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February 2016

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And Then All Hell Broke Loose by Richard Engel

And Then All Hell Broke Loose by Richard Engel

Based on two decades of reporting, NBC’s chief foreign correspondent’s riveting story of the Middle East revolutions, the Arab Spring, war, and terrorism seen up-close—sometimes dangerously so.

When he was just twenty-three, a recent graduate of Stanford University, Richard Engel set off to Cairo with $2,000 and dreams of being a reporter. Shortly thereafter he was working freelance for Arab news sources and got a call that a busload of Italian tourists were massacred at a Cairo museum. This is his first view of the carnage these years would pile on. Over two decades Engel has been under fire, blown out of hotel beds, taken hostage. He has watched Mubarak and Morsi in Egypt arrested and condemned, reported from Jerusalem, been through the Lebanese war, covered the whole shooting match in Iraq, interviewed Libyan rebels who toppled Gaddafi, reported from Syria as Al-Qaeda stepped in, was kidnapped in the Syrian crosscurrents of fighting. He goes into Afghanistan with the Taliban and to Iraq with ISIS. In the page-turning And Then All Hell Broke Loose, he shares his adventure tale.

Engel takes chances, though not reckless ones, keeps a level head and a sense of humor, as well as a grasp of history in the making. Reporting as NBC’s Chief-Foreign Correspondent, he reveals his unparalleled access to the major figures, the gritty soldiers, and the helpless victims in the Middle East during this watershed time. We can experience the unforgettable suffering and despair of the local populations. Engel’s vivid description is intimate and personal. Importantly, it is a succinct and authoritative account of the ever-changing currents in that dangerous land.

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Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder by Claudia Kalb .jpg

Andy Warhol Was a Horder by Claudia Kalb

Was Andy Warhol a hoarder? Did Einstein have autism? Was Frank Lloyd Wright a narcissist? In this surprising, inventive, and meticulously researched look at the evolution of mental health, acclaimed health and science journalist Claudia Kalb gives readers a glimpse into the lives of high-profile historic figures through the lens of modern psychology, weaving groundbreaking research into biographical narratives that are deeply embedded in our culture. From Marilyn Monroe’s borderline personality disorder to Charles Darwin’s anxiety, Kalb provides compelling insight into a broad range of maladies, using historical records and interviews with leading mental health experts, biographers, sociologists, and other specialists. Packed with intriguing revelations, this smart narrative brings a new perspective to one of the hottest new topics in today’s cultural conversation.

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The First Congress by Fergus M. Bordewich

The First Congress by Fergus M. Bordewich

The little known story of perhaps the most productive Congress in US history, the First Federal Congress of 1789–1791.

The First Congress was the most important in US history, says prizewinning author and historian Fergus Bordewich, because it established how our government would actually function. Had it failed—as many at the time feared it would—it’s possible that the United States as we know it would not exist today.

The Constitution was a broad set of principles. It was left to the members of the First Congress and President George Washington to create the machinery that would make the government work. Fortunately, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and others less well known today, rose to the occasion. During two years of often fierce political struggle, they passed the first ten amendments to the Constitution; they resolved bitter regional rivalries to choose the site of the new national capital; they set in place the procedure for admitting new states to the union; and much more. But the First Congress also confronted some issues that remain to this day: the conflict between states’ rights and the powers of national government; the proper balance between legislative and executive power; the respective roles of the federal and state judiciaries; and funding the central government. Other issues, such as slavery, would fester for decades before being resolved.

The First Congress tells the dramatic story of the two remarkable years when Washington, Madison, and their dedicated colleagues struggled to successfully create our government, an achievement that has lasted to the present day.

