New Nonfiction Books – May 2017

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Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken.jpgAl Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken

AL FRANKEN, GIANT OF THE SENATE is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It’s a book about what happens when the nation’s foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it. It’s a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast. In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

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Are You Anybody by Jeffrey Tambor.jpgAre You Anybody? by Jeffrey Tambor

It’s rare that an actor embodies even one memorable character over the arc of a career. Jeffrey Tambor has managed to create three, beginning with Hank -Hey Now!- Kingsley on The Larry Sanders Show, the series created by Garry Shandling, Jeffrey’s first mentor in television. He went on to find two more show creators, Mitch Hurwitz of Arrested Development and Jill Soloway of Transparent, who shared a love of actors and taught him a lot about acting along the way.
Are You Anybody?
is Tambor’s chance to discuss his creative process and immense accomplishments from a life lived onscreen. Drawing from his formative childhood years, in which he describes himself as a fat Hungarian-Jewish kid with a lisp and a depressive father to how he drew inspiration from his life to create these characters, Tambor’s memoir is funny, insightful, and uplifting, touching on comedy and the enduring chutzpah required to make it through life.

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Anatomy of Terror by Ali H Soufan.jpgAnatomy of Terror by Ali H Soufan

When Osama bin Laden was killed by a U.S. Navy SEAL, many prophesied al-Qaeda’s imminent demise. In reality the opposite has occurred. Why?

Watching the Arab Spring from his Pakistani safe house, bin Laden had seen an historic opportunity: “The next stage will be the return of the caliphate.” In the six years since bin Laden’s death, al-Qaeda’s affiliates metastasized, and the Islamic State, its most brutal spinoff, proclaimed itself the reborn caliphate bin Laden had foreseen.

Anatomy of Terror is told through the stories of the flagbearers of today’s Islamic radicalism, including a Jordanian drug dealer, an air force colonel who served Saddam Hussein, a reclusive Iraqi bookworm, and one of bin Laden’s own sons. Ali H. Soufan, a top counterterrorism operative, lays bare the psychology and inner workings of al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and their spawn and shows how the propagation of terrorism can be stopped.

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Between Them by Richard Ford

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sportswriter comes a deeply personal account of his parents? an intimate portrait of American mid-twentieth century life, and a celebration of family love

Richard Ford’s parents volunteered little about their early lives? and he rarely asked. Later, he pieced their stories together from anecdote, history and the occasional photograph, frozen moments linking him to another time.

Edna Akin, a dark-eyed Arkansas beauty whose convent education was cut short by her itinerant parents, fell in love aged only seventeen. Parker Ford was a tall country boy with a warm, hesitant smile, who was working at a grocery in Hot Springs. They married and began a life on the road in the American South, as Parker followed his travelling salesman’s job. The 1930s were like one long weekend, a swirl of miles traversed, cocktails drunk and hotel rooms vacated: New Orleans, Memphis, Texarkana. Then a single, late child was born, changing everything.

In this book, Richard Ford evokes a vivid panorama of mid-twentieth century America, and an intimate portrait of family life. Exploring children’s changing perception of their parents, he also reflects on the impact of loss and devotion. Written with the intelligence, precision and humanity for which Ford is renowned, Between Them is both a son’s great act of love and a redeeming meditation on family.

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Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.jpgCoach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explores his 50-year friendship with Coach John Wooden, one of the most enduring and meaningful relationships in sports history.

When future NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was still an 18-year-old high school basketball prospect from New York City named Lew Alcindor, he accepted a scholarship from UCLA largely on the strength of Coach John Wooden’s reputation as a winner. It turned out to be the right choice, as Alcindor and his teammates won an unprecedented three NCAA championship titles. But it also marked the beginning of one of the most extraordinary and enduring friendships in the history of sports. In COACH WOODEN AND ME, Abdul-Jabbar reveals the inspirational story of how his bond with John Wooden evolved from a history-making coach-player mentorship into a deep and genuine friendship that transcended sports, shaped the course of both men’s lives, and lasted for half a century.

