving snapshots." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times


Girl in a Band

STAFF REVIEW: Disclaimer: I don’t listen to much Sonic Youth, but I loved Kim Gordon's Girl in a Band. If you’re looking for tabloid fodder about Gordon’s breakup with Thurston Moore, you won’t be disappointed, but the real draw here is Gordon’s clear, frank portrayal of her long career in art and music. Like any good artist memoir, it’s full of celebrity cameos and funny anecdotes.

Girl in a Band: A Memoir Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062295903
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dey Street Books - December 1st, 2015

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Kim Gordon, founding member of Sonic Youth, fashion icon, and role model for a generation of women, now tells her story--a memoir of life as an artist, of music, marriage, motherhood, independence, and as one of the first women of rock and roll, written with the lyricism and haunting beauty of Patti Smith's Just Kids.


Quiet Power by Susan Cain

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Remember Susan Cain's book Quiet, that beautifully affirmed and absolved the world's introverts. Well, she has written a new book Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts, A Guide for Kids and Teens, which will help not only them but also their parents, friends, teachers, and other caregivers understand and inspire them.

Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780803740600
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Published: Dial Books - May 3rd, 2016

The monumental bestseller Quiet has been recast in a new edition that empowers introverted kids and teens

Susan Cain sparked a worldwide conversation when she published Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. With her inspiring book, she permanently changed the way we see introverts and the way introverts see themselves.


Coyote America: A Natural & Supernatural History

Dan Flores in Coyote America: A Natural & Supernatural History has given us an “illuminating biography of an extraordinary animal.” The coyote has been depicted both in cartoons and as a deity in Native American mythology. Until we began ranching and herding on the plains, they lived alongside humans. After complaints by ranchers, the US. government started eradicating wolves, and when coyotes replaced them, they became the next target.

Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780465052998
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Basic Books - June 7th, 2016

Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
"A masterly synthesis of scientific research and personal observation." -Wall Street Journal


Shrinking the Earth

STAFF REVIEW: Widely recognized as the nation's first environmental historian, KU professor emeritus of history, Don Worster, has just released his latest book: Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of American Abundance (Oxford University Press). Each chapter charts the history of North Americans' slow realization of the limits of their continent's natural resources.

Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of Natural Abundance Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780199844951
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Published: Oxford University Press, USA - February 5th, 2016

The discovery of the Americas around 1500 AD was an extraordinary watershed in human experience. It gave rise to the modern period of human ecology, a phenomenon global in scope that set in motion profound changes in almost every society on earth.


Trouble Boys

Bob Mehr’s Trouble Boys is one of the best rock n’ roll books I’ve ever read. Certainly a book about a band as volatile, destructive, and self-destructive as The Replacements makes for vicarious fun reading. But rock critic Mehr refuses to make Trouble Boys a simple catalog of smashed guitars and shattered hotel rooms. Mehr exposes the darkness and insecurities underlying the tragic story of The Replacements, a band that could’ve made it but never did.

Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements Cover Image
$27.50
ISBN: 9780306818790
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Da Capo Press - March 1st, 2016

Based on all-new interviews and including 72 rare photos, Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements is the definitive boigraphy of one of the last great rock 'n' roll bands of the twentieth century.


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

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.


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