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Celebrate Small Business Saturday! Over 150 great audiobooks on sale from now thru Saturday, November 24th! Shop the Sale

2018 Winter Recommended Nonfiction

Holiday Gift Books & Winter Reading: Some of Bookshop Santa Cruz's favorite nonfiction titles of the season.

Dear America

Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
By Jose Antonio Vargas
Narrated by Jose Antonio Vargas /  5 hours 44 minutes

Dear America

“Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas didn’t know he was an undocumented immigrant until he went to get his driver’s license at the age of 16. Vargas’s story is sadly not unusual, which is part of why it’s so important. His writing is emotional, powerful, and full of purpose. More memoir than political statement, Dear America is a truly eye-opening look at the realities of immigration in America.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jade, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$24.14

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Why Religion?

A Personal Story
By Elaine Pagels
Narrated by Lynde Houck /  7 hours 11 minutes

Why Religion?

“For years, I was obsessed with the Nag Hammadi Library, or Gnostic Gospels, and Princeton’s professor of religion Elaine Pagels is by far the leading authority on the subject. In this memoir, Pagels retells the story of her life and examines the questions she faced her entire career, from others and herself: How can an academic believe in religion, and what place does religion have in the modern world?”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Aric, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$24.14

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Becoming

By Michelle Obama
Narrated by Michelle Obama / 

Becoming

“I adore our former president and I miss him. Yet I cannot help but be ecstatic that Michelle is coming out with a book about her own life so that I can learn more about this powerful, intelligent, and singularly awesome woman. Barack would be the first to say that his wife is a superstar, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Becoming to read about her in her own words.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jax, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$30.00

Available for Pre-Order

Publication Date: November 13, 2018

There Will Be No Miracles Here

A Memoir
By Casey Gerald
Narrated by Casey Gerald /  13 hours 32 minutes

There Will Be No Miracles Here

“Gerald's THERE WILL BE NO MIRACLES HERE might very well--and rightfully so--come to be considered one of the great memoirs of an African-American experience in America. In this memoir, Gerald recounts his childhood and life, beginning with early years in Dallas, rife with family drama, religious questioning, grappling with sexuality--to a football career at Yale. In his meditative, lyrical, and ruminative tone Gerald questions American identity, myth, and success. His conversational and conspiratorial style is undergirded by a quite proficient, experimental, and stylish set of literary techniques.”

Books Are Magic image Margaret Grace Myers, Books Are Magic
Price:

$27.00

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What If This Were Enough?

Essays
By Heather Havrilesky
Narrated by Heather Havrilesky /  6 hours 50 minutes

What If This Were Enough?

“I loved this collection of essays. Sharp, political, intelligent, and witty, Havrilesky’s voice reminded me of a merge between Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugar and Rebecca Solnit. Havrilesky points out how our culture’s emphasis is tuned to a constant tirade of consuming and reaching—we are to seek out more technology, buy newer apps, climb the ladder, improve our minds, finesse our rooms, spruce ours cars, balance our diets, deepen our relationships…and the list just keeps going. Enough! With heart, humor and insight, Havrilesky helps show that if we stop seeking happily ever after, we might be surprised by just how connected and content we can actually feel.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image S.M.C., Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$21.00

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The Poison Squad

One Chemist's Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
By Deborah Blum
Narrated by Kirsten Potter /  11 hours 5 minutes

The Poison Squad

“Let us harken back to the turn of the twentieth century, when coffee was a mix of scorched sawdust and peas, meat was preserved by formaldahyde-fueled additives, and “brown sugar” consisted of ground-up bugs. Let us then meet Dr. Harvey Wiley, who faced a nation that believed people should eat what they want and took the renegade position of “Hey, maybe poisoning ourselves is a bad thing?” While there are shiver-inducing descriptions of the food people were consuming, the more terrifying fact exposed here is that businesses were willing to bribe, lie, and threaten the government in order to save costs and continue manufacturing poisoned food. (Terrifying but not surprising, and an activity that continues to lurk in our politics.) The writing is deft, and I highly recommend this book.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Rachel, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$24.00

