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Narrative Nonfiction

Along the Ganges

Along the Ganges

$11.95
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Ilija Trojanow travelled along the Ganges, from the source, where it breaks free from the eternal ice in the Himalayas, to the great cities, by boat, by bus, on overcrowded trains. He visited the great Hindu festivals and talked to those who warn of ecological disasters resulting from gigantic dams.
Alpana Pours: About Being a Woman, Loving Wine and Having Great Relationships

Alpana Pours: About Being a Woman, Loving Wine and Having Great Relationships

$17.95
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Alpana Pours is a unique lifestyle book with wine as the centerpiece. Since American women purchase and consume more wine than American men, 77% and 60% respectively, a voice is needed to help women understand that their busy professional and social lifestyles can be well paired with wine. Master Sommelier and successful television host Alpana Singh, twenty-nine, happens to be just the person who can help them do it.

Alpana Singh is uniquely qualified to talk about wine, contemporary women and relationships. At age twenty-six she became the youngest woman to be inducted into the world's most exclusive sommelier organization, the hundred-and-twenty-member Court of Master Sommeliers. She spent five years as sommelier at a world famous four star restaurant, Everest of Chicago. While there she closely observed the sometimes humorous, sometimes absurd, social interactions between men and woman at all stages of their relationships. Her mental journal of these "social observations" came in handy as she wrote her first book, Alpana Pours.

Alpana Pours reaches readers in playful language they will understand, and in a highly entertaining manner they will enjoy. Women want to know how to select wine when entertaining important clients, pair wine with food they and their partner are preparing together, choose the right wines for hostess gifts, bridal showers, a first meeting with a boyfriend's parents and what wine to, or not to, order on a first date. Alpana Pours supplies tips on these and a myriad of other topics including "dating" and "dealing with guys." The book's gender riff on wine and lifestyle is unique and will definitely grab reader's attention.

Alphabetical Diaries

Alphabetical Diaries

$27.00
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A thrilling confessional from the award-winning, beloved author of Pure Colour.

Sheila Heti kept a record of her thoughts over a ten-year period, then arranged the sentences from A to Z. Passionate and reflective, joyful and despairing, these are her alphabetical diaries.

Alphabetical Life: Living It Up in the World of Books

Alphabetical Life: Living It Up in the World of Books

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Little did Wendy Werris imagine that when she began a temp job at a Hollywood bookstore in 1970 at age nineteen, she had embarked on a thirty-five year career that would stretch into a journey of self-discovery and literary enlightenment. In An Alphabetical Life, Werris reflects upon how she came to embrace the book culture as her singular way of being in the world. Her career began when the book business was conducted amid an atmosphere of civility and wry humor, and her memoir captures the essence of this time and the people she met along the way. The challenges she faced, in what was then a male-dominated industry, are also discussed -- particularly in 1976 when she was one of only two women repping books in the entire country. In describing the hilarious, eccentric characters that were her colleagues, lovers, and partners in crime, the essence of retail bookselling comes alive. Among the figures she profiles are Henry Robbins, editor of The World According to Garp; Alan Kahn, then of Pickwick Bookshop in Los Angeles, now President of Barnes and Noble Publishing; and many great and memorable retail bookbuyers and authors.
Alta California: From San Diego to San Francisco, a Journey on Foot to Rediscover the Golden State

Alta California: From San Diego to San Francisco, a Journey on Foot to Rediscover the Golden State

$26.00
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This national bestseller chronicles one man's 650-mile trek on foot from San Diego to San Francisco--sure to appeal to readers of naturalist works like Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, Paul Thoreau's On the Plain of Snakes, and Mark Kenyon's That Wild Country.

In 1769, an expedition led by Gaspar de Portolá sketched a route that would become, in part, the famous El Camino Real. It laid the foundation for the Golden State we know today, a place that remains as mythical and captivating as any in the world.

Despite having grown up in California, Nick Neely realized how little he knew about its history. So he set off to learn it bodily, with just a backpack and a tent, trekking through stretches of California both lonely and urban. For twelve weeks, following the journal of expedition missionary Father Juan Crespí, Neely kept pace with the ghosts of the Portolá expedition--nearly 250 years later.

