*/
West Bloomfield Township Public Library
⮜ More Featured Titles

Best Non-Fiction of 2021

Here are some of the top non-fiction titles from the past year. Essays, memoirs and true stories selected from hundreds of worthy choices.

Invisible child : poverty, survival, and hope in an American city by Andrea Elliott

"Invisible Child follows eight dramatic years in the life of Dasani Coates, a child with an imagination as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn homeless shelter. Born at the turn of a new century, Dasani is named for the bottled water that comes to symbolize Brooklyn's gentrification and the shared aspirations of a divided city. As Dasani grows up, moving with her tightknit family from shelter to shelter, her story reaches back to trace the passage of Dasani's ancestors from slavery to the Great Migration north. By the time Dasani comes of age in the twenty-first century, New York City's homeless crisis is exploding amid the growing chasm between rich and poor. In the shadows of this new Gilded Age, Dasani must lead her seven siblings through a thicket of problems: hunger, parental addiction, violence, housing instability, pollution, segregated schools, and the constant monitoring of the child-protection system. When, at age thirteen, Dasani enrolls at a boarding school in Pennsylvania, her loyalties are tested like never before. As she learns to "code-switch" between the culture she left behind and the norms of her new town, Dasani starts to feel like a stranger in both places. Ultimately, she faces an impossible question: What if leaving povertymeans abandoning the family you love?"--

A little devil in America : notes in praise of black performance by Hanif Abdurraqib

"A Little Devil in America is an urgent project that unravels all modes and methods of black performance, in this moment when black performers are coming to terms with their value, reception, and immense impact on America. With sharp insight, humor, and heart, Abdurraqib examines how black performance happens in specific moments in time and space--midcentury Paris, the moon, or a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio. At the outset of this project, Abdurraqib became fascinated with clips of black minstrelentertainers like William Henry Lane, better known as Master Juba. Knowing there was something more complicated and deep-seated in the history and legacy of minstrelsy, Abdurraqib uncovered questions and tensions that help to reveal how black performancepervades all areas of American society. Abdurraqib's prose is entrancing and fluid as he leads us along the links in his remarkable trains of thought. A Little Devil in America considers, critques, and praises performance in music, sports, writing, comedy, grief, games, and love"--

The sum of us : what racism costs everyone and how we can prosper together by Heather C McGhee

"Heather C. McGhee's specialty is the American economy--and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. As she dug into subject after subject, from the financial crisis to declining wages to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common problem at the bottom of them all: racism--but not just in the obvious ways that hurt people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It's the common denominator in our most vexing public problems, even beyond our economy. It is at the core ofthe dysfunction of our democracy and even the spiritual and moral crises that grip us. Racism is a toxin in the American body and it weakens us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out? To find the way, McGhee embarks on a deeply personal journey across the country from Mississippi to Maine, tallying up what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm--the idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. Along the way, she collects the stories of white people who confide in her about losing their homes, their dreams and their shot at a better job to the toxic mix of American racism and greed. This is the story of how public goods in this country--from parks and pools to functioning schools--have become private luxuries; of how unions collapsed, wages stagnated, and inequality increased; and of how this country, unique among the world's advanced economies, has thwarted universal healthcare. It's why we fail to prevent environmental and public health crises that requirecollective action. But in unlikely places of worship and work, McGhee also finds proof of what she calls the Solidarity Dividend: gains that come when people come together across race, to the benefit of all involved"--

Fear of a black universe : an outsider's guide to the future of physics by Stephon Alexander

"Where does great physics come from? As a young graduate student, cosmologist Stephon Alexander had a life-changing lesson in the subject. When asked by the legendary theoretical physicist Christopher Isham why he had attended graduate school, Alexander answered: "To become a better physicist." He could hardly have anticipated Isham's response: "Then stop reading those physics books." Instead, Isham said, Alexander should start listening to his dreams. This is only the first of a great many surprising andeven shocking lessons in Fear of a Black Universe. As Alexander explains, greatness in physics requires transgression, a willingness to reject conventional expectations. He shows why progress happens when some physicists come to think outside the mainstream, and both the outsiders and insiders respond to the resulting tensions. He also shows why, as in great jazz, great physics requires a willingness to make things up as one goes along, and a willingness to rely on intuition when the path forward isn't clear. Unfortunately, most physicists are too afraid of being wrong -- and jeopardizing their careers -- to embrace this sort of improvisation. Indeed, for a long time Alexander was, too. Of course, Alexander doesn't mean that physics should be lawless. After all, even jazz musicians must respect the key and tempo of the music their fellow musicians are playing. But it does mean that not all the answers can be found, as Isham argued, as equations in a book. Drawing on Einstein's notion of principle theories -- ideas that constrain the shape that other theories take -- Alexander shows that from general relativity to quantum theory, three principles underlie everything we know about the Universe: the principle of invariance, the quantum principle, and the principle of emergence. Using these three principles as a guide, Alexander takes a stab at some of the greatest mysteries of the Universe, including what happened before the Big Bang; the quantum theory of gravity; the nature of dark energy and dark matter;and the quantum physics of consciousness. Along the way, he explains where our understanding of the universe and those principles don't jibe, as in the nature of the Big Bang, and asks what such discrepancies mean. He shows us what discoveries lie on thehorizon, and crucially, calls on us not just to embrace improvisation and knowledge outside of physics but to diversify our scientific communities by reaching out to people of color. As compelling as it is necessary, Fear of a Black Universe offers us remarkable insight into the art of physics and empowers us all to theorize"--

The disordered cosmos : a journey into dark matter, spacetime, and dreams deferred by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

"Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is one of the leading physicists of her generation, at work on the origins of spacetime at the intersection of particle physics and astrophysics. She is also one of the fewer than one hundred Black women to earn a PhD in physics. In The Disordered Cosmos, Prescod-Weinstein shares with readers her love for physics, from the Standard Model of Particle Physics and what lies beyond it, to the physics of melanin in skin, to the latest theories of dark matter - all with a new spinand rhythm informed by pop culture, hip hop, politics, and Star Trek. Prescod-Weinstein's vision of the cosmos is vibrant, inclusive and buoyantly non-traditional. As she makes clear, what we know about the universe won't be complete until we learn to think beyond the limitations of white-dominated science. Science, like most fields, is set up for men to succeed, and is rife with racism, sexism, and shortsightedness as a result. But as Prescod-Weinstein makes brilliantly clear, we all have a right to knowthe night sky. By welcoming the insights of those who have been left out for too long, we expand our understanding of the universe and our place in it. The Disordered Cosmos is a vision for a world without prejudice that allows everyone to view the wonders of the universe through the same starry eyes"--

