What’s New – Non-Fiction

Shoot Like a Girl

Shoot Like a Girl is a must-read about an American patriot whose courage and determination will have a lasting impact on the future of our Armed Forces and the nation.” – Senator John McCain

On June 29, 2009, Air National Guard major Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar was shot down while on a Medevac mission on her third tour in Afghanistan. Despite being wounded, she fought the enemy and saved the lives of her crew and their patients. But soon she would face a new battle: to give women who serve on the front lines the credit they deserve…

After being commissioned into the U.S. Air Force, MJ Hegar was selected for pilot training by the Air National Guard, finished at the top of her class, then served three tours in Afghanistan, flying combat search-and-rescue missions, culminating in a harrowing rescue attempt that would earn MJ the Purple Heart as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device.

But it was on American soil that Hegar would embark on her greatest challenge – to eliminate the military’s Ground Combat Exclusion Policy, which kept female armed service members from officially serving in combat roles despite their long-standing record of doing so with honor.

In Shoot Like a Girl, MJ takes the reader on a dramatic journey through her military career: an inspiring, humorous, and thrilling true story of a brave, high-spirited, and unforgettable woman who has spent much of her life ready to sacrifice everything for her country, her fellow man, and her sense of justice.

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A Colony in a Nation

New York Times best-selling author and Emmy Award-winning news anchor Chris Hayes argues that there are really two Americas: a Colony and a Nation.

America likes to tell itself that it inhabits a postracial world, yet nearly every empirical measure — wealth, unemployment, incarceration, school segregation — reveals that racial inequality has barely improved since 1968, when Richard Nixon became our first “law and order” president. With the clarity and originality that distinguished his prescient bestseller, Twilight of the Elites, Chris Hayes upends our national conversation on policing and democracy in a book of wide-ranging historical, social, and political analysis.

Hayes contends our country has fractured in two: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, we venerate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order, fear trumps civil rights, and aggressive policing resembles occupation. A Colony in a Nation explains how a country founded on justice now looks like something uncomfortably close to a police state. How and why did Americans build a system where conditions in Ferguson and West Baltimore mirror those that sparked the American Revolution?

A Colony in a Nation examines the surge in crime that began in the 1960s and peaked in the 1990s, and the unprecedented decline that followed. Drawing on close-hand reporting at flashpoints of racial conflict, as well as deeply personal experiences with policing, Hayes explores cultural touchstones, from the influential “broken windows” theory to the “squeegee men” of late-1980s Manhattan, to show how fear causes us to make dangerous and unfortunate choices, both in our society and at the personal level. With great empathy, he seeks to understand the challenges of policing communities haunted by the omnipresent threat of guns. Most important, he shows that a more democratic and sympathetic justice system already exists — in a place we least suspect.

A Colony in a Nation is an essential book — searing and insightful — that will reframe our thinking about law and order in the years to come.

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Nevertheless

One of the most accomplished and outspoken actors today chronicles the highs and lows of his life in this beautifully written, candid memoir.

Over the past three decades, Alec Baldwin has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most gifted, hilarious, and controversial leading men. From his work in popular movies, including Beetlejuice, Working Girl, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Cooler, and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed to his role as Jack Donaghy on Tina Fey’s irreverent series 30 Rock – for which he won two Emmys, three Golden Globes, and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards – and as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, he’s both a household name and a deeply respected actor.

In Nevertheless, Baldwin transcends his public persona, making public facets of his life he has long kept private. In this honest, affecting memoir, he introduces us to the Long Island child who felt burdened by his family’s financial strains and his parents’ unhappy marriage; the Washington, DC, college student gearing up for a career in politics; the self-named “Love Taxi” who helped friends solve their romantic problems while neglecting his own; the young soap actor learning from giants of the theatre; the addict drawn to drugs and alcohol who struggles with sobriety; the husband and father who acknowledges his failings and battles to overcome them; and the consummate professional for whom the work is everything. Throughout Nevertheless, one constant emerges: the fearlessness that defines and drives Baldwin’s life.

Told with his signature candor, astute observational savvy, and devastating wit, Nevertheless reveals an Alec Baldwin we have never fully seen before.

