The Ground Beneath Us: From the Oldest Cities to the Last Wilderness, What Dirt Tells Us About Who We Are

By Paul Bogard

Our most compelling resource just might be the ground beneath our feet.

When a teaspoon of soil contains millions of species, and when we pave over the earth on a daily basis, what does that mean for our future? What is the risk to our food supply, the planet’s wildlife, the soil on which every life-form depends? How much undeveloped, untrodden ground do we even have left?

Paul Bogard set out to answer these questions in The Ground Beneath Us, and what he discovered is astounding.

From New York (where more than 118,000,000 tons of human development rest on top of Manhattan Island) to Mexico City (which sinks inches each year into the Aztec ruins beneath it), Bogard shows us the weight of our cities’ footprints. And as we see hallowed ground coughing up bullets at a Civil War battlefield; long-hidden remains emerging from below the sites of concentration camps; the dangerous, alluring power of fracking; the fragility of the giant redwoods, our planet’s oldest living things; the surprises hidden under a Major League ballpark’s grass; and the sublime beauty of our few remaining wildest places, one truth becomes blazingly clear: The ground is the easiest resource to forget, and the last we should.

The New York Times Book of Crime: More Than 166 Years of Covering the Beat

By Kevin Flynn.
For 164 years, TheNew York Times has been a rich source of information about crime, its reporters racing alongside tabloids to track the shocking incidents that disrupt daily life. This fascinating compilation, edited by seasoned Times crime-beat veteran Kevin Flynn, captures the full sweep of the newspaper’s coverage of the subject—from the assassinations of icons like Lincoln, President Kennedy, and Malcolm X to the deadly trails left behind by serial killers like H. H. Holmes (America’s first recognized serial killer), the Son of Sam, and Jeffrey Dahmer. This comprehensive review examines issues like incarceration, organized crime, and vice—from the Attica riot to the powerful Medellin Cartel—as well as the infamous crimes that riveted the world. The kidnappings of Elizabeth Smart and the Lindbergh baby. The Manson murders. The robberies that exasperated law enforcement, from bank heists by Dillinger to the enduring mystery of the greatest art heist in American history at Boston’s Gardner Museum. White-collar crimes from Ponzi to Madoff. Crimes of passion, such as Harry Thaw’s dramatic shooting of Stanford White, his rival for the charms of the beautiful Evelyn Nesbit. Chapters are organized by topic and include explanatory material by Flynn to provide context. The book features approximately 40 photographs as well as reproductions of front-page stories. Although the focus is on the US, important international stories are included.

Our Short History

By Lauren Grodstein. New York Times bestselling author Lauren Grodstein returns with a deeply compelling and heartfelt story about the depths of a parent’s love and the struggle between keeping the past at bay and protecting a child’s future.

Karen Neulander, a successful New York political consultant, has always been fiercely protective of her son, Jacob, now six. She’s had to be: when Jacob’s father, Dave, found out Karen was pregnant and made it clear that fatherhood wasn’t in his plans, Karen walked out of the relationship, never telling Dave her intention was to raise their child alone.

But now Jake is asking to meet his dad, and with good reason: Karen is dying. Worried that he’ll break Jake’s heart, Karen finally makes the call, and is shocked to find Dave ecstatic about the news. First, he can’t meet Jake fast enough, and then, he can’t seem to leave him alone.

Terrified that Dave is trying to insinuate himself into Jake’s life, Karen is carrying a much larger burden: she has just a few more months to live. As she tries to play out her last days in the “right” way, she struggles with knowing that the only thing she cannot bring herself to do for her son–let his father become a permanent part of his life–is the thing he needs from her the most.

With heart-wrenching poignancy, unexpected wit, and mordant humor, Lauren Grodstein has created an unforgettable story about parenthood, sacrifice, and life itself.

Most Wanted

By Lisa Scottoline. Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus, are desperate for a baby. Unable to conceive, they find themselves facing a difficult choice they had never anticipated. After many appointments with specialists, endless research, and countless conversations, they make the decision to use a donor.

Two months pass, and Christine is happily pregnant. But one day, she is shocked to see a young blond man on the TV news being arrested for a series of brutal murders—and the blond man bears an undeniable and uncanny resemblance to her donor.

Delving deeper to uncover the truth, Christine must confront a terrifying reality and face her worst fears. Riveting and fast-paced with the depth of emotionality that has garnered Lisa Scottoline legions of fans, Most Wanted poses and ethical and moral dilemma: What would you do if the biological father of your unborn child was a serial killer?

The Orphan’s Tale

By Pam Jenoff. Sixteen-year-old Noa, forced to give up her baby fathered by a Nazi soldier, snatches a Jewish infant bound for a concentration camp from a boxcar and takes refuge with a traveling circus, where Astrid, a Jewish aerialist, becomes her mentor.

A Piece of the World

By Christina Baker Kline. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the smash bestseller Orphan Train, a stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s mysterious and iconic painting Christina’s World.

“Later he told me that he’d been afraid to show me the painting. He thought I wouldn’t like the way he portrayed me: dragging myself across the field, fingers clutching dirt, my legs twisted behind. The arid moonscape of wheatgrass and timothy. That dilapidated house in the distance, looming up like a secret that won’t stay hidden.”

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.

As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists.

Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

By Michael Finkel.

Documents the true story of a man who endured a hardscrabble, isolated existence in a tent in the Maine woods, never speaking with others and surviving by stealing supplies from nearby cabins, for 27 years, in a portrait that illuminates the survival means he developed and the reasons behind his solitary life.


For readers of Jon Krakauer and The Lost City of Z, a remarkable tale of survival and solitude–the true story of a man who lived alone in a tent in the Maine woods, never talking to another person and surviving by stealing supplies from nearby cabins for twenty-seven years.

Pathfinders: The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls

By Tonya Bolden. The Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author of Beautiful Moon presents a tribute to 16 diverse Americans of African descent who helped define history in the 18th through 20th centuries, including Allen Allensworth, Sissieretta Jones and Maggie Lena Walker.

Carve the Mark

By Veronica Roth. Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

By Kelley Barnhill. Winner of the 2017 Newbery Award for excellence in children’s literature.

In this New York Times bestselling epic fantasy, a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon must unlock the dangerous magic buried deep inside. The New York Times Book Review calls The Girl Who Drank the Moon “impossible to put down . . . as exciting and layered as classics like Peter Pan or TheWizard of Oz.”

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

The acclaimed author of The Witch’s Boy has created another epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to become a modern classic.

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