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Narrative Nonfiction

Above the Clouds

Above the Clouds

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Kilian Jornet is the most dominating endurance athlete of his generation.--NEW YORK TIMES

Inspiring and humbling-- ALEX HONNOLD

The most accomplished mountain runner of all time contemplates his record-breaking climbs of Mount Everest in this profound memoir--an intellectual and spiritual journey that moves from the earth's highest peak to the soul's deepest reaches.



Kilian Jornet has broken nearly every mountaineering record in the world and twice been named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. In 2018 he summitted Mount Everest twice in one week--without the help of bottled oxygen or ropes.

As he recounts a life spent studying and ascending the greatest peaks on earth, Jornet ruminates on what he has found in nature--simplicity, freedom, and spiritual joy--and offers a poetic yet clearheaded assessment of his relationship to the mountain . . . at times his opponent, at others, his greatest inspiration.

Above Us Only Sky

Above Us Only Sky

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Whether she is writing about arguing with her mother over her choice of oufit-at 46-on a family cruise, getting her tubes tied and the importance of a woman's right to choose, or her frequent battles with her rebel pyromaniac teenage son, writer and NPR commentator Marion Winik is earthy, searingly honest, and unfailingly witty in the face of adversity. In this new collection of essays, a treat for dedicated fans and new readers alike, Winik explores how she and other women face midlife and aging without getting tangled up in the past or the future, all with her trademark humor and insistence on the truth-the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The collection is divided into five sections: "Back," about her family and her past; "Underfoot," about being a mom; "In the Mirror," about growing older; "Above us Only Sky," about a key turning point in her life, and "Ahead," about facing the future."
Absent Hand

Absent Hand

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Of beach plums, ramps, and Ramada Inns: a quietly sensitive eminently sensible consideration of the landscapes of our lives . . . A gift. --Kirkus Reviews

Following her bestselling The Architect of Desire, Suzannah Lessard returns with a remarkable book, a work of relentless curiosity and a graceful mixture of observation and philosophy. This intriguing hybrid will remind some of W. G. Sebald's work and others of Rebecca Solnit's, but it is Lessard's singular talent to combine this profound book-length mosaic-- a blend of historical travelogue, reportorial probing, philosophical meditation, and prose poem--into a work of unique genius, as she describes and reimagines our landscapes. In this exploration of our surroundings, The Absent Hand contends that to reimagine landscape is a form of cultural reinvention.

This engrossing work of literary nonfiction is a deep dive into our surroundings--cities, countryside, and sprawl--exploring change in the meaning of place and reimagining the world in a time of transition. Whether it be climate change altering the meaning of nature, or digital communications altering the nature of work, the effects of global enclosure on the meaning of place are panoramic, infiltrative, inescapable. No one will finish this book, this journey, without having their ideas of living and settling in their surroundings profoundly enriched.

Absolute Convictions

Absolute Convictions

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A "Booklist "Editors' Choice of the Year On October 23, 1998, Barnett Slepian, an abortion provider in Buffalo, New York, was killed by a sniper's bullet. Days later, another local doctor, Shalom Press, received a threat that he was "next on the list." Within hours, the Press family was under police protection, and America's violent struggle over abortion had come to the blue-collar city of Buffalo. In "Absolute Convictions, " Press recounts his family's experience with protesters outside his father's clinic, patients who braved the gauntlet of demonstrators, and politicians who attempted to appease both sides. With remarkable sensitivity, Eyal Press "plunges into, and transcends, a polarized debate that makes partisans of us all" ("The Nation").
Absurdistan

Absurdistan

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Readers can vicariously live for a year in Eastern Europe through the eyes of an American professor working in Absurdistan. With a rare blend of humor and insight, Professor Wright shares a year of teaching at universities in Absurdistan, the name given to former Czechoslovakia by its citizens. His job was to help universities overcome the last seventy years of communist propaganda. This true story is a tongue-in-cheek look at the people, history, and geography of Eastern Europe. Become acquainted with Dr. Wright's castle, village, university, and neighbors. Learn the true meaning of Eastern European Time, and the correct way to mime kitty litter. See if you can survive the alternately hilarious and tragic daily life. In turn funny and sad, Dr. Wright combines mordant insights into the human condition with truly touching stories of local citizens. His incisive wit takes on politics, religion, language, and history, with equal opportunity barbs. He lives in an ancient stone cottage just outside the ruins of a castle destroyed by Napoleon, in a genuine quaint little village with no telephone. He rides the same trolleys as the local people. He eats the same food, and shops in the same bazaars. Astoundingly, he survives a year without TV, the internet, or even a golf course. Twenty-four photos add a rare glimpse into the lives, people, and countries of Eastern Europe. The captions alone are worth the price of the book.
Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah

Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah

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Armed only with college Arabic and restless curiosity, Adam Valen Levinson sets out to "learn about the world 9/11 made us fear." From a base in globalized and sterilized Abu Dhabi, he sets out to lunch in Taliban territory in Afghanistan, travels under the watchful eye of Syria's secret police, risks shipwreck en route to Somalia, investigates Yazidi beliefs in a sacred cave, cliff dives in Oman, celebrates New Year's Eve in Tahrir Square, and, at every turn, discovers a place that matches not at all with its reputation.

