Category: Unusual histories

Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down

Farrar Straus & Giroux | April 24, 2012 | 304 pages
An account of a Francophile's haphazard relocation to Paris in spite of his lack of French fluency describes how the region considerably differed from his expectations and the ways in which he tapped his American optimism to overcome cultural challenges. By the author of You Lost Me There. 40,000... More Info

Being Flynn

W W Norton & Company Incorporated | February 6, 2012 | 357 pages
The son of a convicted bank robber and con artist describes their complicated relationship, relating how his father, while in jail, sent the author letters throughout his childhood and turned up in a Boston homeless shelter where the author was a caseworker. Previously published as Another Bullshit... More Info

Forgotten Bookmarks

Perigee | November 1, 2011 | 182 pages
Popek works in his family's used bookstore. He also shares the weird objects he has found among the stacks at his store. What becomes of forgotten bookmarks? "Forgotten Bookmarks" is a scrapbook of Popek's most interesting finds. 192 pp. 40,000 print.  More Info

Distrust That Particular Flavor

Putnam Adult | January 3, 2012 | 272 pages
A collection of nonfiction writings includes essays discussing the Singapore trial of a drug trafficker, what's wrong with the Internet, and and how music documents modern culture.  More Info

In the Shadow of the Buddha

Plume Books | January 31, 2012 | 288 pages
A Buddhist activist who worked to expose human rights abuses by the Chinese government on Tibetan citizens describes his meditation studies, courier work exchanging messages between his teacher and the Dalai Lama and the loss of faith that is being induced by Tibet's occupiers. Reprint.  More Info


September 8, 2009 | 496 pages
Since its original publication in 1989, Evolution: The History of an Idea has been recognized as a comprehensive and authoritative source on the development and impact of this most controversial of scientific theories. This twentieth anniversary edition is updated with a new preface examining... More Info

The Game

Wiley | January 24, 2005 | 312 pages
The former hockey star and scholar focuses on ten days near the close of his last season and provides an in-depth look at the benefits and drawbacks of the sport.  More Info

The Huston Smith Reader

Univ of California Pr | February 25, 2012 | 280 pages
For more than sixty years, Huston Smith has not only written and taught about the world's religions, he has lived them. This Reader presents a rich selection of Smith's writings, covering six decades of inquiry and exploration, and ranging from scholarship to memoir. Over his long academic career,... More Info

The Gentrification of the Mind

Univ of California Pr | January 7, 2012 | 184 pages
In this gripping memoir of the AIDS years (1981-1996), Sarah Schulman recalls how much of the rebellious queer culture, cheap rents, and a vibrant downtown arts movement vanished almost overnight to be replaced by gay conservative spokespeople and mainstream consumerism. Schulman takes us back to... More Info

The Final Leap

Univ of California Press | April 18, 2012 | 328 pages
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful and most photographed structures in the world. It's also the most deadly. Since it opened in 1937, more than 1,500 people have died jumping off the bridge, making it the top suicide site on earth. It's also the only international landmark without... More Info

The Docks

Univ of California Pr | December 1, 2011 | 328 pages
The Docks is an eye-opening journey into a giant madhouse of activity that few outsiders ever see: the Port of Los Angeles. In a book woven throughout with riveting novelist detail and illustrated with photographs that capture the frenetic energy of the place, Bill Sharpsteen tells the story of the... More Info

The Creation of Inequality

Harvard Univ Pr | May 1, 2012 | 622 pages
Our early ancestors lived in small groups and worked actively to preserve social equality. As they created larger societies, however, inequality rose, and by 2500 bce truly egalitarian societies were on the wane. In The Creation of Inequality, Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus demonstrate that this... More Info

New York Diaries

Modern Library | January 3, 2012 | 512 pages
Draws on library archives, historical societies and private estates in a year-long tribute to New York that is comprised of diary entries selected from four centuries of writings by famous city natives, visitors and artists. Edited by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the best-selling Missing... More Info

Into the Silence

September 27, 2011 | 672 pages
Describes British climbers' attempts to scale Mount Everest in the early 1920s, discussing such topics as the role of imperial ambition in the expedition and the way in which the ascent reflected England's post-World War I redemption efforts.  More Info

Evolving English

November 4, 2010 | 159 pages
Summary: English is spoken or written today by a third of the world's population - an unprecedented achievement for a language. How has this situation come about? And what happens to a language when it is used by so many? In this illustrated history David Crystal charts the development of the... More Info

Magnificent maps

British Library Board | April 1, 2010 | 176 pages
Maps are often as much a visual art form as they are a practical tool for navigation. Of particular visual interest are display maps--maps that often used size and beauty to convey messages of regional and social status and power. Despite their historical significance, many of these display maps... More Info

