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Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

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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.

Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir

Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir

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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

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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 & Butter follows 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.

Broken Horses: A Memoir

Broken Horses: A Memoir

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The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, producer, and six-time Grammy winner opens up about a life shaped by music in this candid, heartfelt, and intimate story.

"One of the great memoirs of our time . . . a gift from Brandi's soul."--Glennon Doyle - "Brandi's story is about perseverance, humor, forgiveness, and manifestation. I absolutely loved it."--Elton John - "Broken Horses led me right into Brandi's heart, and my own."--Brené Brown

Brandi Carlile was born into a musically gifted, impoverished family on the outskirts of Seattle and grew up in a constant state of change, moving from house to house, trailer to trailer, fourteen times in as many years. Though imperfect in every way, her dysfunctional childhood was as beautiful as it was strange, and as nurturing as it was difficult. At the age of five, Brandi contracted bacterial meningitis, which almost took her life, leaving an indelible mark on her formative years and altering her journey into young adulthood.

As an openly gay teenager, Brandi grappled with the tension between her sexuality and her faith when her pastor publicly refused to baptize her on the day of the ceremony. Shockingly, her small town rallied around Brandi in support and set her on a path to salvation where the rest of the misfits and rejects find it: through twisted, joyful, weird, and wonderful music.

In Broken Horses, Brandi Carlile takes readers through the events of her life that shaped her very raw art--from her start at a local singing competition where she performed Elton John's "Honky Cat" in a bedazzled white polyester suit, to her first break opening for Dave Matthews Band, to many sleepless tours over fifteen years and six studio albums, all while raising two children with her wife, Catherine Shepherd. This hard-won success led her to collaborations with personal heroes like Elton John, Dolly Parton, Mavis Staples, Pearl Jam, Tanya Tucker, and Joni Mitchell, as well as her peers in the supergroup The Highwomen, and ultimately to the Grammy stage, where she converted millions of viewers into instant fans.

Evocative and piercingly honest, Broken Horses is at once an examination of faith through the eyes of a person rejected by the church's basic tenets and a meditation on the moments and lyrics that have shaped the life of a creative mind, a brilliant artist, and a genuine empath on a mission to give back.

Captain James Cook: A Biography

Captain James Cook: A Biography

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

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From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.

In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother's particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food.

As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band--and meeting the man who would become her husband--her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her.

Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.

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Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir of a Crime

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For readers of Educated and The Glass Castle, a harrowing, redemptive and profoundly inspiring memoir of childhood trauma and its long reach into adulthood.

One Omaha winter day in November 1978, when Debora Harding was just fourteen, she was abducted at knifepoint from a church parking lot. She was thrown into a van, assaulted, held for ransom, and then left to die as an ice storm descended over the city.

Debora survived. She identified her attacker to the police and then returned to her teenage life in a dysfunctional home where she was expected to simply move on. Denial became the family coping strategy offered by her fun-loving, conflicted father and her cruelly resentful mother.

It wasn't until decades later - when beset by the symptoms of PTSD- that Debora undertook a radical project: she met her childhood attacker face-to-face in prison and began to reconsider and reimagine his complex story. This was a quest for the truth that would threaten the lie at the heart of her family and with it the sacred bond that once saved her.
Dexterously shifting between the past and present, Debora Harding untangles the incident of her kidnapping and escape from unexpected angles, offering a vivid, intimate portrait of one family's disintegration in the 1970s Midwest.
Written with dark humor and the pacing of a thriller, Dancing with the Octopus is a literary tour de force and a groundbreaking narrative of reckoning, recovery, and the inexhaustible strength it takes to survive.

Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams

Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams

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The lively, authoritative, New York Times bestselling biography of Abigail Adams.

This is the life of Abigail Adams, wife of patriot John Adams, who became the most influential woman in Revolutionary America. Rich with excerpts from her personal letters, Dearest Friend captures the public and private sides of this fascinating woman, who was both an advocate of slave emancipation and a burgeoning feminist, urging her husband to "Remember the Ladies" as he framed the laws of their new country.

John and Abigail Adams married for love. While John traveled in America and abroad to help forge a new nation, Abigail remained at home, raising four children, managing their estate, and writing letters to her beloved husband. Chronicling their remarkable fifty-four-year marriage, her blossoming feminism, her battles with loneliness, and her friendships with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Dearest Friend paints a portrait of Abigail Adams as an intelligent, resourceful, and outspoken woman.

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - In this brilliant biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham chronicles the life of George Herbert Walker Bush.

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review - Time - NPR - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Drawing on President Bush's personal diaries, on the diaries of his wife, Barbara, and on extraordinary access to the forty-first president and his family, Meacham paints an intimate and surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. From the Oval Office to Camp David, from his study in the private quarters of the White House to Air Force One, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the first Gulf War to the end of Communism, Destiny and Power charts the thoughts, decisions, and emotions of a modern president who may have been the last of his kind. This is the human story of a man who was, like the nation he led, at once noble and flawed.

His was one of the great American lives. Born into a loving, privileged, and competitive family, Bush joined the navy on his eighteenth birthday and at age twenty was shot down on a combat mission over the Pacific. He married young, started a family, and resisted pressure to go to Wall Street, striking out for the adventurous world of Texas oil. Over the course of three decades, Bush would rise from the chairmanship of his county Republican Party to serve as congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, head of the Republican National Committee, envoy to China, director of Central Intelligence, vice president under Ronald Reagan, and, finally, president of the United States. In retirement he became the first president since John Adams to see his son win the ultimate prize in American politics.

With access not only to the Bush diaries but, through extensive interviews, to the former president himself, Meacham presents Bush's candid assessments of many of the critical figures of the age, ranging from Richard Nixon to Nancy Reagan; Mao to Mikhail Gorbachev; Dick Cheney to Donald Rumsfeld; Henry Kissinger to Bill Clinton. Here is high politics as it really is but as we rarely see it.

From the Pacific to the presidency, Destiny and Power charts the vicissitudes of the life of this quietly compelling American original. Meacham sheds new light on the rise of the right wing in the Republican Party, a shift that signaled the beginning of the end of the center in American politics. Destiny and Power is an affecting portrait of a man who, driven by destiny and by duty, forever sought, ultimately, to put the country first.

