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Nonfiction Recommendations

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Mountain States Foraging: 115 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Alpine Sorrel to Wild Hops (Regional Foraging Series) By Briana Wiles Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781604696783
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Timber Press - June 15th, 2016

The perfect guide for anyone looking to start identifying the edible plants around them! With beautiful photographs and advice in how to identify each plant, Wiles makes foraging in the Rocky Mountain area easy and accessible. Packed with tips for gathering, guidelines for safety, and recipes for using your harvest, this stunning look at the natural abundance around us makes this a must-have guide for every household.

-Reviewed by Madison


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The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins By Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780691220550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Princeton University Press - June 8th, 2021

This book captures the complex relations between humans, culture, nature, and capitalism by using mushrooms as the focal point. Through ethnographic storytelling, Tsing introduces us to characters all over the world who have their hands (sometimes literally) in the collection, commodification, sale, and consumption of matsutake mushrooms. A must read for foragers, foodies, and those who ponder the future of capitalism.

-Reviewed by Georgia


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The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail (California Series in Public Anthropology #36) By Jason De Leon, Michael Wells (By (photographer)) Cover Image
By Jason De Leon, Michael Wells (By (photographer))
$29.95
ISBN: 9780520282759
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: University of California Press - October 23rd, 2015

The Land of Open Graves is not for the faint of heart. De León gives voice to migrants crossing the US’s southern border, both the living and the dead. Using interviews with migrants and CBP officers, archaeological digs, desert experiments, and deep political and historical analysis, The Land of Open Graves uncovers the human toll and experience of the US’s border policy.

-Reviewed by Georgia


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Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know By Malcolm Gladwell Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316299220
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Back Bay Books - September 28th, 2021

Are you a good judge of character? Probably not, according to Malcolm Gladwell. He takes us on a deep dive into the problems with communication, detailing the ways in which we misjudge the intentions of strangers, or misinterpret their actions. Gladwell highlights an important modern issue to show that the forces underlying our interactions are never as simple as they seem.

-Reviewed by Trevor


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Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety By Eric Schlosser Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780143125785
Availability: NOT on our shelves - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 26th, 2014

Command and Control tells the harrowing true story of an accident at a nuclear missile silo in Damascus, Arkansas. The pacing, mixed with the twists and turns reads like a thriller that I could not put down and constantly found myself asking, “How have I never heard of this?” 

-Reviewed by Georgia


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The Puzzler: One Man's Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life By A.J. Jacobs, Greg Pliska (Contributions by) Cover Image
By A.J. Jacobs, Greg Pliska (Contributions by)
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593136713
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Crown - April 26th, 2022

If you — like me — got really into puzzles of all kinds during the pandemic (Wordle, anyone?), you’ll love this funny and enlightening book about the history and people behind the full breadth of the puzzle world. A.J. Jacob’s hands-on approach leads him to participate in an international jigsaw competition, attempt the hardest crossword ever written, and more. The book has tons of historic and new puzzles for you to solve, too!

-Reviewed by Julia


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The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays By Esmé Weijun Wang Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555978273
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Graywolf Press - February 5th, 2019

This series of essays is a true gift. Esmé Weijun Wang chronicles her own diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and in so doing gives us a generous look at a very misunderstood condition. This is a moving look at mental illness from the viewpoint of the diagnosed rather than the one doing the diagnosing, with important lessons for all of us on how to treat others dealing with diagnoses laden with stigma.

-Reviewed by Julia


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The Modern Proper: Simple Dinners for Every Day (A Cookbook) By Holly Erickson, Natalie Mortimer Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9781982177669
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: S&S/Simon Element - April 5th, 2022

Everything that I have tried in this cookbook has been a family pleaser.  I am a big recipe user so when I find a cookbook that has simple but tasty recipes that my family enjoys, I use it over and over again. The Modern Proper fits this bill nicely. I get to relax about the cooking and enjoy  the process, because someone else has done the thinking for me. Happy sigh :) 

-Reviewed by Liesl


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Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli: The Epic Story of the Making of The Godfather By Mark Seal Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781982158590
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Gallery Books - October 19th, 2021

Even those with major Godfather trivia fatigue will find something to enjoy about this book. Seal leads his audience through catastrophes, creative conflicts, and triumphs with the tone of a museum tour guide who is genuinely really, really into his job. I recommend this to people who know everything about the Godfather, people who know nothing about the Godfather (yet), and people shopping for gifts for their dads.

-Reviewed by Milo


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Why We Swim By Bonnie Tsui Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781643751375
Availability: NOT on our shelves - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - April 13th, 2021

Even if you’re not a swimmer, this is a fascinating and inspiring read. Bonnie Tsui interviews about a dozen people from around the world to unearth the different intentions and histories behind a seemingly simple sport. Personal yet informative, this book looks at the connection between mind and body and explains why humans are drawn to water despite its dangers. 

-Reviewed by Kate


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Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell By David Yaffe Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780374538064
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - October 2nd, 2018

David Yaffe does a great job documenting Joni’s life, from her childhood to the recordings and initial reviews of each one of her albums. What truly makes this biography worth reading, however, are the interviews Yaffe conducts with Mitchell, in which she talks about love, songwriting, and life in her typical blunt manner. Reading about Joni’s brief time in Boulder is just an added delight to this in-depth work.

-Reviewed by Kate


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Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law By Mary Roach Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781324036128
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 30th, 2022

Mary Roach is hands down my favorite nonfiction author—I love learning about new things through her eyes and her fantastic sense of humor. And Fuzz is classic Mary Roach, filled with bizarre experiments, strange stories, easy-to-understand Science that never talks down to you, and (of course!) hilarious footnotes. Read this book to learn about killer trees, laser scarecrows, and drunk elephants.

-Reviewed by Stephanie


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The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History By Margalit Fox Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781984853851
Availability: NOT on our shelves - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 7th, 2022

The Confidence Men has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster: wartime heroics, daring escapes, the occult, con men running a scheme so imaginative and outlandish that it must be a tall tale. And yet, somehow, all of it is true. I cannot believe I have never heard this story until now. Prepare to lose a weekend to this book; once you get past the introductions, there really is no stopping. 

-Reviewed by Constantine


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Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs By Douglas Smith Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781250141262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Picador - November 7th, 2017

This book overturned everything I thought I knew about Rasputin, in part by revealing how his legacy was enshrouded in (then destroyed by) rumors. The man many think of as having been some dark wizard behind the throne appears to have been, in actuality, more of a pseudo-Christian lesser con man who liked to creep on girls and mingle with rich people. But with rich people comes RICH PEOPLE DRAMA!

-Reviewed by Nick


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People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present By Dara Horn Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781324035947
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 13th, 2022

Weeks after finishing this collection of essays, I still feel wildly unqualified to offer anything resembling a "review". But weeks later, I'm still thinking about each of them, about the ways in which they asked me to re-assess some part of how I have thought about Jewish culture and history, and about how grateful I am for the education. 

-Reviewed by Constantine


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The Secret Lives of Color By Kassia St. Clair Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780143131144
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Penguin Books - October 24th, 2017

I love color and art history so this book was a sure thing for me, but even if you don't know your ultramarine from your cobalt, this book is a fascinating read. Learn about the toxic history of lead white, the macabre source for "mummy brown," and the stories behind 73 more colors and pigments. Whether you skip around or read it straight through, I guarantee you'll learn something on every page.

-Reviewed by Julia


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