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How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

by Kiese Laymon

Paperback, 148 pages, Agate, $15, published August 13 2013 | purchase
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  • How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America
  • Kiese Laymon

In this collection of essays, author Kiese Laymon deals in depth with his own personal story, which is filled with trials and reflections that illuminate under-appreciated aspects of contemporary American life. Essay topics include family, race, violence, writing and coming of age in Mississippi.

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Muck City

Muck City

Winning and Losing in Football's Forgotten Town

by Bryan Mealer

Paperback, 336 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published August 13 2013 | purchase
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  • Muck City
  • Winning and Losing in Football's Forgotten Town
  • Bryan Mealer

Muck City traces the intertwined stories of an orphaned quarterback, a celebrated football coach and an aspiring medical student. Their prospects were collectively shaped by the formidable challenges, shameful history and football enthusiasm of their hometown in the Florida Everglades.

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iron curtain cover

Iron Curtain

The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

by Anne Applebaum

Paperback, 640 pages, Random House Inc, $17.95, published August 13 2013 | purchase
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  • Iron Curtain
  • The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956
  • Anne Applebaum

Before the Soviet bloc went bust, its network of regimes created an atmosphere of paranoia and brutality that affected millions. Anne Applebaum explores the domino effect of communism in the wake of World War II.

News and Reviews
Orange is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black

My Year in a Women's Prison

by Piper Kerman

Paperback, 327 pages, Random House Inc, $16, published March 8 2011 | purchase
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  • Orange Is the New Black
  • My Year in a Women's Prison
  • Piper Kerman

Piper Kerman's memoir explores her time at a women's prison in Connecticut, where she was incarcerated for drug trafficking. While there, she gained a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and met a varied community of women living under exceptional circumstances.NPR Bestseller

News and Reviews
Dressing Constitutionally

Dressing Constitutionally

Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes

by Ruthann Robson

Hardcover, 264 pages, Cambridge Univ Pr, $90, published July 29 2013 | purchase
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  • Dressing Constitutionally
  • Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes
  • Ruthann Robson

Ruthann Robson examines the rights to expression and equality — as well as the restraints on government power — as they apply to our most personal choices of attire and grooming.

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Cooked

Cooked

A Natural History of Transformation

by Michael Pollan

Hardcover, 468 pages, Penguin Group USA, $27.95, published April 23 2013 | purchase
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  • Cooked
  • A Natural History of Transformation
  • Michael Pollan

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. And he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture.NPR Bestseller

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The Telling Room

The Telling Room

A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese

by Michael Paterniti

Hardcover, 320 pages, Random House Inc, $27, published July 30 2013 | purchase
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  • The Telling Room
  • A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese
  • Michael Paterniti

The author of the best-selling Driving Mr. Albert recounts his visit to the medieval Castilian village of Guzman as part of a decade-long effort to taste the world's finest cheese, an encounter that involved him in long-held regional secrets and the story of a heartbroken genius cheese-maker.NPR Bestseller

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You Don't Know Me but You Don't Like Me

You Don't Know Me but You Don't Like Me

Phish, Insane Clown Posse, and My Misadventures With Two of Music's Most Maligned Tribes

by Nathan Rabin

Paperback, 261 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published June 11 2013 | purchase
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  • You Don't Know Me but You Don't Like Me
  • Phish, Insane Clown Posse, and My Misadventures With Two of Music's Most Maligned Tribes
  • Nathan Rabin

While grappling with his own mental well-being, writer Nathan Rabin journeys with the fan bases of Phish and Insane Clown Posse and discovers how both groups have tapped into the human need for community.

News and Reviews
My Beloved Brontosaurus

My Beloved Brontosaurus

On the Road With Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs

by Brian Switek

Hardcover, 256 pages, Farrar Straus & Giroux, $26, published April 16 2013 | purchase
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  • My Beloved Brontosaurus
  • On the Road With Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs
  • Brian Switek

Questions long-held beliefs about dinosaurs and presents the latest scientific findings on what colors they really were, how they got so big, and how they actually may have died out.

