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NONFICTION TITLES PUBLISHED IN May 2021

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May's Nonfiction Titles PDF

Biography

Authentic: A Memoir by the Founder of Vans by Paul Van Doren

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Offers a candid, compelling memoir by a high school dropout who went on to establish one of the world's most iconic brands.

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Beautiful Things: A Memoir by Hunter Biden

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Hunter Biden writes in this deeply moving memoir of addiction, loss, and survival.

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Brat: An 80's Story by Andrew McCarthy

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An emotionally honest memoir by an actor, director, and author who found his start as an 80s Brat pack member.

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Elizabeth and Monty: The Untold Story of Their Intimate Friendship by Charles Casillo

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Far more than the story of two icons, the author provides a love story that shines new light on both Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor, revealing their triumphs, demons—and the loyalty that united them to the end.

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Films of Endearment: A Mother, a Son and the 80s Films That Defined Us by Michael Koresky

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A successful film critic reflects on his dynamic mother and the 80s movies they shared together, in this profound meditation on loss and resilience, and a celebration of the special bond between mothers and their sons.

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Finish Strong: A Father's Code and a Son's Path by Nate Ebner & Paul Daugherty. Foreword by Urban Meyer.

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The Olympic rugby player and New England Patriot tells this extraordinary of what a father will do for a son, and what a son will do for a father, offering us a powerful reminder that the lessons parents embody for their children continue long after they are gone.

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The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor by Eddie Jaku

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A 100-year-old Holocaust survivor who, despite all he suffered calls himself the “happiest man on earth,” shares his wisdom and reflects on how he has led his best possible life, talking warmly and openly about the power of gratitude, tolerance and kindness.

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How Stella Learned to Talk: The Groundbreaking Story of the World's First Talking Dog by Christina Hunger

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An incredible, revolutionary true story and surprisingly simple guide to teaching your dog to talk from a speech-language pathologist who has taught her dog to communicate using simple paw-sized buttons associated with different words.

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Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour by Rickie Lee Jones

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A tender and intimate memoir by a two-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter and performer

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Lessons from the Edge by Marie Yovanovitch

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In a new memoir, the U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine, whose life and work have taught her the preciousness of democracy as well as the dangers of corruption, details her involvement in President Trump’s impeachment inquiry and her response to his smear campaign.

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Letter to a Young Female Physician: Notes from a Medical Life by Suzanne Koven

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Tracing the arc of her life, the author reflects on her career in medicine, revealing how she forged her authentic identity in a modern landscape that is as overwhelming and confusing as it is exhilarating in its possibilities.

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Lincoln in Private: What His Most Personal Reflections Tell Us About Our Greatest President by Ronald C. White

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The New York Times best-selling author of A. Lincoln and American Ulysses and renowned Lincoln historian walks us through 12 of Lincoln’s most private notes, showcasing his brilliance, empathy, very human anxieties and ambitions. 

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Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power by Susan Page

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A New York Times best-selling author and USA Today Washington bureau chief offers a new biography of Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful women in American politics.

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Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night by Julian Sancton

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Drawing on the Belgica’s crew’s diaries and journals and exclusive access to the ship’s logbook, this epic tale of a polar expedition that went terribly awry follows the crew, as they, condemned to months of endless night and plagued by a mysterious illness, descend into madness.

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My Remarkable Journey by Katherine Johnson

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In this extraordinary memoir, the woman at the heart of the smash New York Times best-seller and Oscar-winning film Hidden Figures shares her personal journey from child prodigy in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia to NASA human computer.

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My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption by Ian Manuel. Foreword by Bryan Stevenson.

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Full of unexpected twists and turns as it describes a struggle to attain the glory of redemption, this at once wrenching and inspiring story shows how the author endured the savagery of the U.S. prison system and how his victim forgave him and advocated for his freedom.

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Nothing Personal: My Secret Life in the Dating App Inferno by Nancy Jo Sales

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A memoir about sex, dating, and relationships in the digital age, intertwined with a brilliant investigation into the challenges to love and intimacy wrought by dating apps, by a New York Times best-selling author.

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Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story by Julie K. Brown

An award-winning investigative journalist, building on her three-part series in the Miami Herald, recounts her investigation of Jeffrey Epstein’s underage sex trafficking operation that finally brought him to justice while exposing the powerful people and broken system that protected him.

