Perhaps the best written of all the slave narratives, this book recounts how Solomon Northup, born a free man in New York, was lured to Washington, D.C., in 1841 with the promise of fast money, then drugged and beaten and sold into slavery. He spent the next twelve years of his life in captivity on a Louisiana cotton plantation. Nonfiction. 170 pages.
Poverty in America is made up of both the long-term chronically poor and new working poor--the tens of millions of victims of a broken economy and an ever more dysfunctional political system. Sasha Abramsky brings the effects of economic inequality out of the shadows and, ultimately, suggests ways for moving toward a fairer and more equitable social contract. Nonfiction. 355 pages.
In The Audacity of Hope, then-Senator Obama calls for a different brand of politics - a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of "our improbably experiment in democracy." Nonfiction. 448 pages.
What are your hidden jewels? Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy. Nonfiction. 276 pages.
African American detective Ron Stallworth tells his story of how he went undercover to investigate the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs in 1978. This book is the basis of the award winning movie by Spike Lee. Nonfiction. 191 pages.
Follows one young man from his impoverished childhood with a crack-addicted mother, through his discovery of the sport of football, to his rise to become one of the most successful, highly-paid players in the NFL. Nonfiction. 339 pages.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa has witnessed some of the worst crimes peopel can inflict on others. So wherever he goes, he inevitably gets asked, How do I forgive? This book is his answer. Nonfiction. 229 pages,
McDougall reveals the secrets of the world's greatest distance runners--the Tarahumara Indians of Copper Canyon, Mexico--and how he trained for the challenge of a fifty-mile race pitting the tribe against an odd band of super-athletic Americans. Nonfiction. 287 pages.
Focusing on the human relationship with plants, the author of Second Nature uses botany to explore four basic human desires, sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control, through four plants that embody them: the apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato. Nonfiction. 271 pages.
This best selling book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold . It traces the story of the team 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. Nonfiction. 404 pages.
The gripping account of the experiences of the thirty-three men who endured entrapment beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine days during the San José mine collapse outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010. Nonfiction. 309 pages.
Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen - a neuroscientist and a psychologist - explain why our brains aren't built for multitasking and suggest better ways to live in a high-tech world without giving up our modern technology. Nonfiction. 286 pages.
A comprehensive look at the opiate crisis, from the formulation of heroin in 1898, to the aggressive marketing of Oxycodone and over-prescription of pain meds, to the current devastation of heroin and fentanyl addiction, to the addiction treatment industry. Nonfiction. 376 pages.
In this lyrical, unsentimental and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a while American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. Nonfiction. 457 pages.
Through personal stories of the working poor, single parents, landlords and tenants, Matthew Desmond traces the very real consequences of the housing crisis that is plaguing many large cities. Nonfiction. 418 pages.
"Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, and his family (four daughters and a hemophiliac son), buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew into the Russian Revolution. Alternating between the lives of the Romanovs and their advisor Rasputin and the plight of Russia's peasants and urban workers -- and their eventual uprising – the author tells a compelling story, complete with period photographs." Nonfiction. 292 pages.
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime? These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask--but Levitt is not a typical economist. Nonfiction. 315 pages.
"These are the memories that inspired the television show. The author is the thirty-year-old proprietor of Baohaus, the hot East Village hangout where foodies, stoners, and students come to stuff their faces with delicious Taiwanese street food late into the night. But before he created the perfect home for himself in a small patch of downtown New York, he wandered the American wilderness looking for a place to call his own." Nonfiction. 276 pages.
With a 100% chance of a mega-quake hitting the Pacific Northwest, this fascinating book reports on the scientists who are trying to understand when, where, and just how big THE BIG ONE will be". Nonfiction. 273 pages.
Two Pulitzer Prize winners address our era's worst human rights violation: the oppression of women in the developing world. They show that a little help can transform lives, and that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women's potential. Nonfiction. 294 pages.
