January 2021 New Non-fiction

The Age of Wood : Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization
by Ennos, A. R.

As the dominant species on Earth, humans have made astonishing progress since our ancestors came down from the trees. But how did the descendants of small primates manage to walk upright, become top predators, and populate the world? How were humans able to develop civilizations and produce a globalized economy? Now, in The Age of Wood, Roland Ennos shows for the first time that the key to our success has been our relationship with wood.

All Lara’s Wars
by Jagielski, Wojciech

In All Lara’s Wars, the great events of the last half-century–the realignment of Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union, and the rise in the Middle East of ISIS and its quest for a new Caliphate–converge in this account of a Chechen-Georgian family whose two sons become radicalized, and how their mother–Lara–travels to Syria by bus and at great risk, not to join them but to bring them home. Thrilling and poignant!

Adrift : How Our World Lost Its Way
by Maalouf, Amin and Frank Wynne

Our divided humanity is unable to address global threats to the environment and our health. How did we get here and what is yet to come? World-renowned scholar and bestselling author Amin Maalouf seeks to raise awareness and pursue a new human solidarity. In Adrift, Maalouf traces how civilizations have drifted apart throughout the 20th century, mixing personal narrative and historical analysis to provide a warning signal for the future.

All I Ever Wanted : A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir
by Valentine, Kathy

At twenty-one, Kathy Valentine was at the Whisky in Los Angeles when she met a guitarist from a fledgling band called the Go-Go’s—and the band needed a bassist. The Go-Go’s became the first multi-platinum-selling, all-female band. The band’s success brought the pressures of a relentless schedule culminating in a wild, hazy, substance-fueled tour that took the band from the club circuit to arenas, where fans, promoters, and crew were more than ready to keep the party going.

Bag Man : The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-up, & Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House
by Maddow, Rachel

The knockdown, drag-out, untold story of the other scandal that rocked Nixon’s White House! In this blockbuster account, Rachel Maddow and Michael Yarvitz detail the investigation that exposed the crimes and the backroom bargain that forced the vice-president’s resignation, but also spared him years in federal prison. Based on the award-winning hit podcast, Bag Man expands and deepens the story of Spiro Agnew’s scandal and its lasting influence.

Caste : The Origins of Our Discontents
by Wilkerson, Isabel

The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

The Answer Is… : Reflections on My Life
by Trebek, Alex

The Answer Is…Reflections on My Life combines illuminating personal anecdotes with Alex Trebek’s thoughts on a range of topics, including marriage, parenthood, education, success, spirituality, and philanthropy. Trebek also addresses the questions he gets asked most often by Jeopardy! fans, such as what prompted him to shave his signature mustache. The book uses a novel structure inspired by Jeopardy!, with each chapter title in the form of a question, and features dozens of never-before-seen photos that candidly capture Trebek over the years

The last days of John Lennon
by Patterson, James

With the Beatles, John Lennon surpasses his youthful dreams, achieving a level of superstardom that defies classification. We were the best bloody band there was, he says. There was nobody to touch us. Nobody except the original nowhere man, Mark David Chapman. Chapman once worshipped his idols from afar, but now harbors grudges against those, like Lennon, whom he feels betrayed him. He’s convinced Lennon has misled fans with his message of hope and peace. And Chapman’s not staying away any longer. The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it.

Humans
by Stanton, Brandon

Brandon Stanton’s new book, Humans … shows us the world. Brandon Stanton created Humans of New York in 2010. What began as a photographic census of life in New York City, soon evolved into a storytelling phenomenon. Over the next several years, Stanton broadened his lens to include people from across the world. Traveling to more than forty countries, he conducted interviews across continents, borders, and language barriers. The faces and locations will vary from page to page, but the stories will feel deeply familiar. Told with candor and intimacy, Humans provides a portrait of our shared experience.

Wintering : The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times
by May, Katherine

An intimate, revelatory book exploring the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down. Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered.