What’s New – Non-Fiction

The New Yorkers

From award-winning New York Times reporter Sam Roberts, the story of the world’s most exceptional city, told through 31 little-known yet pivotal inhabitants who helped define it.

In Sam Roberts’s pulsating history of the world’s most exceptional metropolis, greet the city anew through thirty-one unique New Yorkers you’ve probably never heard of-just in time for the city’s 400th birthday.

The New Yorkers introduces the first woman to appear nude in a motion picture, becoming the face of Civic Fame as Miss Manhattan; the couple whose soirée ended the Gilded Age with an embarrassing bang; and the husband and wife who invented the modern celebrity talk show. It reveals the victim of the city’s first recorded murder in the seventeenth century and the high school dropout who slashed crime rates in the twentieth. The notorious mobster who was imperiously banished from the city and the woman who successfully sued a bus company for racial discrimination a century before Rosa Parks.

Some deserved monuments, but their grandeur was overlooked or forgotten. Others shepherded the city through its perpetual evolution, but discreetly. Virtually all have vanished into New York’s uncombed history. The New Yorkers is a living biography of the world’s greatest city, and no one knows New York better than Sam Roberts-or is better at bringing its history to life.

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The Light We Carry

#1 NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER • ONE OF TIME’S 100 MUST-READ BOOKS OF 2022 • In an inspiring follow-up to her critically acclaimed, #1 bestselling memoir Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.

There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?

Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles—the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.

“When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it,” writes Michelle Obama. A rewarding blend of powerful stories and profound advice that will ignite conversation, The Light We Carry inspires readers to examine their own lives, identify their sources of gladness, and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.

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The Philosophy of Modern Song

The Philosophy of Modern Song is Bob Dylan’s first book of new writing since 2004’s Chronicles: Volume One—and since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. The audio is narrated by an all-star lineup including Bob Dylan, Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Oscar Isaac, Helen Mirren, Rita Moreno, Sissy Spacek, Alfre Woodard, Jeffrey Wright, and Renée Zellweger!

Dylan, who began working on the book in 2010, offers his extraordinary insight into the nature of popular music. He writes over sixty essays focusing on songs by other artists, spanning from Stephen Foster to Elvis Costello, and in between ranging from Hank Williams to Nina Simone. He analyzes what he calls the trap of easy rhymes, breaks down how the addition of a single syllable can diminish a song, and even explains how bluegrass relates to heavy metal. These essays are written in Dylan’s unique prose. They are mysterious and mercurial, poignant and profound, and often laugh-out-loud funny. And while they are ostensibly about music, they are really meditations and reflections on the human condition. Running throughout the book are a series of dream-like riffs that, taken together, resemble an epic poem and add to the work’s transcendence.

In 2020, with the release of his outstanding album Rough and Rowdy Ways, Dylan became the first artist to have an album hit the Billboard Top 40 in each decade since the 1960s. The Philosophy of Modern Song contains much of what he has learned about his craft in all those years, and like everything that Dylan does, it is a momentous artistic achievement.

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Surrender

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • Bono—artist, activist, and the lead singer of Irish rock band U2—has written a memoir: honest and irreverent, intimate and profound, Surrender is the story of the remarkable life he’s lived, the challenges he’s faced, and the friends and family who have shaped and sustained him.

Surrender soars whenever the spotlight comes on. Bono is never more powerful, on the page or the stage, than when he strives for the transcendence that only music can offer…[Bono] is open and honest, with language that can be witty and distinctive, addressing his competitive relationship with his father or growing up against the backdrop of Ireland’s political violence.” —The New York Times

“When I started to write this book, I was hoping to draw in detail what I’d previously only sketched in songs. The people, places, and possibilities in my life. Surrender is a word freighted with meaning for me. Growing up in Ireland in the seventies with my fists up (musically speaking), it was not a natural concept. A word I only circled until I gathered my thoughts for the book. I am still grappling with this most humbling of commands. In the band, in my marriage, in my faith, in my life as an activist. Surrender is the story of one pilgrim’s lack of progress … With a fair amount of fun along the way.” —Bono

