Staff Favorites: 5 nonfiction books we love

Turn around Bright EyesInstant CityMagic HoursWild TalesBitter Is the New Black

Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love & Karaoke by Rob Sheffield
Rolling Stone editor Rob Sheffield oozes popular culture and arcane rock music trivia from every pore. But in a good way. In this memoir (his third!), he explains his addiction to singing karaoke, even though he can’t sing. He also tells endearing stories about falling in love with his glam-rock, astrophysicist wife, spending a week at rock ’n’ roll fantasy camp and gradually turning into Rod Stewart, like all men do. – Hannah, Ballard

Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi by Steve Inskeep
Inskeep, one of my favorite voices on NPR, brings historical, cultural and political context to the growing urban sprawl of Karachi. He takes you through the founding of Pakistan all the way to the country’s current turbulent time. Along the way, you get intimate glimpses into the lives of people residing in one of the largest cities in Central Asia. – Toby, Central

Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation by Tom Bissell
A regular columnist for McSweeney’s The Believer, Bissell explores questions surrounding literature, art and film, as well as those who, in his opinion, fail or succeed to create in those mediums. Whether describing the set of “Big Bang Theory” or reminiscing on the life of David Foster Wallace, Magic Hours contains some of the most well-written art and social criticism I’ve read in a long while. Pop-culture enthusiasts, have at it! – Amanda, Northgate

Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life by Graham Nash
Sex! Drugs! Rock ‘n’ roll! Nash walks us through his humble British beginnings to his musical development with The Hollies, to Crosby, Stills and Nash. His relationships with Joni Mitchell, Rita Coolidge and the other loves in his life relate to his amazing songwriting and his growth as an artist. The accompanying photos (mostly by Nash himself, a lifelong photography nut) are great. I had loads of fun reading his memoir and you will, too! – Bob, Central

Bitter Is the New Black: A Memoir by Jen Lancaster
Lancaster, self-described “condescending, egomaniacal, self-centered smart ass,” relates how she and her husband handled abrupt financial adversity. While some of the causes were uncontrollable, Lancaster is refreshingly candid about her extravagant spending and abysmal financial skills. Funny, sometimes moving and occasionally infuriating (old habits die hard), Bitter is engrossing, and leaves you wanting more. (Also try Such a Pretty Fat, a hilarious chronicle of Jen’s efforts to lose weight). – Katie, Capitol Hill

Find more of our staff’s favorite nonfiction books here or pick up a print brochure next time you’re at your neighborhood library!



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