At my library, we've got 'Staff Picks,' which are just books that a staff member has chosen to single out for one reason or another. Here's an incomplete list of mine:Body Marks: Tattooing, Piercing and Scarification
, by Kathlyn Gay.Body Bizarre, Body Beautiful
, by Nan McNab.
These are both young-adult books, and my standards for young-adult bodmod books are a little different than my standards for adult ones. These books are fairly even-handed (cultural-relativist, even) and not full of misinformation. For the kids, that's about right.Jazz My Love
, by Guiseppe Pena.
Beautiful, expensive coffee-table photo book. Not the kind of thing I'd usually buy for myself, which is one reason it's a good fit for a library collection.Michael Jackson's Great Beer Guide
, Sharon Lucas, ed.
Pocket-sized, kinda, but well over 500 pages. And quite a few of the beers in here are ones that I've never seen in my life. Because of both those things, it seems to me that this is the browsing kind of reference book.Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition and Other Confusions of Our Time
, by Michael Shermer.
If Dawkins and Hitchens are the vinegar, then this is the honey. Smart, thoughtful and empathetic, Shermer makes a great public face for skepticism.The Sourdough Bread Bowl Cookbook:
, by John Vrattos and Lisa Messinger.
I'm such a sucker for a bread bowl.It's Not Easy Bein' Me: A Lifetime of No Respect But Plenty of Sex and Drugs
, by Rodney Dangerfield.
Pretty typical for a comedian memoir, except that it's Rodney Dangerfield. What can I say--I'm a huge fan.Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
, by Jeff Chang.Music is the Weapon of the Future: Fifty Years of African Popular Music
, by Frank Tenaille
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned both of these books here before, so let's just leave it at this: these are the best books about their respective genres ever written.