Barack Obama's favorite books

  • Becoming

    Becoming

    Michelle Obama
    Biography & Autobiography

    An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WATCH THE EMMY-NOMINATED NETFLIX ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER • ONE OF ESSENCE’S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

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    Obviously my favorite!

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • Pachinko

    Pachinko

    Min Jin Lee
    Fiction

    A New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year and National Book Award finalist, Pachinko is an "extraordinary epic" of four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family as they fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan (San Francisco Chronicle). NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017 * A USA TODAY TOP TEN OF 2017 * JULY PICK FOR THE PBS NEWSHOUR-NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CLUB NOW READ THIS * FINALIST FOR THE 2018 DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE* WINNER OF THE MEDICI BOOK CLUB PRIZE Roxane Gay's Favorite Book of 2017, Washington Post NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * #1 BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER * USA TODAY BESTSELLER * WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER "There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones." In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations. Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters--strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis--survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history. *Includes reading group guide*

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Factfulness

    Factfulness

    Hans Rosling
    Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
    Business & Economics
    Nature

    “One of the most important books I’ve ever read—an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.” – Bill Gates “Hans Rosling tells thestory of ‘the secret silent miracle of human progress’ as only he can. But Factfulness does much more than that. It also explains why progress is so often secret and silent and teaches readershow to see it clearly.” —Melinda Gates Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts. When asked simple questions about global trends—what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school—we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers. In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective—from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse). Our problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases. It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn’t mean there aren’t real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most. Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to the crises and opportunities of the future. --- “This book is my last battle in my life-long mission to fight devastating ignorance...Previously I armed myself with huge data sets, eye-opening software, an energetic learning style and a Swedish bayonet for sword-swallowing. It wasn’t enough. But I hope this book will be.” Hans Rosling, February 2017.

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    a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.

    Aug 19, 2018 — Source

  • Educated

    Educated

    Tara Westover
    A Memoir
    Biography & Autobiography

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • One of the most acclaimed books of our time: an unforgettable memoir about a young woman who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University “An amazing story, and truly inspiring. It’s even better than you’ve heard.”—Bill Gates NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST: National Book Critics Circle’s Award In Autobiography and John Leonard Prize For Best First Book • PEN/Jean Stein Book Award • Los Angeles Times Book Prize Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. “Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • Time • NPR • Good Morning America • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsday • New York Post • theSkimm • Refinery29 • Bloomberg • Self • Real Simple • Town & Country • Bustle • Paste • Publishers Weekly • Library Journal • LibraryReads • BookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library

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    A remarkable memoir

    Aug 19, 2018 — Source

  • A Grain of Wheat

    A Grain of Wheat

    Ngugi wa Thiong'o
    Kenya

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • Immigrant, Montana

    Immigrant, Montana

    Amitava Kumar
    A novel
    Fiction

    A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK ONE OF THE NEW YORKER’S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR Carrying a single suitcase, Kailash arrives in post-Reagan America from India to attend graduate school. As he begins to settle into American existence, Kailash comes under the indelible influence of a charismatic professor, and also finds his life reshaped by a series of very different women with whom he recklessly falls in and out of love. Looking back on the formative period of his youth, Kailash’s wry, vivid perception of the world he is in, but never quite of, unfurls in a brilliant melding of anecdote and annotation, picture and text. Building a case for himself, both as a good man in spite of his flaws and as an American in defiance of his place of birth, Kailash weaves a story that is at its core an incandescent investigation of love—despite, beyond, and across dividing lines.

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • Americanah

    Americanah

    CHIMAMANDA. NGOZI ADICHIE
    Nature

    Introducing the Collins Modern Classics, a series featuring some of the most significant books of recent times, books that shed light on the human experience - classics which will endure for generations to come.

