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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.
Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right

Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist spends a year with a legendary high school guidance counselor who gets kids into the right colleges by focusing on self-discovery rather than test scores, grades, and the other traditional tools of the trade
Gwyeth Smith, known as Smitty, has made a national reputation by flouting the conventions of the college application ritual. He often steers kids from the SAT to the ACT, which he considers a more straightforward test that produces higher scores. He urges parents to home in on hidden bargains, scour the country for scholarships, and challenge financial aid offices rather than take out large loans. He will sometimes talk a seeming shoo-in candidate out of setting her sights on the prestigious Ivy League while goading another long-shot student into aiming for that same Ivy League school. His unorthodox approach is grounded on the principle that getting into college shouldn't just be about getting in; it should be a kid's first great moment of self-discovery.
David L. Marcus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former education writer for "U.S. News & World Report," follows Smitty and "his" kids around Oyster Bay High, a diverse public school in Long Island, New York, as he works his unique magic on their applications and their lives. Smitty's kids run the gamut from the sweet but pathologically disorganized boy next door to the valedictorian who applies to twenty-eight schools. As the year unfolds, Smitty deals in his own ingenious way with almost every complication that can bedevil the applications process. What about the kid who doesn't test well? The kid who plunges into depression after being rejected by Columbia? The overachieving Korean American boy worried about reverse discrimination? Smitty has answers for all of them.
While Smitty excels at easing the pressure of the college hunt, his success comes from imposing a different-and deeper-challenge. He makes kids articulate (orally and in writing) their profoundest fears, their drawbacks, their secret hopes. In short, he makes them figure out who they are. Along the way, he uses his savant's knowledge of America's thirty-six hundred colleges and universities to pair each student with the right one. He sidesteps the applications industrial complex, with its slick Web sites, private essay coaches, and obsessive focus on metrics. He brings to the college search counterintuitive insight and even wisdom-attributes that thousands of students and their parents, frustrated with the excesses of the process, will find useful and inspiring.
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 Activist: My Sudden Collision with Politics

Accidental Activist: My Sudden Collision with Politics

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An acclaimed young filmmaker and photographer--and daughter of Senator John Kerry--provides a rare glimpse into the inner circles of power through words and photographs. A presidential campaign memoir like no other.

Though steeped all her life in politics because it was her father's profession, Alexandra Kerry never thought of herself as political. To her, her father's job was much like that of any other Dad: It was nothing extraordinary. She felt the tides of the various campaigns as they came and went, and naturally noticed the people who were always around the house--campaign managers, aides, strategists. But for most of that time, Alexandra was a young girl, an adolescent, and later, a young woman trying to find her own footing, first as an actress and later as a photographer and filmmaker.

That all changed when her father became the Democratic front-runner in the race for president. It was during that time that Alexandra and her sister began to make campaign stops with their father, to submit to press interviews, and eventually to become regulars on the campaign trail as their father crisscrossed the country. At first this was just a role: a daughter supporting a father she loved and believed in. But eventually during the course of an emotional roller coaster of a political campaign, she found herself caring passionately about the voters she was meeting, the issues that were beginning to emerge as the hot buttons of the race. It was in fact during this time that she found herself becoming, for the first time in her life, a true activist.

Documenting that journey via photographs and original writing in this, her first book, Alexandra Kerry brings readers inside the political whirlwind up close and personal: What did it feel like to see her father attacked by the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth? What did she learn about America and its people? How did it feel to see her father come so close to becoming president, and then to watch him concede?

This fascinating chronicle is sure to captivate political junkies as well as the everyday reader interested in knowing more about the country, its voters, and the author herself.

Accidental American

Accidental American

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The Accidental American calls for a bold new approach to immigration: a free international flow of labor to match globalization's free flow of capital. After all, corporations are encouraged to move anywhere in the world they can maximize their earnings. People shouldn't have to risk exploitation, abuse, and even imprisonment when they try to do the same.

Activist, journalist, and immigration expert Rinku Sen and organizer Fekkak Mamdouh examine the consequences of this injustice through Mamdouh's own story. Born in Morocco, he was a waiter and union leader at Windows on the World, a restaurant in the World Trade Center. In the aftermath of September 11th, facing a rising tide of anti-immigrant bias, Mamdouh and others formed the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY) to help their colleagues fight for decent jobs and fair treatment. ROC-NY was able to unite native-born and immigrant workers, helping each group realize they were involved in a common struggle for better working conditions. The organization is now expanding nationwide.

Since 9/11, immigrants have increasingly been treated as presumptive criminals. As a counterpoint to these regressive, fundamentally un-American practices, the authors forcefully advocate more humane policies that would ease rather than restrict people's movements, coupled with proposals for reforming globalization so that both sending and receiving countries can more equitably benefit from a more mobile international labor force.

Immigrants enthusiastically contribute much more to our country than their labor. They ought to be welcomed, not marginalized. Citizenship should ultimately be determined by how willing people are to become a part of the social, civic, and political fabric of the country they live in, not by an accident of birth.

Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency

Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency

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Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair is the most popular foreign leader in the United States, and one whose support for America has made him widely reviled at home. Why did Blair become such an object of fascination here? What are Democrats to make of their old friend's attachment to Bush? In a Europe profoundly skeptical about a new American imperialism, why did Blair decide to face resolutely west across the Atlantic?

To James Naughtie, a renowned British journalist with unparalleled knowledge of Blair and a deep understanding of American politics, the story of our love affair with Blair provides a fascinating mirror on the troubles facing Western democracies, and on America itself. In The Accidental American, the first book about Blair written specifically for American readers, he explores how a politician swept to power by a party once avowedly socialist came to make common cause with American neo-conservatives, and became the gatekeeper between America and Western Europe.

