Non-Fiction

Items 1 to 35 of 43 total

  • A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher

    It was a technological crisis in an alien realm: a blown-out oil well in mile-deep water in the Gulf of Mexico. For the engineers who had to kill the well, this was like Apollo 13, a crisis no one saw coming, and one of untold danger and challenge.


    A suspense story, a mystery, a technological thriller: This is Joel Achenbach’s groundbreaking account of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and what came after. The tragic explosion on the huge drilling rig in April 2010 killed eleven men and triggered an environmental disaster. As a gusher of crude surged into the Gulf’s waters, BP engineers and government scientists—awkwardly teamed in Houston—raced to devise ways to plug the Macondo well.


    Achenbach, a veteran reporter for The Washington Post and acclaimed science writer for National Geographic, moves beyond the blame game to tell the gripping story of what it was like, behind the scenes, moment by moment, in the struggle to kill Macondo. Here are the controversies, the miscalculations, the frustrations, and ultimately the technical triumphs of men and women who worked out of sight and around the clock for months to find a way to plug the well.


    The Deepwater Horizon disaster was an environmental 9/11. The government did not have the means to solve the problem; only the private sector had the tools, and it didn’t have the right ones as the country became haunted by Macondo’s black plume, which was omnipresent on TV and the Internet. Remotely operated vehicles, the spaceships of the deep, had to perform the challenging technical ma-neuvers on the seafloor. Engineers choreographed this robotic ballet and crammed years of innovation into a single summer. As he describes the drama in Houston, Achenbach probes the government investigation into what went wrong in the deep sea. This was a confounding mystery, an engineering whodunit. The lessons of this tragedy can be applied broadly to all complex enterprises and should make us look more closely at the highly engineered society that surrounds us.


    Achenbach has written a cautionary tale that doubles as a technological thriller.

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  • A Journey: My Political Life

    Tony Blair is a politician who defines our times. His emergence as Labour Party leader in 1994 marked a seismic shift in British politics. Within a few short years, he had transformed his party and rallied the country behind him, becoming prime minister in 1997 with the biggest victory in Labour’s history, and bringing to an end eighteen years of Conservative government. He took Labour to a historic three terms in office as Britain’s dominant political figure of the last two decades.


    A Journey is Tony Blair’s firsthand account of his years in office and beyond. Here he describes for the first time his role in shaping our recent history, from the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death to the war on terror. He reveals the leadership decisions that were necessary to reinvent his party, the relationships with colleagues including Gordon Brown, the grueling negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland, the implementation of the biggest reforms to public services in Britain since 1945, and his relationships with leaders on the world stage—Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush. He analyzes the belief in ethical intervention that led to his decisions to go to war in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and, most controversially of all, in Iraq. 


    A Journey is a book about the nature and uses of political power. In frank, unflinching, often wry detail, Tony Blair charts the ups and downs of his career to provide insight into the man as well as the politician and statesman. He explores the challenges of leadership, and the ramifications of standing up, clearly and forcefully, for what one believes in. He also looks ahead, to emerging power relationships and economies, addressing the vital issues and complexities of our global world.


    Few British prime ministers have shaped the nation’s course as profoundly as Tony Blair, and his achievements and his legacy will be debated for years to come. Here, uniquely, we have his own journey, in his own words.

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  • A Promised Land

    A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAACP IMAGE AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times • NPR • The Guardian • Marie Claire

     
    In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

    Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

    Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

    A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

    This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

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  • Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    “A masterful book.” —Marc Levinson, The Washington Post
    “A juicy tour of the company Bezos built.”—The New York Times Book Review

    From the bestselling author of The Everything Store, an unvarnished picture of Amazon’s unprecedented growth and its billionaire founder, Jeff Bezos, revealing the most important business story of our time.

    Almost ten years ago, Bloomberg journalist Brad Stone captured the rise of Amazon in his bestseller The Everything Store. Since then, Amazon has expanded exponentially, inventing novel products like Alexa and disrupting countless industries, while its workforce has quintupled in size and its valuation has soared to well over a trillion dollars. Jeff Bezos’s empire, once housed in a garage, now spans the globe. Between services like Whole Foods, Prime Video, and Amazon’s cloud computing unit, AWS, plus Bezos’s ownership of The Washington Post, it’s impossible to go a day without encountering its impact. We live in a world run, supplied, and controlled by Amazon and its iconoclast founder.

    In Amazon Unbound, Brad Stone presents a deeply reported, vividly drawn portrait of how a retail upstart became one of the most powerful and feared entities in the global economy. Stone also probes the evolution of Bezos himself—who started as a geeky technologist totally devoted to building Amazon, but who transformed to become a fit, disciplined billionaire with global ambitions; who ruled Amazon with an iron fist, even as he found his personal life splashed over the tabloids.

    Definitive, timely, and revelatory, Stone has provided an unvarnished portrait of a man and company that we couldn’t imagine modern life without.