COACH WOODEN AND ME is a stirring tribute to the subtle but profound influence that Wooden had on Kareem as a player, and then as a person, as they began to share their cultural, religious, and family values while facing some of life’s biggest obstacles. From his first day of practice, when the players were taught the importance of putting on their athletic socks properly, to gradually absorbing the sublime wisdom of Coach Wooden’s now famous “Pyramid of Success”; to learning to cope with the ugly racism that confronted black athletes during the turbulent Civil Rights era as well as losing loved ones, Abdul-Jabbar fondly recalls how Coach Wooden’s fatherly guidance not only paved the way for his unmatched professional success but also made possible a lifetime of personal fulfillment.

Full of intimate, never-before-published details and delivered with the warmth and erudition of a grateful student who has learned his lessons well, COACH WOODEN AND ME is at once a celebration of the unique philosophical outlook of college basketball’s most storied coach and a moving testament to the all-conquering power of friendship.

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Democracy by Condoleezza Rice.jpgDemocracy by Condoleezza Rice

From the former secretary of state and bestselling author — a sweeping look at the global struggle for democracy and why America must continue to support the cause of human freedom.From the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union to the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice has served on the front lines of history. As a child, she was an eyewitness to a third awakening of freedom, when her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, became the epicenter of the civil rights movement for black Americans.In this book, Rice explains what these epochal events teach us about democracy. At a time when people around the world are wondering whether democracy is in decline, Rice shares insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen, in order to put democracy’s challenges into perspective.When the United States was founded, it was the only attempt at self-government in the world. Today more than half of all countries qualify as democracies, and in the long run that number will continue to grow. Yet nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Using America’s long struggle as a template, Rice draws lessons for democracy around the worldfrom Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, to Kenya, Colombia, and the Middle East. She finds that no transitions to democracy are the same because every country starts in a different place. Pathways diverge and sometimes circle backward. Time frames for success vary dramatically, and countries often suffer false starts before getting it right. But, Rice argues, that does not mean they should not try. While the ideal conditions for democracy are well known in academia, they never exist in the real world. The question is not how to create perfect circumstances but how to move forward under difficult ones.These same insights apply in overcoming the challenges faced by governments today. The pursuit of democracy is a continuing struggle shared by people around the world, whether they are opposing authoritarian regimes, establishing new democratic institutions, or reforming mature democracies to better live up to their ideals. The work of securing it is never finished.

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Driving Miss Norma by Tim Bauerschmidt.jpgDriving Miss Norma by Tim Bauerschmidt

When Miss Norma was diagnosed with uterine cancer, she was advised to undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But instead of confining herself to a hospital bed for what could be her last stay, Miss Norma—newly widowed after nearly seven decades of marriage—rose to her full height of five feet and told the doctor, “I’m ninety years old. I’m hitting the road.”

And so Miss Norma took off on an unforgettable around-the-country journey in a thirty-six-foot motor home with her retired son Tim, his wife Ramie, and their dog Ringo.

As this once timid woman says “yes” to living in the face of death, she tries regional foods for the first time, reaches for the clouds in a hot air balloon, and mounts up for a horseback ride. With each passing mile (and one educational visit to a cannabis dispensary), Miss Norma’s health improves and conversations that had once been taboo begin to unfold. Norma, Tim, and Ramie bond in ways they had never done before, and their definitions of home, family, and friendship expand. Stop by stop, state by state, they meet countless people from all walks of life—strangers who become fast friends and welcome them with kindness and open hearts.

Infused with this irrepressible nonagenarian’s wisdom, courage, and generous spirit, Driving Miss Norma is the charming, infectiously joyous chronicle of their experiences on the road. It portrays a transformative journey of living life on your own terms that shows us it is never too late to begin an adventure, inspire hope, or become a trailblazer.

