NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of August 27, 2015 In Just Mercy, attorney Bryan Stevenson recounts his efforts to defend the poor, the wrongly condemned and women and children trapped in the criminal justice system. It appears at No. 5.
NPR logo NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of August 27, 2015

1

Weeks on List: 64

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: 5

The Mindfulness Coloring Book

Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People

by Emma Farrarons

Paperback, 1 volume unpaged, Workman Pub Co, $9.95, published June 2 2015 | purchase

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Title
The Mindfulness Coloring Book
Subtitle
Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People
Author
Emma Farrarons

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Working with your hands is one of the best ways to soothe anxiety and eliminate stress. This pocket-sized coloring book offers a practical exercise in mindfulness that draws on your creativity and hones your focus.

3

Weeks on List: 4

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League

by Jeff Hobbs

Paperback, 406 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published July 28 2015 | purchase

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Title
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace
Subtitle
A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League
Author
Jeff Hobbs

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Jeff Hobbs traces a young man's effort to escape the dangers of the streets and his own nature after graduating from Yale. It describes his youth in violent 1980s Newark and his struggle to navigate two fiercely insular worlds.

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4

Weeks on List: 12

I Am Malala

The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai

Paperback, 16 pages, Little Brown & Co, $16, published June 2 2015 | purchase

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Title
I Am Malala
Subtitle
The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Author
Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai

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I Am Malala describes the life of the young Pakistani student who advocated for women's rights and education in the Taliban-controlled Swat Valley, survived an assassination attempt and became the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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5

Weeks on List: 1

Just Mercy

A Story of Justice and Redemption

by Bryan Stevenson

Paperback, 349 pages, Random House Inc, $16, published August 18 2015 | purchase

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Title
Just Mercy
Subtitle
A Story of Justice and Redemption
Author
Bryan Stevenson

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The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.

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6

Weeks on List: 6

You Are a Badass

How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

by Jen Sincero

Paperback, 254 pages, Perseus Books Group, $16, published April 23 2013 | purchase

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Title
You Are a Badass
Subtitle
How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
Author
Jen Sincero

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The author offers a blunt and irreverent guide to achieving the money, relationships, career, and happiness that one desires by eliminating self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors.

7

Weeks on List: 7

Think Like a Freak

The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain

by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Paperback, 286 pages, HarperCollins, $16.99, published July 7 2015 | purchase

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Title
Think Like a Freak
Subtitle
The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain
Author
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

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Think Like a Freak is a decision-making handbook that analyzes one's decisions, plans and morals, and shows how insights can be applied to daily life to make smarter, harder and better decisions.

8

Weeks on List: 20

David and Goliath

Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

by Malcolm Gladwell

Paperback, 327 pages, Little Brown & Co, $18, published April 7 2015 | purchase

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Title
David and Goliath
Subtitle
Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Author
Malcolm Gladwell

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David and Goliath uncovers the hidden rules that shape the balance between the weak, the mighty, the powerful and the dispossessed.

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9

Weeks on List: 39

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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10

Weeks on List: 24

We Should All Be Feminists

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Paperback, 52 pages, Random House Inc, $7.95, published February 3 2015 | purchase

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Title
We Should All Be Feminists
Author
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Adapted from her TEDx talk of the same name, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's essay redefines the 21st-century feminist.

11

Weeks on List: 2

Black Mass

Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal

by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill

Paperback, 419 pages, Perseus Books Group, $15.99, published August 4 2015 | purchase

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Title
Black Mass
Subtitle
Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal
Author
Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill

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Two former reporters tell the story of how Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger informed for the FBI while simultaneously rising to the top of the city's drug trade.

12

Weeks on List: 4

A Walk in the Woods

Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

by Bill Bryson

Paperback, 276 pages, Random House Inc, $15.99, published July 28 2015 | purchase

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Title
A Walk in the Woods
Subtitle
Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
Author
Bill Bryson

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Bill Bryson recounts his trek along the Appalachian Trail, including its natural pleasures, human eccentrics and offbeat comforts.

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13

Weeks on List: 13

How Not to Be Wrong

The Power of Mathematical Thinking

by Jordan Ellenberg

Paperback, 468 pages, Penguin Group USA, $17, published May 26 2015 | purchase

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Title
How Not to Be Wrong
Subtitle
The Power of Mathematical Thinking
Author
Jordan Ellenberg

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The writer for Slate's popular Do the Math column celebrates the logical, illuminating nature of math, sharing mathematical approaches that demystify complex and everyday problems.

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14

Weeks on List: 218

The Devil in the White City

Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

by Erik Larson

Paperback, 447 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published February 1 2004 | purchase

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Title
The Devil in the White City
Subtitle
Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
Author
Erik Larson

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An account of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 relates the stories of two men who shaped the history of the event — architect Daniel H. Burnham, who coordinated its construction, and serial killer Herman Mudgett.

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15

Weeks on List: 31

The Sixth Extinction

An Unnatural History

by Elizabeth Kolbert

Paperback, 319 pages, St Martins Pr, $16, published January 6 2015 | purchase

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Title
The Sixth Extinction
Subtitle
An Unnatural History
Author
Elizabeth Kolbert

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Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of geologists, botanists, marine biologists and other researchers to discuss five devastating mass extinctions and to predict the coming of a sixth.

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