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  • America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag

    In the fall of 2009, with the publication of her #1 national bestselling memoir, Sarah Palin had the privilege of meeting thousands of everyday Americans on her extraordinary 35-city book tour. Inspired by these encounters, her new book, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, celebrates the enduring strengths and virtues that have made this country great.


    Framed by her strong belief in the importance of family, faith, and patriotism, the book ranges widely over American history, culture, and current affairs, and reflects on the key values—both national and spiritual-that have been such a profound part of Governor Palin’s life and continue to inform her vision of America’s future. Written in her own refreshingly candid voice, America By Heart will include selections from classic and contemporary readings that have moved her-from the nation’s founding documents to great speeches, sermons, letters, literature and poetry, biography, and even some of her favorite songs and movies. Here, too, are portraits of some of the extraordinary men and women she admires and who embody her deep love of country, her strong rootedness in faith, and her profound love and appreciation of family. She will also draw from personal experience to amplify these timely (and timeless) themes—themes that are sure to inspire her numerous fans and readers all across the country.

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  • Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now--Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything

    Wall Street scandals. Fights over taxes. Racial resentments. A Lakers-Celtics championship. The Karate Kid topping the box-office charts. Bon Jovi touring the country. These words could describe our current moment—or the vaunted iconography of three decades past.


    In this wide-ranging and wickedly entertaining book, New York Times bestselling journalist David Sirota takes readers on a rollicking DeLorean ride back in time to reveal how so many of our present-day conflicts are rooted in the larger-than-life pop culture of the 1980s—from the “Greed is good” ethos of Gordon Gekko (and Bernie Madoff) to the “Make my day” foreign policy of Ronald Reagan (and George W. Bush) to the “transcendence” of Cliff Huxtable (and Barack Obama).


    Today’s mindless militarism and hypernarcissism, Sirota argues, first became the norm when an ’80s generation weaned on Rambo one-liners and “Just Do It” exhortations embraced a new religion—with comic books, cartoons, sneaker commercials, videogames, and even children’s toys serving as the key instruments of cultural indoctrination. Meanwhile, in productions such as Back to the Future, Family Ties, and The Big Chill, a campaign was launched to reimagine the 1950s as America’s lost golden age and vilify the 1960s as the source of all our troubles. That 1980s revisionism, Sirota shows, still rages today, with Barack Obama cast as the 60s hippie being assailed by Alex P. Keaton–esque Republicans who long for a return to Eisenhower-era conservatism.


    “The past is never dead,” William Faulkner wrote. “It’s not even past.” The 1980s—even more so. With the native dexterity only a child of the Atari Age could possess, David Sirota twists and turns this multicolored Rubik’s Cube of a decade, exposing it as a warning for our own troubled present—and possible future.

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  • Beaten, Seared, and Sauced: On Becoming a Chef at the Culinary Institute of America

    Millions of people fantasize about leaving their old lives behind, enrolling in cooking school, and training to become a chef. But for those who make the decision, the difference between the dream and reality can be gigantic—especially at the top cooking school in the country. For the first time in the Culinary Institute of America’s history, a book will give readers the firsthand experience of being a full-time student facing all of the challenges of the legendary course in its entirety.


    On the eve of his thirty-eighth birthday and after shuffling through a series of unsatisfying jobs, Jonathan Dixon enrolled in the CIA (on a scholarship) to pursue his passion for cooking. In Beaten, Seared, and Sauced he tells hilarious and harrowing stories of life at the CIA as he and his classmates navigate the institution’s many rules and customs under the watchful and critical eyes of their instructors. Each part of the curriculum is covered, from knife skills and stock making to the high-pressure cooking tests and the daunting wine course (the undoing of many a student). Dixon also details his externship in the kitchen of Danny Meyer’s Tabla, giving readers a look into the inner workings of a celebrated New York City restaurant.


    With the benefit of his age to give perspective to his experience, Dixon delivers a gripping day-to-day chronicle of his transformation from amateur to professional. From the daily tongue-lashings in class to learning the ropes—fast—at a top NYC kitchen, Beaten, Seared, and Sauced is a fascinating and intimate first-person view of one of America’s most famous culinary institutions and one of the world’s most coveted jobs.

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  • Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

    #1 New York Times Bestseller

    There have been many books—on a large and small scale—about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others. 

    Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half-genius, half-jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time, ultimately transforming the daily life of billions of people?

    Drawing on incredible and sometimes exclusive access, Schlender and Tetzeli tell a different story of a real human being who wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strengths over time. Their rich, compelling narrative is filled with stories never told before from the people who knew Jobs best, and who decided to open up to the authors, including his family, former inner circle executives, and top people at Apple, Pixar and Disney, most notably Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Robert Iger and many others. In addition, Brent knew Jobs personally for 25 years and draws upon his many interviews with him, on and off the record, in writing the book. He and Rick humanize the man and explain, rather than simply describe, his behavior. Along the way, the book provides rich context about the technology revolution we all have lived through, and the ways in which Jobs changed our world.