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Almost Everything

Notes on Hope
By Anne Lamott
Narrated by Anne Lamott /  3 hours 39 minutes

Almost Everything

“How does she do it? How does Anne Lamott capture the tension of mystery and truth in a way that makes you want to follow her anywhere and believe everything? If you opened this book to any random page you’d find something you’d feel compelled to read aloud to the stranger at the next table. Her familiar writing style spreads a blanket in the sun, lays out trinkets for you to consider, then gathers up the corners, ties it to a stick, sets it on your shoulder, and nudges you to walk on with hope.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jenny, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$18.00

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Can We All Be Feminists?

New Writing from Brit Bennett, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and 15 Others on Intersectionality, Identity, and the Way Forward for Feminism
By June Eric-Udorie
Narrated by Various /  9 hours 11 minutes

Can We All Be Feminists?

“Intersectional feminism. If this is a term you are unfamiliar with, or even if you think you know everything about it, pick up this book. What I loved about Can We All Be Feminists? is that it met me where I am on my journey and it actively engages with those who want to learn more about current feminist thought. I have a lot of work to do, but thankfully there are essays by such intelligent and thoughtful minds that can help me expand my view.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Jax, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$21.00

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Daemon Voices

On Stories and Storytelling
By Philip Pullman
Narrated by Philip Pullman & Simon Mason /  12 hours 53 minutes

Daemon Voices

“A compendium of the author’s essays and talks spanning decades, this volume feels nearly as rich and valuable to me as the folk and fairytales that Pullman advocates for in many of the pieces. Pullman includes delightful insights into his own creative process; these have had more of an impact on my own writing than any how-to guide I’ve read. A real treasure for anyone who enjoys meditating on the power of storytelling.”

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Price:

$30.00

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Everything's Trash, But It's Okay

By Phoebe Robinson & Ilana Glazer
Narrated by Phoebe Robinson /  8 hours 55 minutes

Everything's Trash, But It's Okay

“Phoebe Robinson’s new collection of essays will make you laugh out loud and is a great tutorial on being trash but forgiving yourself for it while still being able to name the things that are #serioustrash. These essays get real about the sitch of our union—calling out nonintersectional feminists, internalized sexism, our workaholic culture, and toxic sosh meeds (social media). Written in classic Phoebe stream-of-consciousness style, this is the perfect antidote to the garbage fire of 2018.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Kelly, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$24.00

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Split Tooth

By Tanya Tagaq
Narrated by Tanya Tagaq /  5 hours 30 minutes

Split Tooth

“Tanya Tagaq is a musical artist in more ways than one. As a world-renowned Inuit throat singer, she has already stunned the world with her powerful songs and lyrics, but now in her first memoir, an explosive combination of narrative, poetry, myth, truth, and ferocity, she weaves the story of a young girl who comes of age in a small Arctic town, bound by boredom and violence, natural wonder and the spirit world. Life is a beautiful and terrifying thing, and Split Tooth contains all of it.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Melinda, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$29.94

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Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know

The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce
By Colm Toibin
Narrated by Colm Toibin / 

Award-winning author Colm Tóibín turns his incisive gaze to three of the world's greatest writers, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, and James Joyce, and their earliest influences: their fathers.

"A father...is a necessary evil." Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses

In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know, Colm Tóibín illuminates not only the complex relationships between... Read More »

Price:

$28.75

Available for Pre-Order

Publication Date: October 23, 2018

The Ravenmaster

My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London
By Christopher Skaife
Narrated by Christopher Skaife /  6 hours 38 minutes

The Ravenmaster

“Yeoman warder Christopher Skaife describes himself as being ornithivorous in relation to his job, inhaling all that there is about ravens, no matter the area of study (science, mythology, art, etc.). And while he covers some of those topics in this book, it’s his personal stories that kept me reading late into the night. Skaife’s voice will rumble in your head and you’ll feel like you’re just swapping stories over a pint with a friend.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Rachel, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$22.99

