What’s New – Non-Fiction

The Woman They Could Not Silence

From the New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Radium Girls comes another dark and dramatic but ultimately uplifting tale of a forgotten woman hero whose inspirational journey sparked lasting change for women’s rights and exposed injustices that still resonate today.

1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened―by Elizabeth’s intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoughts. So he makes a plan to put his wife back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum.

The horrific conditions inside the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, are overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man who will prove to be even more dangerous to Elizabeth than her traitorous husband. But most disturbing is that Elizabeth is not the only sane woman confined to the institution. There are many rational women on her ward who tell the same story: they’ve been committed not because they need medical treatment, but to keep them in line―conveniently labeled “crazy” so their voices are ignored.

No one is willing to fight for their freedom and, disenfranchised both by gender and the stigma of their supposed madness, they cannot possibly fight for themselves. But Elizabeth is about to discover that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose…

Bestselling author Kate Moore brings her sparkling narrative voice to The Woman They Could Not Silence, an unputdownable story of the forgotten woman who courageously fought for her own freedom―and in so doing freed millions more. Elizabeth’s refusal to be silenced and her ceaseless quest for justice not only challenged the medical science of the day, and led to a giant leap forward in human rights, it also showcased the most salutary lesson: sometimes, the greatest heroes we have are those inside ourselves.

Praise for The Woman They Could Not Silence:
“Like Radium Girls, this volume is a page-turner.”―Library Journal, STARRED review
“A veritable tour de force about how far women’s rights have come and how far we still have to go…Put this book in the hands of every young feminist.”―Booklist, STARRED review
“In Moore’s expert hands, this beautifully-written tale unspools with drama and power, and puts Elizabeth Packard on the map at the most relevant moment imaginable. You will be riveted―and inspired. Bravo!”―Liza Mundy, New York Times bestselling author of Code Girls

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Live Beautiful

From celebrated design expert and interior designer Athena Calderone, a look into how creatives decorate their spaces

Beautiful design isn’t just pleasant to look at; it improves the quality of our lives. In Live Beautiful, the highly anticipated design book by Athena Calderone, the EyeSwoon creator taps into her international network of interior decorators, fashion designers, and tastemakers to reveal how carefully crafted interiors come together. She also opens the doors to two of her own residences.

With each homeowner, Calderone explores the initial spark of inspiration that incited their design journey. She then breaks down the details of the rooms—like layered textures and patterns, collected pieces, and customized vignettes—and offers helpful tips on how to bring these elevated elements into your own space. Filled with gorgeous photography by Nicole Franzen, Live Beautiful is both a showpiece of exquisite design and a guide to creating a home that’s thoughtfully put together.

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How The Word is Passed

Instant #1 New York Times bestseller. “The Atlantic writer drafts a history of slavery in this country unlike anything you’ve read before” (Entertainment Weekly).

Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks—those that are honest about the past and those that are not—that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history, and ourselves.

It is the story of the Monticello Plantation in Virginia, the estate where Thomas Jefferson wrote letters espousing the urgent need for liberty while enslaving more than four hundred people. It is the story of the Whitney Plantation, one of the only former plantations devoted to preserving the experience of the enslaved people whose lives and work sustained it. It is the story of Angola, a former plantation–turned–maximum-security prison in Louisiana that is filled with Black men who work across the 18,000-acre land for virtually no pay. And it is the story of Blandford Cemetery, the final resting place of tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers.

A deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view—whether in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods like downtown Manhattan, where the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women, and children has been deeply imprinted.

Informed by scholarship and brought to life by the story of people living today, Smith’s debut work of nonfiction is a landmark of reflection and insight that offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in making sense of our country and how it has come to be.

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The Boy Who Drew Auschwitz

An inspiring true story of hope and survival, this is the testimony of a boy who was imprisoned in Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen and Buchenwald and recorded his experiences through words and color drawings.

In June 1943, after long years of hardship and persecution, thirteen-year-old Thomas Geve and his mother were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Separated upon arrival, he was left to fend for himself in the men’s camp of Auschwitz I.

