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Nonfiction Titles Published in January 2021

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January's Nonfiction Titles PDF

Biography

Aftershocks: A Memoir by Nadia Owusu

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An award-winning essayist combines literary memoir and cultural history to examine her personal struggles with her mixed-heritage identity and the emotional trauma of her mother's abandonment and father's dark secrets.

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American Daughter: A Memoir by Stephanie Thornton Plymale with Elissa Wald

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The founder of the Heritage Home Foundation nonprofit documents her secret abuse-marked childhood in and out of foster care and what she discovered while investigating the story of her mother's own harrowing past.

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Bevelations: Lessons from a Mutha, Auntie, Bestie by Bevy Smith

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The host of SiriusXM's Bevelations presents an irreverent memoir of her transition from in-crowd competitiveness to authenticity, offering candid advice on how to live one's best life clearly, honestly and joyfully.

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Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas by Alexi Pappas. Foreword by Maya Rudolph.

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The award-winning writer, filmmaker and Olympic athlete describes her childhood embrace of female role models in the aftermath of her mother's suicide, detailing the hard work, unrelenting resolve and private depression that challenged her own ambitions.

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The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication by Alexander Larman

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Offers an account of the Abdication Crisis of 1936.

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Dog Flowers by Danielle Geller

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An award-winning essayist draws on archival documents in a narrative account that explores how her family's troubled past and the death of her mother, a homeless alcoholic, reflected the traditions and tragic history of her Navajo heritage.

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Featherhood: A Memoir of Two Fathers and a Magpie by Charlie Gilmour

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Forging a bond with a clever magpie, a man struggling with the past and his own uncertainties as a parent discovers that the poet father who abandoned him as a baby had a jackdaw companion.

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Ida B. the Queen: The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells by Michelle Duster

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Written by her great-granddaughter, a historical portrait of the boundary-breaking civil rights pioneer includes coverage of Wells' early years as a slave, her famous acts of resistance and her achievements as a journalist and anti-lynching activist.

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Is Today the Day?: Not Another Political Memoir by Tulsi Gabbard

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Congress's first-elected Hindu woman shares the lessons she learned as a member of the Hawaii National Guard, during her combat-duty tours in the Middle East and throughout her service as an environmental advocate.

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Just As I Am: A Memoir by Cicely Tyson

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The Academy, Tony, and three-time Emmy Award-winning actor and trailblazer tells her stunning story, looking back at her six-decade career and life.

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Sanctuary by Emily Rapp Black

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The award-winning author of Poster Child challenges cultural norms that compel people to conceal their pain, drawing on contemporary understandings in psychology and other disciplines to explain how validating trauma can help promote strength and a positive perspective.

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The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames by Justine Thompson Cowan

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Documents the author's investigation into her late mother's tragic experiences as an illegitimate orphan who endured an early life of discrimination, physical abuse and harsh labor serving England's ruling class at infamous Foundling Hospital.

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To Be Honest by Michael Leviton

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A memoir discusses an unusual upbringing in a family fanatically devoted to honesty, and what came after.

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Walking With Ghosts by Gabriel Byrne

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The award-winning star of several films discusses everything from his Irish childhood to his Hollywood and Broadway success.

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With Her Fist Raised: Dorothy Pitman Hughes and the Transformative Power of Black Community Activism by Laura L. Lovett

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Presents the first biography of Dorothy Pitman Hughes, a trailblazing black feminist activist whose work made children, race, and welfare rights central to the women’s movement.

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BusinesS & Economics

Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century by Jeff Lawson & Dan Lyons

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The CEO of Twilio outlines strategic recommendations for unleashing the creativity, productivity and problem-solving potential of today's largely unrecognized professional software developers to adapt companies for the competitive realities of the digital era.

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Get What's Yours for Health Care: How to Get the Best Care at the Right Price (Get What's Yours) by Phillip Moeller

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An authoritative, unbiased reference by the award-winning "Ask Phil" columnist shares concise information about how to communicate with doctors, hospitals and health-care providers to get access to quality care, minimize medical bills and contest denied insurance claims.

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Know Yourself, Know Your Money: Discover WHY You Handle Money the Way You Do, and WHAT to Do About It! by Rachel Cruze. Foreword by Dave Ramsey.

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The father-and-daughter personal finance experts behind the best-selling Smart Money Smart Kids counsel readers on how to understand one's individual strengths and vulnerabilities to establish a healthy relationship with money and set more productive financial goals.