Valen Levinson crosses borders with wisecracking humor, erudition, and humanity, seeking common ground with "bros" everywhere, and finding that people who pray differently often laugh the same. And as a young man bar mitzvahed eight years late, he slowly learns how childish it is to live by decisions and distinctions born of fear.

Abundance

Abundance

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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

In recognition of her long and lauded career as a master essayist, a landmark collection including her most beloved pieces and some rarely seen work, rigorously curated by the author herself

“Annie Dillard's books are like comets, like celestial events that remind us that the reality we inhabit is itself a celestial event."--Marilynne Robinson, Washington Post Book World

“Annie Dillard is, was, and will always be the very best at describing the landscapes in which we find ourselves."--Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Annie Dillard is a writer of unusual range, generosity, and ambition. . . . Her prose is bracingly intelligent, lovely, and human. "--Margot Livesey, Boston Globe

“A writer who never seems tired, who has never plodded her way through a page or sentence, Dillard can only be enjoyed by a wide-awake reader," warns Geoff Dyer in his introduction to this stellar collection. Carefully culled from her past work, The Abundance is quintessential Annie Dillard, delivered in her fierce and undeniably singular voice, filled with fascinating detail and metaphysical fact. The pieces within will exhilarate both admiring fans and a new generation of readers, having been "re-framed and re-hung," with fresh editing and reordering by the author, to situate these now seminal works within her larger canon.

The Abundance reminds us that Dillard's brand of "novelized nonfiction" pioneered the form long before it came to be widely appreciated. Intense, vivid, and fearless, her work endows the true and seemingly ordinary aspects of life--a commuter chases snowball-throwing children through neighborhood streets, a teenager memorizes Rimbaud's poetry--with beauty and irony, inviting readers onto sweeping landscapes, to join her in exploring the complexities of time and death, with a sense of humor: on one page, an eagle falls from the sky with a weasel attached to its throat; on another, a man walks into a bar.

Reminding us of the indelible contributions of this formative figure in contemporary nonfiction, The Abundance exquisitely showcases Annie Dillard's enigmatic, enduring genius, as Dillard herself wishes it to be marked.

Abundance

Abundance

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A collection of author-curated pieces that celebrates the essayist's career and offers insight into her establishment of the "novelized nonfiction" form.
Access All Areas

Access All Areas

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Adventures in going forth and staying put from one of our greatest travel writers

In vivid, urgent books such as Terra Incognita and The Magnetic North, Sara Wheeler reckoned with the allure and brutality of life on the fringes, exploring distant lands with an extraordinary sensitivity to history, to place, and to the people who inhabit them.
Access All Areas collects the best essays and journalism by a writer who has used extreme travel as a means to explore an inner landscape. Ranging from Albania to the Arctic, Wheeler attends a religion seminar aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 and defrosts her underwear inside an igloo. She treks to distant Tierra del Fuego--"a place where nothing ever happened"--and to the swamps of Malawi, a place so hot that toads explode. She crosses dubious borders with nothing but a kidney donor card for ID and learns to wing walk and belly dance, though not at the same time.
Charming, scathing, restless, and eternally amused, the writer we meet in Access All Areas has spent a lifetime investigating roots and rootlessness. Seeking only to satisfy her own curiosity, Wheeler shows us the world.

Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal

Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER

"The Social Network, the much anticipated movie...adapted from Ben Mezrich's book The Accidental Billionaires." --The New York Times

Best friends Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg had spent many lonely nights looking for a way to stand out among Harvard University's elite, competitive, and accomplished student body. Then, in 2003, Zuckerberg hacked into Harvard's computers, crashed the campus network, almost got himself expelled, and was inspired to create Facebook, the social networking site that has since revolutionized communication around the world.

With Saverin's funding their tiny start-up went from dorm room to Silicon Valley. But conflicting ideas about Facebook's future transformed the friends into enemies. Soon, the undergraduate exuberance that marked their collaboration turned into out-and-out warfare as it fell prey to the adult world of venture capitalists, big money, and lawyers.

According to Doyle

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Acquainted with the Night

Acquainted with the Night

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In twelve chapters corresponding to the twelve hours of night, Christopher Dewdney illuminates night's central themes, including sunsets, nocturnal animals, bedtime stories, festivals of the night, fireworks, astronomy, nightclubs, sleep and dreams, the graveyard shift, the art of darkness, and endless nights. With infections curiosity, a lyrical, intimate tone, and an eye for nighttime beauties both natural and man-made, he paints a captivating portrait of our hours in darkness.