Weaving natural and human history, Alta California relives Neely's adventure, while telling a story of Native cultures and the Spanish missions that soon devastated them, and exploring the evolution of California and its landscape. The result is a collage of historical and contemporary California, of lyricism and pedestrian serendipity, and of the biggest issues facing California today--water, agriculture, oil and gas, immigration, and development--all of it one step at a time.

"Rich in little-known history . . . Up the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo county coasts, then inland into the Salinas Valley to Monterey Bay. Somewhere along here, the owl moons and woodpeckers do something you might not have thought possible in 2019: they make you fall, or refall, in love with California, ungrudgingly, wildfires and insane housing prices and all . . . What a journey, you think. What a state. --San Francisco Chronicle

Alternadad

Alternadad

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With the publication of "Alternadad," Neal Pollack became the spokesperson for a new generation of parents. Pollack, a self-styled party guy known mostly for outrageous literary antics, recounts how he and his wife became responsible parents without sacrificing their passion for pop culture. From an ill-fated family trip to the Austin City Limits Festival, to yanking his son out of an absurd corporate gymnastics class, to dealing with the child s ongoing biting problem, Pollack captures the wonders, terrors, and idiocies of parenting today. "Alternadad" is both an engaging and amusing memoir of fatherhood, and a fascinating portrait of a new version of the American family."
Amazon Extreme

Amazon Extreme

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Culminating in an astonishing victory that garnered major media coverage, this is the pulse-pounding story of three guys who truly went off the deep end, and one who came back to write a riveting recollection of their Amazon adventure. Two 8-page photo inserts. 3 maps.
America at Night

America at Night

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The True Story of Two Master Criminals Aiming to Take America's Biggest Prize and Our Security Agencies' Systematic Inability to Stop Them by the Former Intelligence Agent Recruited to Foil Their Plan Robert Sensi has worked for the CIA, the Republican National Committee, and, as cover, for Kuwait Airways and the Kuwaiti royal family. He has twice served time in federal prison for embezzlement and fraud. Richard Hirschfeld, originally recruited to the CIA by Sensi, boasts an equally illustrious past: in the seventies he duped investors out of millions of dollars, later allegedly stole a $12-million payoff from Ferdinand Marcos intended for Ronald Reagan, and came within a hairbreadth of conning the U.S. Senate out of $50 million. When the Department of Homeland Security suspects that Sensi and Hirschfeld are at the center of an investigation involving money laundering and the funding of Al Qaeda-and when their supposedly comprehensive database turns up little to no information on either man-it takes onetime spy Larry Kolb to crack the case, ultimately orchestrating Hirschfeld's spectacular capture. But when Kolb begins to connect the dots, he realizes something even more sinister is afoot, and that he's on to the biggest possible con with the highest political stakes.
America Day by Day

America Day by Day

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Here is the ultimate American road book, one with a perspective unlike that of any other. In January 1947 Simone de Beauvoir landed at La Guardia airport and began a four-month journey that took her from one coast of the United States to the other, and back again. Embraced by the Condé Nast set in a swirl of cocktail parties in New York, where she was hailed as the "prettiest existentialist" by Janet Flanner in The New Yorker, de Beauvoir traveled west by car, train, and Greyhound, immersing herself in the nation's culture, customs, people, and landscape. The detailed diary she kept of her trip became America Day by Day, published in France in 1948 and offered here in a completely new translation. It is one of the most intimate, warm, and compulsively readable texts from the great writer's pen.

Fascinating passages are devoted to Hollywood, the Grand Canyon, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and San Antonio. We see de Beauvoir gambling in a Reno casino, smoking her first marijuana cigarette in the Plaza Hotel, donning raingear to view Niagara Falls, lecturing at Vassar College, and learning firsthand about the Chicago underworld of morphine addicts and petty thieves with her lover Nelson Algren as her guide. This fresh, faithful translation superbly captures the essence of Simone de Beauvoir's distinctive voice. It demonstrates once again why she is one of the most profound, original, and influential writers and thinkers of the twentieth century.

