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Narrative Nonfiction

Are men necessary When sexes collide

Are men necessary When sexes collide

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Fresh from her success with the best-selling "Bushworld," Maureen Dowd turns her sparkling prose and wise wit to a topic even more incendiary than presidential politics: sexual politics.
Four decades after the sexual revolution, nothing has worked out the way it was supposed to. The sexes are circling each other as uneasily and comically as ever, from the bedroom to the boardroom to the Situation Room, and now the "New York Times" columnist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for saucy and incisive commentary about the dangerous liaisons of Bill, Monica, Hillary and Ken Starr digs into the Y and X files, exploring the mysteries and muddles of sexual combat in America.
In a new book filled with chapters that surprise and amuse, Dowd explains why getting ready for a date went from glossing and gargling to Paxiling and Googling; why men are in an evolutionary and romantic shame spiral; why women have reeled backward in many ways; why men may be biologically unsuited to hold higher office, given their diva fits and catfights, teary confessions and fashion obsessions; why women are fixated on their looks more than ever, freezing their faces and emotions in an orgy of plasticity that makes the Stepford Wives look authentic; why male politicians and male institutions get tripped up in so much monkey business; why many alpha women, from Martha to Hillary, can have a successful second act only after becoming humiliated victims; and why the new definition of Having It All is less about empowerment and equality than about flirting and getting rescued, downshifting from "You go, girl!" to "You go lie down, girl."
In addition, Dowd, who has reported on historic moments on the sexual battlefield, from Geraldine Ferraro's vice-presidential run to the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings to Hillary Rodham Clinton's reign as copresident, explores not only how many of these shining feminist triumphs backfired on women but also how Hillary, a feminist icon busy plotting her campaign to be the first woman president, delivered the final blow to female solidarity herself.
Women's liberation has been less a steady trajectory than a confusing zigzag. Feminism lasted for a nanosecond and generated a gender tangle that has bewitched, bothered and bewildered men and women for forty years. Now comes a woman to cut through the tangle and tickle Adam's rib. The battle of the sexes will never be the same.
Are You There Alone?

Are You There Alone?

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In the tradition of "In Cold Blood, The Executioner's Song," and "A Civil Action," Suzanne O'Malley exposes the human mystery of the most horrifying crime in recent history and the legal dramasurrounding it.

As a journalist, Suzanne O'Malley began covering the murders of Noah, John, Paul, Luke, and Mary Yates hours after their mother, AndreaYates, drowned them in their suburban Houston home in June 2001. Over twenty-four months, O'Malley interviewed or witnessed the sworn testimony of more than a hundred participants in this drama, including Yates herself; her husband, Rusty Yates; their families; attorneys; the personnel of the Harris County district attorney's and sheriff's offices; medical staff; friends; acquaintances; and expert witnesses.

O'Malley argues persuasively that under less extraordinary circumstances, a mentally ill woman would have been quietly offered a plea bargain and sent to an institution under court supervision. But on March 12, 2002, Andrea Yates was found guilty of the murders of three of her five children. She is currently serving a life sentence and will not be eligible for parole until 2041.

O'Malley's exclusive personal communications with Andrea Yates and her interviews with Rusty Yates allow her to offer fully realized portrayals of people at the center of this horrifying case.

In ""Are You There Alone?"" O'Malley makes a critical contribution to our understanding of mental health issues within the criminal justice system.

Arguably

Arguably

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"Hitchens is an opportunity to be delighted or maddened--possibly both--but in any case, not to be missed..." -The New York Times

A stylish new paperback edition of ARGUABLY, a greatest hits collection of Hitchens' essays that is fierce, brilliant, and trenchant.

ARGUABLY is full of essays in which Hitchens supplies his fresh perceptions of such figures as varied as Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, Rebecca West, George Orwell, J.G. Ballard, and Philip Larkin. They are matched in brilliance by his pungent discussions and intrepid observations, gathered from a lifetime of traveling and reporting from such destinations as Iran, China, and Pakistan.

