History, Biography, and Politics

In the same vein as Radium Girls and Hidden Figures, Code Girls delves into the stories of the women working behind the scenes during World War II. From deciphering codes to soldering together the cipher machines themselves, these women were at the forefront of the war and its outcome but unable to tell anyone about their work. Code Girls dragged my emotions all over the place and is at the top of my all-time must-read list. - Rachel

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Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316352536
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hachette Books - October 10th, 2017

Pete Souza (former chief official White House photographer) took more than 2 million images of President Obama during Obama’s two terms, many of which became instant classics (including “The Situation Room” as the Bin Laden raid was happening). I have always loved how Souza’s images both personalized the president and captured the respect Obama had for the office and the seriousness with which he took his job. This new collection of photographs brings tears to my eyes not only for reasons of nostalgia (and the stark difference between Obama and the current resident in the White House), but because Souza captures the humanity of a man who bore so much weight on his shoulders. From the emotional moment the Obamas visited Nelson Mandela’s cell on Robben Island to the president’s reaction to a tiny Spiderman trick-or-treating at the White House, these are images to treasure. - S.B.

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Obama: An Intimate Portrait Cover Image
By Pete Souza, Barack Obama (Foreword by)
$50.00
ISBN: 9780316512589
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Brown and Company - November 7th, 2017

Smartly written, The Far Away Brothers chronicles the lives of two teenage El Salvadoran siblings as they become hermanos lejanos, or “faraway brothers.” Driven from their country, twins Ernesto and Raul brave the Rio Grande and Texas desert and make their way to their older brother in Oakland, only to face all the trials and tribulations of American teenagers, and with their debt to the coyotes constantly looming. - Aric

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The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781101906187
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - September 12th, 2017

Women are frequently shunted to the side or ignored altogether in history, but they have often played a vital role in shaping our world. Alison Weir, with her signature meticulousness, puts the powerful women in the palace at the very center of history in this first of four planned volumes. I was more than happy to read about these important women and hope they will soon become household names, as they well deserve to be. - Ivy

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Queens of the Conquest: England's Medieval Queens Book One Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781101966662
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - September 26th, 2017

Ta-Nehisi Coates exploded into our world after Between the World and Me hit the shelves. He has a keen eye for the issues facing America and uses his blistering words to highlight what needs to be done. His newest work is no exception. He has collected some of his best articles and combined them with his own personal stories. What emerges is a powerful look at the Obama years. By looking back, Coates has given us hope for the future. - Ivy

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We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy Cover Image
$22.40
ISBN: 9780399590566
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - October 3rd, 2017

Legendary comedian and activist Dick Gregory gives a crash course in the people and events of U.S. history that we didn’t learn, or didn’t learn enough of—specifically, the black parts. Interwoven throughout are his own theories on unilluminated history, as well as continual calls to black Americans to stand up and take possession of their history and themselves. No matter your background, you owe it to yourself to pick up this book, learn something, and pay tribute to this late, great American. - Jocelyn

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Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780062448699
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amistad Press - September 5th, 2017

Having watched former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich’s short yet informative videos on numerous topics related to the economy, I’m excited for this compilation of his essays and cartoon illustrations (drawn on a large sketchpad with magic markers). Reich has always been able to make perplexing subjects accessible to those of us who are less informed, and I’m sure this book will be no different. - Ian

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Economics in Wonderland: Robert Reich's Cartoon Guide to a Political World Gone Mad and Mean Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781683960607
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Fantagraphics Books - November 7th, 2017

The first thing you’ll notice is the writing—Amy Tan’s gorgeous prose. The second will be the almost casual references to her incredible family history and personal tragedy. You’ll be drawn in by the insight of one of our greatest living writers. Orbiting an emotional core, this collage of poetic thoughts and essays on art and language are intermingled with chapters of Tan’s heart-breaking real-life stories, creating a unique memoir that I can’t stop thinking about. - Jocelyn

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Where the Past Begins: A Writer's Memoir Cover Image
By Amy Tan
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062319296
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press - October 17th, 2017

The author of numerous well-researched and well-received biographies including Steve Jobs and The Innovators, Walter Isaacson now has written on another of the most interesting people in history, Leonardo da Vinci. Isaacson explores both the person and the genius he displayed in so many fields. - Ian

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Leonardo Da Vinci Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501139154
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 17th, 2017

When the author’s 80-year-old father decided to sit in on his college course on The Odyssey, he wasn’t prepared for how impactful the experience would be for the both of them. Poignant family memories, interwoven with a scholarly analysis of The Odyssey, make for a book that is part college lecture and part autobiography. The result is a truly lovely and unique father–son story. - Jade

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An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780385350594
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - September 12th, 2017

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