Book Genre: Nonfiction

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Ron Tanner
Liberty
5

This book is so awesome!  Tanner defies reason and logic by purchasing a big, spooky, Victorian house in Baltimore with the goal of restoring it to its former grandeur.  Despite his complete lack of experience, he lets his heart and his vision carry him forward with fabulous results....

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Michael Ruhlman
Liberty
4

This wonderful book explores the notion of home as the author and his family renovate a century-old house in Cleveland.  Although his defense of sprawl overlooks the physical distinction between streetcar suburbs and automobile suburbs, this is a great read for those who love old houses.

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Edward Dolnick
Beckyr
4

Imagine being the first to float down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. That’s the story told in this great adventure book. John Wesley Powell and his companions didn’t know what challenges they would face. In 1869 when the group set out there were no available records about the river...

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Emma Marris
Noel
5

Reading Emma Marris’s book has transformed the way I think about nature and our relationship to it. Marris argues for nothing less than a radical new interpretation of what “nature” means to us. She believes that a new interpretation of Nature is vital and necessary for the survival of our...

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David Parfitt
Brett
3

So you put some stripes in your lawn. That's great. But have you considered mowing in Botticelli's "Birth of Venus"? No? Check out page 74. It's only one of many incredibly complicated patterns available in this book.

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A. C. (Allan C.) Weisbecker
Zac
4

Remember that feeling of ditching school in the late spring, just before summer, when the weather was primo and your youthful responsibilities faded away like a bad tattoo under the sun? This is a memoir of a dude that may have skipped a few too many days, his responsibilities no longer youthful...

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Eldridge Cleaver
Zac
4

Soul on Ice is pure expression. It's raw, it's frightening, at times it's repulsive; yet somehow Cleaver was able to lay the groundwork for a piece that is ultimately hopeful and encouraging, a piece that's representative of the time and place from which it grew. By providing a lyrical...

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Ed Zotti
Liberty
5

With a new baby on the way, Zotti and his family defy convention and move into a dicey inner city Chicago neighborhood to renovate a dilapidated Victorian house at a time when everyone else is fleeing. Hilarious and informative, this restoration saga by the editor of The Straight ...

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Tori Spelling
Lisa
4

Watch your back, Martha Stewart .  Tori’s fourth book is all about how to plan a party and covers everything from concept (cowboys and lace party, do-it-yourself spa brunch) to party favors – I liked the mini-cacti wearing tiny cowboy hats.   A regular mortal could try all of her...

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Colleen Catherine Mondor
Becker
4

Some made mistakes. Some made bad decisions. And some crashed in seemingly sound airplanes on what looked like perfect days. Mondor spent time working as a dispatcher for a small company in Alaska that would fly just about anything--schoolkids, dead bodies, food and medical supplies, and...

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Annie Dillard
Emily
5

For such a short book this one is full of mindblowing prose, inspiring moments and touching truths about the writing life. Read it, then read it again!

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Luca Turin
Emily
4

This book really is a guide to perfumes, with succinct descriptions it discusses the signature scents of nearly every scent on the market. Rated on a five-star rating system the two authors work through a world of fragrance some scents are considered "depressingly bad"(Tribute by Mary Kay) while...

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Ruth Slavid
Emily
4

I have recently been obsessed with little buildings, I fantasize about treehouses, writers retreats, rustic cabins, mobile homes (not like you're thinking!) This book runs the gamut of little houses: some amazing, some hideous, some prototypes some actual little tiny mobile houses (see page 123...

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John Vaillant
Zac
4

This is the tragic, tantalizing tale of a tree.  A tree with anomalous golden needles that stood tall, radiant, and robust on the misty edge of British Colombia.  A tree that represented the past as it stood for the future.  A 300 year old Sitka spruce that was shockingly felled...

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Monica Randall
Liberty
5

I was so sad that this Armchair Architectural Salvage Adventure had to end.  Monica Randall grew up exploring the abandoned mansions of Long Island's Gold Coast and later grew up to live in one.  Rife with atmosphere, intrigue and history this is a true tale any historic...

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Nick Hornby
angela
4

A mixed tape in book form, this book of essays is a personal account of songs that have affected the life of the author of High Fidelity. It's not just a list of Hornby's favorites, it's also a funny and moving life story told through music.

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Dee Dee Ramone
angela
4

A gritty look at the experiences of a punk icon from his lonely childhood to life as one of the Ramones. A great backstage look for fans, an interesting story even if you're not.

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Sandor Ellix Katz
Michelle
3

Perhaps the Bible of fermentation?  Covers the gamut from history to philosophy to science to the art of fermentation, this book demonstrates the variety of ways people around the world have preserved foods in creative and practical ways.  I can't wait to try my hand at sauerkraut and...

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Josh Neufeld
Emily
4

This is a great graphic novel that depicts the lives of five groups of people as they deal with the coming of Hurricane Katrina and its devastating aftermath. This book brought to light so much about the situation in New Orleans that got glossed over in the news. Gritty, terrifying, moving this...

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Alison Bechdel
Laurie.
5

You don't need to be a fan of Bechdel's comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, to appreciate her first graphic novel examining her relationship with her father who committed suicide.  Her graphic art and storytelling had me re-reading this...

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Bich Minh Nguyen
Laurie.
4

I like coming-of-age stories and enjoy them even more when you have clashes of both culture and parental units.  Nguyen uses humor to diffuse the pain of growing up Vietnamese in 1970's Michigan.

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Walter Anderson
Laurie.
3

Growing up I always looked forward to reading the PARADE section of the paper every Sunday.  When I saw that the editor had written a memoir, I grabbed the book.  Anderson discovers the family secret and finds out more about himself along the way.

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various
Laurie.
4

Smith Magazine asked readers of its online magazine if they could tell the stories of their lives in six words.  Like the human condition, they are sad, funny, and truthful.  One of my favorites: "I forgot my six-word memoir."

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Joshua Zeitz
Laurie.
3

Sometimes I think goth, punk, and the retro styles now seen are variations on the flapper rebellion of the 1920s.  Zeitz manages to bring scholarship to the topic without making the flapper's story too boring.
 

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William Styron
Laurie.
4

Initially I picked this book up because I love cigars. Upon reading, I was surprised it was a collection of personal essays, remembrances, of a very well lived life.  I wish Stryon were alive so I could buy him a drink and a cigar…I have so many questions.