June Picks: Non-Fiction

100 Years: Wisdom from Famous Writers on Every Year of Your Life Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393285703
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 3rd, 2016

This literary tapestry of the human experience will delight readers of all backgrounds. Moving year by year through the words of our most beloved authors, the great sequence of life reveals itself—the wonders and confinements of childhood, the emancipations and frustrations of adolescence, the empowerments and millstones of adulthood, the recognitions and resignations of old age. This trove of wisdom—featuring immortal passages from Arthur Rimbaud, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, David Foster Wallace, William Shakespeare, Herman Melville, Jane Austen, and Maya Angelou, among many others—reminds us that the patterns of life transcend continents, cultures, and generations. As Thomas Mann wrote of our most shared human experience: "It will happen to me as to them." Designed by the legendary Milton Glaser, who created the I (heart) NY logo, 100 Years brings together color, type, and text to illuminate the ebb and flow of an entire life.


Paper: Paging Through History Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393239614
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 10th, 2016

Paper is one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past two millennia, the ability to produce it in ever more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce, and art; it has formed the foundation of civilizations, promoting revolutions and restoring stability. One has only to look at history’s greatest press run, which produced 6.5 billion copies of Máo zhuxí yulu, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Zedong)—which doesn’t include editions in 37 foreign languages and in braille—to appreciate the range and influence of a single publication, in paper. Or take the fact that one of history’s most revered artists, Leonardo da Vinci, left behind only 15 paintings but 4,000 works on paper. And though the colonies were at the time calling for a boycott of all British goods, the one exception they made speaks to the essentiality of the material; they penned the Declaration of Independence on British paper.

Now, amid discussion of “going paperless”—and as speculation about the effects of a digitally dependent society grows rampant—we’ve come to a world-historic juncture. Thousands of years ago, Socrates and Plato warned that written language would be the end of “true knowledge,” replacing the need to exercise memory and think through complex questions. Similar arguments were made about the switch from handwritten to printed books, and today about the role of computer technology. By tracing paper’s evolution from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the contributions made in Asia and the Middle East, Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions about technology’s influence, affirming that paper is here to stay. Paper will be the commodity history that guides us forward in the twenty-first century and illuminates our times.


The Gene: An Intimate History Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9781476733500
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - May 17th, 2016

The extraordinary Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.

As The New Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It’s hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion...An extraordinary achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.


The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374280093
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - May 31st, 2016

An ode to our national parks, timed for the centennial, by the beloved author of When Women Were Birds

For years, America's national parks have provided public breathing spaces in a world in which such spaces are steadily disappearing, which is why close to 300 million people visit the parks each year. Now, to honor the centennial of the National Park Service, Terry Tempest Williams, the author of the beloved memoir When Women Were Birds, returns with The Hour of Land, a literary celebration of our national parks, what they mean to us, and what we mean to them.

Through twelve carefully chosen parks, from Yellowstone in Wyoming to Acadia in Maine to Big Bend in Texas, Tempest Williams creates a series of lyrical portraits that illuminate the unique grandeur of each place while delving into what it means to shape a landscape with its own evolutionary history into something of our own making. Part memoir, part natural history, and part social critique, The Hour of Land is a meditation and manifesto on why wild lands matter to the soul of America. Our national parks stand at the intersection of humanity and wildness, and there's no one better than Tempest Williams to guide us there. Beautifully illustrated, with evocative black-and-white images by some of our finest photographers, from Lee Friedlander to Sally Mann to Sebastião Salgado, The Hour of Land will be a collector's item as well as a seminal work of environmental writing and criticism about some of America's most treasured landmarks.


The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062262264
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - May 31st, 2016

An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics—from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories—observed in Neil Gaiman’s probing, amusing, and distinctive style.

An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to): authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts the author’s experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Insightful, incisive, witty, and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores the issues and subjects that matter most to Neil Gaiman—offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and influential artists of our time.


Staff Pick Logo
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781455566389
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Twelve - May 24th, 2016

The bestselling author of War and The Perfect Storm takes readers on an investigation of how we overcome trauma and seek something bigger than ourselves.

We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding--"tribes." This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.

Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians-but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today.

Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, Tribe explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that-for many veterans as well as civilians-war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. Tribe explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world.


Staff Pick Logo
Natural Hair Coloring: How to Use Henna and Other Pure Herbal Pigments for Chemical-Free Beauty Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781612125985
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Storey Publishing - May 17th, 2016

While the vast majority of American women color their hair, many have reservations about using chemical-laden dyes and are interested in safer alternatives. This book offers in-depth instruction in using henna, indigo, amla, and cassia plant pigments to create stunning customized looks without the chemicals or the cost of dye.

Commercial hair dyes contain thousands of different chemicals, some of which are reported to be carcinogenic — but you don’t have to choose between gorgeous color and good health. Natural hair care expert Christine Shahin shows you how to use nontoxic plant pigments — henna, indigo, amla, and cassia — to color your hair naturally, whatever your hair type or ethnicity, with beautiful results! These pigments are readily available at natural food stores and online, and they’re simple, safe, easy to use, and cost-effective. With clearly written instructions and step-by-step photography, Shahin shows you exactly how to apply these pigments, alone or in combinations, to achieve a full range of shades of brown, black, and red. She also includes instructions for transitioning from chemical dyes to natural ones and for using chemical and natural dyes together.