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Hidden Valley Road - Pageturner Book Club November 26, 2021

Hidden Valley Road - Pageturner Book Club November 30, 2021 at 7pm

$17.00
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OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

Reads like a medical detective journey and sheds light on a topic so many of us face: mental illness. --Oprah Winfrey

 

Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, TIME, and more

 

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?

 

What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations.

 

With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope.

After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made

After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made

$28.00
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Why is democracy so threatened in America and around the world? And what can we do about it? A former White House aide and close confidant to President Barack Obama--and the New York Times bestselling author of The World as It Is--travels the globe in a deeply personal, beautifully observed quest for answers.

In 2017, as Ben Rhodes was helping Barack Obama begin his next chapter, the legacy they had worked to build for eight years was being taken apart. To understand what was happening in America, Rhodes decided to look outward. Over the next three years, he traveled to dozens of countries, meeting with politicians, activists, and dissidents confronting the same nationalism and authoritarianism that was tearing America apart. Along the way, a Russian opposition leader he spoke with was poisoned, the Hong Kong protesters he came to know saw their movement snuffed out, and America itself reached the precipice of losing democracy before giving itself a second chance.

Part memoir and part reportage, After the Fall is a hugely ambitious and essential work of discovery. In his travels, Rhodes comes to realize how much America's fingerprints are on a world we helped to shape, through our post-Cold War embrace of unbridled capitalism and our post-9/11 nationalism and militarism; our mania for technology and social media; and the racism that fueled the backlash to America's first Black president. At the same time, Rhodes learns from the stories of a diverse set of characters--from Barack Obama himself to Cuban rebels to a rising generation of international leaders--that looking squarely at where America has gone wrong makes clear how essential it is to fight for what America is supposed to be, for our own country and the entire world.

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

$22.00
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The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

Grand-scale biography at its best--thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written...A genuinely great book. --David McCullough

"A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all. - Joseph Ellis

Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow's biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today's America is the result of Hamilton's countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. "To repudiate his legacy," Chernow writes, "is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world." Chernow here recounts Hamilton's turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington's aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America's birth as the triumph of Jefferson's democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we've encountered before--from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton's famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

Chernow's biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America's birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.

Annotated Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

Annotated Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

$45.00
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One hundred and thirty-three years after its 1885 publication by Mark Twain, Elizabeth Samet has annotated this lavish edition of Grant's landmark memoir, and expands the Civil War backdrop against which this monumental American life is typically read. No previous edition combines such a sweep of historical and cultural contexts with the literary authority that Samet, an English professor obsessed with Grant for decades, brings to the table.

Whether exploring novels Grant read at West Point or presenting majestic images culled from archives, Samet curates a richly annotated, highly collectible edition that will fascinate Civil War buffs. The edition also breaks new ground in its attack on the "Lost Cause" revisionism that still distorts our national conversation about the legacy of the Civil War. Never has Grant's transformation from tanner's son to military leader been more insightfully and passionately explained than in this timely edition, appearing on the 150th anniversary of Grant's 1868 presidential election.

Beautiful Country: A Memoir

Beautiful Country: A Memoir

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An incandescent memoir from an astonishing new talent, Beautiful Country puts readers in the shoes of an undocumented child living in poverty in the richest country in the world.

Extraordinary...With immense skill, Wang parses how her family's illegal status blighted nearly every aspect of their life, from pushing her parents' marriage to the brink to compromising their health. While Wang's story of pursuing the American dream is undoubtedly timeless, it's her family's triumph in the face of "xenophobia and intolerance" that makes it feel especially relevant today. Consider this remarkable memoir a new classic.--Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review*

In Chinese, the word for America, Mei Guo, translates directly to "beautiful country." Yet when seven-year-old Qian arrives in New York City in 1994 full of curiosity, she is overwhelmed by crushing fear and scarcity. In China, Qian's parents were professors; in America, her family is "illegal" and it will require all the determination and small joys they can muster to survive.

In Chinatown, Qian's parents labor in sweatshops. Instead of laughing at her jokes, they fight constantly, taking out the stress of their new life on one another. Shunned by her classmates and teachers for her limited English, Qian takes refuge in the library and masters the language through books, coming to think of The Berenstain Bears as her first American friends. And where there is delight to be found, Qian relishes it: her first bite of gloriously greasy pizza, weekly "shopping days," when Qian finds small treasures in the trash lining Brooklyn's streets, and a magical Christmas visit to Rockefeller Center--confirmation that the New York City she saw in movies does exist after all.

But then Qian's headstrong Ma Ma collapses, revealing an illness that she has kept secret for months for fear of the cost and scrutiny of a doctor's visit. As Ba Ba retreats further inward, Qian has little to hold onto beyond his constant refrain: Whatever happens, say that you were born here, that you've always lived here.