Praise for Destiny and Power

"Should be required reading--if not for every presidential candidate, then for every president-elect."--The Washington Post

"Reflects the qualities of both subject and biographer: judicious, balanced, deliberative, with a deep appreciation of history and the personalities who shape it."--The New York Times Book Review

"A fascinating biography of the forty-first president."--The Dallas Morning News

DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL

DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL

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For almost fifty years, Anne Frank's diary has moved millions with its testament to the human spirit's indestructibility, but readers have never seen the full text of this beloved book--until now. This new translation, performed by Winona Ryder, restores nearly one third of Anne's entries excised by her father in previous editions, revealing her burgeoning sexuality, her stormy relationship with her mother, and more.
DIRTY LIFE

DIRTY LIFE

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From a "graceful, luminous writer with an eye for detail" (Minneapolis Star Tribune), this riveting memoir explores a year on a sustainable farm.

When Kristin Kimball left New York City to interview a dynamic young farmer named Mark, her world changed. On an impulse, she shed her city self and started a new farm with him on five hundred acres near Lake Champlain. The Dirty Life is the captivating chronicle of the couple's first year on Essex Farm, from the cold North Country winter through their harvest-season wedding in the loft of the barn.

Kristin and Mark's plan to grow everything needed to feed a community was an ambitious idea, and a bit romantic. It worked. Every Friday evening, all year round, over a hundred people travel to Essex Farm to pick up their weekly share of the "whole diet"--beef, pork, chicken, milk, eggs, maple syrup, grains, flours, dried beans, herbs, fruits, and forty different vegetables--produced by the farm. In The Dirty Life, Kristin discovers the wrenching pleasures of physical work, learns that good food is at the center of a good life, falls deeply in love, and finally finds the engagement and commitment she craved in the form of a man, a small town, and a beautiful piece of land.

Eat a Peach: A Memoir

Eat a Peach: A Memoir

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From the chef behind Momofuku and star of Netflix's Ugly Delicious--an intimate account of the making of a chef, the story of the modern restaurant world that he helped shape, and how he discovered that success can be much harder to understand than failure.

"David puts words to so many of the things we all feel, sharing generously of his own journey so we can all benefit in the process."--Chrissy Teigen

In 2004, Momofuku Noodle Bar opened in a tiny, stark space in Manhattan's East Village. Its young chef-owner, David Chang, worked the line, serving ramen and pork buns to a mix of fellow restaurant cooks and confused diners whose idea of ramen was instant noodles in Styrofoam cups. It would have been impossible to know it at the time--and certainly Chang would have bet against himself--but he, who had failed at almost every endeavor in his life, was about to become one of the most influential chefs of his generation, driven by the question, "What if the underground could become the mainstream?"

Chang grew up the youngest son of a deeply religious Korean American family in Virginia. Graduating college aimless and depressed, he fled the States for Japan, hoping to find some sense of belonging. While teaching English in a backwater town, he experienced the highs of his first full-blown manic episode, and began to think that the cooking and sharing of food could give him both purpose and agency in his life.

Full of grace, candor, grit, and humor, Eat a Peach chronicles Chang's switchback path. He lays bare his mistakes and wonders about his extraordinary luck as he recounts the improbable series of events that led him to the top of his profession. He wrestles with his lifelong feelings of otherness and inadequacy, explores the mental illness that almost killed him, and finds hope in the shared value of deliciousness. Along the way, Chang gives us a penetrating look at restaurant life, in which he balances his deep love for the kitchen with unflinching honesty about the industry's history of brutishness and its uncertain future.

Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship

Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship

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An unforgettable memoir about the friendship between a solitary woman and a wild fox.

When Catherine Raven finished her PhD in biology, she built herself a tiny cottage on an isolated plot of land in Montana. She was as emotionally isolated as she was physically, but she viewed the house as a way station, a temporary rest stop where she could gather her nerves and fill out applications for what she hoped would be a real job that would help her fit into society. In the meantime, she taught remotely and led field classes in nearby Yellowstone National Park. Then one day she realized that a mangy-looking fox was showing up on her property every afternoon at 4:15 p.m. She had never had a regular visitor before. How do you even talk to a fox? She brought out her camping chair, sat as close to him as she dared, and began reading to him from The Little Prince. Her scientific training had taught her not to anthropomorphize animals, yet as she grew to know him, his personality revealed itself and they became friends. From the fox, she learned the single most important thing about loneliness: we are never alone when we are connected to the natural world. Friends, however, cannot save each other from the uncontained forces of nature. Fox and I is a poignant and remarkable tale of friendship, growth, and coping with inevitable loss--and of how that loss can be transformed into meaning. It is both a timely tale of solitude and belonging as well as a timeless story of one woman whose immersion in the natural world will change the way we view our surroundings--each tree, weed, flower, stone, or fox.

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

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**Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History**

"Extraordinary...a great American biography" (The New Yorker) of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.

As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery.

Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, using his own story to condemn slavery. By the Civil War, Douglass had become the most famed and widely travelled orator in the nation. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. After the war he sometimes argued politically with younger African Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights.

In this "cinematic and deeply engaging" (The New York Times Book Review) biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass's newspapers. "Absorbing and even moving...a brilliant book that speaks to our own time as well as Douglass's" (The Wall Street Journal), Blight's biography tells the fascinating story of Douglass's two marriages and his complex extended family. "David Blight has written the definitive biography of Frederick Douglass...a powerful portrait of one of the most important American voices of the nineteenth century" (The Boston Globe).

In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Frederick Douglass won the Bancroft, Parkman, Los Angeles Times (biography), Lincoln, Plutarch, and Christopher awards and was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Time.

GARLIC & SAPPHIRES

GARLIC & SAPPHIRES

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Author of Save Me the Plums Ruth Reichl's iconic, bestselling memoir of her time as an undercover restaurant critic for The New York Times

Expansive and funny. --Entertainment Weekly

Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world--a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us--along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews--her remarkable reflections on how one's outer appearance can influence one's inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

"[A] wonderful book, which is funny--at times laugh-out-loud funny--and smart and wise." --Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

Ghost in the Throat

Ghost in the Throat

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An Post Irish Book Awards Nonfiction Book of the Year - A Guardian Best Book of 2020 - Shortlisted for the 2021 Rathbones Folio Prize - Longlisted for the 2021 Republic of Consciousness Prize

When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries. I am eleven, a dark-haired child given to staring out window ... Her voice makes it 1773, a fine day in May, and puts English soldiers crouching in ambush; I add ditch-water to drench their knees. Their muskets point towards a young man who is falling from his saddle in slow, slow motion. A woman hurries in and kneels over him, her voice rising in an antique formula of breath and syllable the teacher calls a caoineadh, a keen to lament the dead.

In the eighteenth century, on discovering her husband has been murdered, an Irish noblewoman drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary lament that reaches across centuries to the young Doireann Ní Ghríofa, whose fascination with it is later rekindled when she narrowly avoids fatal tragedy in her own life and becomes obsessed with learning everything she can about the poem Peter Levi has famously called "the greatest poem written in either Ireland or Britain" during its era. A kaleidoscopic blend of memoir, autofiction, and literary studies, A Ghost in the Throat moves fluidly between past and present, quest and elegy, poetry and the people who make it.

