1. “Where the World Begins: Sonoma Mountain Stories and Images” by Arthur Dawson, Meg Beeler, Rebecca Lawton, Tracy Salcedo, Ed Cooper, Scott Hess, Ulrich Kolbe
A beautifully photographed book, celebrating Sonoma Mountain, its sense of place and the importance of that sense to our species.
2. “The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West” by David McCullough
The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian documents how the Northwest Territories came to be a settlement for many veterans of the Revolutionary War.
3. “Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis” by Jared Diamond
The Pulitzer Prize-winner and UCLA professor concludes his trilogy, begun with “Guns, Germs and Steel” and followed by “Collapse,” with a look at how societies respond to crises.
4. “The British are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777” by Rick Atkinson
The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian examines the first two years of the American War for Independence. The first volume of a planned trilogy.
5. “On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real and Listening Hard” by Jennifer Pastiloff
The popular blogger, inspirational speaker and yoga instructor shares her life story, along with motivational tips and exercises.
1. “Letters to my Palestinian Neighbor” by Yossi Klein Halevi
Through a series of letters, the New York born writer tells of his move to Israel while in his 20s, with the commitment of turning the Jewish homeland into a morally responsible state, where both Israelis and Palestinians are rightful claimants to the region.
2. “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah
From the popular host of late night TV’s “The Daily Show,” an inspiring coming-of-age memoir during the early days of apartheid.
3. “The Diary of a Bookseller” by Shaun Blythell
The owner of a used bookshop in Scotland chronicles the year 2014 with a lively and intelligent narrative of the routine, quirks, disappointments and joys of the business.
4. “In Fond Remembrance of Me: A Memoir of Myth and Uncommon Friendship in the Arctic” by Howard Norman
Memoir of the National Book Award finalist’s time in 1977 Manitoba, translating Inuit folktales and the remarkable friendship he formed with a Japanese linguist while there.
5. “The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America” by Matt Kracht
A humorous and profane guide for those who love to hate birds.
1. “The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert
YA, ages 12-18. A contemporary dark fairy tale involving a 17-year-old girl.
2. “Awkward” by Svetlana Chmakova
Graphic Novel, ages 10-13. In her new middle school, Peppi is having a hard time fitting in because of her struggles with social anxiety.
3. “Ghosts” by Raina Telgemeier
Graphic Novel, ages 8-12.
Two sisters, one plagued by cystic fibrosis and yet an optimist, and the other, a constant worrier, move with their parents to the Northern California Coast and encounter real-life ghosts that teach them important life lessons.
4. “Caps For Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business” by Esphyr Slobodkina
Illustrated, ages 4-8
Classic tale of a peddler and some mischievous monkeys.
5. “Strega Nona” by Tomie dePaola
Illustrated, ages 4-8.
In this Caldecott Honor book, when Strega Nona, the source of cures and comfort for her townspeople, leaves her house in the care of Big Anthony when she goes to visit a relative, disaster results when Big Anthony dips into her magic pasta pot.