Sports, Music, History, Mystery…
With plenty to choose from, everyone in the family should be able to find a book that piques their interest. I am most excited about the photography book by Ken Burns, David Grann’s The Wager, American Ramble by Neil King Jr, and the Rock and Roll Crosswords puzzle book!
All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby (Mystery/Thriller)
Titus Crowne is the first Black sheriff in the history of Charon County. A former FBI agent and security expert, Titus came home to take care of his father and look out for his troubled younger brother. He ran for Sheriff to make a difference, especially in the Black community, which has so often been treated unfairly by the police.
But a year to the day after his election, a school shooting rocks the town. A beloved teacher is killed by a former student, and as Titus attempts to deescalate and get the boy to surrender, his deputies fire a fatal shot.
In the investigation, it becomes clear that the student they shot had been abused by the dead teacher, as well as by unidentified perpetrators. The trail leads to buried bodies—and secrets. While Titus tries to track down a killer hiding in plain sight, while balancing daily duties like protecting Confederate pride marchers, he must face what it means to be a Black man wearing a police uniform in the American South.
Drowning by TJ Newman (Mystery/Thriller)
Flight attendant turned New York Times bestselling author T. J. Newman—whose first book Falling was an instant #1 national bestseller and the biggest thriller debut of 2021—returns for her second book, an edge-of-your-seat thriller about a commercial jetliner that crashes into the ocean, and sinks to the bottom with passengers trapped inside, and the extraordinary rescue operation to save them.
Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 1421 crashes into the Pacific Ocean. During the evacuation, an engine explodes and the plane is flooded. Those still alive are forced to close the doors—but it’s too late. The plane sinks to the bottom with twelve passengers trapped inside.
More than two hundred feet below the surface, engineer Will Kent and his eleven-year-old daughter Shannon are waist-deep in water and fighting for their lives.
Their only chance at survival is an elite rescue team on the surface led by professional diver Chris Kent—Shannon’s mother and Will’s soon-to-be ex-wife—who must work together with Will to find a way to save their daughter and rescue the passengers from the sealed airplane, which is now teetering on the edge of an undersea cliff.
There’s not much time.
There’s even less air.
With devastating emotional power and heart-stopping suspense, Drowning is an unforgettable thriller about a family’s desperate fight to save themselves and the people trapped with them—against impossible odds.
Titanium Noir by Nick Harkaway (Mystery/Science Fiction)
A virtuosic mashup of Philip K. Dick and Raymond Chandler by way of Marvel—the story of a detective investigating the murder of a Titan, one of society’s most powerful, medically-enhanced elites
“Cross-genre brilliance from the superbly talented Nick Harkaway.” —William Gibson, New York Times best-selling author of Agency
Cal Sounder is a detective working for the police on certain very sensitive cases. So when he’s called in to investigate a homicide at a local apartment, he’s surprised by the routineness of it all. But when he arrives on scene, Cal soon learns that the victim—Roddy Tebbit, an otherwise milquetoast techie—is well over seven feet tall. And although he doesn’t look a day over thirty, he is ninety-one years old. Tebbit is a Titan—one of this dystopian, near-future society’s genetically altered elites. And this case is definitely Cal’s thing.
There are only a few thousand Titans worldwide, thanks to Stefan Tonfamecasca’s discovery of the controversial T7 genetic therapy, which elevated his family to godlike status. T7 turns average humans into near-immortal distortions of themselves—with immense physical proportions to match their ostentatious, unreachable lifestyles. A dead Titan is big news . . . a murdered Titan is unimaginable. But these modified magnates are Cal’s specialty. In fact, his own ex-girlfriend, Athena, is a Titan. And not just any—she is Stefan’s daughter, heir to the massive Tonfamecasca empire.
As the murder investigation intensifies, Cal begins to unravel the complicated threads of what should have been a straightforward case, and it becomes clear he’s on the trail of a crime whose roots run deep into the dark heart of the world.
