New Nonfiction Books – September 2017

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Alone by Michael KordaAlone by Michael Korda

Combining epic history with rich family stories, Michael Korda chronicles the outbreak of World War II and the great events that led to Dunkirk.

In an absorbing work peopled with world leaders, generals, and ordinary citizens who fought on both sides of World War II, Alone brings to resounding life perhaps the most critical year of twentieth-century history. For, indeed, May 1940 was a month like no other, as the German war machine blazed into France while the supposedly impregnable Maginot Line crumbled, and Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister in an astonishing political drama as Britain, isolated and alone, faced a triumphant Nazi Germany. Against this vast historical canvas, Michael Korda relates what happened and why, and also tells his own story, that of a six-year-old boy in a glamorous movie family who would himself be evacuated. Aloneis a work that seamlessly weaves a family memoir into an unforgettable account of a political and military disaster redeemed by the evacuation of more than 300,000 men in four days―surely one of the most heroic episodes of the war.

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Altered Traits by Daniel Goleman.jpgAltered Traits by Daniel Goleman

Two New York Times-bestselling authors unveil new research showing what meditation can really do for the brain.

In the last twenty years, meditation and mindfulness have gone from being kind of cool to becoming an omnipresent Band-Aid for fixing everything from your weight to your relationship to your achievement level. Unveiling here the kind of cutting-edge research that has made them giants in their fields, Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson show us the truth about what meditation can really do for us, as well as exactly how to get the most out of it.

Sweeping away common misconceptions and neuromythology to open readers’ eyes to the ways data has been distorted to sell mind-training methods, the authors demonstrate that beyond the pleasant states mental exercises can produce, the real payoffs are the lasting personality traits that can result. But short daily doses will not get us to the highest level of lasting positive change–even if we continue for years–without specific additions. More than sheer hours, we need smart practice, including crucial ingredients such as targeted feedback from a master teacher and a more spacious, less attached view of the self, all of which are missing in widespread versions of mind training. The authors also reveal the latest data from Davidson’s own lab that point to a new methodology for developing a broader array of mind-training methods with larger implications for how we can derive the greatest benefits from the practice.

Exciting, compelling, and grounded in new research, this is one of those rare books that has the power to change us at the deepest level.

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The Alzheimer's Solution by Dean SherzaiThe Alzheimer’s Solution by Dean Sherzai

A revolutionary, proven program for reversing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline from award winning neurologists and codirectors of the Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center

Over 47 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease worldwide. While all other major diseases are in decline, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased radically. What you or your loved ones don’t yet know is that 90 percent of Alzheimer’s cases can be prevented.

Based on the largest clinical and observational study to date, neurologists and codirectors of the Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai, offer in The Alzheimer’s Solution the first comprehensive program for preventing Alzheimer’s disease and improving cognitive function. Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a genetic inevitability, and a diagnosis does not need to come with a death sentence. Ninety percent of grandparents, parents, husbands, and wives can be spared. Ninety percent of us can avoid ever getting Alzheimer’s, and for the 10 percent with strong genetic risk for cognitive decline, the disease can be delayed by ten to fifteen years. This isn’t an estimate or wishful thinking; it’s a percentage based on rigorous science and the remarkable results the Sherzais have seen firsthand in their clinic.

This much-needed revolutionary book reveals how the brain is a living universe, directly influenced by nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep, and engagement. In other words: what you feed it, how you treat it, when you challenge it, and the ways in which you allow it to rest. These factors are the pillars of the groundbreaking program you’ll find in these pages, which features a personalized assessment for evaluating risk, a five-part program for prevention and symptom-reversal, and day-by-day guides for optimizing cognitive function. You can prevent Alzheimer’s disease from affecting you, your family, friends, and loved ones. Even with a diagnosis, you can reverse cognitive decline and add vibrant years to your life. The future of your brain is finally within your control.

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Anxious for nothing.jpgAnxious for Nothing by Max Lucado

Americans know about living in perpetual anxiety. According to one research program, anxiety-related issues are the number-one mental-health problem among women and are second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men. Stress-related ailments cost the nation $300 billion every year in medical bills and lost productivity, and the use of sedative drugs like Xanax and Valium have skyrocketed in the last fifteen years. Even students are feeling it. One psychologist reports that the average high-school student today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s. But Philippians 4:6 encourages the believer to be anxious for nothing. Although that prescription may seem untenable in a world full of increasing anxiety, acclaimed Christian author Max Lucado explicates the passage, helping us understand why and how the Apostle Paul counsels us against living in perpetual anxiety and how our relationship with Christ can help us live life without allowing anxi ety to dominate it.

