Nonfiction

Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times

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$22.00
One of the Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Books of the Year A Washington Post Notable Book A Christian Science Monitor and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2020

Winner of the Gilder Lehrman Abraham Lincoln Prize and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Award

A marvelous cultural biography that captures Lincoln in all his historical fullness. . . . using popular culture in this way, to fill out the context surrounding Lincoln, is what makes Mr. Reynolds's biography so different and so compelling . . . Where did the sympathy and compassion expressed in [Lincoln's] Second Inaugural--'With malice toward none; with charity for all'--come from? This big, wonderful book provides the richest cultural context to explain that, and everything else, about Lincoln. --Gordon Wood, Wall Street Journal

From one of the great historians of nineteenth-century America, a revelatory and enthralling new biography of Lincoln, many years in the making, that brings him to life within his turbulent age

David S. Reynolds, author of the Bancroft Prize-winning cultural biography of Walt Whitman and many other iconic works of nineteenth century American history, understands the currents in which Abraham Lincoln swam as well as anyone alive. His magisterial biography Abe is the product of full-body immersion into the riotous tumult of American life in the decades before the Civil War.

It was a country growing up and being pulled apart at the same time, with a democratic popular culture that reflected the country's contradictions. Lincoln's lineage was considered auspicious by Emerson, Whitman, and others who prophesied that a new man from the West would emerge to balance North and South. From New England Puritan stock on his father's side and Virginia Cavalier gentry on his mother's, Lincoln was linked by blood to the central conflict of the age. And an enduring theme of his life, Reynolds shows, was his genius for striking a balance between opposing forces. Lacking formal schooling but with an unquenchable thirst for self-improvement, Lincoln had a talent for wrestling and bawdy jokes that made him popular with his peers, even as his appetite for poetry and prodigious gifts for memorization set him apart from them through his childhood, his years as a lawyer, and his entrance into politics.

No one can transcend the limitations of their time, and Lincoln was no exception. But what emerges from Reynolds's masterful reckoning is a man who at each stage in his life managed to arrive at a broader view of things than all but his most enlightened peers. As a politician, he moved too slowly for some and too swiftly for many, but he always pushed toward justice while keeping the whole nation in mind. Abe culminates, of course, in the Civil War, the defining test of Lincoln and his beloved country. Reynolds shows us the extraordinary range of cultural knowledge Lincoln drew from as he shaped a vision of true union, transforming, in Martin Luther King Jr.'s words, the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

Abraham Lincoln did not come out of nowhere. But if he was shaped by his times, he also managed at his life's fateful hour to shape them to an extent few could have foreseen. Ultimately, this is the great drama that astonishes us still, and that Abe brings to fresh and vivid life. The measure of that life will always be part of our American education.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780143110767
0
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Aftershocks: A Memoir

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$17.00
In the tradition of The Glass Castle, this "gorgeous" (The New York Times, Editors' Choice) and deeply felt memoir from Whiting Award winner Nadia Owusu tells the "incredible story" (Malala Yousafzai) about the push and pull of belonging, the seismic emotional toll of family secrets, and the heart it takes to pull through.

"In Aftershocks, Nadia Owusu tells the incredible story of her young life. How does a girl--abandoned by her mother at age two and orphaned at thirteen when her beloved father dies--find her place in the world? This memoir is the story of Nadia creating her own solid ground across countries and continents. I know the struggle of rebuilding your life in an unfamiliar place. While some of you might be familiar with that and some might not, I hope you'll take as much inspiration and hope from her story as I did." --MALALA YOUSAFZAI

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2021 SELECTED BY VULTURE AND TIME MAGAZINE!

Young Nadia Owusu followed her father, a United Nations official, from Europe to Africa and back again. Just as she and her family settled into a new home, her father would tell them it was time to say their goodbyes. The instability wrought by Nadia's nomadic childhood was deepened by family secrets and fractures, both lived and inherited. Her Armenian American mother, who abandoned Nadia when she was two, would periodically reappear, only to vanish again. Her father, a Ghanaian, the great hero of her life, died when she was thirteen. After his passing, Nadia's stepmother weighed her down with a revelation that was either a bombshell secret or a lie, rife with shaming innuendo.