Road to Surrender by Evan Thomas (History/Biography)
A riveting, immersive account of the agonizing decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan–a crucial turning point in World War II and geopolitical history–with you-are-there immediacy by the New York Times bestselling author of Ike’s Bluffand Sea of Thunder.
At 9:20 a.m. on the morning of May 30, General Groves receives a message to report to the office of the secretary of war “at once.” Stimson is waiting for him. He wants to know: has Groves selected the targets yet?
So begins this suspenseful, impeccably researched history that draws on new access to diaries to tell the story of three men who were intimately involved with America’s decision to drop the atomic bomb–and Japan’s decision to surrender. They are Henry Stimson, the American Secretary of War, who had overall responsibility for decisions about the atom bomb; Gen. Carl “Tooey” Spaatz, head of strategic bombing in the Pacific, who supervised the planes that dropped the bombs; and Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo, the only one in Emperor Hirohito’s Supreme War Council who believed even before the bombs were dropped that Japan should surrender.
Henry Stimson had served in the administrations of five presidents, but as the U.S. nuclear program progressed, he found himself tasked with the unimaginable decision of determining whether to deploy the bomb. The new president, Harry S. Truman, thus far a peripheral figure in the momentous decision, accepted Stimson’s recommendation to drop the bomb. Army Air Force Commander Gen. Spaatz ordered the planes to take off. Like Stimson, Spaatz agonized over the command even as he recognized it would end the war. After the bombs were dropped, Foreign Minister Togo was finally able to convince the emperor to surrender.
To bring these critical events to vivid life, bestselling author Evan Thomas draws on the diaries of Stimson, Togo and Spaatz, contemplating the immense weight of their historic decision. In Road to Surrender, an immersive, surprising, moving account, Thomas lays out the behind-the-scenes thoughts, feelings, motivations, and decision-making of three people who changed history.
American Ramble by Neil King Jr. (Memoir)
A stunning, revelatory memoir about a 330-mile walk from Washington, D.C. to New York City—an unforgettable pilgrimage to the heart of America across some of its oldest common ground
Neil King Jr.’s desire to walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City began on a whim and became an obsession. By the spring of 2021, events had intervened that gave his desire greater urgency. His neighborhood still reeled from the January 6 insurrection. COVID-19 lock-downs and a rancorous election had deepened America’s divides. King himself bore the imprints of a long battle with cancer.
Determined to rediscover what matters in life and to see America’s national story with new eyes, King turned north with a small satchel on his back and one mission in mind: to pay close attention to the land he crossed and the people he met. What followed is an extraordinary 26-day journey through historic battlefields and cemeteries; over the Mason-Dixon line; past Quaker and Amish farms; along Valley Forge stream beds; atop a New Jersey trash mound; across New York Harbor; and finally, to his ultimate destination: the Ramble, where a tangle of pathways converges in Central Park. The journey travels deep into America’s past and present, uncovering forgotten pockets and overlooked people. At a time of mounting disunity, the trip reveals the profound power of the country’s shared ground.
The Wager, A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann (Nonfiction)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon, a page-turning story of shipwreck, survival, and savagery, culminating in a court martial that reveals a shocking truth. The powerful narrative reveals the deeper meaning of the events on The Wager, showing that it was not only the captain and crew who ended up on trial, but the very idea of empire.
On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon known as “the prize of all the oceans,” it had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing nearly 3,000 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes.
But then … six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they told a very different story. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes – they were mutineers. The first group responded with countercharges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous senior officer and his henchmen. It became clear that while stranded on the island the crew had fallen into anarchy, with warring factions fighting for dominion over the barren wilderness. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death–for whomever the court found guilty could hang.
The Wager is a grand tale of human behavior at the extremes told by one of our greatest nonfiction writers. Grann’s recreation of the hidden world on a British warship rivals the work of Patrick O’Brian, his portrayal of the castaways’ desperate straits stands up to the classics of survival writing such as The Endurance, and his account of the court martial has the savvy of a Scott Turow thriller. As always with Grann’s work, the incredible twists of the narrative hold the reader spellbound.
