Command and control : nuclear weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the illusion of safety - by Eric Schlosser. Presents a minute-by-minute account of an H-bomb accident that nearly caused a nuclear disaster, examining other near misses and America's growing susceptibility to a catastrophic event.
Wild : from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.
Every secret thing : my family, my country by Gillian Slovo. A witness to the upheaval that transformed South Africa, Gillian Slovo has written a memoir that is far more than a story of her own life. She is the daughter of Joe and Ruth, South Africa's pioneering anti-apartheid white activists. While recalling her family's persecution and exile, leading her at one point to a chilling interview with one of the men responsible for her mother's death.
The truth about the Harry Quebert affair by Joel Dicker. August 30, 1975: the day fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan is glimpsed fleeing through the woods before she disappears; the day Somerset, lost its innocence. Thirty-three years later, Marcus visits Somerset to see his mentor, Harry Quebert, one of America's most respected writers. But Marcus's plans are violently upended when Harry is suddenly implicated in the cold-case murder of Nola Kellergan--whom, he admits, he had an affair with.
Banning DDT: How citizen activists in Wisconsin led the way - by Bill Berry. The six-month-long DDT hearing was one of the first chapters in citizen activism in the modern environmental era. Bill Berry details how the citizens, scientists, reporters, and traditional conservationists drew attention to the harmful effects of “the miracle pesticide” DDT. A compelling story of how citizen activism, science, and law merged in Wisconsin’s DDT battles to forge a new way to accomplish public policy.
The sweetness at the bottom of the pie by Alan C. Bradley. It is the summer of 1950 - For Flavia life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. Soon her father, a man raising his three daughters alone, is seized, accused of murder. And in a police cell, during a violent thunderstorm, Colonel de Luce tells his daughter an astounding story.Of this much the girl is sure: her father is innocent of murder - but protecting her and her sisters from something even worse.
Brain on fire : my month of madness by Susannah Cahalan. The story of twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan and the life-saving discovery of the autoimmune disorder that nearly killed her -- and that could perhaps be the root of "demonic possessions" throughout history.
Habibi by Craig Thompson. Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth-- and frailty-- of their connection.
The Burgess boys : a novel by Elizabeth Strout. Catalyzed by a nephew's thoughtless prank, a pair of brothers confront painful psychological issues surrounding the freak accident that killed their father when they were boys, a loss linked to a heartbreaking deception that shaped their personal and professional lives.
The poisonwood Bible : a novel - Catalog by Barbara Kingsolver. The drama of a U.S. missionary family in Africa during a war of decolonization. At its center is Nathan Price, a self-righteous Baptist minister who establishes a mission in a village in 1959 Belgian Congo. The resulting clash of cultures is seen through the eyes of his wife and his four daughters. By the author of Pigs in Heaven.
The circle : a novel by Dave Eggers. When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime.What begins as the captivating story of one woman's ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.
Longbourn - Jo Baker. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants' hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.
All the light we cannot see : a novel by Anthony Doerr. A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013 by Dave Eggers (Editor) | A selection of the best writing, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and comics, published in American periodicals during 2012 aimed at readers fifteen and up.
The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang | In search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand and onward to America. But lacking a written language of their own, the Hmong experience has been primarily recorded by others. Driven to tell her family’s story after her grandmother’s death, this is Yang’s tribute to the remarkable woman whose spirit held them all together.
Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson | Since prehistory, humans have braved sharp knives, fire, and grindstones to transform raw ingredients into something delicious—or at least edible. Tools shape what we eat, but they have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food. This book is a wonderful and witty tour of the evolution of cooking around the world, revealing the hidden history of everyday objects we often take for granted.
Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World by Sharon Waxman | For the past two centuries, the West has been plundering the treasures of the ancient world to fill its great museums, but in recent years, the countries where ancient civilizations originated have begun to push back, taking museums to court, prosecuting curators, and threatening to force the return of these priceless objects. Loot opens a new window on an enduring conflict.
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't by Nate Silver | Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.
You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know by Heather Sellers | Heather Sellers has prosopagnosia, a rare neurological condition that prevents her from reliably recognizing people's faces. Growing up, unaware of the reason for her perpetual confusion & anxiety, she took what cues she could from speech, hairstyle, & gait. She feared she must be crazy. Two decades later, she took the man she would marry home to meet her parents and began to discover the truth about her family and about herself.
Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson | It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations.
The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Anne-Marie O'Connor | O'Connor tells the galvanizing story of the Lady in Gold, Adele Bloch-Bauer, a dazzling Viennese Jewish society figure; daughter of the head of one of the largest banks in the Hapsburg Empire, head of the Oriental Railway, whose Orient Express went from Berlin to Constantinople; wife of Ferdinand Bauer, sugar-beet baron.
The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War by Lynn H. Nicholas | From the Nazi purges of "Degenerate Art" and Goering's shopping sprees in occupied Paris to the perilous journey of the Mona Lisa from Paris and the painstaking reclamation of the priceless treasures of liberated Italy, The Rape of Europa is a sweeping narrative of greed, philistinism, and heroism that combines superlative scholarship with a compelling drama.
The Last Conquest of Ireland (perhaps) by John Mitchel | Mitchel's account of the Repeal campaign, the Famine and the 1848 Rising, which originally appeared in Mitchel's Tennessee-based newspaper. The Southern Citizen. Mitchel was a significant and controversial figure. Last Conquest is well known in Famine debates for its claim that the Famine was a deliberate act of genocide by the British government.
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham | In this magnificent biography, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author brings vividly to life an extraordinary man and his remarkable times. This book gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being forever engaged in the wars of his era. Philosophers think; politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.
Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff | Redemption is thin on the ground in this ghost of a city, but Detroit: An American Autopsy is no hopeless parable. Instead, LeDuff shares a deeply human drama of colossal greed, ignorance, endurance, and courage. Detroit is an unbelievable story of a hard town in a rough time filled with some of the strangest and strongest people our country has to offer—and a black comic tale of the absurdity of American life in the twenty-first century.