What’s New – Non-Fiction

Lives of Great Men

From Victoria Island, Lagos to Brooklyn, U.S.A. to Accra, Ghana to Paris, France; from across the Diaspora to the heart of the African continent, in this memoir Nigerian journalist Chike Frankie Edozien offers a highly personal series of contemporary snapshots of same gender loving Africans, unsung Great Men living their lives, triumphing and finding joy in the face of great adversity. On his travels and sojourns Edozien explores the worsening legal climate for gay men and women on the continent; the impact homophobic evangelical American pastors are having in many countries, and its toxic intersection with political populism; and experiences the pressures placed on those living under harshly oppressive laws that are themselves the legacy of colonial rule – pressures that sometimes lead to seeking asylum in the West. Yet he remains hopeful, and this memoir, which is pacy, romantic and funny by turns, is also a love-letter to Africa, above all to Nigeria and the megalopolis that is Lagos.

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McQueen

This book is an illustrated look at the life, loves, fashion moments, and ultimate tragedy of one of fashion’s greatest stars.

The savage beauty of his creative vision stunned and shocked the fashion world for over 15 years, with his avant-garde theatricality leading many to call him the enfant terrible of British fashion. He created fashion moments which have not faded from memory, like David Bowie’s Union Jack coat from 1996, Sarah Jessica Parker’s tartan Met Gala dress from 2006, and Lady Gaga in those alien armadillo shoes in the “Bad Romance” video clip in 2009.

But before he was Alexander McQueen, he was Lee Alexander McQueen, the boy from London who dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. He worked his way up from making suits on Savile Row to starting his own fashion label and becoming one of the youngest designers ever to win the award for British Womenswear Designer of the Year.

McQueen: The Illustrated History of a Fashion Icon tells Lee Alexander McQueen’s story through the gorgeous illustrations of R. Song and text by Tom Rasmussen, charting the rise of McQueen through his life, his loves, his friendships, his struggles, his models, and his biggest fashion moments, before his deeply sad death at the age of 40 in 2010.

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Love Your Age

Filled with healthy habits to help you take charge of your life with wit, energy, and confidence, this inspiring guide will show you how to look, feel, and be your best in a busy, fast-paced world.

Warm, engaging, and user-friendly, this powerful, practical guide to aging gracefully will be an indispensable resource for anyone looking to live their best life. Featuring more than a hundred easy-to-adopt “small steps” — the foundation for ingrained habits that will yield longer, happier, and healthier years – this book will help enrich your life, from health and fitness to style, work and relationships. From checking in with your doctors to changing your fitness routine, cooling hot flashes, tackling social media and updating your wardrobe, transformation really does begin with one step – and Grufferman provides an easy formula for making and breaking the right habits. Packed with expert tips, myth busters, checklists, real-life anecdotes, and sage wisdom, this book offers a new approach to life after 40 that will inspire, rejuvenate, and energize.

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There Are No Grown-Ups

The best-selling author of BRINGING UP BÉBÉ investigates life in her forties, and wonders whether her mind will ever catch up with her face.

When Pamela Druckerman turns 40, waiters start calling her “Madame,” and she detects a disturbing new message in mens’ gazes: I would sleep with her, but only if doing so required no effort whatsoever.

Yet forty isn’t even technically middle-aged anymore. And after a lifetime of being clueless, Druckerman can finally grasp the subtext of conversations, maintain (somewhat) healthy relationships and spot narcissists before they ruin her life.

What are the modern forties, and what do we know once we reach them? What makes someone a “grown-up” anyway? And why didn’t anyone warn us that we’d get cellulite on our arms? Part frank memoir, part hilarious investigation of daily life, There Are No Grown-Ups diagnoses the in-between decade when…

• Everyone you meet looks a little bit familiar.
• You’re matter-of-fact about chin hair.
• You can no longer wear anything ironically.
• There’s at least one sport your doctor forbids you to play.
• You become impatient while scrolling down to your year of birth.
• Your parents have stopped trying to change you.
• You don’t want to be with the cool people anymore; you want to be with your people.
• You realize that everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.
• You know that it’s ok if you don’t like jazz.

