NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of August 7, 2014Appearing at No. 1, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand relates the story of a former Olympic track star who was the sole survivor when his bomber crashed into the sea during World War II.
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.
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 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.
Amanda Ripley looks at the world's new education superpowers through the experiences of three American teenagers who chose to spend one school year living abroad — one in Finland, one in South Korea and one in Poland.
A narrative chronicle of World War I's Arab Revolt explores the pivotal roles of a small group of adventurers and low-level officers who orchestrated a secret effort to control the Middle East. These individuals, including T.E. Lawrence, instigated jihad against British forces, built an elaborate intelligence ring and forged ties to gain valuable oil concessions.
The author of Blink identifies the qualities of successful people, posing theories about the cultural, family and idiosyncratic factors that shape high achievers, in a resource that covers such topics as the secrets of software billionaires, why certain cultures are associated with better academic performance and why The Beatles earned their fame.
Susan Cain demonstrates how introverted people are misunderstood and undervalued in modern culture, charting the rise of extrovert ideology while sharing anecdotal examples of how to use introvert talents to adapt to various situations.
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