During 22 harsh months in three camps, Thomas experienced and witnessed the cruel and inhumane world of Nazi concentration and death camps. Nonetheless, he never gave up the will to live. Miraculously, he survived and was liberated from Buchenwald at the age of fifteen.

While still in the camp and too weak to leave, Thomas felt a compelling need to document it all, and drew over eighty drawings, all portrayed in simple yet poignant detail with extraordinary accuracy. He not only shared the infamous scenes, but also the day-to-day events of life in the camps, alongside inmates’ manifestations of humanity, support and friendship.

To honor his lost friends and the millions of silenced victims of the Holocaust, in the years following the war, Thomas put his story into wordsDespite the evil of the camps, his account provides a striking affirmation of life.

The Boy Who Drew Auschwitz, accompanied with 56 of his color illustrations, is the unique testimony of young Thomas and his quest for a brighter tomorrow.

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Trejo

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“If you’re a fan like I am this is definitely the book for you.” —Pete Davidson, actor, producer, and cast member on Saturday Night Live

“Danny’s incredible life story shows that even though we may fall down at some point in our lives, it’s what we do when we stand back up that really counts.” —Robert Rodriguez, creator of Spy KidsDesperado, and Machete

Discover the full, fascinating, and inspirational true story of Danny Trejo’s journey from crime, prison, addiction, and loss—it’s “enough to make you believe in the possibility of a Hollywood ending” (The New York Times Book Review).

On screen, Danny Trejo the actor is a baddie who has been killed at least a hundred times. He’s been shot, stabbed, hanged, chopped up, squished by an elevator, and once, was even melted into a bloody goo. Off screen, he’s a hero beloved by recovery communities and obsessed fans alike. But the real Danny Trejo is much more complicated than the legend.

Raised in an abusive home, Danny struggled with heroin addiction and stints in some of the country’s most notorious state prisons—including San Quentin and Folsom—from an early age, before starring in such modern classics as HeatFrom Dusk till Dawn, and Machete. Now, in this funny, painful, and suspenseful memoir, Danny takes us through the incredible ups and downs of his life, including meeting one of the world’s most notorious serial killers in prison and working with legends like Charles Bronson and Robert De Niro.

An honest, unflinching, and “inspirational study in the definition of character” (Kevin Smith, director and actor), Trejo reveals how he managed the horrors of prison, rebuilt himself after finding sobriety and spirituality in solitary confinement, and draws inspiration from the adrenaline-fueled robbing heists of his past for the film roles that made him a household name. He also shares the painful contradictions in his personal life. Although he speaks everywhere from prison yards to NPR about his past to inspire countless others on their own road to recovery and redemption, he struggles to help his children with their personal battles with addiction, and to build relationships that last.

Redemptive and painful, poignant and real, Trejo is a portrait of a magnificent life and an unforgettable and exceptional journey.

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The Icepick Surgeon

From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes the gripping, untold history of science’s darkest secrets, “a fascinating book [that] deserves a wide audience” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

Science is a force for good in the world—at least usually. But sometimes, when obsession gets the better of scientists, they twist a noble pursuit into something sinister. Under this spell, knowledge isn’t everything, it’s the only thing—no matter the cost. Bestselling author Sam Kean tells the true story of what happens when unfettered ambition pushes otherwise rational men and women to cross the line in the name of science, trampling ethical boundaries and often committing crimes in the process.

The Icepick Surgeon masterfully guides the reader across two thousand years of history, beginning with Cleopatra’s dark deeds in ancient Egypt. The book reveals the origins of much of modern science in the transatlantic slave trade of the 1700s, as well as Thomas Edison’s mercenary support of the electric chair and the warped logic of the spies who infiltrated the Manhattan Project. But the sins of science aren’t all safely buried in the past. Many of them, Kean reminds us, still affect us today. We can draw direct lines from the medical abuses of Tuskegee and Nazi Germany to current vaccine hesitancy, and connect icepick lobotomies from the 1950s to the contemporary failings of mental-health care. Kean even takes us into the future, when advanced computers and genetic engineering could unleash whole new ways to do one another wrong.

