Category: Unusual histories

Sal Si Puedes (Escape If You Can)

February 1, 2014 | 363 pages
In the summer of 1968 Peter Matthiessen met Cesar Chavez for the first time. They were the same age: forty-one. Matthiessen lived in New York City, while Chavez lived in the Central Valley farm town of Delano, where the grape strike was unfolding. This book is Matthiessen’s panoramic yet finely... More Info

The Penguin History of the World

January 30, 2014 | 1264 pages
The Penguin History of the World tells the entire story of human endeavour in all its grandeur and folly, drama and pain in a single book; beautifully written, authoritative and thrilling. Now this landmark bestseller has been completely overhauled - not just bringing it up to date, but revising it... More Info


Newmarket for It Books | March 25, 2014 | 272 pages
No summary available.


Ecco | March 25, 2014 | 656 pages
Hailed as "a monumental history . . . more exciting than any novel" (NRC Handelsblad),David van Reybrouck’s rich and gripping epic, in the tradition of Robert Hughes' The Fatal Shore, tells the extraordinary story of one of the world's most devastated countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo.... More Info

Chairs Are Where the People Go, The: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City

Farrar, Straus and Giroux | July 5, 2011 | 192 pages

How to Be Danish

Simon and Schuster | February 4, 2014 | 192 pages
Denmark is the country of the moment. Recently named the happiest nation in the world, it’s the home of The Killing and Noma, the world’s best (and most eccentric) restaurant. We wear their sweaters, watch their thrillers, and covet their cool modern design, but how much do we really know about... More Info

Lineages of Political Society

Columbia Univ Pr | September 30, 2011 | 278 pages
Partha Chatterjee, a pioneering theorist known for his disciplinary range, builds on his theory of "political society" and reinforces its salience to contemporary political debate. Dexterously incorporating the concerns of South Asian studies, postcolonialism, the social sciences, and the... More Info

For the Benefit of Those Who See

Little, Brown | January 14, 2014 | 304 pages
The celebrated author of Down the Nile travels far afield as part of her investigation into the world of the blind. In the tradition of Oliver Sacks's The Island of the Colorblind, Rosemary Mahoney tells the story of Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind in Tibet, and of Sabriye... More Info

Through a Screen Darkly

Yale University Press | January 21, 2014 | 336 pages
Why it is a mistake to let commercial entertainment serve as America's de facto ambassador to the world  More Info

Farewell, Fred Voodoo

Simon & Schuster | December 17, 2013 | 352 pages
Compared by critics to Joan Didion and V.S. Naipaul, this brilliant writer’s account of a long, painful, ecstatic—and unreciprocated—affair with a country that has long fascinated the world received ecstatic reviews. Haiti emerged from the dust of the 2010 earthquake like a powerful spirit,... More Info

One Bird's Choice

October 3, 2011 | 288 pages
The author, accepting a part-time job near his childhood home, describes his experiences after he moves back home to live with his parents.  More Info

How Not to Be American

MBI Publishing Company | October 3, 2013 | 240 pages
'This new American uniform - the baseball cap, t-shirt, shorts and trainers (why not a scooter?) is not about looking good. It's about disappearing into a new, unofficial, global army of cultural babies. It says: I eat hamburgers and watch TV and chew gum all day, I want everyone to play my game,... More Info

The Holy Or the Broken

Simon and Schuster | November 19, 2013 | 288 pages
How did one obscure song become an international anthem for human triumph and tragedy, a song each successive generation seems to feel they have discovered and claimed as uniquely their own? Celebrated music journalist Alan Light follows the improbable journey of eoeHallelujahe straight to the... More Info

Love Is the Cure

Back Bay Books | November 26, 2013 | 256 pages
A deeply personal account of Elton John's life during the era of AIDS and an inspiring call to action. In the 1980s, Elton John saw friend after friend, loved one after loved one, perish needlessly from AIDS. He befriended Ryan White, a young Indiana boy ostracized because of his HIV infection.... More Info

Measure of the Year

TouchWood Editions | September 1, 2011 | 231 pages
Roderick L Haig-Brown welcomes us onto his lush farm for a year of insights and observations. In this eloquently written account, Haig-Brown, his wife Ann and their four children tour us through each season, and teach us the ways in which the Earth governs the events in our lives. Haig-Brown... More Info

The Lion Sleeps Tonight: And Other Stories of Africa

Grove Press | November 12, 2013 | 336 pages
Since its original publication twenty years ago Rian Malan's classic work of narrative nonfiction My Traitor's Heart has earned its author comparisons to masters of literary nonfiction like Michael Herr and Ryszard Kapuscinski. The Lion Sleeps Tonight is Malan's remarkable chronicle of South... More Info