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • The Sixth Man

    The Sixth Man

    Andre Iguodala
    Biography & Autobiography

    **The Instant National Bestseller** The standout memoir from NBA powerhouse Andre Iguodala, the indomitable sixth man of the Golden State Warriors. Andre Iguodala is one of the most admired players in the NBA. And fresh off the Warriors' fifth Finals appearance in five years, his game has never been stronger. Off the court, Iguodala has earned respect, too--for his successful tech investments, his philanthropy, and increasingly for his contributions to the conversation about race in America. It is no surprise, then, that in his first book, Andre, with his cowriter Carvell Wallace, has pushed himself to go further than he ever has before about his life, not only as an athlete but about what makes him who he is at his core. The Sixth Man traces Andre's journey from childhood in his Illinois hometown to his Bay Area home court today. Basketball has always been there. But this is the story, too, of his experience of the conflict and racial tension always at hand in a professional league made up largely of African American men; of whether and why the athlete owes the total sacrifice of his body; of the relationship between competition and brotherhood among the players of one of history's most glorious championship teams. And of what motivates an athlete to keep striving for more once they've already achieved the highest level of play they could have dreamed. On drive, on leadership, on pain, on accomplishment, on the shame of being given a role, and the glory of taking a role on: This is a powerful memoir of life and basketball that reveals new depths to the superstar athlete, and offers tremendous insight into most urgent stories being told in American society today.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Futureface

    Futureface

    Alex Wagner
    A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging
    Biography & Autobiography

    An acclaimed journalist travels the globe to solve the mystery of her ancestry, confronting the question at the heart of the American experience of immigration, race, and identity: Who are my people? "A thoughtful, beautiful meditation on what makes us who we are . . . and the values and ideals that bind us together as Americans."--Barack Obama "A rich and revealing memoir . . . Futureface raises urgent questions having to do with history and complicity."--The New York Times The daughter of a Burmese mother and a white American father, Alex Wagner grew up thinking of herself as a "futureface"--an avatar of a mixed-race future when all races would merge into a brown singularity. But when one family mystery leads to another, Wagner's post-racial ideals fray as she becomes obsessed with the specifics of her own family's racial and ethnic history. Drawn into the wild world of ancestry, she embarks upon a quest around the world--and into her own DNA--to answer the ultimate questions of who she really is and where she belongs. The journey takes her from Burma to Luxembourg, from ruined colonial capitals with records written on banana leaves to Mormon databases, genetic labs, and the rest of the twenty-first-century genealogy complex. But soon she begins to grapple with a deeper question: Does it matter? Is our enduring obsession with blood and land, race and identity, worth all the trouble it's caused us? Wagner weaves together fascinating history, genetic science, and sociology but is really after deeper stuff than her own ancestry: in a time of conflict over who we are as a country, she tries to find the story where we all belong. Praise for Futureface "Smart, searching . . . Meditating on our ancestors, as Wagner's own story shows, can suggest better ways of being ourselves."--Maud Newton, The New York Times Book Review "Sincere and instructive . . . This timely reflection on American identity, with a bonus exposé of DNA ancestry testing, deserves a wide audience."--Library Journal "The narrative is part Mary Roach-style participation-heavy research, part family history, and part exploration of existential loneliness. . . . The journey is worth taking."--Kirkus Reviews "[A] ruminative exploration of ethnicity and identity . . . Wagner's odyssey is an effective riposte to anti-immigrant politics."--Publishers Weekly

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    a thoughtful, beautiful meditation on what makes us who we are

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Lost Children Archive

    Lost Children Archive

    Valeria Luiselli
    Fiction

    FINALIST FOR THE 2019 KIRKUS PRIZE FOR FICTION FINALIST FOR THE 2020 ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 BOOKER PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: THE WASHINGTON POST * TIME MAGAZINE * NPR * CHICAGO TRIBUNE * GQ * O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE * THE GUARDIAN * THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS * LIT HUB * KIRKUS REVIEWS * THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY In Valeria Luiselli's fiercely imaginative novel, a mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and a girl, driving from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. As the family travels west, through Virginia to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas, the bonds between them begin to fray: a fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can almost feel beneath their feet. Through songs and maps and a Polaroid camera's lens, the children try to make sense of both their family's crisis and the larger one engulfing the news: the stories of thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States but getting detained--or lost in the desert along the way. A breath-taking feat of literary virtuosity, Lost Children Archive is timely, compassionate, subtly hilarious, and formally inventive--a powerful, urgent story about what it is to be human in an inhuman world.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Grant