As one of the music world’s most iconic artists and the cofounder of the organizations ONE and (RED), Bono’s career has been written about extensively. But in Surrender, it’s Bono who picks up the pen, writing for the first time about his remarkable life and those he has shared it with. In his unique voice, Bono takes us from his early days growing up in Dublin, including the sudden loss of his mother when he was fourteen, to U2’s unlikely journey to become one of the world’s most influential rock bands, to his more than twenty years of activism dedicated to the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty. Writing with candor, self-reflection, and humor, Bono opens the aperture on his life—and the family, friends, and faith that have sustained, challenged, and shaped him.

Surrender’s subtitle, 40 Songs, One Story, is a nod to the book’s forty chapters, which are each named after a U2 song. Bono has also created forty original drawings for Surrender, which appear throughout the book.

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The Seed Detective

Have you ever wondered how peas, kale, asparagus, beans, squash, and corn have ended up on our plates? Well, Adam Alexander has.

Adam Alexander is The Seed Detective. His passion for vegetables was ignited when he tasted an unusual sweet pepper with a fiery heart while on a filmmaking project in Ukraine. Smitten by its flavor, Adam began to seek out local growers of endangered heritage and heirloom varieties in a mission to bring home seeds to grow, share, and return so that he could enjoy their delicious taste—and save them from being lost forever.

In The Seed Detective, Adam shares his own stories of seed hunting, with the origin stories behind many of our everyday food heroes. Taking us on a journey that began when we left the life of the hunter-gatherer to become farmers, he tells tales of globalization, political intrigue, colonization, and serendipity—describing how these vegetables and their travels have become embedded in our food cultures.

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Muppets in Moscow

“In this thrilling debut, television producer and filmmaker Rogoff recounts her mission to bring Sesame Street to Russian audiences…. The resulting tale is one of perseverance and creativity that illuminates how even the most disparate cultures and perspectives can find common ground.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

 

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the timing appeared perfect to bring Sesame Street to millions of children living in the former Soviet Union. With the Muppets envisioned as ideal ambassadors of Western values, no one anticipated just how challenging and dangerous this would prove to be.

 

In Muppets in Moscow: The Unexpected Crazy True Story of Making Sesame Street in Russia, Natasha Lance Rogoff brings this gripping tale to life. Amidst bombings, assassinations, and a military takeover of the production office, Lance Rogoff and the talented Moscow team of artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, and puppeteers remained determined to bring laughter, learning, and a new way of seeing the world to children in Russia, Ukraine and across the former Soviet empire. With a sharp wit and compassion for her colleagues, Lance Rogoff observes how cultural clashes colored nearly every aspect of the production—from the show’s educational framework to writing comedy to the new Russian Muppets themselves—despite the team’s common goal.

 

Brimming with insight and nuance, Muppets in Moscow skillfully explores the post-Soviet societal tensions that continue to thwart the Russian people’s efforts to create a better future for their country. More than just a story of a children’s show, this book provides a valuable perspective of Russia’s people, their culture, and their complicated relationship with the West that remains relevant even today.

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Making a Scene

Named a Most Anticipated Book by Time and Associated Press!

A powerful and poignant new book by Crazy Rich Asians and Fresh off the Boat star Constance Wu about family, romance, sex, shame, trauma, and how she found her voice on the stage.

Growing up in the friendly suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, Constance Wu was often scolded for having big feelings or strong reactions. “Good girls don’t make scenes,” people warned her. And while she spent most of her childhood suppressing her bold, emotional nature, she found an early outlet in local community theater—it was the one place where big feelings were okay—were good, even. Acting became her refuge, her touchstone, and eventually her vocation. At eighteen she moved to New York, where she’d spend the next ten years of her life auditioning, waiting tables, and struggling to make rent before her two big breaks: the TV sitcom Fresh Off the Boat and the hit film Crazy Rich Asians.