Unflinching, and exhilarating to the last page, The Icepick Surgeon fuses the drama of scientific discovery with the illicit thrill of a true-crime tale. With his trademark wit and precision, Kean shows that, while science has done more good than harm in the world, rogue scientists do exist, and when we sacrifice morals for progress, we often end up with neither.

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Fair Play

An expert takes on the crisis of income inequality, addressing the problems with our current compensation model, demystifying pay practices, and providing practical information employees can use when negotiating their salaries and discussing how we can close the gender and racial pay gap.

American workers are suffering economically and fewer are earning a living wage. The situation is only worsening. We do not have a common language to talk about pay, how it works at most companies, or a cohesive set of practical solutions for making pay more fair. Most blame the greed of America’s executive class, the ineptitude of government, or a general lack of personal motivation.

But the negative effects of income inequality are a problem that can be solved. We don’t have to choose between effective government policy and the free market, between the working class and the job creators, or between socialism and capitalism, David Buckmaster, the Director of Global Compensation for Nike, argues. We do not have to give up on fixing what people are paid. Ideas like Universal Basic Income will not be enough to avoid the severe cultural disruption coming our way.

Buckmaster examines income inequality through the design and distribution of income itself. He explains why businesses are producing no meaningful wage growth, regardless of the unemployment rate and despite sitting on record piles of cash and the lowest tax rates[0] in a generation . He pulls back the curtain on how corporations make decisions about wages and provides practical solutions—as well as the corporate language—workers need to get the best results when talking about money with a boss.

The way pay works now will not overcome our most persistent pay challenges, including low and stagnant wages, unequal pay by race and gender, and executive pay levels untethered from the realities of the average worker. The compensation system is working as designed, but that system is broken.

Fair Pay opens the corporate black box of pay decisions to show why businesses pay what they pay and how to make them pay more.

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The Heirloom Gardener

“Empowers readers with a toolkit of traditional and sustainable practices for an emerging artisanal crafts movement, and a brighter future.” —Alice Waters, chef and owner, Chez Panisse; founder, The Edible Schoolyard Project

Modern life is a cornucopia of technological wonders. But is something precious being lost? A tangible bond with our natural world—the deep satisfaction of connecting to the earth that was enjoyed by previous generations?

In The Heirloom Gardener, John Forti celebrates gardening as a craft and shares the lore and traditional practices that link us with our environment and with each other. Charmingly illustrated and brimming with wisdom, this guide will inspire you to slow down, recharge, and reconnect.

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The Ugly Cry

“They say comedy equals tragedy plus time: This very funny account of an often miserable childhood is proof.” –People

“What a strong, funny, heartbreaking memoir, with a voice that is completely its own (written by a woman who very much seems to be completely her own, as well.) I loved it.”–Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love

An uproarious, moving memoir about a grandmother’s ferocious love and redefining what it means to be family

“If you fight that motherf**ker and you don’t win, you’re going to come home and fight me.” Not the advice you’d normally expect from your grandmother—but Danielle Henderson would be the first to tell you her childhood was anything but conventional.

Abandoned at ten years old by a mother who chose her drug-addicted, abusive boyfriend, Danielle was raised by grandparents who thought their child-rearing days had ended in the 1960s. She grew up Black, weird, and overwhelmingly uncool in a mostly white neighborhood in upstate New York, which created its own identity crises. Under the eye-rolling, foul-mouthed, loving tutelage of her uncompromising grandmother—and the horror movies she obsessively watched—Danielle grew into a tall, awkward, Sassy-loving teenager who wore black eyeliner as lipstick and was struggling with the aftermath of her mother’s choices. But she also learned that she had the strength and smarts to save herself, her grandmother gifting her a faith in her own capabilities that the world would not have most Black girls possess.