Hitchens's directness, elegance, lightly carried erudition, critical and psychological insight, humor, and sympathy-applied as they are here to a dazzling variety of subjects-all set a standard for the essayist that has rarely been matched in our time. What emerges from this indispensable volume is an intellectual self-portrait of a writer with an exemplary steadiness of purpose and a love affair with the delights and seductions of the English language, a man anchored in a profound and humane vision of the human longing for reason and justice.

Arguably

Arguably

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"All first-rate criticism first defines what we are confronting," the late, great jazz critic Whitney Balliett once wrote. By that measure, the essays of Christopher Hitchens are in the first tier. For nearly four decades, Hitchens has been telling us, in pitch-perfect prose, what we confront when we grapple with first principles-the principles of reason and tolerance and skepticism that define and inform the foundations of our civilization-principles that, to endure, must be defended anew by every generation.

"A short list of the greatest living conversationalists in English," said The Economist, "would probably have to include Christopher Hitchens, Sir Patrick Leigh-Fermor, and Sir Tom Stoppard. Great brilliance, fantastic powers of recall, and quick wit are clearly valuable in sustaining conversation at these cosmic levels. Charm may be helpful, too." Hitchens-who staunchly declines all offers of knighthood-hereby invites you to take a seat at a democratic conversation, to be engaged, and to be reasoned with. His knowledge is formidable, an encyclopedic treasure, and yet one has the feeling, reading him, of hearing a person thinking out loud, following the inexorable logic of his thought, wherever it might lead, unafraid to expose fraudulence, denounce injustice, and excoriate hypocrisy. Legions of readers, admirers and detractors alike, have learned to read Hitchens with something approaching awe at his felicity of language, the oxygen in every sentence, the enviable wit and his readiness, even eagerness, to fight a foe or mount the ramparts.

Here, he supplies fresh perceptions of such figures as varied as Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, Rebecca West, George Orwell, J.G. Ballard, and Philip Larkin are matched in brilliance by his pungent discussions and intrepid observations, gathered from a lifetime of traveling and reporting from such destinations as Iran, China, and Pakistan.

Hitchens's directness, elegance, lightly carried erudition, critical and psychological insight, humor, and sympathy-applied as they are here to a dazzling variety of subjects-all set a standard for the essayist that has rarely been matched in our time. What emerges from this indispensable volume is an intellectual self-portrait of a writer with an exemplary steadiness of purpose and a love affair with the delights and seductions of the English language, a man anchored in a profound and humane vision of the human longing for reason and justice.

Armies of the Night

Armies of the Night

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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

Fifty years after the March on the Pentagon, Norman Mailer's seminal tour de force remains as urgent and incisive as ever. Winner of America's two highest literary awards, The Armies of the Night uniquely and unforgettably captures the Sixties' tidal wave of love and rage at its crest and a towering genius at his peak.

The time is October 21, 1967. The place is Washington, D.C. Depending on the paper you read, 20,000 to 200,000 protestors are marching to end the war in Vietnam, while helicopters hover overhead and federal marshals and soldiers with fixed bayonets await them on the Pentagon steps. Among the marchers is a writer named Norman Mailer. From his own singular participation in the day's events and his even more extraordinary perceptions comes a classic work that shatters the mold of traditional reportage. Intellectuals and hippies, clergymen and cops, poets and army MPs crowd the pages of a book in which facts are fused with techniques of fiction to create the nerve-end reality of experiential truth.

"[Mailer's] genuine wit and bellicose charm, and his fervent and intense sense of legitimately caring, render The Armies of the Night an artful document, worthy to be judged as literature."--Time

"Only a born novelist could have written a piece of history so intelligent, mischievous, penetrating and alive."--Alfred Kazin, The New York Times Book Review

Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey

Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey

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A midwife's memoir of living free and naturally against all odds
In her first, highly praised memoir, "The Blue Cotton Gown, " Patricia Harman recounted the stories that patients brought into her exam room, and her own story of struggling to help women as a nurse-midwife. In "Arms Wide Open, " a prequel to that acclaimed book, Patsy tells the story of growing up during one of the most turbulent times in America and becoming an idealistic home-birth midwife.
Drawing heavily on her journals, Patsy reaches back to tell us how she first learned to deliver babies, and digs even deeper down to tell us of her youthful experiments in living a fully sustainable and natural life. In the 1960s and '70s, she spent over a decade with her first partner living in rural areas in Minnesota and Ohio before eventually purchasing a farm with Tom Harman in West Virginia.
Patsy recounts the hardships and the freedom of living in the wilds of Minnesota in a log cabin she and her lover built with their own hands, the only running water hauled from nearby streams. She describes long treks in the snow with her infant son strapped to her chest, setting up beehives for honey, and giving chase to a thieving bear. Eventually, yearning for more connection, Patsy moves into communal life, forming alliances with the eco-minded and antiwar counterculture that was both loved and reviled in those days.
As a young mother on the commune, Patsy offers her personal experience and assistance to other women who, like her, wish to have safe, natural births. In time, she becomes a self-taught midwife, delivering babies in cabins and on farms, sometimes in harrowing circumstances. But her passion for the work drives her to want to help more, to do more. And so she begins the professional training that will fully accredit her to assist in childbirth. In a final section, Patsy takes us into the present day, facing the challenges of running a women's health clinic with her husband, mothering adult sons, and holding true to their principles and passions in the twenty-first century
More than a personal memoir, "Arms Wide Open" paints a portrait of a generation's desperate struggle to realize their ideals as they battled against the elements and against the conservative society that labeled them "hippies" and belittled their ecological and pacifist beliefs. Her memoir is a beautiful recollection of the convictions of the baby boom generation, a riveting account of surviving in the wild, and a triumphant story of living responsibly in our over-consuming society.
" "
Around India in 80 Trains

Around India in 80 Trains

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Crackles and sparks with life like an exploding box of Diwali fireworks. -- William DalrympleIn 1991, Monisha Rajesh's family uprooted from Sheffield to Madras in the hope of making India their home. Two years later, fed up with soap-eating rats, severed human heads and the creepy colonel across the road, they returned to England with a bitter taste in their mouths.

Two decades on, she turns to a map of the Indian Railways and takes a page out of Jules Verne's classic tale, embarking on an adventure around India in 80 trains, covering 40,000 km - the circumference of the Earth. She hopes that 80 train journeys up, down and across India will lift the veil on a country that has become a stranger to her.

Along the way, Monisha discovers that the Indian Railways - featuring luxury trains, toy trains, Mumbai's infamous commuter trains, and even a hospital on wheels - have more than a few stories to tell, not to mention a colourful cast of characters. And with a self-confessed militant devout atheist in tow, her personal journey around a country built on religion isn't quite what she bargained for...

Around the World in 50 Years

Around the World in 50 Years

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The New York Times Bestseller

This is the inspiring story of an ordinary guy who achieved two great goals that others had told him were impossible. First, he set a record for the longest automobile journey ever made around the world, during the course of which he blasted his way out of minefields, survived a serious accident atop the Peak of Death, came within seconds of being lynched in Pakistan, and lost three of the five men who started with him, two to disease, one to the Vietcong.

After that-although it took him forty-seven more years-Albert Podell set another record by going to every country on Earth. He achieved this by surviving riots, revolutions, civil wars, trigger-happy child soldiers, voodoo priests, robbers, pickpockets, corrupt cops, and Cape buffalo. He went around, under, or through every kind of earthquake, cyclone, tsunami, volcanic eruption, snowstorm, and sandstorm that nature threw at him. He ate everything from old camel meat and rats to dung beetles and the brain of a live monkey. And he overcame attacks by crocodiles, hippos, anacondas, giant leeches, flying crabs-and several beautiful girlfriends who insisted that he stop this nonsense and marry them.

Albert Podell's Around the World in 50 Years is a remarkable and meaningful tale of quiet courage, dogged persistence, undying determination, and an uncanny ability to escape from one perilous situation after another-and return with some of the most memorable, frightening, and hilarious adventure stories you have ever read.

Around the World in 80 Favours

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Tom Rosenthal is a solo-living, daily-Deliverooing, Uber-to-everywhereing, screen-addicted, community-contact-avoidant hermit of a man. He frequently gets told he doesn't live in the real world. So he's going to start trying.

