Seattle Staff Faves 2022: Nonfiction

Library staff across the city weighed in on their favorite nonfiction books published in 2022 — and what a great list we created together! Read on for highlights of the excellent nonfiction included, with raves from staff; or jump straight into the full 36-item list.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton
“This graphic memoir is an utterly absorbing account of Beaton’s time spent working in the Alberta oil sands to pay off her college debts and an unflinching look at the human and environmental costs of an extractive capitalist system.” – Abby

 How to Keep House While Drowning by K.C. Davis
“A quick, compassionate read that provides a grounded approach to making your home life work for you when mental health, disability, or the weight of capitalism are impacting your ability to keep house.” – Micah
“KC Davis’ neurodivergent-friendly approach is particularly important to me.​” – Orion

Red Paint by Sasha taqwéseblu LaPointe
“CW: generational, colonial, and personal trauma.
The audiobook is narrated by the author! A coming of age story about processing and working through trauma that’s also so much more than that. Sasha taqwéseblu LaPointe, a Coast Salish musician and writer takes you on a journey both geographically (throughout the PNW) and introspectively through her search for healing and ‘home.’” – Kristy

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#BookBingoNW2022: Health or Healthcare Workers

Summer Book Bingo 2022 deadline is looming! As Sept. 6 draws near, here are some suggestions for folks trying to fill their Health or healthcare workers square – two novels that imagine the lives of nurses, plus nonfiction about building healthcare infrastructure, reflections on medical advancements, and two books for common health concerns.

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
Over three days in Dublin, Ireland during the 1918 flu epidemic, nurse Julia Power works the quarantined maternity ward in an understaffed city hospital where pregnant women with influenza prepare to give birth. (historical fiction)

Lazaretto by Diane McKinney-Whetstone
In Civil War-era Philadelphia, Sylvia works as a nurse-in-training to a local midwife at Lazaretto Hospital, which is an anchor to an African American community. On the night of President Lincoln’s assassination, Sylvia helps deliver the baby of a Black maid, Meda, an event that ties together Sylvia and Meda’s lives. (historical fiction)

Sisters of Mokama by Jyoti Thottam
The true story of six Kentucky nuns who in 1947 traveled to Bihar in northern India to build a hospital, provide necessary medical care, and open a nursing school to train local women. Thottam, of The New York Times, pulls from 20 years of research, 60+ interviews, and the story of her mother, who was one of the young Indian women taken in as a nursing student.

The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town by Brian Alexander
A portrait of a small nonprofit hospital in Bryan, OH that sheds light on health care in America. From fall 2018 through summer 2020, journalist Alexander interviewed hospital personnel, patients, and others to get a full picture of how hospitals survive – or don’t. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2022: Health or Healthcare Workers”

Growing Wild!

We recently took our son to visit his grandparents in rural Oregon. Surrounded by acreage and farms, he got to visit goats, sheep, a llama, chickens, and a handful of dogs and cats. He was delighted! On top of that there was running down rolling hills barefoot, digging in dirt, and climbing rock piles. Each night he went to bed exhausted from his busy days. This was just the beginning of earthing himself into a place that will become an important part of his childhood. It gave us an idea of what to be prepared for in our future adventures and when to let go and let him grow wild!

Here are a few books in our collection to inspire your own kiddo’s adventures with nature:

Vitamin N: the Essential Guide to a Nature-rich Life by Richard Louv
A book chock full of ideas to get involved with the natural world. While I was originally drawn to it for ideas for my child, it goes above and beyond the immediate family to include the greater community at large. It highlights organizations connecting people to nature, as well as articles, research and reading suggestions. Also, for a book published in 2016 it is still relevant and informative.

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New Nonfiction Roundup – March 2022

This month in nonfiction features a bevy of fantastic cookbooks, page-turners that read like fiction, thoughtful (and funny) memoirs and a host of books to help us get through the day a bit more successfully. And don’t forget to check out this month’s Peak Picks in nonfiction.

What’s Cooking?
Chef (and recent transplant to Seattle) J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (Food Lab) returns with his second cookbook, The Wok. Dietician Nisha Melvani shares more than 100 plant-based recipes in Practically Vegan, and Steven Gundry (The Plant Paradox) shows readers how to eat more beneficial foods in Unlocking the Keto Code.

Memoirs, Celebrity and Otherwise.
In Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama, Bob Odenkirk charts his “inexplicable” career from seedy comedy clubs to starring roles in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul while director Sarah Polley tackles the vagaries of memory in Run Towards the Danger. Two books look back at coming of age in the 90s: “Everything Iconic” podcaster Danny Pellegrino revisits his youth as a Midwestern gay kid in How Do I Un-Remember This? while Liz Scheier reflects on her childhood with a mentally ill single parent in Never Simple. Beloved author Amy Bloom shares her struggles as her husband is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in In Love while New York Times columnist Frank Bruni considers hope amidst loss as he partially loses his eyesight in The Beauty of Dusk. Tony Award-winner and gay icon Harvey Fierstein reveals all in his hilarious memoir I Was Better Last Night, while revolutionary queer comic Hannah Gadsby looks at her childhood in Australia and its impact on her comedy in Ten Steps to Nanette. And Marie Yovanovitch, ambassador to Ukraine until she was famously fired by Donald Trump, provides valuable insight into her life and work in Lessons From the Edge.

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Tinkering Toddlers: Activities for At Home Play

A wicked cold, snow, and a closed daycare was making me a stir-crazed mama. I needed ideas to keep my kiddo’s brain learning and his body moving. I found a wonderful collection of books from the Library that gave me the boost and inspiration I needed to be the fun mom! 

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