What’s New – Non-Fiction

Little Sister

In this memoir, Lana Wood investigates the mysterious drowning of her sister, the actress Natalie Wood, and clears up the myths and misconceptions behind one of the most notorious celebrity deaths of our time.

On the night of November 29, 1981, Natalie Wood disappeared from her yacht, the Splendour, while visiting Catalina Island with her husband, Robert “R.J.” Wagner and their friend, Christopher Walken. The beloved movie star’s tragic drowning shook America, inspiring troves of magazine covers and media pieces. What was originally believed to be an open-and-shut case of accidental drowning has been called into question over the years, and in 2011 the investigation was reopened. In 2018, at the urging of the public, it was reclassified as “suspicious.”

Ever since, the question has remained: What really happened to Natalie Wood?

Lana Wood, Natalie’s younger sister, long suspected nefarious circumstances surrounding her sister’s death. Her closest confidante from childhood, Lana stood witness to Natalie’s life: the successes, the heartache, and her deepest pain. But there was tremendous fear about investigating the case. Uncertain of what her own search would unravel, and frightened of the possibilities, Lana stayed silent for years, until she no longer could. She realized she was ignoring what was in front of her, and that the best way to honor her sister’s legacy would be uncovering the secrets behind the very end of Natalie’s life.

By elucidating previously unknown complications of Natalie’s life, and offering new evidence from key parties involved in the investigation—including the boat’s captain and other witnesses—Little Sister recounts Lana’s search for the truth and brings to light explosive details that have been suppressed for decades. Ranging from the bonds that hold family together, to inconsistencies in interviews with detectives to complications with evidence, this story of sisterhood and mystery presents a fresh perspective on a night that has long been fodder for Hollywood lore.

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Ex Libris

Ex Libris revolves around a character trapped in a room with nothing but a futon and a bookcase full of comics. As they peruse covers, read stories and fragments of stories, they begin to suspect that the comics contain hidden messages and… a threat. Fiction and reality blur; sanity and madness become increasingly intertwined as the reader becomes convinced the key to their predicament is to be found between the panels of the strange books. With a dizzying array of inventive visual and narrative styles, Ex Libris continues the line of exploration and play that Madden initiated with 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style. Ex Libris is a tribute to the meta-fictional tradition of writers like Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Vladimir Nabokov, and Italo Calvino (whose novel, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, was the inspiration).

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A Killer By Design

A vivid behind-the-scenes look into the creation of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit and the evolution of criminal profiling, written by the pioneering forensic nurse who transformed the way the FBI studies, profiles, and catches serial killers.

Lurking beneath the progressive activism and sex positivity in the 1970-80s, a dark undercurrent of violence rippled across the American landscape. With reported cases of sexual assault and homicide on the rise, the FBI created a specialized team—the “Mindhunters” better known as the Behavioral Science Unit—to track down the country’s most dangerous criminals. And yet narrowing down a seemingly infinite list of potential suspects seemed daunting at best and impossible at worst—until Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess stepped on the scene.

In A Killer By Design, Burgess reveals how her pioneering research on sexual assault and trauma caught the attention of the FBI, and steered her right into the middle of a chilling serial murder investigation in Nebraska. Over the course of the next two decades, she helped the budding unit identify, interview, and track down dozens of notoriously violent offenders, including Ed Kemper (“The Co-Ed Killer”), Dennis Rader (“(“BTK”), Henry Wallace (“The Taco Bell Strangler”), Jon Barry Simonis (“The Ski-Mask Rapist”), and many others. As one of the first women trailblazers within the FBI’s hallowed halls, Burgess knew many were expecting her to crack under pressure and recoil in horror—but she was determined to protect future victims at any cost. This book pulls us directly into the investigations as she experienced them, interweaving never-before-seen interview transcripts and crime scene drawings alongside her own vivid recollections to provide unprecedented insight into the minds of deranged criminals and the victims they left behind. Along the way, Burgess also paints a revealing portrait of a formidable institution on the brink of a seismic scientific and cultural reckoning—and the men forced to reconsider everything they thought they knew about crime.

Haunting, heartfelt, and deeply human, A Killer By Design forces us to confront the age-old question that has long plagued our criminal justice system: “What drives someone to kill, and how can we stop them?”

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The Power of Fun

If you’re not having fun, you’re not fully living. The author of How to Break Up with Your Phone makes the case that, far from being frivolous, fun is actually critical to our well-being—and shows us how to have more of it.

“This delightful book might just be what we need to start flourishing.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Adam Grant

Journalist and screen/life balance expert Catherine Price argues persuasively that our always-on, tech-addicted lifestyles have led us to obsess over intangible concepts such as happiness while obscuring the fact that real happiness lies in the everyday experience of fun. We often think of fun as indulgent, even immature and selfish. We claim to not have time for it, even as we find hours a day for what Price calls Fake Fun—bingeing on television, doomscrolling the news, or posting photos to social media, all in hopes of filling some of the emptiness we feel inside..

