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Non-Fiction

  • Hillbilly Elegy

    Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance. "An amazing story of one extraordinary man’s climb out of Appalachian poverty and into the elite halls of Yale Law School.  Along the way, JD Vance describes in detail his upbringing, the problems with Appalachian culture as he sees them, his time in the armed services, and his ideas on the difficult task of helping those people left behind in the current economy.  It helped me understand, if not sympathize with, parts of America whose votes and actions are affecting all of our lives, whether we live there or not". "There is a reason why this book has created so much buzz.   Yes, it is a story of forgotten America -  white Appalachia, the Rust belt, etc, but Vance’s voice makes it worth reading.  He shows remarkable objectivity and humanity in his writing and analysis.  He seamlessly connects his family’s experience to larger historical, economic and demographic developments".  "A book is for the geeky beach reader. This is the book that made the rounds of discussions among parent gatherings this winter and spring. It is a story about the struggle of poor, white Americans told from the perspective of one who made it to Yale law school via the Marines. JD Vance has been touted by book clubs as a window into the most recent election of Donald Trump and thus he has made it onto the pages of The Washington Post and other newspapers. I would say the book only explains a piece of the November election, but it is a fascinating piece told with a mix of pride and humility."

  • Hyperbole and a Half

    Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh.  "Allie, where have you been all my life?  I read some of blogger Allie Brosh’s humoristic memoir (which also features quirky cartoon drawings) to my teen daughter. We were laughing so hard we cried.  Brosh’s life has not been easy, and she is raw and honest in taking on tough topics, but she’s SO DAMNED FUNNY."

  • I'll Drink to That

    I’ll Drink to That by Betty Halbreich. "Memoir from a long-time personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman.  Shares her life story, social-climbing upbringing, divorce, depression, and clothes, clothes, clothes!"

  • I'm Happy For You

    I’m Happy for You (Sort Of…Not Really) by Kay Wyma.  “Humorous yet enlightening book about finding contentment in a culture of comparison.”

  • In the Kingdom of Ice

    In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides. “New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides returns with a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival in the Gilded Age. In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: the North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans, although theories abounded. The foremost cartographer in the world, a German named August Petermann, believed that warm currents sustained a verdant island at the top of the world. National glory would fall to whoever could plant his flag upon its shores. James Gordon Bennett, the eccentric and stupendously wealthy owner of The New York Herald, had recently captured the world's attention by dispatching Stanley to Africa to find Dr. Livingstone. Now he was keen to re-create that sensation on an even more epic scale. So he funded an official U.S. naval expedition to reach the Pole, choosing as its captain a young officer named George Washington De Long, who had gained fame for a rescue operation off the coast of Greenland. De Long led a team of 32 men deep into uncharted Arctic waters, carrying the aspirations of a young country burning to become a world power. On July 8, 1879, the USS Jeannette set sail from San Francisco to cheering crowds in the grip of "Arctic Fever." The ship sailed into uncharted seas, but soon was trapped in pack ice. Two years into the harrowing voyage, the hull was breached. Amid the rush of water and the shrieks of breaking wooden boards, the crew abandoned the ship. Less than an hour later, the Jeannette sank to the bottom,and the men found themselves marooned a thousand miles north of Siberia with only the barest supplies. Thus began their long march across the endless ice—a frozen hell in the most lonesome corner of the world. Facing everything from snow blindness and polar bears to ferocious storms and frosty labyrinths, the expedition battled madness and starvation as they desperately strove for survival. With twists and turns worthy of a thriller, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most unforgiving territory on Earth.”

  • Inside of a Dog

    Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz. “For the dog lovers.”

  • Language of Man: Learning to Speak Creativity

    The Language of Man. Learning to Speak Creativity.  by Larry Robertson.  (Link goes to website - will be available on Amazon soon, but better for author if you order directly anyway).  I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately about creativity, which is why I was so excited when Larry told me about his new book.  It's about creativity in PRACTICE.  He uses neuroscience, philosophy and the experiences of MacArthur Fellows (the "genius grant" awardees) to make a compelling case that we are wired to be creative.  It's SO smart.  It doesn't just tell you that creativity is not the sole purview of a few fortunate people - it shows you. In the words of Brigid Schulte from the Washington Post: “Within the first few pages of his fascinating new book, The Language of Man, Larry Robertson shatters deeply-held myths that creativity and genius are the birthright of a mere handful of elites, bringing the vaunted notion of genius out of the clouds and into our everyday lives. In a carefully constructed argument, backed by wide-ranging research from neuroscience to philosophy and the engaging stories of some of the most creative people on the planet, Robertson instead shows how creativity, more than anything, is a mindset, a habit, a choice, and the limitless and necessary birthright of us all. The accessibility of creativity this book reveals and the possibility it opens our eyes to are utterly captivating.