Good Husbandry: A Memoir

Good Husbandry: A Memoir

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From the author of the beloved bestseller The Dirty Life, this "superb memoir chronicles the evolution of a farm, marriage, family, and her own personal identity with humor, insight, and candor" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) detailing life on Essex Farm--a 500-acre farm that produces food for a community of 250 people.

The Dirty Life chronicled Kimball's move from New York City to 500 acres near Lake Champlain where she started a new farm with her partner, Mark. In Good Husbandry, she reveals what happened over the next five years at Essex Farm.

Farming has many ups and downs, and the middle years were hard for the Kimballs. Mark got injured, the weather turned against them, and the farm faced financial pressures. Meanwhile, they had two small children to care for. How does one traverse the terrain of a maturing marriage and the transition from being a couple to being a family? How will the farm survive? What does a family need in order to be happy?

Kristin chose Mark and farm life after having a good look around the world, with a fair understanding of what her choices meant. She knew she had traded the possibility of a steady paycheck, of wide open weekends and spontaneous vacations, for a life and work that was challenging but beautiful and fulfilling. So with grit and grace and a good sense of humor, she chose to dig in deeper.

Featuring some of the same local characters and cherished animals first introduced in The Dirty Life, (Jet the farm dog, Delia the dairy cow, and those hardworking draft horses), plus a colorful cast of aspiring first-generation farmers who work at Essex Farm to acquire the skills they need to start sustainable farms of their own, Good Husbandry "considers what it means to build a good, happy life, and how we are tested in that endeavor" (Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes).

Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

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2014 National Outdoor Book Award Winner in History / Biography

Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. The next anybody heard from her, this genteel, farm-reared, sixty-seven-year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. By September 1955 she stood atop Maine's Mount Katahdin, sang "America, the Beautiful," and proclaimed, "I said I'll do it, and I've done it."

Driven by a painful marriage, Grandma Gatewood not only hiked the trail alone, she was the first person--man or woman--to walk it twice and three times. At age seventy-one, she hiked the 2,000-mile Oregon Trail. Gatewood became a hiking celebrity, and appeared on TV with Groucho Marx and Art Linkletter. The public attention she brought to the trail was unprecedented. Her vocal criticism of the lousy, difficult stretches led to bolstered maintenance, and very likely saved the trail from extinction.

Author Ben Montgomery interviewed surviving family members and hikers Gatewood met along the trail, unearthed historic newspaper and magazine articles, and was given full access to Gatewood's own diaries, trail journals, and correspondence. Grandma Gatewood's Walk shines a fresh light on one of America's most celebrated hikers.

Growing Season: How I Built a New Life--And Saved an American Farm

Growing Season: How I Built a New Life--And Saved an American Farm

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"A gutsy success story" (The New York Times Book Review) about one tenacious woman's journey to escape rural poverty and create a billion-dollar farming business--without ever leaving the land she loves

The youngest of her parents' combined twenty-one children, Sarah Frey grew up on a struggling farm in southern Illinois, often having to grow, catch, or hunt her own dinner alongside her brothers. She spent much of her early childhood dreaming of running away to the big city--or really anywhere with central heating. At fifteen, she moved out of her family home and started her own fresh produce delivery business with nothing more than an old pickup truck.

Two years later, when the family farm faced inevitable foreclosure, Frey gave up on her dreams of escape, took over the farm, and created her own produce company. Refusing to play by traditional rules, at seventeen she began talking her way into suit-filled boardrooms, making deals with the nation's largest retailers. Her early negotiations became so legendary that Harvard Business School published some of her deals as case studies, which have turned out to be favorites among its students.

Today, her family-operated company, Frey Farms, has become one of America's largest fresh produce growers and shippers, with farmland spread across seven states. Thanks to the millions of melons and pumpkins she sells annually, Frey has been dubbed "America's Pumpkin Queen" by the national press.

The Growing Season tells the inspiring story of how a scrappy rural childhood gave Frey the grit and resiliency to take risks that paid off in unexpected ways. Rather than leaving her community, she found adventure and opportunity in one of the most forgotten parts of our country. With fearlessness and creativity, she literally dug her destiny out of the dirt.

Sandy: Wow - what a life Sarah Frey has led.  At only 44, she has lived on her own (leaving an erratic homelife behind) since she was 15. Her re-invention of her family farm into the biggest supplier of pumpkins in the world is an inspiring story that strains credulity. Her father’s strange ways nonetheless armed her with the love and self-belief she needed to, say, ask for a $10,000 bank loan at 16 to purchase a bigger better truck because she intended to build her mother’s hobby business of hauling produce from farms to stores.  She got it and paid it back in cash in 3 months.  It’s not really like Educated though it’s easy to compare the two, because her beloved 4 older brothers are the center of her stability and a big reason for her confidence and work ethic.  Her writing style is conversational and plain-spoken - it’s the stories that you will never forget.  After the Harvard Business School used her Farm as a case study, she learned and shares with us how and why her upbringing made her the success she is.  Great for those who love memoir but also - the entrepreneur or business person in your life. 

 

Frey details her life growing up poor on a southeastern Illinois farm, where they had no indoor plumbing and burned wood for heat in winter and where they grew or shot their food. The author and her brothers learned to be tough at a young age, but she doesn’t relate her circumstances in anything less than a matter-of-fact, frequently enthusiastic voice, making the narrative move along in a highly engrossing manner. Though life was demanding, the family was tight. Frey’s father might have taught her independence, but he had no head for business and got by on his wits. Her mother would do what she could to help—e.g., running a melon route where she would pick up local watermelons and cantaloupes and sell them to regional markets. It was backbreaking work, but it put cash in their hands to pay the mortgage. “I loved meeting people, making deals, and I also knew that this was something that could be scaled up exponentially,” writes Frey, who, at 14, learned the fundamental elements of commerce. At 15, she had her own melon route; at 17, she bought the family farm when the bank came to foreclose. “Without this land, I thought, where will we be? More importantly, who will we be?....If I walked away,” she writes, “my brothers and I would never have anything to come home to.” Throughout, Frey makes clear her belief that family sticks together. “Blood is blood,” she writes. “Alone in the world we would be broken. Together we could withstand anything. Right?” And they did, with endless determination and a lot of learning on the fly. With earnest, effective storytelling, Frey demonstrates her character: “impatient, driven, restless, and at time obsessive”—and highly successful. A heart-gladdening memoir of a rare triumph over poverty.

Growing Up

Growing Up

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Russell Baker's Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography about growing up in America during the Great Depression.