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The End of the End of the Earth

Essays
By Jonathan Franzen
Narrated by Robert Petkoff /  6 hours 26 minutes

The End of the End of the Earth

““How do we find meaning in our actions when the world seems to be coming to an end?” asks Jonathan Franzen in the opening essay of his new collection. It’s no secret that Franzen is a bird lover, and The End is largely concerned with the plight of birds. But even as he convincingly details birds’ worth and wonder, he also writes of the deeply confounding tension between climate change’s looming results and the maddening lack of preservation of specific systems right now. Luckily, the pleasures of reading Franzen’s essays make dipping into this fraught subject feel like a rich necessity, with intelligence, humility, and even optimism winning out.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Chorel, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$22.99

Available for Pre-Order

Publication Date: November 13, 2018

Heartland

A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth
By Sarah Smarsh
Narrated by Sarah Smarsh /  9 hours 35 minutes

Heartland

“A classic is born! Sarah Smarsh takes us on a five-generation trek through the hardscrabble life of her Kansas childhood in the ’80s and ’90s. Just as J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed addressed the uncomfortable topic of poverty in this country, Heartland successfully gives the reader an in-depth look at impoverishment in the bread basket of America. She writes with a crystal-clear and objective voice, never giving in to self-pity or malevolence. Indeed, tongue-in-cheek humor and tenderness often shine through. This book is a must-read, a milestone in the life of our country.”

Nancy Simpson-Brice image Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault
Price:

$22.99

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Frederick Douglass

Prophet of Freedom
By David W. Blight
Narrated by Prentice Onayemi /  36 hours 56 minutes

The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.

As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was... Read More »

Price:

$45.99

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The Library Book

By Susan Orlean
Narrated by Susan Orlean /  12 hours 8 minutes

The Library Book

“On the day I turned 2, Chernobyl was struck by disaster. Three days later, hidden among the news and chaos, the Los Angeles Public Library was in flames. Two thousand degrees, more than a million books destroyed or damaged, and the source of the fire unknown. Susan Orlean centers her book on the fire and then moves outward to include librarians past and present, the role of a library in a community, and our own relationships with books. Like Orlean’s other books, there is some crime, some travelling, fascinating people, and an amazing tangle of details. ”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Rachel, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$27.59

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I Might Regret This

Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff
By Abbi Jacobson
Narrated by Abbi Jacobson /  6 hours 9 minutes

I Might Regret This

“Abbi Jacobson (of Broad City fame) set off on a solo road trip from New York City to Los Angeles in an impulsive attempt to shake off heartache from a breakup. This quietly introspective and sweetly self-deprecating essay collection brings readers along on Jacobson’s cross-country trek and shows us that we’re never too old to figure out who we are. The raw honesty and startling vulnerability of this book took me by surprise, inspiring me to take stock of my own path.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Kelly, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$28.73

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Unsavory Truth

How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat
By Marion Nestle
Narrated by Norah Tocci /  9 hours 39 minutes

America's leading nutritionist exposes how the food industry corrupts scientific research for profit

Is chocolate heart-healthy? Does yogurt prevent type 2 diabetes? Do pomegranates help cheat death? News accounts bombard us with such amazing claims, report them as science, and influence what we eat. Yet, as Marion Nestle explains, these studies... Read More »

Price:

$29.88

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All You Can Ever Know

A Memoir
By Nicole Chung
Narrated by Janet Song /  6 hours 42 minutes

All You Can Ever Know

“Nicole Chung’s clear and introspective memoir brings new light to the search for identity and navigating both the past and the future when surrounded by the complexity of those who love you. As a transracial adoptee, the incongruity of growing up happy yet uncomfortably different leads her to search out the truth about her birth parents when she is on the brink of becoming a parent herself. This unique, difficult, and often surprising journey considers what one needs most in the world to belong.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Melinda, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Price:

$22.99

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Celebrate Small Business Saturday! Over 150 great audiobooks on sale from now thru Saturday, November 24th! Shop the Sale

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