Adult Non-Fiction

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Calypso

Calypso

Sedaris, David, author
2018



The devil's breath : the story of the Hillcrest Mine Disaster of 1914

The devil's breath : the story of the Hillcrest Mine Disaster of 1914

Hanon, Steve, 1949- author
2013

On a warm spring day in June of 1914, two hundred and thirty-five men went down into the depths of the Hillcrest mine found in Alberta's Crowsnest Pass. Only forty-six would make it out alive. The largest coal-mining disaster in Canadian history, the fateful tale of the Hillcrest Mine is finally captured in startling detail by Stephen Hanon. A deft examination of the coal mining industry in an Alberta just on the cusp of the Great War, The Devil's Breath is a startling recollection of heroism and human courage in the face of overwhelming calamity.

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I didn't do the thing today : letting go of productivity guilt

I didn't do the thing today : letting go of productivity guilt

Dore, Madeleine, author
2022

Madeleine Dore interviewed hundreds of creative thinkers and experts to find the secret to productivity. What she discovered: there is more to value in each day than what we did or didn't do. Dore explores the various ways we encounter productivity guilt - including comparison to others, striving for perfection, and our great expectations - to point to how a day doesn't have to be optimized, but simply occupied. Dore shares how to take productivity off its pedestal and find more connection, creativity, and curiosity in its place.

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In the shadow of the mountain : a memoir of courage

In the shadow of the mountain : a memoir of courage

Vasquez-Lavado, Silvia, author.
2022

"When Silvia's mother called her home to Peru, she knew something finally had to give. A Latinx hero in the elite macho tech world of Silicon Valley, privately, she was hanging by a thread. She was deep in the throes of alcoholism, hiding her sexuality from her family, and repressing the abuse she'd suffered as a child. Her visit to Peru would become a turning point in her life. Silvia started climbing. Something about the brute force required for the ascent--the restricted oxygen at altitude, the vast expanse of emptiness around her, the risk and spirit and sheer size of the mountains, the nearness of death--woke her up. And then, she took her biggest pain to the biggest mountain: Everest. 'The Mother of the World,' as it's known in Nepal, allows few to reach her summit, but Silvia didn't go alone. She gathered a group of young female survivors and led them to base camp alongside her, their strength and community propelling her forward. In the Shadow of the Mountain is a remarkable story of heroism, one which awakens in all of us a lust for adventure, gratitude for the strong women in our lives, and faith in our own resilience"-- Provided by publisher.

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Ordinary men : Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the final solution in Poland

Ordinary men : Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the final solution in Poland

Browning, Christopher R., author.
2017

In the early hours of July 13, 1942, the men of Reserve Police Battalion 101, a unit of the German Order Police, entered the Polish Village of Jozefow. They had arrived in Poland less than three weeks before, most of them recently drafted family men too old for combat service--workers, artisans, salesmen, and clerks. By nightfall, they had rounded up Jozefow's 1,800 Jews, selected several hundred men as "work Jews," and shot the rest--that is, some 1,500 women, children, and old people. Most of these overage, rear-echelon reserve policemen had grown to maturity in the port city of Hamburg in pre-Hitler Germany and were neither committed Nazis nor racial fanatics. Nevertheless, in the sixteen months from the Jozefow massacre to the brutal Erntefest ("harvest festival") slaughter of November 1943, these average men participated in the direct shooting deaths of at least 38,000 Jews and the deportation to Treblinka's gas chambers of 45,000 more--a total body count of 83,000 for a unit of less than 500 men. Drawing on postwar interrogations of 210 former members of the battalion, Christopher Browning lets them speak for themselves about their contribution to the Final Solution--what they did, what they thought, how they rationalized their behavior (one man would shoot only infants and children, to "release" them from their misery). In a sobering conclusion, Browning suggests that these good Germans were acting less out of deference to authority or fear of punishment than from motives as insidious as they are common: careerism and peer pressure. With its unflinching reconstruction of the battalion's murderous record and its painstaking attention to the social background and actions of individual men, this unique account offers some of the most powerful and disturbing evidence to date of the ordinary human capacity for extraordinary inhumanity.

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Oregon rocks! : a guide to 60 amazing geologic sites

Oregon rocks! : a guide to 60 amazing geologic sites

Miller, Marli Bryant, 1960- author
2021

"To discover astonishing rocks and landforms in the Beaver State, all that is required is a good map, a sense of adventure, and Oregon Rocks, a guide to 60 of the most compelling geologic sites in the state. The well-chosen destinations span the state's geologic history from the Triassic marble at Oregon Caves to the 240-year-old lava dome on Mt. Hood. With more active volcanoes than any other state in the Lower Forty-Eight, Oregon boasts towering behemoths, steaming fumaroles, and eroding cinder cones. Geologist Marli Miller will guide you through the ash and lava from recent eruptions to find evidence of older ones, including a supervolcano possibly produced by the Yellowstone hot spot before it tracked east, and lava that flowed all the way to the coast from eruptions near the Oregon-Idaho border. Although residents of eastern and western Oregon may not admit they have anything in common, the barnacled sea stacks near Cannon Beach and Tillamook are composed of the exact same rock as stacked lava flows on the Columbia Plateau. With beautiful photographs and informative figures and maps, this guidebook will unite Oregonians in their pursuit of outdoor exploration, be it rock hounding, peak bagging, beachcombing, or contemplating their place in the long history of the Earth"-- Provided by publisher.