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Philip Roth: The Biography by Blake Bailey

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Drawn from unprecedented archive access and first-person interviews, a portrait of Philip Roth's postwar literary achievements shares insight into his lower-middle-class Jewish upbringing, advocacy work and friendship with famous contemporaries, from Saul Bellow to John Updike.

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Punch Me Up to the Gods by Brian Broome/ Yona Harvey

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A coming-of-age memoir about Blackness, masculinity and addiction follows the author, a poet and screenwriter, as he recounts his experiences, revealing a perpetual outsider awkwardly squirming to find his way in.

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Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow's Fight for the Truth by Michelle Black

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Drawing on exclusive interviews with the survivors of her husband’s unit, research into the military leadership and accountability and her own unique vantage point as a gold star widow, the author sets out to find the truth behind her Green Beret husband’s death.

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Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn't Ours by Sarah Sentilles

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In a moving story, the author shares what she learned from fostering a newborn--about injustice, about mistakes, and about how to better love and protect people outside of our immediate families. 

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Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life by Julianna Margulies

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Filled with intimate stories and revelatory moments, a memoir from the award-winning actress is a self-portrait of a woman whose was resilient in the face of turmoil.

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Things I Learned from Falling: A Memoir by Claire Nelson

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Surviving a 25-foot fall while at Joshua Tree National Park, a journalist reflects on the four days during which she was exposed to the elements and wilderness of Southern California, sharing what she learned about herself and her will to survive while waiting to be rescued.

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The Windsor Diaries: My Childhood With the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret by Alathea Fitzalan Howard

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The never-before-published diaries of Alathea Fitzalan Howard—who spent her teenaged years living out World War II in Windsor Great Park with her close friends Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth, the future queen of the United Kingdom—provide an extraordinary and intimate look at the British Royal Family.

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Yearbook: Essays by Seth Rogen

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A collection of funny personal essays from one of the writers of Superbad and Pineapple Express and one of the producers of The Disaster Artist.

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General Nonfiction

Beyond: How Humankind Thinks About Heaven by Catherine Wolff

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Offers a thought-provoking cultural history of heaven.

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Checking in: How Getting Real About Depression Saved My Life and Can Save Yours by Michelle Williams

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In her first book, an acclaimed musical artist courageously shares the hidden secrets that nearly ended her life; the importance of her faith, family, and friends; and the lessons she learned about prioritizing her mental health.

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Downeast: Five Maine Girls and the Unseen Story of Rural America by Gigi Georges

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A book offering hope for the future of rural America follows five girls as they come of age in one of the most challenging and geographically isolated regions on the Eastern seaboard—Washington County, Maine.

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Freedom by Sebastian Junger

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Intricately crafted and thought-provoking, the author, ruminating on the concept of freedom, shares his journey walking the railroad lines of the east coast with three friends as an experiment in personal autonomy, but also in interdependence.

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The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives by Brian Moylan. Ed by Zachary Wagman & Meghan Houser.

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From the writer of Vulture’s Real Housewives recaps, a table-flipping, finger-pointing, halter-topping VIP journey through reality TV’s greatest saga.

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How to Change: The Science of Why Some People Have Breakthroughs and Others Don't by Katy Milkman. Foreword by Angela Duckworth.

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An award-winning Wharton Professor and Choiceology podcast host, drawing on her original research, offers an invaluable, science-based blueprint for achieving your goals, once and for all.

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Inside Money: Brown Brothers Harriman and the American Way of Power by Zachary Karabell

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Using his complete access to the company’s archives, an acclaimed historian, commentator and former financial executive offers a sweeping history of the legendary private investment firm Brown Brothers Harriman, exploring its central role in the story of American wealth and its rise to global power.

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NPR's Podcast Start Up Guide: Create, Launch, and Grow a Podcast That People Listen To--on Any Budget by Glen Weldon

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From NPR comes the definitive guide to podcasting—featuring step-by-step advice on how to find a unique topic, tell the best stories, and engage the most listeners, as well as the secrets that will take your pod to the next level.

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The Window Seat: Notes from a Life in Motion by Aminatta Forna

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A stunning new collection of essays from the award-winning author of Happiness explores border crossings both literal and philosophical, our relationship with the natural world, and the stories that we tell ourselves.