Though Blair has been feted by Congress and is beloved by the White House, his real beliefs about America remain almost unknown. Naughtie has watched Blair close-up for many years and has many contacts inside his circle of friends and advisors. In the tumult of a presidential election year, this book provides a revelatory portrait of a master politician and revelatory insights into the politics and character of our own country.

Accidental Billionaires: Founding of Facebook: Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal [OUT OF PRINT]

Accidental Billionaires: Founding of Facebook: Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal [OUT OF PRINT]

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The high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating Facebook.
Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergraduates and best friends-outsiders at a school filled with polished prep-school grads and long-time legacies. They shared both academic brilliance in math and a geeky awkwardness with women.
Eduardo figured their ticket to social acceptance-and sexual success-was getting invited to join one of the university's Final Clubs, a constellation of elite societies that had groomed generations of the most powerful men in the world and ranked on top of the inflexible hierarchy at Harvard. Mark, with less of an interest in what the campus alpha males thought of him, happened to be a computer genius of the first order.
Which he used to find a more direct route to social stardom: one lonely night, Mark hacked into the university's computer system, creating a ratable database of all the female students on campus-and subsequently crashing the university's servers and nearly getting himself kicked out of school. In that moment, in his Harvard dorm room, the framework for Facebook was born.
What followed-a real-life adventure filled with slick venture capitalists, stunning women, and six-foot-five-inch identical-twin Olympic rowers-makes for one of the most entertaining and compelling books of the year. Before long, Eduardo's and Mark's different ideas about Facebook created in their relationship faint cracks, which soon spiraled into out-and-out warfare. The collegiate exuberance that marked their collaboration fell prey to the adult world of lawyers and money. The great irony is that while Facebook succeeded by bringing people together, its very success tore two best friends apart.
The Accidental Billionaires is a compulsively readable story of innocence lost-and of the unusual creation of a company that has revolutionized the way hundreds of millions of people relate to one another. Ben Mezrich, a Harvard graduate, has published ten books, including the New York Times bestseller Bringing Down the House. He is a columnist for Boston Common and a contributor for Flush magazine. Ben lives in Boston with his wife, Tonya.
From the Hardcover edition.
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.

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

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

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The bestselling author of Bringing Down the House pens the incredible true story of the accidental creation of Facebook, and the even more amazing tale of what happened afterward--a real-life adventure filled with unimaginable wealth, sex, exotic locales, six-foot-five identical-twin Olympic rowers, and betrayal.
Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One

Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One

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David Kilcullen is one of the world's most influential experts on counterinsurgency and modern warfare, a ground-breaking theorist whose ideas are revolutionizing military thinking throughout the west (Washington Post). Indeed, his vision of modern warfare powerfully influenced America's
decision to rethink its military strategy in Iraq and implement the Surge, now recognized as a dramatic success.
In The Accidental Guerrilla, Kilcullen provides a remarkably fresh perspective on the War on Terror. Kilcullen takes us on the ground to uncover the face of modern warfare, illuminating both the big global war (the War on Terrorism) and its relation to the associated small wars across the
globe: Iraq, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Pakistani tribal zones, East Timor and the horn of Africa. Kilcullen sees today's conflicts as a complex interweaving of contrasting trends--local insurgencies seeking autonomy caught up in a broader pan-Islamic campaign--small wars in the midst of
a big one. He warns that America's actions in the war on terrorism have tended to conflate these trends, blurring the distinction between local and global struggles and thus enormously complicating our challenges. Indeed, the US had done a poor job of applying different tactics to these very
different situations, continually misidentifying insurgents with limited aims and legitimate grievances--whom he calls accidental guerrillas--as part of a coordinated worldwide terror network. We must learn how to disentangle these strands, develop strategies that deal with global threats, avoid
local conflicts where possible, and win them where necessary.
Colored with gripping battlefield experiences that range from the jungles and highlands of Southeast Asia to the mountains of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to the dusty towns of the Middle East, The Accidental Guerrilla will, quite simply, change the way we think about war. This book is a
must read for everyone concerned about the war on terror.
Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade That Transformed Wall Street

Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade That Transformed Wall Street

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Investment bankers used to be known as respectful of their clients, loyal to their firms, and chary of the financial system that allowed them to prosper. What happened? From his prestigious Wall Street perches at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, Jonathan A. Knee witnessed firsthand the lavish deal-making of the freewheeling nineties, when bankers rode the wave of the Internet economy, often by devil-may-care means. By the turn of the twenty-first century, the bubble burst and the industry was in free fall. Told with biting humor and unflinching honesty, populated with power players, back-stabbers, and gazillionaires, The Accidental Investment Banker is Knee's exhilarating insider's account of this boom-and-bust anything-goes era, when fortunes were made and reputations were lost.

"A rare, ringside seat inside the madcap and often egomaniacal world of Wall Street's Masters of the Universe . . . For would-be bankers, the book is an excellent primer on what it's really like; for current bankers it will be a guilty pleasure."
-The New York Times

"Finally we have someone willing to lift the curtain. . . . With refreshing candor and engaging prose, [this book] takes us inside the world of investment banking."
-James B. Stewart, author of Den of Thieves and DisneyWar

"[Knee] captures the glories and agonies of his profession. General readers will marvel."
-The Wall Street Journal

"Entertainingly indiscreet . . . Knee's talent for wicked pen portraits is put to good use."
-Financial Times

"For anyone who remembers the crazy boom times, and the even crazier bust, Jonathan A. Knee's The Accidental Investment Banker is a must. This tell-all chronicles Knee's time at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, revealing a world that rivals 24 in intrigue and drama."
-Fortune