Fuzz : when nature breaks the law by Mary Roach

"What's to be done about a jaywalking moose? A grizzly bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? As Mary Roach discovers, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology. Roach tags along with animal attack forensics investigators, human-elephant conflict specialists, bear managers, and "danger tree" faller-blasters. She travels from leopard-terrorized hamlets in the Indian Himalaya to St. Peter's Square in the early hours before the Pope arrives for Easter Mass, when vandal gulls swoop in to destroy the elaborate floral display. Along the way, Roach reveals as much about humanity as about nature's lawbreakers. Combining little- known forensic science and conservation genetics with a motley cast of laser scarecrows, langur impersonators, and mugging macaques, Fuzz offers hope for compassionate coexistence in our ever-expanding human habitat

Life's edge : searching for what it means to be alive by Carl Zimmer

"We all assume we know what life is, but the more scientists learn about the living world--from protocells to brains, from zygotes to pandemic viruses--the harder they find it is to locate life's edge"--

Finding the mother tree : discovering the wisdom of the forest by S Simard

"A personal and scientific work on trees, forests, and the author's profound discoveries of tree communication"--

Under a white sky : the nature of the future by Elizabeth Kolbert

"The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction returns to humanity's transformative impact on the environment, now asking: After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it? That man should have dominion "over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" is a prophecy that has hardened into fact. So pervasive are human impacts on the planet that it's said we live in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. In Under a White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. She meets scientists who are trying to preserve the world's rarest fish, which lives in a single, tiny pool in the middle of the Mojave. She visits a lava field in Iceland, where engineers are turning carbon emissions to stone; an aquarium in Australia, where researchers are trying to develop "super coral" that can survive on a hotter globe; and a lab at Harvard, where physicists are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the stratosphere in orderto reflect sunlight back to space and cool the earth. One way to look at human civilization, says Kolbert, is as a ten-thousand-year exercise in defying nature. In The Sixth Extinction, she explored the ways in which our capacity for destruction has reshaped the natural world. Now she examines how the very sorts of interventions that have imperiled our planet are increasingly seen as the only hope for its salvation. By turns inspiring, terrifying, and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face"--

The second : race and guns in a fatally unequal America by Carol (Carol Elaine) Anderson

Investigates the history and impact of the Second Amendment, how it was designed, and how it has been constructed from the start to keep African Americans powerless and vulnerable

Soul City : race, equality, and the lost dream of an American utopia by Thomas Healy

"A history of Floyd McKissick's 1969 plan to build a Black city in North Carolina, examining the story of the idealists who settled there, the obstacles that derailed the project, and what Soul City's saga says about Black opportunity, capitalism, and power then and now"--

Vertigo & ghost : poems by Fiona Benson

"Winner of the 2019 Forward and Roehampton Prizes, Vertigo & Ghost pitches quickly into an "addictive, thrilling, sickening" (John Self, Guardian) sequence of graphic, stunning pieces about Zeus as a serial rapist, for whom woman are prey and sex is weaponized. These are frank, brilliant, devastating poems of vulnerability and rage. In the book's second half, acclaimed poet Fiona Benson shifts to an intimate and lyrical document of depression, family life, and early motherhood. Vertigo & Ghost introducesan important British voice to an American audience, a voice that speaks out with clarity, grace, and bravery against abuse of power"--

Stones : poems by Kevin Young

"A book of elegy, loss, and what binds us to life, by a towering poetic talent. "We sleep long, / if not sound," Young writes early on in this exquisite gathering of poems, "Till the end/ we sing / into the wind." In scenes and settings that circle familyand the generations in the American South--one poem, "Kith," exploring that strange bedfellow of "kin"--the speaker and his young son wander among the stones of their ancestors. "Like heat he seeks them, / my son, thirsting / to learn those / he don't know / are his dead." Whether it's the Louisiana summer's fireflies in a mason jar (doomed by their collection), or his grandmother, Mama Annie, who latches the screen door when someone steps out for just a moment, all that comprises our flickering precarious joy, all that we want to protect, is lifted into the light in this moving book. Stones becomes an ode to Young's home places and his dear departed, and to what of them--of us--poetry can save"--

Floaters : poems by Martain Espada

"From the winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize come masterfully crafted narratives of protest, grief, and love. In this collection, Martain Espada bears witness to confrontation with anti-immigrant bigotry as a tenant lawyer years ago, and now sings thepraises of Central American adolescents playing soccer in an internment camp founded on that same bigotry. He knows that times of hate also call for poems of love-even in the voice of a Galaapagos tortoise. Whether celebrating the visions of fallen dreamers and poets or condemning the devastation of Hurricane Maria and official negligence in his father's Puerto Rico, Espada invokes ferocious, incandescent spirits"--

A thousand times you lose your treasure by Hoa Nguyen

"A new collection of poetry by Hoa Nguyen"--

Winter recipes from the collective : Poems by Louise Glück

"A new collection from Louise Glück, winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature"--

The renunciations : poems by Donika Kelly

"These poems construct life rafts and sanctuaries even in their most devastating confrontations with what a person can bear, with how families harm themselves. With the companionship of "the oracle"--an observer of memory who knows how each close call with oblivion endd--the act of remembrance becomes curative, and personal mythologies give way to a future defined less by wounds than by possibility"--

Pilgrim bell : poems by Kaveh Akbar

With formal virtuosity and ruthless precision, Kaveh Akbar's second collection takes its readers on a spiritual journey of disavowal, fiercely attendant to the presence of divinity where artifacts of self and belonging have been shed. How does one recover from addiction without destroying the self-as-addict? And if living justly in a nation that would see them erased is, too, a kind of self-destruction, what does one do with the body's question, "what now shall I repair?" Here, Akbar responds with prayer as an act of devotion to dissonance--the infinite void of a loved one's absence, the indulgence of austerity, making a life as a Muslim in an Islamophobic nation--teasing the sacred out of silence and stillness. Richly crafted and generous, Pilgrim Bell's linguistic rigor is tuned to the register of this moment and any moment. As the swinging soul crashes into its limits, against the atrocities of the American empire, and through a profoundly human capacity for cruelty and grace, these brilliant poems dare to exist in the empty space where song lives--resonant, revelatory, and holy

Shooting Midnight cowboy : art, sex, loneliness, liberation, and the making of a dark classic by Glenn Frankel

"A history of the making of the film Midnight Cowboy and the novel that inspired it"--

The sound of the sea : seashells and the fate of the oceans by Cynthia Barnett

"A compelling history of seashells and the animals that make them, revealing what they have to tell us about nature, our changing oceans, and ourselves. Seashells have been the most coveted and collected of nature's creations since the dawn of humanity. They were money before coins, jewelry before gems, art before canvas. In The Sound of the Sea, acclaimed environmental author Cynthia Barnett blends cultural history and science to trace our long love affair with seashells and the hidden lives of the mollusks that make them. Spiraling out from the great cities of shell that once rose in North America to the warming waters of the Maldives and the slave castles of Ghana, Barnett has created an unforgettable account of the world's most iconic seashells. She begins with their childhood wonder, unwinds surprising histories like the origin of Shell Oil as a family business importing exotic shells, and charts what shells and the soft animals that build them are telling scientists about our warming, acidifying seas. From the eerie calls of early shell trumpets to the evolutionary miracle of spines and spires and the modern science of carbon capture inspired by shell, Barnett circles to her central point of listening to nature's wisdom-and acting on what seashellshave to say about taking care of each other and our world"--

