NPR logo NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of October 23, 2014

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers

1

Weeks on List: 21

The Boys In The Boat

Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

by Daniel James Brown

Paperback, 404 pages, Penguin Group USA, $17, published May 27 2014 | purchase

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Title
The Boys In The Boat
Subtitle
Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Author
Daniel James Brown

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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.

News and Reviews

2

Weeks on List: 12

Unbroken

A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

by Laura Hillenbrand

Paperback, 500 pages, Random House Inc, $16, published July 29 2014 | purchase

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Title
Unbroken
Subtitle
A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Author
Laura Hillenbrand

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Unbroken tells the true story of a U.S. airman who survived his bomber crashing into the sea during World War II, a foundering raft, thirst, starvation and a prisoner-of-war camp.

News and Reviews

3

Weeks on List: 2

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

by Ann Patchett

Paperback, 306 pages, HarperCollins, $15.99, published October 7 2014 | purchase

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Title
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
Author
Ann Patchett

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Inviting readers into her personal life, the author of State of Wonder and Bel Canto shares the stories of the people, places, ideals and art to which she has remained indelibly committed.

News and Reviews

4

Weeks on List: 7

The Heart of Everything That Is

The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend

by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

Paperback, 414 pages, Simon & Schuster, $17, published September 2 2014 | purchase

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Title
The Heart of Everything That Is
Subtitle
The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend
Author
Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

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This never-before-told story of the great Oglala Sioux chief — the only Plains Indian to defeat the United States Army in a war — places readers at the center of the conflict over western expansion. The Heart of Everything That Is draws on a wealth of evidence — including Red Cloud's biography, which was lost for nearly a hundred years.

5

Weeks on List: 81

Wild

From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

by Cheryl Strayed

Paperback, 315 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published March 26 2013 | purchase

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Title
Wild
Subtitle
From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Author
Cheryl Strayed

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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.

News and Reviews

6

Weeks on List: 20

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls

by David Sedaris

Paperback, 275 pages, Little Brown & Co, $17, published June 3 2014 | purchase

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Title
Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls
Author
David Sedaris

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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.

News and Reviews

7

Weeks on List: 6

Zealot

The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

by Reza Aslan

Paperback, 296 pages, Random House Inc, $18, published September 9 2014 | purchase

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Title
Zealot
Subtitle
The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Author
Reza Aslan

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A biography of Jesus draws on biblical and historical sources to place his achievements and influence against the turbulent backdrop of his time.

News and Reviews

8

Weeks on List: 44

Brain On Fire

My Month of Madness

by Susannah Cahalan

Paperback, 266 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published August 6 2013 | purchase

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Title
Brain On Fire
Subtitle
My Month of Madness
Author
Susannah Cahalan

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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.

News and Reviews

9

Weeks on List: 40

The Power of Habit

Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg

Paperback, 383 pages, Random House Inc, $16, published January 7 2014 | purchase

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Title
The Power of Habit
Subtitle
Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Author
Charles Duhigg

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New York Times business writer Charles Duhigg explores the science behind why we do what we do, and how companies use our habit-forming tendencies to sell and market products to us.

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10

Weeks on List: 2

The Map of Heaven

How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife

by Eben, M.d. Alexander and Ptolemy Tompkins

Paperback, 165 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16.99, published October 7 2014 | purchase

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Title
The Map of Heaven
Subtitle
How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife
Author
Eben, M.d. Alexander and Ptolemy Tompkins

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The authors look at the experiences of people who have had near-death experiences and compares it to religious and philosophical beliefs about the afterlife from around the world.

11

Weeks on List: 12

The Smartest Kids In The World

And How They Got That Way

by Amanda Ripley

Paperback, 306 pages, Simon & Schuster, $15.99, published July 29 2014 | purchase

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Title
The Smartest Kids In The World
Subtitle
And How They Got That Way
Author
Amanda Ripley

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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.

12

Weeks on List: 48

Orange Is the New Black

My Year in a Women's Prison

by Piper Kerman

Paperback, 327 pages, Random House Inc, $16, published August 6 2013 | purchase

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Title
Orange Is the New Black
Subtitle
My Year in a Women's Prison
Author
Piper Kerman

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Piper Kerman's memoir explores her time at a women's prison in Connecticut, where she was incarcerated for drug trafficking.

News and Reviews

13

Weeks on List: 8

Bad Feminist

by Roxane Gay

Paperback, 320 pages, HarperCollins, $15.99, published August 5 2014 | purchase

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Title
Bad Feminist
Author
Roxane Gay

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Roxane Gay (author of An Untamed State) says pink is her favorite color, and she once live-tweeted Vogue's famed September issue. In this essay collection, she takes on our notions of feminism, current culture, and the state of feminism today, while documenting her own evolution as a woman.

News and Reviews

14

Weeks on List: 2

The Men Who United The States

America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

by Simon Winchester

Paperback, 463 pages, HarperCollins, $16.99, published September 16 2014 | purchase

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Title
The Men Who United The States
Subtitle
America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics, and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible
Author
Simon Winchester

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The author follows in the footsteps of America's most essential explorers, thinkers and innovators to offer a different perspective on how the most powerful nation on Earth came together.

News and Reviews

15

Weeks on List: 2

HBR's 10 Must-Reads On Leadership

by Harvard Business Review Press

Paperback, 217 pages, Perseus Distribution Services, $24.95, published January 3 2011 | purchase

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Title
HBR's 10 Must-Reads On Leadership
Author
Harvard Business Review Press

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The Harvard Business Review compiles their best articles on leadership.