With these and other ruptures, Nadia arrived in New York as a young woman feeling stateless, motherless, and uncertain about her future, yet eager to find her own identity. What followed, however, were periods of depression in which she struggled to hold herself and her siblings together.

"A magnificent, complex assessment of selfhood and why it matters" (Elle), Aftershocks depicts the way she hauled herself from the wreckage of her life's perpetual quaking, the means by which she has finally come to understand that the only ground firm enough to count on is the one written into existence by her own hand.

"Full of narrative risk and untrammeled lyricism" (The Washington Post), Aftershocks joins the likes of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight and William Styron's Darkness Visible, and does for race identity what Maggie Nelson does for gender identity in The Argonauts.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781982111236
0
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Agatha Christie: First Lady of Crime

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$26.95
From Poirot to Miss Marple, from The Mousetrap to Witness for the Prosecution, this a fascinating look at the life and work of Agatha Christie, the world's most successful and popular crime writer.

Agatha Christie was not only the most successful author of detective stories the world has ever known, she was also a mystery in herself, giving only the rarest interviews--declining absolutely to become any sort of public figure--and a mystery, too, in the manner in which she achieved her astonishing success.

Distinguished crime novelist (and acclaimed critic) H. R. F. Keating brings together a dozen noted writers from both sides of the Atlantic to throw light on the ever-intriguing Dame Agatha. Some essays analyze Christie's art itself; some explain the reasons for her success--not just the books, but also in film and theatre.

The myriad of critical angles explored here are penetrating, affectionate, enthusiastic, analytical, and even funny. Together, they give an almost unique insight into the life and work of the First Lady of Crime.

Includes essays by Sophie Hannah, H. R. F. Keating, Elizabeth Walter, Julian Symons, Edmund Crispin, Michael Gilbert, Emma Lathen, Colin Watson, Celia Fremlin, Dorothy B. Hughes, J. C. Trewin, Philip Jenkinson, William Weaver, and Christianna Brand.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781643137360
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All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business

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$29.99
At 95, the legendary Mel Brooks continues to set the standard for comedy across television, film, and the stage. Now, for the first time, this EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winner shares his story in his own words.

"Laugh-out-loud hilarious and always fascinating, from the great Mel Brooks. What else do you expect from the man who knew Jesus and dated Joan of Arc?"--Billy Crystal

For anyone who loves American comedy, the long wait is over. Here are the never-before-told, behind-the-scenes anecdotes and remembrances from a master storyteller, filmmaker, and creator of all things funny.

All About Me! charts Mel Brooks's meteoric rise from a Depression-era kid in Brooklyn to the recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Whether serving in the United States Army in World War II, or during his burgeoning career as a teenage comedian in the Catskills, Mel was always mining his experiences for material, always looking for the perfect joke. His iconic career began with Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows, where he was part of the greatest writers' room in history, which included Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, and Larry Gelbart. After co-creating both the mega-hit 2000 Year Old Man comedy albums and the classic television series Get Smart, Brooks's stellar film career took off. He would go on to write, direct, and star in The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs, as well as produce groundbreaking and eclectic films, including The Elephant Man, The Fly, and My Favorite Year. Brooks then went on to conquer Broadway with his record-breaking, Tony-winning musical, The Producers.

All About Me! offers fans insight into the inspiration behind the ideas for his outstanding collection of boundary-breaking work, and offers details about the many close friendships and collaborations Brooks had, including those with Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Gene Wilder, Madeleine Kahn, Alfred Hitchcock, and the great love of his life, Anne Bancroft.

Filled with tales of struggle, achievement, and camaraderie (and dozens of photographs), readers will gain a more personal and deeper understanding of the incredible body of work behind one of the most accomplished and beloved entertainers in history.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780593159118
0
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All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler

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$32.00

The INSTANT New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

In this "stunning literary achievement," Donner chronicles the extraordinary life and brutal death of her great-great-aunt Mildred Harnack, the American leader of one of the largest underground resistance groups in Germany during WWII--"a page-turner story of espionage, love and betrayal" (Kai Bird, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography)

