New Nonfiction

April 2016

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approvaljunkie.jpgApproval Junkie by Faith Salie

Faith Salie has done it all in the name of validation. Whether it’s trying to impress her parents with a perfect GPA, undergoing an exorsism in the hopes of saving her toxic marriage, or maintaining the BMI of “a flapper with a touch of dysentery,” Salie is the ultimate approval seeker—an “approval junkie,” if you will.

In “Miss Aphrodite,” she recounts her strategy for winning the high school beauty pageant. (“Not to brag or anything, but no one stood a chance against my emaciated, spastic resolve.”) “What I Wore to My Divorce” describes Salie’s struggle to pick the perfect outfit to wear to the courthouse to divorce her “wasband.” (“I envisioned a look that said, ‘Yo, THIS is what you’ll be missing…even though you’ve introduced your new girlfriend to our mutual friends, and she’s a decade younger than I am and is also a fit model.”) In “Ovary Achiever,” she shares tips on how to ace your egg retrieval. (“Thank your fertility doctor when she announces you have ‘amazing ovaries.’ Try to be humble about it [‘Oh,these old things?’].”) And in “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me About Batman’s Nipples” she reveals the secrets behind Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! (“I study for this show like Tracy Flick on Adderall”).

With thoughtful irreverence, Salie reflects on why she tries so hard to please others, and herself, highlighting a phenomenon that many people—especially women—experience at home and in the workplace. Equal parts laugh-out loud funny and poignant, Approval Junkie is one woman’s journey to realizing that seeking approval from others is more than just getting them to like you—it’s challenging yourself to achieve, and survive, more than you ever thought you could.

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arewesmartenough.jpgAre We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by F.B.M. de Waal

What separates your mind from an animal’s? Maybe you think it’s your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future—all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet’s preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have eroded, or even been disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long.

People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different forms that are often incomparable to ours? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you’re less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or would you judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat? De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence.

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thebadasslibrarians.jpgThe Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer

To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven.

In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers.

In 2012, thousands of Al Qaeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali, including Timbuktu. They imposed Sharia law, chopped off the hands of accused thieves, stoned to death unmarried couples, and threatened to destroy the great manuscripts. As the militants tightened their control over Timbuktu, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali.

Over the past twenty years, journalist Joshua Hammer visited Timbuktu numerous times and is uniquely qualified to tell the story of Haidara’s heroic and ultimately successful effort to outwit Al Qaeda and preserve Mali’s—and the world’s—literary patrimony. Hammer explores the city’s manuscript heritage and offers never-before-reported details about the militants’ march into northwest Africa. But above all, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is an inspiring account of the victory of art and literature over extremism.

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becominggrandma.jpgBecoming Grandma by Lesley Stahl

After four decades as a reporter, Lesley Stahl’s most vivid and transformative experience of her life was not covering the White House, interviewing heads of state, or researching stories at 60 Minutes. It was becoming a grandmother. She was hit with a jolt of joy so intense and unexpected, she wanted to “investigate” it—as though it were a news flash. And so, using her 60 Minutesskills, she explored how grandmothering changes a woman’s life, interviewing friends like Whoopi Goldberg, colleagues like Diane Sawyer (and grandfathers, including Tom Brokaw), as well as the proverbial woman next door.

Along with these personal accounts, Stahl speakswith scientists and doctors about physiological changes that occur in women when they have grandchildren; anthropologists about why there are grandmothers, in evolutionary terms; and psychiatrists about the therapeutic effects of grandchildren on both grandmothers and grandfathers.

Throughout Becoming Grandma, Stahl shares stories about her own life with granddaughters Jordan and Chloe, about how her relationship with her daughter, Taylor, has changed, and about how being a grandfather has affected her husband, Aaron.

In an era when baby boomers are becoming grandparents in droves and when young parents need all the help they can get raising their children, Stahl’s book is a timely and affecting read that re-defines a cherished relationship.

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jamsandjellies.jpgBetter Homes and Gardens Jams and Jellies

Joining the successful line of canning titles from Better Homes and Gardens, this innovative guide focuses exclusively on jams and jellies. Along with all the classic recipes such as Strawberry Jam (both freezer and water-bath canned), Orange Marmalade, and Grape Jelly, it also offers fun flavor twists such as wine-herb combinations; spicy and savory concoctions perfect for making beautiful hors d’oeuvres, like Hot Pepper Jelly; and creative ideas like Carrot Cake Jam, which makes for an indulgent toast-topper.  The book showcases more than 100 delicious recipes with a photo of each, as well as step-by-step and ingredient shots where appropriate. It includes full water-bath canning information, proportion charts to help readers create their own recipes, and recipes using alternate sweeteners and low-sugar pectins. And, because they make such perfect gifts, there is a special section on wrapping and presenting jams and jellies.