LeBron by Jeff Benedict (Nonfiction)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the #1 bestselling author of The Dynasty and Tiger Woods comes the definitive biography of basketball superstar LeBron James, based on three years of exhaustive research and more than 250 interviews.
LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of the twenty-first century, and he’s in the conversation with Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time. The reigning king of the game and the first active NBA player to become a billionaire, LeBron wears the crown like he was born with it. Yet his ascent has been anything but effortless and predetermined— the truth is vastly more interesting than that.
What makes LeBron’s story so compelling is how he won his destiny despite overwhelmingly long odds, in a drama worthy of a Dickens novel. As a child, he was a scared and lonely little boy living a nomadic existence in Akron, Ohio. His mother, who had LeBron when she was sixteen, would sometimes leave him on his own. Destitute and fatherless, he missed close to one hundred days of school in the fourth grade. Desperate, his mother placed him with a family that gave him stability and put a basketball in his hands.
LeBron tells the full, riveting saga of how a child adrift found the will to become a titan. Jeff Benedict, the most celebrated sports biographer of our time, paints a vivid picture of LeBron’s epic origin story, showing the gradual rise of a star who, surrounded by a tight-knit group of teenage friends and adult mentors, accelerated into a speeding comet during high school. Today LeBron produces Hollywood films and television shows, has a social media presence that includes more than one hundred million followers, engages in political activism, takes outspoken stances on racism and social injustice, and transforms lives through his visionary philanthropy. He went from a lost boy in Akron to a beloved hero who uses his fortune to educate underprivileged children and lift up needy families—and brought home Cleveland’s first NBA championship.
But LeBron is more than just the origin story of a GOAT or a recap of his multi-championship, multi-MVP, gold medal–decorated career on the court. Benedict delves into LeBron’s relationship with fame and power: how he has cultivated it, harnessed it, suffered from it, and leveraged it. In these pages, we go behind the scenes of LeBron’s grappling with his seismic celebrity, from appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high school junior to The Decision, which briefly turned the nation against him. We also watch his evolution from a player who avoided politics and was widely criticized for not joining his teammates in protesting China’s role in the Darfur genocide to becoming an athlete who partnered with President Obama; campaigned for Hillary Clinton; became an advocate against gun violence, racism, and voter suppression; and openly clashed with President Trump, empowering other athletes to speak out against social injustice.
To capture LeBron’s extraordinary life, Benedict conducted hundreds of interviews with the people who were involved with LeBron at different stages of his life. He also obtained thousands of pages of primary source documents and mined hundreds of hours of video footage. Destined to be the authoritative account of LeBron’s life, LeBron is a gripping, inspiring, and unprecedented portrait of one of the world’s most captivating figures.
Feherty by John Feinstein (Nonfiction)
The definitive biography of enigmatic golfer, commentator, and performer David Feherty—one of the most universally beloved figures in the game.
John Feinstein, who has spent four decades finding intriguing sports characters and narratives and turning them into classic books, chronicles the life and career of David Feherty. The two have known each other for years, beginning with Feinstein’s work on A Good Walk Spoiled , researched and written at a time when Feherty was an excellent player, who won five times in Europe and was on the ’91 Ryder Cup team, but also a functioning alcoholic. In retirement from the game, Feherty has sobered up, while his golf world persona has only grown in stature. Feherty is now a grand ambassador for golf, a man who is feted by US Presidents and respected by every big name in the game.
Feinstein tells hilarious true tales about Feherty’s time in the limelight and interactions with stars such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Payne Stewart, and Seve Ballesteros. He also details Feherty’s struggles with alcoholism, the death of his son who was lost to addiction, and the highs and lows of Feherty’s marriages. Feinstein captures the human being behind the athlete, and his triumphant rebound as a golf commentator after his athletic career fell apart. Feherty is fall-down-funny, self-deprecating, and a lifelong underdog who has thrived as a commentator and television interview host, and most recently as a touring standup comic, using the difficult experiences of his life as a source for humor and understanding, which Feinstein mines with an expert’s touch.