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Believe Me by Yolanda Hadid.jpgBelieve Me by Yolanda Hadid

From the star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills comes an emotional and eye opening behind-the-scenes look at her descent into uncovering the mystery of chronic Lyme disease.

In early 2011, just before her wedding to David Foster, Yolanda fell ill. From an outspoken, multi-tasking social butterfly she became trapped in a paralyzing mental cocoon. She suffered from severe debilitating fatigue, migraines, joint pain, anxiety, insomnia, Bell’s palsy, tremors, muscle weakness, severe brain fog, word retrieval difficulty, memory loss and intermittent loss of eyesight. As a diehard health fanatic, Yolanda always knew she had an infection in her brain, but due to the lack of proper diagnostic testing she landed in a dark maze of medical establishments that were quick to treat her symptoms but without clear answers to the cause. She fought tirelessly and traveled the world to find an answer; her determination left no stone unturned. Her perfect marriage became strained and let to divorce; but the strong bond with her children Gigi, Bella and Anwar was her motivation to fight through the darkest days of her life.

After a year of searching, discharged by Cedars Sinai with a chronic fatigue label, Yolanda Hadid was finally diagnosed with chronic neurological Lyme disease. She was honest, unapologetic, and raw in how she shared her battle with Lyme disease on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and her social media outlets. She received thousands of e-mails and letters, and met families who were suffering, lost, and scared, throughout her journey. She calls, gives advice, and lends support whenever she can to share her words of wisdom and hope.

In her book, Yolanda shares details of the western and holistic treatments she has done over the past five years, lab results, intimate details of her personal diary; her spiritual growth; the trials and tribulations regarding the stigma around chronic Lyme disease, how her relationships on camera and off have been affected by her illness; and how she uncovered the mystery of her own chronic disease through research, hard work and in a matter of fact and systematic fashion.

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Best of Us by Joyce Maynard.jpgBest of Us by Joyce Maynard

In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, beloved author and journalist Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. Jim wore a rakish hat over a good head of hair; he asked real questions and gave real answers; he loved to see Joyce shine, both in and out of the spotlight; and he didn’t mind the mess she made in the kitchen. He was not the husband Joyce imagined, but he quickly became the partner she had always dreamed of.

Before they met, both had believed they were done with marriage, and even after they married, Joyce resolved that no one could alter her course of determined independence. Then, just after their one-year wedding anniversary, her new husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During the nineteen months that followed, as they battled his illness together, she discovered for the first time what it really meant to be a couple–to be a true partner and to have one.

This is their story. Charting the course through their whirlwind romance, a marriage cut short by tragedy, and Joyce’s return to singleness on new terms, The Best of Us is a heart-wrenching, ultimately life-affirming reflection on coming to understand true love through the experience of great loss.

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Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown.jpgBraving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

A timely and important new book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture, from the #1 bestselling author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection

“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives–experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.

Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.” Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness. Brown writes, “The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”

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The Choice by Edith EgerThe Choice by Edith Eger

A powerful, moving memoir—and a practical guide to healing—written by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, an eminent psychologist whose own experiences as a Holocaust survivor help her treat patients and allow them to escape the prisons of their own minds.

Edith Eger was sixteen years old when the Nazis came to her hometown in Hungary and took her Jewish family to an interment center and then to Auschwitz. Her parents were sent to the gas chamber by Joseph Mengele soon after they arrived at the camp. Hours later Mengele demanded that Edie dance a waltz to “The Blue Danube” and rewarded her with a loaf of bread that she shared with her fellow prisoners. These women later helped save Edie’s life. Edie and her sister survived Auschwitz, were transferred to the Mauthausen and Gunskirchen camps in Austria, and managed to live until the American troops liberated the camps in 1945 and found Edie in a pile of dying bodies.

One of the few living Holocaust survivors to remember the horrors of the camps, Edie has chosen to forgive her captors and find joy in her life every day. Years after she was liberated from the concentration camps Edie went back to college to study psychology. She combines her clinical knowledge and her own experiences with trauma to help others who have experienced painful events large and small. Dr. Eger has counselled veterans suffering from PTSD, women who were abused, and many others who learned that they too, can choose to forgive, find resilience, and move forward. She lectures frequently on the power of love and healing.