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bigfattruthThe Big Fat Truth by J.D. Roth

When Meredith hit the finish line at the Niagara Falls Marathon last year, people in their living rooms all across America choked up. Who could help it? Here was a young woman who, just a few months earlier, had weighed in at 340 pounds on the hit ABC show Extreme Weight Loss. Now for all the world to see—and merely part way into her one-year effort to pare down—she’d (literally) gone further than she’d ever expected. From barely being able to walk up the stairs to running 26.2 miles in practically no time? The body is an amazing thing. And yet … it’s no match for the brain. It wasn’t the strength of Meredith’s body propelling her across the Niagara Falls finish line—it was the power of her mind.

No one knows that better than JD Roth, who as the number one producer of TV weight loss shows has helped countless overweight people change their bodies—and lives—for the better. Viewers of Extreme Weight Loss, The Biggest Loser, The Revolution and other transformational shows have seen the “technicians”—the trainers, the nutritionists, the doctors, and other health pros who appear on-screen—but they’ve never seen the heart and soul behind these amazing makeovers. That would be JD, whose production company not only created weight loss television, but who has produced more episodes in the genre than all other producers combined. He’s the behind-the-scenes wizard who gets inside the heads of the shows’ participants, encouraging, persuading, prodding, and inspiring them to succeed. Intimately involved in casting the shows’ contestants, then seeing them through the weight loss process, he’s the guy whose picture they tape onto their elliptical trainers and angrily scream at each night—then hug out of gratitude the next morning. He’s the guy who holds them when they cry and the one who tells them they need to get back on the treadmill even though they’re crying. JD is the shows’ tough-love dad—love being the operative word. Because it’s not just TV to JD; he’s on a mission to change people’s lives.

Every fat person (yes, “fat person”—there’ll be no sugarcoating here) knows that you need to move more and eat less to shed pounds. Not exactly rocket science. Yet that simple formula doesn’t get to the root of what makes someone top out at 500 pounds, or sometimes just carry an extra fifty. The missing link in transformative weight loss is mental and emotional fortitude. Mining the same problem-solving and motivational skills JD has used so successfully with reality show contestants, The Big Fat Truth gets readers to address the real reasons they’re overweight (and nobody gets away with saying it’s because they love food). With his combination of enthusiasm, empathy, no-holds-barred style, and master story-telling abilities, JD helps them unearth and tackle the unresolved issues they’ve buried under the French fries and chocolate chip cookie.

Presented in three parts, The Big Fat Truth includes short straight-to-the-point chapters that help readers identify their real issues, create their own reality show, and then shake up their lives to do the impossible. Included throughout are inspiring stories, advice, and before-and-after photos from people JD has helped to lose weight (both on camera and off), along with quick tips for how to stay accountable and a 30-day plan for putting this advice into action.

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brilliantbeacons.jpgBrilliant Beacons by Eric Jay Dolin

Set against the backdrop of an expanding nation, Brilliant Beacons traces the evolution of America’s lighthouse system from its earliest days, highlighting the political, military, and technological battles fought to illuminate the nation’s hardscrabble coastlines. Beginning with “Boston Light,” America’s first lighthouse, Dolin shows how the story of America, from colony to regional backwater, to fledging nation, and eventually to global industrial power, can be illustrated through its lighthouses.

Even in the colonial era, the question of how best to solve the collective problem of lighting our ports, reefs, and coasts through a patchwork of private interests and independent localities telegraphed the great American debate over federalism and the role of a centralized government. As the nation expanded, throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, so too did the coastlines in need of illumination, from New England to the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, the Pacific Coast all the way to Alaska. In Dolin’s hands we see how each of these beacons tell its own story of political squabbling, technological advancement, engineering marvel, and individual derring-do.

In rollicking detail, Dolin treats readers to a memorable cast of characters, from the penny-pinching Treasury official Stephen Pleasonton, who hamstrung the country’s efforts to adopt the revolutionary Fresnel lens, to the indomitable Katherine Walker, who presided so heroically over New York Harbor as keeper at Robbins Reef Lighthouse that she was hailed as a genuine New York City folk hero upon her death in 1931. He also animates American military history from the Revolution to the Civil War and presents tales both humorous and harrowing of soldiers, saboteurs, Civil War battles, ruthless egg collectors, and, most important, the lighthouse keepers themselves, men and women who often performed astonishing acts of heroism in carrying out their duties.