In this follow-up to her hit book, How to Break Up with Your Phone, Price makes the case that True Fun—which she defines as the magical confluence of playfulness, connection, and flow—will give us the fulfillment we so desperately seek. If you use True Fun as your compass, you will be happier and healthier. You will be more productive, less resentful, and less stressed. You will have more energy. You will find community and a sense of purpose. You will stop languishing and start flourishing. And best of all? You’ll enjoy the process.

Weaving together scientific research with personal experience, Price reveals the surprising mental, physical, and cognitive benefits of fun, and offers a practical, personalized plan for how we can achieve better screen/life balance and attract more True Fun into our daily lives—without feeling overwhelmed.

Groundbreaking, eye-opening, and packed with useful advice, The Power of Fun won’t just change the way you think about fun. It will bring you back to life.

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The Myth of Closure

How do we begin to cope with loss that cannot be resolved?

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us haunted by feelings of anxiety, despair, and even anger. In this book, pioneering therapist Pauline Boss identifies these vague feelings of distress as caused by ambiguous loss, losses that remain unclear and hard to pin down, and thus have no closure. Collectively the world is grieving as the pandemic continues to change our everyday lives.

With a loss of trust in the world as a safe place, a loss of certainty about health care, education, employment, lingering anxieties plague many of us, even as parts of the world are opening back up again. Yet after so much loss, our search must be for a sense of meaning, and not something as elusive and impossible as “closure.”

This book provides many strategies for coping: encouraging us to increase our tolerance of ambiguity and acknowledging our resilience as we express a normal grief, and still look to the future with hope and possibility.

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How Not To Kill Your House Plants

We’ve all killed houseplants. But a plant’s death is a good starting point, because it can help us answer the important question: Why did it die? Equipped with the right knowledge, you can make plants thrive for many years. How Not to Kill Your Houseplants is the first-ever comprehensive guide on how to care for houseplants in the Indian context. In this book, you will learn how to choose the right plants for your space and lifestyle, the right light requirements, when and how to water and fertilize them, the best potting mixes, and how to propagate plants.
With simple and effective advice, and seventy houseplant profiles, accompanied by stunning pictures, plant parenting has never been easier.

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The 30 Rock Book

The hilarious true story of the making of the cult classic hit show 30 Rock

It’s hard to remember a time when Tina Fey wasn’t a star, but back in the early 2000s, she was an SNL writer who was far from a household name. It’s even harder to remember when Fey’s sitcom 30 Rock was tanking, but it was—it premiered in the fall of 2006, and by November, the New York Times wrote that 30 Rock was “perilously close to a flop.”

But despite all expectations (including those of some of the cast and crew), Tina Fey’s eccentric buddy comedy lasted 138 episodes, spanning seven seasons. It resurrected the career of Alec Baldwin, survived an extended absence by Tracy Morgan, and permeated the culture— its breakneck pacing, oddball characters, and extremely rich joke writing are deeply beloved by millions of fans.

Through more than fifty original interviews with cast, crew, critics, and more, culture writer Mike Roe brings to life the history of the gloriously goofy show that became an all-time classic. The 30 Rock Book has everything in it, from tales of the amazing music still stuck in our heads, to the iconic bit characters that make the show, to all the love and drama of the backstage crew . . . and the creative failures and successes along the way. So grab your night cheese and muffin tops, cuddle up with your slanket against your Japanese body pillow, and settle in for the story of one of the funniest shows in television history.

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The 1619 Project

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A dramatic expansion of a groundbreaking work of journalism, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story offers a profoundly revealing vision of the American past and present.

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, NPR, EsquireMarie Claire, Electric Lit, Ms. magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist

In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.

The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning “1619 Project” issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself.

This is a book that speaks directly to our current moment, contextualizing the systems of race and caste within which we operate today. It reveals long-glossed-over truths around our nation’s founding and construction—and the way that the legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation, but continues to shape contemporary American life.