The Curious History of Love

Polity | December 27, 2011 | 200 pages
The one emotion that matters most to many people is the one about which social thinkers rarely speak - love. For many people, love is the thing that matters most in their lives: they are searching for love, hoping to find in love a kind of happiness that they cannot find in their work or by... More Info

The Best Game You Can Name

McClelland & Stewart Ltd | September 5, 2006 | 310 pages
Bidini returns to the game he loves best In 2004, Dave Bidini laced on his skates and slid onto the ice of Toronto’s McCormick Arena to play defence with the Morningstars in the E! Cup tourney. While thrashing around the ice, swiping at the puck and his opponents, Bidini got to thinking about how... More Info

Around the World in 57 1/2 Gigs

Emblem Editions | October 28, 2008 | 328 pages
The strengths of Bidini’s two best-loved books, On a Cold Road and Tropic of Hockey, music and travel to unlikely places, come together in this account of his search for rock ‘n’ roll. When it looks as if the Rheostatics are breaking up after more than twenty years together, Dave Bidini is... More Info

Clarence Darrow

Vintage Books | May 1, 2012 | 592 pages
A full-scale portrait of the legendary defense attorney and progressive includes coverage of his decision to leave a promising career to advocate on behalf of disadvantaged groups, his campaign against Jim Crow policies and his achievements in headline-making trials. By the author of Tip O'Neill... More Info

Red Heat

Emblem Editions | April 17, 2012 | 464 pages
The Cuban Missile Crisis may have lasted only thirteen days, but as revealed in this scintillating popular history, it was just one battle in a decades-long secret war that was fought in the island nations of the Caribbean. The US and the USSR thought they could use Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican... More Info

More Money Than Brains

Emblem Editions | April 5, 2011 | 278 pages
One of Canada's funniest and most incisive social critics reveals why in North America, where governments spend so much on schools and colleges, training is valued far more than education and loud-mouth ignoramuses are widely and publicly celebrated. Public education in the United States is in such... More Info

The Red Flag

Grove Press | November 9, 2010 | 688 pages
No summary available.

Let's Be Reasonable

University of Nebraska Press | September 1, 2011 | 152 pages
Joel Sartore has spent twenty years taking pictures for National Geographic magazine and has been a contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning since 2005, harmonizing words and images on topics ranging from mud to money, holiday trash to cancer. His fresh insights and engaging warmth and... More Info


Beacon Pr | July 1, 2010 | 204 pages
An unflinching and intimate look at porn-its hardcore and racist content, its unchecked profits, and how it distorts our identity.Expert Gail Dines has been writing and researching the porn industry for over two decades. She attends porn industry conferences, interviews porn producers and... More Info

The Maid's Daughter

September 1, 2011 | 267 pages
Documents the story of a girl who grew up the daughter of a maid at the side of her mother's employer's children, drawing on 20 years of research to describe how she worked to resolve identity issues pertaining to her Mexican heritage and the privileged culture of her peers, in an account that also... More Info

Weirding the War

October 1, 2011 | 352 pages
“It is well that war is so terrible,” Robert E. Lee reportedly said, “or we would grow too fond of it.” The essays collected here make the case that we have grown too fond of it, and therefore we must make the war ter­rible again. Taking a “freakonomics” approach to Civil War studies,... More Info


February 1, 2012 | 288 pages
Young people are transforming the global landscape. As the human popu­lation today is younger and more urban than ever before, prospects for achieving adulthood dwindle while urban migration soars. Devastated by genocide, hailed as a spectacular success, and critiqued for its human rights record,... More Info

Last Day on Earth

October 15, 2011 | 184 pages
A full account of the life of the man who went on a shooting rampage at North Illinois University on Valentine's Day 2008 includes full access to all the police files, as well as the shooter's e-mails, mental health records, sexual history, family history and much more.  More Info

Piecing the Puzzle

May 1, 2012 | 220 pages
In 1979, Dr. Allan Ronald, a specialist in infectious diseases from Canada, and Dr. Herbert Nsanze, head of medical microbiology at University of Nairobi, met through the World Health Organization. Ronald had just completed a successful project that cured a chancroid (genital ulcer) epidemic in... More Info

Caput Nili

West End Pr | May 15, 2011 | 144 pages
Caput Nili: How I Won the War and Lost My Taste for Oranges recounts the true story of what happened when award-winning poet Lisa Gill threatened to hold up an MRI clinic in 2003. Using poetry, prose, and art, this memoir takes a powerful look at both personal and institutionalized violence and... More Info


Picador USA | January 3, 2012 | 368 pages
National Bestseller Ten years ago, Claire Dederer put her back out while breastfeeding her baby daughter. Told to try yoga by everyone from the woman behind the counter at the co-op to the homeless guy on the corner, she signed up for her first class. She fell madly in love. Over the next decade,... More Info