    Schlender and Tetzeli make clear that Jobs's astounding success at Apple was far more complicated than simply picking the right products: he became more patient, he learned to trust his inner circle, and discovered the importance of growing the company incrementally rather than only shooting for dazzling game-changing products. 

    A rich and revealing account that will change the way we view Jobs, Becoming Steve Jobs shows us how one of the most colorful and compelling figures of our times was able to combine his unchanging, relentless passion with a more mature management style to create one of the most valuable and beloved companies on the planet.

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  • Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole (Export Edition)

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Sadness is a superpower. In her new masterpiece, the author of the bestselling phenomenon Quiet reveals the power of a bittersweet outlook on life, and why we’ve been so blind to its value.
     
    Bittersweet grabs you by the heart and doesn’t let go.”—BRENÉ BROWN, author of Atlas of the Heart
    “Susan Cain has described and validated my existence once again!”—GLENNON DOYLE, author of Untamed
    “A sparkling ode to the beauty of the human condition.”—ADAM GRANT, author of Think Again

    ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Oprah Daily, BookPage


    Bittersweetness is a tendency to states of long­ing, poignancy, and sorrow; an acute aware­ness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy at the beauty of the world. It recognizes that light and dark, birth and death—bitter and sweet—are forever paired. 
     
    If you’ve ever wondered why you like sad music . . . 
    If you find comfort or inspiration in a rainy day . . . 
    If you react intensely to music, art, nature, and beauty . . .
     
    Then you probably identify with the bitter­sweet state of mind.
     
    With Quiet, Susan Cain urged our society to cultivate space for the undervalued, indispensable introverts among us, thereby revealing an un­tapped power hidden in plain sight. Now she em­ploys the same mix of research, storytelling, and memoir to explore why we experience sorrow and longing, and how embracing the bittersweetness at the heart of life is the true path to creativity, con­nection, and transcendence.
     
    Cain shows how a bittersweet state of mind is the quiet force that helps us transcend our personal and collective pain. If we don’t acknowledge our own heartache, she says, we can end up inflicting it on others via abuse, domination, or neglect. But if we realize that all humans know—or will know—loss and suffering, we can turn toward one another. 
     
    At a time of profound discord and personal anxiety, Bittersweet brings us together in deep and unexpected ways.

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  • Caste (Oprah's Book Club): The Origins of Our Discontents
    Oprah's Book Club Pick! The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Warmth Of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • “An instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

    The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

    NAMED THE #1 NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR BY TIME MAGAZINE AND ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY People • The Washington Post • Publishers Weekly AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • NPR • Bloomberg • Christian Science Monitor • New York Post • The New York Public Library • Fortune • Smithsonian Magazine • Marie Claire • Town & Country • Slate • Library Journal • Kirkus Reviews • LibraryReads • PopMatters

    FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION AND LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD 

    “As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not.”
     
    In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
     
    Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.

    Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.

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  • Chasing Ghosts: A Tour of Our Fascination with Spirits and the Supernatural

    Take a spirited tour through the supernatural history of America, from its haunted sites to its famous ghosts to its ghost-obsessed pop culture.

    Ghosts are everywhere—whether you believe in them or not. Every town has its local legends, and countless books, movies, and TV shows are haunted by their presence. But our obsession with ghosts runs deeper than we know—and is embedded in the very fabric of American history.
     
    Writer and historian Marc Hartzman dons the mantle of tour guide, taking readers on a fascinating journey through supernatural history, including:
     
       • The Fox Sisters and the rise of Spiritualism 
       • The supernatural obsessions of famous figures like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 
       • Famous haunted sites like the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia and the LaLaurie House in New Orleans
       • Famous ghosts like the Bell Witch of Tennessee and the Greenbrier Ghost of West Virginia
       • Paranormal investigators like Ed and Lorraine Warren  

    Deeply researched and highly entertaining, with archival images and black and white illustrations, Chasing Ghosts will satisfy believers and skeptics alike.

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  • Crafting The Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Non-Fiction

    Award winning essayist Scott Russell Sanders once compared the art of essay writing to "the pursuit of mental rabbits"—a rambling through thickets of thought in search of some brief glimmer of fuzzy truth. While some people persist in the belief that essays are stuffy and antiquated, the truth is that the personal essay is an ever-changing creative medium that provides an ideal vehicle for satisfying the human urge to document truths as we experience them and share them with others—to capture a bit of life on paper.

