Archives For Nonfiction


Here are a few new book releases this week that are worth checking out:

New Book Releases - Week of 27 August 2012Our most anticipated new release this week is D.T. Max‘s new biography of David Foster Wallace, Every Love Story is a Ghost Story. The publisher has described this volume: “Since his untimely death by suicide at the age of forty-six in 2008, Wallace has become more than the quintessential writer for his time—he has become a symbol of sincerity and honesty in an inauthentic age.  In the end, as Max shows us, what is most interesting about Wallace is not just what he wrote but how he taught us all to live. Written with the cooperation of Wallace’s family and friends and with access to hundreds of his unpublished letters, manuscripts, and audio tapes, this portrait of an extraordinarily gifted writer is as fresh as news, as intimate as a love note, as painful as a goodbye.”

[ Read a brief excerpt of the book here… ]

Watch for our review in the near future!

Hardback, Viking.
Buy now [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

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An excerpt from Edward Abbey’s classic book:


Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness.

Edward Abbey.

Paperback: Touchstone, 1990.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire, the noted author’s most enduring nonfiction work, is an account of Abbey’s seasons as a ranger at Arches National Park outside Moab, Utah. Abbey reflects on the nature of the Colorado Plateau desert, on the condition of our remaining wilderness, and on the future of a civilization that cannot reconcile itself to living in the natural world. He also recounts adventures with scorpions and snakes, obstinate tourists and entrenched bureaucrats, and, most powerful of all, with his own mortality.

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Anne Lamott - Some Assembly RequiredAn excerpt from Anne Lamott’s newest memoir

Some Assembly Required: A Journal of my Son’s First Son.

Anne Lamott.

Hardback: Riverhead Books, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

Watch for not one, but two reviews of this book in our next print issue!

Also watch a short video of Lamott talking about this book

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Marilynne Robinson is one of the keynote speakers at next week’s Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College. We are very excited about her newest book, which was reviewed by David Johnson in our current print issue. We will be giving away a few copies of her book at our booth at the Festival, so if you are going to be there, stop by and enter to win a copy, or a number of other excellent new books. For those who are going to the festival (and those who are not), here is a taste of her excellent new book:

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Just got our review copy of this book in the mail today, and it looks like a lot of fun!

Watch for our review in the near future:

Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea
and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists,
and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them
Donovan Hohn.
Hardback: Viking, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon: Hardback ] [ Amazon: Kindle


“Write What You See.

A review of
The Pastor: A Memoir.
By Eugene Peterson.

Reviewed by Margaret D’Anieri.

[ Enter here to win one of five copies
of this book that we are giving away! ]

THE PASTOR- Eugene PetersonThe Pastor: A Memoir.
By Eugene Peterson.
Hardback: HarperOne, 2011.
Buy now:  [ ]

In an article titled “Books in Search of an Author,” Lillian Daniel wrote, “Pastors are always complaining about what they did not learn in seminary. The book I wish for is along these lines but is not about boiler repair, tuck-pointing and the exact measurements for an elevator that will hold a coffin. I wish I knew more about these things, but I do not want to read about them. As a pastor, I simply long to read more books by pastors about being a pastor.”[i] The search has found its author. Peterson himself notes an encounter with someone described to him as a “leading pastoral theologian”, author of eight “influential” books. Peterson later found out this man had been an associate pastor for one year; he looked in the index of all eight books and didn’t find a single reference to prayer.

This memoir is a reflection on the ingredients that have gone into Peterson’s formation as a pastor, the refining of his own call in a period of time he calls “the badlands”, and his understanding of pastoral identity in our day and age. Best known as the author of The Message, a contemporary paraphrase of the Bible, Peterson grounds his vocation as writer and pastor in words from the book of Revelation:

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“A Landmark Piece of
Conservation Literature

A review of

The View from Lazy Point:
A Natural Year in An Unnatural World.

By Carl Safina.

Reviewed by Brittany Buczynski.

Carl Safina - The View from Lazy PointThe View from Lazy Point:
A Natural Year in An Unnatural World.

Carl Safina.
Hardback: Henry Holt, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Ecologist Carl Safina has penned what will surely be read and revered for years to come as a landmark piece of conservation literature and global climate change documentation. Whether one agrees with his philosophical and scientific conclusions or not, there’s no arguing with his eloquent prose and stirring description of wildlife the world over.

Spanning a full year and several continents, including both the Arctic and Antarctic, Safina’s sophisticated travel journal chronicles his environmental studies both abroad and at home in Lazy Point, a secluded seaside inlet near Amagansett, Long Island. The way he tells the stories of animal and plant survival, of interwoven ecosystems—and the dangers they are facing— almost resembles ancient parables rather than modern-day records of species struggling to adapt to changing conditions. His arguments detailing the domino effect of ecological decline are particularly convincing, as he connects micro changes within the food/energy chain to tragic environmental crises, such as dying coral reefs, vanishing forests, and endangered native populations.

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