NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of June 12, 2014In One Summer, Bill Bryson looks at historical events — featuring the likes of Charles Lindbergh and Babe Ruth — from the summer of 1927. It appears at No. 10.
Daniel James Brown traces the story of an American rowing team from the University of Washington that defeated elite rivals at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder and a homeless teen rower.
A collection of essays by the humorist traces his offbeat travel experiences, which involve surreal encounters with everything from French dentistry and Australian kookaburras to Beijing squat toilets and a wilderness Costco in North Carolina.
A profile of everyday life in the settlement of Annawadi as experienced by a Muslim teen, an ambitious rural mother and a young scrap-metal thief. The story illuminates the way their efforts to build better lives are challenged by religion, caste and economic tensions.
Susannah Cahalan was a healthy 24-year-old when she began to experience seizures, hallucinations and increasingly psychotic behavior. Her symptoms frightened family members and baffled a series of doctors until she was finally diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a rare autoimmune disease that can attack the brain. As one doctor put it, "her brain was on fire." Cahalan recounts her experience with the disease in Brain on Fire.
After her mother's death and the end of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed impulsively decided to hike more than 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington state — alone.
A Harvard-trained neurosurgeon shares a minute-by-minute account of his religiously transformative near-death experience and revealing weeklong coma. He describes his scientific study of near-death phenomena while explaining what he learned about the nature of human consciousness.
Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. There, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements — fire, water, air and earth — to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink.
Hyperbole and a Half began life as Allie Brosh's blog, full of crude sketches and absurdist rants about spelling, dogs, cake and the pressures of adulthood. But there's a serious side as well, in heartfelt, unsparing stories about her struggle with depression.
The final volume of the World War II trilogy brings to life the Allies' brutal struggles in Normandy and at the Battle of the Bulge. It also illustrates the freeing of Paris as experienced by participants from every level of the military.
Ben Mezrich follows a group of hard-partying fraternity brothers who turned a weekly poker game into one of the largest online poker companies in the world — and then became fugitives on the run after the U.S. Department of Justice went after them.
No Easy Day provides a firsthand account of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, while detailing the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military, the Navy SEALs.
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