Category: Unusual histories

The Shed That Fed a Million Children

William Collins | March 24, 2016 | 320 pages
In 1992, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow was enjoying a pint with his brother when he got an idea that would change his life and radically change the lives of others. After watching a news bulletin about war-torn Bosnia, the two brothers agreed to take a week s hiatus from work to help. What neither of... More Info

The Girl in the Red Shoes

William Collins | May 12, 2016 | 320 pages
An extraordinary insight into life under one of the world s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships and the story of one woman s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom. As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a... More Info

Jungle of Stone

William Morrow | February 9, 2016 | 464 pages
The extraordinary true story of the rediscovery of the Mayan civilization: In the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Empire of Ice, comes the forgotten tale of 19th century American John Lloyd Stephens’s quest to uncover and understand the ancient world’s most advanced civilization amid the... More Info

Twenty Letters to a Friend

Harper Perennial | June 21, 2016 | 304 pages
In this riveting, New York Times-bestselling memoir—first published by Harper in 1967—Svetlana Alliluyeva, subject of Rosemary Sullivan’s critically acclaimed biography, Stalin’s Daughter, describes the surreal experience of growing up in the Kremlin in the shadow of her father, Joseph... More Info

The Goddess Pose

Vintage | May 17, 2016 | 336 pages
"The incredible story of the woman--actress, dancer, yogi, globetrotter--who brought yoga to America and to much of the rest of the western world. Born Eugenia Peterson in early 20th century Russia, Indra Devi was a rebel from earliest childhood. In the 1930s she fled to Berlin, and then--driven by... More Info

All Tomorrow's Parties

Grove Press | April 5, 2016 | 400 pages
Rob Spillman--the award-winning, charismatic cofounding editor of the legendary Tin House magazine--has devoted his life to the rebellious pursuit of artistic authenticity. Born in Germany to two driven musicians, his childhood was spent among the West Berlin cognoscenti, in a city two hundred... More Info

I Will Find You

Atlantic Monthly Press | April 5, 2016 | 272 pages
"This is it. My rape. I knew it was coming. Every woman knows. And now here it is. My turn.” When Joanna Connors was thirty years old on assignment for theCleveland Plain Dealer to review a play at a college theater, she was held at knife point and raped by a stranger who had grown up five miles... More Info

The Brontë Cabinet

W. W. Norton | April 1, 2016 | 352 pages
An intimate portrait of the lives and writings of the Bronte sisters, drawn from the objects they possessed."  More Info

East West Street

Knopf Publishing Group | May 24, 2016 | 448 pages
A profound and profoundly important book--a moving personal detective story, an uncovering of secret pasts, and a book that explores the creation and development of world-changing legal concepts that came about as a result of the unprecedented atrocities of Hitler's Third Reich.  More Info

The Tears of the Rajas

February 11, 2016 | 784 pages
The Tears of the Rajas is a sweeping history of the British in India, seen through the experiences of a single Scottish family. For a century the Lows of Clatto survived mutiny, siege, debt and disease, everywhere from the heat of Madras to the Afghan snows. They lived through the most appalling... More Info

The Education of Kevin Powell

June 7, 2016 | 304 pages
In the spirit of Piri Thomas’s Down These Mean Streets and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, writer and activist Kevin Powell’s memoir—“illuminating…an education for us all” (USA Today)—vividly recounts the horrific poverty of his youth and his struggles to overcome a... More Info

Tomas Young's War

April 12, 2016 | 225 pages
An Iraq war veteran's powerful testament to the true cost of war.  More Info

Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon

Winlaw, BC : Sono Nis Press | June 25, 2016 | 168 pages
The author describes life with her pet raccoon, Tabasco, from flying to Toronto with the week-old animal, through her search for a home for her pet in the wild, to Tabasco's death.  More Info

Operating Instructions

Anchor | June 25, 1993 | 251 pages
A single mother and writer grappling alone with the problems of a newborn baby presents a vivid account of the confusion, joys, sorrows, and struggles of the first year in her son's life. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.  More Info

Griffintown

Cormorant Books | May 11, 2015 | 288 pages
Loaded with grit, heart, murder, and desire, Griffintown harnesses the style of a Spaghetti Western to tell the exhilarating story of the coachmen of Old Montreal, the city's urban cowboys.  More Info

The Rainbow Comes and Goes

Harper | April 26, 2016 | 224 pages
A charming and intimate collection of correspondence between #1 New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, that offers timeless wisdom and a revealing glimpse into their lives. Anderson Cooper’s intensely busy career as a journalist for CNN and CBS’ 60... More Info

The Curse of Beauty

Regan Arts. | May 17, 2016 | 256 pages
A riveting, scandal-filled biography of the most famous nude model in America, Audrey Munson (1891–1996) whose beauty brought her extraordinary success and great tragedy. This is a book about a naked woman, once the most famous nude in America. It is a story of the extraordinary success her... More Info