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Mildred Harnack was twenty-six when she enrolled in a PhD program in Germany and witnessed the meteoric rise of the Nazi party. In 1932, she began holding secret meetings in her apartment--a small band of political activists that by 1940 had grown into the largest underground resistance group in Berlin. She recruited working-class Germans into the resistance, helped Jews escape, plotted acts of sabotage, and collaborated in writing leaflets that denounced Hitler and called for revolution. Her coconspirators circulated through Berlin under the cover of night, slipping the leaflets into mailboxes, public restrooms, phone booths. When the first shots of the Second World War were fired, she became a spy, couriering top-secret intelligence to the Allies. On the eve of her escape to Sweden, she was ambushed by the Gestapo. At a Nazi military court, a panel of five judges sentenced her to six years at a prison camp, but Hitler overruled the decision and ordered her execution. On February 16, 1943, she was strapped to a guillotine and beheaded.

Historians identify Mildred Harnack as the only American in the leadership of the German resistance, yet her remarkable story has remained almost unknown until now.

Harnack's great-great-niece Rebecca Donner draws on her extensive archival research in Germany, Russia, England, and the U.S. as well as newly uncovered documents in her family archive to produce this astonishing work of narrative nonfiction. Fusing elements of biography, real-life political thriller, and scholarly detective story, Donner brilliantly interweaves letters, diary entries, notes smuggled out of a Berlin prison, survivors' testimony, and a trove of declassified intelligence documents into a powerful, epic story, reconstructing the moral courage of an enigmatic woman nearly erased by history.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780316561693
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Allegorizings

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$24.95

Not so long ago, feeling intimations of mortality, Jan Morris embarked on a wholly novel literary enterprise. What began as a series of high-minded letters to her late daughter--in the style of Lord Chesterfield addressing his son--quickly transformed itself into a potpourri of mini-essays and vibrant reminiscences, organized around experiences both majestic and mundane, from traveling the world with her lifelong partner, Elizabeth, to sneezing and kissing and simply growing old.

So Allegorizings came to be, and so Morris decided that it should only be published upon her death, not because she had anything to hide but, merely, in parting. Featuring essays largely written in the early twenty-first century, Allegorizings reflects, above all, Morris's steadfast conviction that nothing is only what it seems. In fact, she observes, everything is allegory. Indeed, in Morris's telling, even life--the whole conundrum of existence--is one long, majestically impenetrable allegory.

Taking us from the separatist hippie colony of Bolinas, California, to her home country of Wales, and introducing us to Nepalese Sherpas and elderly cruise-goers alike, Morris follows the throughline of allegory throughout her works. In one essay, she lambasts the joylessness of maturity ("Maturity! Did ever a heart thrill to the sound of it, still less the meaning?") and in another, decries the nonsense of nationality. With characteristic verve, she offers odes to whistling and cursing, cats, and exclamation points. Morris's travels anchor the collection, as she revisits the iconic settings of her previous works. We join her aboard the storied Orient Express, as well as tube trains passing through the purlieus of London. So too, we hike the foothills of the Himalayas--where Morris burst onto scene with her on-the-spot reportage of the first ascent of Everest--and reflect on the picaresque allure of Tournus, a dichotomized town in France where one France, bearing all the vestiges of privilege, seems to kiss another.

Intimate and luminously wise, Allegorizings is as much a testament to the virtues of embracing life as it is a testament to its charming, indignant, and ever-surprising author. In her final work, Morris's writing is as erudite as ever, conveying a generosity of spirit "flavored by well-earned crankiness" (Vox). Though newly bereft of her company, readers will be reminded what "a good, wise, and witty companion" (Alexander McCall Smith) Morris has been to so many, for so long.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780871404145
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Always Another Country

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$16.99

New York Times Staff Favorite of 2018

Minnesota Public Radio Best Books of 2018 - Nonfiction

CBC Best International Nonfiction of 2018

The Globe 100 Favourite Books of 2018

Born in exile, in Zambia, to a guerrilla father and a working mother, Sisonke Msimang is constantly on the move. Her parents, talented and highly educated, travel from Zambia to Kenya and Canada and beyond with their young family. Always the outsider, and against a backdrop of racism and xenophobia, Sisonke develops her keenly perceptive view of the world. In this sparkling account of a young girl's path to womanhood, Sisonke interweaves her personal story with her political awakening in America and Africa, her euphoria at returning to the new South Africa, and her disillusionment with the new elites. Confidential and reflective, Always Another Country is a search for belonging and identity: a warm and intimate story that will move many readers.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781642860009
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An Indelible Journey