Baseball at the Abyss: The Scandals of 1926, Babe Ruth, and the Unlikely Savior Who Rescued a Tarnished Game by Dan Taylor (Nonfiction)
The untold story behind one of baseball’s biggest scandals and the men who saved a tarnished game. In the winter of 1926, Major League Baseball became enveloped in scandal. Two of baseball’s biggest stars, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker, were accused of fixing and betting on games. Sportswriters called the scandal worse than that of the infamous “Black Sox.” The reputation of baseball was in tatters. In Baseball at the Abyss, Dan Taylor reveals the behind-the-scenes story of how baseball was saved after the banishment of Cobb and Speaker. It was all set in motion by one unlikely individual—Christy Walsh, the business manager for Babe Ruth and baseball’s first player agent. Taylor follows Walsh and Ruth as the agent arranges for the Babe to star in a motion picture and presses for Ruth to hire a fitness guru, change his habits, and train while in Hollywood. The results were astonishing. The scandal was soon forgotten as a reinvigorated Babe Ruth enjoyed his greatest season in 1927, slugging 60 home runs and powering his New York Yankees to heights never seen before. Baseball at the Abyss features fascinating details of the 1926 scandal and the incredible resurgence of the national pastime when it seemed the game was permanently tarnished. It’s the story of a remarkable year in baseball history and the men who restored glory to a troubled game.
The Longest Race: Inside the Secret World of Abuse, Doping, and Deception on Nike’s Elite Running Teach by Kara Goucher with Mary Pilon (Memoir)
In this unvarnished and affecting memoir, Olympian Kara Goucher reveals her experience of living through and speaking out about one of the biggest scandals in running.
Kara Goucher grew up with Olympic dreams. She excelled at running from a young age and was offered a Nike sponsorship deal when she graduated from college. Then in 2004, she was invited to join a secretive, lavishly funded new team, dubbed the Nike Oregon Project. Coached by distance running legend Alberto Salazar, it seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime.
Kara was soon winning a World Championship medal, going to the Olympics, and standing on the podium at the New York and Boston marathons, just like her coach. But behind the scenes, Salazar was hiding dark secrets. He pushed the limits of anti-doping rules, and created what Kara experienced as a culture of abuse, the extent of which she reveals in her book for the first time. Meanwhile, Nike stood by Alberto for years and proved itself capable of shockingly misogynistic corporate practices.
Told with stunning honesty, The Longest Race is an unforgettable story and a call to action. Kara became a crusader for female athletes and a key witness helping to get Salazar banned from coaching at the Olympic level. Kara’s memoir reveals how she broke through the fear of losing everything, bucked powerful forces to take control of her life and career, and reclaimed her love of running.
Lights Out The James Toney Story by Robert Anasi (Nonfiction)
In 1994, James ‘Lights Out’ Toney had battled to the top of the boxing world. A stunning knockout of undefeated 20-1 favorite Michael Nunn had brought Toney the middleweight title and crossover celebrity. Heralded as ‘throwback’, Toney’s dazzling skills and constant activity recalled the Golden Age fighters who had been his role models. Brash, volatile and fearless, Toney also personified the 90s hiphop culture that America both feared and admired, a role he embraced with lavish spending, press conference brawls and strip-club escapes. Still only 24, this ‘nigga you love to hate’ seemed unstoppable.
Then in one night he lost everything, his humiliating defeat to Roy Jones, Jr. casting him into the boxing wilderness, and the police blotter. For nine years, Toney wandered the margins of the sport, taking losses and gaining weight, a cautionary tale for any fighters who didn’t value their gifts and succumbed to their demons. But James Toney wasn’t finished yet.
In 2003, Toney was given a second chance, the opportunity to push back into the championship picture and regain his lost kingdom. All he had to do was defeat a monster, Vassily ‘The Tiger’ Jirov, a real-life Drago from the Iron Curtain who had destroyed every man put in front of him. In the fight of the year, James Toney would reveal exactly who he was.
Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with James Toney and his inner circle, Lights Out portrays the rise and fall, and rise, of a fighter who never faced a tougher opponent than himself.