The Choice weaves Eger’s personal story with case studies from her work as a psychologist. Her patients and their stories illustrate different phases of healing and show how people can choose to escape the prisons they construct in their minds and find freedom, regardless of circumstance. Eger’s story is an inspiration for everyone. And her message is powerful and important: “Your pain matters and is worth healing: you can choose to be joyful and free.” She is eighty-nine years old and still dancing.

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Christopher Kimball's Milk Street by Christopher Kimball.jpgChristopher Kimball’s Milk Street by Christopher Kimball

From celebrated cooking icon Chris Kimball comes Milk Street Kitchen, a new imprint of books that is leading the revolution in American home cooking.
Milk Street is not just a new brand. It’s a place, located at 177 Milk Street in downtown Boston, featuring a 4,000-square-foot R&D kitchen that is both a television set and the site of a retail cooking school. It is a television show, produced by WGBH and airing in September 2017 to an anticipated starting audience of 1.5 million viewers. It is a bimonthly magazine that is expected to reach 300,000 subscribers in its first year. It is a radio show on 300 public radio stations, and a podcast that features 6 million downloads a year.
Milk Street will build on established, tried and true techniques for American cooking to lead home cooks to new, easy, trustworthy ways to make the food they love to eat. THE MILK STREET COOKBOOK will be the brand’s flagship book, with recipes and techniques tied to their TV show and updated yearly with new recipes featured. It will also showcase Milk Street’s methods for innovating on the classics of American home cooking, with techniques, flavors, and ingredients pulled from global traditions and translated for American tastes.
For decades, Christopher Kimball has promised the home cook that the recipes would work. They did. Now he can elevate the quality of your cooking far beyond anything you thought was possible.

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Coming to My Senses by Alice Waters.jpgComing to My Senses by Alice Waters

The long-awaited memoir from cultural icon and culinary standard bearer Alice Waters recalls the circuitous road and tumultuous times leading to the opening of what is arguably America’s most influential restaurant.

When Alice Waters opened the doors of her “little French restaurant” in Berkeley, California in 1971 at the age of 27, no one ever anticipated the indelible mark it would leave on the culinary landscape–Alice least of all. Fueled in equal parts by naivete and a relentless pursuit of beauty and pure flavor, she turned her passion project into an iconic institution that redefined American cuisine for generations of chefs and food lovers. In Coming to My Senses Alice retraces the events that led her to 1517 Shattuck Avenue and the tumultuous times that emboldened her to find her own voice as a cook when the prevailing food culture was embracing convenience and uniformity. Moving from a repressive suburban upbringing to Berkeley in 1964 at the height of the Free Speech Movement and campus unrest, she was drawn into a bohemian circle of charismatic figures whose views on design, politics, film, and food would ultimately inform the unique culture on which Chez Panisse was founded. Dotted with stories, recipes, photographs, and letters, Coming to My Senses is at once deeply personal and modestly understated, a quietly revealing look at one woman’s evolution from a rebellious yet impressionable follower to a respected activist who effects social and political change on a global level through the common bond of food.

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God Is for Real by Todd Burpo.jpgGod Is for Real by Todd Burpo

GOD IS FOR REAL addresses the questions: What is God like? Why are things the way they are in spite of who God is? If Todd’s first book, Heaven Is for Real, was about the then and there of heaven, GOD IS FOR REAL is about the here and now on earth: Why are there are so many hypocritical church people? Why do Christians make such a big deal about the cross? Why doesn’t God seem to answer our biggest prayers? People are tired of pat answers offered up in churchy language explaining away their questions; we want the down-and-dirty truth. What bothers us about life and faith is real and gritty. We need a plain-spoken voice to offer God’s answers to difficult struggles and painful doubts. Todd charges into these subjects with a fireman’s courage, a small-town friend’s vulnerability, and a local pastor’s compassion. He helps articulate the questions people have, then gives them relevant biblical wisdom for taking their next steps in faith. God is ready to meet you! Are you ready to meet Him?

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In Vino Duplicitas by Peter Hellman.jpgIn Vino Duplicitas by Peter Hellman

Few gain entry to the privileged world of ultrafine wines, where billionaires flock to exclusive auction houses to vie for the scarce surviving bottles from truly legendary years. But Rudy Kurniawan, an unknown twentysomething from Indonesia, was blessed with two gifts that opened doors: a virtuoso palate for wine tasting, and access to a seemingly limitless (if mysterious) supply of the world’s most coveted wines. After bursting onto the scene in 2002, Kurniawan quickly became the leading purveyor of rare wines to the American elite. But in April 2008, his lots of Domaine Ponsot Clos Saint-Denis red burgundy-dating as far back as 1945-were abruptly pulled from auction. The problem? The winemaker was certain that this particular burgundy was first produced only in 1982. Journalist Peter Hellman was there, and he would closely investigate as a singular cast of characters-including a Kansas-born billionaire, a wine-loving young prosecutor, and a crusty FBI agent-worked to unravel the biggest con in wine history. Whether driven by the love of wine or of justice, all were asking the same question: Was the mild-mannered Kurniawan himself a dupe? Or had one young man-with little experience and few connections-ensnared the world’s top winemakers, sellers, and drinkers in a web of deceit?