  • Leave Your Mark

    Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht. “Aliza is better known as @DKNYPRGIRL on Twitter, and she is a fan-fucking-tastic author.  This book is a career guide and story-driven book about how not to suck at PR and journalism.  It’s fantastic and awesome and I have already bought 10 copies as gifts for the 20 somethings in my life.  I think you’ll like it because you will leap to your feet with glee at the great advice she gives because it’s all stuff we’ve known and done for years.  This book is AWESOME.”

  • Little Way of Ruthie Leming

    The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good LifeBy Rod Dreher. “It's a wonderful book--just released and debuted on the NYT bestseller list. A story of family, community, small town America, illness, and a meaningful life. Ruthie Leming – the author's sister and a non-smoker – is diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer in her early 40s. Little Way tells the tale of what happens in the wake of her diagnosis. The ways in which a community rallies around the Leming family and the ways in which it profoundly changes her brother Rod, the author. It's a beautiful book and I highly recommend it to you readers. I couldn't put it down and--despite crying several times during the book. I felt happy and uplifted after reading it. Little Way is a rare book and I hope you and the beach books list will give it a whirl.”

  • Love That Boy

    Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, And My Son Taught Me About A Parent's Expectations by Ron Fournier.  "Believe the rave reviews of Ron Fournier's book about his autistic son Ty, Its brave, wise and big-hearted and has so much to say to all of us about parenting."  "Ron's son has Asperger's. Ron's wife suggested he take Ty on some road trips to presidents and presidential libraries, a passion of Ty's. The trips would be good for father and son and would help Ty to learn those things that don't come naturally, like making eye contact and modulating his voice. The book is about those trips."  Here's an interviewwith the author that will make you cry.

  • Madwoman in the Volvo

     

    The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones by Sandra Tsing Loh.

  • Magnificent Masters

    The Magnificent Masters by Gil Capps. “I’m Addicted”

  • Man at the Helm

    Man at the Helm by Nina Stibbe.  If a book can make you laugh out loud one moment and cry tears of sadness the next I think it's pretty brilliant. I'm sure this won't be for everyone - it's sometimes silly and over the top but completely entertaining. I just closed the cover and I'm already missing the company of 9 year old Lizzie and her family.

  • Man Called Ove

    A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. "A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others."

  • Men Explain Things to Me

    Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solni. “A manifesto about women standing up for themselves in the workplace - funny, profane, strident and a quick read.”

  • No One Understands You and What to do About it

    No One Understands You and What To Do About It by Heidi Grant Halvorson. “One of my favorite books of all time. Practical, research-based tactics to communicate better and more fully in all aspects of your life. Halvorson (who is a friend) is funny, quirky and totally passionate about her subject.”

  • Once Upon a Time in Russia

    Once Upon a Time in Russia by Ben Mazrich.  Released just prior to our 2015 list publication, this title was suggested by our mole in the publishing world.  “the untold true story of the larger-than-life billionaire oligarchs who surfed the waves of privatization to reap riches after the fall of the Soviet regime: “Godfather of the Kremlin” Boris Berezovsky, a former mathematician whose first entrepreneurial venture was running an automobile reselling business, and Roman Abramovich, his dashing young protégé who built a multi-billion-dollar empire of oil and aluminum. Locked in a complex, uniquely Russian partnership, Berezovsky and Abramovich battled their way through the “Wild East” of Russia with Berezovsky acting as the younger man’s krysha—literally, his roof, his protector.  Written with the heart-stopping pacing of a thriller—but even more compelling because it is true—this story of amassing obscene wealth and power depicts a rarefied world seldom seen up close. Under Berezovsky’s krysha, Abramovich built one of Russia’s largest oil companies from the ground up and in exchange made cash deliveries—including 491 million dollars in just one year. But their relationship frayed when Berezovsky attacked President Vladimir Putin in the media—and had to flee to the UK. Abramovich continued to prosper. Dead bodies trailed Berezovsky’s footsteps, and threats followed him to London, where an associate of his died painfully and famously of Polonium poisoning. Then Berezovsky himself was later found dead, declared a suicide.”

  • Orchard House

    The Orchard House by Tara Austen Weaver. “A woman and her mother, estranged along with other family struggles, by a decrepit old cottage and garden property together in an effort to heal decades-old wounds, and try to build a stable family foundation for nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.  A sweet memoir that will sometimes punch you in the gut and make you wanna call your own siblings.”

  • Playing Big

    Playing Big by Tara Moh. :” Some of us feel, sometimes, that we're sort of playing small. Sort of stuck in a diminished place and don't know how to get out. Enter Tara Mohr and her wonderful book Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message. I've known Tara for several  years and she's taken the work she's conducted over the years and distilled her learning into one helpful book. It's great.”

  • Princess Remembers

    A Princess Remembers by Gayatri Devi. “This is the memoir of the last Maharani of Jaipur.  It tells her personal story which spans one of the most interesting periods of Indian history, from the princely states under British rule to Indian Independence.  It is a very readable, interesting book that reads more like a novel than an historical memoir”.