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Astoria Bookshop 2018 Staff Picks - Non-fiction

These are our non-fiction staff picks from 2018!

Playlist Tags: Astoria Bookshop

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I'll Be Gone in the Dark

One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

By Michelle McNamara
Narrated by: Gabra Zackman, Gillian Flynn & Patton Oswalt
Length: 10 hours 7 minutes

I'll Be Gone in the Dark

“An overwhelmingly obsessed Michelle McNamara dissects the decades old trail of tragedy, trauma and ongoing taunts by the elusive East Area Rapist in her investigative crime thriller “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” published posthumously after her unexpected demise. Dubbed the “Golden State Killer” by McNamara herself, his crime spree started with 50 unsolved rapes before escalating to numerous murders leaving terrorized California residents tense for ten years. A determined McNamara meticulously researches this reign of terror with such precision it’s sure to pry this perpetrators identity out of obscurity and into justice, a suitable ending for this authors’ life.”

McLean & Eakin Booksellers image Kristin, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
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This Will Be My Undoing

Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America

By Morgan Jerkins
Narrated by: Morgan Jerkins
Length: 7 hours 5 minutes

This Will Be My Undoing

“This book ravaged and then healed my weary soul. A micro and macro look at the exhaustion and triumph of black womanhood, Jerkins' essays are poignant enough on their own. When linked together in her book, the pieces become the subtle knife cutting through the membrane of gender and racial disparity that covers our country. Jerkins uses herself not simply as a reference point, but as a dissection, laid on the table and explained.”

WORD Bookstores image Hannah Oliver Depp, WORD Bookstores
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Read & Riot

A Pussy Riot Guide to Activism

By Nadya Tolokonnikova
Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes

From artist, activist, and Pussy Riot founder Nadya Tolokonnikova, a guerilla guide to radical protest and joyful political resistance.

The face of modern protest is wearing a brightly colored ski mask.

Nadya Tolokonnikova, founding member of the Russian activist group Pussy Riot, is a creative activist, professional protestor, brazen feminist,... Read more »

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How to Change Your Mind

What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

By Michael Pollan
Narrated by: Michael Pollan
Length: 13 hours 34 minutes

How to Change Your Mind

“Pollan brings his humor, lyricism, and love for deep research to the admittedly taboo field of psychedelics. This book is an exhaustive exploration of these mysterious substances, in which he balances skepticism of the culture that surrounds them with optimism for their potential therapeutic use.”

Parnassus Books image Kevin, Parnassus Books
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Calypso

By David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris
Length: 6 hours 38 minutes

Calypso

“If there is a "King of Audiobooks", it has to be David Sedaris. The absolute best way to enjoy the writing of Sedaris is to hear him perform it. Not only is his voice rather odd, immediately putting you in a mood to giggle, but he is such an effortless performer it's impossible not to get caught up in his world. And what a world! In his latest, and indisputably most accomplished, work to date, he takes us on his journey through midlife: the betrayals of the body, the loss, the wear and tear on long relationships. I found myself shedding tears for his heartbreaking regrets and laughing so hard I had to pull my car over at his observances of the absurdities of everyday life.”

Fountain Bookstore image Kelly, Fountain Bookstore
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Heavy

An American Memoir

By Kiese Laymon
Narrated by: Kiese Laymon
Length: 6 hours 17 minutes

Heavy

“"I wanted to write a lie," Kiese Laymon says in the opening pages of his brutal, beautiful memoir, Heavy. The book is written in the second person, addressed to his mother, with whom Laymon shares a turbulent, intimate relationship. She feeds his mind with books, but critiques the way Laymon feeds his body as he struggles with his weight. She is his best friend, yet demands excellence through regular beatings. And yet, Laymon's complicated love for his mother is absolute. It is palpable in his voice as he reads the words he wrote for his mother, as he tells you his story of being a black boy, a black man, in Mississippi and America. This is a book that will knock you flat on your back. This is a book that will make you sob in the grocery store. Laymon had me captivated from the very first word he spoke. It was a privilege to listen.”

Square Books image Maggie, Square Books
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Rage Becomes Her

The Power of Women's Anger

By Soraya Chemaly
Narrated by: Soraya Chemaly
Length: 11 hours 2 minutes

***A BEST BOOK OF 2018 SELECTION***
NPR * The Washington Post * Book Riot * Autostraddle * Psychology Today

***A BEST FEMINIST BOOK SELECTION***
Refinery 29, Book Riot, Autostraddle, BITCH

Rage Becomes Her is an “utterly eye opening” (Bustle) book that gives voice to the causes, expressions, and possibilities of female rage.

As women, we’v Read more »e...
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Amateur

A True Story About What Makes a Man

By Thomas Page McBee
Narrated by: Thomas Page McBee
Length: 3 hours 38 minutes

*Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction
*Shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award
*Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize

One of The Times UK’s Best Memoirs of 2018, BuzzFeed’s Best Nonfiction of 2018, Autostraddle’s Best LGBT Books of 2018, and 52 Insight’s Favorite Nonfiction Books of 2018

A “no-holds-barred examination... Read more »
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No Ashes in the Fire

Coming of Age Black and Free in America

By Darnell L Moore
Narrated by: Darnell L Moore
Length: 6 hours

From a leading journalist and activist comes a brave, beautifully wrought memoir.

When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. I Read more »t...
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The Good Neighbor

The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

By Maxwell King
Narrated by: LeVar Burton
Length: 14 hours 7 minutes

The Good Neighbor

“A wonderful biography of an American icon who seemed too good to be true. And yet, believe it or not, he was an even better, more caring man than he portrayed on television. If you are a fan of Fred Rogers and want to understand what drove him to create Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, this is an essential read. Learning more about Rogers’ life through the words of his family and friends in this well-researched and comprehensive biography will give you even more reason to admire the man. And when’s the last time a biography made you cry tears of joy?”

Octavia Books image James Wilson, Octavia Books
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All You Can Ever Know

A Memoir

By Nicole Chung
Narrated by: Janet Song
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes

All You Can Ever Know

“Nicole Chung’s memoir is a moving account of a young woman’s gradually evolving understanding of family and of herself as she uncovers the truth about the circumstances behind her adoption. Refusing the false dichotomy of adoption as inherently positive or negative, she reminds us that adoption is a fact and that it’s always complicated. This is an extraordinary account, told with candor and empathy. Though the transracial adoption of Asian Americans into white families and communities is common, few books have been written from the perspective of the adoptee. Chung has much to teach us, and readers approaching this book with a heart as open as hers will find much to nourish them here.”

The Elliott Bay Book Company image Karen Maeda Allman , The Elliott Bay Book Company
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Heart Berries

A Memoir

By Terese Marie Mailhot
Narrated by: Rainy Fields
Length: 3 hours 45 minutes

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given Read more »a...
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Fame

The Hijacking of Reality

By Justine Bateman
Narrated by: Justine Bateman
Length: 5 hours

Entertainment shows, magazines, websites, and other channels continuously report the latest sightings, heartbreaks, and triumphs of the famous to a seemingly insatiable public. Millions of people go to enormous lengths to achieve Fame. Fame is woven into our lives in ways that may have been unimaginable in years past.

And yet, is Fame even real?... Read more »

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