Nonfiction Recommendations

So You Want to Talk about Race

So you want to talk about raceBy Oluo, Ijeoma, author.
"Ijeoma Oluo has emerged as one of Seattle's strongest voices for social justice...Best of all, she gets her message across with incisive wit, remarkable humor and an appropriate magnitude of rage."-Seattle magazine
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It Occurs to Me that I am America : New Stories and Art

It occurs to me that I am America : new stories and art
"The contest for our American identity isn't strictly a political affair. It is also a matter of storytelling. -Viet Thanh Nguyen, Introduction "A stunning exploration of the state of our union through gorgeous, fierce, fervent, and occasionally funny storytelling. -publisher annotation
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I Can't Breathe : A Killing on Bay Street

I can't breathe : a killing on Bay StreetBy Taibbi, Matt author.
"Garner's death," writes Taibbi, "and the great distances that were traveled to protect his killer, now stand as testaments to America's pathological desire to avoid equal treatment under the law for its black population. " (the author)
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Democracy in Chains : The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America

Democracy in chains : the deep history of the radical right's stealth plan for AmericaBy MacLean, Nancy, author.
“This sixty-year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream and eventually take the government itself is at the heart of Democracy in Chains. . . . If you're worried about what all this means for America's future, you should be” – NPR
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The Trouble with Reality : A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time

The trouble with reality : a rumination on moral panic in our timeBy Gladstone, Brooke
"Brooke Gladstone has whipped up a short, stiff drink of truth. You'll feel better for taking it." -George Packer
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Thank You for Your Service

Thank you for your serviceBy Finkel, David, 1955-
"This extraordinary book will piss you off and break your heart. It will shame you and lift you up. It will bend your mind to the reality of an American war..."-Ben Fountain
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Devil's Bargain : Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency

Devil's bargain : Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the storming of the presidencyBy Green, Joshua, 1972- author.
"Any study of Trump’s rise to the presidency is unavoidably a study of Bannon. Devil’s Bargain is a tour-de-force telling of the remarkable confluence of circumstances that decided the election, many of them orchestrated by Bannon and his allies, who really did plot a vast, right-wing conspiracy to stop Clinton." Publisher annotation
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Women Making Comics (4 items)

Graphic women : life narrative and contemporary comicsBy Chute, Hillary L.
Hillary Chute explores the verbal and visual techniques of Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Lynda Barry, Marjane Satrapi, Alison Bechdel, and Phoebe Gloeckner: these five cartoonists move the art of autobiography and graphic storytelling in new directions, particularly through the depiction of sex, gender and lived experience.
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The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions

The inner life of cats : the science and secrets of our mysterious feline companionsBy McNamee, Thomas, 1947-
"The Inner Life of Cats is filled with shining prose, moments of sheer cat joy--and intimate, careful scientific observation. Thomas McNamee's naturalist's eye, combined with his humor and heart, brings the always wild, yet domesticated cat into delightful, insightful focus." --cover annotation by Cat Warren, author of What the Dog Knows
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Cast Away: True Stories of Survival from Europe's Refugee Crisis

Cast away : true stories of survival from Europe's refugee crisisBy McDonald-Gibson, Charlotte
The true stories of five refugees forced to leave their homes and make dangerous journeys to Europe in search of safety.
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So Much Things to Say : The Oral History of Bob Marley

So much things to say : the oral history of Bob Marley By Steffens, Roger, author, photographer.
"There has never been and will never be anything quite like this: reggae's chief eyewitness, dropping testimony on reggae's chief prophet with truth, blood, and fire." -Marlon James (cover annotation)
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Was the Cat in the Hat Black? : The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature and the Need for Diverse Books

Was the cat in the hat black? : the hidden racism of children's literature, and the need for diverse booksBy Nel, Philip, 1969- author.
"In this powerful, deeply-researched accessible study, Nel exposes the racial power of children's literature. A rousing call to consciousness and action.....shows how children's literature [can] help build an anti-racist future." (cover annotation-Robin Bernstein)
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The Possessed : Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them

The possessed : adventures with Russian books and the people who read themBy Batuman, Elif, 1977-
"The Possessed draws on Elif Batuman's articles in the New Yorker, Harper's, and n+1 to tell the true story of one woman's intellectual and sentimental education and her many strange encounters with fellow scholars devoted--absurdly! melancholically! beautifully!--to the Russian classics." (cover annotation)
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Literary Wonderlands : A Journey Through the Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created