Through raw and relatable essays, Constance shares private memories of childhood, young love and heartbreak, sexual assault and harassment, and how she “made it” in Hollywood. Her stories offer a behind-the-scenes look at being Asian American in the entertainment industry and the continuing evolution of her identity and influence in the public eye. Making a Scene is an intimate portrait of pressures and pleasures of existing in today’s world.

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American Sirens

The extraordinary story of an unjustly forgotten group of Black men in Pittsburgh who became the first paramedics in America, saving lives and changing the course of emergency medicine around the world

Until the 1970s, if you suffered a medical crisis, your chances of survival were minimal. A 9-1-1 call might bring police or even the local funeral home. But that all changed with Freedom House EMS in Pittsburgh, a group of Black men who became America’s first paramedics and set the gold standard for emergency medicine around the world, only to have their story and their legacy erased—until now.

In American Sirens, acclaimed journalist and paramedic Kevin Hazzard tells the dramatic story of how a group of young, undereducated Black men forged a new frontier of healthcare. He follows a rich cast of characters that includes John Moon, an orphan who found his calling as a paramedic; Peter Safar, the Nobel Prize-nominated physician who invented CPR and realized his vision for a trained ambulance service; and Nancy Caroline, the idealistic young doctor who turned a scrappy team into an international leader. At every turn, Freedom House battled racism—from the community, the police, and the government. Their job was grueling, the rules made up as they went along, their mandate nearly impossible—and yet despite the long odds and fierce opposition, they succeeded spectacularly. Never-before revealed in full, this is a rich and troubling hidden history of the Black origins of America’s paramedics, a special band of dedicated essential workers, who stand ready to serve day and night on the line between life and death for every one of us.

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Nadiya's Everyday Baking

The beloved Netflix host and New York Times bestselling author of Nadiya Bakes and Time to Eat presents more than ninety sweet and savory recipes for every meal, occasion, or mood.

Nadiya Hussain, winner of The Great British Baking Show, knows that what we bake depends on the day of the week and what mood we’re in. In Nadiya’s Everyday Baking, Nadiya shares nearly 100 simple and achievable recipes for breakfast, dinner, dessert, and everything in between.

Organized by situation and occasion, Nadiya’s recipes are designed to always provide for a delicious, rewarding meal no matter what kind of day you’re having:

• Everyday Kind of Days when you’re short on time: Harissa Pita Pockets, Sweet Potato Jalapeño Gratin, Crispy Tofu Lettuce Wraps
 Chill Out Days when you want to move and cook slowly: Spring Onion Pancakes, Tandoori Chicken Naan Sando, Spicy Smashed Chickpeas
 Rainbow Days when you need some color in your diet: Spinach and Paneer-Stuffed Shells, Crunchy Okra Fries, Fruity Baked Ricotta Dip
• Happy Days when you want to cook something uplifting and celebratory: Paprika Egg Phyllo Tart, Mushroom Carnitas, Chocolate Hazelnut Cookie Pie
• Baking Days with simple desserts for beginner bakers as well as elevated bakes for experienced ones: Cake in a Jar, Hot Chocolate Custard Pudding, Indian Gulab Jamun Cheesecake

This stunning collection of recipes, alongside delightful photography and Nadiya’s warm, inspirational voice, is sure to become a new favorite for home cooks and bakers alike.