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The Death and Life of the Great Lakes

A landmark work of science, history and reporting on the past, present and imperiled future of the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes — Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior — hold 20 percent of the world’s supply of surface fresh water and provide sustenance, work and recreation for tens of millions of Americans. But they are under threat as never before, and their problems are spreading across the continent. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is prize-winning reporter Dan Egan’s compulsively readable portrait of an ecological catastrophe happening right before our eyes, blending the epic story of the lakes with an examination of the perils they face and the ways we can restore and preserve them for generations to come.

For thousands of years the pristine Great Lakes were separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the roaring Niagara Falls and from the Mississippi River basin by a “sub-continental divide.” Beginning in the late 1800s, these barriers were circumvented to attract oceangoing freighters from the Atlantic and to allow Chicago’s sewage to float out to the Mississippi. These were engineering marvels in their time — and the changes in Chicago arrested a deadly cycle of waterborne illnesses — but they have had horrendous unforeseen consequences. Egan provides a chilling account of how sea lamprey, zebra and quagga mussels and other invaders have made their way into the lakes, decimating native species and largely destroying the age-old ecosystem. And because the lakes are no longer isolated, the invaders now threaten water intake pipes, hydroelectric dams and other infrastructure across the country.

Egan also explores why outbreaks of toxic algae stemming from the overapplication of farm fertilizer have left massive biological “dead zones” that threaten the supply of fresh water. He examines fluctuations in the levels of the lakes caused by manmade climate change and overzealous dredging of shipping channels. And he reports on the chronic threats to siphon off Great Lakes water to slake drier regions of America or to be sold abroad.

In an age when dire problems like the Flint water crisis or the California drought bring ever more attention to the indispensability of safe, clean, easily available water, The Death and the Life of the Great Lakes is a powerful paean to what is arguably our most precious resource, an urgent examination of what threatens it and a convincing call to arms about the relatively simple things we need to do to protect it.

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Rebel Mother: My Childhood Chasing the Revolution

The adventure tale and intimate true story of a boy on the run with his mother, a housewife turned radical who kidnapped her son and set off for South America in search of the revolution.Carol Andreas was a traditional 1950s housewife from a small Mennonite town in central Kansas who became a radical feminist and Marxist revolutionary. From the late sixties to the early eighties, she went through multiple husbands and countless lovers while living in three states and five countries. She took her youngest son, Peter, with her wherever she went, even kidnapping him and running off to South America after his straitlaced father won a long and bitter custody fight. They were chasing the revolution together, though the more they chased it the more distant it became.

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This Fight Is Our Fight

The fiery U. S. Senator from Massachusetts and bestselling author offers a passionate, inspiring book about why our middle class is under siege and how we can win the fight to save it Senator Elizabeth Warren has long been an outspoken champion of America’s middle class, and by the time the people of Massachusetts elected her in 2012, she had become one of the country’s leading progressive voices. Now, at a perilous moment for our nation, she has written a book that is at once an illuminating account of how we built the strongest middle class in history, a scathing indictment of those who have spent the past thirty-five years undermining working families, and a rousing call to action. Warren grew up in Oklahoma, and she’s never forgotten how difficult it was for her mother and father to hold on at the ragged edge of the middle class.

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Hallelujah Anyway

From the bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow and Stitches comes a powerful exploration of mercy, its limitless (if sometimes hidden) presence, why we ignore it, and how we can embrace it.

“Mercy is radical kindness,” Anne Lamott writes in her enthralling and heartening book, Hallelujah Anyway. It’s the permission you give others – and yourself – to forgive a debt, to absolve the unabsolvable, to let go of the judgment and pain that make life so difficult.

In Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy Lamott ventures to explore where to find meaning in life. We should begin, she suggests, by “facing a great big mess, especially the great big mess of ourselves.” It’s up to each of us to recognize the presence and importance of mercy everywhere – “within us and outside us, all around us” – and to use it to forge a deeper understanding of ourselves and more honest connections with each other. While that can be difficult to do, Lamott argues that it’s crucial, as “kindness towards others, beginning with myself, buys us a shot at a warm and generous heart, the greatest prize of all.”

