What’s New – Non-Fiction

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?

Alan Alda, the award-winning actor and bestselling author, tells us the fascinating story of his quest to learn how to communicate better, and to teach others to do the same. With his trademark humor and candor, he explores how to develop empathy as the key factor.

Alan Alda has been on a decades-long journey to discover new ways to help people communicate and relate to one another more effectively. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? is the warm, witty, and informative chronicle of how Alda found inspiration in everything from cutting-edge science to classic acting methods. His search began when he was host of PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers, where he interviewed thousands of scientists and developed a knack for helping them communicate complex ideas in ways a wide audience could understand—and Alda wondered if those techniques held a clue to better communication for the rest of us.

In his wry and wise voice, Alda reflects on moments of miscommunication in his own life, when an absence of understanding resulted in problems both big and small. He guides us through his discoveries, showing how communication can be improved through learning to relate to the other person: listening with our eyes, looking for clues in another’s face, using the power of a compelling story, avoiding jargon, and reading another person so well that you become “in sync” with them, and know what they are thinking and feeling—especially when you’re talking about the hard stuff.

Drawing on improvisation training, theater, and storytelling techniques from a life of acting, and with insights from recent scientific studies, Alda describes ways we can build empathy, nurture our innate mind-reading abilities, and improve the way we relate and talk with others. Exploring empathy-boosting games and exercises, If I Understood You is a funny, thought-provoking guide that can be used by all of us, in every aspect of our lives—with our friends, lovers, and families, with our doctors, in business settings, and beyond.

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Al Franken: Giant of the Senate
“Flips the classic born-in-a-shack rise to political office tale on its head. I skipped meals to read this book – also unusual – because every page was funny. It made me deliriously happy.” – Louise Erdrich, The New York Times
 

From Senator Al Franken – #1 bestselling author and beloved SNL alum – comes the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that.

This is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect.
It’s a book about what happens when the nation’s foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.
It’s a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast.
In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.
Has Al Franken become a true Giant of the Senate? Franken asks readers to decide for themselves.

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Jackie's Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family

An endearing coming-of-age memoir by a young woman who spent thirteen years as Jackie Kennedy’s personal assistant and occasional nanny – and the lessons about life and love she learned from the glamorous first lady.

In 1964, Kathy McKeon was just nineteen years old and newly arrived from Ireland when she was hired as the personal assistant to former first lady Jackie Kennedy. The next thirteen years of her life were spent in Jackie’s service, during which Kathy not only played a crucial role in raising young Caroline and John Jr., but also had a front-row seat to some of the twentieth century’s most significant events.

Because Kathy was always at Jackie’s side, Rose Kennedy deemed her “Jackie’s girl.” And although Kathy called Jackie “Madam,” she considered her employer more like a big sister who, in many ways, mentored her on how to be a lady. Kathy was there during Jackie and Aristotle Onassis’s courtship and marriage and Robert Kennedy’s assassination, dutifully supporting Jackie and the children during these tumultuous times in history.

A rare and engrossing look at the private life of one of the most famous women of the twentieth century, Jackie’s Girl is also a moving personal story of a young woman finding her identity and footing in a new country, along with the help of the most elegant woman in America.

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Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?

Goes beyond transgender to question the need for gender classification.

Beyond Trans pushes the conversation on gender identity to its limits: questioning the need for gender categories in the first place. Whether on birth certificates or college admissions applications or on bathroom doors, why do we need to mark people and places with sex categories? Do they serve a real purpose or are these places and forms just mechanisms of exclusion? Heath Fogg Davis offers an impassioned call to rethink the usefulness of dividing the world into not just Male and Female categories but even additional categories of Transgender and gender fluid. Davis, himself a transgender man, explores the underlying gender-enforcing policies and customs in American life that have led to transgender bathroom bills, college admissions controversies, and more, arguing that it is necessary for our society to take real steps to challenge the assumption that gender matters.

He examines four areas where we need to re-think our sex-classification systems: sex-marked identity documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses and passports; sex-segregated public restrooms; single-sex colleges; and sex-segregated sports. Speaking from his own experience and drawing upon major cases of sex discrimination in the news and in the courts, Davis presents a persuasive case for challenging how individuals are classified according to sex and offers concrete recommendations for alleviating sex identity discrimination and sex-based disadvantage.

For anyone in search of pragmatic ways to make our world more inclusive, Davis’ recommendations provide much-needed practical guidance about how to work through this complex issue. A provocative call to action, Beyond Trans pushes us to think how we can work to make America truly inclusive of all people.