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Accidental Kindness

We will all be patients sooner or later. And when we go to the doctor, when we’re hurting, we tend to think in terms of cause and condemnation. We often look for relief not only from physical symptoms but also from our self-blame. We want from our doctors kindness under any of its many names: empathy, caring, compassion, humanity. We look for safety and forgiveness. But we forget that doctors, too, are often in need of forgiveness—from their patients and from themselves. No doctor enters the medical profession expecting to be unkind or to make mistakes, but because of the complexity of our current medical system and because doctors are human, they often find themselves acting much less kindly than they would like to. Drawing on his work as a primary care physician and a behavioral scientist, Michael Stein artfully examines the often conflicting goals of patients and their doctors. In those differences, Stein recognizes that kindness should not be a patient’s forbidden or unrealistic expectation. This book leaves us with new knowledge of and insights into what we might hope for, and what might go wrong, or right, in the most intimate clinical moments.

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The Escape Artist

“A brilliant and heart-wrenching book, with universal and timely lessons about the power of information — and misinformation. Is it possible to stop mass murder by telling the truth?” — Yuval Noah Harari, bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

A complex hero. 

A forgotten story. 

The first witness to reveal the full truth of the Holocaust . . .

 Award-winning journalist and bestselling novelist Jonathan Freedland tells the incredible story of Rudolf Vrba—the first Jew to break out of Auschwitz, a man determined to warn the world and pass on a truth too few were willing to hear—elevating him to his rightful place in the annals of World War II alongside Anne Frank, Primo Levi, and Oskar Schindler and casting a new light on the Holocaust and its aftermath.

People won’t believe what they can’t imagine . . . 

In April 1944, Rudolf Vrba became the first Jew to break out of Auschwitz—one of only four who ever pulled off that near-impossible feat. He did it to reveal the truth of the death camp to the world—and to warn the last Jews of Europe what fate awaited them at the end of the railway line. Against all odds, he and his fellow escapee, Fred Wetzler, climbed mountains, crossed rivers and narrowly missed German bullets until they had smuggled out the first full account of Auschwitz the world had ever seen—a forensically detailed report that would eventually reach Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and the Pope.

And yet too few heeded the warning that Vrba—then just nineteen years old—had risked everything to deliver. Some could not believe it. Others thought it easier to keep quiet. Vrba helped save 200,000 Jewish lives—but he never stopped believing it could have been so many more.

This is the story of a brilliant yet troubled man—a gifted “escape artist” who even as a teenager understand that the difference between truth and lies can be the difference between life and death, a man who deserves to take his place alongside Anne Frank, Oskar Schindler and Primo Levi as one of the handful of individuals whose stories define our understanding of the Holocaust.

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A Hard Kick in the Nuts

Stephen “Steve-O” Glover—social media icon, comedy-touring stalwart, and star of Jackass—delivers a hilarious and practical guide to recovery, relationships, career, and how to keep thriving long after you should be dead.

Steve-O is best known for his wildly dangerous, foolish, painful, embarrassing, and sometimes death-defying stunts. At age 48, however, he faces his greatest challenge yet: getting older. A Hard Kick in the Nuts: What I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Terrible Decisions is a captivating exploration of life and how to live it by an individual who has already lived way more than a lifetime’s worth of extreme experiences. Steve-O grapples with the right balance between maturity and staying true to yourself, not repeating your “greatest hits,” maintaining sobriety and a healthy regimen, avoiding selfishness, and finding the right partner for life.

Having built a gargantuan and loyal social media following while establishing a successful stand-up career—all after a couple of decades of dubious behavior—Steve-O is proof that anyone can find meaning and fulfillment in life, no matter what path they choose. Packed with self-deprecating wit and gruelingly earned wisdom, A Hard Kick in the Nuts will reverberate with listeners everywhere who have lived a lot (sometimes too much) and are now wondering how to approach the years to come. Or maybe just need some good motivation to get out of bed tomorrow. One of many tips: Be your own harshest critic, then cut yourself a break, and enjoy this book.

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Wild

Graham Boynton’s Wild is the definitive biography of photographer Peter Beard, a larger-than-life icon who pushed the boundaries of art and scandalized international high society with his high-profile affairs.