In the modern world of GPS and satellite-monitored shipping lanes, Brilliant Beacons forms a poignant elegy for the bygone days of the lighthouse, a symbol of American ingenuity that served as both a warning and a sign of hope for generations of mariners; and it also shows how these sentinels have endured, retaining their vibrancy to the present day. Containing over 150 photographs and illustrations, Brilliant Beacons vividly reframes America’s history.

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capture.jpgCapture by David A Kessler

Why do we think, feel, and act in ways we wished we did not? For decades, New York Times bestselling author Dr. David A Kessler has studied this question with regard to tobacco, food, and drugs. Over the course of these investigations, he identified one underlying mechanism common to a broad range of human suffering. This phenomenon—capture—is the process by which our attention is hijacked and our brains commandeered by forces outside our control.

In Capture, Dr. Kessler considers some of the most profound questions we face as human beings: What are the origins of mental afflictions, from everyday unhappiness to addiction and depression—and how are they connected? Where does healing and transcendence fit into this realm of emotional experience?

Analyzing an array of insights from psychology, medicine, neuroscience, literature, philosophy, and theology, Dr. Kessler deconstructs centuries of thinking, examining the central role of capture in mental illness and questioning traditional labels that have obscured our understanding of it. With a new basis for understanding the phenomenon of capture, he explores the concept through the emotionally resonant stories of both well-known and un-known people caught in its throes.

The closer we can come to fully comprehending the nature of capture, Dr. Kessler argues, the better the chance to alleviate its deleterious effects and successfully change our thoughts and behavior Ultimately, Capture offers insight into how we form thoughts and emotions, manage trauma, and heal. For the first time, we can begin to understand the underpinnings of not only mental illness, but also our everyday worries and anxieties.Capture is an intimate and critical exploration of the most enduring human mystery of all: the mind.

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changingnormal.jpgChanging Normal by Marilu Henner

The New York Times bestselling author and beloved actor from the sitcom Taxi, Marilu Henner delivers an intimate account of how she and her husband stood together and triumphed.

After they’d been dating only a short while, and as they were falling madly in love, Marilu Henner and Michael Brown were hit with the ultimate bad news: Michael was diagnosed with cancer. Refusing traditional care, they pieced together a personal and holistic view on battling his cancer, all while forging an unbreakable bond.

In this moving and informative book, Marilu pulls back the curtain on how they dealt with the blow. She relates her holistic perspective on health—including the superfoods, exercises, and immunotherapy they used to fight back—and why a diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of romance or of a happy and fulfilling life. Takeaways, tips, and practical advice make this a useful guide for anyone working to sustain a relationship through the adversity of disease.

Written with an engaging voice, a sense of humor, and life-changing wisdom, Changing Normal is a personal and touching look at how Marilu and Michael faced down a cancer diagnosis and came out the other side happier, healthier, and more in love than ever.

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deltalady.jpgDelta Lady by Rita Coolidge

The two-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter bares her heart and soul in this intimate memoir, a story of music, stardom, love, family, heritage, and resilience.

She inspired songs—Leon Russell wrote “A Song for You” and “Delta Lady” for her, Stephen Stills wrote “Cherokee.” She co-wrote songs—“Superstar” and the piano coda to “Layla,” uncredited. She sang backup for Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, and Stills, before finding fame as a solo artist with such hits as “We’re All Alone” and “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher.” Following her story from Lafayette, Tennessee to becoming one of the most sought after rock vocalists in LA in the 1970s, Delta Lady chronicles Rita Coolidge’s fascinating journey throughout the ’60s-’70s pop/rock universe.

A muse to some of the twentieth century’s most influential rock musicians, she broke hearts, and broke up bands. Her relationship with drummer Jim Gordon took a violent turn during the legendary 1970 Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour; David Crosby maintained that her triangle with Stills and Graham Nash was the last straw for the group. Her volatile six-year marriage to Kris Kristofferson yielded two Grammys, a daughter, and one of the Baby Boom generation’s epic love stories. Throughout it all, her strength, resilience, and inner and outer beauty—along with her strong sense of heritage and devotion to her family—helped her to not only survive, but thrive. Co-written with best-selling author Michael Walker,Delta Lady is a rich, deeply personal memoir that offers a front row seat to an iconic era, and illuminates the life of an artist whose career has helped shape modern American culture.

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gameofcrownsGame of Crowns by Christopher Andersen

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of William and Kate and The Day Diana Died takes a compulsively readable look into the relationships and rivalries of Queen Elizabeth, Camilla Parker Bowles, and Kate Middleton.

One has been famous longer than anyone on the planet—a wily stateswoman and an enduring symbol of a fading institution. One is the great-granddaughter of a king’s mistress and a celebrated homewrecker who survived a firestorm of scorn to marry her lover and replace her arch rival, a beloved twentieth-century figure. One is a beautiful commoner, the university-educated daughter of a self-made entrepreneur, a fashion idol, and wife and mother to two future kings.

Master biographer Christopher Andersen takes readers behind palace walls to examine the surprising similarities and stark differences among three remarkable women—Queen Elizabeth; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; and Princess Kate. Andersen reveals what transpires within the royal family away from the public’s prying eyes; how the women actually feel about each other; how they differ as lovers, wives, and mothers; and how they are reshaping the landscape of the monarchy in this addictive read that will shock even those who are spellbound by the royal palace.

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heragain.jpgHer Again by Michael Schulman

A portrait of a woman, an era, and a profession: the first thoroughly researched biography of Meryl Streep—the “Iron Lady” of acting, nominated for nineteen Oscars and winner of three—that explores her beginnings as a young woman of the 1970s grappling with love, feminism, and her astonishing talent.

In 1975 Meryl Streep, a promising young graduate of the Yale School of Drama, was finding her place in the New York theater scene. Burning with talent and ambition, she was like dozens of aspiring actors of the time—a twenty-something beauty who rode her bike everywhere, kept a diary, napped before performances, and stayed out late “talking about acting with actors in actors’ bars.” Yet Meryl stood apart from her peers. In her first season in New York, she won attention-getting parts in back-to-back Broadway plays, a Tony Award nomination, and two roles in Shakespeare in the Park productions. Even then, people said, “Her. Again.”

Her Again is an intimate look at the artistic coming-of-age of the greatest actress of her generation, from the homecoming float at her suburban New Jersey high school, through her early days on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama during its golden years, to her star-making roles in The Deer Hunter, Manhattan, and Kramer vs. Kramer. New Yorker contributor Michael Schulman brings into focus Meryl’s heady rise to stardom on the New York stage; her passionate, tragically short-lived love affair with fellow actor John Cazale; her marriage to sculptor Don Gummer; and her evolution as a young woman of the 1970s wrestling with changing ideas of feminism, marriage, love, and sacrifice.

Featuring eight pages of black-and-white photos, this captivating story of the making of one of the most revered artistic careers of our time reveals a gifted young woman coming into her extraordinary talents at a time of immense transformation, offering a rare glimpse into the life of the actress long before she became an icon.

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cleanandhungry.jpgHungry Girl Clean & Hungry by Lisa Lillien

Complete with full-color photos of EVERY recipe, Hungry Girl Clean & Hungry combines the best of Hungry Girl with the best of clean eating. The food is still guilt-free, and the portions are still huge…but now Lisa Lillien is highlighting CLEAN ingredients and doing away with artificial and processed foods. This book gives mainstream America delicious, satisfying, and clean recipes, using healthy ingredients found in supermarkets everywhere. The best part? The recipes are so easy, anyone can make ’em!

Featuring…
90 vegetarian recipes
108 gluten-free recipes
56 recipes in 30 minutes or less
43 recipes with 5 ingredients or less

Recipes like…
PB&J Waffles (203 calories)
BBQ Meatloaf (196 calories)
Hawaiian Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple (229 calories)
Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake (100 calories)

Finally… a real-world (and DELICIOUS) approach to clean eating!

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insidecontentmarketing.jpgInside Content Marketing by Theresa Cramer

Marketers and brands are eager to cash in on the content marketing craze, but as EContent’s Theresa Cramer points out, relatively few firms are doing it well. In this book, Cramer’s savvy guidance demystifies the discipline and presents tactics and strategies that are working today. Cramer offers definitions and background, highlights minefields and misfires, and describes exciting new roles and opportunities for marketers, publishers, and journalists. Inside Content Marketing is more than a how-to guide—it’s engaging and perceptive.

