Category: Unusual histories

Solar Dance

Knopf Canada | May 3, 2011 | 416 pages
InSolar Dance, acclaimed writer and scholar Modris Eksteins uses Vincent van Gogh as his lens for this brilliant survey of Western culture and politics in the last century. The long-awaited follow-up to Modris Eksteins' internationally acclaimedRites of SpringandWalking Since Daybreak.  More Info

Save the Humans

Random House Canada | August 21, 2012 | 304 pages
In Save the Humans, award-winning documentary filmmaker Rob Stewart tells his captivating life-story-so-far—from self-professed “animal nerd” to one of the world's leading environmental activists, from a person whose sole focus was saving his beloved sharks to a mission to save us all. Rob... More Info


Knopf | March 20, 2012 | 315 pages
A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.  More Info

Joseph Anton

September 18, 2012 | 656 pages
The extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team.  More Info

The End of Your Life Book Club

October 2, 2012 | 352 pages
Mary Anne Schwalbe was a renowned educator who filled such august positions as Director of Admissions at Harvard and Director of College Counseling at New York's prestigious Dalton School. She also felt it incumbent upon herself to educate the less fortunate and spent the last 10 years of her life... More Info


Back Bay Books | September 6, 2011 | 432 pages
Separates fact from fiction to reconstruct the life of the most influential woman of her era, revealing Cleopatra as a complex woman and shrewd monarch whose life and death reshaped the ancient world.  More Info

Irena Sendler

Praeger Publishers | November 18, 2010 | 224 pages
This book offers the first English translation of the compelling heroine story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic who organized the rescue of more than 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto during World War II.  More Info

A Sorrow Beyond Dreams

Farrar, Straus and Giroux | October 30, 2012 | 96 pages
“The Sunday edition of the Kärntner Volkszeitung carried the following item under ‘Local News’: ‘In the village of A. (G. township), a housewife, aged 51, committed suicide on Friday night by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.’” So opens A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, the eminent Austrian... More Info

My Husband and My Wives

Farrar, Straus and Giroux | October 2, 2012 | 272 pages
My Husband and My Wives: A Gay’s Man’s Odyssey is the memoir of a man looking back over eight tumultuous decades at the complications of discovering at puberty that he is attracted to other men. The ordeal of remaining true to what his libido tells him is right, in the midst of a disapproving... More Info

All We Know

Farrar, Straus and Giroux | July 17, 2012 | 448 pages
Esther Murphy was a brilliant New York intellectual who dazzled friends and strangers with an unstoppable flow of conversation. But she never finished the books she was contracted to write—a painful failure and yet a kind of achievement. The quintessential fan, Mercedes de Acosta had intimate... More Info

Spies and Commissars

Pan Macmillan Adult | June 1, 2013 | 440 pages
In the immediate aftermath of the Revolution, the Western powers were anxious to prevent the spread of Bolshevism across Europe. Lenin and Trotsky were equally anxious that the Communist vision they were busy introducing in Russia should do just that. But neither side knew anything about the other.... More Info


Farrar Straus & Giroux | April 24, 2012 | 272 pages
"An account of the author's father: a Colombian doctor who fought against oppression and social inequality and who was murdered by paramilitaries in 1987"--  More Info

Happier at Home

Doubleday Canada | September 4, 2012 | 320 pages
Tolstoy wrote, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." This is the statement that inspired bestselling author Gretchen Rubin to wonder whether she could foster an even greater happiness in her home. DuringThe Happiness Project, the same questions kept tugging... More Info

Heads in Beds

Doubleday | November 20, 2012 | 256 pages
"A humorous memoir by a veteran hospitality employee that reveals what goes on behind the scenes of the hotel business. Includes tips on how to get the most out of your hotel stay"--  More Info

Giving Up the Ghost

Dial Press | August 7, 2012 | 305 pages
An award-winning NPR producer recounts how as a misfit youngster, he became convinced he was haunted by the ghost of a little girl, a belief that resulted in his commitment in a psychiatric hospital before a bittersweet relationship compelled him to confront his phobias by visiting reputedly... More Info

The Swerve

W. W. Norton | September 4, 2012 | 356 pages
Describes the impact that the translation of "On the Nature of Things" by Roman philosopher Lucretius had on history, inspiring artists, great thinkers, and scientists of the fifteenth century and fueling the beginning of the Renaissance.  More Info

A Labyrinth of Kingdoms

W W Norton & Company Incorporated | June 25, 2012 | 432 pages
Describes the epic, five-year journey made in 1849 by Heinrich Barth into the unexplored Islamic regions of North and Central Africa, detailing the discoveries he made as he traveled 10,000 miles, lost most of his companions and finally arrived at Timbuktu. 15,000 first printing.  More Info