Inhabiting her childhood perspective with exquisite lyric clarity and unforgettable charm and strength, Qian Julie Wang has penned an essential American story about a family fracturing under the weight of invisibility, and a girl coming of age in the shadows, who never stops seeking the light.

Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir

Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir

$27.00
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A New York Times Bestseller

A New York Times Notable Book

"Riveting, heartbreaking, sometimes difficult, always inspiring." --The New York Times Book Review

As seen/heard on Fresh Air, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Weekend Edition, and more

An emergency room physician explores how a life of service to others taught her how to heal herself.

Michele Harper is a female, African American emergency room physician in a profession that is overwhelmingly male and white. Brought up in Washington, D.C., in a complicated family, she went to Harvard, where she met her husband. They stayed together through medical school until two months before she was scheduled to join the staff of a hospital in central Philadelphia, when he told her he couldn't move with her. Her marriage at an end, Harper began her new life in a new city, in a new job, as a newly single woman.

In the ensuing years, as Harper learned to become an effective ER physician, bringing insight and empathy to every patient encounter, she came to understand that each of us is broken--physically, emotionally, psychically. How we recognize those breaks, how we try to mend them, and where we go from there are all crucial parts of the healing process.

The Beauty in Breaking is the poignant true story of Harper's journey toward self-healing. Each of the patients Harper writes about taught her something important about recuperation and recovery. How to let go of fear even when the future is murky: How to tell the truth when it's simpler to overlook it. How to understand that compassion isn't the same as justice. As she shines a light on the systemic disenfranchisement of the patients she treats as they struggle to maintain their health and dignity, Harper comes to understand the importance of allowing ourselves to make peace with the past as we draw support from the present. In this hopeful, moving, and beautiful book, she passes along the precious, necessary lessons that she has learned as a daughter, a woman, and a physician.

Carrie: This memoir is a triple play of personal history, medical narratives and a thoughtful symbolic look at healing. Growing up in a traumatic household gave Michele Harper a lot to overcome and to hide.  It made her want to be a fixer of broken things. Now as an ER doctor, she does that to the nth degree on a daily basis.  She includes various patient interactions that ultimately yield a life lesson.  There are a lot of gritty ER details, but she has a stillness to her, which comes through so clearly in her writing, that she must be an oasis of calm in that chaotic scene. What I love is how intentional she is about healing the whole person.  Cover blurb:  “In sharing the stories of her patients and her own life, Harper shows us that healing begins only after we are broken open ourselves. And she shows us with hopeful, heartbreaking clarity that it comes from healing each other.”

BLOOD, BONES & BUTTER

BLOOD BONES & BUTTER

$18.00
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

 

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Miami Herald - Newsday - The Huffington Post - Financial Times - GQ - Slate - Men's Journal - Washington Examiner - Publishers Weekly - Kirkus Reviews - National Post - The Toronto Star - BookPage - Bookreporter

Before Gabrielle Hamilton opened her acclaimed New York restaurant Prune, she spent twenty hard-living years trying to find purpose and meaning in her life. Blood, Bones & Butterfollows an unconventional journey through the many kitchens Hamilton has inhabited through the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with an oily wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; Hamilton's own kitchen at Prune, with its many unexpected challenges; and the kitchen of her Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton's idyllic past and her own future family--the result of a prickly marriage that nonetheless yields lasting dividends. By turns epic and intimate, Gabrielle Hamilton's story is told with uncommon honesty, grit, humor, and passion.

 

Features a new essay by Gabrielle Hamilton at the back of the book

Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.

Captain James Cook: A Biography

Captain James Cook: A Biography

$24.95
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James Cook, born in 1728, rose from the lowest ranks of the merchant marine, then through the Royal Navy, to become one of the most celebrated men of his time, the last and the greatest of the romantic navigator/explorers. His voyages to the eastern and western seaboards of North America, the North and South Pacific, the Arctic and the Antarctic, brought a new understanding of the world's geography and of the peoples, flora, and fauna of the lands he discovered. Richard Hough's meticulously researched narrative captures all the excitement of this age of discovery and establishes Cook as a link between the vague scientific speculations of the early eighteenth century and the industrial revolution to come. He pioneered the use of new navigational technology, measuring and recording endlessly, producing maps of unprecedented accuracy. He revolutionized the seaman's diet, all but eliminating scurvy. Always seeking the truth of geography Cook was also an exploder of myths, among them that of the great southern continent imagined by earlier geographers and scientists.
CATHERINE THE GRT

CATHERINE THE GRT

$20.00
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"[A] tale of power, perseverance and passion . . . a great story in the hands of a master storyteller."--The Wall Street Journal

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history. Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into empress of Russia by sheer determination. For thirty-four years, the government, foreign policy, cultural development, and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion, foreign wars, and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution. Catherine's family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers, and enemies--all are here, vividly brought to life. History offers few stories richer than that of Catherine the Great. In this book, an eternally fascinating woman is returned to life.