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itsalleasy.jpgIt’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow is back to share more than 125 of her favorite recipes that can be made in the time it would take to order takeout (which often contains high quantities of fat, sugar, and processed ingredients). All the dishes are surprisingly tasty, with little or no sugar, fat, or gluten. From easy breakfasts to lazy suppers, this book has something for everybody. Yummy recipes include Chocolate Cinnamon Overnight Oats, Soft Polenta with Cherry Tomatoes, Chicken Enchiladas, Pita Bread Pizzas, Quick Sesame Noodles, and more! Plus, an innovative chapter for “on-the-go” meals (Moroccan Chicken Salad Wrap, Chopped Salad with Grilled Shrimp, and others) that you can take for lunch to work or school, to a picnic, or to eat while watching soccer practice!

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kardashiandynasty.jpgKardashian Dynasty by Ian Halperin

#1 New York Times bestselling author and investigator Ian Halperin pulls back the curtain on America’s notorious Kardashian family—exposing their shaky foundation for fame—one shocking revelation at a time.

The Kardashians and Jenners have taken the world by storm, collectively rising to superfame after making their reality show debut on E! with Keeping Up with the Kardashians in 2007. Since then, their family life has remained a constant circus of tabloid headlines, red carpet appearances, branding deals, reality shows and their spinoffs, and a slew of media coverage. As revered and polarizing as royalty, the Kardashians have stolen the celebrity spotlight—and they show no signs of giving it up.

And yet, amidst their mega success, the Kardashians have faced a firestorm of negative publicity over the years: particularly over Kris Jenner’s role in the family. As matriarch and momager of the Kardashian clan, Kris has been accused of exploiting her children for fame and money and playing the media like a deck of cards.

Based on extensive research, Ian Halperin delivers the salacious details behind the Kardashians’ rise to fame. With revelations exposing the family’s foundation as shaky at best and scandalous at worst, Halperin scrutinizes their self-made multi-million dollar brand. Focusing on three key players—Kris Jenner, Rob Kardashian, and (formerly Bruce) Caitlyn Jenner—Halperin provides an unparalleled glimpse into the events and scandals that have propelled the Kardashians to worldwide celebrity, for better or worse.

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thelastgoodnight.jpgThe Last Goodnight by Howard Blum

The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Dark Invasion, channels Erik Larson and Ben Macintyre in this riveting biography of Betty Pack, the dazzling American debutante who became an Allied spy during WWII and was hailed by OSS chief General “Wild Bill” Donovan as “the greatest unsung heroine of the war.”

Betty Pack was charming, beautiful, and intelligent—and she knew it. As an agent for Britain’s MI-6 and then America’s OSS during World War II, these qualities proved crucial to her success. This is the remarkable story of this “Mata Hari from Minnesota” (Time) and the passions that ruled her tempestuous life—a life filled with dangerous liaisons and death-defying missions vital to the Allied victory.

For decades, much of Betty’s career working for MI-6 and the OSS remained classified. Through access to recently unclassified files, Howard Blum discovers the truth about the attractive blond, codenamed “Cynthia,” who seduced diplomats and military attachés across the globe in exchange for ciphers and secrets; cracked embassy safes to steal codes; and obtained the Polish notebooks that proved key to Alan Turing’s success with Operation Ultra.

Beneath Betty’s cool, professional determination, Blum reveals a troubled woman conflicted by the very traits that made her successful: her lack of deep emotional connections and her readiness to risk everything. The Last Goodnight is a mesmerizing, provocative, and moving portrait of an exceptional heroine whose undaunted courage helped to save the world.

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leftofboom.jpgLeft of Boom by Ralph Pezzullo

On September 11, 2001, Doug Laux was a freshman in college, on the path to becoming a doctor. But with the fall of the Twin Towers came a turning point in his life. After graduating he joined the Central Intelligence Agency, determined to get himself to Afghanistan and into the center of the action. Through persistence and hard work he was fast-tracked to a clandestine operations position overseas. Dropped into a remote region of Afghanistan, he received his baptism by fire. Frustrated by bureaucratic red tape, a widespread lack of knowledge of the local customs and culture and an attitude of complacency that hindered his ability to combat the local Taliban, Doug confounded his peers by dressing like a native and mastering the local dialect, making contact and building sources within several deadly terrorist networks. His new approach resulted in unprecedented successes, including the uncovering the largest IED network in the world, responsible for killing hundreds of US soldiers. Meanwhile, Doug had to keep up false pretenses with his family, girlfriend and friends–nobody could know what he did for a living–and deal with the emotional turbulence of constantly living a lie. His double life was building to an explosive resolution, with repercussions that would have far reaching consequences.