An account of the previously unheralded but pivotal contributions of NASA's African-American women mathematicians to America's space program describes how they were segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws in spite of their groundbreaking successes. Nonfiction. 346 pages.
Michael Pollin describes the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs--and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences. Nonfiction. 465 pages.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. Nonfiction. 381 pages.
In April 1992, a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. Into the Wild tells the unforgettable story of how he came to die. Nonfiction. 207 pages.
Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan in 2001 to help. Not a doctor or nurse, she used her skills as a hairdresser to help Afghan women, who have a long tradition of running their own beauty salons. That’s how the Kabul Beauty School was born. Nonfiction. 301 pages.
Evidence links the lack of nature in children's lives and the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. This book looks for ways for children to experience the natural world more deeply. Nonfiction. 390 pages.
Facebook CEO Cheryl Sandberg examines why women's progress in achieving leadership positions has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. Nonfiction. 228 pages.
Describes how the author's three-month service as a volunteer at the Little Princes Orphanage in war-torn Nepal became a commitment for advocacy and reform when he discovered that many of his young charges were victims rescued from human traffickers. Nonfiction. 307 pages.
This phenomenal book has helped men and women realize how different they can be in their communication styles, their emotional needs, and their modes of behavior - and offers secrets of communicating without conflicts. Nonfiction. 323 pages.
From bestselling author Jon Krakauer, a stark, powerful, meticulously reported narrative about a series of sexual assaults at the University of Montana -- stories that illuminate the human drama behind the national plague of campus rape. Nonfiction. 367 pages.
Moneyball starts with an innocent question: how did one of the poorest teams in baseball, the Oakland Athletics, win so many games? Michael Lewis has written what Slate calls "the single most influential baseball book ever". Nonfiction. 288 pages.
The definitive history of the drug cartels, Narcoland takes readers to the front lines of the "war on drugs." Hernández explains in riveting detail how Mexico became a base for the mega-cartels of Latin America and reveals the mind-boggling depth of corruption in Mexico's government and business elite. Nonfiction. 362 pages.
Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control. Nonfiction. 312 pages.
Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Piper's story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison - why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they're there. Nonfiction. 327 pages.
Two kids with the same name were born blocks apart in the same city within a few years of each other. One grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, army officer, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Why? Nonfiction. 250 pages.
This astute and inspiring book challenges introverts to "own" their introversion, igniting a quiet revolution that will change how they see themselves and how they engage with the world. Nonfiction. 333 pages.
The spellbinding tale of Seabiscuit, a horse with crooked legs and a pathetic tail that made racing history in 1938, thanks to the efforts of a trainer, owner, and jockey who transformed a bottom-level racehorse into a legend. Nonfiction. 399 pages.
"This book relates how four undocumented Mexican immigrants in Arizona put together an underwater robot from scavenged parts and went on to beat teams from prestigious universities to win the
National Underwater Robotics Competition at UC Santa Barbara." Nonfiction. 224 pages.
Based on interviews with Steve Jobs as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues, Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur. Nonfiction. 630 pages.
Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them. Nonfiction. 303 pages.
"The #1 ""New York Times""-bestselling true crime writer tells the chilling tale of how she came to learn that Ted Bundy, her close friend and colleague at a Seattle crisis hotline, was in fact a savage serial killer. Nonfiction. 548 pages.
In the military soldiers form intimate bonds, a closeness that is lost at the end of deployment. Tribe explores the irony that for many veterans war feels better than peace, why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world. Nonfiction. 168 pages.
Written by experienced trauma specialists, this highly practical guide is packed with information, support, vivid stories, and specific advice. Readers learn to navigate the rough spots and help their loved one find a brighter tomorrow. Nonfiction. 292 pages.
Filled with beautiful full-color art, dynamic storytelling and insightful analysis, Hillary Chute's Why Comics? reveals what makes one of the most critically acclaimed and popular art forms unique and so appealing, and how it got that way. Nonfiction. 449 pages.
Why do we remember the past and not the future? What does it mean for time to "flow"? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us? In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike. Nonfiction. 240 pages.