Internationally best-selling author and New York Times contributor Pamela Druckerman leads us on a quest for wisdom, self-knowledge and the right pair of pants. A witty dispatch from the front lines of the forties, There Are No Grown-ups is a (midlife) coming-of-age story, and a book for anyone trying to find their place in the world.

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The Shipwreck Hunter

This gripping memoir by the world’s foremost marine geologist is an enthralling blend of maritime history, popular science, and Clive Cussler–style adventure.

David L. Mearns has discovered some of the world’s most fascinating and elusive shipwrecks. From the mighty battleship HMS Hood (sunk in a pyrrhic duel with the Bismarck) to solving the mystery of HMAS Sydney, to the crumbling wooden skeletons of Vasco da Gama’s sixteenth century fleet, Mearns has searched for and found dozens of sunken vessels in every ocean of the world.

The Shipwreck Hunter chronicles his most intriguing finds. It describes the extraordinary techniques used, the detailed research and mid-ocean stamina (and courage) required to find a wreck thousands of feet beneath the sea, as well as the moving human stories that lie behind each of these oceanic tragedies. Combining the adventuring derringdo of Indiana Jones with the precision of a scientist, The Shipwreck Hunter opens an illuminating porthole into the shadowy depths of the ocean.

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So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y'all Don't Even Know

In her hilarious book of essays, Parks and Recreation star Retta shares the stories that led to her success in Hollywood.

In So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know, Parks and Recreation star Retta takes us on her not-so-meteoric rise from roaches to riches (well, rich enough that she can buy $15,000 designer handbags yet scared enough to know she’s always a heartbeat away from ramen with American cheese).

Throwing her hard-working Liberian parents for a loop, Retta abandons her plan to attend med school after graduating Duke University to move to Hollywood to star in her own sitcom―like her comedy heroes Lucille Ball and Roseanne.

Say what? Word. Turns out Retta might actually be on to something. After winning Comedy Central’s stand-up competition, she should be ready for prime time―but a fear of success derails her biggest dream.

Whether reminiscing about her days as a contract chemist at GlaxoSmithKline, telling “dirty” jokes to Mormons, feeling like the odd man out on Parks, fending off racist trolls on Twitter, flirting with Michael Fassbender, or expertly stalking the cast of “Hamilton,” Retta’s unique voice and refreshing honesty will make you laugh, cry, and laugh so hard you’ll cry.

Her eponymous sitcom might not have happened yet, but by the end of So Close to Being the Sh*t, you’ll be rooting for Retta to be the next one-named wonder to take over your television. And she just might inspire you to reach for the stars, too.

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Life with My Dad Harold Ramis

From the daughter of comedy legend Harold Ramis (and featuring a Foreword by Seth Rogen) comes a hilarious and heartwarming account of his life, work, and legacy.

Most of us know Harold Ramis as the writer, director, and actor who brought warmth and humor to the big screen in classics like Animal House, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Groundhog Day. To his daughter, Violet, he was best known as an amazing father, confidant, and friend. In Ghostbuster’s Daughter, Violet reflects on the life and legacy of her father, providing readers with an extraordinarily candid and insightful look into the man who helped shape modern American comedy.

Funny, endearing, and vulnerable, Ghostbuster’s Daughter takes readers into the private life of the American comedy icon, from his humble roots in Chicago and ascension into Hollywood stardom to his personal philosophies on life, love, and filmmaking. While the book offers a comprehensive history of her father’s career, Ghostbuster’s Daughter also provides a profound homage to their special father-daughter relationship. Violet weaves anecdotes about her father’s unique and devoted parenting style among stories of her own unconventional upbringing, creating a vivid and dynamic portrait of the man behind the movies. A distinctly offbeat memoir as well as a charming family story for the ages, Ghostbuster’s Daughter is an intimate look at one of America’s preeminent comedy filmmakers.