The brilliant abyss : exploring the majestic hidden life of the deep ocean and the looming threat that imperils it by Helen Scales

"The oceans have always shaped human lives," writes marine biologist Helen Scales in her vibrant new book The Brilliant Abyss, but the surface and the very edges have so far mattered the most. "However, one way or another, the future ocean is the deep ocean." A golden era of deep-sea discovery is underway. Revolutionary studies in the deep are rewriting the very notion of life on Earth and the rules of what is possible. In the process, the abyss is being revealed as perhaps the most amazing part of our planet, with a topography even more varied and extreme than its Earthbound counterpart. Teeming with unsuspected life, an extraordinary interconnected ecosystem deep below the waves has a huge effect on our daily lives, influencing climate and weather systems worldwide. Currently the fantastic creatures that live in the deep-many of them incandescent in a world without light-and its formations trap vast quantities of carbon that would otherwise poison our atmosphere; and novel bacteria as yet undiscovered hold the promise of potent new medicines. Yet the deep also contains huge mineral riches lusted after by many nations and corporations; mining them could ultimately devastate the planet, compounding the deepening impacts of ubiquitous pollutants and rampant overfishing. Eloquently and passionately, Helen Scales brings to life the majesty and mystery of an alien realm that nonetheless sustains us, while urgently making clear the price we could pay if it is further disrupted. The Brilliant Abyss is at once arevelation and a clarion call to preserve this vast unseen world"--

A world on the wing : the global odyssey of migratory birds by Scott Weidensaul

"An exhilarating exploration of the science and wonder of global bird migration. In the past two decades, our understanding of bird migration-the navigational and physiological feats that enable birds to cross immense oceans or fly above the highest mountains, to go weeks without sleep, or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch-has exploded. Scientists have made astounding discoveries: certain species, such as thrushes, can avoid dehydration over long flights by "drinking" from their own muscles and organs, extending their flight range by almost thirty percent, or more than two thousand miles, and while we've known for decades that birds are somehow able to orient themselves using earth's magnetic field, a new leading theory is that they do sothrough a form of quantum entanglement. In A World on the Wing, author and researcher Scott Weidensaul shares these and other revelations to convey both the wonder of bird migration and its global sweep, taking the reader from the shores and mudflats of the Yellow Sea in China, to the remote mountains of northeastern India, and to the salt lakes in southern Cyprus in the Mediterranean. Weidensaul also introduces those trying to preserve global migratory patterns in the face of climate change and other rising challenges"--

Major labels : a history of popular music in seven genres by Kelefa Sanneh

"The entire history of popular music over the past fifty years refracted through the big genres that have defined and dominated it-including rock, country, punk, R&B, dance and hip-hop-woven together into a cosmic reckoning with music's evolution as a popular art form, as a huge cultural and economic force, and as an essential component to our identities, from Black Sabbath to Black Flag to Beyoncae, and beyond."--

The motherlode : 100+ women who made hip-hop by Clover Hope

"Highlights more than 100 women who have shaped the power, scope, and reach of rap music, including pioneers like Roxanne Shanté, game changers like Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott, and current reigning queens like Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Lizzo--as well as everyone who came before, after, and in between."--Publisher's description

Craft in the real world : rethinking fiction writing and workshopping by Matthew Salesses

A practical guide for teachers, students, and writers reveals how popular writing workshops need to adapt to better include marginalized writers, in a reference that explains the role of cultural expectations in informing storytelling.

You'll never believe what happened to Lacey : crazy stories about racism by Amber Ruffin

Writer and performer Amber Ruffin writes with her sister Lacey Lamar with humor and heart to share absurd anecdotes about everyday experiences of racism. Now a writer, performer, and host of The Amber Ruffin Show, Amber Ruffin lives in New York, where she is no one's First Black Friend and everyone is, as she puts it, "stark raving normal." But Amber's sister Lacey? She's still living in their home state of Nebraska, and trust us, you'll never believe what happened to Lacey. From racist donut shops to strangers putting their whole hand in her hair, from being mistaken for a prostitute to being mistaken for Harriet Tubman, Lacey is a lightning rod for hilariously ridiculous yet all-too-real anecdotes. She's the perfect mix of polite, beautiful, petite, and Black that apparently makes people think "I can say whatever I want to this woman." And now, Amber and Lacey share these entertainingly horrifying stories through their laugh-out-loud sisterly banter. Painfully relatable or shockingly eye-opening (depending on how often you have personally been followed by security at department stores), this book tackles modern-day racism with the perfect balance of levity and gravity

How the word is passed : a reckoning with the history of slavery across America by Clint Smith

"'How the Word is Passed' is Clint Smith's revealing, contemporary portrait of America as a slave owning nation. Beginning in his own hometown of New Orleans, Smith leads the reader through an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks— those that are honest about the past and those that are not— that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nations collective history, and ourselves." --

All that she carried : the journey of Ashley's sack, a black family keepsake by Tiya Miles

"Sitting in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is a rough cotton bag, called "Ashley's Sack," embroidered with just a handful of words that evoke a sweeping family story of loss and of love passed down through generations. In 1850s South Carolina, just before nine-year-old Ashley was sold, her mother, Rose, gave her a sack filled with just a few things as a token of her love. Decades later, Ashley's granddaughter, Ruth, embroidered this history on the bag--includingRose's message that "It be filled with my Love always." Historian Tiya Miles carefully follows faint archival traces back to Charleston to find Rose in the kitchen where she may have packed the sack for Ashley. From Rose's last resourceful gift to her daughter, Miles then follows the paths their lives and the lives of so many like them took to write a unique, innovative history of the lived experience of slavery in the United States. The contents of the sack--a tattered dress, handfuls of pecans, a braidof hair, "my Love always"--speak volumes and open up a window on Rose and Ashley's world. As she follows Ashley's journey, Miles metaphorically "unpacks" the sack, deepening its emotional resonance and revealing the meanings and significance of everythingit contained. These include the story of enslaved labor's role in the cotton trade and apparel crafts and the rougher cotton "negro cloth" that was left for enslaved people to wear; the role of the pecan in nutrition, survival, and southern culture; thesignificance of hair to Black women and of locks of hair in the nineteenth century; and an exploration of Black mothers' love and the place of emotion in history"--

America on fire : the untold history of police violence and Black rebellion since the 1960s by Elizabeth Kai Hinton