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Jackie's Girl by Kathy McKeon.jpgJackie’s Girl by Kathy McKeon

An endearing coming-of-age memoir by a young woman who spent thirteen years as Jackie Kennedy’s personal assistant and occasional nanny—and the lessons about life and love she learned from the glamorous first lady.

In 1964, Kathy McKeon was just nineteen years old and newly arrived from Ireland when she was hired as the personal assistant to former first lady Jackie Kennedy. The next thirteen years of her life were spent in Jackie’s service, during which Kathy not only played a crucial role in raising young Caroline and John Jr., but also had a front-row seat to some of the twentieth century’s most significant events.

Because Kathy was always at Jackie’s side, Rose Kennedy deemed her “Jackie’s girl.” And although Kathy called Jackie “Madam,” she considered her employer more like a big sister who, in many ways, mentored her on how to be a lady. Kathy was there during Jackie and Aristotle Onassis’s courtship and marriage and Robert Kennedy’s assassination, dutifully supporting Jackie and the children during these tumultuous times in history.

A rare and engrossing look at the private life of one of the most famous women of the twentieth century, Jackie’s Girl is also a moving personal story of a young woman finding her identity and footing in a new country, along with the help of the most elegant woman in America.

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Lenape Country by Jean R Soderlund.jpgLenape Country by Jean R Soderlund

In 1631, when the Dutch tried to develop plantation agriculture in the Delaware Valley, the Lenape Indians destroyed the colony of Swanendael and killed its residents. The Natives and Dutch quickly negotiated peace, avoiding an extended war through diplomacy and trade. The Lenapes preserved their political sovereignty for the next fifty years as Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, and English colonists settled the Delaware Valley. The European outposts did not approach the size and strength of those in Virginia, New England, and New Netherland. Even after thousands of Quakers arrived in West New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the late 1670s and ’80s, the region successfully avoided war for another seventy-five years.

“Lenape Country” is a sweeping narrative history of the multiethnic society of the Delaware Valley in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. After Swanendael, the Natives, Swedes, and Finns avoided war by focusing on trade and forging strategic alliances in such events as the Dutch conquest, the Mercurius affair, the Long Swede conspiracy, and English attempts to seize land. Drawing on a wide range of sources, author Jean R. Soderlund demonstrates that the hallmarks of Delaware Valley society–commitment to personal freedom, religious liberty, peaceful resolution of conflict, and opposition to hierarchical government–began in the Delaware Valley not with Quaker ideals or the leadership of William Penn but with the Lenape Indians, whose culture played a key role in shaping Delaware Valley society. The first comprehensive account of the Lenape Indians and their encounters with European settlers before Pennsylvania’s founding, “Lenape Country” places Native culture at the center of this part of North America.

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Lou by Lou Piniella.jpgLou by Lou Piniella

From Rookie of the Year to two-time Manager of the Year, with three World Series rings in between, Lou Piniella’s story is as compelling as the man himself. From a boyhood in Tampa that shaped, in every way, the athlete and person he would become; to his years with the Kansas City Royals, an experience that would teach him about the business of baseball; to his wild years in New York that would give him his first two World Series rings and thrust him into George Steinbrenner’s infamous revolving door; his many varied experiences all set him on course to finding his true calling. Sweet Lou brings the story of one of the most intriguing managers in the game to life, relives history with those who were there, and probes the man himself: his great loves, his great losses, and his greatest successes. Author Melissa Isaacson explores Piniella’s background, his parents, his friends, and his roots in Tampa that explain not only his hot-headedness but also reveal a very down-to-earth family man. Along the way, she charts his ascension to become the beloved skipper of the Cubs, setting his sights on his sixth pennant and the possibility of leading the Cubs to their first world championship in 100 years. She examines the personal losses he has absorbed, including good friends and mentors who died prematurely, as well as the passing of his father after he came back to Tampa. In one chapter she looks at his life outside of baseball, which reveals a multifaceted and highly active businessman. And another chapter, devoted to the famous temper, tells some of the stories that at times have made him the bane of umpires around both leagues. Sweet Lou is a riveting portrayal of a consummate andcontroversial larger-than-life baseball personality whose full impact on the game has yet to be measured.