    Crafting the Personal Essay is designed to help you explore the flexibility and power of the personal essay in your own writing. This hands-on, creativity-expanding guide will help you infuse your nonfiction with honesty, personality, and energy. You'll discover:

       • An exploration of the basics of essay writing
       • Ways to step back and scrutinize your experiences in order to separate out what may be fresh, powerful, surprising or fascinating to a reader
       • How to move past private "journaling" and write for an audience
       • How to write eight different types of essays including memoir, travel, humor, and nature essays among others
       • Instruction for revision and strategies for getting published
    Brimming with helpful examples, exercises, and sample essays, this indispensable guide will help your personal essays transcend the merely private to become powerfully universal.

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  • Cursed Objects: Strange but True Stories of the World's Most Infamous Items
    An illustrated compendium that reveals the true stories behind the most infamous, creepy, and bizarre real-life cursed objects throughout history. Spanning decades and continents, subjects range from the opulent Hope Diamond to the humble Busy Stoop chair.

    Beware...this book is cursed! These strange but true stories of the world’s most infamous items will appeal to true believers as well as history buffs, horror fans, and anyone who loves a good spine-tingling tale. 

    They’re lurking in museums, graveyards, and private homes. Their often tragic and always bizarre stories have inspired countless horror movies, reality TV shows, novels, and campfire tales. They’re cursed objects, and all they need to unleash a wave of misfortune is . . . you. 

    Many of these unfortunate items have intersected with some of the most notable events and people in history, leaving death and destruction in their wake. But never before have the true stories of these eerie oddities been compiled into a fascinating and chilling volume. Inside, readers will learn about:

       • Annabelle the Doll, a Raggedy Ann doll that featured in the horror franchise The Conjuring
       • The Unlucky Mummy, which is rumored to have sunk the Titanic and kick-started World War I  
       • The Dybbuk box, which was sold on eBay and spawned the horror film The Possession 
       • The Conjured Chest, which has been blamed for fifteen deaths within a single family 
       • The Ring of Silvianus, a Roman artifact believed to have inspired J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit   
       • And many more! 

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  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania.

    #1 New York Times Bestseller

    From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania


    On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. 

    Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

    It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. 

    Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.

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  • Everything All at Once: How to Think Like a Science Guy, Solve Any Problem, and Make a Better World
    Bill Nye has been the face of science for more than 20 years. In the paperback edition of the New York Times bestseller Everything All at Once, he urges readers to become agents of change.

    In the New York Times bestseller Everything All at Once, Bill Nye shows you how thinking like a nerd is the key to changing yourself and the world around you. 

    Everyone has an inner nerd just waiting to be awakened by the right passion. In Everything All at Once, Bill Nye will help you find yours. With his call to arms, he wants you to examine every detail of the most difficult problems that look unsolvable—that is, until you find the solution. Bill shows you how to develop critical thinking skills and create change, using his “everything all at once” approach that leaves no stone unturned. 

    Whether addressing climate change, the future of our society as a whole, or personal success, or stripping away the mystery of fire walking, there are certain strategies that get results: looking at the world with relentless curiosity, being driven by a desire for a better future, and being willing to take the actions needed to make change happen. He shares how he came to create this approach—starting with his Boy Scout training (it turns out that a practical understanding of science and engineering is immensely helpful in a capsizing canoe) and moving through the lessons he learned as a full-time engineer at Boeing, a stand-up comedian, CEO of The Planetary Society, and, of course, as Bill Nye The Science Guy. 

    This is the story of how Bill Nye became Bill Nye and how he became a champion of change and an advocate of science. It’s how he became The Science Guy. Bill teaches us that we have the power to make real change. Join him in... dare we say it... changing the world.

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  • Ex Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread

    Pulitzer Prize–winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani shares 100 personal, thought-provoking essays about books that have mattered to her and that help illuminate the world we live in today—with beautiful illustrations throughout.

    “A book tailormade for bibliophiles.”—Oprah Winfrey (One of 6 Books Oprah Loves to Give as Gifts During the Holidays)

    “An ebullient celebration of books and reading.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)


    In the introduction to her new collection of essays, Ex Libris100+ Books to Read and Reread, Michiko Kakutani writes: “In a world riven by political and social divisions, literature can connect people across time zones and zip codes, across cultures and religions, national boundaries and historical eras. It can give us an understanding of lives very different from our own, and a sense of the shared joys and losses of human experience.”
     
    Readers will discover novels and memoirs by some of the most gifted writers working today; favorite classics worth reading or rereading; and nonfiction works, both old and new, that illuminate our social and political landscape and some of today’s most pressing issues, from climate change to medicine to the consequences of digital innovation. There are essential works in American history (The Federalist PapersThe Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.); books that address timely cultural dynamics (Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction, Daniel J. Boorstin’s The Image, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale); classics of children’s literature (the Harry Potter novels, Where the Wild Things Are); and novels by acclaimed contemporary writers like Don DeLillo, William Gibson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Ian McEwan.

    With richly detailed illustrations by lettering artist Dana Tanamachi that evoke vintage bookplates, Ex Libris is an impassioned reminder of why reading matters more than ever.