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As I Saw It

Over a career spanning more than 50 years, veteran journalist Marvin Scott has seen it all.  From international headlines to local heroes, the eleven-time Emmy Award–winner and member of the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame has covered the news with objectivity and integrity, bringing journalistic excellence to every level of reporting.  Scott has interviewed six presidents, visited the frontlines of war in the Middle East and Asia, and witnessed the rise of America’s space program―all in a day’s work.

Now, in As I Saw It: A Reporter’s Intrepid Journey, Scott reflects on the stories that have stuck with him personally over the years, and the people who gave them life.  Alongside marches with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and tense meetings with Yasser Arafat, Scott brings us Burt and Linda Pugach, the couple whose lifelong marriage was forged in deadly obsession; Abraham Zapruder, who shot history’s most infamous piece of film; Charlie Walsh, the everyman hero who gave the banks a run for their money; and Stephanie Collado, the eleven-year-old girl who needed a heart and touched his.  From political scandals to hauntings at Amityville, local tragedies, triumphs and absurdities find their place alongside accounts of crime and redemption, war and celebrity on a national scale, all told with Scott’s signature passion and candor.

As I Saw It pairs Scott’s unique storytelling and photography to give readers a new look at the singular experiences of a lifelong reporter, and the stories that shaped a generation.

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You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

One of the most anticipated books of 2017–Entertainment Weekly and Bustle

A searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, loss, and forgiveness from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award-winning author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Family relationships are never simple. But Sherman Alexie’s bond with his mother Lillian was more complex than most. She plunged her family into chaos with a drinking habit, but shed her addiction when it was on the brink of costing her everything. She survived a violent past, but created an elaborate facade to hide the truth. She selflessly cared for strangers, but was often incapable of showering her children with the affection that they so desperately craved. She wanted a better life for her son, but it was only by leaving her behind that he could hope to achieve it. It’s these contradictions that made Lillian Alexie a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated, and very human woman.

When she passed away, the incongruities that defined his mother shook Sherman and his remembrance of her. Grappling with the haunting ghosts of the past in the wake of loss, he responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is a stunning memoir filled with raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine, much less survive. An unflinching and unforgettable remembrance, YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME is a powerful, deeply felt account of a complicated relationship.

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Shark Drunk

A salty story of friendship, adventure, and the explosive life that teems beneath the ocean, for readers of Bill Bryson and such classics as The Snow Leopard.

In the great depths surrounding the Lofoten islands in Norway lives the infamous Greenland shark. At twenty-six feet in length and weighing more than a ton, it is truly a beast to behold. But the shark is not just known for its size alone: its meat contains a toxin that, when consumed, has been known to make people drunk and hallucinatory. Shark Drunk is the true story of two friends, the author and the eccentric artist Hugo Aasjord, as they embark on a wild pursuit of the famed creature–from a tiny rubber boat. Together, the two men tackle existential questions, survive the world’s most powerful maelstrom, and, yes, get drunk, as they attempt to understand the ocean from every possible angle, drawing on poetry, science, history, ecology, mythology, and their own, sometimes intoxicated, observations.

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Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy

From the Facebook COO and #1 New York Times best-selling author of Lean In, and the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Originals: a powerful, inspiring and practical book about finding resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.

In 2015 Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly at the age of forty-eight. Sandberg and her two young children were devastated, and she was certain that their lives would never have real joy or meaning again.

Just weeks later, Sandberg was talking with a friend about the first father-child activity without a father. They came up with a plan for someone to fill in. “But I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend put his arm around her and said, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”

Everyone experiences some form of Option B. We all deal with loss: jobs lost, loves lost, lives lost. The question is not whether these things will happen but how we face them when they do.

Thoughtful, honest, revealing and warm, Option B weaves Sandberg’s experiences coping with adversity with new findings from Adam Grant and other social scientists. The book features stories of people who recovered from personal and professional hardship, including illness, injury, divorce, job loss, sexual assault and imprisonment. These people did more than recover – many of them became stronger.

Option B offers compelling insights for dealing with hardships in our own lives and helping others in crisis. It turns out that post-traumatic growth is common – even after the most devastating experiences many people don’t just bounce back but actually bounce forward. And pre-traumatic growth is also possible: people can build resilience even if they have not experienced tragedy. Sandberg and Grant explore how we can raise strong children, create resilient communities and workplaces, and find meaning, love and joy in our lives.

“Dave’s death changed me in very profound ways,” Sandberg writes. “I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss. But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface and breathe again.”