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The Price You Pay for College: An Entirely New Road Map for the Biggest Financial Decision Your Family Will Ever Make by Ron Lieber

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The hugely popular New York Times “Your Money” columnist and author of the best-selling The Opposite of Spoiled offers a deeply reported approach to the biggest financial decision families will ever make: what to pay for college.

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Religion and the Rise of Capitalism by Benjamin M. Friedman

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A leading expert on economic policy presents a major reassessment of the foundations of modern economic thinking to identify the historical religious influences behind today's fiercely defended beliefs about the free market.

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General Nonfiction

ADHD 2.0: New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction--from Childhood Through Adulthood by Edward M. Hallowell & John J. Ratey

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The best-selling authors of Driven to Distraction draw on cutting-edge research into the less-recognized strengths of the ADHD mind, including the "variable attention trait," to discuss career goals, positive relationships and the pros and cons of medication.

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The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season One by Phil Szostak

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This official behind-the-scenes companion to the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian features exclusive concept art, character and costume sketches, and vehicle and creature designs.

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Barack Before Obama: Life Before the Presidency by David Katz

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An intimate collection of photographs of Barack Obama prior to his presidency include images of him walking in New York City unnoticed, playing with his small daughters and making faces at his wife in an elevator mirror.

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Change: The Power in the Periphery to Make Big Things Happen by Damon Centola

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Lays out a paradigm-busting new theory about the complex way innovative ideas, movements, and behaviors spread from the edges of society to impact everyone, and how to use these ideas to effect the change you want to see in the world.

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Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross

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An award-winning psychologist and White House policy advisor explains how to distinguish between one's inner critic and the more rational, positive self, offering counsel on how to avoid giving in to negative mental chatter to establish healthier self-advocacy.

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Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You): Practical Advice from the First Family of Podcasting by Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy & Griffin McElroy

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The creators of the hit podcasts "My Brother, My Brother and Me" and "The Adventure Zone" draw on firsthand experience to share uproarious advice on the steps needed to make, produce, edit and promote an effective podcast.

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Fast This Way: Burn Fat, Heal Inflammation and Eat Like the High-Performing Human You Were Meant to Be (Bulletproof) by Dave Asprey

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The award-winning host of Bulletproof Radio and author of the best-selling The Bulletproof Diet draws on years of personal experience to explain how to improve one's relationship with food and promote health through customizable fasting practices.

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Homo Irrealis: Essays by Andre Aciman

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The New York Times–best-selling author of Find Me and Call Me by Your Name returns to the essay form with a collection of thoughts on time, the creative mind, and great lives and works.

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I Came As a Shadow: An Autobiography by John Thompson

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Provides the long-awaited autobiography from Georgetown University’s legendary coach, whose life on and off the basketball court throws America’s unresolved struggle with racial justice into sharp relief.

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Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion

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A volume of 12 previously uncollected early pieces shares insights into the author's evolving literary style and includes reflections on such topics as a Gamblers Anonymous meeting, a Vegas WWI veteran reunion and a visit to San Simeon.

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Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty by Maurice Chammah

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A history of the death penalty in Texas and its influence on the 1972 SCOTUS ruling examines the contributions of key prosecutors, judges and defendants while explaining how the state's example reflects critical vulnerabilities in the American criminal justice system.

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Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future by Pope Francis

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A spiritual leader explains why we must—and how we can—make the world safer, fairer, and healthier for all people now.

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Martha Stewart's Very Good Things: Simple Tips and Genius Ideas for an Easier and More Beautiful Life by Martha Stewart

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The premier American lifestyle expert and television personality shares practical tips and clever solutions for making life easier and more delicious such as infusing vinegar with herb blossoms and using lip balm to free a stuck zipper.

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The Night Lake: A Young Priest Maps the Topography of Grief by Liz Tichenor

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A young priest about loss of a child, its grief and its aftermath, and the hard-won joy that can follow.

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Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness by Roy R. Grinker

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The author of Unstrange Minds presents a compassionate history of evolving attitudes toward mental illness and the ongoing fight to end related stigmas, sharing the story of his own family's four-generation involvement in psychiatry.

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Olive, Mabel & Me: Life and Adventures With Two Very Good Dogs by Andrew Cotter

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Tells the story of Olive and Mabel, Labrador retrievers who rose to internet fame as the subjects of Andrew Cotter's BBC sports parodies.

