Staff Picks by Tag

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The Golden Thread: The Cold War and the Mysterious Death of Dag Hammarskjöld Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455536542
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Twelve - July 7th, 2020

This book takes a long look at Hammarskjöld's career, the geopolitical conflicts he was navigating in the Congo during the Cold War, and the motives of individuals and organizations who had the most at stake — all in an attempt to solve the decades-long mystery of the UN Secretary General's death.

The urgency and detail with which Somaiya accounts the events leading up to the plane crash and the evidence revealed in the nearly 50 years since is engrossing. I haven't stopped thinking about it!

Review by Sarah

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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9781733329293
Availability: Coming soon - available for pre-order now
Published: Rebel Girls - October 13th, 2020

With bite-sized biographies, stunning art, and all the empowerment you've come to expect from the Rebel Girls series, this latest installment is sure to delight both children and adults. Profiling 100 immigrant women, this collection will broaden your worldview and instill an appreciation for the lengths these women -- and countless others -- go to on their journeys to effect change across the globe. 

Review by Claudia

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A Mind Spread Out on the Ground Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612198668
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Melville House - August 4th, 2020

Reading these biographical essays made me feel seen. It's been awhile since a book did that for me and I will cherish this book for a very long time. Every chapter you're met with prose that hits you straight  in the gut and heart. I knew nothing about the author and went into this book blind. I suggest you do the same. 

Review by Rosa

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The Undocumented Americans Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399592683
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: One World - March 24th, 2020

This book will be making my best of 2020 list for sure. If you read the novel American Dirt and enjoyed it, then I dare you to pick this up. This explores the real lives of undocumented Americans and what they have contributed to this country. You may find yourself surprised to find what they have done for all of us. 

Review by Rosa

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Case Study Houses Cover Image
ISBN: 9783836535601
Availability: Unavailable - due in 2-4 weeks
Published: Taschen - March 19th, 2016

One of the greatest legacies in American architecture, the Case Study House Program was a series of thirty-six prototype homes designed to marry modern design and affordability. Illustrated heavily with Julius Shulman's iconic photos of these innovative structures, Taschen's insanely affordable edition of Case Study Houses is an indispensable resource. 

Review by Wesley

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The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife Cover Image
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)
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
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
ISBN: 9781476796635
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Scribner - September 17th, 2019

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 Real Lolita: A Lost Girl, an Unthinkable Crime, and a Scandalous Masterpiece Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062661937
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ecco - September 10th, 2019

I am a horror reader with a wary interest in true crime. Hauntings and hellspawn are my bread and butter, but real life atrocities keep me up at night. This is a tactful victim-focused true crime book that doesn't linger on the lascivious details. Weinman's thesis is that the 1948 kidnapping case of 11-year-old Sally Horner serves as direct inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel 'Lolita', a notion that Nabokov himself protested. For this reader, Weinman builds a strong case and exposes the dirty bones of what some consider Nabokov's masterpiece. 

Review by Dean