Life After Darkness: Finding Healing and Happiness After the Cleveland Kidnappings

By Michelle Knight. A memoir about healing and resilience shares insights into the decade the author spent as a captive as well as the resolve that has led her to become a volunteer and advocate for changes to prevent her experiences from happening to others.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and Culture in Crisis

By J. D. Vance. Shares the story of the author’s family and upbringing, describing how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan that included the author, a Yale Law School graduate, while navigating the collective demons of the past. Reprint. AB. K. LJ. PW.

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Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom

By Thomas E. Ricks.

New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017

A dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, who preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike.

Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930’s—Orwell shot in the neck in a trench line in the Spanish Civil War, and Churchill struck by a car in New York City. If they’d died then, history would scarcely remember them. At the time, Churchill was a politician on the outs, his loyalty to his class and party suspect. Orwell was a mildly successful novelist, to put it generously. No one would have predicted that by the end of the 20th century they would be considered two of the most important people in British history for having the vision and courage to campaign tirelessly, in words and in deeds, against the totalitarian threat from both the left and the right. In a crucial moment, they responded first by seeking the facts of the matter, seeing through the lies and obfuscations, and then they acted on their beliefs. Together, to an extent not sufficiently appreciated, they kept the West’s compass set toward freedom as its due north.

It’s not easy to recall now how lonely a position both men once occupied. By the late 1930’s, democracy was discredited in many circles, and authoritarian rulers were everywhere in the ascent. There were some who decried the scourge of communism, but saw in Hitler and Mussolini “men we could do business with,” if not in fact saviors. And there were others who saw the Nazi and fascist threat as malign, but tended to view communism as the path to salvation. Churchill and Orwell, on the other hand, had the foresight to see clearly that the issue was human freedom—that whatever its coloration, a government that denied its people basic freedoms was a totalitarian menace and had to be resisted.

In the end, Churchill and Orwell proved their age’s necessary men. The glorious climax of Churchill and Orwell is the work they both did in the decade of the 1940’s to triumph over freedom’s enemies. And though Churchill played the larger role in the defeat of Hitler and the Axis, Orwell’s reckoning with the menace of authoritarian rule in Animal Farm and 1984would define the stakes of the Cold War for its 50-year course, and continues to give inspiration to fighters for freedom to this day. Taken together, in Thomas E. Ricks’s masterful hands, their lives are a beautiful testament to the power of moral conviction, and to the courage it can take to stay true to it, through thick and thin.

Churchill and Orwell is a perfect gift for the holidays!

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Now in paperback

Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest Expeditions

By David Attenborough.

“In 1954, David Attenborough, a young television presenter, was offered the opportunity of a lifetime–to travel the world finding rare and elusive animals for the London Zoo’s collection, and to film the expedition for the BBC for a new show called Zoo Quest. This is the story of those voyages. Staying with local tribes while trekking in search of giant anteaters in Guyana, Komodo dragons in Indonesia, and armadillos in Paraguay, he and the rest of the team contended with cannibal fish, aggressive treeporcupines, and escape-artist wild pigs, as well as treacherous terrain and unpredictable weather, to record the incredible beauty and biodiversity of these regions. Written with his trademark wit and charm, Adventures of a Young Naturalist is not just the story of a remarkable adventure, but of the man who made us fall in love with the natural world and taught us the importance of protecting it–and who is still doing so today”–

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Priestdaddy

By Patricia Lockwood.

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2017

SELECTED AS A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR:
The Washington Post * Elle * NPR * New York Magazine * Boston Globe * Nylon * Slate * The Cut * The New YorkerChicago Tribune

“Affectionate and very funny . . . wonderfully grounded and authentic.  This book proves Lockwood to be a formidably gifted writer who can do pretty much anything she pleases.” – The New York Times Book Review

From Patricia Lockwood—a writer acclaimed for her wildly original voice—a vivid, heartbreakingly funny memoir about balancing identity with family and tradition. 

Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met—a man who lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on the guitar reverberates “like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972.” His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the Church’s country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents’ rectory, their two worlds collide.

In Priestdaddy, Lockwood interweaves emblematic moments from her childhood and adolescence—from an ill-fated family hunting trip and an abortion clinic sit-in where her father was arrested to her involvement in a cultlike Catholic youth group—with scenes that chronicle the eight-month adventure she and her husband had in her parents’ household after a decade of living on their own. Lockwood details her education of a seminarian who is also living at the rectory, tries to explain Catholicism to her husband, who is mystified by its bloodthirstiness and arcane laws, and encounters a mysterious substance on a hotel bed with her mother.

Lockwood pivots from the raunchy to the sublime, from the comic to the deeply serious, exploring issues of belief, belonging, and personhood. Priestdaddy is an entertaining, unforgettable portrait of a deeply odd religious upbringing, and how one balances a hard-won identity with the weight of family and tradition.

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The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath

By Leslie Jamison. The best-selling author of The Empathy Exams presents an exploration of addiction that blends memoir, cultural history, literary criticism and journalistic reportage to analyze the role of stories in conveying the addiction experience, sharing insights based on the lives of genius artists whose achievements were shaped by addiction.

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I Found My Tribe: A Memoir

By Ruth Fitzmaurice.

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Eat the Apple: A Memoir

By Matt Young. A combat veteran and writing instructor traces the darkly comic story of his youth and masculinity as they were shaped in an age of continuous war, describing how he joined the Marines as a way to temper his reckless nature before enduring three Iraq deployments.

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Educated: A Memoir

By Tara Westover. Traces the author’s experiences as a child born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, describing her participation in her family’s paranoid stockpiling activities and her resolve to educate herself well enough to earn acceptance into a prestigious university and the unfamiliar world beyond.

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Heart Berries: A Memoir

By Terese Marie Mailhot.

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