    Grant

    Ron Chernow
    Biography & Autobiography

    The #1 New York Times bestseller. Named one of the 10 Best Books of 2017 by The New York Times Book Review. Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Chernow returns with a sweeping and dramatic portrait of one of our most compelling generals and presidents, Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't come close to capturing him, as Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency. Before the Civil War, Grant was flailing. His business ventures had ended dismally, and despite distinguished service in the Mexican War he ended up resigning from the army in disgrace amid recurring accusations of drunkenness. But in war, Grant began to realize his remarkable potential, soaring through the ranks of the Union army, prevailing at the battle of Shiloh and in the Vicksburg campaign, and ultimately defeating the legendary Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Along the way, Grant endeared himself to President Lincoln and became his most trusted general and the strategic genius of the war effort. Grant's military fame translated into a two-term presidency, but one plagued by corruption scandals involving his closest staff members. More important, he sought freedom and justice for black Americans, working to crush the Ku Klux Klan and earning the admiration of Frederick Douglass, who called him "the vigilant, firm, impartial, and wise protector of my race." After his presidency, he was again brought low by a dashing young swindler on Wall Street, only to resuscitate his image by working with Mark Twain to publish his memoirs, which are recognized as a masterpiece of the genre. With lucidity, breadth, and meticulousness, Chernow finds the threads that bind these disparate stories together, shedding new light on the man whom Walt Whitman described as "nothing heroic... and yet the greatest hero." Chernow's probing portrait of Grant's lifelong struggle with alcoholism transforms our understanding of the man at the deepest level. This is America's greatest biographer, bringing movingly to life one of our finest but most underappreciated presidents. The definitive biography, Grant is a grand synthesis of painstaking research and literary brilliance that makes sense of all sides of Grant's life, explaining how this simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary. Named one of the best books of the year by Goodreads * Amazon * The New York Times * Newsday * BookPage * Barnes and Noble * Wall Street Journal

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    The best books I read in 2017

    Jan 1, 2018 — Source

  • Men Without Women

    Men Without Women

    Haruki Murakami
    Stories
    Fiction

    “Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women examines what happens to characters without important women in their lives; it'll move you and confuse you and sometimes leave you with more questions than answers.” —Barack Obama Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are lovesick doctors, students, ex-boyfriends, actors, bartenders, and even Kafka’s Gregor Samsa, brought together to tell stories that speak to us all. In Men Without Women Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic, marked by the same wry humor and pathos that have defined his entire body of work.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Florida

    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • The World as It Is

    The World as It Is

    Ben Rhodes
    A Memoir of the Obama White House
    Biography & Autobiography

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From one of Barack Obama's most trusted aides comes a revelatory behind-the-scenes account of his presidency--and how idealism can confront harsh reality and still survive. "The closest view of Obama we're likely to get until he publishes his own memoir."--George Packer, The New Yorker NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN For nearly ten years, Ben Rhodes saw almost everything that happened at the center of the Obama administration--first as a speechwriter, then as deputy national security advisor, and finally as a multipurpose aide and close collaborator. He started every morning in the Oval Office with the President's Daily Briefing, traveled the world with Obama, and was at the center of some of the most consequential and controversial moments of the presidency. Now he tells the full story of his partnership--and, ultimately, friendship--with a man who also happened to be a historic president of the United States. Rhodes was not your typical presidential confidant, and this is not your typical White House memoir. Rendered in vivid, novelistic detail by someone who was a writer before he was a staffer, this is a rare look inside the most poignant, tense, and consequential moments of the Obama presidency--waiting out the bin Laden raid in the Situation Room, responding to the Arab Spring, reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran, leading secret negotiations with the Cuban government to normalize relations, and confronting the resurgence of nationalism and nativism that culminated in the election of Donald Trump. In The World as It Is, Rhodes shows what it was like to be there--from the early days of the Obama campaign to the final hours of the presidency. It is a story populated by such characters as Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates, and--above all--Barack Obama, who comes to life on the page in moments of great urgency and disarming intimacy. This is the most vivid portrayal yet of Obama's worldview and presidency, a chronicle of a political education by a writer of enormous talent, and an essential record of the forces that shaped the last decade. Praise for The World as It Is "A book that reflects the president [Rhodes] served--intelligent, amiable, compelling and principled . . . a classic coming-of-age story, about the journey from idealism to realism, told with candor and immediacy . . . His achievement is rare for a political memoir: He has written a humane and honorable book."--Joe Klein, The New York Times Book Review

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • Basketball

    Basketball

    Shea Serrano
    A Collection of Questions Asked, Answered, Illustrated
    Sports & Recreation

    "Thirty-three chapters, each chapter a different basketball question that needs to be answered. Some of them are obviously crucial ... and some of them are secretly crucial. But all of them are approached in ways that ([the author] hope[s] you think) are smart and fun and nuanced"--Back cover.