"[A] compelling portrait not just of a Russian titan, but also of a flesh-and-blood woman."--Newsweek

"An absorbing, satisfying biography."--Los Angeles Times

"Juicy and suspenseful."--The New York Times Book Review

"A great life, indeed, and irresistibly told."--Salon

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times - The Washington Post - USA Today - The Boston Globe - San Francisco Chronicle - Chicago Tribune - Newsweek/The Daily Beast - Salon - Vogue - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - The Providence Journal - Washington Examiner - South Florida Sun-Sentinel - BookPage - Bookreporter - Publishers Weekly

Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

$35.00
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The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.

When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback titled The Double Helix on her bed. She put it aside, thinking it was one of those detective tales she loved. When she read it on a rainy Saturday, she discovered she was right, in a way. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the code of life. Even though her high school counselor told her girls didn't become scientists, she decided she would.

Driven by a passion to understand how nature works and to turn discoveries into inventions, she would help to make what the book's author, James Watson, told her was the most important biological advance since his co-discovery of the structure of DNA. She and her collaborators turned a curiosity ​of nature into an invention that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions.

The development of CRISPR and the race to create vaccines for coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation revolution. The past half-century has been a digital age, based on the microchip, computer, and internet. Now we are entering a life-science revolution. Children who study digital coding will be joined by those who study genetic code.

Should we use our new evolution-hacking powers to make us less susceptible to viruses? What a wonderful boon that would be! And what about preventing depression? Hmmm...Should we allow parents, if they can afford it, to enhance the height or muscles or IQ of their kids?

After helping to discover CRISPR, Doudna became a leader in wrestling with these moral issues and, with her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in 2020. Her story is a thrilling detective tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species.

Confessions of a Bookseller

Confessions of a Bookseller

$25.95
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One cozy, funny, year with a Scottish used bookseller as he stays afloat while managing staff, customers, and life in the village of Wigtown. This endearing world is the next best thing to visiting your favorite bookstore (shop cat not included).

 

Inside a Georgian townhouse on the Wigtown highroad, jammed with more than 100,000 books and a portly cat named Captain, Shaun Bythell manages the daily ups and downs of running Scotland's largest used bookshop with a sharp eye and even sharper wit. His account of one year behind the counter is something no book lover should miss.

 

Shaun copes with eccentric staff, tallies up the day's orders, drives to distant houses to buy private libraries, and meditates on the nature of life and independent bookstores ("There really does seem to be a serendipity about bookshops, not just with finding books you never knew existed, or that you've been searching for, but with people too.").

 

Confessions of a Bookselleris a warm and welcome memoir of a life in books. It's for any reader looking for the kind of friend you meet in a bookstore.

Godine is my new favorite teeny, wildly independent fabulous publisher; both this one and Guynd are from them. In a year-long daily diary that records a bookseller’s wry observations from behind the counter of his new/used store. It’s heartwarming and hilarious and entirely British - you’ll feel immersed in his world via these wee snippets (easily read a few minutes a day, but you’ll want to turn each page, trust me). Here we find eccentric character portraits and stories of his life in the book trade.; the colorful cast of characters includes bookshop regulars like Eric, the local orange-robed Buddhist; Captain, Bythell’s “accursed cat”; “Sandy the tattooed pagan”; and “Mole-Man,” a patron with a penchant for in-store “literary excavations.” Bythell’s employees are equally quirky. Woven into stories about haggling with clients over prices or dealing with daily rounds of vague online customer requests—e.g., a query about a book from “around about 1951. Part of the story line is about a cart of apples being upset, that’s all I know”). Or the time a man comes in seeking help finding the self-help section, and when asked what sort of thing he seeks, he says, “I don’t know.” Hilarious yes, but poignant and vulnerable too. There’s more - Bythell has three books. LOVE LOVE LOVE. - Sandy

Conscience of a Conservative

Conscience of a Conservative

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In 1960, Barry Goldwater set forth his brief manifesto in The Conscience of a Conservative. Written at the height of the Cold War and in the wake of America's greatest experiment with big government, the New Deal, Goldwater's message was not only remarkable, but radical. He argued for the value and importance of conservative principles--freedom, foremost among them--in contemporary political life. Using the principles he espoused in this concise but powerful book, Goldwater fundamentally altered the political landscape of his day--and ours.