"From one of our top historians, a groundbreaking story of policing and 'riots' that shatters our understanding of the post-civil rights era ... Hinton's sweeping narrative uncovers an altogether different history, taking us on a troubling journey from Detroit in 1967 and Miami in 1980 to Los Angeles in 1992 and beyond to chart the persistence of structural racism and one of its primary consequences, the so-called urban riot ... [the author] draws on exclusive sources to uncover a previously hidden geography of violence in smaller American cities, from York, Pennsylvania, to Cairo, Illinois, to Stockton, California. The central lesson from these eruptions--that police violence invariably leads to community violence--continues to escape policymakers, who respond by further criminalizing entire groups instead of addressing underlying socioeconomic causes. The results are the hugely expanded policing and prison regimes that shape the lives of so many Americans today. Presenting a new framework for understanding our nation's enduring strife, America on Fire is also a warning: rebellions will surely continue unless police are no longer called on to manage the consequences of dismal conditions beyond their control, and until an oppressive system is finally remade on the principles of justice and equality"--

Dada eats love to cook it : 100 plant-based recioes for everyone at your table by Samah Dada

"100+ indulgent meals and treats from the vegan- and keto-friendly rising star, all made with whole, unprocessed ingredients, including viral hits like brookie (brownie/cookie) pie and chocolate chip tahini cake"--

Flavors of the sun : the Sahadi's guide to understanding, buying, and using Middle Eastern ingredients by Christine Sahadi Whelan

"Flavors of the Sun is both a deep dive into the diverse array of ingredients from the Middle East as well as the story of a beloved Brooklyn institution, Sahadi's. For the first time, the people behind Sahadi's are sharing their expert knowledge of thesesought-after ingredients in the form of over 120 recipes, plus buying guides, and side bar "10 More Ways to Use..." sections"--

Pati Jinich treasures of the Mexican table : classic recipes, local secrets by Pati Jinich

"The "buoyant and brainy Mexican cooking authority" (New York Times) and star of the three-time James Beard Award-winning PBS series Pati's Mexican Table brings together more than 150 iconic dishes that define the country's cuisine"--

Jew-ish : reinvented recipes from a modern mensch by Jake Cohen

"100 updated classic and all-new Jewish-style recipes from a bright new star in the food community"--

Mooncakes + milk bread : sweet & savory recipes inspired by Chinese bakeries by Kristina Cho

A popular food blogger, focusing exclusively on Chinese bakeries and cafes, presents simple, easy-to-make interpretations of classic recipes for the modern baker, including sweet and savory baked buns, steamed buns, Chinese breads, unique cookies, juicy dumplings and more.

Rodney Scott's world of BBQ : every day is a good day by Rodney Scott

"Rodney Scott was born with barbecue in his blood. He cooked his first whole hog, a specialty of South Carolina barbecue, when he was just eleven years old. At the time, he was cooking at Scott’s Bar-B-Q, his family’s barbecue spot in Hemingway, South Carolina. Now, four decades later, he owns one of the country’s most awarded and talked-about barbecue joints, Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston. In this cookbook, co-written by award-winning writer Lolis Eric Elie, Rodney spills what makes his pit-smoked turkey, barbecued spare ribs, smoked chicken wings, hush puppies, Ella’s Banana Puddin’, and award-winning whole hog so special. Moreover, his recipes make it possible to achieve these special flavors yourself, whether you’re a barbecue pro or a novice. From the ins and outs of building your own pit to poignant essays on South Carolinian foodways and traditions, this stunningly photographed cookbook is the ultimate barbecue reference. It is also a powerful work of storytelling. In this modern American success story, Rodney details how he made his way from the small town where he worked for his father in the tobacco fields and in the smokehouse, to the sacrifices he made to grow his family’s business, and the tough decisions he made to venture out on his own in Charleston."--publisher's website

Black food : stories, art, and essays by Bryant Terry

"A beautiful, rich, and groundbreaking book exploring Black foodways within America and around the world, curated by food activist and author of Vegetable Kingdom Bryant Terry"--

Life is what you bake it : recipes, stories, and inspiration to bake your way to the top by Vallery Lomas

"The first Black person to win The Great American Baking Show shares her story of personal growth and more than 100 delicious recipes. Popular baking personality and lawyer turned baker Vallery Lomas was ecstatic when she learned she won the third seasonof The Great American Baking Show. However, her win was never seen by the world--Vallery's season was pulled after just a few episodes when one of the judges became a focal point in a Me Too accusation. Rather than throwing in her whisk and lamenting allof the missed opportunities she hoped to receive (Book deal! Product endorsements! TV show!), she held her head high and hustled--which resulted in her getting press coverage everywhere from CNN to People magazine. Now, Vallery debuts her first baking book. With 100 recipes for everything from Apple Cider Fritters to Lemon-Honey Madeleines and Crawfish Hand Pies to her Grandma's Million Dollar Cake. Vallery shares heirloom family recipes from her native Louisiana, time spent in Paris, The Great American Baking Show, and of course sweets and breads inspired by her adopted hometown, New York City. Vallery's "when life gives you lemons, make lemon curd" philosophy will empower legions of bakers and fans to find their inner warrior and bake their best life"--

Grains for every season : rethinking our way with grains by Joshua McFadden

"Once called a "vegetable whisperer," Joshua McFadden is now a grain whisperer too. To follow up the smashing success of Six Seasons, with nearly 200,000 books in print and named cookbook of the year by the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Bon Appaetit,and USA Today, among others, McFadden gives us just as many flawless recipes to transform accessible grains into knock-your-socks off breads, pastas, and pizzas but also stir-fries, soups, and salads, and even desserts. With recipes organized into chapters by grain type and designated as gluten-free or not, readers will learn how best to prep, cook, and store the grain and then learn all the grain can do in dishes both savory and sweet, from Meatloaf with Barley and Mushrooms to Peanut Butter-Barley Cookies, from Oat Granola Bars to a super-fudgy Chocolate Oat Layer Cake with Chocolate Oat Milk Frosting, and from Beef and Swiss Chard Soup with Buckwheat to Buckwheat Cream Scones. Throughout the book there are expanded sections highlighting six seasonal variations on grain bowls, salads, rice dishes, and more, to show how flexible and satisfying cooking with grains can be. Grains for Every Season gives readers more than 200 grain-based recipes for bigger flavors, better nutrition, and incredible meals"--

