Sacramento Public Library

Best Nonfiction - 2016

    All the Single Ladies; Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation

    All the Single Ladies; Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation - Rebecca Traister

    Examines the history of unmarried women in the United States to reveal that the concept of a powerful single woman, often perceived as a modern phenomenon, is not a new idea and explores the options, besides traditional marriage, that were historically available to women.
    American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst

    American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst - Jeffrey Toobin

    An account of the sensational 1974 kidnapping and trial of Patty Hearst describes the efforts of her family to secure her release, Hearst's baffling participation in a bank robbery and the psychological insights that prompted modern understandings about Stockholm syndrome.
    Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives

    Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives - Gary Younge

    Tells the stories of the lives lost on November 23, 2013, profiling ten victims whose deaths exemplify the statistic that on an average day in America, seven young people aged nineteen or under will be shot dead.
    At the Existentialist Café

    At the Existentialist Café - Sarah Bakewell

    The best-selling author of How to Live presents a spirited account of the Existentialist intellectual and philosophical movement of the 1930s while sharing insights into the contributions of key revolutionary thinkers and the movement's present-day legacy.
    Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide

    Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide - Charles Foster

    A passionate naturalist, Oxford-trained veterinarian and ethics barrister draws on his remarkable experiments with living in nature to describe the neuroscience and psychology of animals from a firsthand perspective, sharing evocative descriptions of his feral survival challenges and how they enabled him to connect with nature on an primal level.
    Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America

    Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America - Patrick Phillips

    A harrowing testament to the deep roots of racial violence in America chronicles acts of racial cleansing in early 20th-century Forsyth County, Georgia, where the murder of a young girl led to mob lynchings, acts of terror against black workers and violent protests by night riders trying to enforce whites-only citizenship.
    Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy

    Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy - Heather Ann Thompson

    An all-encompassing account of the infamous 1971 Attica prison uprising, the state's violent response and the victims' decades-long quest for justice draws on previously unreleased information while detailing how the event has influenced civil rights practices in the criminal justice system.
    Born to Run

    Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen

    In a personal account inspired by the remarkable 2009 Super Bowl halftime show, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer traces his life from his childhood in a Catholic New Jersey family and the musical experiences that prompted his career to the rise of the E Street Band and the stories behind some of his most famous songs.
    Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

    Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right - Jane Mayer

    An investigation into the growing radical right reveals a network of wealthy people with extreme Libertarian views, led by the Koch brothers, that has been systematically influencing and controlling academic institutions, the courts, and the United States government.
    Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South

    Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South - Vivian Howard

    The Peabody Award-winning co-creator of PBS' A Chef's Life collects more than 200 recipes in an essential Southern cookbook that includes recipes for such dishes as Blueberry BBQ Chicken, Cool Cucumber Crab Dip, Peaches and Cream Cake, Pecan Chewy Pie, Tempura-Fried Okra, Pimiento Cheese Grits and many more.
    Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

    Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City - Matthew Desmond

    A Harvard sociologist examines the challenge of eviction as a formidable cause of poverty in America, revealing how millions of people are wrongly forced from their homes and reduced to cycles of extreme disadvantage that are reinforced by dysfunctional legal systems.
    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years

    Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years - Andrew Solomon

    A volume of essays by the National Book Award and National Books Critics' Circle Award-winning author of Far From the Tree chronicles his activist stint on the Moscow barricades in 1991, his 2002 account of cultural rebirth in post-Taliban Afghanistan and other stories of profound change.
    Flavorwalla: Big Flavor, Bold Spices, A New Way to Cook the Foods You Love

    Flavorwalla: Big Flavor, Bold Spices, A New Way to Cook the Foods You Love - Floyd Cardoz with Marah Stets

    The celebrated New York City chef of Tabla, North End Grill and his newest restaurant, Paowalla, shows home cooks how to amplify the flavors in more than 100 recipes for weeknight dinners or holiday meals, including Grilled Lamb Shanks With Salsa Verde, Coconut Basmati Pilaf and Shrimp with Spicy Tomato Sauce.
    Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places

    Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places - Colin Dickey

    Explores some of the United States' most infamously haunted places, including old mansions and hotels, abandoned prisons, empty hospitals, and other locations, and reveals the repressed history they represent.
    Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill

    Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill - Candice Millard

    The best-selling author of Destiny of the Republic presents a narrative account of Churchill's lesser-known heroics during the Boer War, describing his daring escape from rebel captors, trek through hundreds of miles with virtually no supplies and eventual return to South Africa to liberate the soldiers captured with him.

     
    Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

    Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis - J.D. Vance

    Shares the poignant story of the author's family and upbringing, describing how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan that included the author, a Yale Law School graduate, while navigating the demands of middle-class life and the collective demons of the past.
    Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939

    Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939 - Volker Ullrich

    Draws on previously unseen papers and recent scholarly research to shed new light on Hitler's life, from his childhood and failures as a young man in Vienna to his First World War experience and rise as a far-right party leader.
    How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon

    How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon - Rosa Brooks

    A former top Pentagon official, daughter of anti-war activists, wife of an Army Green Beret and human rights activist presents a scholarly examination of how a constant state of war is contrary to America's founding values, undermines international rules and compromises future security.
    I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

    I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - Ed Yong

    An award-winning science writer shares unique perspectives into the role of the microbiome in human health, identity and ability, explaining in comprehensive, lighthearted detail how our microbial partners shape and protect life on Earth in unexpected ways.
    Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck

    Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck - Adam Cohen

    Describes a dark moment in American history, when the Supreme Court agreed, in 1927, to support eugenic sterilization for “undesirables,” including epileptics and the “feebleminded,” resulting in the sterilization of 70,000 Americans.
    In the Darkroom

    In the Darkroom - Susan Faludi

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author of Backlash presents an astonishing confrontation with the enigma of her father and the larger riddle of identity consuming our age.
    Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul

    Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul - James McBride

    Traces how the author acted on a tip from a family member and embarked on a cultural journey in search of the man behind the legend of James Brown, discovering his rich musical legacy and the ongoing disputes surrounding his will as well as the complicated race, music and cultural factors that shaped his story.
    Lab Girl

    Lab Girl - Hope Jahren

    A debut memoir by an award-winning paleobiologist traces her childhood in her father's laboratory, her longtime relationship with a brilliant but wounded colleague and the remarkable discoveries they have made both in the lab and during extensive field research assignments.
    Night Sky with Exit Wounds

    Night Sky with Exit Wounds - Ocean Vuong

    A debut collection of poems draws from personal traumas to offer observations on such themes as violence, poverty, depression, and queer sexuality.
    Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness and Family Secrets

    Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness and Family Secrets - Luke Dittrich

    A first book by a National Magazine Award-winning investigative journalist explores the scientific, ethical and human dimensions of the 1953 brain operation by William Beecher Scoville that transformed understandings of memory science and triggered profound legal and medical debates.
    Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets

    Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets - Svetlana Alexievich

    From the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature comes an oral history of Russia—from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the rise of Putin—in an English translation for the first time.
    Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

    Seven Brief Lessons on Physics - Carlo Rovelli

    An introduction to modern physics by a founder of the loop quantum gravity theory shares seven succinct lessons on topics ranging from general relativity and quantum mechanics to elementary particles and black holes.
    Sex with Shakespeare: Here's Much to Do with Pain, But More with Love

    Sex with Shakespeare: Here's Much to Do with Pain, But More with Love - Jillian Keenan

    Published to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, a thought-provoking, emotional and hilarious memoir follows the author as she charts her life--and her romances--through the plays of Shakespeare as she wanders the world in search of herself.
    Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

    Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life - Ruth Franklin

    Reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the American author, demonstrating how her unique contribution to the Gothic genre came from a focus on domestic horror drawn from an era hostile to women.
    Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

    Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right - Arlie Russell Hochschild

    In an effort to understand why low income conservatives seem to hate the idea of liberal government intervention, a sociologist embarks on a journey to Louisiana bayou country, a stronghold of the conservative right.
    The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World's Most Coveted Fish

    The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World's Most Coveted Fish - Emily Voigt

    A tour of the surprising world of the endangered Asian arowana, otherwise known as the "dragon fish," describes the violence, expense, cultural beliefs and sophisticated smuggling operations surrounding its illegal possession, tracing the author's years-long quest in search of surviving populations.
    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 Justice - Patricia Bell-Scott

    Describes the unlikely friendship between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Pauli Murray, a granddaughter of a mixed race slave and a lesbian, who became a lawyer and civil rights pioneer, and the important work they each did, taking stands for justice and freedom.
    The Gene: An Intimate History

    The Gene: An Intimate History - Siddhartha Mukherjee

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies presents a history of gene science that examines current debates about gene resequencing, tracing the author's family experiences with mental illness and the contributions of key scientists and philosophers.
    The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

    The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone - Olivia Laing

    A work of reportage, memoir, and biography on the subject of loneliness is told through the lives of iconic artists including Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, Edward Hopper, Henry Darger, and Klaus Nomi.

     
    The People and the Books: 18 Classics of Jewish Literature

    The People and the Books: 18 Classics of Jewish Literature - Adam Kirsch

    An anthology of Jewish literary classics explores a rich literary tradition spanning biblical through modern times and includes the books of Deuteronomy and Esther, the philosophy of Maimonides, the autobiography of Gluckel of Hameln, and the Zionist manifestos of Theodor Herzl.
    Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South

    Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South - Beth Macy

    Tells the true story of George and Willie Muse, two albino African-American brothers who were kidnapped and displayed as circus freaks, and whose mother endured a twenty-eight-year struggle to get them back.
    Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

    Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy - Cathy O'Neil

    A former Wall Street quantitative analyst sounds an alarm on mathematical modeling, a pervasive new force in society that threatens to undermine democracy and widen inequality.
    When Breath Becomes Air

    When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi

    A Ivy League-trained, award-winning young neurosurgeon describes his how after receiving a terminal diagnosis with lung cancer he explored the dynamics of his roles as a patient and care provider, the philosophical conundrums about a meaningful life and how he wanted to spend his final days.
    White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

    White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America - Nancy Isenberg

    A history of the class system in America from the colonial era to the present illuminates the crucial legacy of the underprivileged white demographic, citing the pivotal contributions of lower-class white workers in wartime, social policy, and the rise of the Republican Party.
    You'll Grow Out of It

    You'll Grow Out of It - Jessi Klein

    Humorous and poignant stories from the "Inside Amy Schumer" head writer's awkward youth include entries on her tomboy pursuits of femininity, her emulation of Oprah, and the dangers of wedding websites.
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