"Magical....He has taken such raw, potentially wrenching material and made of it a story so warm, so likable, and so disarmingly funny...a work of original biographical art."--The New York Times

In this heartfelt memoir, groundbreaking Pulitzer-winning New York Times columnist Russell Baker traces his youth from the backwoods mountains of Virginia to a New Jersey commuter town to the Depression-shadowed landscape of Baltimore.

His is a story of adversity and courage, the poignancy of love and the awkwardness of sex, of family bonds and family tensions. We meet the people who influenced Baker's early life: his strong and loving mother, his bold little sister Doris, the awesome matriarch Ida Rebecca and her twelve sons. Here, too, are schoolyard bullies, great teachers, and the everyday heroes and heroines of the Depression who faced disaster with good cheer as they tried to muddle through.

A modern day classic filled with perfect turns of phrase and traces of quiet wisdom, Growing Up is a coming of age story that is "the stuff of American legend" (The Washington Post Book World).

Home for Christmas

Home for Christmas

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Home for Christmas is a new 64-page gift book from The New York Times bestselling author and artist Susan Branch. Reading like a long illustrated letter, Home for Christmas is a heart-warming tale of a childhood Christmas in the years after World War II, bwith Susan, her parents and her siblings. A book for all ages, told from a child's perspective, full of anticipation and hope, it's a charming story about the enduring love of family. A beautiful Christmas gift, because we need a little Christmas now.
House of Sticks: A Memoir

House of Sticks: A Memoir

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An intimate, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir recounting a young girl's journey from war-torn Vietnam to Ridgewood, Queens, and her struggle to find her voice amid clashing cultural expectations.

Ly Tran is just a toddler in 1993 when she and her family immigrate from a small town along the Mekong river in Vietnam to a two-bedroom railroad apartment in Queens. Ly's father, a former lieutenant in the South Vietnamese army, spent nearly a decade as a POW, and their resettlement is made possible through a humanitarian program run by the US government. Soon after they arrive, Ly joins her parents and three older brothers sewing ties and cummerbunds piece-meal on their living room floor to make ends meet.

As they navigate this new landscape, Ly finds herself torn between two worlds. She knows she must honor her parents' Buddhist faith and contribute to the family livelihood, working long hours at home and eventually as a manicurist alongside her mother at a nail salon in Brownsville, Brooklyn, that her parents take over. But at school, Ly feels the mounting pressure to blend in.

A growing inability to see the blackboard presents new challenges, especially when her father forbids her from getting glasses, calling her diagnosis of poor vision a government conspiracy. His frightening temper and paranoia leave an indelible mark on Ly's sense of self. Who is she outside of everything her family expects of her?

Told in a spare, evocative voice that, with flashes of humor, weaves together her family's immigration experience with her own fraught and courageous coming of age, House of Sticks is a timely and powerful portrait of one girl's struggle to reckon with her heritage and forge her own path.

Into the Wild (HS Read)

Into the Wild (HS Read)

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In April 1992 a 24-year-old from the Washington, D.C., suburbs named Chris McCandless walked into the Alaska wilderness below Mt. McKinley with a small-caliber rifle and a 10-pound bag of rice. Four months later, his emaciated corpse was found at his campsite by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of "Into the Wild." Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life. Admitting an interest that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the drives and desires that propelled McCandless. Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.
JOHN ADAMS

JOHN ADAMS

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling biography of America's founding father and second president that was the basis for the acclaimed HBO series, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough.

In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as "out of his senses"; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.

This is history on a grand scale--a book about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, John Adams is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX - A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice--from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

"[Bryan Stevenson's] dedication to fighting for justice and equality has inspired me and many others and made a lasting impact on our country."--John Legend

NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL BOOKS OF THE DECADE BY CNN - Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times - The Washington Post - The Boston Globe - The Seattle Times - Esquire - Time



Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn't commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship--and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer's coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction - Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction - Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award - Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize - Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize - An American Library Association Notable Book

"Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields."--David Cole, The New York Review of Books

"Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America's Mandela."--Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

"You don't have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful."--Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review

"Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he's also a gifted writer and storyteller."--The Washington Post

"As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty."--The Financial Times

"Brilliant."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

 Carrie: This is a personal growth read for me.  After the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests and call-out of systemic racism, I needed to make a conscious effort to learn and understand.  The book was a Christmas gift, already on my shelf and under my roof, so I started here.  Wow!  Eye-opening in the category of how did I not know all this was happening in the last 35 years?!  What started as a law school internship opportunity for Bryan Stevenson has become a lifelong passion.  He and his organization, the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) have been slowly chipping away at the death penalty in our country and its inordinate bias toward the poor and Black, and more shockingly, its application to those who are innocent or at the very least did not have a fair trial.  Eloquent, touching, heartfelt, this is as much Bryan’s personal story as it is a chronicle of EJI’s work.  He gives myriad personal named examples of those bulldozed by the system, but a main thread centers on Walter McMillian because his is one of the early cases Bryan worked on and one of the first successes.  There are so many layers here - the penal system truly is like a ball of twine to untangle, but to Stevenson’s credit, he reached in and started pulling.  I was left with hope, inspiration and awe that one person can make a monumental difference, though Bryan Stevenson never toots his own horn, but calls us all to be better.

Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food

Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food

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From her Italian American childhood through singlehood, raising and feeding a growing family, divorce, and a new marriage to food writer Michael Ruhlman, Ann Hood has long appreciated the power of a good meal. Growing up, she tasted love in her grandmother's tomato sauce and dreamed of her mother's special-occasion Fancy Lady Sandwiches. Later, the kitchen became the heart of Hood's own home. She cooked pork roast to warm her first apartment, used two cups of dried basil for her first attempt at making pesto, taught her children how to make their favorite potatoes, found hope in her daughter's omelet after a divorce, and fell in love again--with both her husband and his foolproof chicken stock.

Hood tracks her lifelong journey in the kitchen with twenty-seven heartfelt essays, each accompanied by a recipe (or a few). In "Carbonara Quest," searching for the perfect spaghetti helped her cope with lonely nights as a flight attendant. In the award-winning essay "The Golden Silver Palate," she recounts the history of her fail-safe dinner party recipe for Chicken Marbella--and how it did fail her when she was falling in love. Hood's simple, comforting recipes also include her mother's famous meatballs, hearty Italian Beef Stew, classic Indiana Fried Chicken, the perfect grilled cheese, and a deliciously summery peach pie.

With Hood's signature humor and tenderness, Kitchen Yarns spills tales of loss and starting from scratch, family love and feasts with friends, and how the perfect meal is one that tastes like home.

Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight

Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight

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A magisterial portrait of Lady Bird Johnson, and a major reevaluation of the profound yet underappreciated impact the First Lady's political instincts had on LBJ's presidency.

 

"An inviting, challenging, well-told tale of the thoroughly modern partner and strategist Lady Bird Johnson, whose skill and complexity emerge fully in this rich tale of history and humanity."--John Dickerson, author of The Hardest Job in the World

 

"This riveting portrait gives us an important revision of a long-neglected First Lady."--Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt, vol 1-3

 

In the spring of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson had a decision to make. Just months after moving into the White House under the worst of circumstances--following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy--he had to decide whether to run to win the presidency in his own right. He turned to his most reliable, trusted political strategist: his wife, Lady Bird Johnson. The strategy memo she produced for him, emblematic of her own political acumen and largely overlooked by biographers, is just one revealing example of how their marriage was truly a decades-long political partnership.

 

Perhaps the most underestimated First Lady of the twentieth century, Lady Bird Johnson was also one of the most accomplished and often her husband's secret weapon. Managing the White House in years of national upheaval, through the civil rights movement and the escalation of the Vietnam War, Lady Bird projected a sense of calm and, following the glamorous and modern Jackie Kennedy, an old-fashioned image of a First Lady. In truth, she was anything but. As the first First Lady to run the East Wing like a professional office, she took on her own policy initiatives, including the most ambitious national environmental effort since Teddy Roosevelt. Occupying the White House during the beginning of the women's liberation movement, she hosted professional women from all walks of life in the White House, including urban planning and environmental pioneers like Jane Jacobs and Barbara Ward, encouraging women everywhere to pursue their own careers, even if her own style of leadership and official role was to lead by supporting others.

 

Where no presidential biographer has understood the full impact of Lady Bird Johnson's work in the White House, Julia Sweig is the first to draw substantially on Lady Bird's own voice in her White House diaries to place Claudia Alta Lady Bird" Johnson center stage and to reveal a woman ahead of her time--and an accomplished politician in her own right.

How perfect that the First Lady inheriting that position from Jackie Kennedy was a confident 40-year veteran as a Congressman’s wife? The first chapters about Jackie before, during and after JFK’s assassination (as she with great care and detail settled Lady Bird into the White House, just days after she planned the funeral) are alone worth the price. This book is a riveting and superb look at Claudia Alta Johnson’s roles and accomplishments within her husband’s administration. Sweig is a huge admirer of Lady Bird and so we see her as she was: a hardworking, intuitive, and highly intelligent political strategist who served as a vital bolstering force behind LBJ’s political ambitions. Despite his insecurities, mood swings, and health concerns, she actively sought to advance her own urgently felt causes. At the time, her environmental endeavors were superficially labeled as “beautification,” yet her aim was far more expansive. “Beneath the surface of the beautification efforts she promoted,” writes the author, “were deeper, structural dimensions to the urban crisis that connected to hous­ing, industrial pollution, race, and economic inequality.” You’ll be so glad you learned more about her -- what a woman. - Sandy

Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci

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The #1 New York Times bestseller from Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography that is "a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it...Most important, it is a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life" (The New Yorker).

Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo da Vinci's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson "deftly reveals an intimate Leonardo" (San Francisco Chronicle) in a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.

He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history's most creative genius.

In the "luminous" (Daily Beast) Leonardo da Vinci, Isaacson describes how Leonardo's delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance to be imaginative and, like talented rebels in any era, to think different. Here, da Vinci "comes to life in all his remarkable brilliance and oddity in Walter Isaacson's ambitious new biography...a vigorous, insightful portrait" (The Washington Post).

Jenny: Joe Maddon, former manager of the Cubs, is gone (I miss ya, Joe!), but Joe loved one of my favorite books, Walter Isaacson’sLeonardo Da Vinci. Joe was inspired to choose his 2016 theme “Putting the art back into the game” based on Isaacson’s book.

This pandemic might be just the right time to tackle a tome like this.

Here’s three reasons this book is worth reading now:

1) Da Vinci reminds us that there’s potential in each of us to be successful despite what life throws at us.

Da Vinci was lucky to be born a bastard, otherwise he would have been required to follow in his father’s footsteps as a notary. Instead, he was allowed to be a freethinking, creative, cool cat who followed his own pursuits. Another upside to being born out of wedlock was that he was NOT sent to Latin school so he was mainly self-taught through his insatiable curiosity and experimentation which led him to have an incredible range of experiences culminating in the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. Not bad.

2) A meaningful life is derived through curiosity:

His scientific explorations informed his art. As Isaacson writes:

“As he (Da Vinci) aged, he pursued his scientific inquiries not just to serve his art but out of a joyful instinct to fathom the profound beauties of creation. When he groped for a theory of why the sky appears blue, it was not simply to inform his painting. His curiosity was pure, personal, and delightfully obsessive.”

3) Genius is cultivated and developed, not just something you’re born with:

Da Vinci was a genius.

But as Isaacson reminds us: “We should be wary of that word. Slapping the ‘genius’ label on Leonardo oddly minimizes him by making it seem as if he were touched by lightning.…In fact, Leonardo’s genius was a human one, wrought by his own will and ambition. (Are you watching the Michael Jordan documentary???? You’ll get a feel for why this point is so important!) It did not come from being the divine recipient…His genius was of the type we can understand, even take lessons from. It was based on skills we can aspire to improve in ourselves, such as curiosity and intense observation.”

This book is a marvel to read. And if there’s a fourth reason to read it it would be that Leo dressed in a fun way, was a great conversationalist, and was kind to animals. Oops, that’s six. I would like to have known him!

Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo Da Vinci

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The #1 New York Times bestseller

"A powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life...a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it." --The New Yorker

"Vigorous, insightful." --The Washington Post

"A masterpiece." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Luminous." --The Daily Beast

He was history's most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us?

The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.

Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.

He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history's most creative genius.

His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history's most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo's lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions.

Leonardo's delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it--to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different.

Jenny: Joe Maddon, former manager of the Cubs, is gone (I miss ya, Joe!), but Joe loved one of my favorite books, Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo Da Vinci. Joe was inspired to choose his 2016 theme “Putting the art back into the game” based on Isaacson’s book.

This pandemic might be just the right time to tackle a tome like this.

Here’s three reasons this book is worth reading now:

1) Da Vinci reminds us that there’s potential in each of us to be successful despite what life throws at us.

Da Vinci was lucky to be born a bastard, otherwise he would have been required to follow in his father’s footsteps as a notary. Instead, he was allowed to be a freethinking, creative, cool cat who followed his own pursuits. Another upside to being born out of wedlock was that he was NOT sent to Latin school so he was mainly self-taught through his insatiable curiosity and experimentation which led him to have an incredible range of experiences culminating in the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. Not bad.