Seek you : a journey through American loneliness by Kristen Radtke

"When Kristen Radtke was in her twenties, she learned that, as her father was growing up, he would crawl onto his roof in rural Wisconsin and send signals out on his ham radio. Those CQ calls were his attempt to reach somebody--anybody--who would respond. In Seek You, Radtke uses this image as her jumping off point into a piercing exploration of loneliness and the ways in which we attempt to feel closer to one another. She looks at the very real current crisis of loneliness through the lenses of gender, violence, technology, and art. Ranging from the invention of the laugh-track to Instagram to Harry Harlow's experiments in which infant monkeys were given inanimate surrogate mothers, Radtke uncovers all she can about how we engage with friends, family, and strangers alike, and what happens--to us and to them--when we disengage. With her distinctive, emotionally charged drawings and unflinchingly sharp prose, Kristen Radtke masterfully reframes some of our most vulnerable and sublime moments"--

Asadora! volume 1 by Naoki Urasawa

"A deadly typhoon, a mysterious creature and a girl who won't quit. In 2020, a large creature rampages through Tokyo, destroying everything in its path. In 1959, Asa Asada, a spunky young girl from a huge family in Nagoya, is kidnapped for ransom--and nota soul notices. When a typhoon hits Nagoya, Asa and her kidnapper must work together to survive. But there's more to her kidnapper and this storm than meets the eye. When Asa's mother goes into labor yet again, Asa runs off to find a doctor. But no one bats an eye when she doesn't return--not even as a storm approaches Nagoya. Forgotten yet again, Asa runs into a burglar and tries to stop him on her own, a decision that leads to an unlikely alliance."--Provided by publisher.

Monsters by Barry Windsor-Smith

"In this pen-and-ink graphic novel, in 1964, Bobby Bailey is recruited for a U.S. military experimental genetics program that was discovered in Nazi Germany 20 years prior. His only ally, Sergeant McFarland, intervenes to try to protect him, which sets off a chain of events that spin out of everyone's control. As the titular monsters multiply, becoming real and metaphorical, literal and ironic, the story reaches its emotional and moral reckoning. Windsor-Smith has been working on this passion project for more than 35 years, and Monsters is part intergenerational family drama, part espionage thriller, and part metaphysical journey. Trauma, fate, conscience, and redemption are just a few of the themes that intersect in the most ambitious (and intense) graphic novel of Windsor-Smith's career."--

Stone fruit by Lee Lai

"Bron and Ray are a queer couple who enjoy their role as the fun weirdo aunties to Ray's niece, six-year-old Nessie. Their playdates are little oases of wildness, joy, and ease in all three of their lives, which ping-pong between familial tensions and deep-seated personal stumbling blocks. As their emotional intimacy erodes, Ray and Bron isolate from each other and attempt to repair their broken family ties — Ray with her overworked, resentful single-mother sister and Bron with her religious teenage sister who doesn't fully grasp the complexities of gender identity. Taking a leap of faith, each opens up and learns they have more in common with their siblings than they ever knew." --publisher's website

The code breaker : Jennifer Doudna, gene editing, and the future of the human race by Walter Isaacson

"The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a gripping account of how the pioneering scientist Jennifer Doudna, along with her colleagues and rivals, launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and enhance our children"--

Three girls from Bronzeville : a uniquely American story of race, fate, and sisterhood by Dawn Turner

"The three girls formed an indelible bond: roaming their community in search of hidden treasures for their "Thing Finder box," and hiding under the dining room table, eavesdropping as three generations of relatives gossiped and played the numbers. The girls spent countless afternoons together, ice skating in the nearby Lake Meadows apartment complex, swimming in the pool at the Ida B. Wells housing project, and daydreaming of their futures: Dawn a writer, Debra a doctor, Kim a teacher. Then they came to aprecipice, a fraught rite of passage for all girls when the dangers and the harsh realities of the world burst the innocent bubble of childhood, when the choices they made could-- and would-- have devastating consequences. There was a razor thin margin of error -- especially for brown girls. With a keen investigative eye and intimate detail, Dawn chronicles the dramatic turns that send their lives careening in very different -- and shocking -- directions over the decades. The result is a powerful tour deforce on the complex interplay of race and opportunity, class and womanhood and how those forces shape our lives and our capacity for resilience and redemption"--

My remarkable journey : a memoir by Katherine G Johnson

In 2015, at the age of 97, President Barack Obama awarded Katherine Johnson, whose life inspired the movie "Hidden Figures", the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom--the nation’s highest civilian honor--for her pioneering work as a mathematician on NASA’s first flights into space. In this memoir, she shares her personal journey from child prodigy in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia to NASA human computer. In her life after retirement, she served as a beacon of light for her family and community alike. Her story is centered around the basic tenets of her life--no one is better than you, education is paramount, and asking questions can break barriers. Infused with the uplifting wisdom of a woman who handled great fame with genuine humility and great tragedy with enduring hope, this book ultimately brings into focus a determined woman who navigated tough racial terrain with soft-spoken grace--and the unrelenting grit required to make history and inspire future generations

Between two kingdoms : a memoir of a life interrupted by Suleika Jaouad

"In the summer after graduating from college, Suleika Jaouad was preparing, as they say in commencement speeches, to enter 'the real world.' She had fallen in love and moved to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a war correspondent. The real world she found, however, would take her into a very different kind of conflict zone. It started with an itch--first on her feet, then up her legs, like a thousand invisible mosquito bites. Next came the exhaustion, and the six-hour naps that only deepened her fatigue. Then a trip to the doctor and, a few weeks shy of her twenty-third birthday, a diagnosis: leukemia, with a 35 percent chance of survival. Just like that, the life she had imagined for herself had gone up in flames. By the time Jaouad flew home to New York, she had lost her job, her apartment, and her independence. She would spend much of the next four years in a hospital bed, fighting for her life and chronicling the saga in a column for The New York Times. When Jaouad finally walked out of the cancer ward--after three and a half years of chemo, a clinical trial, and a bone marrow transplant--she was, according to the doctors, cured. But as she would soon learn, a cure is not where the work of healing ends; it's where it begins. She had spent the past 1,500 days in desperate pursuit of one goal--to survive. And now that she'd done so, she realized that she had no idea how to live. How would she reenter the world and live again? How could she reclaim what had been lost? Jaouad embarked--with her new best friend, Oscar, a scruffy terrier mutt--on a 100-day, 15,000-mile road trip across the country. She set out to meet some of the strangers who had written to her during her years in the hospital: a teenage girl in Florida also recovering from cancer; a teacher in California grieving the death of her son; a death-row inmate in Texas who'd spent his own years confined to a room. What she learned on this trip is that the divide between sick and well is porous, that the vast majority of us will travel back and forth between these realms throughout our lives. Between Two Kingdoms is a profound chronicle of survivorship and a fierce, tender, and inspiring exploration of what it means to begin again." --book jacket