Old Enough to Fight

James Lorimer & Company | September 18, 2013 | 464 pages
Between 15,000 and 20,000 underage youths, some as young as ten, signed up to fight in Canada's armed forces in the First World War. They served in the trenches alongside their elders, and fought in all the major battles: Ypres, the Somme, Passchendaele, Vimy Ridge, and the rest. Many were injured... More Info

To Free a Family: The Journey of Mary Walker

November 18, 2013 | 360 pages
"To Free a Family" tells the remarkable story of Mary Walker, who in August 1848 fled her owner for refuge in the North and spent the next seventeen years trying to recover her son and daughter. Her freedom, like that of thousands who escaped from bondage, came at a great price--remorse at parting... More Info

On Rereading

Belknap Press | November 18, 2013 | 304 pages
After retiring from teaching literature, Patricia Meyer Spacks embarked on a year-long project of rereading dozens of novels: childhood favorites, young adult fiction, canonical works she didn't like, guilty pleasures. "On Rereading" records the surprising, fascinating results of her personal... More Info

Compromise Cake: Lessons Learned from My Mother's Recipe Box

Counterpoint | November 12, 2013 | 160 pages
After her mother's death in 2007, Nancy Spiller discovered her mother's teaching credential buried in the midst of a recipe box. Her mother had taught for only one year before marrying and having four children. Spiller realized that she had probably been her mother's best and only student in the... More Info

The World Until Yesterday

Penguin Group USA | October 29, 2013 | 512 pages
The bestselling author of Collapse and Guns, Germs and Steel surveys the history of human societies to answer the question: What can we learn from traditional societies that can make the world a better place for all of us? Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air... More Info

The Design of Everyday Things

Basic Books (AZ) | November 5, 2013 | 384 pages
Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this ingenious?even liberating?book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the... More Info

The Lost

Harper Perennial | November 12, 2013 | 672 pages
No summary available.

Marijuana Is Safer

Chelsea Green Publishing | March 29, 2017 | 224 pages
Examines the cannabis plant and its effects on users, debunks common myths, and provides talking points for marijuana policy reform advocates, in an updated edition that covers the substance's legalization in Colorado in 2012.  More Info

The H Factor of Personality

Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press | November 1, 2012 | 201 pages
The "H"; in the H factor stands for "Honesty-Humility,"; and it's one of only six basic dimensions of personality. People who have high levels of H are sincere and modest; people who have low levels are deceitful and pretentious. It isn't intuitively obvious that traits of honesty and humility go... More Info

Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting

W. W. Norton | November 11, 2013 | 320 pages
A collection of poignant essays about the transformative power of knitting by twenty-seven extraordinary writers.  More Info

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Harper | November 5, 2013 | 320 pages
No summary available.

Four Colors Suffice: How the Map Problem Was Solved (Revised Color Edition)

Princeton University Press | November 4, 2013 | 240 pages
On October 23, 1852, Professor Augustus De Morgan wrote a letter to a colleague, unaware that he was launching one of the most famous mathematical conundrums in history--one that would confound thousands of puzzlers for more than a century. This is the amazing story of how the "map problem" was... More Info

The Little Hummingbird

Greystone Books | April 27, 2010 | 32 pages
A retelling of an ancient Quechuan fable follows the hummingbird as she makes a valiant effort to put out the fire threatening her forest home, teaching her woodland companions that doing something is better than doing nothing at all.  More Info

1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think

Atria Books | October 29, 2013 | 960 pages
An elegant addition to the successful “1001” series—a comprehensive, chronological guide to the most important thoughts from the finest minds of the past 3,000 years. From Democracy to Cultural Revolution, Courtly Love to Survival of the Fittest, and Kant’s Enlightenment to the Oedipus... More Info

One Minute to Midnight

Random House LLC | March 29, 2017 | 426 pages
A study of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis chronicles the standoff between the U.S. and the Soviet Union over the placement of missiles in Cuba, analyzing the events and personalities involved to reveal how close the world came to all-out nuclear war.  More Info

Among the Islands

HarperPerennial | October 22, 2013 | 256 pages
A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2012 Twenty-five years ago, a young Australian museum curator named Tim Flannery set out to research the fauna of the Pacific Islands. Starting with a survey of one of the most inaccessible islands in Melanesia, the young scientist found himself ghost whispering, snake... More Info

Last Night at the Viper Room

It Books | October 22, 2013 | 288 pages
Last Night at the Viper Room by Gavin Edwards has descriptive copy which is not yet available from the Publisher.  More Info

