History, Biography, and Politics

Damn you, Toobin, you’re a genius. I have loved this author since The Nine, but am still floored by his ability to transform one historical moment into a lens through which we can view the weight and meaning of entire decades. I didn’t care a whit about Patty Hearst until he used her story to unveil the cultural underpinnings and outcomes of the 60s and 70s. Peddle this to everyone you know who loves history and don’t stop until they’ve all read it.  —Amber

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American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385536714
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - August 2nd, 2016

Compulsively readable, real, and important, Jeff Chang’s new book provides a topic-by-topic overview of how racial tension, pain, and calls for justice have risen to the current moment—from Donald Trump to Rachel Dolezal, police brutality to campus protest. The author writes as one aware that, stranded in discomfort, many people elect to stay silent about racial issues. The invitation he writes toward is simple: Screw silence. Join in. You are needed.  —Amber

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We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312429485
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador USA - September 13th, 2016

Mara Wilson, the girl who was Matilda, looks over a world and life never as bright as the movies made it out to be. Incredibly candid, honestly heart-full, she not only relates wry, funny stories of an idiosyncratic child-star life, but also of dealing with OCD and depression, early great loss, and growing up to an artistic life. Fascinating as an online personality, I loved getting to know her (and recognizing myself) in these pages.  —Jocelyn

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Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143128229
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 13th, 2016

Lynne Cox’s record-breaking open-water swimming career has always been an inspiration, but her new book, Swimming in the Sink, is something distinctive and powerful. Her connection to the water bears her both through the loss of her parents and the resulting atrial fibrillation (broken heart system) that brings her near to death; but Lynne's extraordinary heart not only propels her through the water and this loss, but becomes the focal point of medical research to understand the unique characteristics of her body.

Swimming in the Sink: An Episode of the Heart Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101947623
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 6th, 2016

If you need a book that will make you think more deeply about self-growth, inspire you to engage more fully with your passions, and make you laugh so hard that you startle people around you, then this is the book for you. If you’ve never heard of this remarkable woman, then this book will make you fall in love with her—and if you have, get ready to adore her even more. —Jax
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Yes Please Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062268358
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dey Street Books - September 2015

Inspired by five female writers and thinkers (her “awakeners”), Bolick charts the perception of unmarried women through history, wondering why, still, the choice to be unmarried past child-bearing age must be a social statement. Heavily memoir with substantial history and theory, Spinster is a deeply engaging reflection of the honest passion, fear, and triumph Bolick uncovers as she welcomes cravings for self-knowledge and solitude. Her mission: to simply examine (not even, at first, to challenge) the inevitability that a woman’s life should revolve around the marriage question. Bolick writes with such rare intelligence and elegance that her thesis is only half the joy of reading this book; so much pleasure lies in enjoying her gorgeous nonfiction prose. A truly candid, personal chapter in modern feminist thought—A Room of One’s Own of our generation.  —Julia

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Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385347150
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - April 19th, 2016

Blackout is more than a memoir of drinking—it’s a revelation of recovery, with incredibly profound insights (the best kind: simple and striking) that are applicable not just to those emerging from the depths of substance abuse, but to any human seeking to live authentically. Hepola’s story of sobriety is a comment on culture, too, specifically in noting the ways that drinking can, and has, served as an assertion device for women, allowing loud freedom from the constraints of “femininity.” Hepola’s writing is clear and lovely, and Blackout is a read you won’t soon forget.  —Chorel

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Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget Cover Image
ISBN: 9781455554584
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - June 7th, 2016

More than just a look at an amazing man’s life and accomplishments, this book traces the rise of modern surgery and the integral role he played in it. Dr. Mutter created or worked on so many practices still used today, and yet is better known for his collection of medical oddities (if at all). To be fair, it’s a pretty badass collection of weird stuff.  —Rachel

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Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine Cover Image
ISBN: 9781592409259
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avery Publishing Group - September 8th, 2015

This raw memoir resonated with my personal histories of juvenile delinquency, agitated family relations, and interpersonal relationships. From a scarred little girl to a rebellious young woman, and finishing with a strong and clear understanding of the woman she became, Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir brings a story of hope and perseverance. —Kate
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The Chronology of Water: A Memoir Cover Image
By Lidia Yuknavitch, Chelsea Cain (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780979018831
Availability: Special Order
Published: Hawthorne Books - April 12th, 2011

Dr. Paul Farmer sleeps about two hours a night. At Harvard, he finished in the top of his class though barely attended—already in Haiti, providing medical services in the horrific poverty from which he could not look away. Mountains Beyond Mountains mesmerizingly conveys Farmer’s obsessive altruism and his unrelenting mission to strike out not only disease, but all the world’s ambivalence about inequality. —Julia
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Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812980554
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - August 25th, 2009



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