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Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century - Pageturners August 24th, 2021

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

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From the beet fields of North Dakota to the campgrounds of California to Amazon's CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older adults. These invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in RVs and modified vans, forming a growing community of nomads.

Nomadland tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy--one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.

Hidden Valley Road - Pageturner Book Club November 26, 2021

Hidden Valley Road

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK - ONE OF GQ's TOP 50 BOOKS OF LITERARY JOURNALISM IN THE 21st CENTURY - The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

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

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

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

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

A Promised Land

A Promised Land

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A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making--from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINEE - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post - Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times - NPR - The Guardian - Marie Claire

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency--a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation's highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune's Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective--the story of one man's bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of "hope and change," and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama's conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

Across Black Spaces: Essays and Interviews from an American Philosopher

Across Black Spaces: Essays and Interviews from an American Philosopher

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Across Black Spaces gathers and builds on a diverse array of essays and interviews by American philosopher and leading public intellectual George Yancy. Within this multidisciplinary framework are works from The New York Times, The Guardian, and other major media outlets which have drawn international acclaim for their spotlight on vicious racial tensions in American academia and society at large. With this collection of revised and updated works, Yancy engages a vast scope of social, political, historical, linguistic, and philosophical themes that together illustrate what it means to be Black in America. Four sections of the book engage, first, moral outrage at contemporary ethical crises; second, the search for identity and value of vulnerability; third, the history and present values of Black and Africana philosophy; and fourth, the essential role of African American language in understanding Black lived experience. Representing twenty years of persistent inquiry and advocacy, Across Black Spaces celebrates Yancy's undeniable importance in American intellectual progress and essential social change.
Becoming

Becoming

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An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - WATCH THE EMMY-NOMINATED NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY - OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK - NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER - ONE OF ESSENCE'S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America--the first African American to serve in that role--she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her--from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it--in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations--and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis

Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis

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A PEOPLE BOOK OF THE WEEK
WINNER OF THE JQ-WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE

"A haunting tribute to survivors and those lost forever--and a reminder, in our own troubled era, never to forget." --People

An "exceptional" (The Wall Street Journal) and "poignant" (The New York Times) book in the tradition of rediscovered works like Suite Française and The Nazi Officer's Wife, the powerful memoir of a fearless Jewish bookseller on a harrowing fight for survival across Nazi-occupied Europe.

In 1921, Françoise Frenkel--a Jewish woman from Poland--fulfills a dream. She opens La Maison du Livre, Berlin's first French bookshop, attracting artists and diplomats, celebrities and poets. The shop becomes a haven for intellectual exchange as Nazi ideology begins to poison the culturally rich city. In 1935, the scene continues to darken. First come the new bureaucratic hurdles, followed by frequent police visits and book confiscations.

Françoise's dream finally shatters on Kristallnacht in November 1938, as hundreds of Jewish shops and businesses are destroyed. La Maison du Livre is miraculously spared, but fear of persecution eventually forces Françoise on a desperate, lonely flight to Paris. When the city is bombed, she seeks refuge across southern France, witnessing countless horrors: children torn from their parents, mothers throwing themselves under buses. Secreted away from one safe house to the next, Françoise survives at the heroic hands of strangers risking their lives to protect her.

Published quietly in 1945, then rediscovered nearly sixty years later in an attic, A Bookshop in Berlin is a remarkable story of survival and resilience, of human cruelty and human spirit. In the tradition of Suite Française and The Nazi Officer's Wife, this book is the tale of a fearless woman whose lust for life and literature refuses to leave her, even in her darkest hours.

Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking

Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking

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"You can almost taste the food in Bill Buford's Dirt, an engrossing, beautifully written memoir about his life as a cook in France." --The Wall Street Journal

What does it take to master French cooking? This is the question that drives Bill Buford to abandon his perfectly happy life in New York City and pack up and (with a wife and three-year-old twin sons in tow) move to Lyon, the so-called gastronomic capital of France. But what was meant to be six months in a new and very foreign city turns into a wild five-year digression from normal life, as Buford apprentices at Lyon's best boulangerie, studies at a legendary culinary school, and cooks at a storied Michelin-starred restaurant, where he discovers the exacting (and incomprehensibly punishing) rigueur of the professional kitchen.

With his signature humor, sense of adventure, and masterful ability to bring an exotic and unknown world to life, Buford has written the definitive insider story of a city and its great culinary culture.

Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir

Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir

$26.00
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FINALIST FOR THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR AUTOBIOGRAPHY

An engrossing memoir of escaping the First Liberian Civil War and building a life in the United States


When Wayétu Moore turns five years old, her father and grandmother throw her a big birthday party at their home in Monrovia, Liberia, but all she can think about is how much she misses her mother, who is working and studying in faraway New York. Before she gets the reunion her father promised her, war breaks out in Liberia. The family is forced to flee their home on foot, walking and hiding for three weeks until they arrive in the village of Lai. Finally, a rebel soldier smuggles them across the border to Sierra Leone, reuniting the family and setting them off on yet another journey, this time to the United States.

Spanning this harrowing journey in Moore's early childhood, her years adjusting to life in Texas as a black woman and an immigrant, and her eventual return to Liberia, The Dragons, the Giant, the Women is a deeply moving story of the search for home in the midst of upheaval. Moore has a novelist's eye for suspense and emotional depth, and this unforgettable memoir is full of imaginative, lyrical flights and lush prose. In capturing both the hazy magic and the stark realities of what is becoming an increasingly pervasive experience, Moore shines a light on the great political and personal forces that continue to affect many migrants around the world, and calls us all to acknowledge the tenacious power of love and family.