Award-winning author Robert Edward Anasi searches for the clues to Toney’s identity in the tragedies of Black America and the boxing mecca of Detroit. Forged by the savagery of his criminal father and the tenacious willpower of his indomitable mother, James ‘Lights Out’ Toney overcame impossible odds to become a boxing legend.
The Great Nowitzki by Thomas Pletzinger (Nonfiction)
The seven-foot Dirk Nowitzki is one of the greatest players in basketball history. The Dallas Maverick’s legend revolutionized the sport, redefining the role of the big man in the modern game. Dirk moved differently: flexible and fast, confident and in control. He thought differently, too. On the court, his shots were masterful—none more venerated than his signature one-legged flamingo fadeaway, a move that lives on in the repertoire of today’s most skilled NBA players.
How did this lanky kid from the German suburbs become an all-time top ten scorer and NBA champion? How can a superstar stay so humble? Award-winning novelist and sportswriter Thomas Pletzinger spent over seven years traveling with Nowitzki. He witnessed Dirk’s summer workouts, involving fingertip pushups and the study of the physics, and spent days discussing literature and philosophy with Holger Geschwindner, Dirk’s enigmatic mentor and coach. Watching Nowitzki in empty gyms and in packed arenas with 30,000 fans, Pletzinger began to understand how Dirk and Holger’s philosophical insights on performance, creativity, and freedom enabled his success and longevity.
The Great Nowitzki tells Dirk’s dramatic story like never before. Pletzinger describes Dirk’s youth in small-town Germany, follows the steep learning curve of Dirk’s early seasons, the devastating Finals loss to the Miami Heat, and the triumphant championship five years later. Traveling with Dirk in his final seasons, Pletzinger immerses himself in the community of people impacted by Nowitzki’s game, interviewing everyone from average fans in Dallas and security guards at the arena to front office executives and Hall of Fame teammates, who reflect on what Dirk’s career means to the next generation of ballplayers. And to the game itself.
A masterpiece of sports writing that reads like a novel, The Great Nowitzki brims with a fan’s passion. Pletzinger shows how strongly basketball influences our imagination and the extraordinary journey an icon like Dirk Nowitzki must take to reach the pinnacle of the game.
Apollo Remastered by Andy Saunders (Nonfiction/Science)
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the last steps taken on the moon, this unique, definitive book about the Apollo missions reveals hundreds of extraordinary, newly-restored, and all-new images from the NASA archives that provide a never-before-seen perspective on the Apollo endeavors.
In Houston, Texas, there is a frozen vault that preserves the original NASA photographic film of the Apollo missions. For half a century, almost every image of the Moon landings publicly available was produced from a lower-quality copy of these frozen originals. Over the last few years, NASA image restorer Andy Saunders has been working hard. Taking newly available digital scans and applying pain-staking care and cutting-edge enhancement techniques, he has created the highest quality Apollo photographs ever produced. Never-before-seen spacewalks and crystal-clear portraits of astronauts in their spacecraft, along with startling new visions of the Earth and the Moon, offer astounding new insight into one of our greatest endeavors.
This is the definitive record of all Apollo missions and a mesmerizing, high-definition journey into the unknown.
Our America by Ken Burns (Photography)
From one of our most treasured filmmakers, a pictorial history of America–a stunning and moving collection of some of Ken Burns’s favorite photographs, with an introduction by Burns, and an essay by longtime MoMA photography curator Sarah Hermanson Meister
Burns has been making documentaries about American history for more than four decades, using images to vividly re-create our struggles and successes as a nation and a people. As much as anyone alive today, he understands the soul of our country.
In Our America, Burns has assembled the images that, for him, best embody nearly two hundred years of the American experiment, taken by some of our most reknowned photographers and by others who worked in obscurity. We see America’s vast natural beauty as well as its dynamic cities and communities. There are striking images of war and civil conflict, and of communities drawing together across lines of race and class. Our greatest leaders appear alongside regular folks living their everyday lives. The photos talk to one another across boundaries and decades and, taken together, they capture the impossibly rich and diverse perspectives and places that comprise the American experience.