$18.00
ISBN/SKU: 
9780578894362
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Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-Up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House

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$28.00
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The knockdown, drag-out, untold story of the other scandal that rocked Nixon's White House, and reset the rules for crooked presidents to come--with new reporting that expands on Rachel Maddow's Peabody Award-nominated podcast

"Rachel Maddow and Michael Yarvitz expand on their riveting podcast to create a work both scholarly and disturbing in its parallels to current events."--Preet Bharara, New York Times bestselling author of Doing Justice and host of the podcast Stay Tuned with Preet

Is it possible for a sitting vice president to direct a vast criminal enterprise within the halls of the White House? To have one of the most brazen corruption scandals in American history play out while nobody's paying attention? And for that scandal to be all but forgotten decades later?

The year was 1973, and Spiro T. Agnew, the former governor of Maryland, was Richard Nixon's second-in-command. Long on firebrand rhetoric and short on political experience, Agnew had carried out a bribery and extortion ring in office for years, when--at the height of Watergate--three young federal prosecutors discovered his crimes and launched a mission to take him down before it was too late, before Nixon's impending downfall elevated Agnew to the presidency. The self-described "counterpuncher" vice president did everything he could to bury their investigation: dismissing it as a "witch hunt," riling up his partisan base, making the press the enemy, and, with a crumbling circle of loyalists, scheming to obstruct justice in order to survive.

In this blockbuster account, Rachel Maddow and Michael Yarvitz detail the investigation that exposed Agnew's crimes, the attempts at a cover-up--which involved future president George H. W. Bush--and the backroom bargain that forced Agnew's resignation but also spared him years in federal prison. Based on the award-winning hit podcast, Bag Man expands and deepens the story of Spiro Agnew's scandal and its lasting influence on our politics, our media, and our understanding of what it takes to confront a criminal in the White House.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780593136683
0

Ballad of Tommy LiPuma

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$24.95

Captures seven hit-making decades during the American recording industry's glittering, freewheeling years.

Tommy LiPuma was one of America's most successful record producers whose work with seminal artists like Miles Davis, Diana Krall, Barbra Streisand, Rickie Lee Jones, George Benson, and Willie Nelson went on to sell over seventy-five million records. It is also a picaresque journey that opens with the murder of a man on a dirt path in Sicily and concludes with five trips up the Grammy red carpet. The Ballad of Tommy LiPuma is real-life Horatio Alger adventure storied with bootleggers, gangsters, artists, hipsters, set in a revolutionary time in music history that changed popular culture around the world. Finally, it's a deeply personal account of how music saved one man's life, and how he went on to affect the lives of millions of others.

"Tommy was my best friend, my creative partner, my mentor, my confidant, and my producer for twenty-four years. As time goes on, I realize just how special he was."--Diana Krall

"Tommy was a fantastic producer. He always had a great sense of humour . . . he would sit in the studio with us musicians and make every session a complete joy."--Paul McCartney

"Tommy was always looking for ways to bring authentic jazz and blues to a larger audience."--Donald Fagen

"He leaves a great legacy of great music that's going to stand the test of time . . . . I miss him every day."--Al Schmitt

"Tommy was a great producer and a real friend."--Willie Nelson

I don't think that it's been noticed enough what he's done. He's been the most successfulperson, commercially, in the history of jazz."--Randy Newman

ISBN/SKU: 
9780578556604
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Beautiful Country: A Memoir

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$28.95
An incandescent memoir from an astonishing new talent, Beautiful Country puts readers in the shoes of an undocumented child living in poverty in the richest country in the world.

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

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

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

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

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

ISBN/SKU: 
9780385547215
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Beauty of Living: e. e. cummings in the Great War

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$35.00

E. E. Cummings is one of our most popular and enduring poets, one whose name extends beyond the boundaries of the literary world. Renowned for his formally fractured, gleefully alive poetry, Cummings is not often thought of as a war poet. But his experience in France and as a prisoner during World War I (the basis for his first work of prose, The Enormous Room) escalated his earliest breaks with conventional form?the innovation with which his name would soon become synonymous.