The challenge: Get around the world without paying for travel.

The rules:
1. Anyone who helps him on a leg of his journey will be repaid with a favor considered by both parties to be of equal value.
2. All favors agreed to must be completed before the trip's end.
3. 80 favors must be completed.
4. No plane journeys longer than 7 hours.
5. No repeat favors.
6. In the event of a kidnap the challenge shall be considered nul and void.
7. No sexual favors, why does everyone always ask about sexual favors?

Will Tom find a community? Will Tom find a purpose? Or indeed, will Tom die? Pre-order this book to find out (potentially ghost-written).

Around the World in 80 Spiritual Places

Around the World in 80 Spiritual Places

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Discover some of the world's most awe-inspiring and holy places, from Stonehenge to Uluru, and Walden Pond to Angkor Wat.

Humans have always searched for and created meaning in the world around them, whether in breathtakingly stunning natural features and phenomena, acknowledging the ancient home of a particular faith or movement, or honoring the location of a significant event. In this beautifully illustrated guide, Alice Peck discusses what makes a place spiritual--whether reaches of time, geography, the provision of sustenance or inspiration, or mystery and magic--and then explores 80 such locations around the globe. Rather than a comprehensive travel guide, the description of each one includes a detail or tip--something beautiful, strange, relatively unknown or unfamiliar--to allow readers to deepen their focus and perhaps experience the place in a different way than they might expect. If you are unable to travel at this time, this book will help you plan your next adventure. And if you are trying to limit your carbon footprint, each destination is accompanied by a related meditation, prayer, practice, or quotation to help you connect to the spirit of it from your own home.

Around the World on a Bicycle

Around the World on a Bicycle

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This classic, once hard-to-find travelogue recalls one of the very first around-the-world bicycle treks. Filled with rarely matched feats of endurance and determination, Around the World on a Bicycle tells of a young cyclist's ever-changing and maturing worldview as he ventures through forty countries on the eve of World War II. It is an exuberant, youthful account, harking back to a time when the exploits of Richard Byrd, Amelia Earhart, and other adventurers stirred the popular imagination.

In 1935 Fred A. Birchmore left the small American town of Athens, Georgia, to continue his college studies in Europe. In his spare time, Birchmore toured the continent on a one-speed bike he called Bucephalus (after the name of Alexander the Great's horse). A born wanderer, Birchmore broadened his travels to include the British Isles and even the Mediterranean. After a lengthy, unplanned detour in Egypt, Birchmore put his studies on hold, pointed Bucephalus eastward, and just kept going. From desert valleys to frozen peaks, from palace promenades to muddy jungle trails, Birchmore saw it all on his eighteen-month, twenty-five-thousand-mile odyssey. Some of the people he encountered had never seen a bike--or, for that matter, an Anglo-European.

As a good travel experience should, Birchmore's trip changed his outlook on strangers. Always daring, outgoing, and energetic, he now saw an innate goodness in people. In between bone-breaking spills, wild animal attacks, and privation of all kinds, Birchmore learned that he had little to fear from human encounters. That he traveled through a world on the brink of global war makes this lesson even more remarkable--and timeless.

Arrangements in Blue

Arrangements in Blue

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When British poet Amy Key was growing up, she envisioned a life shaped by love--and Joni Mitchell's album Blue was her inspiration. "Blue became part of my language of intimacy," she writes, recalling the dozens of times she played the record as a teen, "an intimacy of disclosure, vulnerability, unadorned feeling that I thought I'd eventually share with a romantic other." As the years ticked by, she held on to this very specific idea of romance like a bottle of wine saved for a special occasion.

But what happens when the romance we are all told will give life meaning never presents itself Now single in her forties, Key explores the sweeping scales of romantic feeling as she has encountered them, using the album Blue as an expressive anchor: from the low notes of loss and unfulfilled desire--punctuated by sharp, discordant feelings of jealousy and regret--to the deep harmony of friendship, and the crescendos of sexual attraction and self-realization.

