Things You Should Know About

Staff Pick: The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

by CK

In the centuries-long human quest to brew or distill a stiff drink from whatever ingredients our ancestors could get their hands on, some fruits, grains, flowers, and trees have emerged as the superstars of flavor and inebriation.

This is their story – with cocktail recipes!

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: The Revolution Was Televised by Alan Sepinwall

by CK

The best TV dramas of the last 15 years, from Buffy to Breaking Bad, didn’t just have great stories and strong creative personalities behind them; they had a financial and technological redefinition of what television is to help them succeed.

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From the publisher: 

A phenomenal account, newly updated, of how twelve innovative television dramas transformed the medium and the culture at large, featuring Sepinwall's take on the finales of Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

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Staff Pick: Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara

by CK

John O’Hara’s first novel was the Prohibition-era story of an a-hole’s downward spiral to destruction. If The Great Gatsby had been written for a pulp magazine, it might’ve come out something like this….

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: A Voyage to the Island of the Articoles by Andre Maurois

by Lauren

On an isolated island, society is divided into a strict caste of artists (Articoles) and the workers who revere them (Béos). Maurois offers a wry look at the process of creation and the perils of forsaking reality in the pursuit of art.

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From the publisher: 

A couple becomes shipwrecked on an island of literary zealots, a place where every subject/feeling deserves expression. Sound familiar? Turtle Point, $12.00

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Staff Pick: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee

by David

Perhaps the finest prose of the 20th century.

Sample pages 41-42.

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

by Jake

Road trip! Perfect summer reading – flat out funny, full of quirky characters, and laced with a deeper poignancy than your average beach book.

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: Life by Keith Richards

by Scott

Keith’s advice is two-fold: Buy only the best drugs and don’t go chasing the higher high. My advice: enjoy this autobiography.

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From the publisher: 

With The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the songs that roused the world, and he lived the original rock and roll life.

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Staff Pick: LoveStar by Andri Magnason

by Greg

Satire demands detachment and Iceland screams detachment. Magnason uses that isolated lens to skewer our technological consumerist lives. From ad-howlers and murderous Mickey Mouses to overly protective Bid Bad Wolves, you'll cringe with laughter.

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan

by Maggie

Everyone wants to eat good food. McMillan goes undercover as a minimum wage worker to explore & understand the U.S. food system, shedding light on the largely privatized industry whose priorities determine the accessibility and affordability of our food & which dramatically influence how all Americans eat.

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: This is Running for Your Life by Michelle Orange

by Jake

A smattering of essays that veer from pop culture, to family history, to war-torn travelogue. Orange is an important and captivating new voice – just check out “The Uses of Nostalgia and Some Thoughts on Ethan Hawke’s Face” (the title says it all) if you don’t believe me.

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From the publisher:

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