Literary wonderlands : a journey through the greatest fictional worlds ever created
"Like a brave heroine or stalwart adventurer, setting takes a leading role in many a beloved literary work. Middle-earth, Oz and Narnia are fully realized worlds that readers can map with their imaginations. These and other sensational sites are celebrated in Literary Wonderlands, an unforgettable expedition to 90-plus places made famous in fiction and poetry". -BookPage annotation. December 2016
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A Colony in a Nation

A colony in a nationBy Hayes, Christopher L.,
"A Colony in a Nation is a highly original analysis of America's arbitrary and erratic criminal justice system. Indeed, by Hayes's lights, the system is not erratic at all--it treats one group of Americans as citizens and another as the colonized. This is an essential and groundbreaking text in the effort to understand how American criminal justice went to badly awry." -Ta-Nehisi Coates, from the jacket
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Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power

Requiem for the American dream : the 10 principles of concentration of wealth & powerBy Chomsky, Noam
"Noam Chomsky in Requiem for the American Dream directs the fierce light of his intellect on the utopian ideology of neoliberalism..." -Chris Hedges, from the jacket
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Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom

Churchill and Orwell : the fight for freedomBy Ricks, Thomas E.
"It is the agreement that objective reality exists, that people of good will can perceive it and that other people will change their views when presented with the facts of the matter". -Thomas Ricks, p. 270
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He Calls Me By Lightning : The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice and the Death Penalty

He calls me by lightning : the life of Caliph Washington and the forgotten saga of Jim Crow, southern justice, and the death penaltyBy Bass, S. Jonathan author.
"This absorbing chronicle of deep injustice reveals how the Jim Crow South protected racial humiliation with distorted law and organized terror. Written with insider knowledge and analytical power, the book engages our senses to experience repression and challenges our intellect to appreciate the courage of resistance." -Ira Katznelson (Fear Itself)
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The Humane Gardener : Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife

The humane gardener : nurturing a backyard habitat for wildlifeBy Lawson, Nancy, 1970- author.
"In this eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species, journalist and gardener Nancy Lawson describes why and how to welcome wildlife to our backyards. Through engaging anecdotes and inspired advice, profiles of home gardeners throughout the country, and interviews with scientists and horticulturalists, Lawson applies the broader lessons of ecology to our own outdoor spaces." Publisher annotation
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Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

Locking up our own : crime and punishment in black AmericaBy Forman, James, 1967- author.
“I think of it as a 239-page rebuttal to the claim that black people and their elected leaders only care about crime when it’s [committed by] the police,”... “If there’s one thing that I hope the book does, it’s demolish that lie.” -James Forman, Jr., in an interview with The Guardian, April 29, 2017
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Imagine Wanting Only This

Imagine wanting only thisBy Radtke, Kristen
"Riveting and glorious. A book of sorrow filtered through intellect; in Kristen Radtke's hands, nonfiction becomes poetry. A tremendous achievement." -Tom Hart, author of Rosalie's Lightning
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Same Family, Different Colors : Confronting Colorism in America's Diverse Families

Same family, different colors : confronting colorism in America's diverse familiesBy Tharps, Lori L.
"...the first book on colorism to take us inside African American, Latino, Asian, and interracial families as they speak candidly about how the politics of skin color shape their family dynamics and lives. Lori Tharp explores this taboo and urgent subject with courage, vision, and great sensitivity." -Michael Eric Dyson (from the cover)
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Comic Books and American Cultural History

Comic books and American cultural history : an anthologyBy Pustz, Matthew (EDT)
"A highly original collection of essays, demonstrating how comic books can be used as primary sources in the teaching and understanding of American history." -NBN
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Age of Anger : A History of the Present

Age of anger : a history of the presentBy Mishra, Pankaj
" Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other". -from the jacket
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The Firebrand and the First Lady : Portrait of a Friendship : Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice

The firebrand and the First Lady : portrait of a friendship : Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the struggle for social justiceBy Bell-Scott, Patricia
An important, groundbreaking book--two decades in work--that tells the story of the unlikely but history-changing twenty-eight-year bond forged between Pauli Murray (granddaughter of a mulatto slave, who, against all odds, as a lesbian black woman, became a lawyer, civil rights pioneer, Episcopal priest, poet, and activist) and Eleanor Roosevelt (First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1948 and human rights internationalist) that critically ... Read more
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