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    The best books I read in 2017

    Jan 1, 2018 — Source

  • Frederick Douglass

    Frederick Douglass

    David W. Blight
    Prophet of Freedom
    Biography & Autobiography

    **Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History** *Winner of the Bancroft, Parkman, Los Angeles Times (biography), Lincoln, Plutarch, and Christopher Awards* Named one of the Best Books of 2018 by The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Time “Extraordinary…a great American biography” (The New Yorker) of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era. As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery. Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, using his own story to condemn slavery. By the Civil War, Douglass had become the most famed and widely travelled orator in the nation. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. After the war he sometimes argued politically with younger African Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights. In this “cinematic and deeply engaging” (The New York Times Book Review) biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers. “Absorbing and even moving…a brilliant book that speaks to our own time as well as Douglass’s” (The Wall Street Journal), Blight’s biography tells the fascinating story of Douglass’s two marriages and his complex extended family. “David Blight has written the definitive biography of Frederick Douglass…a powerful portrait of one of the most important American voices of the nineteenth century” (The Boston Globe).

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • Exit West

    Exit West

    Mohsin Hamid
    A Novel
    Fiction

    "In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As violence and the threat of violence escalate, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. An epic compressed into a slender page-turner, Exit West is both completely of our time and for all time."--

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    The best books I read in 2017

    Jan 1, 2018 — Source

  • A House for Mr. Biswas

    A House for Mr. Biswas

    V. S. Naipaul
    Fiction

    In his forty-six short years, Mr. Mohun Biswas has been fighting against destiny to achieve some semblance of independence, only to face a lifetime of calamity. Shuttled from one residence to another after the drowning death of his father, for which he is inadvertently responsible, Mr. Biswas yearns for a place he can call home. But when he marries into the domineering Tulsi family on whom he indignantly becomes dependent, Mr. Biswas embarks on an arduous -- and endless -- struggle to weaken their hold over him, and purchase a house of his own.

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    The Nobel Prize winner's first great novel about growing up in Trinidad and the challenge of post-colonial identity.

    Aug 19, 2018 — Source

  • American Prison

    American Prison

    Shane Bauer
    A Reporter's Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment
    Convict labor
    Psychology

    After his 2014 expose about his experiences as a prison guard in a Lousisiana for-profit prison, Shane Bauer soon realised the cruelty of the current American system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration cannot be understood without first understanding its origins. In American Prison, Bauer weaves together a deeper reckoning of his prison guard experience with a thorough history of for-profit prisons in America. A blistering accusation of the private prison system in the United States, American Prison is a necessary human document about the true face of justice in the USA.

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • Five-Carat Soul

    Five-Carat Soul

    James McBride
    Fiction

    In these short stories, "McBride explores the ways we learn from the world and the people around us. An antiques dealer discovers that a legendary toy commissioned by Civil War General Robert E. Lee now sits in the home of a black minister in Queens. Five strangers find themselves thrown together and face unexpected judgment. An American president draws inspiration from a conversation he overhears in a stable. And members of The Five-Carat Soul Bottom Bone Band recount stories from their own messy and hilarious lives"--

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    The best books I read in 2017

    Jan 1, 2018 — Source

  • Furious Hours

    Furious Hours

    Casey Cep
    Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
    Biography & Autobiography

    This "superbly written true-crime story" (Michael Lewis, The New York Times Book Review) masterfully brings together the tales of a serial killer in 1970s Alabama and of Harper Lee, the beloved author of To Kill a Mockingbird, who tried to write his story. Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members, but with the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative assassinated him at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell's murderer was acquitted--thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the reverend himself. Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who spent a year in town reporting on the Maxwell case and many more trying to finish the book she called The Reverend. Cep brings this remarkable story to life, from the horrifying murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South, while offering a deeply moving portrait of one of our most revered writers.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Exhalation

    Exhalation

    Ted Chiang
    Stories

    ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A NATIONAL BESTSELLER ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: THE WASHINGTON POST • TIME MAGAZINE • NPR • ESQUIRE • VOX • THE A.V. CLUB • THE GUARDIAN • FINANCIAL TIMES • THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS “Exhalation by Ted Chiang is a collection of short stories that will make you think, grapple with big questions, and feel more human. The best kind of science fiction.” —Barack Obama, via Facebook "THE UNIVERSE BEGAN AS AN ENORMOUS BREATH BEING HELD." In these nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories, Ted Chiang tackles some of humanity’s oldest questions along with new quandaries only he could imagine. In “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate,” a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and second chances. In “Exhalation,” an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications that are literally universal. In “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom,” the ability to glimpse into alternate universes necessitates a radically new examination of the concepts of choice and free will. Including stories being published for the first time as well as some of his rare and classic uncollected work, Exhalation is Ted Chiang at his best: profound, sympathetic—revelatory.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • The Broken Ladder