Intimate and richly detailed, The Beauty of Living begins with Cummings's Cambridge upbringing and his relationship with his socially progressive but domestically domineering father. It follows Cummings through his undergraduate experience at Harvard, where he fell into a circle of aspiring writers including John Dos Passos, who became a lifelong friend. Steeped in classical paganism and literary Decadence, Cummings and his friends rode the explosion of Cubism, Futurism, Imagism, and other "modern" movements in the arts. As the United States prepared to enter World War I, Cummings volunteered as an ambulance driver, shipped out to Paris, and met his first love, Marie Louise Lallemand, who was working in Paris as a prostitute. Soon after reaching the front, however, he was unjustly imprisoned in a brutal French detention center at La Ferté-Macé. Through this confrontation with arbitrary and sadistic authority, he found the courage to listen to his own voice.

Probing an underexamined yet formative time in the poet's life, this deeply researched account illuminates his ideas about love, justice, humanity, and brutality. J. Alison Rosenblitt weaves together letters, journal entries, and sketches with astute analyses of poems that span Cummings's career, revealing the origins of one of the twentieth century's most famous poets.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780393246964
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Becoming

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$18.99
Now in paperback--the intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States, featuring a new introduction by Michelle Obama, a letter from the author to her younger self, and a book club guide with 20 discussion questions and a 5-question Q&A

#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.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781524763145
0

Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

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$17.00
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "A powerful study of how to bear witness in a moment when America is being called to do the same."--Time

James Baldwin grew disillusioned by the failure of the civil rights movement to force America to confront its lies about race. What can we learn from his struggle in our own moment?

Named one of the best books of the year by Time, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune - Winner of the Stowe Prize - Shortlisted for the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice

"Not everything is lost. Responsibility cannot be lost, it can only be abdicated. If one refuses abdication, one begins again."--James Baldwin

Begin Again is one of the great books on James Baldwin and a powerful reckoning with America's ongoing failure to confront the lies it tells itself about race. Just as in Baldwin's "after times," argues Eddie S. Glaude Jr., when white Americans met the civil rights movement's call for truth and justice with blind rage and the murders of movement leaders, so in our moment were the Obama presidency and the birth of Black Lives Matter answered with the ascendance of Trump and the violent resurgence of white nationalism.

In these brilliant and stirring pages, Glaude finds hope and guidance in Baldwin as he mixes biography--drawn partially from newly uncovered Baldwin interviews--with history, memoir, and poignant analysis of our current moment to reveal the painful cycle of Black resistance and white retrenchment. As Glaude bears witness to the difficult truth of racism's continued grip on the national soul, Begin Again is a searing exploration of the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780525575337
0

Better to Have Gone: Love, Death, and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville

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$27.00
* A New York Times Editors' Choice *

A spellbinding story about love, faith, the search for utopia--and the often devastating cost of idealism.

It's the late 1960s, and two lovers converge on an arid patch of earth in South India. John Walker is the handsome scion of a powerful East Coast American family. Diane Maes is a beautiful hippie from Belgium. They have come to build a new world--Auroville, an international utopian community for thousands of people. Their faith is strong, the future bright.

So how do John and Diane end up dying two decades later, on the same day, on a cracked concrete floor in a thatch hut by a remote canyon? This is the mystery Akash Kapur sets out to solve in Better to Have Gone, and it carries deep personal resonance: Diane and John were the parents of Akash's wife, Auralice. Akash and Auralice grew up in Auroville; like the rest of their community, they never really understood those deaths.

In 2004, Akash and Auralice return to Auroville from New York, where they have been living with John's family. As they reestablish themselves, along with their two sons, in the community, they must confront the ghosts of those distant deaths. Slowly, they come to understand how the tragic individual fates of John and Diane intersected with the collective history of their town.

Better to Have Gone is a book about the human cost of our age-old quest for a more perfect world. It probes the underexplored yet universal idea of utopia, and it portrays in vivid detail the daily life of one utopian community. Richly atmospheric and filled with remarkable characters, spread across time and continents, this is narrative writing of the highest order--a heartbreaking, unforgettable story.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781501132513
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Big Hurt: A Memoir

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$28.00
This complex memoir shows what it was like growing up in the shadow of a literary father and a neglectful mother, getting thrown out of boarding school after being seduced by a teacher, and all of the later-life consequences that ensue.

