The Bakka-Phoenix Books 2017 Staff Picks, Part 3: Non-Fiction!

We’re running out of 2017, which means it’s time for the Bakka-Phoenix annual staff picks: a shoutout to some of the books we loved this year. Between the award-winners, bestsellers, and marquee series, we found a double handful of reads that made us laugh, think, and go what if…

We’re finishing off our staff’s favourite 2017 reads today with Part 3: Our Nonfiction Picks!

 

 

Our fiction picks of the year!

 

 

Ben’s pick: Paperbacks From Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction, Grady Hendrix

A look into the boom and bust of the paperback horror market of the later 20th century. It’s both funny, as it skewers the ludicrous storylines and even more ridiculous covers, and insightful, as it looks into the social, economic, and political climates that made them relevant.

Worth checking out if you remember the glory days of pulp schlock, or want to see what old people were afraid of last century.

Chris’s picks: Everyone’s a Aliebn When ur a Aliebn Too: A Book, Jomny Sun

Sweet, poignant, funny: Everyone’s a Aliebn is part fable, part comic, with a dash of philosophical treatise on the side. No matter who you are, humabn, aliebn, or other, you’ll recognize yourself in this delightful adventure.

The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben

No, it’s not SFF. Trust us, though, it’s really interesting. The author, a forester with decades of experience, will convince you that trees are the original social network. A thoughtful, compelling read.

Leah’s picks: Sleeping With Monsters: Readings and Reactions in Science Fiction and Fantasy, Liz Bourke

A collection of Bourke’s Sleeping With Monsters Tor.com column, essays, and reviews, this is a slice of one of the most interesting critical perspectives in the genre today: intersectional, historically-informed, and reading across everything from queer pulps to core epic fantasy to video games. Sleeping With Monsters ends up more than the sum of its parts: putting together a picture of genre tropes in this moment, and how they’re enduring–and changing.

The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults, Cheryl B. Klein

From former Scholastic and current Lee & Low editor Cheryl Klein, The Magic Words is one of the most balanced how-to books out there. Addressing craft, business, the publication process, and full of exemplars and exercises, this is a nose-to-tail view of writing and publishing fiction for young readers.

Kristen’s picks: The Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson

The first translation of Homer’s epic by a woman scholar, and well worth the read.

Soonish, Kelly and Zach Weinersmith

It’s a non-fiction book by the creators of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, investigating ten emerging discoveries that will save and/or doom us all. Mwa ha ha! No, seriously, it’s eye-opening.

Rebecca’s pick: Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Outer Space, Tim Peake

A fun and in-depth look into the life of an astronaut, from training to be one, adjusting to and living in space, what-if situtations, and favourite buttons aboard the ISS.

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