September 2022: Amber
Amber is an assistant general manager at Quail Ridge Books. She moderates the store’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Club and is actively obsessed with her cats. When not reading or working, she’s watching her way through the AFI Top 100 films, hunting for random items in used books, or admiring the ducks and turtles at Lake Lynn. She makes lists and spreadsheets for fun, collects weird plushies, and still refuses to wear matching socks. With this list, she is highlighting her favorite nonfiction books.
As an introvert, I strongly identified with Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (Crown $18). It’s a fascinating look at introverts, how we are undervalued in society, and ways the world is more difficult for us. It was eye-opening, and I want more extroverts to read it and understand us better!
You don’t need to know his band to read and love Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett (Celadon Books $17.99). Jollett puts everything on the table, from the terrible experience at Synanon, a cult where he spent the beginning of his life, to his struggle during later childhood feeling at home with himself and with his family. Jollett is candid about mental health and his decision to seek help through therapy to overcome his past, not to mention everything that led to the start of The Airborne Toxic Event.
His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope by Jon Meacham (Random House $18.99) opened my eyes to the amazing influence John Lewis had on the civil rights movement, and how he kept fighting for civil rights long after others had stopped. He was truly an inspiration, and his life should be remembered.
Can Stephen Fry do anything poorly? Apparently not, considering he wrote Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined by Stephen Fry (Chronicle Books $29.95), fantastic and fun retellings of Greek myths, complete with his trademark wit and wisdom. Whether you know nothing or everything about the subject, this one is not to be missed. And if you love it, there are two more!
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed Editions $20) is one of those rare books that pretty much anyone will love. She discusses Native American traditions, sustainable practices in ecology, and humanity’s relationship with the natural world. Part nature, science, and memoir, Kimmerer’s story is compelling, and her writing is beautiful.
The essays in We are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby (Vintage $15.95) had me in tears, cracking up on every page. If you’ve enjoyed Jenny Lawson, this needs to be your next read. Samantha Irby is the funniest person I will never meet.
It’s difficult to explain Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller (Simon & Schuster $17.99). Is it a biography or a memoir? Science or true crime? It manages to be all of these things at once, which is what I found so compelling about Miller’s debut book.
Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen (Beacon Press $14.95) sheds light on a little-known and rarely understood identity within the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s an engaging exploration of asexuality through interviews, memoir, and cultural critique.
South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry (Ecco $28.99) hit home for me, a native southerner. It’s an investigation of the culture and history of the South through the lens of a Black woman revisiting her home region after many years away.
Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation by Hannah Gadsby (Ballantine Books $28.99) recounts everything that led up to the virally successful Netflix special, Nanette. It is a memoir about not only things that happened, but who Gadsby was as a person throughout her life. She discusses the realization of her sexuality, her autism diagnosis, and years of feeling lost before finding herself in comedy.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Experience the book that started the Quiet Movement and revolutionized how the world sees introverts—and how introverts see themselves—by offering validation, inclusion, and inspiration
**THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER**
“A Gen-X This Boy’s Life...Music and his fierce brilliance boost Jollett; a visceral urge to leave his background behind propels him to excel... In the end, Jollett shakes off the past to become the captain of his own soul. Hollywood Park is a triumph."
—O, The Oprah Magazine
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An intimate and revealing portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his life to the painful quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present—from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Soul of America
Mythos is a modern collection of Greek myths, stylishly retold by legendary writer, actor, and comedian Stephen Fry. Fry transforms the adventures of Zeus and the Olympians into emotionally resonant and deeply funny stories, without losing any of their original wonder.
A New York Times Bestseller
A Washington Post Bestseller
Named a Best Essay Collection of the Decade by Literary Hub
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This essay collection from the “bitches gotta eat” blogger, writer on Hulu’s Shrill, and “one of our country’s most fierce and foulmouthed authors” (Amber Tamblyn, Vulture) is sure to make you alternately cackle with glee and cry real tears.
A Best Book of 2020: The Washington Post * NPR * Chicago Tribune * Smithsonian
A “remarkable” (Los Angeles Times), “seductive” (The Wall Street Journal) debut from the new cohost of Radiolab, Why Fish Don’t Exist is a dark and astonishing t
An engaging exploration of what it means to be asexual in a world that’s obsessed with sexual attraction, and what the ace perspective can teach all of us about desire and identity.
WINNER OF THE 2022 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Multi-award-winning Hannah Gadsby broke comedy with their show Nanette when they declared that they were quitting stand-up. Now they take us through the defining moments in their life that led to the creation of Nanette and their powerful decision to tell the truth—no matter the cost.
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