Non-Fiction Reviews

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
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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
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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. A-" --Entertainment Weekly

"If friendship is an art, this volume is its masterpiece." --Lee Smith


Cat Sense by John Bradshaw

STAFF REVIEW: Hey all you cat lovers out there. Feline scientist John Bradshaw's book CAT SENSE offers not only intriguing new insights into little understood behavior but also excellent natural history about our little charges. You'll never look at them the same way again. Recommended by Kelly.

Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780465031016
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Basic Books (AZ) - September 10th, 2013

Cats have been popular household pets for thousands of years, and their numbers only continue to rise. Today there are three cats for every dog on the planet, and yet cats remain more mysterious, even to their most adoring owners.


The Creative Brain: The Science of Genius by Nancy Andreasen

A fascinating look at the role imagination, creativity, and play have in everyday life, even if you're not a genius. Part nature, part nurture, creativity has the opportunity to transform personal and social spheres. Recommended by Chip.

The Creative Brain: The Science of Genius Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9780452287815
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Published: Plume Books - November 1st, 2006

Shakespeare's tragic plays, Mozart's sublime symphonies, Einstein's revolutionary theories--how did these geniuses create such magnificent and highly original works? Were their brains different from those of ordinary people?


Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day by Joan Bolker

A must for any graduate student or researcher. Bolker's advice is practical, honest, and inspirational no matter where you are in the writing process. Recommended by Chip.

Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780805048919
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Published: Holt McDougal - August 15th, 1998

Expert writing advice from the editor of the Boston Globe best-seller, The Writer's Home Companion


The Last Season by Eric Blehm

Though an outdoor adventure biography, this book reads very much like a mystery. When veteran emergency rescue ranger Randy Morgensen goes missing himself in Yosemite, no one knows what to think. Blehm's suspenseful writing shows how his fellow rangers, civilian search teams, and park personnel try to piece together the puzzle of his disappearance. A great summer read! Recommended by Kelly.

The Last Season Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780060583019
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Published: Harper Perennial - February 1st, 2007

Destined to become a classic of adventure literature, The Last Season examines the extraordinary life of legendary backcountry ranger Randy Morgenson and his mysterious disappearance in California's unforgiving Sierra Nevada—mountains as perilous as they are beautiful.


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