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lifebelowstairs.jpgLife Below Stairs by Sian Evans

From the cook, butler, and housekeeper to the footman, lady’s maid and nanny, this is a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of some of Britain’s grandest houses. An entertaining social history, steering the reader through the minefield of etiquette and hierarchy that kept Britain’s great houses running like clockwork. A bygone era is brought vividly to live through letters, journals, interviews, lively descriptions, and stunning photography of the places and possessions left behind. The largely untold stories of innumerable, rather humble, lives spent “in service” are lying just below the surface of many great houses; the physical evidence can be seen in surviving servants’ quarters, the material of their everyday life, even their uniforms and possessions. This account provides a fascinating glimpse at who’s who behind the scenes, from the cook, butler, and housekeeper to the footmen, lady’s maids, governesses and tutors, nannies and nursemaids. Giving a fascinating insight into the heirarchy within the servant’s quarters—from the power–wielding cook to the ever–discreet butler—this guide describes how relationships were forged and changed as the gap between upstairs and downstairs was bridged. Describing their typical working day as well as the holidays, entertainments, and pastimes enjoyed on a rare day off, not to mention the whirl of the social season, this previously “uwritten history” recalls vividly the nature of their lives below stairs.

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thelongevitybook.jpgThe Longevity Book by Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz follows up her #1 New York Times bestseller, The Body Book, with a personal, practical, and authoritative guide that examines the art and science of growing older and offers concrete steps women can take to create abundant health and resilience as they age.

Cameron Diaz wrote The Body Book to help educate young women about how their bodies function, empowering them to make better-informed choices about their health and encouraging them to look beyond the latest health trends to understand their bodies at the cellular level. She interviewed doctors, scientists, nutritionists, and a host of other experts, and shared what she’d learned—and what she wished she’d known twenty years earlier.

Now Cameron continues the journey she began, opening a conversation with her peers on an essential topic that that for too long has been taboo in our society: the aging female body. InThe Longevity Book, she shares the latest scientific research on how and why we age, synthesizing insights from top medical experts and with her own thoughts, opinions, and experiences.

The Longevity Book explores what history, biology, neuroscience, and the women’s health movement can teach us about maintaining optimal health as we transition from our thirties to midlife. From understanding how growing older impacts various bodily systems to the biological differences in the way aging effects men and women; the latest science on telomeres and slowing the rate of cognitive decline to how meditation heals us and why love, friendship, and laughter matter for health, The Longevity Book offers an all-encompassing, holistic look at how the female body ages—and what we can all do to age better.

Without sugarcoating the hard facts—a sixty-year-old body is different than a thirty-five-year-old body, no matter how much yoga you do—or romanticizing the upside—wisdom comes with age, if you live your life wisely—Cameron offers women a compassionate, informative, and intimate tour through the next stage of life.

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The Mathews Men by William Geroux

Mathews County, Virginia, is a remote outpost on the Chesapeake Bay with little to offer except unspoiled scenery—but it sent one of the largest concentrations of sea captains and U.S. merchant mariners of any community in America to fight in World War II. The Mathews Men tells that heroic story through the experiences of one extraordinary family whose seven sons (and their neighbors), U.S. merchant mariners all, suddenly found themselves squarely in the cross-hairs of the U-boats bearing down on the coastal United States in 1942.
From the late 1930s to 1945, virtually all the fuel, food and munitions that sustained the Allies in Europe traveled not via the Navy but in merchant ships. After Pearl Harbor, those unprotected ships instantly became the U-boats’ prime targets. And they were easy targets—the Navy lacked the inclination or resources to defend them until the beginning of 1943. Hitler was determined that his U-boats should sink every American ship they could find, sometimes within sight of tourist beaches, and to kill as many mariners as possible, in order to frighten their shipmates into staying ashore.
As the war progressed, men from Mathews sailed the North and South Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and even the icy Barents Sea in the Arctic Circle, where they braved the dreaded Murmansk Run. Through their experiences we have eyewitnesses to every danger zone, in every kind of ship. Some died horrific deaths. Others fought to survive torpedo explosions, flaming oil slicks, storms, shark attacks, mine blasts, and harrowing lifeboat odysseys—only to ship out again on the next boat as soon as they’d returned to safety.
            The Mathews Men shows us the war far beyond traditional battlefields—often the U.S. merchant mariners’ life-and-death struggles took place just off the U.S. coast—but also takes us to the landing beaches at D-Day and to the Pacific. “When final victory is ours,” General Dwight D. Eisenhower had predicted, “there is no organization that will share its credit more deservedly than the Merchant Marine.” Here, finally, is the heroic story of those merchant seamen, recast as the human story of the men from Mathews.