The World Beyond Your Head

Penguin Books Canada | April 5, 2016 | 320 pages
In this brilliant follow-up, Matthew Crawford, author of the bestselling Shop Class As Soulcraft, investigates the challenge of mastering one's own mind We often complain about our fractured mental lives and feel beset by outside forces that destroy our focus and disrupt our peace of mind. Any... More Info

The Time Of Your Life

Harper Perennial | April 5, 2016 | 320 pages
In this candid and engaging book, Margaret Trudeau, author of the #1 bestselling memoir Changing My Mind, offers women an inspirational and practical approach to creating a healthy, happy, secure and satisfying future life. From dating and online romance to health practices and financial planning,... More Info

The Devil's Diary

Harper | March 29, 2016 | 416 pages
This exploration of the private wartime diary of Alfred Rosenberg—Hitler’s “chief philosopher” and architect of Nazi ideology—interweaves the story of its recent discovery with the revelation of its never-before-published contents, which are contextualized by the authors: The result is a... More Info

Our Kids

Simon & Schuster | March 29, 2016 | 400 pages
A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a... More Info

American Warlord

Vintage | March 22, 2016 | 384 pages
Chucky Taylor is the American son of the infamous African dictator Charles Taylor. Raised by his mother in the Florida suburbs, at the age of 17 he followed his father to Liberia, where he ended up leading a murderous militia. Chucky is now in a federal penitentiary, the only American ever... More Info

Notorious RBG

Dey Street Books | October 27, 2015 | 240 pages
You can't spell truth without Ruth. Only Ruth Bader Ginsburg can judge me. The Ruth will set you free. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame—she was just trying to make the world a little better and a little freer. But along the way, the feminist pioneer's searing... More Info

Vargic's Miscellany of Curious Maps

Harper Design | December 1, 2015 | 128 pages
A remarkable, fascinating and beautiful visual guide to the world as you have never seen it. Vargic’s Miscellany of Curious Maps is a wonderfully weird collection of meticulous and striking cartographic creations, such as the infamous Map of Stereotypes. Based on a Westerner’s stereotypical... More Info

Gotti's Rules

Dey Street Books | November 10, 2015 | 320 pages
From the New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Honor and The Last Gangster—“one of the most respected crime reporters in the country” (60 Minutes)—comes the sure to be headline-making inside story of the Gotti and Gambino families, told from the unique viewpoint of notorious mob... More Info

H Is for Hawk

March 1, 2016 | 320 pages
A bestseller throughout the English-speaking world and a multiple award winner, H Is for Hawk is the exquisitely written story of one woman's journey to the limits of grief and love. As a child Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer. She learned the arcane terminology and read all the... More Info

The Necessary War

Penguin Books Canada | September 29, 2015 | 536 pages
The definitive account of Canadians fighting in the Second World War written by Canada's premier military historian Tim Cook, Canada's leading war historian, ventures deep into the Second World War in this epic two-volume story of heroism and horror, loss and longing, and sacrifice and endurance.... More Info

The Lightless Sky

HarperOne | January 5, 2016 | 368 pages
A gripping, inspiring, and eye-opening memoir of fortitude and survival—of a twelve-year-old boy’s traumatic flight from Afghanistan to the West—that puts a face to one of the most shocking and devastating humanitarian crises of our time. “To risk my life had to mean something. Otherwise... More Info

Slang

Oxford University Press | February 1, 2016 | 144 pages
Slang, however one judges it, shows us at our most human. It is used widely and often, typically associated with the writers of noir fiction, teenagers, and rappers, but also found in the works of Shakespeare and Dickens. It has been recorded since at least 1500 AD, and today's vocabulary, taken... More Info

The End of Protest

March 15, 2016 | 336 pages
Is protest broken? Micah White, co-creator of Occupy Wall Street, thinks so. Recent years have witnessed the largest protests in human history. Yet these mass mobilizations no longer change society. Now activism is at a crossroads: innovation or irrelevance. In The End of Protest Micah White... More Info

Political Freud

October 20, 2015 | 240 pages
In this masterful psychological-intellectual history, Eli Zaretsky shows Freudianism to be something more than a method of psychotherapy. When considered alongside the major struggles of the twentieth century, Freudianism becomes a catalyst of the age. Political Freud is Zaretsky's account of the... More Info

Living on Paper

January 8, 2016 | 688 pages
Iris Murdoch was an acclaimed novelist and groundbreaking philosopher whose life reflected her unconventional beliefs and values. But what has been missing from biographical accounts has been Murdoch's own voice--her life in her own words. Living on Paper--the first major collection of Murdoch's... More Info

Racisms

September 29, 2015 | 464 pages
Racisms is the first comprehensive history of racism, from the Crusades to the twentieth century. Demonstrating that there is not one continuous tradition of racism, Francisco Bethencourt shows that racism preceded any theories of race and must be viewed within the prism and context of social... More Info