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Fix-It and Forget-It Baking with Your Slow Cooker by Phyllis Pellman Good.jpg

Fix-It and Forget-It Baking with Your Slow Cooker by Phyllis Pellman Good

You knew that slow cookers make delicious soups and stews, but did you know that they also make soft and chewy cookies, gooey bars, fluffy cakes, and moist breads? The beloved Fix-It and Forget-It series has sold nearly eleven million copies, giving home cooks around the world exactly what they crave—recipes for delicious, satisfying meals that anyone can make with simple ingredients and minimal preparation time. Now, New York Times–bestselling author Phyllis Good presents a collection that gives cooks an unexpected treat—fabulous baked goods!

Featuring 150 new, mouthwatering recipes—all carefully tested—this will be the go-to book for bake sales, last-minute guests, holiday baking, and everyday treats!

Fix-It and Forget-It Baking with Your Slow Cooker is a big, full-color, useful cookbook that, in addition to recipes, offers tips and tricks for baking with your slow cooker, FAQs, suggestions for substituting common allergen ingredients, and more.

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The Golden Lad by Eric Burns.jpg

The Golden Lad by Eric Burns

More than a century has passed since Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House, but he still continues to fascinate. Never has a more exuberant man been our nation’s leader. He became a war hero, reformed the NYPD, busted the largest railroad and oil trusts, passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, created national parks and forests, won the Nobel Peace Prize, and built the Panama Canal—to name just a few.

Yet it was the cause he championed the hardest—America’s entry in to WWI—that would ultimately divide and destroy him. His youngest son, Quentin, his favorite, would die in an air fight. How does looking at Theodore’s relationship with his son, and understanding him as a father, tell us something new about this larger-than-life-man? Does it reveal a more human side? A more hypocritical side? Or simply, if tragically, a nature so surprisingly sensitive, despite the bluster, that he would die of a broken heart?

Roosevelt’s own history of boyhood illnesses made him so aware of was like to be a child in pain, that he could not bear the thought of his own children suffering. The Roosevelts were a family of pillow-fights, pranks, and “scary bear.” And it was the baby, Quentin—the frailest—who worried his father the most. Yet in the end, it was he who would display, in his brief life, the most intellect and courage of all.

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In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri.jpg

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

In Other Words is at heart a love story—of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. And although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery had always eluded her. So in 2012, seeking full immersion, she decided to move to Rome with her family, for “a trial by fire, a sort of baptism” into a new language and world.

In Rome, Lahiri began to read, and to write—initially in her journal—solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice. Presented in a dual-language format, it is a book about exile, linguistic and otherwise, written with an intensity and clarity not seen since Nabokov. A startling act of self-reflection and a provocative exploration of belonging and reinvention.

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Indentured by Joe Nocera.jpg

Indentured by Joe Nocera

For more than half a century, the NCAA has been one of the most powerful, and impregnable, institutions in America, a cartel that acted to prevent the athletes from receiving any money from their labors, while enriching everyone else involved in college sports.  The athletes had signed up for indentured servitude to chase their dreams of pro glory, with the NCAA as their overlords.   Wrapping itself in the mantle of “amateurism,” the NCAA was ruthless in its application of its rules that prevented players from receiving anything for their talents aside from their scholarships.  A scholarship that didn’t necessarily guarantee an education or a diploma.

But in 2000, three West Coast economists decided to take on this cartel, and laid the groundwork for a major lawsuit.  At around the same time, a former UCLA football player named Ramogi Huma began an organization to help and represent college athletes.  A college quarterback decided to try to unionize his team.  And a former sneaker marketer, Sonny Vaccaro, who was the first to pay college coaches to get their teams to wear his sneakers, quit his job and began to crusade against the NCAA.

Indentured is the story of how this small band of renegades, working sometimes in concert and sometimes alone, took on the NCAA, nearly bringing it to its knees.

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Leonard by William Shatner.jpg

Leonard by William Shatner

Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner first crossed paths as actors on the set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Little did they know that their next roles, in a new science-fiction television series, would shape their lives in ways no one could have anticipated. In seventy-nine television episodes and six feature films, they grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine.

Over the course of half a century, Shatner and Nimoy saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows. In this powerfully emotional book, Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set, as well as gathering stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life.