With humor, wit, and deep insight, Danielle shares how she grew up and grew wise—and the lessons she’s carried from those days to these. In the process, she upends our conventional understanding of family and redefines its boundaries to include the millions of people who share her story.

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Willie Nelson's Letters to America

Following his bestselling memoir, It’s a Long Story,?Willie Nelson now delivers his most intimate thoughts and stories in?Willie Nelson’s Letters to America.

New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller!

From his opening letter “Dear America” to his “Dear Willie” epilogue, Willie digs deep into his heart and soul–and his music catalog–to lift us up in difficult times, and to remind us of the endless promise and continuous obligations of all Americans–to themselves, to one another, and to their nation.

In a series of letters straight from the heart, Willie sends his thanks and his thoughts to:

  • Americans past, present, and future,
  • his closest family members, andhis parents, sister, and children,
  • his other family members
  • his guitar “Trigger”,
  • his hero Gene Autry,
  • the US founding fathers,
  • his personal heroes, from our founding fathers to the leaders of future generations and to young songwriters as well as leaders of our future generations.

Willie’s letters are rounded out with the moving lyrics to some of his most famous and insightful songs, including “Let Me Be a Man,” “Family Bible,” “Summer of Roses,” “Me and Paul,” “A Horse called Music,” “Healing Hands of Time,” and “Yesterday’s Wine.”

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The Reason for the Darkness of the Night

One of The Christian Science Monitor‘s ten best books of June

An innovative biography of Edgar Allan Poe―highlighting his fascination and feuds with science.

Decade after decade, Edgar Allan Poe remains one of the most popular American writers. He is beloved around the world for his pioneering detective fiction, tales of horror, and haunting, atmospheric verse. But what if there was another side to the man who wrote “The Raven” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”?

In The Reason for the Darkness of the Night, John Tresch offers a bold new biography of a writer whose short, tortured life continues to fascinate. Shining a spotlight on an era when the lines separating entertainment, speculation, and scientific inquiry were blurred, Tresch reveals Poe’s obsession with science and lifelong ambition to advance and question human knowledge. Even as he composed dazzling works of fiction, he remained an avid and often combative commentator on new discoveries, publishing and hustling in literary scenes that also hosted the era’s most prominent scientists, semi-scientists, and pseudo-intellectual rogues. As one newspaper put it, “Mr. Poe is not merely a man of science―not merely a poet―not merely a man of letters. He is all combined; and perhaps he is something more.”

Taking us through his early training in mathematics and engineering at West Point and the tumultuous years that followed, Tresch shows that Poe lived, thought, and suffered surrounded by science―and that many of his most renowned and imaginative works can best be understood in its company. He cast doubt on perceived certainties even as he hungered for knowledge, and at the end of his life delivered a mind-bending lecture on the origins of the universe that would win the admiration of twentieth-century physicists. Pursuing extraordinary conjectures and a unique aesthetic vision, he remained a figure of explosive contradiction: he gleefully exposed the hoaxes of the era’s scientific fraudsters even as he perpetrated hoaxes himself.

Tracing Poe’s hard and brilliant journey, The Reason for the Darkness of the Night is an essential new portrait of a writer whose life is synonymous with mystery and imagination―and an entertaining, erudite tour of the world of American science just as it was beginning to come into its own.

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Max's Picnic Book

Irreverent, eccentric, Max’s Picnic Book is the follow up the Sunday Times Bestseller, Max’s Sandwich Book. Both an ode to the art of eating outdoors, and an entertaining, frivolous reinvention of it, Max and Ben will first redefine what the picnic is, and celebrate its true potential, before creating 16 themed menus. Including ingenious hacks—think flavored salts for dipping eggs and soft-serve with a shot of espresso—as well as twists on familiar favorites, this book about how and why we should picnic. Interpreting the ways in which we can eat outdoors through the eyes of their picnicking heroes, such as Hunter S. Thompson, Mary Berry and Snoop Dogg, the reader will be left with a broadened perception of what a picnic truly is.