News and Reviews
Very Recent History

Very Recent History

An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (C. Ad 2009) in a Large City

by Choire Sicha

Hardcover, 256 pages, HarperCollins, $24.99, published August 6 2013 | purchase
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  • Very Recent History
  • An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (C. Ad 2009) in a Large City
  • Choire Sicha

A fable of sex, money, and politics about a sexually profligate reporter with a weekly newspaper, and his circle of friends, in the aftermath of the 2008 Wall Street crash.

News and Reviews
Collision 2012

Collision 2012

Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America

by Dan Balz

Hardcover, 381 pages, Penguin Group USA, $32.95, published August 6 2013 | purchase
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  • Collision 2012
  • Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America
  • Dan Balz

An inside analysis of the Obama-Romney presidential race places it against a backdrop of political infighting, a decade-long war, Obama's controversial health care bill and a stagnant economy to offer insight into the sources of the race's more contentious aspects and its reflection of an evolving democratic process.NPR Bestseller

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Manson

Manson

The Life and Times of Charles Manson

by Jeff Guinn

Hardcover, 495 pages, Simon & Schuster, $27.50, published August 6 2013 | purchase
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  • Manson
  • The Life and Times of Charles Manson
  • Jeff Guinn

This account of one of the most notorious criminals in American history puts Charles Manson in the context of his times, the turbulent end of the '60s. What is revealed is a rock star wannabe whose killings were directly related to his musical ambitions.

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What You Want Is in the Limo

What You Want Is in the Limo

On the Road With Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, and the Who in 1973, the Year the Sixties Died and the Modern Rock Star Was Born

by Michael Walker

Hardcover, 235 pages, Random House Inc, $26, published July 23 2013 | purchase
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  • What You Want Is in the Limo
  • On the Road With Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, and the Who in 1973, the Year the Sixties Died and the Modern Rock Star Was Born
  • Michael Walker

Documents the courses of three history-making tours by rock-and-roll artists The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Alice Cooper to evaluate how they significantly impacted the music industry.

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A History of Future Cities

A History of Future Cities

by Daniel Brook

Hardcover, 457 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, $27.95, published February 25 2013 | purchase
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  • A History of Future Cities
  • Daniel Brook

An exploration of four cities that reflect a blend of Eastern and Western cultures traces the historical threads connecting St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai while discussing their conflicted embrace of modernity.

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Smart Cities

Smart Cities

Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia

by Anthony Townsend

Hardcover, 400 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, $28.95, published October 7 2013 | purchase
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  • Smart Cities
  • Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia
  • Anthony Townsend

Urbanist and technology expert Anthony Townsend takes a broad, historical look at the forces that have shaped the planning and design of cities and information technologies.

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Cities Are Good for You

Cities Are Good for You

The Genius of the Metropolis

by Leo Hollis

Hardcover, 407 pages, St Martins Pr, $28, published July 16 2013 | purchase
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  • Cities Are Good for You
  • The Genius of the Metropolis
  • Leo Hollis

A rallying argument in favor of urban living combines anecdotes, scientific studies, and other sources to demonstrate how cities promote healthier lifestyles, environmental safety, and greater opportunities for the future.

News and Reviews
First Class

First Class

The Legacy of Dunbar, America's First Black Public High School

by Alison Stewart and Melissa Harris-perry

Hardcover, 336 pages, Lawrence Hill Books, $26.95, published August 1 2013 | purchase
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  • First Class
  • The Legacy of Dunbar, America's First Black Public High School
  • Alison Stewart and Melissa Harris-perry

By the 1950s, Dunbar High School, the first US high school for African Americans, was sending 80 percent of its students to college. Today, as with too many troubled urban public schools, the majority of Dunbar students struggle with reading and math. The school's rise, fall, and path toward resurgence is told in this account.

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