He was the original 20th century “enfant terrible” with the looks of a Greek god who blazed like a comet across the worlds of art, photography, and fame. The scion of several old WASP fortunes, he was by instinct an adventurer, and the more dangerous the escapade, the better: whether he was hunting big game in Africa, ingesting epic quantities of drugs, or pursuing the most beautiful women in the world. Among his friends were Jackie Onassis, Andy Warhol, and Francis Bacon. When Peter Beard died in 2020 after mysteriously disappearing from his Montauk home, he remained an enigma to even his closest friends.

Journalist and author Graham Boynton was a friend for more than 30 years, spending time with Beard at his bush camp in Africa, in London, and at his Long Island home. From hundreds of Boynton’s interviews with Beard’s closest friends, former lovers, and fellow artists comes this intimate portrait of a man Sir Mick Jagger called “a visionary.”

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Feral City

What happens when an entire social class abandons a metropolis? This genre-bending journey through lockdown New York offers an exhilarating, intimate look at a city returned to its rebellious spirit.

The pandemic lockdown of 2020 launched an unprecedented urban experiment. Traffic disappeared from the streets. Times Square fell silent. And half a million residents fled the most crowded city in America. In this innovative and thrilling book, author and social critic Jeremiah Moss, hailed as “New York City’s career elegist” (New York Times), explores a city emptied of the dominant class―and their controlling influence. “Plagues have a disinhibiting effect,” Moss writes. “As the normal order is suspended, the repressive force of civilization lifts and our rules fall away, shifting the boundaries of society and psyche.”

In public spaces made vibrant by New Yorkers left behind, Moss experienced an uncanny time warp. Biking through deserted Manhattan, he encountered the hustlers, eccentrics, and renegades who had been pressed into silence and invisibility by an oppressive, normative gentrification, now reemerging to reclaim the city. For one wild year the streets belonged to wandering nudists and wheelie bikers, mystical vagabonds and performance artists working to disrupt the status quo, passionate activists protesting for Black lives―along with the everyday New Yorkers who had been pushed to the margins for too long. Participating in a historic explosion of activism, resistance, and spontaneity, from queer BLM marches to exuberant outdoor dance parties, Moss discovered an intoxicating freedom. Without “hyper-normal” people to constrain it, New York became more creative, connected, humane, and joyful than it had been in years.

Moss braids this captivating narrative with an account of his renewed sense of place as a transgender man, weaving together insights from psychoanalysis, literature, and queer theory. A kaleidoscopic vision of a city transformed, Feral City offers valuable insight into the way public space and the spaces inside us are controlled and can be set free.

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Stay True

From the New Yorker staff writer Hua Hsu, a gripping memoir on friendship, grief, the search for self, and the solace that can be found through art.

“This book is exquisite and excruciating and I will be thinking about it for years and years to come.” Rachel Kushner, two-time National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author of The Flamethrowers and The Mars Room

In the eyes of eighteen-year-old Hua Hsu, the problem with Ken—with his passion for Dave Matthews, Abercrombie & Fitch, and his fraternity—is that he is exactly like everyone else. Ken, whose Japanese American family has been in the United States for generations, is mainstream; for Hua, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, who makes ’zines and haunts Bay Area record shops, Ken represents all that he defines himself in opposition to. The only thing Hua and Ken have in common is that, however they engage with it, American culture doesn’t seem to have a place for either of them.

But despite his first impressions, Hua and Ken become friends, a friendship built on late-night conversations over cigarettes, long drives along the California coast, and the successes and humiliations of everyday college life. And then violently, senselessly, Ken is gone, killed in a carjacking, not even three years after the day they first meet.

Determined to hold on to all that was left of one of his closest friends—his memories—Hua turned to writing. Stay True is the book he’s been working on ever since. A coming-of-age story that details both the ordinary and extraordinary, Stay True is a bracing memoir about growing up, and about moving through the world in search of meaning and belonging.

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