Poet warrior : a memoir by Joy Harjo

"Poet Laureate Joy Harjo offers a vivid, lyrical, and inspiring call for love and justice in this contemplation of her trailblazing life. In the second memoir from the first Native American to serve as US poet laureate, Joy Harjo invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her "poet-warrior" road. A musical, kaleidoscopic meditation, Poet Warrior reveals how Harjo came to write poetry of compassion and healing, poetry with the power to unearth the truth and demand justice. Weaving together the voices that shaped her, Harjo listens to stories of ancestors and family, the poetry and music that she first encountered as a child, the teachings of a changing earth, and the poets who paved her way. She explores her grief at theloss of her mother and sheds light on the rituals that nourish her as an artist, mother, wife, and community member. Moving fluidly among prose, song, and poetry, Poet Warrior is a luminous journey of becoming that sings with all the jazz, blues, tenderness, and bravery that we know as distinctly Joy Harjo"--

Somebody's daughter : a memoir by Ashley C Ford

"One of the most prominent voices of her generation debuts with an extraordinarily powerful memoir: the story of a childhood defined by the ever looming absence of her incarcerated father and the path we must take to both honor and overcome our origins. For as long as she could remember, Ashley has put her father on a pedestal. Despite having only vague memories of seeing him face-to-face, she believes he's the only person in the entire world who understands her. She thinks she understands him too. He's sensitive like her, an artist, and maybe even just as afraid of the dark. She's certain that one day they'll be reunited again, and she'll finally feel complete. There are just a few problems: he's in prison, and she doesn't know what he did to end up there. Through poverty, puberty, and a fraught relationship with her mother, Ashley returns to her image of her father for hope and encouragement. She doesn't know how to deal with the incessant worries that keep her up at night, or how to handle the changes in her body that draw unwanted attention from men. In her search for unconditional love, Ashley begins dating a boy her mother hates; when the relationship turns sour, he assaults her. Still reeling from the rape, which she keeps secret from her family, Ashley finally finds out why her father is in prison, and that's where the story really begins. Somebody's Daughter steps into the world of growing up a poor Black girl, exploring how isolating and complex such a childhood can be. As Ashley battles her body and her environment, she provides a poignant coming-of-age recollection that speaks to finding the threads between who you are and what you were born into, and the complicated familial love that often binds them. "Ashley Ford's prose is glass-so clear, sharp and smooth that the reader sees, in vivid focus, her complicated childhood, brilliant mind, and golden heart. The gravity and urgency of Somebody's Daughter anchored me to my chair and slowed my heartbeat-like no book has since Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Ashley Ford is a writer for the ages, and Somebody's Daughter will be a book of the year." -- Glennon Doyle, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Untamed and founder of Together Rising"--

King of the blues : the rise and reign of B.B. King by Daniel De Visae

"Riley King, ever to be known as B.B. (1925-2015), was born into deep poverty in Jim Crow Mississippi. Wrenched away from his sharecropper father, B.B. lost his mother at age ten, leaving him more or less alone. Music became his emancipation from exhausting toil in the fields. Inspired by a local minister's guitar and by the records of Blind Lemon Jefferson and T-Bone Walker, and encouraged by his cousin, the established bluesman Bukka White, B.B. taught his guitar to sing in the unique solo style that, along with his relentless work ethic and humanity, became his trademark. In turn, generations of artists claimed him as inspiration, from Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to Carlos Santana and the Edge. King of the Blues presents the vibrant life and times ofa trailblazing giant. Witness to dark prejudice and lynching in his youth, B.B. performed incessantly (some 15,000 concerts in ninety countries over nearly sixty years)-in some real way his means of escaping his past. Several of his concerts, including landmark gigs at Bill Graham's Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and Chicago's Cook County Jail, endure in legend to this day. His career roller-coasted between adulation and relegation, but he always rose back up. At the same time, his story reveals the many ways record companies took advantage of artists, especially those of color. Daniel de Visae has interviewed almost every surviving member of B.B. King's inner circle-family, band members, retainers, managers, and more-and their voices and memoriesenrich and enliven the life of this Mississippi blues titan, whom his contemporary Bobby "Blue" Bland simply called "the man.""--

Unprotected : a memoir by Billy Porter

It's easy to be yourself when who and what you are is in vogue. But growing up Black and gay in America has never been easy. Before Billy Porter was slaying red carpets, winning an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy, and before he was an acclaimed recording artist, actor, playwright, director, and all-around legend, Porter was a young boy in Pittsburgh who was seen as different, who didnt fit in. At five years old, Porter was sent to therapy to 'fix' his effeminacy. He was endlessly bullied at school, sexually abused by his stepfather, and criticized at his church. Porter came of age in a world where simply being himself was a constant struggle. This is the life story of a singular artist and survivor, of a boy whose talent and courage opened doors for him, but only a crack. It is the story of a teenager discovering himself, learning his voice and his craft amidst deep trauma. And it is the story of a young man whose unbreakable determination led him through countless hard times to where he is now; a proud icon who refuses to back down or hide. Porter is a multitalented, multifaceted treasure at the top of his game, and this is his resonant, inspirational story of trauma and healing, shot through with his singular voice

Crying in H Mart : a memoir by Michelle Zauner

"From the indie rockstar of Japanese Breakfast fame, and author of the viral 2018 New Yorker essay that shares the title of this book, an unflinching, powerful memoir about growing up Korean-American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity. In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up the only Asian-American kid at her school in Eugene, Oregon;of struggling with her mother's particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence (; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. Asshe grew up, moving to the east coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, performing gigs with her fledgling band--and meeting the man who would become her husband--her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her. Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Michelle Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share,and reread"--

Homo irrealis : essays by Andrae Aciman

"A new collection of essays on literary and cinematic themes"--

1000 years of joys and sorrows by Weiwei Ai

"In his widely anticipated memoir, Ai Weiwei-one of the world's most famous artists and activists-tells a century-long epic tale of China through the story of his own extraordinary life and the legacy of his father, Ai Qing, the nation's most celebrated poet. Hailed as "the most important artist working today" by the Financial Times and as "an eloquent and unsilenceable voice of freedom" by The New York Times, Ai Weiwei has written a sweeping memoir that presents a remarkable history of China over the last 100 years while illuminating his artistic process. Once an intimate of Mao Zedong, Ai Weiwei's father was branded a rightist during the Cultural Revolution, and he and his family were banished to a desolate place known as "Little Siberia," where Ai Qingwas sentenced to hard labor cleaning public toilets. Ai Weiwei recounts his childhood in exile, and his difficult decision to leave his family to study art in America, where he befriended Allen Ginsberg and was inspired by Andy Warhol. With candor and wit, he details his return to China and his rise from artistic unknown to art world superstar and international human rights activist-and how his work has been shaped by living under a totalitarian regime. Ai Weiwei's sculptures and installations have beenviewed by millions around the globe, and his architectural achievements include helping to design the iconic Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. His political activism has long made him a target of the Chinese authorities, which culminated in months of secret detention without charge in 2011. Here, for the first time, Ai Weiwei explores the origins of his exceptional creativity and passionate political beliefs through his own life story and that of his father, whose own creativity was stifled. At onceambitious and intimate, 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows offers a deep understanding of the myriad forces that have shaped modern China, and serves as a timely reminder of the urgent need to protect freedom of expression"--