As much a biography of Nimoy as a story of their friendship,Leonard is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.

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A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold.jpg

A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold

On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Over the course of minutes, they would kill twelve students and a teacher and wound twenty-four others before taking their own lives.

For the last sixteen years, Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, has lived with the indescribable grief and shame of that day. How could her child, the promising young man she had loved and raised, be responsible for such horror? And how, as his mother, had she not known something was wrong? Were there subtle signs she had missed? What, if anything, could she have done differently?

These are questions that Klebold has grappled with every day since the Columbine tragedy. In A Mother’s Reckoning, she chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with the incomprehensible. In the hope that the insights and understanding she has gained may help other families recognize when a child is in distress, she tells her story in full, drawing upon her personal journals, the videos and writings that Dylan left behind, and on countless interviews with mental health experts.

Filled with hard-won wisdom and compassion, A Mother’s Reckoning is a powerful and haunting book that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues of our time. And with fresh wounds from the recent Newtown and Charleston shootings, never has the need for understanding been more urgent.

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Originals by Adam M. Grant.jpg

Originals by Adam M. Grant

With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation’s most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?

Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can fight groupthink to build cultures that welcome dissent. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.

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Playing the Edge by Michael V. Hayden.jpg

Playing the Edge by Michael V. Hayden

For General Michael Hayden, playing to the edge means playing so close to the line that you get chalk dust on your cleats. Otherwise, by playing back, you may protect yourself, but you will be less successful in protecting America. “Play to the edge” was Hayden’s guiding principle when he ran the National Security Agency, and it remained so when he ran CIA.  In his view, many shortsighted and uninformed people are quick to criticize, and this book will give them much to chew on but little easy comfort; it is an unapologetic insider’s look told from the perspective of the people who faced awesome responsibilities head on, in the moment.

How did American intelligence respond to terrorism, a major war and the most sweeping technological revolution in the last 500 years?  What was NSA before 9/11 and how did it change in its aftermath?  Why did NSA begin the controversial terrorist surveillance program that included the acquisition of domestic phone records? What else was set in motion during this period that formed the backdrop for the infamous Snowden revelations in 2013?

As Director of CIA in the last three years of the Bush administration,  Hayden had to deal with the rendition, detention and interrogation program as bequeathed to him by his predecessors. He also had to ramp up the agency to support its role in the targeted killing program that began to dramatically increase in July 2008. This was a time of great crisis at CIA, and some agency veterans have credited Hayden with actually saving the agency. He himself won’t go that far, but he freely acknowledges that CIA helped turn the American security establishment into the most effective killing machine in the history of armed conflict.

For 10 years, then, General Michael Hayden was a participant in some of the most telling events in the annals of American national security. General Hayden’s goals are in writing this book are simple and unwavering: No apologies. No excuses. Just what happened. And why. As he writes, “There is a story here that deserves to be told, without varnish and without spin. My view is my view, and others will certainly have different perspectives, but this view deserves to be told to create as complete a history as possible of these turbulent times. I bear no grudges, or at least not many, but I do want this to be a straightforward and readable history for that slice of the American population who depend on and appreciate intelligence, but who do not have the time to master its many obscure characteristics.”

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The Point Is by Lee Eisenberg.jpg

The Point Is by Lee Eisenberg

In this engaging and provocative new book, Lee Eisenberg, bestselling author of The Number, dares to tackle nothing less than what it takes to find enduring meaning and purpose in life.

He explains how from a young age, each of us is compelled to take memories of events and relationships and shape them into a one-of-a-kind personal narrative. In addition to sharing his own pivotal memories (some of them moving, some just a shade embarrassing), Eisenberg presents striking research culled from psychology and neuroscience, and draws on insights from a pantheon of thinkers and great writers-Tolstoy, Freud, Joseph Campbell, Virginia Woolf, among others.

