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.

Unbroken (Young Readers’ Edition)

UnbrokenUnbroken
By Laura Hillenbrand

The #1 New York Times bestseller, which is also a major motion picture directed by Angelina Jolie, has now been adapted by the author for young adults. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this riveting biography includes more than 100 black-and-white photos, as well as exclusive content, In Conversation, with Laura Hillenbrand and Louie Zamperini.

“Every young person should have the chance to read this book. It’s easy to think, growing up, that bravery is for other people, who are simply born heroic. But nothing about Louis marked him out for greatness. He started out as a misfit and troublemaker, but became a great man because of his choices. His story shows that everyone has the potential to rise above obstacles. It is not where you start out in life that counts the most, it is how you choose to face it.” —Angelina Jolie

On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary sagas of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. As a boy, he had been a clever delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and stealing. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a supreme talent that carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when war came, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a sinking raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would respond to desperation with ingenuity, suffering with hope and humor, brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would hang on the fraying wire of his will.

In this captivating young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a man’s breathtaking odyssey and the courage, cunning, and fortitude he found to endure and overcome. Lavishly illustrated with more than one hundred photographs and featuring an exclusive interview with Zamperini, Unbroken will introduce a new generation to one of history’s most thrilling survival epics.

I was published in the New York Times!

New York TimesAs part of our Writer’s Workshops with Judith Marks-White, we were asked to write from a selection of prompts. I wrote a “Dear Santa” letter and submitted it, at Judith’s suggestion, to the Metropolitan Diary section of the New York Times. It was printed on December 23, 2014 and the comments that followed are as wonderful as seeing my name in print.

Here it is:

Dear Diary:

Dear Santa,

I would really like you to keep the New York of my youth. You know, the one without all the crowds of people.

I want the New York when my grandparents took me downstairs from their apartment to get ice cream at Schrafft’s.

I want the New York when my mom took me to the Plaza’s Palm Court for my birthday because I loved Eloise so much.

I want the Rockefeller Center where I run into my college buddies — no matter how often and when I visit.

I want the Pan Am Building back.

I want the New York where my other grandmother, thinking I would like opera, took me to “The Barber of Seville” before there were subtitles.

I want the New York where I can walk right up to Saint Patrick’s without a line and find peace in the quiet back chapel where the old ladies pray to Mary — even though I am not a Catholic.

So, knowing that my old New York is faded, could you please take care of the horses that pull the carriages until I get the chance to fulfill my dream to get a ride through Central Park?

I still believe,

Alice

P.S. Thank you for not letting them wreck the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal and for keeping the Metropolitan Museum.

Not My Father’s Son

Not My Father's SonA memoir by Alan Cumming

In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.

A beloved star of stage, television, and film–“one of the most fun people in show business” (Time magazine)–Alan Cumming is a successful artist whose diversity and fearlessness is unparalleled. His success masks a painful childhood growing up under the heavy rule of an emotionally and physically abusive father–a relationship that tormented him long into adulthood.

When television producers in the UK approached him to appear on a popular celebrity genealogy show in 2010, Alan enthusiastically agreed. He hoped the show would solve a family mystery involving his maternal grandfather, a celebrated WWII hero who disappeared in the Far East. But as the truth of his family ancestors revealed itself, Alan learned far more than he bargained for about himself, his past, and his own father.

With ribald humor, wit, and incredible insight, Alan seamlessly moves back and forth in time, integrating stories from his childhood in Scotland and his experiences today as a film, television, and theater star. At times suspenseful, deeply moving, and wickedly funny, Not My Father’s Son will make readers laugh even as it breaks their hearts.

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