In 1982, Erika Schickel was expelled from her East Coast prep school for sleeping with a teacher. She was that girl--rebellious, precocious, and macking for love. Seduced, caught, and then whisked away in the night to avoid scandal, Schickel's provocative, searing, and darkly funny memoir, The Big Hurt, explores the question, How did that girl turn out?

Schickel came of age in the 1970s, the progeny of two writers: Richard Schickel, the prominent film critic for TIME magazine, and Julia Whedon, a melancholy mid-list novelist. In the wake of her parents' ugly divorce, Erika was packed off to a bohemian boarding school in the Berkshires.

The Big Hurt tells two coming-of-age stories: one of a lost girl in a predatory world, and the other of that girl grown up, who in reckoning with her past ends up recreating it with a notorious LA crime novelist, blowing up her marriage and casting herself into the second exile of her life.

The Big Hurt looks at a legacy of shame handed down through a maternal bloodline and the cost of epigenetic trauma. It shines a light on the haute culture of 1970s Manhattan that made girls grow up too fast. It looks at the long shadow cast by great, monstrously self-absorbed literary lives and the ways in which women pin themselves like beautiful butterflies to the spreading board of male ego.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780306925054
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Bird Uncaged: An Abolitionist's Freedom Song

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$28.00
From a leading prison abolitionist, a moving memoir about coming of age in Brooklyn and surviving incarceration--and a call to break free from all the cages that confine us.

Marlon Peterson grew up in 1980s Crown Heights, raised by Trinidadian immigrants. Amid the routine violence that shaped his neighborhood, Marlon became a high-achieving and devout child, the specter of the American dream opening up before him. But in the aftermath of immense trauma, he participated in a robbery that resulted in two murders. At nineteen, Peterson was charged and later convicted. He served ten long years in prison. While incarcerated, Peterson immersed himself in anti-violence activism, education, and prison abolition work.

In Bird Uncaged, Peterson challenges the typical "redemption" narrative and our assumptions about justice. With vulnerability and insight, he uncovers the many cages--from the daily violence and trauma of poverty, to policing, to enforced masculinity, and the brutality of incarceration--created and maintained by American society.

Bird Uncaged is a twenty-first-century abolitionist memoir, and a powerful debut that demands a shift from punishment to healing, an end to prisons, and a new vision of justice.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781645036517
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Birdman of Koshkonong: The Life of Naturalist Thure Kumlien

$20.00
ISBN/SKU: 
9780870209529
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Body Leaping Backward: Memoir of a Delinquent Girlhood

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$26.00
The "mesmerizing . . . daring and important"* story of a risk-taking girlhood spent in a working-class prison town
*Andre Dubus III

For Maureen Stanton's proper Catholic mother, the town's maximum security prison was a way to keep her seven children in line ("If you don't behave, I'll put you in Walpole Prison!"). But as the 1970s brought upheaval to America, and the lines between good and bad blurred, Stanton's once-solid family lost its way. A promising young girl with a smart mouth, Stanton turns watchful as her parents separate and her now-single mother descends into shoplifting, then grand larceny, anything to keep a toehold in the middle class for her children. No longer scared by threats of Walpole Prison, Stanton too slips into delinquency--vandalism, breaking and entering--all while nearly erasing herself through addiction to angel dust, a homemade form of PCP that swept through her hometown in the wake of Nixon's "total war" on drugs.

Body Leaping Backward is the haunting and beautifully drawn story of a self-destructive girlhood, of a town and a nation overwhelmed in a time of change, and of how life-altering a glimpse of a world bigger than the one we come from can be.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781328900234
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Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War

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$17.00

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR

An urgent and compelling account of great bravery and passion. --Susan Orlean

Award-winning journalist Delphine Minoui recounts the true story of a band of young rebels, a besieged Syrian town, and an underground library built from the rubble of war

Reading is an act of resistance.