Pot of Gold

Sterling Pub Co Inc | April 3, 2012 | 240 pages
Greg Campbell, coauthor of the best-selling Flawless and Blood Diamonds, presents a compelling, close-up investigation of a hot-button topic: America's schizophrenic attitude to the legalization of pot. Campbell, a suburban father whose biggest vice is a cold beer, seems like the last person who... More Info

A Thousand Lives

Free Pr | October 11, 2011 | 320 pages
Documents the tragic story of the 1978 mass murder-suicide at Jonestown, drawing on such newly released sources as diaries, unsent letters and audiotapes of charismatic leader Jim Jones to identify the beliefs that inspired his followers and the addiction and mental illness that influenced Jones's... More Info

The Last of the Tribe

Scribner Book Company | June 15, 2010 | 288 pages
Explains how an effort to save a Brazilian Indian, the last of his tribe, was marred by businessmen and politicians; hostile, territorial farmers; and the Indian himself.  More Info

Henry's Demons

Scribner Book Company | February 14, 2012 | 256 pages
On a cold February day two months after his twentieth birthday, Henry Cockburn waded into the Newhaven estuaryoutside Brighton, England, and nearly drowned. Voices, he said, had urged him to do it. Nearly halfway around the world in Afghanistan, journalist Patrick Cockburn learned from his wife,... More Info

History of a Suicide

Washington Square Pr | February 7, 2012 | 272 pages
From acclaimed poet and novelist Bialosky comes an exploration of her sister's suicide and its lifelong impact on those left behind.  More Info

A People's History of Environmentalism in the United States

Continuum International Pub Group | November 17, 2011 | 187 pages
A fresh look at the history of environmentalism in the United States, challenging current thinking and presenting an innovative perspective.  More Info

Gonzo Republic

Continuum International Pub Group | November 17, 2011 | 190 pages
The first academic book on Thompson in twenty years, designed for both students and scholars. >  More Info

George Orwell the Essayist

Continuum International Pub Group | January 19, 2012 | 208 pages
George Orwell ranked his essays among his greatest literary achievements. In modern English literature they are praised as the finest accomplishments of the form. More than half a century after his death, Peter Marks gives them the scholarly attention they merit. We gain a better understanding of... More Info


March 13, 2012 | 400 pages
Documents the experiences of Americans living in Germany at the time of Hitler's rise to power including journalists, officials and historians, describing their growing realization or denial of the horrors that were unfolding and how they were responsible for helping both Germans and Americans to... More Info

The American Way of Eating

Scribner Book Company | February 21, 2012 | 336 pages
An award-winning journalist traces her 2009 immersion into the national food system to explore issues about how working-class Americans can afford to eat as they should, describing how she worked as a farm laborer, Wal-Mart grocery clerk and Applebee's expediter while living within the means of... More Info

Dominion and Agency

October 30, 2011 | 224 pages
The 1867 Canadian confederation brought with it expectations of a national literature, which a rising class of local printers hoped to supply. Reforming copyright law in the imperial context proved impossible, and Canada became a prime market for foreign publishers instead. The subsequent... More Info

100 Days That Changed Canada

October 7, 2011 | 256 pages
No summary available.

Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother

By Xinran
Scribner Book Company | March 6, 2012 | 272 pages
Following her internationally bestselling book The Good Women of China, Xinran has written one of the most powerful accounts of the lives of Chinese women. She has gained entrance to the most pained, secret chambers in the hearts of Chinese mothers—students, successful businesswomen, midwives,... More Info

An Invisible Thread

Howard Publishing Company | November 1, 2011 | 272 pages
This inspirational true story of a friendship that has spanned three decades recounts how the author, a harried sales executive, befriended an 11-year-old panhandler, changing both of their lives forever.  More Info

Capital Rambles: Exploring National Capit

Trifolium Books Inc | May 25, 2004 | 210 pages
Capital Rambles: Exploring National Capit is published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside.  More Info

Tibetans in exile

Ronsdale Pr | September 15, 2009 | 271 pages
George and ingeborg Woodcock (above) met the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, in 1961, and founded a humanitarian aid society that is still going strong, after more than 300 projects in the Himalayas and southern India. Alan Twigg Reveals the hitherto unknown private lives of this extraordinary... More Info


Greystone Books | July 26, 2011 | 272 pages
In this wry, sensual, and entertaining journey into the greatest lake country on earth, Allan Caseyencounters cottagers, boat captains, marathon swimmers, Aboriginal fishery managers, hermits, and tourists. Through his sharply drawn characters, lively storytelling, and intimate evocation of wild... More Info

Why I Didn't Say Anything

October 21, 2011 | 234 pages
In 1996, Sheldon Kennedy rocked the insular world of Canadian hockey by announcing that his former minor-league coach, Graham James -- the Hockey News 1989 Man of the Year -- had sexually abused him more than 300 times. The media portrayed Kennedy as a hero for breaking the code of silence in... More Info