Best Books of the Month: Nonfiction

Here are just a few of our favorite nonfiction titles for September. See more of our nonfiction picks, and all of the Best Books of the Month.

Ranger-Games200Ranger Games is a true crime novel that reads like a binge-worthy television show. Ben Blum, like most of his family, was shocked by the actions of his cousin and proud Army Ranger, Alex Blum. On a final leave before deployment, rather than going home to spend time with his family, Alex jumps in a car and drives to Tacoma, WA where he and four others (two of which he didn't know) rob a bank. Was it a training gone wrong or a cry for help yelled from a seemingly perfect exterior? Blum's deep research, crafted storytelling, and seamless writing style will have you sucked in from the start and wanting more when you finish. --Penny Mann


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The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan
Kiernan (The Girls of Atomic City) recounts the "life" of the largest residence ever constructed in the United States, the Biltmore mansion - a tale spanning a century, packed with presidents, artists, writers, eccentrics, and socialites. Fortunes (personal and financial) rise and fall, and, just maybe, there's a murder.

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Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats by Maryn McKenna
Ever wonder where all the chicken is coming from? I do, and as I always suspected, I'm not sure I feel better knowing. McKenna - a journalist who who reports on public health and food policy - tracks the path of this most common fowl and food source from backyard coops to the (let's face it, horrible) antibiotic-soaked "industry" that fuels our hunger for cheap wings and nuggets. Bwok-bwok.

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Quakeland: On the Road to America's Next Devastating Earthquake by Kathryn Miles
The joke (depending on your point of view) is that it's only a matter of time before California, like a giant perforated graham cracker, will snap off at the San Andreas Fault and crumble into the sea. But as it turns out, everyone might have a BIG ONE to deal with. Kathryn Miles’s Quakeland investigates the era of human-caused earthquakes. From fracking to nuclear- and chemical weapons-waste disposal, we’ve been destabilizing the ground beneath our feet in areas not historically quake-prone – and where the buildings are definitely not engineered to handle major seismic events.

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