Ocean: Exploring the Marine World by Phaidon Press (Art)
Endorsed by United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Experience the force, mystery, and beauty of the ocean and seas through more than 300 images – featuring underwater photography, oceanographic maps and scientific illustrations, as well as paintings, sculptures and popular films. Oceanography and art collide in this visual celebration of humans’ relationship with the marine world. From early nautical cartography, scientific illustrations and astounding maps of the ocean floor to ancient Roman mosaics, Japanese woodblock prints and pop-culture ephemera Ocean takes readers across continents and cultures, spanning more than 3,000 years of history. Vivid, full-page images reveal prehistoric marine creatures and fossils, mysterious flora and fauna, mythical creatures of the deep and surfing icons of today. Explore the diverse groups of fish and coral on the Great Barrier Reef, jellyfish from the deepest location on Earth and life in the polar waters of the Arctic and Antarctic. Learn about the dangers facing our planet’s oceans due to climate change activity and the dedicated efforts of conservationists to benefit our underwater ecosystems. Developed with a panel of marine biologists, research scientists, conservationists, photographers, museum curators and experts from organizations including the Wildlife Conservation Society and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Ocean illustrates Sylvia Earle’s ‘Everyone, everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea. Featured artists, designers, explorers, photographers and other creators Mary Anning, Brian Skerry, Jacques Cousteau, David Doubilet, Sylvia Earle, Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Katsushika Hokusai, Esther Horvath, NASA, Sebastião Salgado, Vincent van Gogh, Yayoi Kusama, Eileen Agar, Edward Burtynsky, Ray Eames, Ernst Haeckel, Kerry James Marshall, Greg Lecoeur, Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Catherine Opie.
Walking with Sam: A Father, a Son, and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain by Andrew McCarthy (Memoir)
An intimate, funny, and poignant travel memoir following New York Times bestselling author and actor Andrew McCarthy as he walks the Camino de Santiago with his son Sam.
When Andrew McCarthy’s eldest son began to take his first steps into adulthood, McCarthy found himself wishing time would slow down. Looking to create a more meaningful connection with Sam before he fled the nest, as well as recreate his own life-altering journey decades before, McCarthy decided the two of them should set out on a trek like few 500 miles across Spain’s Camino de Santiago.
Over the course of the journey, the pair traversed an unforgiving landscape, having more honest conversations in five weeks than they’d had in the preceding two decades. Discussions of divorce, the trauma of school, McCarthy’s difficult relationship with his own father, fame, and Flaming Hot Cheetos threatened to either derail their relationship or cement it. Walking With Sam captures this intimate, candid and hopeful expedition as the father son duo travel across the country and towards one another.
The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109 Year Old Man by David Von Drehle (Memoir)
One of our nation’s most prominent writers finds the truth about how to live a long and happy life in the centenarian next door.
When a veteran Washington journalist moved to Kansas, he met a new neighbor who was more than a century old. Little did he know that he was beginning a long friendship—and a profound lesson in the meaning of life. Charlie White was no ordinary neighbor. Born before radio, Charlie lived long enough to use a smartphone. When a shocking tragedy interrupted his idyllic boyhood, Charlie mastered survival strategies that reflect thousands of years of human wisdom. Thus armored, Charlie’s sense of adventure carried him on an epic journey across the continent, and later found him swinging across bandstands of the Jazz Age, racing aboard ambulances through Depression-era gangster wars, improvising techniques for early open-heart surgery, and cruising the Amazon as a guest of Peru’s president.
David Von Drehle came to understand that Charlie’s resilience and willingness to grow made this remarkable neighbor a master in the art of thriving through times of dramatic change. As a gift to his children, he set out to tell Charlie’s secrets. The Book of Charlie is a gospel of grit—the inspiring story of one man’s journey through a century of upheaval. The history that unfolds through Charlie’s story reminds you that the United States has always been a divided nation, a questing nation, an inventive nation—a nation of Charlies in the rollercoaster pursuit of a good and meaningful life.
