NPR logo NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of November 27, 2014

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers

1

Weeks on List: 26

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.

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2

Weeks on List: 3

Unbroken

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

by Laura Hillenbrand

Paperback, 500 pages, Random House Inc, $16, published November 4 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.

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3

Weeks on List: 1

Wild

From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

by Cheryl Strayed

Paperback, 315 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published November 18 2014 | 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.

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4

Weeks on List: 25

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.

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5

Weeks on List: 12

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.

6

Weeks on List: 7

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.

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7

Weeks on List: 45

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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8

Weeks on List: 4

George Washington's Secret Six

The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution

by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger

Paperback, 252 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16, published October 28 2014 | purchase

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Title
George Washington's Secret Six
Subtitle
The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution
Author
Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger

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A co-host of Fox & Friends shares the true story of an anonymous group of spies who played lesser-known, important roles in winning the Revolutionary War, documenting how they risked their lives to obtain crucial intelligence for George Washington using sophisticated tactics and complex codes.

9

Weeks on List: 49

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.

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10

Weeks on List: 17

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.

11

Weeks on List: 2

Provence, 1970

M. F. K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste

by Luke Barr

Paperback, 309 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published November 4 2014 | purchase

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Title
Provence, 1970
Subtitle
M. F. K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste
Author
Luke Barr

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The grand-nephew of M.F.K. Fisher presents a dramatic account of the 1970 gathering in Provence where such culinary luminaries as James Beard and Julia Child debated and inadvertently launched the modern food movement in America.

12

Weeks on List: 7

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.

13

Weeks on List: 9

HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself

by Harvard Business Review

Paperback, 185 pages, Perseus Distribution Services, $24.95, published January 3 2011 | purchase

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Title
HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing Yourself
Author
Harvard Business Review

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A collection of Harvard Business Review articles about how to maximize yourself.

14

Weeks on List: 2

Civilian Warriors

The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror

by Erik Prince, David Coburn and Max Boot

Paperback, 404 pages, Penguin Group USA, $18, published October 28 2014 | purchase

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Title
Civilian Warriors
Subtitle
The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror
Author
Erik Prince, David Coburn, et al

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Blackwater's founder addresses negative claims that have been made about the military contractor by TV shows and movies, paying respects to the armed forces while challenging the Pentagon's top leadership.

15

Weeks on List: 6

The Old Farmer's Almanac 2012

by Old Farmer's Almanac

Paperback, 304 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $7.95, published August 26 2014 | purchase

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Title
The Old Farmer's Almanac 2012
Author
Old Farmer's Almanac

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The Almanac returns with weather predictions; astronomical data; gardening advice; and ideas, hints and charts that provide simple solutions for everyday challenges.

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