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Somebody I Used to Know

“A brave and illuminating journey inside the mind, heart, and life of a person with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.”—Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice

Wendy Mitchell had a busy job with the British National Health Service, raised her two daughters alone, and spent her weekends running and climbing mountains. Then, slowly, a mist settled deep inside the mind she once knew so well, blurring the world around her. She didn’t know it then, but dementia was starting to take hold. In 2014, at age fifty-eight, she was diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s.

In this groundbreaking book, Mitchell shares the heartrending story of her cognitive decline and how she has fought to stave it off. What lay ahead of her after the diagnosis was scary and unknowable, but Mitchell was determined and resourceful, and she vowed to outwit the disease for as long as she could.

As Mitchell learned to embrace her new life, she began to see her condition as a gift, a chance to experience the world with fresh eyes and to find her own way to make a difference. Even now, her sunny outlook persists: She devotes her time to educating doctors, caregivers, and other people living with dementia, helping to reduce the stigma surrounding this insidious disease.

Still living independently, Mitchell now uses Post-it notes and technology to remind her of her routines and has created a “memory room” where she displays photos—with labels—of her daughters, friends, and special places. It is a room where she feels calm and happy, especially on days when the mist descends.

A chronicle of one woman’s struggle to make sense of her shifting world and her mortality, Somebody I Used to Know offers a powerful rumination on memory, perception, and the simple pleasure of living in the moment. Philosophical, poetic, intensely personal, and ultimately hopeful, this moving memoir is both a tribute to the woman Wendy Mitchell used to be and a brave affirmation of the woman she has become.

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Black Klansman

The extraordinary true story and basis for the major motion picture written and directed by Spike Lee, and produced by Jordan Peele. 

When detective Ron Stallworth, the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department, comes across a classified ad in the local paper asking for all those interested in joining the Ku Klux Klan to contact a P.O. box, Detective Stallworth does his job and responds with interest, using his real name while posing as a white man. He figures he’ll receive a few brochures in the mail, maybe even a magazine, and learn more about a growing terrorist threat in his community.

A few weeks later the office phone rings, and the caller asks Ron a question he thought he’d never have to answer, “Would you like to join our cause?” This is 1978, and the KKK is on the rise in the United States. Its Grand Wizard, David Duke, has made a name for himself, appearing on talk shows, and major magazine interviews preaching a “kinder” Klan that wants nothing more than to preserve a heritage, and to restore a nation to its former glory.

Ron answers the caller’s question that night with a yes, launching what is surely one of the most audacious, and incredible undercover investigations in history. Ron recruits his partner Chuck to play the “white” Ron Stallworth, while Stallworth himself conducts all subsequent phone conversations. During the months-long investigation, Stallworth sabotages cross burnings, exposes white supremacists in the military, and even befriends David Duke himself.

Black Klansman is an amazing true story that reads like a crime thriller, and a searing portrait of a divided America and the extraordinary heroes who dare to fight back.

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The Girl Who Smiled Beads

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“The plot provided by the universe was filled with starvation, war and rape. I would not—could not—live in that tale.”

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.

When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.

In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.

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Calypso

David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.

If you’ve ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’s cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you’re getting with Calypso. You’d be wrong.

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself.

With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny – it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris’s darkest and warmest book yet – and it just might be his very best.

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Birds of a Feather

“This true story will twist your heart like a sponge and renew your faith in the world.” ―Lee Woodruff, co-author with Bob Woodruff of the New York Times bestseller In an Instant

“A heartwarming book.” ―Vicki Myron, author of New York Times #1 Bestseller Dewey

“Reminds us of the extraordinary ways caring people are helping the men and women who have served our country…and animals along with them.” ―Maxine Waters

“I defy anyone to read it without shedding tears.” ―Rosemary Low, author of The Complete Book of Parrots

“It left me smiling, full of hope, and wishing there were more Lorin Linders out there.” ―Mary Gauthier

Animal lover though she was, Lorin Lindner was definitely not looking for a pet. Then came Sammy – a mischievous and extremely loud bright pink Moluccan cockatoo who had been abandoned. It was love at first sight. But Sammy needed a companion. Enter Mango, lover of humans (“Hewwo”), inveterate thief of precious objects. Realizing that there were many parrots in need of new homes, Dr. Lindner eventually founded a sanctuary for them.