The New New Rules

November 14, 2011 | 368 pages
From bestselling author and host of HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher's new book of political riffs serves up a savagely funny set of rules for preserving sanity in an insane world A follow-up to the New York Times bestselling The New Rules, The New New Rules delivers a series of hilarious, intelligent... More Info

Hidden America

Putnam Publishing Group | September 13, 2012 | 318 pages
The award-winning "Significant Others" columnist shares character portraits of remarkable men and women whose low-profile accomplishments contribute to the running of the nation, from coal miners and oil rig workers to migrant laborers and air traffic controllers.  More Info

The Science of Evil

Basic Books (AZ) | September 4, 2012 | 272 pages
An award-winning British researcher with an extensive background in psychology and autism examines the lack of empathy common among a number of borderline personality disorders and discusses the social and environmental factors that can erode empathy and increase human cruelty.  More Info

100 Diagrams That Changed the World

Plume | October 30, 2012 | 224 pages
From primitive cave paintings to deciphering the DNA helix, this chronological guide describes the important sketches, plans and drawings that had profound and dramatic effects on history and the way people viewed the world. 50,000 first printing.  More Info


October 15, 2012 | 232 pages
Travel.  More Info


October 15, 2012 | 232 pages
A photographic tribute to Buddhist spirituality and culture draws on the French monk author's close ties with such spiritual masters as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama and offers insider depictions of the pilgrimages made by the great lamas of eastern Tibet, the artistic creations of... More Info

Duels and Duets

August 25, 2011 | 252 pages
Why do men and women talk so differently and how do these differences interfere with communication between the sexes?  More Info

Fast Food Nation

Mariner Books | March 13, 2012 | 368 pages
Explores the homogenization of American culture and the impact of the fast food industry on modern-day health, economy, politics, popular culture, entertainment, and food production.  More Info

The Best American Travel Writing 2012

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | October 2, 2012 | 231 pages
Presents an anthology of the best travel writing published in the previous year, selected from magazines, newspapers, and web sites.  More Info

The Bluebird Effect

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) | March 20, 2012 | 355 pages
A wild bird rehabilitator and nature artist describes her painstaking efforts to rescue injured birds and her experiences when those birds come back to visit, looking at the personality and quirks of individual birds of different species.  More Info

Grand Pursuit

Simon & Schuster | July 31, 2012 | 576 pages
A New York Times bestseller, this sweeping narrative from the author of A Beautiful Mind takes us on a journey through modern history with the men and women who changed the lives of every single person on the planet. Grand Pursuit is the epic story of the making of modern economics, of how... More Info

Into the Silence

Vintage Books Canada | October 2, 2012 | 688 pages
A classic account of exploration and endurance from the bestselling author ofThe Wayfinders. In this magisterial work of history and adventure, based on more than a decade of prodigious research in British, Canadian and European archives, and months in the field in Nepal and Tibet, Wade Davis... More Info

On the Farm

Knopf Canada | August 20, 2010 | 768 pages
Now that the publication bans are lifted, you need Stevie Cameron to get the whole story, which includes accounts of Pickton's notoriety that police never uncovered. You need On the Farm.  More Info

Sasha and Emma

Harvard University Press | November 1, 2012 | 520 pages
In 1889 Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman met in a Lower East Side coffee shop. Over the next fifty years they became fast friends, fleeting lovers, and loyal comrades. This dual biography offers a glimpse into their intertwined lives, the influence of the anarchist movement they shaped, and their... More Info

The Boy in the Moon

Vintage Canada | May 4, 2010 | 304 pages
Walker Brown was born with a genetic mutation so rare that doctors call it an orphan syndrome: perhaps 300 people around the world also live with it. Walker turns twelve in 2008, but he weighs only 54 pounds, is still in diapers, can't speak and needs to wear special cuffs on his arms so that he... More Info

Exceptional People

September 16, 2012 | 371 pages
From the publisher. Throughout history, migrants have fueled the engine of human progress. Their movement has sparked innovation, spread ideas, relieved poverty, and laid the foundations for a global economy. In a world more interconnected than ever before, the number of people with the means and... More Info

The Story of America

October 7, 2012 | 416 pages
A New Yorker staff writer examines the origins of dozens of writings, speeches and other printed pieces from American history--from paper ballots and I.O.U.s to the Constitution and Thomas Paine's Common Sense to Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" to Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural address.  More Info