Finding solace in Mitchell's songs, Key plumbs Blue's track list for themes that resonate with her heart's seasons. Listening to the song "California," she explores the mixed emotions that come with traveling alone in a world built for couples; she juxtaposes the lonely lyrics of "My Old Man" with the pleasurable art of curating a perfect apartment for one; and with the utmost tenderness, she parses out her decision to not have children with the eloquent "Little Green."

Mapping the evolution of her early conceptions of love through her adulthood, Key offers a tender and nakedly candid celebration of the many forms of intimacy that often go unnoticed. An essential work for both the single and the partnered, Arrangements in Blue is a bold manual for building a life on your own terms.
Art Is Life

Art Is Life

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From the Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of How to Be an Artist a deliciously readable survey of the art world in turbulent times

Jerry Saltz is one of our most-watched writers about art and artists, and a passionate champion of the importance of art in our shared cultural life. Since the 1990s he has been an indispensable cultural voice: witty and provocative, he has attracted contemporary readers to fine art as few critics have. An early champion of forgotten and overlooked women artists, he has also celebrated the pioneering work of African American, LGBTQ+, and other long-marginalized creators. Sotheby's Institute of Art has called him, simply, "the art critic."

Now, in Art Is Life, Jerry Saltz draws on two decades of work to offer a real-time survey of contemporary art as a barometer of our times. Chronicling a period punctuated by dramatic turning points--from the cultural reset of 9/11 to the rolling social crises of today--Saltz traces how visionary artists have both documented and challenged the culture. Art Is Life offers Saltz's eye-opening appraisals of trailblazers like Kara Walker, David Wojnarowicz, Hilma af Klint, and Jasper Johns; provocateurs like Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, and Marina Abramovic; and visionaries like Jackson Pollock, Bill Traylor, and Willem de Kooning. Saltz celebrates landmarks like the Obama portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, writes searchingly about disturbing moments such as the Ankara gallery assassination, and offers surprising takes on figures from Thomas Kinkade to Kim Kardashian. And he shares stories of his own haunted childhood, his time as a "failed artist," and his epiphanies upon beholding work by Botticelli, Delacroix, and the cave painters of Niaux.

With his signature blend of candor and conviction, Jerry Saltz argues in Art Is Life for the importance of the fearless artist--reminding us that art is a kind of channeled voice of human experience, a necessary window onto our times. The result is an openhearted and irresistibly readable appraisal by one of our most important cultural observers.

Art of Cruelty

Art of Cruelty

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Today both reality and entertainment crowd our fields of vision with brutal imagery. The pervasiveness of images of torture, horror, and war has all but demolished the twentieth-century hope that such imagery might shock us into a less alienated state, or aid in the creation of a just social order. What to do now? When to look, when to turn away?

Genre-busting author Maggie Nelson brilliantly navigates this contemporary predicament, with an eye to the question of whether or not focusing on representations of cruelty makes us cruel. In a journey through high and low culture (Kafka to reality TV), the visual to the verbal (Paul McCarthy to Brian Evenson), and the apolitical to the political (Francis Bacon to Kara Walker), Nelson offers a model of how one might balance strong ethical convictions with an equally strong appreciation for work that tests the limits of taste, taboo, and permissibility.
Art of Patience

Art of Patience

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A journey in search of one of the most elusive creatures on the planet

Adventurer Sylvain Tesson has led a restless life, riding across Central Asia on horseback, freeclimbing the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, and traversing the Himalayas by foot. But while recovering from an accident that left him in a coma, and nursing his wounds from a lost love, he found himself domesticated, his lust for life draining with each moment spent staring at a screen. An expedition to the mountains of Tibet, in search of the famously elusive snow leopard, presented itself as a cure.

For the chance to glimpse this near mythical beast, Tesson and his companions must wait for hours without making a sound or a movement, enduring the thin air and brutal cold. Their vigil becomes an act of faith--many have pursued the snow leopard for years without seeing it--and as they keep their watch, Tesson comes to embrace the virtues of patience and silence. His faith is rewarded when the snow leopard, the spirit of the mountain, reveals itself: an embodiment of what we have surrendered in our contemporary lives. And the simple act of waiting proves to be an antidote to the frenzy of our times.