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It Takes Two by Jonathan Scott.jpgIt Takes Two by Jonathan Scott

Jonathan and Drew Scott, known for their wildly popular HGTV shows including Property Brothers and Brother vs Brother, follow up their New York Times bestseller, Dream Home, with a highly anticipated memoir. It Takes Two: Our Story shares never-before-revealed tales of the brothers’ childhood and rise to fame—from starting their first business at 7 years old, their years modeling and acting, to their first house purchase at the impressive young age of eighteen. They soon found their true passion in life, combining their natural gifts for entertaining with the skills they learned from buying, renovating, and selling homes.

Complete with hilarious behind-the-scenes stories from set, Jonathan and Drew discuss how their family and upbringing have led to their success in life. Throughout, the brothers keep fans laughing with the clever—and sometimes zany—sibling banter for which they’re known best.

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Killing England by Bill O'Reilly.jpgKilling England by Bill O’Reilly

The breathtaking latest installment in Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s mega-bestselling Killing series transports readers to the most important era in our nation’s history, the Revolutionary War. Told through the eyes of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Great Britain’s King George III, Killing England chronicles the path to independence in gripping detail, taking the reader from the battlefields of America to the royal courts of Europe. What started as protest and unrest in the colonies soon escalated to a world war with devastating casualties.

O’Reilly and Dugard recreate the war’s landmark battles, including Bunker Hill, Long Island, Saratoga, and Yorktown, revealing the savagery of hand-to-hand combat and the often brutal conditions under which these brave American soldiers lived and fought. Also here is the reckless treachery of Benedict Arnold and the daring guerilla tactics of the “Swamp Fox” Frances Marion.

A must read, Killing England reminds one and all how the course of history can be changed through the courage and determination of those intent on doing the impossible.

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The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan.jpgThe Last Castle by Denise Kiernan

From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Girls of Atomic City comes the fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore—the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States.

Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York’s best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House.

Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau, filled it with priceless art and antiques, and erected a charming village beyond the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural area. When fortunes shifted and changing times threatened her family, her home, and her community, it was up to Edith to save Biltmore—and secure the future of the region and her husband’s legacy.

The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. The Last Castle is the unique American story of how the largest house in America flourished, faltered, and ultimately endured to this day.

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The Man from the Train by Bill James.jpgThe Man from the Train by Bill James

Using unprecedented, dramatically compelling sleuthing techniques, legendary statistician and baseball writer Bill James applies his analytical acumen to crack an unsolved century-old mystery surrounding one of the deadliest serial killers in American history.

Between 1898 and 1912, families across the country were bludgeoned in their sleep with the blunt side of an axe. Jewelry and valuables were left in plain sight, bodies were piled together, faces covered with cloth. Some of these cases, like the infamous Villasca, Iowa, murders, received national attention. But few people believed the crimes were related. And fewer still would realize that all of these families lived within walking distance to a train station.

When celebrated baseball statistician and true crime expert Bill James first learned about these horrors, he began to investigate others that might fit the same pattern. Applying the same know-how he brings to his legendary baseball analysis, he empirically determined which crimes were committed by the same person. Then after sifting through thousands of local newspapers, court transcripts, and public records, he and his daughter Rachel made an astonishing discovery: they learned the true identity of this monstrous criminal. In turn, they uncovered one of the deadliest serial killers in America.

Riveting and immersive, with writing as sharp as the cold side of an axe, The Man from the Train paints a vivid, psychologically perceptive portrait of America at the dawn of the twentieth century, when crime was regarded as a local problem, and opportunistic private detectives exploited a dysfunctional judicial system. James shows how these cultural factors enabled such an unspeakable series of crimes to occur, and his groundbreaking approach to true crime will convince skeptics, amaze aficionados, and change the way we view criminal history.

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Putin by Richard Lourie.jpgPutin by Richard Lourie

An electrifying and timely book, by leading Russian expert Richard Lourie, that explores Putin’s failures and whether Trump’s election gives Putin extraordinarily dangerous opportunities in our mad new world.