Across Europe By Kangaroo

Across Europe By Kangaroo

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What happens when an American family goes to Europe, rents a van, and is off on their own to see most of Europe? Across Europe by Kangaroo will take you with them to see.
Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border

Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border

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Luis Alberto Urrea's Across the Wire offers a compelling and unprecedented look at what life is like for those refugees living on the Mexican side of the border--a world that is only some twenty miles from San Diego, but that few have seen. Urrea gives us a compassionate and candid account of his work as a member and official translator of a crew of relief workers that provided aid to the many refugees hidden just behind the flashy tourist spots of Tijuana. His account of the struggle of these people to survive amid abject poverty, unsanitary living conditions, and the legal and political chaos that reign in the Mexican borderlands explains without a doubt the reason so many are forced to make the dangerous and illegal journey across the wire into the United States.
More than just an expose, Across the Wire is a tribute to the tenacity of a people who have learned to survive against the most impossible odds, and returns to these forgotten people their pride and their identity.

Act Natural

Act Natural

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From a distinctive, inimitable voice, a wickedly funny and fascinating romp through the strange and often contradictory history of Western parenting

Why do we read our kids fairy tales about homicidal stepparents? How did helicopter parenting develop if it used to be perfectly socially acceptable to abandon your children? Why do we encourage our babies to crawl if crawling won't help them learn to walk?

These are just some of the questions that came to Jennifer Traig when--exhausted, frazzled, and at sea after the birth of her two children--she began to interrogate the traditional parenting advice she'd been conditioned to accept at face value. The result is Act Natural, hilarious and deft dissection of the history of Western parenting, written with the signature biting wit and deep insights Traig has become known for.

Moving from ancient Rome to Puritan New England to the Dr. Spock craze of mid-century America, Traig cheerfully explores historic and present-day parenting techniques ranging from the misguided, to the nonsensical, to the truly horrifying. Be it childbirth, breastfeeding, or the ways in which we teach children how to sleep, walk, eat, and talk, she leaves no stone unturned in her quest for answers: Have our techniques actually evolved into something better? Or are we still just scrambling in the dark?

Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America's Most Dangerous Amusement Park

Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America's Most Dangerous Amusement Park

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Citizen Kane does Adventureland. --The Washington Post

The outlandish, hilarious, terrifying, and almost impossible-to-believe story of the legendary, dangerous amusement park where millions were entertained and almost as many bruises were sustained, told through the eyes of the founder's son.

Often called Accident Park, Class Action Park, or Traction Park, Action Park was an American icon. Entertaining more than a million people a year in the 1980s, the New Jersey-based amusement playland placed no limits on danger or fun, a monument to the anything-goes spirit of the era that left guests in control of their own adventures--sometimes with tragic results. Though it closed its doors in 1996 after nearly twenty years, it has remained a subject of constant fascination ever since, an establishment completely anathema to our modern culture of rules and safety. Action Park is the first-ever unvarnished look at the history of this DIY Disneyland, as seen through the eyes of Andy Mulvihill, the son of the park's idiosyncratic founder, Gene Mulvihill. From his early days testing precarious rides to working his way up to chief lifeguard of the infamous Wave Pool to later helping run the whole park, Andy's story is equal parts hilarious and moving, chronicling the life and death of a uniquely American attraction, a wet and wild 1980s adolescence, and a son's struggle to understand his father's quixotic quest to become the Walt Disney of New Jersey. Packing in all of the excitement of a day at Action Park, this is destined to be one of the most unforgettable memoirs of the year.

Ada Blackjack

Ada Blackjack

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From the author of The Ice Master comes the remarkable true story of a young Inuit woman who survived six months alone on a desolate, uninhabited Arctic island

In September 1921, four young men and Ada Blackjack, a diminutive 25-year-old Eskimo woman, ventured deep into the Arctic in a secret attempt to colonize desolate Wrangel Island for Great Britain. Two years later, Ada Blackjack emerged as the sole survivor of this ambitious polar expedition. This young, unskilled woman--who had headed to the Arctic in search of money and a husband--conquered the seemingly unconquerable north and survived all alone after her male companions had perished.

Following her triumphant return to civilization, the international press proclaimed her the female Robinson Crusoe. But whatever stories the press turned out came from the imaginations of reporters: Ada Blackjack refused to speak to anyone about her horrific two years in the Arctic. Only on one occasion--after charges were published falsely accusing her of causing the death of one her companions--did she speak up for herself.

Jennifer Niven has created an absorbing, compelling history of this remarkable woman, taking full advantage of the wealth of first-hand resources about Ada that exist, including her never-before-seen diaries, the unpublished diaries from other primary characters, and interviews with Ada's surviving son. Ada Blackjack is more than a rugged tale of a woman battling the elements to survive in the frozen north--it is the story of a hero.

Adding Machine

Adding Machine

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Sheer pleasure. . . . Wonderfully entertaining.--Chicago Sun-Times

Acclaimed by Norman Mailer more than twenty years ago as possibly the only American writer of genius, William S. Burroughs has produced a body of work unique in our time. In these scintillating essays, he writes wittily and wisely about himself, his interests, his influences, his friends and foes. He offers candid and not always flattering assessments of such diverse writers as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Samuel Beckett, and Marcel Proust. He ruminates on science and the often dubious paths into which it seems intent on leading us, whether into outer or inner space. He reviews his reviewers, explains his famous cut-up method, and discusses the role coincidence has played in his life and work. As satirist and parodist, William Burroughs has no peer, as these varied works, written over three decades, amply reveal.