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mostblessedpatriarchs.jpgMost Blessed of the Patriarchs by Annette Gordon-Reed

Thomas Jefferson is often portrayed as a hopelessly enigmatic figure—a riddle—a man so riven with contradictions that he is almost impossible to know. Lauded as the most articulate voice of American freedom and equality, even as he held people—including his own family—in bondage, Jefferson is variably described as a hypocrite, an atheist, or a simple-minded proponent of limited government who expected all Americans to be farmers forever.

Now, Annette Gordon-Reed teams up with America’s leading Jefferson scholar, Peter S. Onuf, to present an absorbing and revealing character study that dispels the many clichés that have accrued over the years about our third president. Challenging the widely prevalent belief that Jefferson remains so opaque as to be unknowable, the authors—through their careful analysis, painstaking research, and vivid prose—create a portrait of Jefferson, as he might have painted himself, one “comprised of equal parts sun and shadow” (Jane Kamensky).

Tracing Jefferson’s philosophical development from youth to old age, the authors explore what they call the “empire” of Jefferson’s imagination—an expansive state of mind born of his origins in a slave society, his intellectual influences, and the vaulting ambition that propelled him into public life as a modern avatar of the Enlightenment who, at the same time, likened himself to a figure of old—”the most blessed of the patriarchs.” Indeed, Jefferson saw himself as a “patriarch,” not just to his country and mountain-like home at Monticello but also to his family, the white half that he loved so publicly, as well as to the black side that he claimed to love, a contradiction of extraordinary historical magnitude.

Divided into three sections, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”reveals a striking personal dimension to his life. Part I, “Patriarch,” explores Jeffersons’s origins in Virgina; Part II, ” ‘Traveller,’ ” covers his five-year sojourn to Paris; and Part III, “Enthusiast,” delves insightfully into the Virginian’s views on Christianity, slavery, and race. We see not just his ideas and vision of America but come to know him in an almost familial way, such as through the importance of music in his life.

“Most Blessed of the Patriarchs” fundamentally challenges much of what we’ve come to accept about Jefferson, neither hypocrite nor saint, atheist nor fundamentalist. Gordon-Reed and Onuf, through a close reading of Jefferson’s own words, reintroduce us all to our most influential founding father: a man more gifted than most, but complicated in just the ways we all are.

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thenaturalst.jpgThe Naturalist by Darrin P. Lunde

Perhaps no American president is more associated with nature and wildlife than Theodore Roosevelt, a prodigious hunter and adventurer and an ardent conservationist. We think of Roosevelt as an original, yet in The Naturalist, Darrin Lunde shows how from his earliest days Roosevelt actively modeled himself in the proud tradition of museum naturalists—the men who pioneered a key branch of American biology through their desire to collect animal specimens and develop a taxonomy of the natural world. The influence these men would have on Roosevelt would shape not just his personality but his career, informing his work as a politician and statesman and ultimately affecting generations of Americans’ relationship to this country’s wilderness. Pulling from  Roosevelt’s diaries and expedition journals, Lunde constructs a brilliantly researched, singularly insightful history that reveals the roots of Roosevelt’s enduring naturalist legacy through the group little-known men whose work and lives defined his own.

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nodreamistoo.jpgNo Dream is Too High by Buzz Aldrin

Beloved American hero Buzz Aldrin reflects on the wisdom, guiding principles, and irreverent anecdotes he’s gathered through his event-filled life—both in outer space and on earth—in this inspiring guide-to-life for the next generation.

Everywhere he goes, crowds gather to meet Buzz Aldrin. He is a world-class hero, a larger-than-life figurehead, best known of a generation of astronauts whose achievements surged in just a few years from first man in space to first men on the moon. Now he pauses to reflect and share what he has learned, from the vantage point not only of outer space but also of time: still a non-stop traveler and impassioned advocate for space exploration, Aldrin will be 86 in 2016.

No Dream Is Too High whittles down Buzz Aldrin’s event-filled life into a short list of principles he values, each illustrated by fascinating anecdotes and memories, such as:
·      Second comes right after first. NASA protocol should have meant he was first on the moon, but rules changed just before the mission. How he learned to be proud of being the second man on the moon.
·      Look for opportunities, not obstacles. Buzz was rejected the first time he applied to be an astronaut. Failure is an opportunity to learn to do better.
·      Always maintain your spirit of adventure. For his 80th birthday, Buzz went diving in the Galapagos and hitched a ride on a whale shark. He stays fit, energetic, and fascinated with life.