For reasons that are made clear in this book, Putin’s Russia will collapse just as Imperial Russia did in 1917 and as Soviet Russia did in 1991. The only questions are when, how violently, and with how much peril for the world. The U.S. election complicates everything, including:

· Putin’s next land grab
· Exploitations of the Arctic
· Cyber-espionage
· Putin and China
…and many more crucial topics.

Putin: His Downfall and Russia’s Coming Crash is an essential read for everybody bewildered and dismayed by the new world order.

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Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions by Stephen Colbert.jpgStephen Colbert’s Midnight Confessions by Stephen Colbert

Forgive him, Father, for Stephen Colbert has sinned. He knew it was wrong at the time. But he went ahead and did it anyway. Now he’s begging for forgiveness. Based on his popular segment from The Late Show, Stephen Colbert and his team of writers now reveal his most shameful secrets to millions (although, actually, he’d like you to not to tell anyone). Midnight Confessions is an illustrated collection of Stephen Colbert at his most brilliant and irreverent.

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Unstoppable by Maria Sharapova.jpgUnstoppable by Maria Sharapova

From five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, the candid, captivating story of her rise to tennis stardom

In the middle of the night, a father and his daughter step off a Greyhound bus in Florida and head straight to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. They ring the bell, though no one is expecting them and they don’t speak English. The two have arrived from Russia with only seven-hundred dollars and the conviction that this seven-year-old will be the next tennis star. Amazingly, they are right.

Young Maria Sharapova went on to win Wimbledon at just seventeen years old, in an astonishing upset against reigning champion Serena Williams—the match that kicked off their legendary rivalry and placed Sharapova on the international stage. At eighteen, she reached the number-one WTA ranking for the first time, and has held that ranking many times since. In this gripping autobiography, the five-time Grand Slam winner recounts the story of her phenomenal rise to success, narrated with the same no-holds-barred, fiercely provocative attitude that characterizes her tennis game. Full of thrilling, insightful episodes from her beginnings in Siberia, from career-defining games, and from her recent fight to get back on the court, Unstoppable is an inspiring tale of persistence, pulsing with fearlessness and candor. Sharapova’s is an utterly unforgettable story.

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What Happened  by Hillary Rodham Clinton.jpgWhat Happened  by Hillary Rodham Clinton

“In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.” —Hillary Rodham Clinton, from the introduction of What Happened

For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.

In these pages, she describes what it was like to run against Donald Trump, the mistakes she made, how she has coped with a shocking and devastating loss, and how she found the strength to pick herself back up afterward. With humor and candor, she tells readers what it took to get back on her feet—the rituals, relationships, and reading that got her through, and what the experience has taught her about life. She speaks about the challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age, and appearance, and the double standard confronting women in politics.

She lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary. By analyzing the evidence and connecting the dots, Hillary shows just how dangerous the forces are that shaped the outcome, and why Americans need to understand them to protect our values and our democracy in the future.

The election of 2016 was unprecedented and historic. What Happened is the story of that campaign and its aftermath—both a deeply intimate account and a cautionary tale for the nation.

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The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone.jpgThe Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone

Joining the ranks of Hidden Figures and In the Garden of Beasts, the incredible true story of the greatest codebreaking duo that ever lived, an American woman and her husband who invented the modern science of cryptology together and used it to confront the evils of their time, solving puzzles that unmasked Nazi spies and helped win World War II

In 1912, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the U.S. government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code-breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the “Adam and Eve” of the NSA, Elizebeth’s story, incredibly, has never been told

In The Woman Who Smashed Codes, Jason Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, who played an integral role in our nation’s history for forty years. After World War I, Smith used her talents to catch gangsters and smugglers during Prohibition, then accepted a covert mission to discover and expose Nazi spy rings that were spreading like wildfire across South America, advancing ever closer to the United States. As World War II raged, Elizabeth fought a highly classified battle of wits against Hitler’s Reich, cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine used by German spies. Meanwhile, inside an Army vault in Washington, William worked furiously to break Purple, the Japanese version of Enigma–and eventually succeeded, at a terrible cost to his personal life.Fagone unveils America’s code-breaking history through the prism of Smith’s life, bringing into focus the unforgettable events and colorful personalities that would help shape modern intelligence.

Blending the lively pace and compelling detail that are the hallmarks of Erik Larson’s bestsellers with the atmosphere and intensity of The Imitation GameThe Woman Who Smashed Codes is page-turning popular history at its finest.

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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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