The World: A Family History of Humanity by Simon Sebag Montefiore (History/Nonfiction)
From the master storyteller and internationally bestselling author – the story of humanity from prehistory to the present day, told through the one thing all humans have in common: family.
We begin with the footsteps of a family walking along a beach 950,000 years ago. From here, Montefiore takes us on an exhilarating epic journey through the families that have shaped our world: the Caesars, Medicis and Incas, Ottomans and Mughals, Bonapartes, Habsburgs and Zulus, Rothschilds, Rockefellers and Krupps, Churchills, Kennedys, Castros, Nehrus, Pahlavis and Kenyattas, Saudis, Kims and Assads.
A rich cast of complex characters form the beating heart of the story. Some are well-known leaders, from Alexander the Great, Attila, Ivan the Terrible and Genghis Khan to Hitler, Thatcher, Obama, Putin and Zelensky. Some are creative, from Socrates, Michelangelo and Shakespeare to Newton, Mozart, Balzac, Freud, Bowie and Tim Berners-Lee.
Others are lesser-known: Hongwu, who began life as a beggar and founded the Ming dynasty; Kamehameha, conqueror of Hawaii; Zenobia, Arab empress who defied Rome; King Henry of Haiti; Lady Murasaki, first female novelist; Sayyida al-Hurra, Moroccan pirate-queen. Here are not just conquerors and queens but prophets, charlatans, actors, gangsters, artists, scientists, doctors, tycoons, lovers, wives, husbands and children.
This is world history on the most grand and intimate scale – spanning centuries, continents and cultures, and linking grand themes of war, migration, plague, religion, medicine and technology to the people at the centre of the human drama.
As spellbinding as fiction, The World captures the story of humankind in all its joy, sorrow, romance, ingenuity and cruelty in a ground-breaking, single narrative that will forever shift the boundaries of what history can achieve.
King: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Biography/Nonfiction)
The first full biography in decades, King mixes revelatory and exhaustive new research with brisk and accessible storytelling to forge the definitive life for our times.
Vividly written and exhaustively researched, Jonathan Eig’s A Life is the first major biography in decades of the civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.―and the first to include recently declassified FBI files. In this revelatory new portrait of the preacher and activist who shook the world, the bestselling biographer gives us an intimate view of the courageous and often emotionally troubled human being who demanded peaceful protest for his movement but was rarely at peace with himself. He casts fresh light on the King family’s origins as well as MLK’s complex relationships with his wife, father, and fellow activists. King reveals a minister wrestling with his own human frailties and dark moods, a citizen hunted by his own government, and a man determined to fight for justice even if it proved to be a fight to the death. As he follows MLK from the classroom to the pulpit to the streets of Birmingham, Selma, and Memphis, Eig dramatically re-creates the journey of a man who recast American race relations and became our only modern-day founding father―as well as the nation’s most mourned martyr.
In this landmark biography, Eig gives us an MLK for our a deep thinker, a brilliant strategist, and a committed radical who led one of history’s greatest movements, and whose demands for racial and economic justice remain as urgent today as they were in his lifetime.
Gentleman of Jazz: A Life in Music by Ramsey Lewis and Aaron Cohen (Autobiography)
“Ramsey Lewis is a man who has touched all of our lives. Not everybody finds their calling in life as a four-year-old boy sitting at a piano in the living room, but ever since he did he’s filled our lives with music and with joy.” — President Barack Obama This immersive new autobiography provides insight into the early life and illustrious career of the late great Ramsey Lewis, one of the most popular jazz pianists of all time. Beginning with his childhood growing up in Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighborhood Lewis recounts his memories of the music in his parents’ church and his early piano lessons. As he learned classical technique, Lewis also absorbed countless jazz records and heard gospel music weekly, finally becoming a performer himself in his teenage years. With his coauthor and collaborator, Aaron Cohen, Lewis describes his early steps in jazz from joining The Clefs in the ‘50s, to eventually establishing The Ramsey Lewis Trio. This account provides an evocative tour of Lewis’s life from the club circuit of the early 1960s and recording with Chess Records to working with producer Maurice White and musicians such as Stevie Wonder. In this deep dive into an exceptional life and expansive career, Lewis takes us through the artistic challenges, offers insight and perspective on his own musical growth and the creative process, and describes his eventual foray into symphonic composition and performance. Gentleman of A Life in Music serves as both an inspiration to young musicians eager to follow in his footsteps and a tribute to the legacy of Ramsey Lewis and is sure to excite longtime fans as well as those new to the jazz scene.
