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Non-Fiction Reviews


Gary Paulsen, best known for his young adult and children’s books, has also written WINTERDANCE: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod.  Besides being a really good  book about the preparation and experience of running this race in Alaska, it is a fine portrait of the author and his relationship to dogs and to his wife. I laughed so hard in several places  that I woke up a few people. He has a

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156001458
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - February 17th, 1995

Paulsen and his team of dogs endured snowstorms, frostbite, dogfights, moose attacks, sleeplessness, and hallucinations in the relentless push to go on. Map and color photographs.

Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution

Still as pertinent and revolutionary as it was when originally published in 1976, Adrienne Rich's OF WOMAN BORN is an essential part of any feminist library. Rich reminds, one need not have been a biological mother to have experienced the resonance of motherhood.

Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393312843
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 17th, 1995

The experience is her own--as a woman, a poet, a feminist, and a mother--but it is an experience determined by the institution, imposed on all women everywhere. She draws on personal materials, history, research, and literature to create a document of universal importance.

QUIET by Susan Cain

This is a user manual for the introvert in your life or for you, if you fall in that category. Where introverts have been made to feel somehow dys-functional or dis-eased, Cain reveals that, in reality, they are completely normal and often highly intuitive and creative additions to a healthy society. Buy it for a "shy" friend today. Recommended by Kelly.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307352156
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - January 29th, 2013

The book that started the Quiet Revolution

MYCOPHILIA by Eugenia Bone

This wonderful book is a funny, accessible, and at the same time highly intelligent exploration of all things fungi. Not quite plants and not quite animals, they’re inside of us, they’re around us, they can kill us, and they can heal us. Bone learns all of this in her own voracious quest for edible mushrooms. What she discovers, in short, is that when you learn about fungi, you learn about everything and how interconnected it all is. An added bonus is that it’s a delightful romp through the subcultures of mycophiliacs. Recommended by Raven customer Lisa Grossman.
Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609619879
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Rodale Books - February 26th, 2013

In Mycophilia, accomplished food writer and cookbook author Eugenia Bone examines the role of fungi as exotic delicacy, curative, poison, and hallucinogen, and ultimately discovers that a greater understanding of fungi is key to facing challenges of the 21st century.

MY MOTHER WAS NUTS by Penny Marshall

Not only is Marshall a great director and physical comic, she’s written a hilarious memoir about a strange childhood in Brooklyn and happy but occasionally strained backstage relationships on the cast of LAVERNE & SHIRLEY. I laughed on every page. Recommended by Kelly.
My Mother Was Nuts Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547892627
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: New Harvest - September 18th, 2012

Most people know Penny Marshall as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. What they don't know is her trailblazing career was a happy accident. In this funny and intimate memoir, Penny takes us from the stage of The Jackie Gleason Show in 1955 to Hollywood's star-studded sets, offering up some hilarious detours along the way.


This National Book Award-winner is one of the best depictions of grief I’ve ever read. Didion recounts the simultaneous death of her husband and critical illness of her daughter with razor-sharp beauty and honesty. Recommended by Kelly.
The Year of Magical Thinking (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078431
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - February 13th, 2007

From one of America's iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage--and a life, in good times and bad--that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

WILD by Cheryl Strayed

WILD is like the components of a good meal—we relish each part and look forward to the next bite. Following her difficult, challenging, and fulfilling journey on the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT), we look inward and ask "could I do that?" Your answer might surprise you. Recommended by Raven customer Martha.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307476074
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - March 26th, 2013



This is a satisfying look at the remarkable Curie family, holders of four Nobel Prizes. It is an intimate portrait of a woman scientist whose work overcame the many obstacles put in her path by the scientific establishment but whose joy in life was pure science to improve the lives of humankind. She inspired America which embraced her before her European counterparts did. The many historical references are fascinating, as well. Recommended by Raven customer Martha.
Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science's First Family Cover Image
ISBN: 9780230115712
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Palgrave MacMillan - August 21st, 2012

A new portrait of the two-time Nobel winner and her two daughters

Focusing on the first family in science, this biography of Marie Curie plumbs the recesses of her relationships with her two daughters, extraordinary in their own right, and presents the legendary scientist to us in a fresh way.


This history of air-conditioning is the perfect apocalyptic summer read. Written by a researcher with Salina, Kansas’s Land Institute, the book reflects on need vs. want and how, in such a short time, humans--a tropical species afterall--reversed the two. When the book was reviewed in The Washington Post, Cox received death threats. Don’t mess with people’s A/C. Recommended by Kelly.
Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths about Our Air-Conditioned World (and Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781595587756
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Press - June 5th, 2012

One of the Mother Nature Network's ten "must-read environmental books" of the year, Losing Our Cool is the first book to examine how indoor climate control is helping send our outdoor climate reeling out of control.


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