We also hear from men and women of all ages who are wrestling with the demands of work and family, ever in search of fulfillment and satisfaction.

It all adds up to a fascinating story, delightfully told, one that goes straight to the heart of how we explain ourselves to ourselves-in other words, who we are and why.

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Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson.png

Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson

In almost every interview she gives, Kate Hudson is asked the same questions: What do you eat? How do you stay so fit? What workout do you do? What’s your secret? Well, the secret is that the sound bites the media loves so much don’t tell the story, and the steps you need to take to have a healthy, vibrant and happy life can’t be captured in a short interview. The key to living well, and healthy, is to plug into what your body needs, understanding that one size does not fit all, all the time, and being truly honest with yourself about your goals and desires.

Like everyone else, Kate is constantly on the move, with a life full of work, family, responsibilities and relationships. In Pretty Happy, Kate shows how she honors her relationship with herself through exercise, making the right choices about what she eats, and constantly going back to the drawing board and starting fresh, instead of holding herself to unrealistic standards of perfection and giving up when she falls short. Focusing on the Four Pillars of Health to enhance her well-being, Pretty Happyshows the benefits of:

Cultivating an Intuitive Relationship With Your Body, Eating Well, Awakening Your Body through movement, The Miracle of Mindfullness.
Full of questionnaires to help you assess your Body Type and your stress levels, advice about cleanses and keeping your diet and body balanced, and plenty of interactive Drawing Board exercises, Pretty Happy is a beautiful, insightful, and personal look at health from the inside out, an authentic plan for an authentic life from a woman who truly lives what she speaks.

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Turning the Tables by Teresa Giudice

Turning the Tables by Teresa Giudice

The star of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and three-time New York Times bestselling author offers a behind-the-scenes look at life in prison, her marriage, her rise to fame, the importance of her family, and the reality TV franchise that made her a household name in her explosive and ultimately uplifting first-ever memoir.

“People think they know everything about me…but they don’t. Not even close.”

Teresa Giudice, star of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, has seen it all, but nothing—not even Real Housewives scandals—could compare to the media firestorm that ensued after she was convicted on federal fraud charges.

The infamous, fun-loving Jersey mom of four was sentenced to fifteen months in the same prison where Piper Kerman—the real-life inspiration behind Orange Is the New Black—did her time. Her tiny prison cubicle in Connecticut felt so far removed from the glamorous world portrayed on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. What was a skinny Italian to do? Keep a diary, of course…

In her very first tell-all memoir, Teresa comes clean on all things Giudice: growing up as an Italian-American, meeting the love of her life and starting a family, dealing with chaos and catfights on national television, and eventually, coming to terms with the reality of life in prison. Featuring never-before-seen scans of her prison diary, Turning the Tables captures some of the most memorable moments of her prison stay, including the cringe-inducing fistfights she witnessed, the awkward conundrum of being trapped when a fellow inmate had a…guest…over, and the strength she found while confined between four concrete walls.

Even at her lowest of lows, Teresa was able to live la bella vita by staying positive and realizing her purpose. Friends, foes, and fans have speculated about Teresa’s prison experience, but nothing will prepare you for the revelations she makes in this entertaining and heartwarming memoir.

“The world will see a new Teresa. A different Teresa. Well, actually, the Teresa I always was.”

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The Water-Saving Garden by Pam Penick.jpg

The Water-Saving Garden by Pam Penick

With climate change, water rationing, and drought on the rise, conserving water is more important than ever—but that doesn’t mean your gardening options are limited to cacti and rocks. The Water-Saving Garden provides gardeners and homeowners with a diverse array of techniques and plentiful inspiration for creating outdoor spaces that are so beautiful and inviting, it’s hard to believe they are water-thrifty. Including a directory of 100 plants appropriate for a variety of drought-prone regions of the country, this accessible and contemporary guide is full of must-know information on popular gardening topics like native and drought-tolerant plants, rainwater harvesting, greywater systems, permeable paving, and more.

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