Travels in China

Polity | January 24, 2012 | 240 pages
In 1974 Roland Barthes travelled in China as part of a small delegation of distinguished French philosophers and literary figures. They arrived in China just as the last stage of the Cultural Revolution was getting underway - the campaign to criticize Lin Biao and Confucius. While they were... More Info

Letters to Hitler

Polity | July 17, 2012 | 240 pages
Between 1925 and 1945 thousands of ordinary Germans of both sexes and all ages wrote letters to Hitler. Lost for decades, a large cache of these letters was recently discovered in the KGB Special Archive in Moscow, having been carted off to Russia by the Soviet Secret Police at the end of the war.... More Info


Signal Books | September 4, 2012 | 128 pages
Based on his columns inVanity Fairthat chronicled his year-and-a-half battle with esophageal cancer,Mortalityis Christopher Hitchens at his most honest and reflective . Thoughtfully meditating on the harrowing effects of illness and treatment on the body, and on the impermanence and acceptance of a... More Info

Reading the 21st Century

McGill Queens Univ | July 25, 2012 | 278 pages
Looks at the themes, major works and decline in reading during a decade of instant communication, economic collapse, religious revival and war and terror.  More Info

Paradise Lust

Grove Press | September 11, 2012 | 297 pages
Contending that the search for a literal Garden of Eden has not faded with progressive understandings about evolution, a survey of modern-world quests to discover Eden's location reveals how the same biblical verses have inspired efforts in numerous regions, from Florida and the North Pole to China... More Info

Three Generations, No Imbeciles

Johns Hopkins Univ Pr | August 31, 2010 | 384 pages
"Three generations of imbeciles are enough." Few lines from Supreme Court opinions are as memorable as this declaration by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in the landmark 1927 case Buck v. Bell. The ruling allowed states to forcibly sterilize residents in order to prevent "feebleminded and... More Info

Walmart in China

Ilr Press | November 1, 2011 | 294 pages
What happens when the world's biggest retailer and the world's biggest country do business with each other? In this book, a group of thirteen experts from several disciplines examine the symbiotic but strained relationship between these giants.  More Info

Not by the Sword

Bison Books | November 1, 2012 | 360 pages
Originally published: New York: Simon & Schuster, c1995.  More Info

Bicycling Beyond the Divide

Bison Books | December 1, 2012 | 336 pages
Daryl Farmer, at the time a twenty-year-old two-time college dropout, did what lost men have so often done in this country: he headed west. Twenty years later and seventy pounds heavier, with the yellowing journals from that transformative five-thousand-mile bicycle trek in his pack, Farmer set out... More Info


Stanford Law Books | November 28, 2012 | 280 pages
This book takes a unique stance on a controversial topic: zoos. Zoos have their ardent supporters and their vocal detractors. And while we all have opinions on what zoos do, few people consider how they do it. Irus Braverman draws on more than seventy interviews conducted with zoo managers and... More Info

Eating Grass

Stanford Security Studies | November 7, 2012 | 368 pages
The history of Pakistan's nuclear program is the history of Pakistan. Fascinated with the new nuclear science, the young nation's leaders launched a nuclear energy program in 1956 and consciously interwove nuclear developments into the broader narrative of Pakistani nationalism.  More Info

White Coat, Black Hat

Beacon Pr | September 14, 2010 | 213 pages
“Beneath the white coats and sterile labs of the great American heath care system, Carl Elliott finds a drug-addled, gang-run, con game—sometimes bizarre, often hilarious. The noble arc that runs from Hippocrates to Sherwin Nuland washes out in a 'business model' apparently inspired by Timothy... More Info

The Pure Lover

Beacon Pr | October 26, 2010 | 128 pages
A powerful and tragic memoir about the lifelong love between two men, from a well-loved and critically acclaimed author The Pure Lover is David Plante’s moving response to his life partner’s death from brain cancer. Consumed by grief, Plante found memory after memory of his partner of forty... More Info

This I Believe

Random House Trade Paperbacks | May 16, 2006 | 352 pages
In a provocative compilation of essays, the critically acclaimed Mexican writer shares his thoughts, personal reflections, insights, and observations on topics ranging from "Amor" to "Zurich" and including political and social commentary, profiles of the writers who have influenced his work, the... More Info

Freud in Oz

November 22, 2011 | 297 pages
Shows how the acceptance of psychoanalysis owes a notable debt to the rise of “kid lit”  More Info

From Gods to God

U of Nebraska Press | December 1, 2012 | 320 pages
"Published by the University of Nebraska Press as a Jewish Publication Society book."  More Info