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Bill O'Reilly's Legends & Lies: The Civil War

The newest installment in the New York Times #1 bestselling companion series to the Fox historical docudrama, Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies; The Civil War is a pulse-quickening account of the deadliest war in American history

From the birth of the Republican Party to the Confederacy’s first convention, the Underground Railroad to the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Civil War reveals the amazing and often little known stories behind the battle lines of America’s bloodiest war and debunks the myths that surround its greatest figures, including Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, General Robert E. Lee, Frederick Douglass, Stonewall Jackson, John Singleton Mosby, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, John Wilkes Booth, William Tecumseh Sherman, and more. An epic struggle between the past and future, the Civil War sought to fulfill the promise that “all men are created equal.” It freed an enslaved race, decimated a generation of young men, ushered in a new era of brutality in war, and created modern America. Featuring archival images, eyewitness accounts, and beautiful artwork that further brings the history to life, The Civil War is the action-packed and ultimate follow-up to the #1 bestsellers The Patriots and The Real West.

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Fat For Fuel

For over a century, we’ve accepted the scientific consensus that cancer results from genetic disease due to chromosomal damage in cell nuclei. But what if cancer isn’t a genetic disease after all? What if scientists are chasing a flawed paradigm, and cancer isn’t a disease of damaged DNA but rather of defective metabolism as a result of mitochondrial dysfunction? What if that startling truth could revolutionize our understanding of other diseases as well – and show us a radical new path to optimal health?

In this groundbreaking guide, the first of its kind, New York Times best-selling author and leading natural-health practitioner Joseph Mercola explains how nearly all disease is caused by defective metabolic processes. Then he reveals what’s really causing your metabolism to go haywire: damage and dysfunction in the mitochondria, thousands of which are at work in nearly every cell in your body, generating 90 percent of the energy you need to stay alive and well. When mitochondria become damaged in large numbers, it is impossible to stay healthy.

Dr. Mercola shows you that you can take control of your health simply by giving your body the proper fuel – and it’s not what you’ve likely been led to believe. A ketogenic diet, very low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats, is the way to optimize the biochemical pathways that suppress disease and support healing. And the benefits can be astonishing – not only in treating or preventing serious illness, but in boosting your brainpower, increasing your energy, helping you lose weight and keep it off, and much more.

As you read this book, you’ll learn in clear, rational terms how your body works at a molecular level. You’ll finally understand the type of fuel it’s designed to burn in the most efficient way possible. You’ll find detailed guidelines for starting and sticking with a ketogenic eating plan. And you won’t have to wait a decade or two for metabolic mitochondrial therapy to make its way into the mainstream. You can build a healthier body and brain at the cutting edge of this exciting new discipline, starting right now.

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Churchill & Orwell

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Ricks, a dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, whose farsighted vision and inspired action preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike

Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930’s – Orwell shot in the neck in a trench line in the Spanish Civil War, and Churchill struck by a car in New York City. If they’d died then, history would scarcely remember them. At the time, Churchill was a politician on the outs, his loyalty to his class and party suspect. Orwell was a mildly successful novelist, to put it generously. No one would have predicted that by the end of the 20th century they would be considered two of the most important people in British history for having the vision and courage to campaign tirelessly, in words and in deeds, against the totalitarian threat from both the left and the right. In a crucial moment, they responded first by seeking the facts of the matter, seeing through the lies and obfuscations, and then they acted on their beliefs. Together, to an extent not sufficiently appreciated, they kept the West’s compass set toward freedom as its due north.

It’s not easy to recall now how lonely a position both men once occupied. By the late 1930’s, democracy was discredited in many circles, and authoritarian rulers were everywhere in the ascent. There were some who decried the scourge of communism, but saw in Hitler and Mussolini “men we could do business with,” if not in fact saviors. And there were others who saw the Nazi and fascist threat as malign, but tended to view communism as the path to salvation. Churchill and Orwell, on the other hand, had the foresight to see clearly that the issue was human freedom – that whatever its coloration, a government that denied its people basic freedoms was a totalitarian menace and had to be resisted.

In the end, Churchill and Orwell proved their age’s necessary men. The glorious climax of Churchill and Orwell is the work they both did in the decade of the 1940’s to triumph over freedom’s enemies. And though Churchill played the larger role in the defeat of Hitler and the Axis, Orwell’s reckoning with the menace of authoritarian rule in Animal Farm and 1984 would define the stakes of the Cold War for its 50-year course, and continues to give inspiration to fighters for freedom to this day. Taken together, in Thomas E. Ricks’s masterful hands, their lives are a beautiful testament to the power of moral conviction, and to the courage it can take to stay true to it, through thick and thin.

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