Daraya is a town outside Damascus, the very spot where the Syrian Civil War began. Long a site of peaceful resistance to the Assad regimes, Daraya fell under siege in 2012. For four years, no one entered or left, and aid was blocked. Every single day, bombs fell on this place--a place of homes and families, schools and children, now emptied and broken into bits.

And then a group searching for survivors stumbled upon a cache of books in the rubble. In a week, they had six thousand volumes; in a month, fifteen thousand. A sanctuary was born: a library where people could escape the blockade, a paper fortress to protect their humanity.

The library offered a marvelous range of books--from Arabic poetry to American self-help, Shakespearean plays to stories of war in other times and places. The visitors shared photos and tales of their lives before the war, planned how to build a democracy, and tended the roots of their community despite shell-shocked soil.

In the midst of the siege, the journalist Delphine Minoui tracked down one of the library's founders, twenty-three-year-old Ahmad. Over text messages, WhatsApp, and Facebook, Minoui came to know the young men who gathered in the library, exchanged ideas, learned English, and imagined how to shape the future, even as bombs kept falling from above. By telling their stories, Minoui makes a far-off, complicated war immediate and reveals these young men to be everyday heroes as inspiring as the books they read. The Book Collectors is a testament to their bravery and a celebration of the power of words.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781250800176
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Book of Atlantis Black

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$26.95

A young woman is found dead on the floor of a Tijuana hotel room. An ID in a nearby purse reads "Atlantis Black." The police report states that the body does not seem to match the identification, yet the body is quickly cremated and the case is considered closed.

So begins Betsy Bonner's search for her sister, Atlantis, and the unraveling of the mysterious final months before Atlantis's disappearance, alleged overdose, and death. With access to her sister's email and social media accounts, Bonner attempts to decipher and construct a narrative: frantic and unintelligible Facebook posts, alarming images of a woman with a handgun, Craigslist companionship ads, DEA agent testimony, video surveillance, police reports, and various phone calls and moments in the flesh conjured from memory. Through a history only she and Atlantis shared--a childhood fraught with abuse and mental illness, Atlantis's precocious yet short rise in the music world, and through it all an unshakable bond of sisterhood--Bonner finds questions that lead only to more questions and possible clues that seem to point in no particular direction. In this haunting memoir and piercing true crime account, Bonner must decide how far she will go to understand a sister who, like the mythical island she renamed herself for, might prove impossible to find.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781947793774
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Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz: A True Story of Family and Survival

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$17.99

"Brilliantly written, vivid, a powerful and often uncomfortable true story that deserves to be read and remembered. It beautifully captures the strength of the bond between a father and son."--Heather Morris, author of #1 New York Times bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The #1 Sunday Times bestseller--a remarkable story of the heroic and unbreakable bond between a father and son that is as inspirational as The Tattooist of Auschwitz and as mesmerizing as The Choice.

Where there is family, there is hope

In 1939, Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholster from Vienna, and his sixteen-year-old son Fritz are arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Germany. Imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp, they miraculously survive the Nazis' murderous brutality.

Then Gustav learns he is being sent to Auschwitz--and certain death.

For Fritz, letting his father go is unthinkable. Desperate to remain together, Fritz makes an incredible choice: he insists he must go too. To the Nazis, one death camp is the same as another, and so the boy is allowed to follow.

Throughout the six years of horror they witness and immeasurable suffering they endure as victims of the camps, one constant keeps them alive: their love and hope for the future.

Based on the secret diary that Gustav kept as well as meticulous archival research and interviews with members of the Kleinmann family, including Fritz's younger brother Kurt, sent to the United States at age eleven to escape the war, The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz is Gustav and Fritz's story--an extraordinary account of courage, loyalty, survival, and love that is unforgettable.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780063019294
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Brothers in the Beloved Community: The Friendship of Thich Nhat Hanh and Martin Luther King Jr.

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$24.95
The never-before-told story of the friendship between Martin Luther King Jr. and Thich Nhat Hanh--icons who changed each other and the world

The day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a heartbroken letter to their mutual friend Raphael Gould. He said: I did not sleep last night. . . . They killed Martin Luther King. They killed us. I am afraid the root of violence is so deep in the heart and mind and manner of this society. They killed him. They killed my hope. I do not know what to say. . . . He made so great an impression in me. This morning I have the impression that I cannot bear the loss.