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The Power of Ethics: How to Make Good Choices in a Complicated World by Susan Liautaud

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Citing a pervasive moral decline in business, politics and technology today, a Stanford University ethics instructor and corporate ethics advisor outlines strategic practices in business ethics that have the potential to transform society for the better.

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Reading, Writing, and Racism: Disrupting Whiteness in Teacher Education and in the Classroom by Bree Picower

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The coordinator of the Newark Teacher Project argues that whiteness is entrenched in schools and curriculums and teachers must reframe their understanding about race in order to advance racial justice and this change must begin in teacher education programs.

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Three Wise Men: A Navy Seal, a Green Beret, and How Their Marine Brother Became a War's Sole Survivor by Beau Wise & Tom Sileo

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A Marine who lost both his brothers in combat—becoming the only "Sole Survivor" during the war in Afghanistan—offers a memoir of family, service and sacrifice.

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The Thyroid Reset Diet: Reverse Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Symptoms with a Proven Iodine-Balancing Plan by Alan Christianson

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The integrative physician and author of the best-selling The Metabolism Reset Diet outlines a recipe-complemented, counterintuitive plan for reversing the symptoms of thyroid disease through strategic food replacements that regulate iodine intake.

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White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind by Koa Beck

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A timely and impassioned exploration of how our society has commodified feminism and continues to systemically shut out women of color.

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You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism by Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar

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A writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers and her sister write with humor and heart to share absurd anecdotes about everyday experiences of racism.

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 History

The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution by James Oakes

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An award-winning scholar uncovers the guiding principles of Lincoln’s antislavery strategies.

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Himalaya: A Human History by Ed Douglas

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A magisterial history of the Himalayas tells the epic story of peoples, cultures, and adventures among the world’s highest mountains.

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Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Andrea Pitzer

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Documents the remarkable survival tale of 16th-century Dutch explorer and talented navigator Williams Barents, whose obsessive quest to chart the remote regions of the Arctic prompted three harrowing expeditions

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Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World by Simon Winchester

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The author of The Perfectionists explores the concept of land ownership and how it has shaped history, examining how people fight over, steward and occasionally share land, and what humanity's proprietary relationship with land means for the future.

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Long Time Coming: Reckoning With Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson

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From the New York Times best-selling author of Tears We Cannot Stop issues a passionate call to America to finally reckon with race and start the journey to redemption.

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Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning With the Myth of the Lost Cause by Ty Seidule

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A soldier and head of the West Point history department challenges the myths and lies of the Confederate legacy—and explores why some of this country’s oldest wounds have never healed.

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A Shot in the Moonlight: How a Freed Slave and a Confederate Soldier Fought for Justice in the Jim Crow South by Ben Montgomery

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Tells the sensational true story of George Dinning, a freed slave, who in 1899 joined forces with a Confederate war hero in search of justice in the Jim Crow south.

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Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots by James Suzman

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An anthropological study of the role of work in human evolution challenges deeply held assumptions to explain the different ways our ancient ancestors conducted and regarded work prior to the eras of migration, food production and city development.

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Literary Criticism

In Search of The Color Purple: The Story of an American Masterpiece (Books About Books) by Salamishah Tillet

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A distinguished cultural critic blends literary history, biography and memoir in an exploration of Alice Walker's National Book Award-winning novel that examines its influence against a backdrop of the civil rights encroachments of the early 1980s.

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In the Land of the Cyclops by Karl Ove Knausgaard. Trans by Martin Aitken.

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From a New York Times best-selling author comes a collection of ambitious, remarkably erudite essays on art, literature, culture, and philosophy.

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A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders

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The award-winning author of Tenth of December pairs scholarly essays based on his Syracuse University graduate MFA creative writing program with seven classic Russian stories to explain the essential literary processes of narrative, story immersion and perspective.

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Political Science

The Good American: The Epic Life of Bob Gersony, the U.S. Government's Greatest Humanitarian by Robert D. Kaplan

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The best-selling author of The Revenge of Geography presents an intimate portrait of lesser-known humanitarian Bob Gersony, tracing his influential views on democracy and his four decades of on-the-ground reporting in war and disaster zones.

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Julian Bond’s Time to Teach: A History of the Southern Civil Rights Movement by Julian Bond

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A masterclass in the civil rights movement from one of the legendary activists who led it.

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Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy by Adam Jentleson

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Provides an insider’s account of how politicians representing a radical minority of Americans are using “the greatest deliberative body in the world” to hijack our democracy.