Full of Lamott’s trademark honesty, humor and forthrightness, Hallelujah Anyway is profound and caring, funny and wise – a hopeful book of hands-on spirituality.

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How The Hell Did This Happen?: The Election of 2016

This election cycle was so absurd that celebrated political satirist, journalist, and die-hard Republican P. J. O’Rourke endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. As P.J. put it, “America is experiencing the most severe outbreak of mass psychosis since the Salem witch trials of 1692. So why not put Hillary on the dunking stool?”

In How the Hell Did This Happen?, P.J. brings his critical eye and inimitable voice to some seriously risky business. Starting in June 2015, he asks, “Who are these jacklegs, high-binders, wire-pullers, mountebanks, swellheads, buncombe spigots, four-flushers and animated spittoons offering themselves as worthy of America’s highest office?” and surveys the full cast of presidential candidates including everyone you’ve already forgotten and everyone you wish you could forget.

P.J. offers a brief history of how our insane process for picking who will run for president evolved, from the very first nominating convention (thanks, Anti-Masonic Party) through the reforms of the Progressive era (because there’s nothing that can’t be worsened by reform) to the present. He takes us through the debates and key primaries and analyzes everything from the campaign platforms (or lack thereof) to presidential style (“Trump’s appearance — indeed, Trump’s existence — is a little guy’s idea of living large. A private plane! A swell joint in Florida! Gold-plated toilet handles!”) . And he rises from the depths of despair to come up with a better way to choose a president. Following his come-to-Satan moment with Hillary and the Beginning of End Times in November, P.J. reckons with a new age: “America is experiencing a change in the nature of leadership. We’re getting rid of our leaders. And we’re starting at the top.”

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On the fortieth anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death comes this rocking biography of an iconic artist who fundamentally transformed American culture.

Elvis Presley remains one of the most influential figures in American popular culture, a man whose fame and talent were matched only by his excesses and tragic end. Venerated in rock-and-roll history, Elvis blended gospel and traditionally black rhythm and blues with country to create a completely new kind of music that blew the doors off a repressed 1950s America. Now, veteran rock journalist Ray Connolly takes a fresh look at the life of “The King” to craft a portrait of an unusual boy with an extraordinary voice who became a man trapped by and ultimately killed by fame. Intimate and unsparing, Being Elvis presents a clear-eyed analysis of the ways Elvis’s manifest talent was squandered by those around him — particularly the machinations of “Colonel” Tom Parker — and by Elvis himself. While exploring the extravagance and irrationality inherent in the Elvis mythology, Being Elvis is ultimately a thoughtful celebration of a culturally enduring life. 8 pages of color, 16 pages of black-and-white photographs

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The Inner Life of Cats

Our feline companions are much-loved but often mysterious. In The Inner Life of Cats, Thomas McNamee blends scientific reportage with engaging, illustrative anecdotes about his own beloved cat, Augusta, to explore and illuminate the secrets and enigmas of her kind. As it begins, The Inner Life of Cats follows the development of the young Augusta while simultaneously explaining the basics of a kitten’s physiological and psychological development. As the narrative progresses, McNamee also charts cats’ evolution, explores a feral cat colony in Rome, tells the story of Augusta’s life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts, animal activists, and researchers, who will help readers more fully understand cats. McNamee shows that with deeper knowledge of cats’ developmental phases and individual idiosyncrasies, we can do a better job of guiding cats’ maturation and improving the quality of their lives.

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High Noon

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Searchers, the revelatory story behind the classic movie High Noon and the toxic political climate in which it was created. It’s one of the most revered movies of Hollywood’s golden era. Starring screen legend Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in her first significant film role, High Noon was shot on a lean budget over just thirty-two days but achieved instant box-office and critical success. It won four Academy Awards in 1953, including a best actor win for Cooper. And it became a cultural touchstone, often cited by politicians as a favorite film, celebrating moral fortitude.Yet what has been often overlooked is that High Noon was made during the height of the Hollywood blacklist, a time of political inquisition and personal betrayal.

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