Staff Picks by Tag

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The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781541674080
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Basic Books - April 30th, 2019

 

With suggestive humor and a bit of orneriness, Cooke clears up crazy misconceptions about some of the world’s more mysterious and underappreciated species. Throughout, she dissects these past theories for signs of human superiority, a binary physical understanding, and a little too much of the woodsy musk from a beaver's “gonads.” What’s left: Hyenas are avid feminists, Eels keep their coitus quiet, and Sloths are pretty much the ultimate survivalists. You can devour this all at once or savor each chapter as an individual essay, but you will be amazed by the truth (and bestiary sketches) either way.


Review by Katelynn

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The Forging of a Rebel: The Forge, The Track and The Clash Cover Image
By Arturo Barea, Ilsa Barea (Translated by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781782274940
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Pushkin Press - March 26th, 2019

A compelling, unflinching portrait of Spain in the early 20th century, this autobiographical trilogy is at once a charming coming-of-age saga and a chilling study of the rise of a fascist state. Not convinced? Admittedly, it's long...but this prose is as rich and as satisfying as an Andalusian feast. 


Review by Sam

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The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062316554
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harper Paperbacks - June 27th, 2017

Want to convince your relatives that universal healthcare, free high quality education, and a robust social safety net are a good thing without them thinking you're a pinko commie? Hand them this.


Review by Anje

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Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781476796628
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - October 2nd, 2018

New York Times illustrator Nora Krug uses comics, collage, narrative and found documents to explore her ambivalent feelings of nostalgia and guilt for her German family's wartime past. A fascinating historical detective story!


Review by Stephen

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The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780691192727
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Princeton University Press - June 18th, 2019

This is a book that stays with you long after the enormous length of time time that you’ll spend reading it. Not content to merely rival the classics of Russian literature with an epic account of the idealism and ultimate tragedy of the Bolshevik Revolution, Slezkine bores deeply into the Bolsheviks' attempts to create a new socialist society by attacking bourgeois art, fashion, and fitted kitchens.


Review by Stephen

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American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735223585
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Press - September 18th, 2018

One of the best non-fiction books of the year. In alternating chapters that focus on past and present, Bauer elegantly lays out the brutal history of for-profit prisons in America, and writes about his experience both as a former prisoner and working as a guard in the private prison industry. This is an essential read for anyone interested in criminal justice or law enforcement.


Review by Anje

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SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781631492228
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - September 6th, 2016

I waited to read S.P.Q.R. because I did not want to read yet another history of Rome. Not for the first time, I find myself in error. Mary Beard interrogates our marbled vision of Rome, re-examines the historical record, and writes with wit that warms my Classicist heart.


Review by Alex

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A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781942658108
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Bellevue Literary Press - August 23rd, 2016

If you have any interest in the fight against totalitarian theocracy, then you must read A Road Unforeseen. I found it to be a thorough, well organized primer on Kurdistan, ISIS, and the self governing region known as Rojava. Meredith Tax is a phenomenal researcher, and makes this deeply complicated topic very readable. Still not convinced? THIS IS ABOUT WOMEN FIGHTING AN INSANE DEATH CULT.


Review by Anje

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October: The Story of the Russian Revolution Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781784782788
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Verso - May 22nd, 2018

The Russian Revolution is one of the defining events of modern history, and sci-fi author China Miéville has turned its tumultuous, hopeful, and ultimately tragic build-up into a thrilling and fascinating page-turner.


Review by Stephen