2) A meaningful life is derived through curiosity:

His scientific explorations informed his art. As Isaacson writes:

“As he (Da Vinci) aged, he pursued his scientific inquiries not just to serve his art but out of a joyful instinct to fathom the profound beauties of creation. When he groped for a theory of why the sky appears blue, it was not simply to inform his painting. His curiosity was pure, personal, and delightfully obsessive.”

3) Genius is cultivated and developed, not just something you’re born with:

Da Vinci was a genius.

But as Isaacson reminds us: “We should be wary of that word. Slapping the ‘genius’ label on Leonardo oddly minimizes him by making it seem as if he were touched by lightning.…In fact, Leonardo’s genius was a human one, wrought by his own will and ambition. (Are you watching the Michael Jordan documentary???? You’ll get a feel for why this point is so important!) It did not come from being the divine recipient…His genius was of the type we can understand, even take lessons from. It was based on skills we can aspire to improve in ourselves, such as curiosity and intense observation.”

This book is a marvel to read. And if there’s a fourth reason to read it it would be that Leo dressed in a fun way, was a great conversationalist, and was kind to animals. Oops, that’s six. I would like to have known him!

Life with Picasso

Life with Picasso

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Françoise Gilot's candid memoir remains the most revealing portrait of Picasso written, and gives fascinating insight into the intense and creative life shared by two modern artists.

Françoise Gilot was in her early twenties when she met the sixty-one-year-old Pablo Picasso in 1943. Brought up in a well-to-do upper-middle-class family, who had sent her to Cambridge and the Sorbonne and hoped that she would go into law, the young woman defied their wishes and set her sights on being an artist. Her introduction to Picasso led to a friendship, a love affair, and a relationship of ten years, during which Gilot gave birth to Picasso's two children, Paloma and Claude. Gilot was one of Picasso's muses; she was also very much her own woman, determined to make herself into the remarkable painter she did indeed become.

Life with Picasso is an indispensable record of his thinking about art, as well as an often very funny account of his relationships with other artists and with dealers and hangers-on. It is also about Françoise Gilot. This is a brilliant self-portrait of a young woman of enormous talent and exacting intelligence figuring out who she wants to be.

Love Is an Ex-Country

Love Is an Ex-Country

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Queer. Muslim. Arab American. A proudly Fat woman. Randa Jarrar is all of these things. In this viscerally elegant and intimately edgy memoir of a cross-country road trip, she explores how to claim joy in an unraveling and hostile America (Kirkus Reviews).

Randa Jarrar is a fearless voice of dissent who has been called politically incorrect (Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times). As an American raised for a time in Egypt, and finding herself captivated by the story of a celebrated Egyptian belly dancer's journey across the United States in the 1940s, she sets off from her home in California to her parents' in Connecticut.

Coloring this road trip are journeys abroad and recollections of a life lived with daring. Reclaiming her autonomy after a life of survival--domestic assault as a child, and later, as a wife; threats and doxxing after her viral tweet about Barbara Bush--Jarrar offers a bold look at domestic violence, single motherhood, and sexuality through the lens of the punished-yet-triumphant body. On the way, she schools a rest-stop racist, destroys Confederate flags in the desert, and visits the Chicago neighborhood where her immigrant parents first lived.

Hailed as one of the finest writers of her generation (Laila Lalami), Jarrar delivers a euphoric and critical, funny and profound memoir that will speak to anyone who has felt erased, asserting: I am here. I am joyful.

Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream: The Most Revealing Portrait of a President and Presidential Power Ever Written

Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream: The Most Revealing Portrait of a President and Presidential Power Ever Written

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An engrossing biography of President Lyndon Johnson from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Team of Rivals

Hailed by the New York Times as "the most penetrating, fascinating political biography I have ever read," Doris Kearns Goodwin's extraordinary and insightful book draws from meticulous research in addition to the author's time spent working at the White House from 1967 to 1969.

After Lyndon Johnson's term ended, Goodwin remained his confidante and assisted in the preparation of his memoir. In Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, she traces the 36th president's life from childhood to his early days in politics, and from his leadership of the Senate to his presidency, analyzing his dramatic years in the White House, including both his historic domestic triumphs and his failures in Vietnam.

Drawn from personal anecdotes and candid conversations with Johnson, Goodwin paints a rich and complicated portrait of one of our nation's most compelling politicians.

Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving

Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving

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From beloved CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and humorist Mo Rocca, an entertaining and rigorously researched book that celebrates the dead people who have long fascinated him.

Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries--reading about the remarkable lives of global leaders, Hollywood heavyweights, and innovators who changed the world. But not every notable life has gotten the send-off it deserves. His quest to right that wrong inspired Mobituaries, his #1 hit podcast. Now with Mobituaries, the book, he has gone much further, with all new essays on artists, entertainers, sports stars, political pioneers, founding fathers, and more. Even if you know the names, you've never understood why they matter...until now.

Take Herbert Hoover: before he was president, he was the "Great Humanitarian," the man who saved tens of millions from starvation. But after less than a year in the White House, the stock market crashed, and all the good he had done seemed to be forgotten. Then there's Marlene Dietrich, well remembered as a screen goddess, less remembered as a great patriot. Alongside American servicemen on the front lines during World War II, she risked her life to help defeat the Nazis of her native Germany. And what about Billy Carter and history's unruly presidential brothers? Were they ne'er-do-well liabilities...or secret weapons? Plus, Mobits for dead sports teams, dead countries, the dearly departed station wagon, and dragons. Yes, dragons.

Rocca is an expert researcher and storyteller. He draws on these skills here. With his dogged reporting and trademark wit, Rocca brings these men and women back to life like no one else can. Mobituaries is an insightful and unconventional account of the people who made life worth living for the rest of us, one that asks us to think about who gets remembered, and why.

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir

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How do you tell the real story of someone misremembered--an icon and idol--alongside your own? Jenn Shapland's celebrated debut is both question and answer: an immersive, surprising exploration of one of America's most beloved writers, alongside a genre-defying examination of identity, queerness, memory, obsession, and love.

Shapland is a graduate student when she first uncovers letters written to Carson McCullers by a woman named Annemarie. Though Shapland recognizes herself in the letters, which are intimate and unabashed in their feelings, she does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her. Her curiosity gives way to fixation, not just with this newly discovered side of McCullers's life, but with how we tell queer love stories. Why, Shapland asks, are the stories of women paved over by others' narratives? What happens when constant revision is required of queer women trying to navigate and self-actualize in straight spaces? And what might the tracing of McCullers's life--her history, her secrets, her legacy--reveal to Shapland about herself?