Revolutionary Ideas

September 22, 2015 | 888 pages
Historians of the French Revolution used to take for granted what was also obvious to its contemporary observers—that the Revolution was shaped by the radical ideas of the Enlightenment. Yet in recent decades, scholars have argued that the Revolution was brought about by social forces, politics,... More Info

The Firebrand and the First Lady

Knopf Publishing Group | February 2, 2016 | 480 pages
An important, groundbreaking book--two decades in work--that tells the story of the unlikely but history-changing twenty-eight-year bond forged between Pauli Murray (granddaughter of a mulatto slave, who, against all odds, as a lesbian black woman, became a lawyer, civil rights pioneer, Episcopal... More Info

Fight to the Finish: Canadians in the Second World War, 1944-1945

Allen Lane | September 29, 2015 | 576 pages
The magisterial second volume of Tim Cook's definitive account of Canadians fighting in the Second World War. Historian Tim Cook displays his trademark storytelling ability in the second volume of his masterful account of Canadians in World War II. Cook combines an extraordinary grasp of military... More Info

Empire of Cotton

Vintage | November 10, 2015 | 640 pages
WINNER OF THE BANCROFT PRIZE PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Sven Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern... More Info

My Journey at the Nuclear Brink

Stanford University Press | November 11, 2015 | 276 pages
My Journey at the Nuclear Brink is a continuation of William J. Perry's efforts to keep the world safe from a nuclear catastrophe. It tells the story of his coming of age in the nuclear era, his role in trying to shape and contain it, and how his thinking has changed about the threat these weapons... More Info

Missoula

Anchor Books | January 1, 2016 | 416 pages
In these pages, acclaimed journalist Jon Krakauer investigates a spate of campus rapes that occurred in Missoula over a four-year period. Taking the town as a case study for a crime that is sadly prevalent throughout the nation, Krakauer documents the experiences of five victims: their fear and... More Info

When Breath Becomes Air

Random House | January 12, 2016 | 256 pages
For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living? At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a... More Info

Primo Levi's Resistance

Macmillan | January 5, 2016 | 304 pages
"An investigation of Primo Levi's brief career as a fighter with the Italian Resistance in 1943, focusing particularly on an incident in which two young men sought to join his partisan group but were judged untrustworthy and summarily executed"--  More Info

Mexican Journal

The Porcupine's Quill | September 21, 2015 | 288 pages
"Black, black, black is the colour of a Mexican night." From its first memorable lines, Mexican Journal hints at the shadows that plagued the mind and spirit of P. K. Page during her tenure as wife to the Canadian ambassador to Mexico in the early 1960s. In journal entries spanning the period of... More Info

Aunties

October 30, 2015 | 80 pages
Nadia Sablin's lyrical and evocative photographs in "Aunties" capture the small details and daily rituals of her septuagenarian aunts in a small Russian village.  More Info

Kill Chain

Picador | March 8, 2016 | 336 pages
An essential and page-turning narrative on the history of drone warfare by the acclaimed author of Rumsfeld, exploring how this practice emerged, who made it happen, and the real consequences of targeted killing Assassination by drone is a subject of deep and enduring fascination. Yet few... More Info

The Almost Nearly Perfect People

Picador | February 2, 2016 | 400 pages
A witty, informative, and popular travelogue about the Scandinavian countries and how they may not be as happy or as perfect as we assume, “The Almost Nearly Perfect People offers up the ideal mixture of intriguing and revealing facts” (Laura Miller, Salon). Journalist Michael Booth has lived... More Info

Murder at Camp Delta

Simon and Schuster | February 23, 2016 | 256 pages
Retired Army Staff Sergeant Hickman's full eyewitness account of the night of June 9, 2006, and his four-year investigation into the facts behind what happened at Guantanamo Bay.  More Info

The Color of Grace

Simon and Schuster | January 19, 2016 | 384 pages
A middle-class woman in rural America and war-affected children in Africa find common ground in their journeys from brokenness to redemption. Author and psychologist Bethany Haley Williams shares how her own emotional healing led her into treacherous war zones, where she provides care to former... More Info

The Caped Crusade

Simon and Schuster | March 22, 2016 | 336 pages
A witty, intelligent cultural history from NPR book critic Glen Weldon explains Batman’s rises and falls throughout the ages—and what his story tells us about ourselves. Since his creation, Batman has been many things: a two-fisted detective; a planet-hopping gadabout; a campy Pop-art... More Info

Double Double

Simon and Schuster | January 12, 2016 | 256 pages
A unique and honest dual memoir of alcoholism, a disease that affects nearly 45 million Americans each year. Award-winning mystery writer Martha Grimes and her son, Ken Grimes, offer two points of view on their struggles with alcoholism.  More Info

Hell and Good Company

Simon and Schuster | February 23, 2016 | 320 pages
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning and bestselling author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, “The most extraordinary book about the Spanish Civil War ever encountered” (The Washington Post). The Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) inspired and haunted an extraordinary number of exceptional artists... More Info

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