The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism

By John U. Bacon. A gripping account of the world’s largest man-made explosion before the atomic bomb describes the events that led to the catastrophic igniting of the French freighter Mont-Blanc in 1917 Halifax, killing and wounding thousands while leading to advances inmedicine and weapons science.

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The Good Fight: America’s Ongoing Struggle for Justice

By Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt. This unique photography book depicts images of the suffering and successes of long-oppressed groups in the United States, including women, African Americans, Native Americans, Jews, Muslims, Latinos, LGBTQ and the disabled, along with guest essays from representatives of each group.

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Reactions

By Theodore Gray. In a follow-up to The Elements and Molecules, a internationally best-selling author and app creator demonstrates how the focus of his first two books combine to create chemical reactions including combustion, photosynthesis, respiration and oxidation.

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Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat into Victory

By Michael Korda.

“Combining epic history with rich family stories, Michael Korda chronicles the outbreak of World War II and the great events that led to Dunkirk. In an absorbing work peopled with world leaders, generals, and ordinary citizens who fought on both sides ofWorld War II, Alone brings to resounding life perhaps the most critical year of twentieth-century history. For, indeed, May 1940 was a month like no other, as the German war machine blazed into France while the supposedly impregnable Maginot Line crumbled, and Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister in an astonishing political drama as Britain, isolated and alone, faced a triumphant Nazi Germany. Against this vast historical canvas, Michael Korda relates what happened and why, and also tells his own story, that of a six-year-old boy in a glamorous movie family who would himself be evacuated. Alone is a work that seamlessly weaves a family memoir into an unforgettable account of a political and military disaster redeemed by the evacuation of more than 300,000 men in four days–surely one of the most heroic episodes of the war. “The incredible, almost miraculous story of what happened at Dunkirk in the year 1940–and why–is unfolded in Alone with great narrative skill and superb delineation of a highly interesting cast of characters, including, importantly, the author himself and his own remarkable family.” — David McCullough

National Geographic Atlas of Beer: A Globe-Trotting Journey Through the World of Beer

By Nancy Hoalst-Pullen and Mark W. Patterson. Presents a guide to beer and breweries in fifteen countries around the world, describing the history of beer, favorite destinations in each country, beer festivals, and unusual breweries,

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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…

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Ragged Edge: A Us Marine’s Account of Leading the Iraqi Army Fifth Battalion

By Michael Zacchea. At a time when the United States debates how deeply to involve itself in Iraq and Syria, Lt. Col. Michael Zacchea, USMC (ret.), holds a unique vantage point on our still-ongoing war. Deployed to Iraq in March 2004, his team’s mission was to build, train, and lead in combat the first Iraqi army battalion trained by the US military. Zacchea tells a deeply personal and powerful story while shedding light on the dangerous pitfalls of training foreign troops to fight murderous insurgents. The Ragged Edge is the first American military memoir out of Iraq or Syria that features complex Arab and Kurdish characters and that intimately explores their culture and politics in a dispassionate way. Zacchea’s invaluable lessons about Americans working with Arabs and Kurds to fight insurgency and terrorism come precisely when such wartime collaboration is happening more than at any time in US history.

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars

By Dava Sobel. #1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel returns with the captivating, little-known true story of a group of women whose remarkable contributions to the burgeoning field of astronomy forever changed our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe

In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations made via telescope by their male counterparts each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but by the 1880s the female corps included graduates of the new women’s colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates. The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed in this period—thanks in part to the early financial support of another woman, Mrs. Anna Draper, whose late husband pioneered the technique of stellar photography—enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars, Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use, and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard—and Harvard’s first female department chair. Elegantly written and enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, The Glass Universe is the hidden history of a group of remarkable women who, through their hard work and groundbreaking discoveries, disproved the commonly held belief that the gentler sex had little to contribute to human knowledge.

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Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors

By George W. Bush. A vibrant collection of military oil paintings and stories by the 43rd President, published to benefit the Military Service Initiative at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, stands as an official tie-in to the exhibition scheduled for March 2017 at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

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A Nation Without Borders: The United States and Its World in an Age of Civil Wars, 1830-1910

By Steven Hahn. A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian explores the 80 years surrounding the Civil War, detailing the pivotal developments in the 19th century that transformed the way Americans lived, worked and thought, including changes in social and economic life, as well as sectionalism and imperialism.

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