    The Broken Ladder

    Keith Payne
    How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die
    Social Science

    A timely examination by a leading scientist of the physical, psychological, and moral effects of inequality. Today’s inequality is on a scale that none of us has seen in our lifetimes, yet this disparity between rich and poor has ramifications that extend far beyond mere financial means. In The Broken Ladder psychologist Keith Payne examines how inequality divides us not just economically, but has profound consequences for how we think, how our cardiovascular systems respond to stress, how our immune systems function, and how we view moral ideas like justice and fairness. Experiments in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics have not only revealed important new insights on how inequality changes people in predictable ways, but have provided a corrective to our flawed way of viewing poverty as the result of individual character failings. Among modern, developed societies, economic inequality is not primarily about money, but rather about relative status: where we stand in relation to other people. Regardless of their average income, countries or states with greater levels of income inequality have much higher rates of all the social problems we associate with poverty, including lower average life expectancies, serious health issues, mental illness, and crime. The Broken Ladder explores such issues as why women in poor societies often have more children, and have them younger; why there is little trust among the working class that investing for the future will pay off; why people’s perception of their relative social status affects their political beliefs, and why growing inequality leads to greater political divisions; how poverty raises stress levels in the same way as a physical threat; inequality in the workplace, and how it affects performance; why unequal societies become more religious; and finally offers measures people can take to lessen the harm done by inequality in their own lives and the lives of their children.

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • An American Marriage

    An American Marriage

    Tayari Jones
    A Novel
    Fiction

    "Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control"--

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    A moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.

    Aug 19, 2018 — Source

  • How Democracies Die

    How Democracies Die

    Daniel Ziblatt,Steven Levitsky
    History
    Religion

    Fateful alliances -- Gatekeeping in America -- The great Republican abdication -- Subverting democracy -- The guardrails of democracy -- The unwritten rules of American politics -- The unraveling -- Trump against the guardrails -- Saving democracy

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • Anything Is Possible

    Anything Is Possible

    Elizabeth Strout
    Fiction

    Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother's happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of the author's 2016 novel My name is Lucy Barton) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.

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    The best books I read in 2017

    Jan 1, 2018 — Source

  • The Shadow of Sirius

    The Shadow of Sirius

    William Stanley Merwin
    Poetry

    This volume presents a collection of poems reflecting the author's life. Mysteries of light, darkness, temporality, and eternity weave throughout his poetry. His memories are focused and profound, of Pennsylvania miners and neighborhood streetcars, a conversation with a boyhood teacher or parent, the distinct qualities of autumnal light and gentle rain, well-cultivated loves, and "our long evenings and astonishment." From the universe's contradictions, the author once again calls upon the unexpected to illuminate existence.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Wolf Hall

    Wolf Hall

    Hilary Mantel

    England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a selfinterested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.From one of our finest living writers, Wolf Hall is that very rare thing: a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • The Orphan Master's Son

    The Orphan Master's Son

    Adam Johnson
    A Novel
    Fiction

    The son of an influential father who runs an orphan work camp, Pak Jun Do rises to prominence using instinctive talents and eventually becomes a professional kidnapper and romantic rival to Kim Jong Il.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Heartland

    Heartland

    Sarah Smarsh
    A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth
    Biography & Autobiography

    *Finalist for the National Book Award* *Finalist for the Kirkus Prize* *Instant New York Times Bestseller* *Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, New York Post, BuzzFeed, Shelf Awareness, Bustle, and Publishers Weekly* An essential read for our times: an eye-opening memoir of working-class poverty in America that will deepen our understanding of the ways in which class shapes our country and “a deeply humane memoir that crackles with clarifying insight”.* Sarah Smarsh was born a fifth generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side, and the product of generations of teen mothers on her maternal side. Through her experiences growing up on a farm thirty miles west of Wichita, we are given a unique and essential look into the lives of poor and working class Americans living in the heartland. During Sarah’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, she enjoyed the freedom of a country childhood, but observed the painful challenges of the poverty around her; untreated medical conditions for lack of insurance or consistent care, unsafe job conditions, abusive relationships, and limited resources and information that would provide for the upward mobility that is the American Dream. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves with clarity and precision but without judgement, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country. Beautifully written, in a distinctive voice, Heartland combines personal narrative with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, challenging the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less. “Heartland is one of a growing number of important works—including Matthew Desmond’s Evicted and Amy Goldstein’s Janesville—that together merit their own section in nonfiction aisles across the country: America’s postindustrial decline...Smarsh shows how the false promise of the ‘American dream’ was used to subjugate the poor. It’s a powerful mantra” *(The New York Times Book Review).