Featuring contributions from: Leslie Alexander • Michelle Alexander • Carol Anderson • Joshua Bennett • Reginald Dwayne Betts • Jamelle Bouie • Anthea Butler • Matthew Desmond • Rita Dove • Camille T. Dungy • Cornelius Eady • Eve L. Ewing • Nikky Finney • Vievee Francis • Yaa Gyasi • Forrest Hamer • Terrance Hayes • Kimberly Annece Henderson • Jeneen Interlandi • Honorée Fanonne Jeffers • Barry Jenkins • Tyehimba Jess • Martha S. Jones • Robert Jones, Jr. • A. Van Jordan • Ibram X. Kendi • Eddie Kendricks • Yusef Komunyakaa • Kevin M. Kruse • Kiese Laymon • Trymaine Lee • Jasmine Mans • Terry McMillan • Tiya Miles • Wesley Morris • Khalil Gibran Muhammad • Lynn Nottage • ZZ Packer • Gregory Pardlo • Darryl Pinckney • Claudia Rankine • Jason Reynolds • Dorothy Roberts • Sonia Sanchez • Tim Seibles • Evie Shockley • Clint Smith • Danez Smith • Patricia Smith • Tracy K. Smith • Bryan Stevenson • Nafissa Thompson-Spires • Natasha Trethewey • Linda Villarosa • Jesmyn Ward

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Apparently There Were Complaints

Emmy Award­–winning actress Sharon Gless tells all in this laugh-out-loud, juicy, and touching memoir about her five decades in Hollywood, where she took on some of the most groundbreaking roles of her time.

Anyone who has seen Sharon Gless act in Cagney & Lacey, Queer as FolkBurn Notice, and countless other shows and movies, knows that she’s someone who gives every role her all. She holds nothing back in Apparently There Were Complaints, a hilarious, deeply personal memoir that spills all about Gless’s five decades in Hollywood.

A fifth-generation Californian, Sharon Gless knew from a young age that she wanted to be an actress. After some rocky teenage years that included Sharon’s parents’ divorce and some minor (and not-so-minor) rebellion, Gless landed a coveted spot as an exclusive contract player for Universal Studios. In 1982, she stepped into the role of New York Police Detective Christine Cagney for the series Cagney & Lacey, which eventually reached an audience of 30 million weekly viewers and garnered Gless with two Emmy Awards. The show made history as the first hour-long drama to feature two women in the leading roles.

Gless continued to make history long after Cagney & Lacey was over. In 2000, she took on the role of outrageous Debbie Novotny in Queer as Folk. Her portrayal of a devoted mother to a gay son and confidant to his gay friends touched countless hearts and changed the definition of family for millions of viewers.

Apparently There Were Complaints delves into Gless’s remarkable career and explores Gless’s complicated family, her struggles with alcoholism, and her fear of romantic commitment as well as her encounters with some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Brutally honest and incredibly relatable, Gless puts it all out on the page in the same way she has lived—never with moderation.

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Vivian Maier Developed

The definitive biography that unlocks the remarkable story of Vivian Maier, the nanny who lived secretly as a world-class photographer, featuring nearly 400 of her images, many never seen before, placed for the first time in the context of her life.

Vivian Maier, the photographer nanny whose work was famously discovered in a Chicago storage locker, captured the imagination of the world with her masterful images and mysterious life. Before posthumously skyrocketing to global fame, she had so deeply buried her past that even the families she lived with knew little about her. No one could relay where she was born or raised, if she had parents or siblings, if she enjoyed personal relationships, why she took photographs and why she didn’t share them with others. Now, in this definitive biography, Ann Marks uses her complete access to Vivian’s personal records and archive of 140,000 photographs to reveal the full story of her extraordinary life.

Based on meticulous investigative research, Vivian Maier Developed reveals the story of a woman who fled from a family with a hidden history of illegitimacy, bigamy, parental rejection, substance abuse, violence, and mental illness to live life on her own terms. Left with a limited ability to disclose feelings and form relationships, she expressed herself through photography, creating a secret portfolio of pictures teeming with emotion, authenticity, and humanity. With limitless resilience she knocked down every obstacle in her way, determined to improve her lot in life and that of others by tirelessly advocating for the rights of workers, women, African Americans, and Native Americans. No one knew that behind the detached veneer was a profoundly intelligent, empathetic, and inspired woman—a woman so creatively gifted that her body of work would become one of the greatest photographic discoveries of the century.

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Through The Banks of the Red Cedar

A warm and invigorating memoir about a daughter’s love for her father and her appreciation for how he and others changed the game of football forever.

Gene Washington’s football career ended long before his daughter Maya was born. She never saw the legendary powerhouse as anything but her dad. She didn’t yet grasp the impact he’d had on the sport—and on America. To understand his historic role in the integration of college football, witness his influence on generations that followed, and fully appreciate his legacy, Maya had a lot of catching up to do.

Maya retraces her father’s journey from the segregated south to Michigan State during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement and his journey as an NFL pioneer after the 1967 draft. She reflects on how her father’s childhood—and the racism he faced—shaped her upbringing and influenced his expectations of her. She also discovers how unbreakable the emotional bond between teammates can be. But above all, Maya and her father get to know each other. As their own bond deepens, so does Maya’s connection to the sport that changed the trajectory of her father’s life…and hers.