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  • Frequently Asked Questions about the Universe (Export Edition)

    "Delightful, funny, and yet rigorous and intelligent: only Jorge and Daniel can reach this exquisite balance." —Carlo Rovelli, author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Helgoland

    You’ve got questions: about space, time, gravity, and the odds of meeting your older self inside a wormhole. All the answers you need are right here.


    As a species, we may not agree on much, but one thing brings us all together: a need to know. We all wonder, and deep down we all have the same big questions. Why can’t I travel back in time? Where did the universe come from? What’s inside a black hole? Can I rearrange the particles in my cat and turn it into a dog?

    Researcher-turned-cartoonist Jorge Cham and physics professor Daniel Whiteson are experts at explaining science in ways we can all understand, in their books and on their popular podcast, Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe. With their signature blend of humor and oh-now-I-get-it clarity, Jorge and Daniel offer short, accessible, and lighthearted answers to some of the most common, most outrageous, and most profound questions about the universe they’ve received.

    This witty, entertaining, and fully illustrated book is an essential troubleshooting guide for the perplexing aspects of reality, big and small, from the invisible particles that make up your body to the identical version of you currently reading this exact sentence in the corner of some other galaxy. If the universe came with an FAQ, this would be it.

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  • Humans

    The Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

    "Just when we need it, Humans reminds us what it means to be human . . . one of the most influential art projects of the decade.” —Washington Post

    Brandon Stanton’s new book, Humans—his most moving and compelling book to date—shows us the world.

    Brandon Stanton created Humans of New York in 2010. What began as a photographic census of life in New York City, soon evolved into a storytelling phenomenon. A global audience of millions began following HONY daily. Over the next several years, Stanton broadened his lens to include people from across the world.

    Traveling to more than forty countries, he conducted interviews across continents, borders, and language barriers. Humans is the definitive catalogue of these travels. The faces and locations will vary from page to page, but the stories will feel deeply familiar. Told with candor and intimacy, Humans will resonate with readers across the globe—providing a portrait of our shared experience.

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  • Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive
    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND INSPIRATION FOR THE NETFLIX LIMITED SERIES, HAILED BY ROLLING STONE AS "A GREAT ONE."

     

    "A single mother's personal, unflinching look at America's class divide, a description of the tightrope many families walk just to get by, and a reminder of the dignity of all work."

    -PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, Obama's Summer Reading List

    At 28, Stephanie Land's dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer quickly dissolved when a summer fling turned into an unplanned pregnancy. Before long, she found herself a single mother, scraping by as a housekeeper to make ends meet.

    Maid is an emotionally raw, masterful account of Stephanie's years spent in service to upper middle class America as a "nameless ghost" who quietly shared in her clients' triumphs, tragedies, and deepest secrets. Driven to carve out a better life for her family, she cleaned by day and took online classes by night, writing relentlessly as she worked toward earning a college degree. She wrote of the true stories that weren't being told: of living on food stamps and WIC coupons, of government programs that barely provided housing, of aloof government employees who shamed her for receiving what little assistance she did. Above all else, she wrote about pursuing the myth of the American Dream from the poverty line, all the while slashing through deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor.

    Maid is Stephanie's story, but it's not hers alone. It is an inspiring testament to the courage, determination, and ultimate strength of the human spirit.
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  • Notes on a Nervous Planet
    A follow-up to Matt Haig's internationally bestselling memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, a broader look at how modern life feeds our anxiety, and how to live a better life.

    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library.

    The world is messing with our minds. What if there was something we could do about it?

    Looking at sleep, news, social media, addiction, work and play, Matt Haig invites us to feel calmer, happier and to question the habits of the digital age. This book might even change the way you spend your precious time on earth.

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  • O's Little Book of Love & Friendship (O’s Little Books/Guides)

    An evocative and heartwarming collection of essays and anecdotes from great writers and celebrated thinkers, O's Little Book of Love & Friendship will captivate anyone whose life has ever been touched by a lasting friendship or an unforgettable romance.


    With essays and anecdotes from some of the best contributors to O, The Oprah Magazine, this charming collection warms the heart and stirs the soul. Among the highlights: a frank, funny, and freewheeling conversation between two of the world's great BFFs, Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King; Abigail Thomas on the ecstasy and agony of a first date; Elizabeth Strout on sharing the words that made her heart crack; Susanna Sonnenberg on reconnecting with her adored sister; Walter Kirn on love lessons learned the hard way; and more. A perfect gift for anyone's nearest and dearest, O's Little Book of Love & Friendship is a treasure box that readers will turn to again and again.


     

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  • Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril

    A newsbreaking memoir that tackles head-on the toughest challenge in the world today. 