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The Wreckage of My Presence: Essays by Casey Wilson

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In a collection of essays, the author shares her thoughts on the joys and vagaries of modern-day womanhood and motherhood, introduces the not-quite-typical family that made her who she is, and argues that lowbrow pop culture is the perfect lens through which to understand human nature.

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Health & Fitness

Evolution Gone Wrong: The Curious Reasons Why Our Bodies Work (Or Don't) by Alexander Bezzerides

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An exploration of human evolution reveals where we inherited our adaptable, achy, brilliant bodies.

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Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine by Robert H. Lustig

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The New York Times best-selling author of Fat Chance and pediatric neuroendocrinologist explains the eight pathologies that underlie all chronic disease, proposing an urgent manifesto and strategy to cure both us and the planet.

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Taking Charge of Your Pregnancy: The New Science for a Safe Birth and a Healthy Baby by Susan J. Fisher

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Complete with helpful illustrations, practical tips, and the essential questions to ask healthcare providers, a guide based on decades of research and the latest scientific advances provides advice to empower expecting parents.

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History

America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s by Elizabeth Hinton

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Drawing on new sources, a leading scholar presents a groundbreaking story of policing and “riots” that shatters our understanding of the post–civil rights era, arguing that we cannot understand the civil rights moment without coming to terms with the astonishing violence, and hugely expanded policing regime, that followed it.

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American Republics: A Continental History of the United States, 1783-1850 by Alan Taylor

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In a history of America’s formative period, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian upends the traditional story of a young nation confidently marching to its continent-spanning destiny and illuminates the continuities between our own social and political divisions.

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Billie Eilish by Billie Eilish

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A legendary recording artist shares an inside look at her life—both on and off the stage—through hundreds of never-before-seen photos.

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The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcolm Gladwell

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Explores how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war. 

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Bookseller of Florence: The Story of the Manuscripts That Illuminated the Renaissance by Ross King

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The best-selling author of Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling captures the excitement and spirit of the Renaissance in a chronicle of the life and work of “the king of the world’s booksellers” and the technological disruption that forever changed the ways knowledge spread.

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Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe by Niall Ferguson

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Drawing from multiple disciplines, including economics, cliodynamics and network science, one of the world’s most renowned historians explains why we are getting worse, not better, at handling disasters. 

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Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II by Daniel James Brown

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Based on extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists as well as deep archival research, the New York Times best-selling author of The Boys in the Boat chronicles the special Japanese-American Army unit that overcame brutal odds in Europe.

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Footnotes: The Black Artists Who Rewrote the Rules of the Great White Way by Caseen Gaines

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Tells the story of how one Broadway show changed the course of America.

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The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice by Scott Ellsworth

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In a part true-crime murder mystery, part narrative history, a New York Times best-selling author, 100 years after the Tulsa Race Massacre—the worst single incident of racial violence in all of American history—returns to his hometown in search of answers.

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The Indispensables: Marblehead’s Diverse Soldier-mariners Who Shaped the Country, Formed the Navy, and Rowed Washington Across the Delaware by Patrick K. O'Donnell

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In an addition to the literature of the American Revolution, a best-selling historian dramatically recounts how and why the Marblehead Regiment, led by John Glover, was truly indispensable.

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Killing the Mob: The Fight Against Organized Crime in America by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

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The authors, in the 10th book in a multimillion-selling Killing series, take on the Mob, tracing the brutal history of 20th Century organized crime in the U.S., turning the most legendary criminal and their true-life escapades into a riveting crime novel.

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King Richard: Nixon and Watergate--an American Tragedy by Michael Dobbs

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The best-selling author of One Minute to Midnight, drawing on thousands of hours of newly released taped recordings, takes readers into the heart of the Watergate conspiracy, recreating these traumatic events in cinematic detail.

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On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed

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The descendant of enslaved people brought to Texas in the 1850s recounts the origins of Juneteenth and explores the legacies of the holiday that remain with us. 

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War on the Border: Villa, Pershing, the Texas Rangers, and an American Invasion by Jeff Guinn

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A riveting account of the “Punitive Expedition” of 1916 between Pancho Villa and Gen. John J. Pershing and how this violent conflict still reverberates in the Southwestern U.S. to this day as the US-Mexico border remains as vexed and volatile as ever.

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X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II by Leah Garrett

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Chronicles the World War II saga of the German-Jewish commandos who fought in Britain’s most secretive special-forces unit—but whose story has gone untold until now.