Meanwhile, she began to meet homeless veterans on the streets of Los Angeles. Before long she was a full time advocate for these former service members, who were often suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Ultimately, Dr. Lindner created a program for them, too.

Eventually the two parts of her life came together when she founded Serenity Park, a unique sanctuary on the grounds of the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration Healthcare Center. She had noticed that the veterans she treated as a clinical psychologist and the parrots she had taken in as a rescuer quickly formed bonds. Men and women who had been silent in therapy would share their stories and their feelings more easily with animals.

Birds of a Feather is ultimately a love story between veterans and the birds they nurse back to health and between Dr. Lindner and her husband, a veteran with PTSD, who healed at Serenity Park. Full of remarkable people and colorful birds, this book reminds us that we all have the power to make a difference.

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She Has Her Mother's Laugh

“A beguiling narrative”—Nature   “A treasure trove”—Science    “Magnificent”—Publisher’s Weekly   “Enchanting”—Kirkus 

Heredity is redefined in this sweeping, resonating overview of a force that shaped human society–a force set to shape our future even more radically.

Award-winning, celebrated New York Times columnist and science writer Carl Zimmer presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation. Charles Darwin played a crucial part in turning heredity into a scientific question, and yet he failed spectacularly to answer it. The birth of genetics in the early 1900s seemed to do precisely that. Gradually, people translated their old notions about heredity into a language of genes. As the technology for studying genes became cheaper, millions of people ordered genetic tests to link themselves to missing parents, to distant ancestors, to ethnic identities…

But, Zimmer writes, “Each of us carries an amalgam of fragments of DNA, stitched together from some of our many ancestors. Each piece has its own ancestry, traveling a different path back through human history. A particular fragment may sometimes be cause for worry, but most of our DNA influences who we are–our appearance, our height, our penchants–in inconceivably subtle ways.” Heredity isn’t just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors–using a word that once referred to kingdoms and estates–but we inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable. We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer’s lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it.

Weaving historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, and the kind of original reporting expected of one of the world’s best science journalists, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations.

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Patriots From The Barrio

Embroiled in savage combat, soldiers whose service has gone unrecognized until now
As a child, Dave Gutierrez hung on every word his father recalled about his cousin Ramon, “El Sancudo” (the mosquito), and his service in World War II, where he earned a Silver Star, three Purple Hearts, and escaped from the Germans twice. Later, Dave decided to find out more about his father’s cousin, and in the course of his research he discovered that Ramon Gutierrez was a member of Company E, 141st Infantry, a part of the 36th “Texas” Division that was comprised entirely of Mexican Americans—the only such unit in the entire U.S. Army. The division landed at Salerno, Italy, in 1943, among first American soldiers to set foot in Europe. In the ensuing months, Company E and the rest of the 36th would battle their way up the mountainous Italian peninsula against some of Nazi Germany’s best troops. In addition to the merciless rain, mud, and jagged peaks, swift cold rivers crisscrossed the region, including the Rapido, where Company E would face its greatest challenge. In an infamous episode, the 36th Division was ordered to cross the Rapido despite reports that the opposite bank was heavily defended. In the ensuing debacle, the division was ripped apart, and Company E sustained appalling casualties. The company rebounded and made the storied landings at Anzio and ultimately invaded southern France for a final push into Germany. The men of Company E distinguished themselves as rugged fighters capable of warring amid the rubble of destroyed villages and in the devastated countryside.
Based on extensive archival research and veteran and family accounts, Patriots from the Barrio: The Story of Company E, 141st Infantry: The Only All Mexican American Army Unit in World War II brings to life the soldiers whose service should never have gone unrecognized for so long. With its memorable personalities, stories of hope and immigration, and riveting battle scenes, this beautifully written book is a testament to the shared beliefs of all who have fought for the ideals of the American flag.

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