    When a dying King Hussein shocked the world by picking his son rather than his brother, the longtime crown prince, to be the next king of Jordan, no one was more surprised than the young head of Special Operations, who discovered his life was in for a major upheaval. 


    This is the inspirational story of a young prince who went to boarding school in America and military academy in Britain and grew up believing he would be a soldier. Back home, he hunted down terrorists and modernized Jordan's Special Forces. Then, suddenly, he found himself king. Together with his wife, Queen Rania, he transformed what it meant to be a monarch, going undercover to escape the bubble of the court while she became the Muslim world's most passionate advocate of women's rights. 

    In this exceptionally candid memoir, King Abdullah tackles the single toughest issue he faces head-on- how to solve the Israeli-Palestinian standoff- and reveals himself to be an invaluable intermediary between America and the Arab world. He writes about the impact of the Iraq war on his neighborhood and how best to tackle Iran's nuclear ambitions. 

    Why would a sitting head of state choose to write about the most explosive issues he faces? King Abdullah does so now because he believes we face a moment of truth: a last chance for peace in the Middle East. The prize is enormous, the cost of failure far greater than we dare imagine.

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  • Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth

    Lisa Napoli was in the grip of a crisis, dissatisfied with her life and her work as a radio journalist. When a chance encounter with a handsome stranger presented her with an opportunity to move halfway around the world, Lisa left behind cosmopolitan Los Angeles for a new adventure in the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan—said to be one of the happiest places on earth.
     
    Long isolated from industrialization and just beginning to open its doors to the modern world, Bhutan is a deeply spiritual place, devoted to environmental conservation and committed to the happiness of its people—in fact, Bhutan measures its success in Gross National Happiness rather than in GNP. In a country without a single traffic light, its citizens are believed to be among the most content in the world. To Lisa, it seemed to be a place that offered the opposite of her fast-paced life in the United States, where the noisy din of sound-bite news and cell phones dominate our days, and meaningful conversation is a rare commodity; where everyone is plugged in digitally, yet rarely connects with the people around them.
     
    Thousands of miles away from everything and everyone she knows, Lisa creates a new community for herself. As she helps to start Bhutan’s first youth-oriented radio station, Kuzoo FM, she must come to terms with her conflicting feelings about the impact of the medium on a country that had been shielded from its effects. Immersing herself in Bhutan’s rapidly changing culture, Lisa realizes that her own perspective on life is changing as well—and that she is discovering the sense of purpose and joy that she has been yearning for.
     
    In this smart, heartfelt, and beautifully written book, sure to please fans of transporting travel narratives and personal memoirs alike, Lisa Napoli discovers that the world is a beautiful and complicated place—and comes to appreciate her life for the adventure it is.

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  • Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan

    A minute-by-minute account of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary 


    On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was just seventy days into his first term of office when John Hinckley Jr. opened fire outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, wounding the president, press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent, and a D.C. police officer. For years, few people knew the truth about how close the president came to dying, and no one has ever written a detailed narrative of that harrowing day. Now, drawing on exclusive new interviews and never-before-seen documents, photos, and videos, Del Quentin Wilber tells the electrifying story of a moment when the nation faced a terrifying crisis that it had experienced less than twenty years before, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.


    With cinematic clarity, we see Secret Service agent Jerry Parr, whose fast reflexes saved the president's life; the brilliant surgeons who operated on Reagan as he was losing half his blood; and the small group of White House officials frantically trying to determine whether the country was under attack. Most especially, we encounter the man code-named "Rawhide," a leader of uncommon grace who inspired affection and awe in everyone who worked with him.


    Ronald Reagan was the only serving U.S. president to survive being shot in an assassination attempt.* Rawhide Down is the first true record of the day and events that literally shaped Reagan's presidency and sealed his image in the modern American political firmament.


    *There have been many assassination attempts on U.S. presidents, four of which were successful: Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy. President Theodore Roosevelt was injured in an assassination attempt after leaving office.

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  • Reasons to Stay Alive

    Matt Haig's positive, accessible, and life-saving memoir of his struggle with depression, and how his triumph over the illness taught him to live again.



    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library.

    "Destined to become a modern classic." —Entertainment Weekly


    WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FEEL TRULY ALIVE?

    At the age of 24, Matt Haig's world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.

    A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

    "I wrote this book because the oldest clichés remain the truest. Time heals. The bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view. The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if we haven't been able to see it . . . Words, just sometimes, really can set you free."
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  • Safety in Numbers: From 56 to 221 Pounds, My Battle with Eating Disorders

    Imagine struggling with anorexia for seven years and finding yourself in the hospital weighing 56 pounds at 20 years old. Your parents are planning your funeral, and you are given little chance to live.

    Fast-forward one year. You are now 221 pounds and obese.