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Political Science

Persist by Elizabeth Warren

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A former candidate for president, in a deeply personal book and a powerful call to action, writes about six perspectives that have influenced her life and advocacy, inspiring us to believe that if we’re willing to fight for it, profound change is within our reach.

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The Premonition by Michael Lewis

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The #1 best-selling author's nonfiction narrative pits a band of medical visionaries against the wall of ignorance that was the official response of the Trump administration to the outbreak of COVID-19.

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Proof of Life: Twenty Days on the Hunt for a Missing Person in the Middle East by Daniel Levin

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A fast-paced thriller wrapped in a memoir follows a lawyer turned armed-conflict negotiator as he searches for a missing person in Syria over 20 tense days, delving deep into a shadowy world where few have access to find the truth.

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State of Emergency by Tamika D. Mallory

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A globally recognized civil rights activist presents an unwavering history of American systemic racism, a first-hand view of what makes for effective activism today and a vision for lasting, positive change.

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You Are Right to Be Concerned: Democrats in Crisis in the Trump Years by Edward-Isaac Dovere

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The award-winning Atlantic staff writer and Ticket podcaster offers a critical assessment of the splintered Democratic party during the Trump years, citing the disparities that are challenging the party's political stances on moderation, multiethnic liberalism and socialism.

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Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service by Carol Leonnig

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To expose the shortcomings of the Secret Service, a national investigative reporter at The Washington Post interviewed countless current and former agents and whistleblowers who risked their careers to speak to her about an agency that is broken and in desperate need of reform.

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Psychology

Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change by Christian Jarrett

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Drawing on the latest research, and featuring compelling stories of people who have achieved profound personality change, a cognitive neuroscientist explores the ways that life changes us, and shows how we can deliberately shape our personalities to influence the course of our lives.

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Let's Talk About Hard Things by Anna Sale

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The host of the popular WNYC podcast Death, Sex, & Money provides a profound meditation on why communication can connect us instead of divide us and how we can all do it better.

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Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think by Andrew Norman

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A philosopher shows how to rid ourselves of breaks in logic that cause destructive thinking and extremism, and provides the tools to inoculate our minds and keep them safe from becoming infected by bad ideas.

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Science

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer by Steven Johnson

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Tells the surprising story of how humans gained what amounts to an extra life, from the best-selling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From.

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Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard

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The world’s leading forest ecologist, in her first book, draws us into the intimate world of trees where she brilliantly illuminates the fascinating and vital truth—that trees are a complex, interdependent circle of life.

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Full Spectrum: How the Science of Color Made Us Modern by Adam Rogers

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Offers an account of our age-old quest for brighter colors, which changed the way we see the world, from the best-selling author of Proof: The Science of Booze.

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Helgoland: Making Sense of the Quantum Revolution by Carlo Rovelli. Trans by Erica Segre & Simon Carnell.

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The best-selling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time offers a startling new look at quantum theory. Illustrations.

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The Science of Can and Can't: A Physicist's Journey Through the Land of Counterfactuals by Chiara Marletto

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A young British physicist presents a groundbreaking exploration of a radically different approach to physics, pondering how what is possible can give is a more complete and helpful picture of the physical world.

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Self-Help

Be a Work in Progress: And Other Things I'd Like to Tell My Younger Self by John Cena

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An illustrated book of inspiration from entertainer and #1 New York Times best-selling author, John Cena.

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Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing by Pete Davis

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In a culture of restlessness and indecision, which causes tension in our lives, a civic advocate, using examples from history, personal stories and applied psychology, shows how purposeful commitment can be a powerful force.

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Live Free: Use the Power of Setting Expectations to Transform Your Life by Devon Franklin

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The award-winning Hollywood producer and author of The Success Commandments counsels readers on how to find life fulfillment by casting away expectations and refocusing on existing achievements and relationships.

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No One Succeeds Alone: Learn Everything You Can from Everyone You Can by Robert Reffkin

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The inspirational story of Compass CEO Robert Reffkin—whose mother, mentors, and search for belonging taught him valuable lessons that anyone with a dream can put into action today to improve their own quality of life.

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You Will Get Through This Night by Daniel Howell

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Presenting an entertaining and personal way from the perspective of someone who has been through it all, a no-nonsense book gives readers the tools to understand their minds so they can be in control and really live.

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