Fairy Tale Girl

Fairy Tale Girl

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Based on the diaries Susan Branch has kept since she was in her twenties, The Fairy Tale Girl is an illustrated memoir, designed in Susan's trademark style with original watercolors and personal photographs. The Fairy Tale Girl is an ages-old story of youth, innocence, love (and loss), grief, discovery, friendship, and magic that begins in a geranium-colored house in California and ends up, like any good fairy tale, on the right side of the rabbit hole. As we've heard so many times, it's not the destination, it's the journey. So, journey back to the olden days with Susan, to the 1950s and 60's, to the land of Happily Ever After, where men were men and girls were girls (who just wanted to have fun), and bring a hankie 'cause we think you might need it. Susan began writing The Fairy Tale Girl as one volume, but by the time she put in all the details, and her art and photographs, it was almost 700 pages, too big, so she decided to turn it into two books. The second book will be coming early next year, and will be called Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams. Both The Fairy Tale Girl and Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams (publication date May 2016) are prequels to Susan's last book, A Fine Romance - Falling in Love with the English Countryside (2013).
Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship

Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year * 2021 Summer Reading Pick by BUZZFEED * NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW * KIRKUS * TIME MAGAZINE * GOOD MORNING AMERICA * PEOPLE MAGAZINE * THE WASHINGTON POST

"The book everyone will be talking about ... full of tenderness and understanding." - The New York Times

An "extraordinary" (Oprah Daily) 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, Catherine 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.

Ooooh, this one. Every single person I’ve recommended this to has made it a point to circle back and tell me … well sometimes they are speechless -- that’s how great it is. One of the many many many reasons I love this book is that if it weren’t IN A BOOK you’d never never get Catherine Raven’s story. How lucky then, we clever readers are to hold it in our hands. As she describes it: "A long time ago, I had arrived at the prudent and logical conclusion that when your own parents don't want you, no one else will. So I had been living a solitary life." And later adds: "I might have a week without seeing another person, but contact with a slug was all I needed to keep from feeling alone."


And yet this introverted, even damaged woman truly has changed the way I think of the outdoors. Not to mention what quiet people might be thinking. Raven fled an abusive home at age 15, entering college at 16. Following her passion for nature, she moved to the mountains of Montana, where she worked as a park ranger before eventually learning her doctorate in biology, urged forward by co-workers in rather an Eleanor Oliphant fashion. Lovely. She then built a small cottage in a valley and began leading a solitary life, working for the National Park Service and teaching classes online and in the field. According to the author she never felt lonely, but she did long to fit in somewhere. One day, she noticed that a fox would show up outside her cottage at the same time each day, 4:15pm. But wait - scientists aren’t allowed to humanize wild animals; and yet, there was something special about this fox, and the two soon developed a bond. At first, Raven felt the need to defend their relationship to her colleagues and students, fielding their frequent and targeted sciencey questions. She also continually pondered relocation to a city where she could obtain a good-paying academic job with health insurance. But the more time she and the fox spent with each other, the more the author learned about herself and was able to let go of many of the conventional ideas that had been ingrained in her mind by society. Here’s my favorite: She also includes relevant references from literature that have inspired her views (she reads passages out loud to the fox): who KNEW the wide impact of the personal story of WWI AND WWII ace pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery and his philosophical Little Prince (and oh my gosh, Melville’s Moby Dick) in the way she does? Truly, Raven has changed my life. Talk to me later about how. - Sandy

Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life

Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life

$27.00
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A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK AND INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Often hilarious and ultimately very touching." --People

"Have you ever read a book that made you want to hug the author?" --Reese Witherspoon

"This unrestrained memoir is a transporting experience and one of the most startlingly hopeful books I have ever read." --Lisa Taddeo, New York Times bestselling author of Three Women

The refreshingly original debut memoir of a guarded, over-achieving, self-lacerating young lawyer who reluctantly agrees to get psychologically and emotionally naked in a room of six complete strangers--her psychotherapy group--and in turn finds human connection, and herself.

Christie Tate had just been named the top student in her law school class and finally had her eating disorder under control. Why then was she driving through Chicago fantasizing about her own death? Why was she envisioning putting an end to the isolation and sadness that still plagued her despite her achievements?

Enter Dr. Rosen, a therapist who calmly assures her that if she joins one of his psychotherapy groups, he can transform her life. All she has to do is show up and be honest. About everything--her eating habits, childhood, sexual history, etc. Christie is skeptical, insisting that that she is defective, beyond cure. But Dr. Rosen issues a nine-word prescription that will change everything: "You don't need a cure. You need a witness."

So begins her entry into the strange, terrifying, and ultimately life-changing world of group therapy. Christie is initially put off by Dr. Rosen's outlandish directives, but as her defenses break down and she comes to trust Dr. Rosen and to depend on the sessions and the prescribed nightly phone calls with various group members, she begins to understand what it means to connect.

Group is a deliciously addictive read, and with Christie as our guide--skeptical of her own capacity for connection and intimacy, but hopeful in spite of herself--we are given a front row seat to the daring, exhilarating, painful, and hilarious journey that is group therapy--an under-explored process that breaks you down, and then reassembles you so that all the pieces finally fit.

Heavy: An American Memoir

Heavy: An American Memoir

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*Named a Best Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (