Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom

By Thomas E. Ricks. A dual portrait of Winston Churchill and George Orwell focuses on the pivotal years from the mid-1930s through the 1940s, describing how both suffered nearly fatal injuries before their vision and campaigns inspired action to preserve democracy throughout the world.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

By Kate Moore.

The incredible true story of the women who fought America’s Undark danger

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives…

Books For Living

books-for-livingFrom the author of the best-selling and beloved The End of Your Life Book Club–a wonderfully engaging new book: both a celebration of reading in general and an impassioned recommendation of specific books that can help guide us through our daily lives.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

hidden-figuresBy Margot Lee Sheerly. An account of the previously unheralded but pivotal contributions of NASA’s African-American women mathematicians to America’s space program describes how they were segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws in spite of their groundbreaking successes.

When in French: Love in a Second Language

when-in-french“When New Yorker staff writer Lauren Collins moves to Geneva, Switzerland, she decides to learn French–not just to be able to go about her day-to-day life, but in order to be closer to her French husband and his family. When in French is at once a hilarious and idiosyncratic memoir about the things we do for love, and an exploration across cultures and history into how we learn languages, and what they say about who we are”

Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France

pancakes-parisBy Craig Carlson. “The heartwarming story of how one hungry American with a hankering for pancakes founded the first American-style diner in Paris”

Maggie Smith: A Biography

Maggie SmithAn intimate portrait of a truly remarkable performer—known most recently for her star turn in Downton Abbey—whose stage and screen career spans 60 years is written with her blessing and drawn from her personal archives as well as interviews with immediate family and close friends.

Between the World and Me

BetweenThe author presents a history of racial discrimination in the United States and a narrative of his own personal experiences of contemporary race relations, offering possible resolutions for the future. Told through the author’s own evolving understanding of the subject over the course of his life comes a bold and personal investigation into America’s racial history and its contemporary echoes.

The Theft of Memory

TyphoidIn a riveting biography that reads like a crime novel, a Sibert Medalist and Newbery-Honor winner uncovers the true story of Mary Mallon, a.k.a. Typhoid Mary, one of the most notorious and misunderstood women in American history. (yes, it is a book for 9-11 year olds, but it is awesome!)

Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation

Empire of DeceptionDocuments the multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme of charismatic lawyer Leo Koretz in Roaring Twenties Chicago, the subsequent international manhunt by an ambitious state attorney, and Leo’s mysterious death in prison.

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