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Find Your Unicorn Space

From the New York Times bestselling author of Fair Play and “the Marie Kondo of relationships” comes an inspirational guide for setting new personal goals, rediscovering your interests, cultivating creativity, and reclaiming your Unicorn Space.

With her acclaimed New York Times bestseller (and Reese’s Book Club pick) Fair Play, Eve Rodsky began a national conversation about greater equality on the home front. But she soon realized that even when the domestic workload becomes more balanced, people still report something missing in their lives—that is, unless they create and prioritize time for activities that not only fill their calendars but also unleash their creativity.

Rodsky calls this vital time Unicorn Space—the active and open pursuit of creative self-expression in any form that makes you uniquely YOU. To help readers embrace all the unlikely, surprising, and delightful places where their own Unicorn Space may be found, she speaks with trail blazers, thought leaders, academics, and countless real people who have discovered theirs everywhere—from activism to artistic endeavors to second careers.

Rodsky reveals what researchers already know: Creativity is not optional. It’s essential. Though most of us do need to remind ourselves how (and where) to find it. With her trademark mix of research based, how-to advice and big-picture inspirational thinking, Rodsky shows you a clear path to reclaim your permission to have fun, manifest your own Unicorn Space in an already too-busy life, and unleash your special gifts and undiscovered talents into the world.

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Profit and Punishment

In Profit and Punishment, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist exposes the tragedy of modern-day debtors prisons, and how they destroy the lives of poor Americans swept up in a system designed to penalize the most impoverished.

“Intimate, raw, and utterly scathing” ― Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water
“Crucial evidence that the justice system is broken and has to be fixed. Please read this book.” ―James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author

As a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony Messenger has spent years in county and municipal courthouses documenting how poor Americans are convicted of minor crimes and then saddled with exorbitant fines and fees. If they are unable to pay, they are often sent to prison, where they are then charged a pay-to-stay bill, in a cycle that soon creates a mountain of debt that can take years to pay off. These insidious penalties are used to raise money for broken local and state budgets, often overseen by for-profit companies, and it is one of the central issues of the criminal justice reform movement.

In the tradition of Evicted and The New Jim Crow, Messenger has written a call to arms, shining a light on a two-tiered system invisible to most Americans. He introduces readers to three single mothers caught up in this system: living in poverty in Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, whose lives are upended when minor offenses become monumental financial and personal catastrophes. As these women struggle to clear their debt and move on with their lives, readers meet the dogged civil rights advocates and lawmakers fighting by their side to create a more equitable and fair court of justice. In this remarkable feat of reporting, Tony Messenger exposes injustice that is agonizing and infuriating in its mundane cruelty, as he champions the rights and dignity of some of the most vulnerable Americans.

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Special Topics in Being a Human

As an author, educator, and public speaker, S. Bear Bergman has documented his experience as, among other things, a trans parent, with wit and aplomb. He also writes the advice column “Ask Bear,” in which he answers crucial questions about how best to make our collective way through the world.

Featuring disarming illustrations by Saul Freedman-Lawson, Special Topics in Being a Human elaborates on “Asking Bear”’s premise: a gentle, witty, and insightful book of practical advice for the modern age. It offers Dad advice and Jewish bubbe wisdom, all filtered through a queer lens, to help you navigate some of the complexities of life—from how to make big decisions or make a good apology, to how to get someone’s new name and pronouns right as quickly as possible, to how to gracefully navigate a breakup. With warmth and candor, Special Topics in Being a Human calls out social inequities and injustices in traditional advice-giving, validates your feelings, asks a lot of questions, and tries to help you be your best possible self with kindness, compassion, and humor.

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The Unseen Photos of Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street

The official companion book to the feature-length documentary Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, featuring previously unpublished photographs from the first season of Sesame Street and interviews with cast and crew

The Unseen Photos of Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street expands on the film’s exploration of the origins and legacy of Sesame Street with exclusive interviews and previously unpublished photographs from the first season of the globally beloved children’s series. Author and filmmaker Trevor Crafts, who was given unprecedented access to archival footage and photography, presents more than 150 of photographer David Attie’s behind-the-scenes images of Jim Henson, Will Lee, Loretta Long, Bob McGrath, Frank Oz, Matt Robinson, Caroll Spinney, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie, and dozens of other pioneering puppeteers, animators, actors, and Sesame Street Muppets. Crafts uses Attie’s remarkable photos and additional interviews from the film to dive deeper into the story of how show creator Joan Ganz Cooney, along with Sesame Workshop cofounder Lloyd Morrisett, director Jon Stone, and Muppet creator Jim Henson, took the values and goals of the civil rights movement and revolutionized children’s television.

The book is a tribute to the enduring achievements of an ingenious group of artists, educators, and television pioneers who believed that the values of equality, education, and inclusion should not just be championed but also made available to all—a dream that Sesame Street has carried forward for more than fifty years.

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