Only a few years earlier, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote an open letter to Martin Luther King Jr. as part of his effort to raise awareness and bring peace in Vietnam. There was an unexpected outcome of Nhat Hanh's letter to King: The two men met in 1966 and 1967 and became not only allies in the peace movement, but friends. This friendship between two prophetic figures from different religions and cultures, from countries at war with one another, reached a great depth in a short period of time. Dr. King nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. He wrote: Thich Nhat Hanh is a holy man, for he is humble and devout. He is a scholar of immense intellectual capacity. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity.

The two men bonded over a vision of the Beloved Community: a vision described recently by Congressman John Lewis as a nation and world society at peace with itself. It was a concept each knew of because of their membership within the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an international peace organization, and that Martin Luther King Jr. had been popularizing through his work for some time. Thich Nhat Hanh, Andrus shows, took the lineage of the Beloved Community from King and carried it on after his death.

In Brothers in the Beloved Community, Marc Andrus tells the little-known story of a friendship between two giants of our time.





ISBN/SKU: 
9781946764904
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Camp Girls: Fireside Lessons on Friendship, Courage, and Loyalty

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$27.00
New York Times bestselling author Iris Krasnow reflects with humor and heart on her summer camp experiences and the lessons she and her fellow campers learned there that have stayed with them throughout their lives.

Iris Krasnow was 8 years old when she first attended sleep-away camp, building lasting friendships and essential life skills amid the towering pine trees and open skies of Wisconsin. Decades later, she returned to Camp Agawak as a staff member to help resurrect Agalog, the camp's defunct magazine that she wrote for as a child. There, she revisits the activities she loved as a young girl: singing songs around a campfire, swimming in a pristine lake, sleeping under the stars--experiences that continue to fill her with wisdom and perspective.

A nostalgic, inspiring memoir with a universal message on the importance of long-term friendship for campers and non-campers alike, Camp Girls weaves between past and present, filling the page in delicious detail with cabin pranks, canoe trips in rainstorms, and the joy of finding both your independence and your interdependence in nature alongside your peers. Through rich storytelling, Iris shares her own and other campers' adventures and the lessons from childhood that can shape fulfilling and successful adulthoods. Ultimately, Iris powerfully demonstrates that camp is more than a place or a collection of activities: it's where we learn what it means to be human and what it feels like to truly belong to a family--not of blood, but of history, loyalty, and tradition.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781538732267
0
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Center Center: A Funny, Sexy, Sad Almost-Memoir of a Boy in Ballet

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$27.00
"James Whiteside is an electrifying performer, an incredible athlete, and an artist, through and through. To know James is to love him; with Center Center, you are about to fall in love." --Jennifer Garner

"A frank examination and celebration of queerness."
--Good Morning America

A daring, joyous, and inspiring memoir-in-essays from the American Ballet Theatre principal dancer-slash-drag queen-slash-pop star who's redefining what it means to be a man in ballet

There's a mark on every stage around the world that signifies the center of its depth and width, called center center. James Whiteside has dreamed of standing on that very mark as a principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre ever since he was a twelve-year-old blown away by watching the company's spring gala. The GLAMOUR. The VIRTUOSITY. The RIPPED MEN IN TIGHTS!

In this absurd and absurdist collection of essays, Whiteside tells us the story of how he got to be a primo ballerino--stopping along the way to muse about the tragically fated childhood pets who taught him how to feel, reminisce on ill-advised partying at summer dance camps, and imagine fantastical run-ins with Jesus on Grindr. Also in these pages are tales of the two alter egos he created to subvert the strict classical rigor of ballet: JbDubs, an out-and-proud pop musician, and Ühu Betch, an over-the-top drag queen named after Yoohoo chocolate milk.

Center Center is an exuberant behind-the-scenes tour of Whiteside's triple life, both on- and offstage--a raunchy, curious, and unapologetic celebration of queerness, self-expression, friendship, sex, creativity, and pushing boundaries that will entertain you, shock you*, inspire you, embolden you . . . and maybe even make you cry.

*THIS IS NOT A BOOK FOR CHILDREN.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780593297834
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