Fear of a black universe : an outsider's guide to the future of physics by Stephon Alexander

"Where does great physics come from? As a young graduate student, cosmologist Stephon Alexander had a life-changing lesson in the subject. When asked by the legendary theoretical physicist Christopher Isham why he had attended graduate school, Alexander answered: "To become a better physicist." He could hardly have anticipated Isham's response: "Then stop reading those physics books." Instead, Isham said, Alexander should start listening to his dreams. This is only the first of a great many surprising andeven shocking lessons in Fear of a Black Universe. As Alexander explains, greatness in physics requires transgression, a willingness to reject conventional expectations. He shows why progress happens when some physicists come to think outside the mainstream, and both the outsiders and insiders respond to the resulting tensions. He also shows why, as in great jazz, great physics requires a willingness to make things up as one goes along, and a willingness to rely on intuition when the path forward isn't clear. Unfortunately, most physicists are too afraid of being wrong -- and jeopardizing their careers -- to embrace this sort of improvisation. Indeed, for a long time Alexander was, too. Of course, Alexander doesn't mean that physics should be lawless. After all, even jazz musicians must respect the key and tempo of the music their fellow musicians are playing. But it does mean that not all the answers can be found, as Isham argued, as equations in a book. Drawing on Einstein's notion of principle theories -- ideas that constrain the shape that other theories take -- Alexander shows that from general relativity to quantum theory, three principles underlie everything we know about the Universe: the principle of invariance, the quantum principle, and the principle of emergence. Using these three principles as a guide, Alexander takes a stab at some of the greatest mysteries of the Universe, including what happened before the Big Bang; the quantum theory of gravity; the nature of dark energy and dark matter;and the quantum physics of consciousness. Along the way, he explains where our understanding of the universe and those principles don't jibe, as in the nature of the Big Bang, and asks what such discrepancies mean. He shows us what discoveries lie on thehorizon, and crucially, calls on us not just to embrace improvisation and knowledge outside of physics but to diversify our scientific communities by reaching out to people of color. As compelling as it is necessary, Fear of a Black Universe offers us remarkable insight into the art of physics and empowers us all to theorize"--

Boyz n the Void : a mixtape to my brother by G'Ra Asim

"Memoir, social commentary, and music criticism in the form of essays-or "mixtapes"-from an older brother to his much younger brother who's struggling in early adulthood"--

Welcome to Dunder Mifflin : the ultimate oral history of The Office by Brian author Baumgartner

"The official oral history book of The Office, featuring exclusive interviews with every major player and never-before-seen photos, pulling back the curtain on the absurdity and genius that went in to creating this unstoppable force in American popular culture and why it continues to resonate with audiences today"--

Twelve Caesars : images of power from the ancient world to the modern by Mary Beard

"From the bestselling author of SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, the fascinating story of how images of Roman autocrats have influenced art, culture, and the representation of power for more than 2,000 yearsWhat does the face of power look like? Who getscommemorated in art and why? And how do we react to statues of politicians we deplore? In this book-against a background of today's "sculpture wars"-Mary Beard tells the story of how for more than two millennia portraits of the rich, powerful, and famousin the western world have been shaped by the image of Roman emperors, especially the "twelve Caesars," from the ruthless Julius Caesar to the fly-torturing Domitian. Twelve Caesars asks why these murderous autocrats have loomed so large in art from antiquity and the Renaissance to today, when hapless leaders are still caricatured as Neros fiddling while Rome burns.Beginning with the importance of imperial portraits in Roman politics, this richly illustrated book offers a tour through 2,000 years of art and cultural history, presenting a fresh look at works by artists from Memling and Mantegna to the nineteenth-century African American sculptor Edmonia Lewis, as well as by generations of now-forgotten weavers, cabinetmakers, silversmiths, printers, and ceramicists. Rather than a story of a simple repetition of stable, blandly conservative images of imperial men and women, Twelve Caesars is an unexpected tale of changing identities, clueless or deliberate misidentifications, fakes, and often ambivalent representations of authority.From Beard's reconstruction of Titian's extraordinary lost Room of the Emperors to her reinterpretation of Henry VIII's famous Caesarian tapestries, Twelve Caesars includes some fascinating detective work and offers a gripping story of some of the most challenging and disturbing portraits of power ever created.Published in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC"--

The rise and fall of Osama bin Laden by Peter Bergen

"The world's leading expert on Osama bin Laden delivers for the first time the definitive biography of a man who set the course of American foreign policy for the 21st century, and whose ideological heirs we continue to battle today"--

Carefree black girls : a celebration of black women in popular culture by Zeba Blay

"An Empowering and Celebratory Portrait of Black Women-from Josephine Baker to Aunt Viv to Cardi B. In 2013, film and culture critic Zeba Blay was one of the first people to coin the viral term #carefreeblackgirls on Twitter. As she says, it was "a way tocarve out a space of celebration and freedom for Black women online." In this collection of essays, Blay expands on this initial idea by delving into the work and lasting achievements of influential Black women in American culture--writers, artists, actresses, dancers, hip-hop stars--whose contributions often come in the face of bigotry, misogyny, and stereotypes. Blay celebrates the strength and fortitude of these Black women, while also examining the many stereotypes and rigid identities that have clung to them. In writing that is both luminous and sharp, expansive and intimate, Blay seeks a path forward to a culture and society in which Black women and their art are appreciated and celebrated"--

The devil you know : a Black power manifesto by Charles M Blow

The New York Times columnist presents a rallying call to action that challenges popular myths about race and urges Black Americans to unite against white supremacy.

Empire of pain : the secret history of the Sackler dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe

Presents a portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, who built their fortune on the sale of Valium and later sponsored the creation and marketing of one of the most commonly prescribed and addictive painkillers of the opioid crisis

The shattering : America in the 1960s by Kevin Boyle

"From the National Book Award winner, a masterful history of the decade that exploded America's postwar order. On July 4, 1961, the rising middle-class families of a Chicago neighborhood gathered before their flag-bedecked houses, a vision of the AmericanDream. That vision was shattered over the following decade, its inequities at home and arrogance abroad challenged by powerful civil rights and antiwar movements. Assassinations, rioting, and the blowback of a "silent majority" mobilized by an emerging right, left a fragmented political landscape. Kevin Boyle's full-dimensioned history of the decade is authoritative and engrossing. The civil rights movement emerges from the grassroots activism of Montgomery, through the tragic violence of Birmingham, tothe frustrations of King's Chicago campaign and a rising Black nationalism. The Vietnam war unfolds as misguided policy, high-stakes politics, and searing in-country experience. Women's challenges of gender norms yield landmark decisions on privacy rights, contraception, and abortion. With empathy its keynote, this definitive history of the 1960s recovers the humanity behind the decade's divisions"--