A celebration of the power and grace of the wild, and a requiem for the world's vanishing places, The Art of Patience is a revelatory account of the communion between nature and the human heart. Sylvain Tesson has written a new masterpiece on the relationship between man and beast in prose as sublime as the wilderness that inspired it.

Art of Revision: The Last Word

Art of Revision: The Last Word

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The fifteenth volume in the Art of series takes an expansive view of revision--on the page and in life

In The Art of Revision: The Last Word, Peter Ho Davies takes up an often discussed yet frequently misunderstood subject. He begins by addressing the invisibility of revision--even though it's an essential part of the writing process, readers typically only see a final draft, leaving the practice shrouded in mystery. To combat this, Davies pulls examples from his novels The Welsh Girl and The Fortunes, as well as from the work of other writers, including Flannery O'Connor, Carmen Machado, and Raymond Carver, shedding light on this slippery subject.

Davies also looks beyond literature to work that has been adapted or rewritten, such as books made into films, stories rewritten by another author, and the practice of retconning in comics and film. In an affecting frame story, Davies recounts the story of a violent encounter in his youth, which he then retells over the years, culminating in a final telling at the funeral of his father. In this way, the book arrives at an exhilarating mode of thinking about revision--that it is the writer who must change, as well as the writing. The result is a book that is as useful as it is moving, one that asks writers to reflect upon themselves and their writing.

Art of Rivalry

Art of Rivalry

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Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Sebastian Smee tells the fascinating story of four pairs of artists--Manet and Degas, Picasso and Matisse, Pollock and de Kooning, Freud and Bacon--whose fraught, competitive friendships spurred them to new creative heights.

Rivalry is at the heart of some of the most famous and fruitful relationships in history. The Art of Rivalry follows eight celebrated artists, each linked to a counterpart by friendship, admiration, envy, and ambition. All eight are household names today. But to achieve what they did, each needed the influence of a contemporary--one who was equally ambitious but possessed sharply contrasting strengths and weaknesses.

Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas were close associates whose personal bond frayed after Degas painted a portrait of Manet and his wife. Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso swapped paintings, ideas, and influences as they jostled for the support of collectors like Leo and Gertrude Stein and vied for the leadership of a new avant-garde. Jackson Pollock's uninhibited style of "action painting" triggered a breakthrough in the work of his older rival, Willem de Kooning. After Pollock's sudden death in a car crash, de Kooning assumed Pollock's mantle and became romantically involved with his late friend's mistress. Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon met in the early 1950s, when Bacon was being hailed as Britain's most exciting new painter and Freud was working in relative obscurity. Their intense but asymmetrical friendship came to a head when Freud painted a portrait of Bacon, which was later stolen.

Each of these relationships culminated in an early flashpoint, a rupture in a budding intimacy that was both a betrayal and a trigger for great innovation. Writing with the same exuberant wit and psychological insight that earned him a Pulitzer Prize for art criticism, Sebastian Smee explores here the way that coming into one's own as an artist--finding one's voice--almost always involves willfully breaking away from some intimate's expectations of who you are or ought to be.

Praise for The Art of Rivalry

"Gripping . . . Mr. Smee's skills as a critic are evident throughout. He is persuasive and vivid. . . . You leave this book both nourished and hungry for more about the art, its creators and patrons, and the relationships that seed the ground for moments spent at the canvas."--The New York Times

"With novella-like detail and incisiveness [Sebastian Smee] opens up the worlds of four pairs of renowned artists. . . . Each of his portraits is a biographical gem. . . . The Art of Rivalry is a pure, informative delight, written with canny authority."--The Boston Globe

Art of Seeing Things

Art of Seeing Things

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A collection of essays by noted naturalist John Burroughs in which he contemplates a wide array of topics including farming, religion, and conservation. A departure from previous John Burroughs anthologies, this volume celebrates the surprising range of his writing to include religion, philosophy, conservation, and farming. In doing so, it emphasizes the process of the literary naturalist, specifically the lively connection the author makes between perceiving nature and how perception permeates all aspects of life experiences.