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The Road to Camelot by Tom Oliphant.jpgThe Road to Camelot by Tom Oliphant

A behind-the-scenes, revelatory account of John F. Kennedy’s wily campaign to the White House, beginning with his bold, failed attempt to win the vice presidential nomination in 1956. A young and undistinguished junior plots his way to the presidency and changes the way we nominate and elect presidents.

John F. Kennedy and his young warriors invented modern presidential politics. They turned over accepted wisdom that his Catholicism was a barrier to winning an election and plotted a successful course to that constituency. They hired Louis Harris—a polling entrepreneur—to become the first presidential pollster. They twisted arms and they charmed. They lined up party bosses, young enthusiasts, and fellow Catholics and turned the traditional party inside out. The last-minute invitation to Lyndon B. Johnson for vice president in 1956 surprised them only because they had failed to notice that he wanted it. They invented The Missile Gap in the Cold War and out-glamoured Richard Nixon in the TV debates.

Now acclaimed, award-winning journalists Tom Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie provide the most comprehensive account, based on a depth of personal reporting, interviews, and archives. The authors have examined more than 1,600 oral histories at the John F. Kennedy library; they’ve interviewed surviving sources, including JFK’s sister Jean Smith, and they draw on their own interviews with insiders including Ted Sorensen and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

From the start of the campaign in 1955 when his father tried to persuade President Johnson to run with JFK as his running mate, The Road to Camelot reveals him as a tough, shrewd political strategist who kept his eye on the prize. This is one of the great campaign stories of all time, appropriate for today’s political climate.

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Theft by Finding by David Sedaris.jpgTheft by Finding by David Sedaris

It’s no coincidence that the world’s best writers tend to keep diaries. If you faithfully record your life in a journal, you’re writing every day–and if you write every day, you become a better writer. David Sedaris has kept a diary for forty years. This means that if you’ve kept a diary for a year of your life or less, Sedaris is at least forty times better at writing than you are.

In his diaries, he’s recorded everything that has captured his attention–overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and with them he has honed his self-deprecation and learned to craft his cunning, surprising sentences.

Now, for the first time, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world in Theft By Finding: Diaries 1977-2002. This is the first-person account of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.

Most diaries — even the diaries of great writers — are impossibly dull, because they generally write about their emotions, or their dreams, or their interior life. Sedaris’s diaries are unique because they face outward. He doesn’t tell us his feelings about the world, he shows us the world instead, and in so doing he shows us something deeper about himself.

Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can’t fully disguise, Theft By Finding proves that Sedaris is one of our great modern observers. It’s a potent reminder that there’s no such thing as a boring day–when you’re as perceptive and curious as Sedaris, adventure waits around every corner.

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This is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe.jpgThis is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe—“Gabby” to her legion of fans—skyrocketed to international fame in 2009 when she played the leading role in Lee Daniels acclaimed movie Precious. In This is Just My Face, she shares a one-of-a-kind life story in a voice as fresh and challenging as many of the unique characters she’s played onscreen. With full- throttle honesty, Sidibe paints her Bed-Stuy/Harlem family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway. Sidibe tells the engrossing, inspiring story of her first job as a phone sex “talker.” And she shares her unconventional (of course!) rise to fame as a movie star, alongside “a superstar cast of rich people who lived in mansions and had their own private islands and amazing careers while I lived in my mom’s apartment.”

Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight (“If I could just get the world to see me the way I see myself,” she writes, “would my body still be a thing you walked away thinking about?”). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face takes its place and fills a void on the shelf of writers from Mindy Kaling to David Sedaris to Lena Dunham.