No Dream Is Too High is a beautiful memento, a thought-provoking set of ideas, and a new opportunity for Buzz Aldrin to connect with the masses of people who recognize his unique place in human history.

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onlyinnaplesOnly in Naples by Katherine Wilson

In the tradition of M. F. K. Fisher and Peter Mayle, this enchantingly warm and witty memoir follows American-born Katherine Wilson on her adventures abroad, where a three-month rite of passage in Naples turns into a permanent embrace of this boisterous city on the Mediterranean. It is all thanks to a surprising romance, a new passion for food, and a spirited woman who will become her mother-in-law—and teach her to laugh, to seize joy, and to love.

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riseoftherocketgirls.jpgRise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt

In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn’t turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.

For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women–known as “human computers”–who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team,Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we’ve been, and the far reaches of space to which we’re heading.

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thesleeprevolution.jpgThe Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis, writes Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post. And this has profound consequences – on our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness. What is needed, she boldly asserts, is nothing short of a sleep revolution.  Only by renewing our relationship with sleep can we take back control of our lives.

In her bestseller Thrive, Arianna wrote about our need to redefine success through well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving. Her discussion of the importance of sleep as a gateway to this more fulfilling way of living struck such a powerful chord that she realized the mystery and transformative power of sleep called for a fuller investigation.

The result is a sweeping, scientifically rigorous, and deeply personal exploration of sleep from all angles, from the history of sleep, to the role of dreams in our lives, to the consequences of sleep deprivation, and the new golden age of sleep science that is revealing the vital role sleep plays in our every waking moment and every aspect of our health – from weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease to cancer and Alzheimer’s.

In The Sleep Revolution, Arianna shows how our cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted compromises our health and our decision-making and undermines our work lives, our personal lives — and even our sex lives. She explores all the latest science on what exactly is going on while we sleep and dream.  She takes on the dangerous sleeping pill industry, and all the ways our addiction to technology disrupts our sleep. She also offers a range of recommendations and tips from leading scientists on how we can get better and more restorative sleep, and harness its incredible power.

In today’s fast-paced, always-connected, perpetually-harried and sleep-deprived world, our need for a good night’s sleep is more important – and elusive — than ever. The Sleep Revolution both sounds the alarm on our worldwide sleep crisis and provides a detailed road map to the great sleep awakening that can help   transform our lives, our communities, and our world.

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thevegitablebutcher.jpgThe Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini

The skills of butchery meet the world of fresh produce in this essential, inspiring guide that demystifies the world of vegetables.

In step-by-step photographs, “vegetable butcher” Cara Mangini shows how to break down a butternut squash, cut a cauliflower into steaks, peel a tomato properly, chiffonade kale, turn carrots into coins and parsnips into matchsticks, and find the meaty heart of an artichoke.

Additionally, more than 150 original, simple recipes put vegetables front and center, from a Kohlrabi Carpaccio to Zucchini, Sweet Corn, and Basil Penne, to a Parsnip-Ginger Layer Cake to sweeten a winter meal. It’s everything you need to know to get the best out of modern, sexy, and extraordinarily delicious vegetables.

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wherethelightgetsin.jpgWhere the Light Gets In by Kimberly Williams-Paisley

Many know Kimberly Williams-Paisley as the bride in the popular Steve Martin remakes of the Father of the Bride movies, the calculating Peggy Kenter on Nashville, or the wife of country music artist, Brad Paisley. But behind the scenes, Kim was dealing with a tragic secret: her mother, Linda, was suffering from a rare form of dementia that slowly crippled her ability to talk, write and eventually recognize people in her own family.

Where the Light Gets In tells the full story of Linda’s illness—called primary progressive aphasia—from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day. Kim draws a candid picture of the ways her family reacted for better and worse, and how she, her father and two siblings educated themselves, tried to let go of shame and secrecy, made mistakes, and found unexpected humor and grace in the midst of suffering.

Ultimately the bonds of family were strengthened, and Kim learned ways to love and accept the woman her mother became. With a moving foreword by actor and advocate Michael J. Fox,Where the Light Gets In is a heartwarming tribute to the often fragile yet unbreakable relationships we have with our mothers.

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