Rock and Roll Crosswords Vol. 1 100% Music!! Rock On!! by Will Shorz, The Definitive Rock Trivia by Todd Santos (Puzzles)
The only NYTimes-style (legit) puzzles EVER with 100% MUSIC!!
– “YEAH!” Stone Gossard > Pearl Jam
– “Another genre for my Mom to solve! She does ’em everyday!” Eric Singer > KISS/Black Sabbath
– “Well, I’m sure I’ll get a couple of THESE answers!” Todd Rundgren
– “Merging brain-stimulating, nerdy activities with Rock And Roll?! This really hits the sweet spot for me! Can’t wait to tackle Vol. 2!” Milo Aukerman > Descendents
– “When you need GREAT Rock And Roll trivia – these puzzles are IT!” > Three Dog Night
– “Over the moon with these! Keep on puzzlin’!” Spin Doctors
– “They keep your mind working!” Living Colour
– “Life is puzzling. It can’t ever be figured out. But you’ve got a chance at solving these great crosswords. Savor the illusion of control, however brief it may be!” Mark Oliver Everett, aka E > EELS
– “THE reason to do crosswords!” Death Angel
– “Crossword puzzles with ALL music? What’s not to love?! Now I can finally put all that Rock And Roll trivia stored away in my brain to good use!” Pete Droge
– “Do you mind if I post this?” Matt Pryor > Get Up Kids
– “In disbelief Todd put all this together” Disco Biscuits
– “Just when I thought, what’ll they think of next? Todd rocks out this fantastic puzzle book! Enjoy!” Dave Abbruzzese > Pearl Jam
– “If you think – you stink!” Billy Sheehan > David Lee Roth/Mr. Big/Winery Dogs
– “I have an Appetite For Destruction when facing Todd’s clues” Steve Thompson > 7x Grammy-winning Producer > Guns N’ Roses, Lennon, Bowie, Stones, Metallica, Madonna
– “Music is a universal language and Rock And Roll Crosswords are the puzzles for it!” Chas West > Jason Bonham Band/Lynch Mob/Foreigner
– “Crosswords have been around a very long time. Having these exclusively related to Rock And Roll makes it fantastic for lovers of music. And who doesn’t love music!” Bruce Kulick > KISS/Michael Bolton/Grand Funk
– “Rock And Roll Crosswords reminds me of the time I was in a Broadway production about crossword puzzles. It was a play on words. Ha!” Eric Dover > Slash’s Snakepit/Jellyfish
– “Words and music naturally go together – Rock And Roll Crosswords are like a good song, they make you think and they make you smile!” Ron Keel
– “The good thing about Rock And Roll Crosswords is you at least know there’s a solution while you’re puzzled..pun intended!!” Chuck Wright > Quiet Riot/Alice Cooper
– “I do crosswords every morning. These are great!” Karl Wallinger > World Party
– “To learn John Coltrane’s Giant Steps you need to practice. 26 chord changes and 10 key changes in 13 seconds is a marvelous puzzle to try and solo over. Sex, practice and Rock And Roll Crosswords!” Peter DiStefano > Porno For Pyros
– “If you love music and want to test your brain power..Nothing better than digging into Todd’s Rock And Roll Crosswords!” John Oates > Hall & Oates
– “100% Music! – Rock On!!” Will Shortz > NY Times Crossword Puzzle Editor
– “The definitive rock trivia” Joe Lynn Turner > Rainbow/Deep Purple
FOREWORD BY ART ALEXAKIS OF EVERCLEAR