Romantic Geography

October 1, 2013 | 184 pages
Geography is useful, indeed necessary, to survival. Everyone must know where to find food, water, and a place of rest, and, in the modern world, all must make an effort to make the Earth—our home—habitable. But much present-day geography lacks drama, with its maps and statistics, descriptions... More Info

Pablo Picasso

Bluewater Productions | April 1, 2013 | 40 pages
Involved in expressionism, cubism and surrealism, Picasso is the outstanding painter during the first half of the 20th century. Innumerable publications to his person have appeared. In contrast to them this short guide delivers an overview of life and work of the controversial genius in not so many... More Info

Milestones of Art: Frida Kahlo: Viva Mexico

Bluewater Production Incorporated | January 15, 2013 | 40 pages
Frida Kahlo called herself "Daughter of the Mexican Revolution”. At the age of 18 she had a terrible traffic accident with the result of great pains for the remaining 28 years of her life. She created round about 70 self-portraits. She did painting when she felt sick and had to lay in bed. When... More Info

Milestones of Art: Vincent Van Gogh: The Chase of Ravens

Bluewater Productions | April 15, 2013 | 40 pages
Vincent van Gogh becomes only 37 years old. Only the last 10 years of his life he is engaged in painting. Restlessly and exhausting he travels through the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain and France. Together with his colleagues Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin he is regarded today as one... More Info

The Men Who United the States

Harper | October 15, 2013 | 480 pages
No summary available.

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat

Basic Books (AZ) | October 8, 2013 | 336 pages
Since prehistory, humans have braved sharp knives, fire, and grindstones to transform raw ingredients into something delicious—or at least edible. Tools shape what we eat, but they have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food... More Info

Granny is My Wingma

No summary available.

Still Writing

Atlantic Monthly Press | October 1, 2013 | 256 pages
?Everything I know about life, I learned from the daily practice of sitting down to write.” From the best-selling author of Devotion and Slow Motion comes a witty, heartfelt, and practical look at the exhilarating and challenging process of storytelling. At once a memoir, meditation on the... More Info

David and Goliath

Little, Brown | October 1, 2013 | 304 pages
Malcolm Gladwell, the #1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw, offers his most provocative--and dazzling--book yet. We all know that underdogs can win-that's what the David versus Goliath legend tells us, and we've seen it with our own eyes. Or have we? In... More Info

Almost True Confessions

William Morrow Paperbacks | October 1, 2013 | 336 pages
Reporting for a job with well-known, but reclusive author, freelance copyeditor, Rannie Bookman, discovers the writer murdered, naked and tied to her bed in the second mystery from the author of Dangerous Admissions. Original. 40,000 first printing.  More Info

The Weed Runners

Chicago Review Press | September 1, 2013 | 224 pages
"A behind-the-scenes look at the quasi-legal business of medical marijuana and the people who risk their liberty to push the limits of this grand experiment"--  More Info

House Inside the Waves

Dundurn | March 29, 2017 | 276 pages
In an era of packaged paradises and cyber surfers, Taylors mid-life blues seduced him into recapturing his youthful romance with surfing.  More Info


HarperPress | September 24, 2013 | 400 pages
A magisterial chronicle of the calamity that crippled Europe in 1914.  More Info

Rock, Paper, Fire

October 15, 2013 | 285 pages
In the past few years, as writing about the outdoors has moved from a minority genre into the mainstream, climbers, adventurers, and environmental activists have gathered at the Banff Centre in the Canadian Rockies to explore their passions through writing. Now, their most inspired work is... More Info

Slow Reading in a Hurried Age

Belknap Press | October 8, 2013 | 330 pages
Reading, David Mikics says, should not be drudgery, and not mere information-gathering or escape either, but a way to live life at a higher pitch. Slow Reading in a Hurried Age is a practical guide for anyone who yearns for a more meaningful, satisfying reading experience, as well as sharper... More Info

How to Lose a War at Sea

William Morrow Paperbacks | September 24, 2013 | 368 pages
From the Spanish Armada to the modern age of aircraft carriers, history is littered with horribly bad military ideas on the open seas. With more than 35 chapters of incredible military disasters, both famous (infamous) and obscure, 'How to Lose a War at Sea' is chock full of trivia, history, and... More Info

Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal

Basic Books (AZ) | September 10, 2013 | 304 pages
We are what we eat, as the saying goes?but we are also how we eat, and when, and where. Our eating habits reveal as much about our national identity as the food on our plates, as food historian Abigail Carroll vividly demonstrates in Three Squares. Reaching back to colonial America, when settlers... More Info