    Safety in Numbers: From 56 to 221 Pounds, My Battle with Eating Disorders is Brittany Burgunder’s raw and captivating memoir of her 10-year battle with three forms of severe eating disorders—anorexia, binge eating, and bulimia. Taken from her extensive journals, she shares her uncensored and disturbing story of fear, sadness, chaos, disbelief and darkness. In the end, though, her first-person account gives a message of hope and triumph.

    Safety in Numbers is a brutally honest and unique account highlighting a profound struggle at both ends of the weight spectrum with eating disorders. Brittany’s battle shows that a happy and healthy life is possible no matter how hopeless the situation may seem. It provides a firsthand look into an unthinkable journey that will mesmerize, move, and inspire readers. Ultimately, it is a story of survival and strength—no matter what the struggle.

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  • Screw Business as Usual: Turning Capitalism Into a Force for Good





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  • The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times

    For the first time, the Nobel Prize laureate and "man in the middle" of the planet's most explosive confrontations speaks out—on his dealings with America, negotiations with Iran, reform and democracy in the Middle East, and the prospects for a future free of nuclear weapons. 


    For the past two decades, Mohamed ElBaradei has played a key role in the most high-stakes conflicts of our time. Unique in maintaining credibility in the Arab world and the West alike, ElBaradei has emerged as a singularly independent, uncompromised voice. As the director of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, he has contended with the Bush administration's assault on Iraq, the nuclear aspirations of North Korea, and the West's standoff with Iran. For their efforts to control nuclear proliferation, ElBaradei and his agency received the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.


    Now, in a vivid and thoughtful account, ElBaradei takes us inside the international fray. Inspector, adviser, and mediator, ElBaradei moves from Baghdad, where Iraqi officials bleakly predict the coming war, to behind-the-scenes exchanges with Condoleezza Rice, to the streets of Pyongyang and the trail of Pakistani nuclear smugglers. He dissects the possibility of rapprochement with Iran while rejecting hard-line ideologies of every kind, decrying an us-versus-them approach and insisting on the necessity of relentless diplomacy. Above all, he illustrates that the security of nations is tied to the security of individuals, dependent not only on disarmament but on a universal commitment to human dignity, democratic values, and the freedom from want.


    Probing and eloquent, The Age of Deception is an unparalleled account of society's struggle to come to grips with the uncertainties of our age.

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  • The Anthropocene Reviewed (Signed Edition): Essays on a Human-Centered Planet

    Instant #1 bestseller! A deeply moving collection of personal essays from John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down.

    “The perfect book for right now.” –People


    “The Anthropocene Reviewed is essential to the human conversation.” –Library Journal, starred review

    The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale—from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar.

    Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together.

    John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.

    This is a signed edition.

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  • The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet (Export Edition)

    A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from #1 bestselling author John Green.

    The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale—from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar.

    Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together.

    John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.

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  • The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War (International Edition)

    An exploration of how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war

    New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice


    In The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.
     
    Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists, the “Bomber Mafia,” asked: What if precision bombing could cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal?  
     
    In contrast, the bombing of Tokyo on the deadliest night of the war was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose brutal pragmatism and scorched-earth tactics in Japan cost thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared even more by averting a planned US invasion. In The Bomber Mafia, Gladwell asks, “Was it worth it?”
     
    Things might have gone differently had LeMay’s predecessor, General Haywood Hansell, remained in charge. Hansell believed in precision bombing, but when he and Curtis LeMay squared off for a leadership handover in the jungles of Guam, LeMay emerged victorious, leading to the darkest night of World War II. The Bomber Mafia is a riveting tale of persistence, innovation, and the incalculable wages of war.

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  • The Comfort Book
    A gem of a book from Matt Haig, the New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library, for anyone in search of hope, looking for a path to a more meaningful life, or in need of a little encouragement. "Happiness occurs when you forget who you're expected to be. And what you're expected to do. Happiness is an accident of self-acceptance. It's the warm breeze you feel when you open the door to who you are."

    An instant New York Times Bestseller!

    The new uplifting book from Matt Haig, the New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library,
     for anyone in search of hope, looking for a path to a more meaningful life, or in need of a little encouragement.

    “It is a strange paradox, that many of the clearest, most comforting life lessons are learnt while we are at our lowest. But then we never think about food more than when we are hungry and we never think about life rafts more than when we are thrown overboard.”


    THE COMFORT BOOK is Haig’s life raft: it’s a collection of notes, lists, and stories written over a span of several years that originally served as gentle reminders to Haig’s future self that things are not always as dark as they may seem. Incorporating a diverse array of sources from across the world, history, science, and his own experiences, Haig offers warmth and reassurance, reminding us to slow down and appreciate the beauty and unpredictability of existence.