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Why Liberalism Failed

    Why Liberalism Failed

    Patrick J. Deneen
    Political Science

    "One of the most important political books of 2018."—Rod Dreher, American Conservative Of the three dominant ideologies of the twentieth century—fascism, communism, and liberalism—only the last remains. This has created a peculiar situation in which liberalism’s proponents tend to forget that it is an ideology and not the natural end-state of human political evolution. As Patrick Deneen argues in this provocative book, liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions: it trumpets equal rights while fostering incomparable material inequality; its legitimacy rests on consent, yet it discourages civic commitments in favor of privatism; and in its pursuit of individual autonomy, it has given rise to the most far-reaching, comprehensive state system in human history. Here, Deneen offers an astringent warning that the centripetal forces now at work on our political culture are not superficial flaws but inherent features of a system whose success is generating its own failure.

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    I found this book thought-provoking.

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Things Fall Apart

    Things Fall Apart

    Chinua Achebe
    Fiction

    One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World' A worldwide bestseller and the first part of Achebe's African Trilogy, Things Fall Apart is the compelling story of one man's battle to protect his community against the forces of change Okonkwo is the greatest wrestler and warrior alive, and his fame spreads throughout West Africa like a bush-fire in the harmattan. But when he accidentally kills a clansman, things begin to fall apart. Then Okonkwo returns from exile to find missionaries and colonial governors have arrived in the village. With his world thrown radically off-balance he can only hurtle towards tragedy. First published in 1958, Chinua Achebe's stark, coolly ironic novel reshaped both African and world literature, and has sold over ten million copies in forty-five languages. This arresting parable of a proud but powerless man witnessing the ruin of his people begins Achebe's landmark trilogy of works chronicling the fate of one African community, continued in Arrow of God and No Longer at Ease. 'His courage and generosity are made manifest in the work' Toni Morrison 'The writer in whose company the prison walls fell down' Nelson Mandela 'A great book, that bespeaks a great, brave, kind, human spirit' John Updike With an Introduction by Biyi Bandele

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • American Spy

    American Spy

    Lauren Wilkinson

    "It's 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She's brilliant, but she's also a young black woman working in an old boys' club. Her career has stalled out, she's overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she's given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Sankara is doing for his country. Yes, even though she is still grieving the mysterious death of her sister, whose example led Marie to this career path in the first place. Yes, even though a furious part of her suspects she's being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent. In the year that follows, Marie will observe Sankara, seduce him, and ultimately have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, a sister, and a good American. "--Provided by publisher.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • The Education of an Idealist

    The Education of an Idealist

    Samantha Power
    A Memoir
    Biography & Autobiography
    Science

    A NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER An intimate, powerful, and galvanizing memoir by Pulitzer Prize winner, human rights advocate, and former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. Named one of the best books of the year: The New York Times • National Public Radio • Time • The Economist • The Washington Post • Vanity Fair • Christian Science Monitor • Publishers Weekly • Audible “Her highly personal and reflective memoir . . . is a must-read for anyone who cares about our role in a changing world.”—President Barack Obama Includes an updated afterword Tracing her distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official, Samantha Power’s acclaimed memoir is a unique blend of suspenseful storytelling, vivid character portraits, and shrewd political insight. After her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of Senator Barack Obama, he invited her to work with him on Capitol Hill and then on his presidential campaign. When Obama won the presidency, Power went from being an activist outsider to serving as his human rights adviser and, in 2013, becoming the youngest-ever US Ambassador to the United Nations. Power transports us from her childhood in Dublin to the streets of war-torn Bosnia to the White House Situation Room and the world of high-stakes diplomacy, offering a compelling and deeply honest look at navigating the halls of power while trying to put one’s ideals into practice. Along the way, she lays bare the searing battles and defining moments of her life, shows how she juggled the demands of a 24/7 national security job with raising two young children, and makes the case for how we each can advance the cause of human dignity. This is an unforgettable account of the power of idealism—and of one person’s fierce determination to make a difference. “This is a wonderful book. […] The interweaving of Power’s personal story, family story, diplomatic history and moral arguments is executed seamlessly and with unblinking honesty.”—THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, The New York Times Book Review “Truly engrossing…A pleasure to read.”—RACHEL MADDOW “A beautiful memoir about the times we’re living in and the questions we must ask ourselves…I honestly couldn’t put it down.” —CHERYL STRAYED, author of Wild “Power’s compelling memoir provides critically important insights we should all understand as we face some of the most vexing issues of our time.” —BRYAN STEVENSON, author of Just Mercy

