Non-Fiction Reviews

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
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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
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 28th, 2015

Armed with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre, Caitlin Doughty took a job at a crematory and turned morbid curiosity into her life's work. She cared for bodies of every color, shape, and affliction, and became an intrepid explorer in the world of the dead.


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)
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ISBN: 9781771641494
Availability: Out of Print
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
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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
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ISBN: 9781594633263
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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
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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
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ISBN: 9781580055086
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Seal Press - September 23rd, 2014

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
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Published: Harmony - 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


Does Santa Exist: A Philosophical Investigation

Here's a terrific gift for the philosopher in your life. Executive producer and writer for THE BIG BANG THEORY and THE LATE SHOW, Eric Kaplan explores the ultimate questions of how we mere mortals struggle with the big questions that keep us awake at night, and he does it, as you might imagine, with a lot of humor. Says Hubert Dreyfus, professor of philosophy at U.C.

Does Santa Exist?: A Philosophical Investigation Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780525954392
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Published: Dutton Books - October 16th, 2014

A humorous philosophical investigation into the existence of Santa from a co-executive producer ofThe Big Bang Theory


What There Is to Say We Have Said

STAFF REVIEW: I loved WHAT THERE IS TO SAY WE HAVE SAID, a collection of letters between Southern novelist Eudora Welty and her editor William Maxwell. The two had honed the art of letter writing to a fine art and show readers what we will miss in an age of electronic ephemeral communication. Their intimacy and humor add a delicious layer to all we already know of their lives.

What There Is to Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780547750323
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Published: Mariner Books - May 22nd, 2012

Eavesdrop on one of the most celebrated literary friendships in American letters

"An epistolary feast for literary fans [and] a confidence booster for aspiring writers everywhere.


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