In smart, illuminating prose, Shapland interweaves her own story with McCullers's to create a vital new portrait of one of our nation's greatest literary treasures, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.

My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son's Search for Home

My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son's Search for Home

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The perfect gift for parents this Father's Day: a beautiful, gut-wrenching memoir of Irish identity, fatherhood, and what we owe to the past.

"A heartbreaking and redemptive book, written with courage and grace."
-J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy

"...a lovely little book."
-Ross Douthat, The New York Times

The child of an Irish man and an Irish-American woman who split up before he was born, Michael Brendan Dougherty grew up with an acute sense of absence. He was raised in New Jersey by his hard-working single mother, who gave him a passion for Ireland, the land of her roots and the home of Michael's father. She put him to bed using little phrases in the Irish language, sang traditional songs, and filled their home with a romantic vision of a homeland over the horizon.

Every few years, his father returned from Dublin for a visit, but those encounters were never long enough. Devastated by his father's departures, Michael eventually consoled himself by believing that fatherhood was best understood as a check in the mail. Wearied by the Irish kitsch of the 1990s, he began to reject his mother's Irish nationalism as a romantic myth.

Years later, when Michael found out that he would soon be a father himself, he could no longer afford to be jaded; he would need to tell his daughter who she is and where she comes from. He immediately re-immersed himself in the biographies of firebrands like Patrick Pearse and studied the Irish language. And he decided to reconnect with the man who had left him behind, and the nation just over the horizon. He began writing letters to his father about what he remembered, missed, and longed for. Those letters would become this book.

Along the way, Michael realized that his longings were shared by many Americans of every ethnicity and background. So many of us these days lack a clear sense of our cultural origins or even a vocabulary for expressing this lack--so we avoid talking about our roots altogether. As a result, the traditional sense of pride has started to feel foreign and dangerous; we've become great consumers of cultural kitsch, but useless conservators of our true history.

In these deeply felt and fascinating letters, Dougherty goes beyond his family's story to share a fascinating meditation on the meaning of identity in America.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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The powerful story of slavery that has become a classic of American autobiography, now in an authoritative edition. This dramatic autobiography of the early life of an American slave was first published in 1845, when its young author had just achieved his freedom. Douglass' eloquence gives a clear indication of the powerful principles that led him to become the first great African-American leader in the United States. *** Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818, and after his escape in 1838 repeatedly risked his own freedom as an antislavery speaker, writer and publisher.
Night

Night

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A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel

Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man.

Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.

NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND

NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND

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Featuring an all-new cover, New York Times bestseller Bill Bryson's irrevent and hilarious journey through the beloved island nation he called home for two decades. From Downing Street to Loch Ness, this is a delightful look at the United Kingdom.

Before New York Times bestselling author Bill Bryson wrote The Road to Little Dribbling, he took this delightfully irreverent jaunt around the unparalleled floating nation of Great Britain, which has produced zebra crossings, Shakespeare, Twiggie Winkie's Farm, and places with names like Farleigh Wallop and Titsey.

Notorious Rbg Young Readers' Edition: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Young Readers)

Notorious Rbg Young Readers' Edition: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Young Readers)

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A tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that does more than catalog her achievements; it conveys her spirit, one that will leave readers in awe.*

This New York Times bestselling version of the acclaimed biography Notorious RBG is an excellent way to share with middle grade readers just why Justice Ginsburg was such a powerful role model. This entertaining and insightful full-color 200-page young readers' edition mixes pop culture, humor, and expert analysis for a remarkable account of the indomitable Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Heroine. Trailblazer. Pioneer.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an icon to millions. Her tireless fight for equality and women's rights inspired not only great strides in the workforce but impacted the law of the land. This accessible biography of this fierce woman, detailing her searing dissents and powerful jurisprudence, is a keeper. As School Library Journal* noted, This version shares the same knockout formatting as the adult edition: a plethora of photographs and images leaving nary a page unadorned.

Hand your middle grade reader this powerful and highly readable biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Includes a timeline, glossary, source list, index, and even a section that puts legal terms in plain English.

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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New York Times Bestseller

Featured in the critically acclaimed documentary RBG

It was beyond my wildest imagination that I would one day become the 'Notorious RBG. -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2019

She was a fierce dissenter with a serious collar game. A legendary, self-described "flaming feminist litigator" who made the world more equal. And an intergenerational icon affectionately known as the Notorious RBG. As the nation mourns the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, discover the story of a remarkable woman and learn how to carry on her legacy.

This runaway bestseller, brought to you by the attorney founder of the Notorious RBG Tumblr and an award-winning feminist journalist, is more than just a love letter. It draws on intimate access to Ginsburg's family members, close friends, colleagues, and clerks, as well as an interview with the Justice herself. An original hybrid of reported narrative, annotated dissents, rare archival photos and documents, and illustrations, the book tells a never-before-told story of an unusual and transformative woman who transcended divides and changed the world forever.

Sandy: I feel real strongly about this one.  Yes, I’m a lawyer, wife of a lawyer and mother of a law student - but my science-y kids have read and loved this too.  OK, I read parts of it aloud to Tom during lacrosse trips to tournaments. It’s not all lawyer-ish, it’s written by a huge RBG fan and lawyer but she asked aboard her writer friend who knew nothing about this Ginsburg person.  It does look at how she changed the law, but in well-highlighted (literally, in the font) accessible language.  The actual way that this tiny person strategically and patiently and brilliantly changed the world we live in is so important now - but as important I think is the story of how she became who she was, and maybe especially the marriage that allowed her to excel on all fronts.  Read it, give it - truly.

 

Who would have thought a bespectacled, elderly jurist would become a pop-culture icon, feted in song and story so widely that she might be likened to a hip-hop star?

 

Though the hip-hop star in question, the late Notorious B.I.G., is an inapposite choice, MSNBC correspondent Carmon and attorney Knizhnik, building on the latter’s popular law-studies blog, serve up something between a biography and a scrapbook. If you want to understand how, through tireless work and endless determination, the scholarly RBG should have overcome discrimination to rise to the top of the judicial pyramid, then this book serves, but so too if you want “only to learn to get buff like an octogenarian who can do twenty push-ups.” Ginsburg starts on the elliptical, then moves on with her trainer to do planks, “where he does his best to knock the tiny justice down.” By this point, readers will understand that nothing can knock Justice Ginsburg down, not cancer or the death of a beloved spouse or having to see Samuel Alito every workday. “RBG had a job to do,” Carmon and Knizhnik cheer, “and she wasn’t done yet.” The book goes beyond admiring, and though it is generally courtly toward the rest of the court, Ginsburg is its unlikely dazzling star. By the end of this celebration, in which the authors make some pertinent, serious legal points, even readers disinclined to think of the justice as a pop icon will find new respect for her—unless, that is, they’re ideologically bound not to, for RBG emerges as an unshakable champion of women’s rights and, horrors, as a classic liberal. Besides, RBG writes a mean dissent—e.g., “This is not the first time this court has ordered a cramped interpretation of Title VII.”

Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood

Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood

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"An absolutely breathless read. Nowhere Girl is a courageous, heart-breaking, and beautifully written story of a girl doing everything in her power to protect the ones she loves."
--Paul Haggis, Academy Award-winning writer/director of Crash, Million Dollar Baby, and Casino Royale

By the age of nine, I will have lived in more than a dozen countries, on five continents, under six assumed identities. I'll know how a document is forged, how to withstand an interrogation, and most important, how to disappear . . .

Wild, heart-wrenching, and unexpectedly funny, Nowhere Girl is an inspiring coming-of-age memoir about running for freedom against the odds.

To the young Cheryl Diamond, life felt like one big adventure, whether she was hurtling down the Himalayas in a rickety car or mingling with underworld fixers. Her family appeared to be an unbreakable gang of five. One day they were in Australia, the next South Africa, the pattern repeating as they crossed continents, changed identities, and erased their pasts. What Diamond didn't yet know was that she was born into a family of outlaws fleeing from the highest international law enforcement agencies, a family with secrets that would eventually catch up to all of them.

By the time she was in her teens, Diamond had lived dozens of lives and lies, but as she grew, love and trust turned to fear and violence, and her family--the only people she had in the world--began to unravel. She started to realize that her life itself might be a big con, and the people she loved, the most dangerous of all. With no way out and her identity burned so often that she had no proof she even existed, all that was left was a girl from nowhere.

Surviving would require her to escape, and to do so Diamond would have to unlearn all the rules she grew up with. Like The Glass Castle meets Catch Me If You Can, Nowhere Girl is an impossible-to-believe true story of self-discovery and triumph.

Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams

Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams

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A fresh look at this astute, likably quirky statesman, by the author of the Pulitzer Award-winning Founding Brothers and the National Book Award winning American Sphinx.

"The most lovable and most laughable, the warmest and possibly the wisest of the founding fathers, John Adams knew himself as few men do and preserved his knowledge in a voluminous correspondence that still vibrates. Ellis has used it with great skill and perception not only to bring us the man, warts and all, but more importantly to reveal his extraordinary insights into the problems confronting the founders that resonate today in the republic they created." --Edmund S. Morgan, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University

PATH TO POWER

PATH TO POWER

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The story of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill country. Reveals in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy and ambition that set LBJ apart.
Pelosi

Pelosi

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A riveting inside account of the unprecedented rise to power and unmatched political legacy of the first woman Speaker of the House, by award-winning journalist Molly Ball

Nancy Pelosi's opposition to Donald Trump has made her an icon of the Resistance, featured in viral memes clapping sardonically at the president or ripping up his State of the Union address. But the real Nancy Pelosi is neither the shrill partisan featured in thousands of attack ads nor the cautious corporatist reviled by the far left. She's the rare politician who still knows how to get big things done--a master of legislative power whose policy accomplishments have touched millions of American lives, from providing universal access to health care to reforming Wall Street to allowing gay people to serve openly in the military. She's done it all at a time of historic polarization and gridlock, despite being routinely underestimated by allies and opponents alike.

Ball's nuanced, page-turning portrait takes readers inside Pelosi's life and times, from her roots in urban Baltimore to her formative years as a party activist and fundraiser, from the fractious politics of San Francisco to high-stakes congressional negotiations with multiple presidents. The result is a compelling portrait of a barrier-breaking woman that sheds new light on American political history. Based on exclusive interviews with the Speaker and deep background reporting, Ball shows Pelosi through a thoroughly modern lens to explain how this extraordinary woman has met her moment.

Personal History

Personal History

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An extraordinarily frank, honest, and generous book by one of America's most famous and admired women -- a book that is, as its title suggests, both personal and history. It is the story of Graham's parents: the multi-millionaire father who left private business and government service to buy and restore the down-and-out "Washington Post"; the aggressive, formidable, self-absorbed mother, known in her time for her political and welfare work, and her passionate friendships with men such as Thomas Mann and Adlai Stevenson. It is the story of how "The Washington Post" struggled to succeed -- a fascinating and instructive business history told from the inside (the paper has been run by Graham herself, her father, her husband, and now her son). It is the story of Phil Graham -- Kay's brilliant, charismatic husband (he clerked for two Supreme Court justices), whose plunge into manic-depression and eventual suicide are movingly and charitably recounted. And, best of all, it is Kay Graham herself -- brought up in great wealth, yet understanding nothing of money; half Jewish, yet -- incredibly -- unaware of it; naive, awkward, yet intelligent and energetic, and married to a man she adored. How he fascinated and educated her, and then in his illness turned from her and abused her, destroying her confidence and her happiness, is a drama in itself, followed by the rarer drama of her new life as the head of a great newspaper and a great company -- a woman famous (and feared) in her own right. In other words, here is a life that came into its own with a vengeance -- a success story on every level.
Pop Song: Adventures in Art & Intimacy

Pop Song: Adventures in Art & Intimacy

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A fresh, energetic voice with a brilliant mind to power it, brings readers an endlessly inventive, intimate, and provocative memoir-in-essays that celebrates the strange and exquisite state of falling in love--whether with a painting or a person--and interweaves incisive commentary on modern life, feminism, art and sex with the author's own experiences of obsession, heartbreak, and past trauma (Esmé Weijun Wang, New York Times bestselling author of The Collected Schizophrenias).

Like a song that feels written just for you, Larissa Pham's debut work of nonfiction captures the imagination and refuses to let go.

Pop Song is a book about love and about falling in love--with a place, or a painting, or a person--and the joy and terror inherent in the experience of that love. Plumbing the well of culture for clues and patterns about love and loss--from Agnes Martin's abstract paintings to James Turrell's transcendent light works, and Anne Carson's Eros the Bittersweet to Frank Ocean's Blonde--Pham writes of her youthful attempts to find meaning in travel, sex, drugs, and art, before sensing that she might need to turn her gaze upon herself.

Pop Song is also a book about distances, near and far. As she travels from Taos, New Mexico, to Shanghai, China and beyond, Pham meditates on the miles we are willing to cover to get away from ourselves, or those who hurt us, and the impossible gaps that can exist between two people sharing a bed.

Pop Song is a book about all the routes by which we might escape our own needs before finally finding a way home. There is heartache in these pages, but Pham's electric ways of seeing create a perfectly fractured portrait of modern intimacy that is triumphant in both its vulnerability and restlessness.