Nonfiction

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Xanta Claus

Rating: 2
Santa Claus's job is not just to bring presents; it's to bring hope to children, up to the age of ten. But why stop there? Even adults could use a little hope sometimes.
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The Secret Peace: Exposing the Positive Trend of World Events

Rating: 4
Despite wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, continuing conflict in the Middle East, and such horrendous events as 911, author Jesse Richards presents the boldly optimistic theory that the world is actually moving away from war and violence toward unity and peace.
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Virgil Fox (The Dish): An Irreverent Biography of the Great American Organist

Rating: 4
The great concert organist, Virgil Fox, dominated the classical organ field from the mid-1940’s until his death in 1980. His flamboyant personality and lifestyle matched his outsized playing style, and this book covers them both.
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Love, Fate and Afghanistan

Rating: 3.5
The author looks back on his heady youth in this hippy-era memoir of travels across the Middle East and India.
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A Suitcase Full of Faith

Rating: 3.5
A Suitcase Full of Faith is about traveling the world while listening to one’s heart, even when the obstacles may seem insurmountable.
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Barking Her Way to the Top

Rating: 4
Roger Pyle's s six-year old collie, Kukushka, is not an ordinary pet, as she is able to be understood by her master. The often irreverent dog demands that Pyle get her a job in the civil service.
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Growing Up Irish Catholic, and Surviving My Mom's Eleven Sisters

Rating: 4
The author is sarcastic and misanthropic enough to please any Woody Allen fan, but he is also compassionate and careful to point out his own deficiencies.
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The Daring Spectacle

Rating: 4
SF Chronicle/SFGate columnist and culture critic Mark Morford's hilarious modern record of sex and media, politics and pop culture, love and lust, as told in ninety-two delectable partsnot including all the delicious photos and terrifying hate mail.
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Briefs

Rating: 4
Wideman unveils an utterly original voice and structure--hip-hop zen--where each story is a single breath, to be caught, held, shared and savored. Reviewed by IR Staff
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Isabel Toledo: Fashion From the Inside Out

Rating: 4
This beautiful book--featuring interviews with Toledo's husband (fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo), colleagues, clients, and critics--is a revelatory exploration of a fashion innovator in a mass-market industry.
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Backstage Dior

Rating: 4
Photographer Roxanne Lowit's bold mix of color and black-and-white images are by turns whimsical and awe-inspiring.
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Social Climbers

Rating: 3
A illustrated novel and purported how-to guide for the upwardly mobile, Social Climbers features an 8th grade writing style, a plethora of typos, tense mistakes and spelling errors.
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Cartier I Love You

Rating: 4
A heartfelt love letter to a jewelry house without equal.
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We All We Got

Rating: 2
A book about the Pittsburgh Panthers, penned by a passionate fan.
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The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer

Rating: 4
A sweet and heartbreaking story of the life and times of black Labrador retrievers, Boomer and Beezer.
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Midnight in Rome: A Wandering Mind in a City Eternal

Rating: 4
A coming-of-age story set in Rome, as seen from the eyes of someone who is seeing it for the first time.
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Claude Monet: Late Work

Rating: 4
A catalogue that accompanied "Claude Monet: Late Work," the most significant gathering of Monet's late paintings to take place in New York in more than thirty years.
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Ferus

Rating: 4
A timeline documenting the Ferus gallery's history opens the fully illustrated catalogue, followed by an interview with Irving Blum by Roberta Bernstein and a critical discussion of Warhol's Campbell's soup can paintings by Kirk Varnedoe.
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Cecily Brown

Rating: 4
With a visual repertoire indebted as much to the classical themes of the old masters as to porn magazines and Hollywood films, Brown's paintings challenge traditional interpretations and compel us to reconsider the act of painting from a decidedly feminine viewpoint.
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Warhol from the Sonnaben Collection

Rating: 4.5
This beautifully illustrated book includes essays by Picasso biographer John Richardson and leading Warhol scholar Brenda Richardson.
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Damien Hirst: Superstition

Rating: 4
Published to accompany Damien Hirst's exhibition of butterfly paintings at Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles in February 2007, Superstition is a visually stunning book that confirms Hirst's reputation as one of the most significant visual thinkers of his generation.
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Jeff Koons: Hulk Elvis

Rating: 4
The definitive survey of Jeff Koons's Hulk Elvis paintings, including an extensive interview with the artist in his studio.
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John Currin

Rating: 4
One of the leading figurative painters of his generation, Currin's influences range from Italian and Northern Renaissance paintings to popular illustrations from the mid-20th century.