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Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen

Black women are beautiful, intelligent and capable —but mostly they embrace strong. Esteemed clinical psychologist, Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler, praises the strength of women, while exploring how trauma and adversity have led to deep emotional pain and shaped how they walk through the world.

Black women’s strength is intimately tied to their unacknowledged suffering. An estimated eight in ten have endured some form of trauma—sexual abuse, domestic abuse, poverty, childhood abandonment, victim/witness to violence, and regular confrontation with racism and sexism. Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen shows that trauma often impacts mental and physical well-being. It can contribute to stress, anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Unaddressed it can lead to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, overeating, and alcohol and drug abuse, and other chronic health issues.

Dr. Burnett-Zeigler explains that the strong Black woman image does not take into account the urgency of Black women’s needs, which must be identified in order to lead abundant lives. It interferes with her relationships and ability to function day to day. Through mindfulness and compassionate self-care, the psychologist offers methods for establishing authentic strength from the inside out.

This informative guide to healing, is life-changing, showing Black women how to prioritize the self and find everyday joys in self-worth, as well as discover the fullness and beauty within both her strength and vulnerability.

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The Soul of Genius

A prismatic look at the meeting of Marie Curie and Albert Einstein and the impact these two pillars of science had on the world of physics, which was in turmoil. 

In 1911, some of the greatest minds in science convened at the First Solvay Conference in Physics, a meeting like no other.  Almost half of the attendees had won or would go on to win the Nobel Prize.  Over the course of those few days, these minds began to realize that classical physics was about to give way to quantum theory, a seismic shift in our history and how we understand not just our world, but the universe.

At the center of this meeting were Marie Curie and a young Albert Einstein.  In the years preceding, Curie had faced the death of her husband and soul mate, Pierre.  She was on the cusp of being awarded her second Nobel Prize, but scandal erupted all around her when the French press revealed that she was having an affair with a fellow scientist, Paul Langevin.

The subject of vicious misogynist and xenophobic attacks in the French press, Curie found herself in a storm that threatened her scientific legacy.

Albert Einstein proved a supporter in her travails. They had an instant connection at Solvay.  He was young and already showing flourishes of his enormous genius. Curie had been responsible for one of the greatest discoveries in modern science (radioactivity) but still faced resistance and scorn.  Einstein recognized this grave injustice, and their mutual admiration and respect, borne out of this, their first meeting, would go on to serve them in their paths forward to making history.

Curie and Einstein come alive as the complex people they were in the pages of The Soul of Genius.  Utilizing never before seen correspondance and notes, Jeffrey Orens reveals the human side of these brilliant scientists, one who pushed boundaries and demanded equality in a man’s world, no matter the cost, and the other, who was destined to become synonymous with genius.

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Love After 50

A comprehensive and intimate guide to finding, keeping, and enjoying love after fifty, the best kind of love there is.

Studies keep showing that love after fifty is more satisfying than at any other stage in life, and it makes sense: at this stage, you are more emotionally stable and more focused on the present; you know what you absolutely have to have, but also what you can live without; partnering is no longer about building family and fortune—it’s about sharing intimacy as grounded individuals. And sex isn’t pass/fail anymore, but about becoming erotic friends.

So if this is the promised land, how do you get there?

In Love After 50, journalist Francine Russo interviewed the best experts in the field and dozens of couples to help show the way. Her practical advice includes:
-How to recover from the emotional damage of divorce, the grief of widowhood, or a history of unfulfilling relationships
-How to build realistic requirements for a partner
-What attitudes to bring to dating
-How to overcome the physical challenges of sex and embrace your erotic selves
-How to evaluate the financial, emotional, and practical results of marrying, living together, or living apart
-How to deal with (hostile) adult kids to safeguard your relationship and family

Love After 50 is not only practical, it is unassuming and candid. It is full of stories of real people (including the author’s own), with vivid examples of couples who have overcome their pasts to form healthy and nurturing partnerships. In other words, it’s as real as love after fifty can be.

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