On New York: "I walk between the steep cliffs at the bottom of a canyon where no sun penetrates: it's permeated by a salt smell. Human history is not inscribed on these carefully calibrated buildings: They are closer to prehistoric caves than to the houses of Paris or Rome."

On Los Angeles: "I watch the Mexican dances and eat chili con carne, which takes the roof off my mouth, I drink the tequila and I'm utterly dazed with pleasure."
America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

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The author of How to Date Men When You Hate Men examines Americans' obsession with freedom, travel, and the open road in this funny, entertaining travelogue that blends the humorous observations of Bill Bryson with the piercing cultural commentary of Jia Tolentino.

For writer and comedian Blythe Roberson, there are only so many Mary Oliver poems you can read about being free, and only so many times you can listen to Joni Mitchell's travel album Hejira, before you too, are itching to take off. Canonical American travel writers have long celebrated the road trip as the epitome of freedom. But why does it seem like all those canonical travel narratives are written by white men who have no problems, who only decide to go the desert to see what having problems feels like?

To fill in the literary gaps and quench her own sense of adventure, Roberson quits her day job and sets off on a Great American Road Trip to visit America's national parks.

America the Beautiful? is a hilarious trip into the mind of one of the Millennial generation's funniest writers. Borrowing her Midwestern stepfather's Prius, she heads west to the Loop of mega-popular parks, over to the ocean and down the Pacific Coast Highway, and, in a feat of spectacularly bad timing, through the southwestern desert in the middle of July. Along the way she meets new friends on their own personal quests, learns to cope with abstinence while missing the comforts of home, and comes to understand the limits--and possibilities--of going to nature to prove to yourself and your Instagram followers that you are, in fact, free.

The result is a laugh-out-loud-while-occasionally-raging-inside travelogue, filled with meditations and many, many jokes on ecotourism, conservation, freedom, traffic, climate change, and the structural and financial inequalities that limit so many Americans' movement. Ultimately, Roberson ponders the question: Is quitting society and going on the road about enlightenment and liberty--or is it just selfish escapism?

American Baby

American Baby

$18.00
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A New York Times Notable Book

The shocking truth about postwar adoption in America, told through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their search to find each other.

"[T]his book about the past might foreshadow a coming shift in the future... 'I don't think any legislators in those states who are anti-abortion are actually thinking, "Oh, great, these single women are gonna raise more children." No, their hope is that those children will be placed for adoption. But is that the reality? I doubt it.'"[says Glaser]" -Mother Jones

During the Baby Boom in 1960s America, women were encouraged to stay home and raise large families, but sex and childbirth were taboo subjects. Premarital sex was common, but birth control was hard to get and abortion was illegal. In 1961, sixteen-year-old Margaret Erle fell in love and became pregnant. Her enraged family sent her to a maternity home, where social workers threatened her with jail until she signed away her parental rights. Her son vanished, his whereabouts and new identity known only to an adoption agency that would never share the slightest detail about his fate.

The adoption business was founded on secrecy and lies. American Baby lays out how a lucrative and exploitative industry removed children from their birth mothers and placed them with hopeful families, fabricating stories about infants' origins and destinations, then closing the door firmly between the parties forever. Adoption agencies and other organizations that purported to help pregnant women struck unethical deals with doctors and researchers for pseudoscientific assessments, and shamed millions of women into surrendering their children.

The identities of many who were adopted or who surrendered a child in the postwar decades are still locked in sealed files. Gabrielle Glaser dramatically illustrates in Margaret and David's tale--one they share with millions of Americans--a story of loss, love, and the search for identity.

American Bee

American Bee

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What the bestselling Word Freak did for Scrabble, this riveting narrative now does for the National Spelling Bee. Here is a captivating slice of Americana - part sporting event, part absorbing human drama, and part celebration of the magic of words.

Every spring in the nation's capital, after a starting pool of 10 million kids narrows to 250 finalists, America's top young spellers face off in a nail-biting contest. So electric is the drama that millions of viewers tune in to watch ESPN's live telecast

But this national obsession is much more than a sporting story - and this first-ever narrative nonfiction book about the National Spelling Bee immerses the reader in unique subculture, portraying the endearing fraternity of brilliant, eccentric young word nerds who vie for a gold trophy, a hefty check, and a glorious moment of national fame.

Author James Maguire, who like the contestants is an inveterate word nut, captures the agony and glory of this singularly American event. He profiles the top five spellers across the country, exploring their hopes and dreams - and strategies for winning - as they prepare for their moment in the spotlight. American Bee takes readers behind the scenes at the National Bee, providing a narrative thrill ride as the tension mounts round by round.

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon

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In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. One of only four hunters that year who succeeded in killing a buffalo, he carried the carcass down a snow-covered mountainside and floated it four miles down a white-water canyon while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia.Through this experience, Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years' worth of buffalo hunters in North America and the place of the buffalo in the American consciousness. American Buffalo is a narrative tale of that hunt. But beyond that, it is the story of the many ways in which the buffalo has shaped our national identity. Rinella takes us across the continent in search of the buffalo's past, present, and future: to the Bering Strait Land Bridge; to buffalo jumps, where Native Americans ran buffalo over cliffs by the hundreds; even to the Bronx Zoo, where legend has it a depressed buffalo served as the model for the American nickel. Rinella's erudition and exuberance, combined with his gift for storytelling, make him the perfect guide for a book that combines outdoor adventure with history, science, and the natural world. And yet it also tells us as much about ourselves as Americans as it does about the creature who perhaps best of all embodies the American ethos.
American Childhood

American Childhood

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A book that instantly captured the hearts of readers across the country, "An American Childhood" is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard's poignant, vivid memoir of growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1950s.
American Fire

American Fire

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The arsons started on a cold November midnight and didn't stop for months. Night after night, the people of Accomack County waited to see which building would burn down next, regarding each other at first with compassion, and later suspicion. Vigilante groups sprang up, patrolling the rural Virginia coast with cameras and camouflage. Volunteer firefighters slept at their stations. The arsonist seemed to target abandoned buildings, but local police were stretched too thin to surveil them all. Accomack was desolate--there were hundreds of abandoned buildings. And by the dozen they were burning.

The culprit, and the path that led to these crimes, is a story of twenty-first century America. Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse first drove down to the reeling county to cover a hearing for Charlie Smith, a struggling mechanic who upon his capture had promptly pleaded guilty to sixty-seven counts of arson. But as Charlie's confession unspooled, it got deeper and weirder. He wasn't lighting fires alone; his crimes were galvanized by a surprising love story. Over a year of investigating, Hesse uncovered the motives of Charlie and his accomplice, girlfriend Tonya Bundick, a woman of steel-like strength and an inscrutable past. Theirs was a love built on impossibly tight budgets and simple pleasures. They were each other's inspiration and escape...until they weren't.

Though it's hard to believe today, one hundred years ago Accomack was the richest rural county in the nation. Slowly it's been drained of its industry--agriculture--as well as its wealth and population. In an already remote region, limited employment options offer little in the way of opportunity. A mesmerizing and crucial panorama with nationwide implications, American Fire asks what happens when a community gets left behind. Hesse brings to life the Eastern Shore and its inhabitants, battling a punishing economy and increasingly terrified by a string of fires they could not explain. The result evokes the soul of rural America--a land half gutted before the fires even began.

American Ghost Stories

American Ghost Stories

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Take an eerie road trip! A chilling collection of true ghost stories spanning every state in the United States with a full range of ghostly manifestations and haunted locations!

From séances to shiny graveyards, take a ghostly journey across the United States. Visit the highways and byways of the supernatural across the country and in each state in the union. American Ghost Stories: True Tales from All 50 States tours possessed houses, unearthly burial sites, forbidding farms, sinister forests, school bathrooms, and all manner of places haunted by spectral visitors, including ...

  • Sullivan, Maine, and Nelly Butler, America's "first ghost."
  • Wilder, Kentucky, and Bobby Mackey's Music World, which was originally built as a slaughterhouse and then served at various times as a honky-tonk, bingo hall, biker bar, and cocktail lounge before becoming a direct portal to Hell.
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and The Pfister Hotel, where every U.S. president since William McKinley stayed--as did Elvis Presley--and its weird noises, flickering lights, malfunctioning electronics, and moving objects.
  • Exeter, Rhode Island, and Mercy Lena Brown, the vampire ghost that was caught on a YouTube video.
  • San Jose, California, and the maze-like Winchester House, which was allegedly designed to confuse ghosts that haunted the original owner ... and have continued to haunt people ever since.
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the Skirvin Hotel, the historic Art Deco hotel, former speakeasy, and location of several gunfights that is haunted full time by Effie, a Prohibition-era chambermaid.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the numerous sightings at the Betsy Ross House.
  • Huntsville, Alabama, and the Maple Hill Cemetery, the internment site for governors, U.S. senators, representatives, and soldiers that is the site of ... a playground!
  • Tularosa Basin, New Mexico, and Pavla Blanca, the woman in white roaming the dunes of the White Sand National Monument.
  • And many more paranormal experiences, poltergeists, residual hauntings, curses, witches, prisons, bridges, mental institutions of an America plagued with spirits, phantoms and ghosts!
  • More than merely a collection of 50 true ghost stories, American Ghost Stories puts you in the middle of the eerie action with captivating stories that would be at home at any midnight campfire. The only difference is that these stories aren't urban legends or fantasies meant to scare you. These stories live right next door to every one of us. We suggest you don't read them when you are home alone and the lights begin to flicker!

    American Mother

    American Mother

    $25.99
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    "One of the best books I've read in many, many years, if not in my life."--Anderson Cooper


    Featured on MSNBC's Morning Joe


    What does a mother say to the person responsible for kidnapping, torturing, and murdering her son? National Book Award-winning author Colum McCann channels Diane Foley's voice as she tells her story, as the mother of American journalist Jim Foley - in search of answers, beyond justice, found through dogged, empathetic, spiritual enquiry.


    In late 2021, Diane Foley sat at a table across from her son's killer, Alexanda Kotey, a member of the ISIS group known as "The Beatles" who plead guilty to the kidnapping, torture, and murder of her son seven years before. Kotey was about to go serve life imprisonment and this was Diane's chance to talk to the man who had been involved with brutally taking her son's last breath. What would she say to his killer? What would he reveal to her? Might she even be able to summon forgiveness for him?


    So begins American Mother-- which reads alternately like a thriller, a biography, a mystery, a memoir, and a literary examination of grace.


    Diane looks back on the early days when Jim was a child and his journey to journalism, and the killing fields of the world where he reports with indefatigable determination and insight on the plight of those caught up in the agonies of war. She guides us through her family history and the difficulties they faced when Jim was captured. And she also charts the tenacity it takes to turn her grief into grace as she seeks to give voice to those who are still being kidnapped and wrongfully detained around the world.


    Few journeys are more worthy than this and, in this astonishing book, we are all invited to celebrate the lives of those who are never, in the end, gone.

    American Nomad

    American Nomad

    $14.00
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    Fascinated by the land of endless horizons, sunshine, and the open road, Richard Grant spent fifteen years wandering throughout the United States, never spending more than three weeks in one place and getting to know America's nomads ? truckers, tramps, rodeo cowboys, tie-dyed concert followers, flea market traders, retirees who live year round in their RV?s, and the murderous Freight Train Riders of America (FTRA). In a richly comic travelogue, Grant uses these lives and his own to examine the myths and realities of the wandering life, and its contradiction with the sedentary American dream.
    Along with a personal account, American Nomads traces the history of wandering in the New World, through vividly told stories of frontiersmen, fur trappers and cowboys, Comanche and Apache warriors, all the way back to the first Spanish explorers who crossed the continent. What unites these disparate characters, as they range back and forth across the centuries, is a stubborn conviction that the only true freedom is to roam across the land.