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • There There

    There There

    Tommy Orange
    A novel
    Fiction

    “Powerful. . . . a revelation.” —The New York Times “With a literary authority rare in a debut novel, it places Native American voices front and center before readers’ eyes.” —NPR/Fresh Air One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year and winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering bestselling novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant and unflinching, utterly contemporary and truly unforgettable. One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, NPR, Time, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Dallas Morning News, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, BuzzFeed, San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • The Anarchy

    The Anarchy

    William Dalrymple
    The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire
    Business & Economics

    From the bestselling author of Return of a King, the story of how the East India Company took over large swaths of Asia, and the devastating results of the corporation running a country.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Inland

    Inland

    Téa Obreht
    Fiction

    The New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger's Wife returns with "a bracingly epic and imaginatively mythic journey across the American West" (Entertainment Weekly). In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives unfold. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life--her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home. Meanwhile, Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West. The way in which Lurie's death-defying trek at last intersects with Nora's plight is the surprise and suspense of this brilliant novel. Mythical, lyrical, and sweeping in scope, Inland is grounded in true but little-known history. It showcases all of Téa Obreht's talents as a writer, as she subverts and reimagines the myths of the American West, making them entirely--and unforgettably--her own. Advance praise for Inland "A frontier tale [that] dazzles with camels and wolves and two characters who never quite meet . . . [Obreht] returns with a novel saturated in enough realism and magic to make the ghost of Gabriel García Márquez grin. . . . Will take your breath away."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "This is no boilerplate Louis L'Amour yarn--there are ghosts, camels and other fantastical elements."--Newsday (Best Summer Books 2019) "The long-anticipated second novel from Téa Obreht transports readers to the Wild West through the juxtaposed stories of a frontierswoman whose husband and sons have gone missing, and of an outlaw on the run."--Bustle

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • The Nickel Boys

    The Nickel Boys

    Colson Whitehead
    A Novel
    Fiction

    In this Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times bestselling follow-up to The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys unjustly sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers and “should further cement Whitehead as one of his generation's best" (Entertainment Weekly). Look for Colson Whitehead’s new novel, Harlem Shuffle, coming this September!

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Finding My Voice

    Finding My Voice

    Valerie Jarrett
    When the Perfect Plan Crumbles, the Adventure Begins

    A NEW YORK TIMESBESTSELLER "Valerie has been one of Barack and my closest confidantes for decades... the world would feel a lot better if there were more people like Valerie blazing the trail for the rest of us."--Michelle Obama "The ultimate Obama insider" (The New York Times) shares her journey at a pivotal moment in American history When Valerie Jarrett interviewed a promising young lawyer named Michelle Robinson in July 1991 for a job in Chicago city government, neither knew where that meeting might take them. Jarrett would go on to become a trusted friend and advisor to Michelle and Barack Obama -- and one of the most visible, influential African-American women of the twenty-first century. Now, in her forthright and optimistic memoir, Jarrett shares her experience as a mother, daughter, and woman who's experienced the magic that happens once we cast aside any unrealistic expectations of a perfect life or a perfect outcome. In Finding My Voice, she offers a galvanizing testament to the power in staying open to a change in course and an embrace of the uncomfortable. Only then, she argues, can we move forward together and truly learn to value--and listen to--our own voices.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Solitary