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  • The Language of Flowers: A Fully Illustrated Compendium of Meaning, Literature, and Lore for the Modern Romantic

    With gorgeous full-color illustrations, ornate decorative elements, lettering in metallic ink, and engaging text, The Language of Flowers: A Fully Illustrated Compendium of Meaning, Literature, and Lore for the Modern Romantic is a treasure for flower lovers. A sumptuous, contemporary anthology of 50 of the world's most storied and popular flowers, each of its entries offers insight to the meaning associated with the flower, and is a fascinating mix of foklore, classic mythology, literature, botanical information and popular culture. 


    Following an introduction that provides a short history of the language of flowers, a fad which reached its peak during the reign of Queen Victoria, each uniquely illustrated and designed entry is an enjoyable read full of history and little-known facts. Here is the story of Tulipmania; how the pansy got its "face," and why the most particular pollination process of a certain orchid has made the vanilla bean a very dear commodity. You'll also dicover how Christian Dior's passion for lily of the valley inspired his classic perfume Diorissimo and its extraordinary bottle; why Oscar Wilde had a penchant for wearing green carnations in his lapel; and how Greeks and Romans believed snapdragons could ward off witchcraft, so they planted them at entryways to their homes.


    With more than a dozen two-page paintings evoking the romance of noteworthy Victorian gardens and symbolic bouquets, a cross-referenced index of flowers and meanings, and suggestions for further reading, this book is a must for lovers of floriology and Victoriana.

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  • The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat

    SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • “A taut page-turner with all the hallmarks of a good historical thriller.”—Orlando Sentinel
     
    The gripping true story of the duel to end all duels in medieval France as a resolute knight defends his wife’s honor against the man she accuses of a heinous crime
     
    In the midst of the devastating Hundred Years’ War between France and England, Jean de Carrouges, a Norman knight fresh from combat in Scotland, returns home to yet another deadly threat. His wife, Marguerite, has accused squire Jacques Le Gris of rape. A deadlocked court decrees a trial by combat between the two men that will also leave Marguerite’s fate in the balance. For if her husband loses the duel, she will be put to death as a false accuser.
     
    While enemy troops pillage the land, and rebellion and plague threaten the lives of all, Carrouges and Le Gris meet in full armor on a walled field in Paris. What follows is the final duel ever authorized by the Parlement of Paris, a fierce fight with lance, sword, and dagger before a massive crowd that includes the teenage King Charles VI, during which both combatants are wounded—but only one fatally.
     
    Based on extensive research in Normandy and Paris, The Last Duel brings to life a colorful, turbulent age and three unforgettable characters caught in a fatal triangle of crime, scandal, and revenge. The Last Duel is at once a moving human drama, a captivating true crime story, and an engrossing work of historical intrigue with themes that echo powerfully centuries later.

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  • The New Cool: A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts

    That Monday afternoon, in high-school gyms across America, kids were battling for the only glory American culture seems to want to dispense to the young these days: sports glory.  But at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California, in a gear-cluttered classroom, a different type of “cool” was brewing.  A physics teacher with a dream – the first public high-school teacher ever to win a MacArthur Genius Award -- had rounded up a band of high-I.Q. students who wanted to put their technical know-how to work.  If you asked these brainiacs what the stakes were that first week of their project, they’d have told you it was all about winning a robotics competition – building the ultimate robot and prevailing in a machine-to-machine contest in front of 25,000 screaming fans at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.
     
    But for their mentor, Amir Abo-Shaeer, much more hung in the balance. 
     
    The fact was, Amir had in mind a different vision for education, one based not on rote learning -- on absorbing facts and figures -- but on active creation.  In his mind’s eye, he saw an even more robust academy within Dos Pueblos that would make science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) cool again, and he knew he was poised on the edge of making that dream a reality.  All he needed to get the necessary funding was one flashy win – a triumph that would firmly put his Engineering Academy at Dos Pueblos on the map.  He imagined that one day there would be a nation filled with such academies, and a new popular veneration for STEM – a “new cool” – that would return America to its former innovative glory.
     
    It was a dream shared by Dean Kamen, a modern-day inventing wizard – often-called “the Edison of his time” – who’d concocted the very same FIRST Robotics Competition that had lured the kids at Dos Pueblos.  Kamen had created FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) nearly twenty years prior.  And now, with a participant alumni base approaching a million strong, he felt that awareness was about to hit critical mass.  


    But before the Dos Pueblos D’Penguineers could do their part in bringing a new cool to America, they’d have to vanquish an intimidating lineup of “super-teams”– high-school technology goliaths that hailed from engineering hot spots such as Silicon Valley, Massachusetts’ Route 128 technology corridor, and Michigan’s auto-design belt.  Some of these teams were so good that winning wasn’t just hoped for every year, it was expected.
     
    In The New Cool, Neal Bascomb manages to make even those who know little about – or are vaguely suspicious of – technology care passionately about a team of kids questing after a different kind of glory.  In these kids’ heartaches and headaches – and yes, high-five triumphs -- we glimpse the path not just to a new way of educating our youth but of honoring the crucial skills a society needs to prosper.  A new cool.


     

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