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Book Lists

Book Lists

Book Lists for Adults

Book Lists for Adults

Staff Picks- Nonfiction

Coupland, Douglas, author.
813.54 COU
"Bit Rot, a new collection from Douglas Coupland that explores the different ways 20th-century notions of the future are being shredded, is a gem of the digital age. Reading Bit Rot feels a lot like bingeing on Netflix ... you can't stop with just one. 'Bit rot' is a term used in digital archiving to describe the way digital files can spontaneously and quickly decompose. As Coupland writes, 'Bit rot also describes the way my brain has been feeling since 2000, as I shed older and weaker neurons and connections and enhance new and unexpected ones.' Bit Rot the book explores the ways humanity tries to make sense of our shifting consciousness. Coupland, just like the Internet, mixes forms to achieve his ends. Short fiction is interspersed with essays on all aspects of modern life."-- Provided by publisher.

Gaiman, Neil, author.
293.13 GAI
Neil Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin's son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, son of a giant, blood brother to Odin, and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor's hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman -- difficult with his beard and huge appetite -- to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir -- the most sagacious of gods -- is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.

Gladwell, Malcolm, 1963-
153.4 GLA
How do we think without thinking, seem to make choices in an instant--in the blink of an eye--that actually aren't as simple as they seem? Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others? Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology, the author reveals that great decision makers aren't those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.

Kimmerer, Robin Wall, author.
305.897 KIM
"An inspired weaving of indigenous knowledge, plant science, and personal narrative from a distinguished professor of science and a Native American whose previous book, Gathering Moss, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation." As she explores these themes she circles toward a central argument: the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world. Once we begin to listen for the languages of other beings, we can begin to understand the innumerable life-giving gifts the world provides us and learn to offer our thanks, our care, and our own gifts in return"-- Provided by publisher.

Laymon, Kiese, author.
BIO LAYMON
"In this powerful and provocative memoir, Kiese Laymon fearlessly explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse. Laymon invites us to consider the consequences of living in a country wholly obsessed with progress yet wholly disinterested in the messy work of reckoning with where we've been. In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his family, weight, sex, gambling, and writing. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few of us know how to responsibly love"-- Provided by publisher.

Leland, John, 1959- author.
305.2609747 LEL
A "look at what it means to grow old and a ... guide to well-being, [this book] weaves together the stories and wisdom of six New Yorkers who number among the 'oldest old'--those eighty-five and up"--Dust jacket flap.

Lester, C. N., author.
306.76 LES

Porter, Maryanne, author.
133.1297 POR
Though generally a peaceful coastal city, the dark stains from Santa Cruz's past still linger. A former Spanish Mission, Holy Cross Catholic Church harbors a dark history of a brutal revolt of native Ohlone Indians that killed the cruel Father Andres Quintana. Frequented by mobsters and celebrities in its heyday, the famous Brookdale Lodge's most talked-about guest is the ghost of a little girl who died nearby in 1892 after nearly drowning. Terrorized by three different serial killers during the 1970s, the city earned the nickname of 'the Murder Capital of the World.' Local resident Alfred Hitchcock derived inspiration for his iconic film Psycho from the haunted mid-nineteenth-century Hotel McCray

Westover, Tara, author.
BIO WESTOVER
"Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it."--Provided by publisher.

McMillan Cottom, Tressie, author.
301.092 COT
"In these eight ... explorations on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom--award-winning professor and ... author of Lower Ed--embraces her ... role as a purveyor of wit, wisdom, and Black Twitter snark about all that is right and much that is wrong with this thing we call society"--Dust jacket flap.

Williams, Terry Tempest, author.
814.6 WIL
In these new essays, Williams explores the concept of erosion: of the land, of the self, of belief, of fear. She wrangles with the paradox of desert lands and the truth of erosion: What is weathered, worn, and whittled away through wind, water, and time is as powerful as what remains.