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Run to Win: Lessons in Leadership for Women Changing the World by Stephanie Schriock with Christina Reynolds. Foreword by Kamala Harris.

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The president of EMILY's List offers a playbook for activist women that shares actionable recommendations for facilitating leadership, teaming up with others and organizing and executing effective campaigns in male-dominated business and political environments.

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Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency, and Trust by James Comey

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The former FBI Director and best-selling author of A Higher Loyalty, uses his long career in federal law enforcement to explore issues of justice and fairness in the U.S. justice system.

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Science

Breath Taking: The Power, Fragility, and Future of Our Extraordinary Lungs by Michael J. Stephen

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An expert in pulmonary medicine examines the role of the lungs in the immune system, tracing the history of oxygen on Earth and the evolutionary origins of breathing while sharing poignant stories of resilience from his patients with cystic fibrosis.

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Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth by Avi Loeb

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Harvard’s top astronomer lays out his controversial theory that our solar system was recently visited by advanced alien technology from a distant star.

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Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality by Frank Wilczek

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One of our great contemporary scientists reveals the 10 profound insights that illuminate what everyone should know about the physical world.

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The Mission: A True Story by David W. Brown

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A narrative chronicle of NASA's deep-space mission to Jupiter's ocean moon, Europa, discusses the remarkable work of scientists who overcame formidable hurdles in their effort to determine if organic life exists elsewhere in our solar system.

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The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet by Michael E. Mann

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A renowned climate scientist shows how fossil fuel companies have waged a 30-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change and offers a battle plan for how we can save the planet.

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This Is the Voice by John Colapinto

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The award-winning author of As Nature Made Him draws on diverse sources to explain how the ability to speak distinguishes humans from other species and reflects the most complex and intricate activity that humans can perform.

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Unsolaced: Along the Way to All That Is by Gretel Ehrlich

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The author of The Solace of Open Spaces present a meditative account of how the planet's animals, elements and natural landforms have shaped her life and understanding of a world besieged by climate change.

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When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep by Antonio Zadra

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Two world-renowned sleep and dream researchers present a comprehensive exploration of human dreaming that draws on up-to-date neuroscience research to illuminate what dreams are, where they come from, why we have them and what they mean.

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Self-Help

The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance by Rich Diviney

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A retired Navy SEAL trainer identifies the core attributes that the most successful performers under his command most often exemplified, sharing insights into how such qualities as adaptability, conscientiousness and even narcissism can promote higher productivity and teamwork.

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Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning by Tom Vanderbilt

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The author of Traffic celebrates the pleasures of learning something new regardless of age, describing the remarkable connections he made during a year spent trying new things, from joining an amateur choir to attending surf camp in Costa Rica.

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The Dance Cure: The Surprising Science to Being Smarter, Stronger, Happier by Peter Lovatt

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The founder of the University of Hertfordshire's Dance Psychology Lab and author of Dance Psychology reveals the less-recognized cognitive and emotional benefits of dancing while outlining lighthearted, prescriptive exercises and music suggestions for improving emotional wellness.

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Discovering the Inner Mother: A Guide to Healing the Mother Wound and Claiming Your Personal Power by Bethany Webster

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An exploration of the personal, cultural, and global implications of intergenerational trauma created by patriarchy explains how it is passed down from mothers to daughters and how we can break this destructive cycle.

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The Power of Voice: A Guide to Making Yourself Heard by Denise Woods. Foreword by Mahershala Ali.

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The internationally renowned celebrity voice coach shares proven exercises and techniques for developing an authentic voice, offering recommendations for how to overcome common obstacles to become a confident and effective speaker.

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True Crime

Bad Medicine: Catching New York's Deadliest Pill Pusher by Charlotte Bismuth

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Tells the shocking story of New York’s most infamous pill-pushing doctor, written by the prosecutor who brought him down.

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Till Murder Do Us Part by James Patterson

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A woman begins to suspect that her husband isn't actually who he says he is and a teenager has her life upended during the hunt for a missing girl in two true-crime stories from the prolific and best-selling author.

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The Unusual Suspect: The Rise and Fall of a Modern-Day Outlaw by Ben Machell

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An award-winning journalist traces the story of Stephen Jackley, a would-be Robin Hood whose struggles with complex illness and strong beliefs about economic inequality culminated in an increasingly audacious, six-month bank-robbing spree.

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