Liner notes for the revolution : the intellectual life of black feminist sound by Daphne Brooks

"Daphne A. Brooks explores more than a century of music archives to examine the critics, collectors, and listeners who have determined perceptions of African American women on stage and in the recording studio. Liner Notes for the Revolution offers a startling new perspective on these acclaimed figures-a perspective informed by the overlooked contributions of other black women concerned with the work of their musical peers. Zora Neale Hurston appears as a sound archivist and a performer, Lorraine Hansberry as a queer black feminist critic of modern culture, and Pauline Hopkins as America's first black female cultural intellectual. Brooks tackles the complicated racial politics of blues music recording, collecting, and rock and roll music criticism. She makes lyrical forays into the blues pioneers Bessie Smith and Mamie Smith, as well as fans who became critics, like the record-label entrepreneur and writer Rosetta Reitz. In the twenty-first century, pop superstar Janelle Monae's liner notes are recognizedfor their innovations, while celebrated singers Cecile McLorin Salvant, Rhiannon Giddens, and Valerie June take their place as serious cultural historians. Above all, Liner Notes for the Revolution reads black female musicians and entertainers as intellectuals. At stake is the question of who gets to tell the story of black women in popular music and how"--

Punch me up to the gods by Brian Broome

"A poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir in essays about blackness, masculinity, and addiction"--

Rock me on the water : 1974 : the year Los Angeles transformed movies, music, television, and politics by Ronald Brownstein

Documents the kaleidoscopic year during which transformative talents from Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard, and Beverly Hills heavily influenced pop culture, politics, and social movements.

Journey to the edge of reason : the life of Kurt Gödel by Stephen Budiansky

"The first major biography of the logician and mathematician whose incompleteness theorems helped launch a modern scientific revolution. Nearly a hundred years after its publication, Kurt Gödel's famous proof that every mathematical system must contain propositions that are true-yet never provable-continues to unsettle mathematics, philosophy, and computer science. Yet unlike Einstein, with whom he formed a warm and abiding friendship, Gödel has long escaped all but the most casual scrutiny of his life.An intimate portrait of the scientific and intellectual circles in prewar Vienna and a vivid re-creation of the early days of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, Journey to the Edge of Reason is the first biography to fully draw upon Gödel's voluminous letters and writings-including a never-before-transcribed shorthand diary of his most intimate thoughts-to explore his profound intellectual friendships, his moving relationship with his mother, his troubled yet devoted marriage, and the debilitating bouts of paranoia that ultimately took his life. It illuminates the mind-bending implications of Gödel's revolutionary ideas for philosophy, mathematics, artificial intelligence, and man's place in the cosmos"--

Unbound : my story of liberation and the birth of the Me Too movement by Tarana Burke

"From the founder and activist behind one of the largest movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the "me too" movement, Tarana Burke debuts a powerful memoir about her own journey to saying those two simple yet infinitely powerful words-metoo-and how she brought empathy back to an entire generation in one of the largest cultural events in American history. Tarana didn't always have the courage to say "me too." As a child, she reeled from her sexual assault, believing she was responsible. Unable to confess what she thought of as her own sins for fear of shattering her family, her soul split in two. One side was the bright, intellectually curious third generation Bronxite steeped in Black literature and power, and the other was the bad, shame ridden girl who thought of herself as a vile rule breaker, not of a victim. She tucked one away, hidden behind a wall of pain and anger, which seemed to work...until it didn't. Tarana fought to reunite her fractured soul, through organizing, pursuing justice, and finding community. In her debut memoir she shares her extensive work supporting and empowering Black and brown girls, and the devastating realization that to truly help these girls she needed to help that scared, ashamed child still in her soul. She needed to stop running and confront what had happened to her, for Heaven and Diamond and the countless other young Black women for whom she cared. They gave her the courage to embrace her power. A power which in turn she shared with the entire world. Through these young Black and brown women, Tarana found that we can only offer empathy to others if we first offer it to ourselves. Unbound is the story of an inimitable woman's inner strength and perseverance, all in pursuit of bringing healing to hercommunity and the world around her, but it is also a story of possibility, of empathy, of power, and of the leader we all have inside ourselves. In sharing her path toward healing and saying "me too," Tarana reaches out a hand to help us all on our own journeys"--

Names for light : a family history by Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint

"Names for Light traverses time and memory to weigh three generations of a family's history against a painful inheritance of postcolonial violence and racism. In spare, lyric paragraphs framed by white space, Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint explores home, belonging, and identity by revisiting the cities in which her parents and grandparents lived. As she makes inquiries into their stories, she intertwines oral narratives with the official and mythic histories of Myanmar. But while her family's stories move into the present, her own story--that of a writer seeking to understand who she is--moves into the past, until both converge at the end of the book"--

Surviving the white gaze : a memoir by Rebecca Carroll

"A stirring and powerful memoir from black cultural critic Rebecca Carroll recounting her struggle to overcome a completely white childhood in order to forge her identity as a black woman in America"--

Floating in a most peculiar way by Louis Onuorah Chude-Sokei

"The astonishing journey of a bright, utterly displaced boy, from the short-lived African nation of Biafra, to Jamaica, to the harshest streets of Los Angeles--a fierce and funny memoir that adds fascinating depth to the coming-to-America story"--

How to make an apple pie from scratch : in search of the recipe for our universe-from the origins of atoms to the big bang by Harry (Harry Victor) Cliff

"By an experimental physicist who works on the Large Hadron Collider, a mind-altering look at the foundational questions bedeviling modern physics, among them: Where does matter come from? Carl Sagan famously said, "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." But what fundamental matter is the universe made of? What banged in the Big Bang? And how did that matter arise from nothing into the world we now know? In How to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch, Harry Cliff--aUniversity of Cambridge particle physicist, researcher on the Large Hadron Collider, and acclaimed science presenter--sets out in pursuit of answers. He ventures to the largest underground research facility in the world, deep beneath Italy's Gran Sasso mountains, where scientists look into the heart of the Sun using the most elusive of particles, the ghostly neutrino. He visits CERN in Switzerland to behold the 'Antimatter Factory,' where this stuff of science fiction is manufactured daily (and we're close to knowing whether it falls up). Cliff illuminates the history of physics and chemistry that brought us to our present understanding--and misunderstandings--of the world, while offering readers a front row seat to the dramatically unfolding quest to unlock, at long last, the secrets of our universe. A transfixing deep-dive into the origins of the world, How to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch investigates not just the makeup of our universe, but the awe-inspiring, improbable fact that it exists at all"--
⮜ More Featured Titles
National Medal Recipient of the National Medal, the nation's highest honor for libraries.