History, Biography, and Politics

Inimitable photographer Sally Mann has written Hold Still with her “intensely seeing eye” fully focused, and it is a masterpiece. Whether addressing her childhood, her work, her storied family history in the South or her immediate family on their beloved farm, she writes assuredly, companionably, clear eyed and laid open. It’s both a beautiful work of art (with many photos) and an intimate glimpse of a remarkable life in process.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
$32.00
ISBN: 9780316247764
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - May 12th, 2015

Kate Mulgrew's search for her daughter given up for adoption is a long thread in the book that ties itself around the heart of her memoir. Mulgrew really dives into her past and in that way I can appreciate her performance as Captain Janeway all the more. She is a true master of the English language, a gift nurtured by her love of poetry and dedication to the art of acting. A fine memoir that will resonate strongly with women.

Reviewed by: 
Louise
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316334310
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little Brown and Company - April 14th, 2015

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Cleopatra offers a meticulously researched, insightful look at one of history’s stranger scars. Schiff lends cultural and historical context to the infamous Salem witch trials, which are still steeped in myth. Personal accounts shed light on various elements at play before the trials, while the examination of Puritan culture reveals, absurdly enough, a warped credibility in the proceedings. In this fascinating look behind the curtain, the devil is truly in the details.

Reviewed by: 
Dillon
$32.00
ISBN: 9780316200608
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - October 27th, 2015

When Mark Zuckerberg gave $100 million to reform the Newark, NJ school system, it became a test case for what is possible in American schools. With assured writing, Russakoff follows this project and its major players, as well as the teachers and students affected by the tumult, using the Newark experiment to highlight the issues surrounding schools nationwide. A compelling read and an important book.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
$27.00
ISBN: 9780547840055
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin - September 8th, 2015

We’ve come a long way since the dawn of American spaceflight, and accomplished the unimaginable (like robots on Mars!). But after the retirement of the last American space shuttle, the future of spaceflight in this country is being made even more vulnerable by budget cuts and public skepticism. Dean’s book is a literary elegy to the astonishing achievements of our recent past, and a critical, curious look at what may be to come.

Reviewed by: 
Cat
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977092
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - May 19th, 2015

Jenny Lawson (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened) does not like to hold back. She will be the first to tell you that she’s crazy. And she is. For most of her life, she has dealt with mental illness. She suffers from depression, anxiety, and a variety of other disorders and she has found that writing is one of the things that helps her survive. She also happens to be one of the funniest people in the world. Luckily for her (and for us), she has written another book. It is a roller-coaster ride through Lawson’s amazing head or, as she says, “a compendium on ‘how-to-thrive-in-spite-of-your-brain-being-a-real-bastard.’” She somehow manages to candidly address the debilitating diseases of depression and anxiety while making you pee your pants laughing. Yes, that’s what I said. I don’t know how she does it, but I’m glad she does.

Reviewed by: 
George
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250077004
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - September 22nd, 2015

Mary Beard writes ancient Roman history in a lively, accessible manner, weaving her notable scholarship into fascinating, often myth-busting tales and evaluating events in ways particularly meaningful, like immigration, terrorism and citizen activism. Complete with maps, timelines and full-color plates, SPQR celebrates the importance of this seminal city, giving it context and reminding us of its continued influence in our world today.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
$35.00
ISBN: 9780871404237
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - November 9th, 2015

Patti Smith’s follow-up memoir to Just Kids is a poignant and fluid meditation on places and objects that bear significance in her life, shifting seamlessly from dreamlike to reminiscent. Punctuated by coffee, literature, and detective shows, we meander through her memories of travel and relationships. Don’t expect a linear narrative—drift with Ms. Smith through what she describes as “a roadmap to my life.”

Reviewed by: 
Centa
$25.00
ISBN: 9781101875100
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 6th, 2015

H Is for Hawk is everything one wants literary nonfiction to be: impeccably written, reflective, searing, smart, and toned with wildness. When Helen MacDonald’s father dies unexpectedly, her raging grief drives her to train a goshawk, the fiercest of raptors. Infused with T.H. White’s writing on his own time with a goshawk, this book becomes an eccentric history, a meditation on loss, a captivating memoir, and nature writing of the highest caliber.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
$20.80
ISBN: 9780802123411
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - March 3rd, 2015

Through photographs and open, honest writing, Lynsey Addario’s memoir provides a unique lens that looks both outward with empathy for those in war-ravaged regions like Iraq, Libya and the Congo, and inward at her own drive and struggle to become a premier photojournalist in a traditionally fraternal profession. To understand her life and to see the world through her eyes is a rare gift and a captivating read.

Reviewed by: 
Melinda
$29.95
ISBN: 9781594205378
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - February 5th, 2015

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