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Nonfiction Recommendations

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Why We Forget and How to Remember Better: The Science Behind Memory By Andrew E. Budson, Elizabeth A. Kensinger, Daniel L. Schacter (Foreword by) Cover Image
$31.95
ISBN: 9780197607732
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - February 1st, 2023

Have you wondered why sometimes you drive to work without thinking? Or why your head is filled with random facts but not more practical things (or is that just me)? This book on the science of memory provides answers for that and so much more. I’ve benefited from their advice on how to commit things to memory, and how different types and intensity of neurodivergency can affect our memory.  

-Reviewed by Chris


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The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder By David Grann Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385534260
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Doubleday - April 18th, 2023

If you ever had romantic ideas of sailing the seas in a wooden ship, this book will dispel those right quick. The Wager tells the gripping tale a British ship marooned off the coast of Patagonia, and the trials befalling its crew and captain during their months-long ordeal, as well as when they return to England. Weaving together the contradictory narratives of a number of the survivors, Grann transports you right to the beach with the crew.

-Reviewed by Julia


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Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman By Jon Krakauer Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780307386045
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Anchor - July 27th, 2010

Using the words of the late Pat Tillman himself, along with those he loved, Krakauer turns a tight tale of duty, honor, talent, and ultimately betrayal. This book made me rethink what I knew about the NFL, the military, and the War on Terror. 

-Reviewed by Georgia


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Eating to Extinction: The World's Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them By Dan Saladino Cover Image
$21.00
ISBN: 9781250863096
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Picador - January 31st, 2023

This is a really important read for anyone who has any love for food or the environment. Considering the dangers of monoculture and profiling numerous rare and endangered foods, Eating to Extinction is a love letter to the fascinating variety of edible foods found around the globe, making a convincing case for their importance when it comes to preserving our food system. I can’t stop talking about this book!

-Reviewed by Julia


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Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers Our Lives By Siddharth Kara Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250284303
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 31st, 2023

Modern electronics—smartphones, tablets, laptops, electric cars—rely on cobalt for their batteries. This important book urgently argues that we must consider where those minerals come from: 75% of the world’s cobalt is mined in the Congo. Cobalt Red recounts Kara's first-hand investigation into the conditions of Congolese mining communities and the supply chains that connect the exploitation of their labor to our everyday lives. 

-Reviewed by Lauren


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Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times By Katherine May Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780593189481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Riverhead Books - November 10th, 2020

One of those books that feels like a cozy blanket, like you’re talking to a lifelong friend. Through stories of her own illnesses and familial struggles, May explores how we can live through (and perhaps find some comfort within) winter, both as a season in nature and a season of the soul. This isn’t a guidebook, but a companion to provide some warmth in the dark seasons we will all inevitably experience. 

-Reviewed by Lydia


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Butts: A Backstory By Heather Radke Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781982135492
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - June 13th, 2023

Butts is a fascinating tour through the history of the butt, specifically female butts. Butts traces this history from the evolutionary origins all the way to Kim Kardashian. Radke uses women’s butts as a lens to explore the history of women and fashion in western society and uncovers stories that you never knew you needed to hear. 

-Reviewed by Acy


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This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You By Susan Rogers, Ogi Ogas Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780393541250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 20th, 2022

Most people love music of some kind, but maybe haven't taken the time to analyze why they love what they love. Susan Rogers (who worked with PRINCE and then went on to get a PhD  in cognitive neuroscience) and Ogi Ogas are here to help you figure out what your "listener profile" is based on how your brain responds to key elements in music. This was a fascinating read (and listen, since many songs are suggested throughout!).

-Reviewed by Stephanie


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I'm Glad My Mom Died By Jennette McCurdy Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781982185824
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 9th, 2022

More than just a catchy title, this is one of those memoirs that gets in your head and is impossible to put down. From afar, it’s easy to shake your head at the travesties that befall so many child stars, but McCurdy breaks down that distance, making it impossible to separate yourself from her perspective. The result is a story that feels deeply relatable despite the fact that it’s so far removed from the lives most of us live.

-Reviewed by Trevor


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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)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593136737
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Crown - April 25th, 2023

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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Poverty, by America By Matthew Desmond Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593239919
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Crown - March 21st, 2023

Desmond expands the focus from his last book, which focused on eviction in America. Here, Desmond focuses on America's history with poverty. Desmond looks at the historical reasons given to explain poverty and brings a critical eye to them.

-Reviewed by Chris


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The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet By John Green Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525555247
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Dutton - March 21st, 2023

John Green (and his brother Hank) have held a special place in my heart since finding their Crash Course series in high school. It was probably for that reason that this book moved me so much. John brings a poetic eye to everyday life, looking behind the everyday things to see their deeper story. He brings a compassionate thoughtfulness that both comforts and inspires. Plus, this new paperback includes two new essays! 

-Reviewed by Chris


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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781400052189
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Crown - March 8th, 2011

At a time when Black Americans were still segregated from white Americans, cells taken without consent from a black woman's cervix became one of the most important tools in medicine to this day. Her cells, named HeLa, have the ability to grow at an unparalleled rate and have been used to develop the polio vaccine, gene mapping, IVF, and more. Despite this, Henrietta's relatives can't afford health insurance and her name was virtually unknown before this book. 

-Reviewed by Neb


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Twilight Over Burma: My Life as a Shan Princess (Kolowalu Books) By Inge Sargent Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780824816285
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Kolowalu Books - August 1st, 1994

Unbeknownst to most Boulderites, until recently, we have been living among royalty. Inge came to Colorado as an exchange student where she met another student from Burma. They married and only when they returned to his country did she discover he was a ruling prince of the Shan people. This is the story of their ruling together. Later in life, she returned to Colorado, teaching at Fairview. Inge passed away earlier this year. This the story of her amazing earlier life.

-Reviewed by Harry


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I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer By Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Introduction by), Patton Oswalt (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Michelle McNamara, Gillian Flynn (Introduction by), Patton Oswalt (Afterword by)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062319791
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Harper Perennial - February 26th, 2019

Before the Golden State Killer was caught in 2020, Michelle McNamara meticulously documented and drew connections about who the serial rapist and killer that Californians locking their doors and windows at night might be. Edited posthumously and read knowing that the killer has been caught only adds to the “How on earth did she put that together??”

-Reviewed by Georgia


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