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Otherlands : journeys in Earth's extinct ecosystems

Otherlands : journeys in Earth's extinct ecosystems

Halliday, Thomas, (Paleobiologist), author
2022

Sapiens for natural history: a stirring, eye-opening journey into deep time, from the Ice Age to the first appearance of microbial life 550 million years ago, by a brilliant young paleobiologist. The past is past, but it does leave clues, and Thomas Halliday has used cutting-edge science to decipher them more completely than ever before. In Otherlands, Halliday makes sixteen fossil sites burst to life on the page. This book is an exploration of the Earth as it used to exist, the changes that have occurred during its history, and the ways that life has found to adapt-or not. It takes us from the savannahs of Pliocene Kenya to watch a python chase a group of australopithecines into an acacia tree; to a cliff overlooking the salt pans of the empty basin of what will be the Mediterranean Sea just as water from the Miocene Atlantic Ocean spills in; into the tropical forests of Eocene Antarctica; and under the shallow pools of Ediacaran Australia, where we glimpse the first microbial life. Otherlands also offers us a vast perspective on the current state of the planet. The thought that something as vast as the Great Barrier Reef, for example, with all its vibrant diversity, might one day soon be gone sounds improbable. But the fossil record shows us that this sort of wholesale change is not only possible but has repeatedly happened throughout Earth history. Even as he operates on this broad canvas, Halliday brings us up close to the intricate relationships that defined these lost worlds. In novelistic prose that belies the breadth of his research, he illustrates how ecosystems are formed; how species die out and are replaced; and how species migrate, adapt, and collaborate. It is a breathtaking achievement: a surprisingly emotional narrative about the persistence of life, the fragility of seemingly permanent ecosystems, and the scope of deep time, all of which have something to tell us about our current crisis.

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The rebel mama's handbook for (cool) moms

The rebel mama's handbook for (cool) moms

Jassem, Aleksandra, author
2020

If you're a mom (or mom-to-be) who wants to raise decent human beings, maintain your pre-baby identity and not lose your sh*t along the way, congrats: you've just found the parenting book of your dreams. This book is a girlfriend's guide to early motherhood. It's the Coles Notes for all those boring baby books you never get through. It's the instruction manual you wish your kid(s) came with - complete with cocktail list.

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Small bodies of water

Small bodies of water

Powles, Nina
2021

Nina Mingya Powles first learned to swim in Borneo. There, the local swimming pool became her first body of water. This lyrical collection of interconnected essays explores the bodies of water that separate and connect us, as well as everything from migration, food, family, earthquakes and the ancient lunisolar calendar to butterflies. In powerful prose, Powles weaves together personal memories, dreams and nature writing. It reflects on a girlhood spent growing up between two cultures, and explores what it means to belong.

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Soberful : uncover a sustainable, fulfilling life free of alcohol

Soberful : uncover a sustainable, fulfilling life free of alcohol

Valli, Veronica, author
2022

More and more people are interested in living a sober life. What was once considered boring or shameful for many who got sober, now is inspirational and gratifying. While there are many "quit lit" books out there that offer inspirational stories of those who decided to make the shift, many don't offer the "what next" for readers. How do we get sober? And how do we live sober? Veronica Valli shares just those tools in Soberful.

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The spy and the traitor : the greatest espionage story of the Cold War

The spy and the traitor : the greatest espionage story of the Cold War

Macintyre, Ben, 1963- author
2018

If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation's communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union's top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States's nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky's nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre's latest may be his best yet.

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Swamplands : tundra beavers, quaking bogs, and the improbable world of peat

Swamplands : tundra beavers, quaking bogs, and the improbable world of peat

Struzik, Edward, 1954- author
2021

In a world filled with breathtaking beauty, we have often overlooked the elusive charm and magic of certain landscapes. A cloudy river flows into a verdant Arctic wetland where sandhill cranes and muskoxen dwell. Further south, cypress branches hang low over dismal swamps. Places like these-collectively known as swamplands or peatlands-often go unnoticed for their ecological splendor. Swamplands highlights the unappreciated struggle being waged to save peatlands by scientists, conservationists, and landowners around the world. An ode to peaty landscapes in all their offbeat glory, the book is also a demand for awareness of the myriad threats they face. It urges us to see the beauty and importance in these least likely of places­. Our planet's survival might depend on it.

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The te of Piglet

The te of Piglet

Hoff, Benjamin, 1946-
1992

The author and the characters from the Pooh books engage in dialogue elucidating the Taoist principle of Te, the Way of the Small.

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Why has nobody told me this before?

Why has nobody told me this before?

Smith, Julie Ann (Writer on self-help techniques), author.
2022



The young H.G. Wells : changing the world

The young H.G. Wells : changing the world

Tomalin, Claire, author.
2021

A fascinating journey into the early life of H.G. Wells, the father of science fiction, from one of Britain's best biographers How did the first forty years of H. G. Wells' life shape the father of science fiction? From his impoverished childhood in a working-class English family, to his determination to educate himself at any cost, to the serious ill health that dominated his twenties and thirties, his complicated marriages, and love affair with socialism, the first forty years of H. G. Wells' extraordinary life would set him on a path to become one of the world's most influential writers. The sudden success of The TimeMachine and The War of The Worlds transformed his life and catapulted him to international fame; he became the writer who most inspired Orwell and countless others, and predicted men walking on the moon seventy years before it happened. In this remarkable, empathetic biography, Claire Tomalin paints a fascinating portrait of a man like no other, driven by curiosity and desiring reform, a socialist and a futurist whose new and imaginative worlds continue to inspire today.

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