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Undoctored by William Davis.jpgUndoctored by William Davis

In his New York Times bestseller Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis changed the lives of millions of people by teaching them to remove wheat from their diet to reverse years of chronic health damage. Now he’ll go beyond cutting wheat to help you take charge of your own overall health in Undoctored. Dr. Davis wants you to understand that conventional medicine is no longer working in your favor. He will expose how millions of people are prescribed unnecessary medications, given dietary recommendations crafted by big business, and undergo unnecessary procedures recommended by healthcare practitioners to feed revenue-hungry healthcare systems. He then shows how the modern boom in information tools can be applied to create a comprehensive program to reduce, reverse, and cure common health issues through simple strategies, including harnessing the collective wisdom of new online technologies, so that you can break free of a health care system that puts profits over health.

Undoctored is the spark of a new individually-empowered health care movement. The results of Dr. Davis’ 6-week program are superior to solutions provided by the conventional healthcare system. You will be equipped to manage your own health and sidestep the misguided motives of a profit-driven medical system.

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Why the Rich Are Getting Richer by Robert T Kiyosaki.jpgWhy the Rich Are Getting Richer by Robert T Kiyosaki

It’s Robert Kiyosaki’s position that “It is our educational system that causes the gap between the rich and everyone else.” He laid the foundation for many of his messages in the international best-seller Rich Dad Poor Dad — the #1 Personal Finance book of all time — and in Why the Rich Are Getting Richer, he makes his case…

In this book, the reader will learn why the gap between the rich and everyone else grows wider.

In this book, the reader will get an explanation of why savers are losers.

In this book, the reader will find out why debt and taxes make the rich richer.

In this book, the reader will learn why traditional education actually causes many highly educated people, such as Robert’s poor dad, to live poorly.

In this book, the reader will find out why going to school, working hard, saving money, buying a house, getting out of debt, and investing for the long term in the stock market is the worst financial advice for most people.

In this book, the reader will learn the answers Robert found on his life-long search, after repeatedly asking the question, “When will we learn about money?”

In this book, the reader will find out why real financial education may never be taught in schools.

In this book, the reader will find out “What financially education is… really.”

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Women Who Work by Ivanka Trump.jpgWomen Who Work by Ivanka Trump

Our grandmothers fought for the right to work. Our mothers fought for the choice to be in an office or stay at home. Our generation is the first to fully embrace and celebrate the fact our lives are multidimensional. Thanks to the women who came before us and paved the way, we can create the lives we want to lead—which looks different for each of us.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to build my career around my passions, from real estate to fashion. But my professional titles only begin to describe who I am and what I value. I’m an executive and an entrepreneur, but I’m also—and just as importantly—a wife, mother, daughter and friend. To me, “work” encompasses my efforts to succeed in all of these areas.

After appearing on The Apprentice years ago and receiving a flood of letters from young women asking for guidance, I realized the need for more female leaders to speak out publicly in order to change the way society thinks and talks about “women who work.” So I created a forum to do just that. This book evolves the conversation that started, and continues, on IvankaTrump.com, where so many incredible women (and men!) are coming together to share their experiences, advice, ambitions, and passions.

Women who work lead meetings and train for marathons. We learn how to cook and how to code. We inspire our employees and our children. We innovate at our current jobs and start new businesses.

Women Who Work will equip you with the best skills I’ve learned from some of the amazing people I’ve met, on subjects such as identifying opportunities, shifting careers smoothly, negotiating, leading teams, starting companies, managing work and family, and helping change the system to make it better for women—now and in the future. I hope it will inspire you to redefine success and architect a life that honors your individual passions and priorities in a way only you can.

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About Avalon Free Public Library

Avalon is a bustling little shore town in southern NJ. Our small population of 1800 expands to about 30,000 at the height of summer. We like to think that we serve them all and then some! Our goal is to make our library available to our patrons wherever they may roam.

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