Staff Picks by Tag

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The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062820693
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Dey Street Books - September 10th, 2019

For anyone who follows current events, Samantha Power tells a riveting, personal and poignant story.  She details her Irish upbringing, emigration at age 9 to the U.S., and her journey as a student, activist, journalist, and academic prior to becoming Special Assistant to the President and then US Ambassador to the UN under the Obama administration. With humor, self-deprecation, and sobering descriptions of how policies, decisions, and relationships are forged at the highest levels of government and diplomacy, she recounts difficult personal, public health, and political issues she and often times many others tried to address.  At the foundation is her idealism and the growing realization that while we may not be able to fix everything, we must do our best.

Review by Elisabeth

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Hope and Other Punch Lines Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524766771
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Delacorte Press - May 7th, 2019

Summer camp counselors, awkward & sweet friendship turned to romance, alternating perspectives, laugh out loud humor, AND unputdownable pacing - um, yes please!

Review by Claire

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The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of the Donner Party Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061348112
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 22nd, 2015

It's approaching that time of year where we all like to get cozy under our electric blankets with a hot apple cider in hand. If you're lucky, you might be surrounded by the ones you love the most during the magical season. It's also the perfect time to dream up hypotheticals like 'how much sustenance would mom provide if I had to resort to eating her during a blizzard in 1846?' or 'how does one overcome paradoxical undressing while suffering from hypothermia', which means you should obsoletely get this book.

Review by Sarah C.

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Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078240
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Vintage - August 22nd, 2017

In the introduction to Blood in the Water, historian Heather Ann Thompson worries about reopening old wounds. Is it right to ask those who experienced the Attica Prison Uprising--the hellish living conditions of the inmates, their rebellion and the ensuing crisis, the state's violent crackdown and subsequent coverup--to relive those traumas? Can a wound be reopened that has, by design, never been allowed to heal?

A meticulously researched and expertly written account of justice denied, Blood in the Water is by turns a painful, engrossing, heartbreaking and enraging read. As this summer's prison strikes have illustrated, the wound that Attica represents is still very much in need of treatment. To that end, Thompson's book is an indispensable resource.

Review by Theo

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Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment (City Lights Open Media) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780872867239
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: City Lights Books - January 23rd, 2018

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is not only a brilliant historian (she wrote “An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States”), but was also an avid gun enthusiast and belonged to an armed underground group. Who better to write a book arguing that the second amendment and white supremacy are inextricably bound, and that the mainstream gun debate is just one big false dichotomy? This book is going to make people on both sides of the gun debate uncomfortable, and it is a necessary discomfort. 

Review by Anje

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The End of Policing Cover Image
ISBN: 9781784782924
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Verso - August 28th, 2018

I thought this was a concise, accessible read. If you already own a dog-eared copy of "Are Prisons Obsolete?" or have a pen pal through Black and Pink, then this book will be preaching to the choir. However, if you have no idea what those things are but do think that there must be a better way of handling social problems than just sending the police in, this book is a great place to start.

Review by Anje