    Solitary

    Albert Woodfox
    Biography & Autobiography

    FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN NONFICTION Solitary is the unforgettable life story of a man who served more than four decades in solitary confinement—in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell, 23 hours a day, in notorious Angola prison in Louisiana—all for a crime he did not commit. That Albert Woodfox survived was, in itself, a feat of extraordinary endurance against the violence and deprivation he faced daily. That he was able to emerge whole from his odyssey within America’s prison and judicial systems is a triumph of the human spirit, and makes his book a clarion call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the U.S. and around the world. Arrested often as a teenager in New Orleans, inspired behind bars in his early twenties to join the Black Panther Party because of its social commitment and code of living, Albert was serving a 50-year sentence in Angola for armed robbery when on April 17, 1972, a white guard was killed. Albert and another member of the Panthers were accused of the crime and immediately put in solitary confinement by the warden. Without a shred of actual evidence against them, their trial was a sham of justice that gave them life sentences in solitary. Decades passed before Albert gained a lawyer of consequence; even so, sixteen more years and multiple appeals were needed before he was finally released in February 2016. Remarkably self-aware that anger or bitterness would have destroyed him in solitary confinement, sustained by the shared solidarity of two fellow Panthers, Albert turned his anger into activism and resistance. The Angola 3, as they became known, resolved never to be broken by the grinding inhumanity and corruption that effectively held them for decades as political prisoners. He survived to give us Solitary, a chronicle of rare power and humanity that proves the better spirits of our nature can thrive against any odds.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • A Gentleman in Moscow

    A Gentleman in Moscow

    Amor Towles
    Fiction

    The mega-bestseller with more than 1.5 million readers that is soon to be a major television series One of five Summer 2019 reading picks by Bill Gates "The novel buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, and] twists of fate." --The Wall Street Journal He can't leave his hotel. You won't want to. From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility--a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel. In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

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    The best books I read in 2017

    Jan 1, 2018 — Source

  • Lab Girl

    Lab Girl

    Hope Jahren
    Biography & Autobiography

    National Bestseller Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography A New York Times Notable Book Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father’s college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands.” She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment. Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together. Winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Science Books & Film Prize for Excellence in Science Books Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, TIME.com, NPR, Slate, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kirkus Reviews

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • The Topeka School

    The Topeka School

    Ben Lerner
    A Novel
    Fiction

    FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR A TIME, GQ, Vulture, and WASHINGTON POST TOP 10 BOOK of the YEAR ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize Winner of the Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award ALSO NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: Esquire, NPR, Vogue, Amazon, Kirkus, The Times (UK), Buzzfeed, Vanity Fair, The Telegraph (UK), Financial Times (UK), Lit Hub, The Times Literary Supplement (UK), The New York Post, Daily Mail (UK), The Atlantic, Publishers Weekly, The Guardian (UK), Electric Literature, SPY.com, and the New York Public Library From the award-winning author of 10:04 and Leaving the Atocha Station, a tender and expansive family drama set in the American Midwest at the turn of the century: a tale of adolescence, transgression, and the conditions that have given rise to the trolls and tyrants of the New Right Adam Gordon is a senior at Topeka High School, class of ’97. His mother, Jane, is a famous feminist author; his father, Jonathan, is an expert at getting “lost boys” to open up. They both work at a psychiatric clinic that has attracted staff and patients from around the world. Adam is a renowned debater, expected to win a national championship before he heads to college. He is one of the cool kids, ready to fight or, better, freestyle about fighting if it keeps his peers from thinking of him as weak. Adam is also one of the seniors who bring the loner Darren Eberheart—who is, unbeknownst to Adam, his father’s patient—into the social scene, to disastrous effect. Deftly shifting perspectives and time periods, The Topeka School is the story of a family, its struggles and its strengths: Jane’s reckoning with the legacy of an abusive father, Jonathan’s marital transgressions, the challenge of raising a good son in a culture of toxic masculinity. It is also a riveting prehistory of the present: the collapse of public speech, the trolls and tyrants of the New Right, and the ongoing crisis of identity among white men.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

    The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

    Denis Johnson
    Stories
    Fiction

    Twenty-five years after Jesus' Son, a haunting new collection of short stories on mortality and transcendence, from National Book Award winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Denis Johnson NATIONAL BESTSELLER * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Dwight Garner, The New York Times * Chicago Tribune * Newsday * Vulture * AV Club * Publishers Weekly "Ranks with the best fiction published by any American writer during this short century."--New York "A posthumous masterpiece."--Entertainment Weekly NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review * The Washington Post * NPR * New York Public Library * Kirkus Reviews The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. Written in the luminous prose that made him one of the most beloved and important writers of his generation, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating the ghosts of the past and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves. Finished shortly before Johnson's death, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come. Praise for The Largesse of the Sea Maiden "An instant classic."--Newsday "Exceptional luminosity . . . hits a powerful vein."--The New York Times Book Review "Grace and oblivion are inextricably yoked in these transcendent stories. . . . [Johnson's] gift is to extract the beauty in all that brokenness."--The Wall Street Journal "Nobody ever wrote like Denis Johnson. Nobody ever came close. . . . We're just left with this miraculous book, these perfect stories, the last words from one of the world's greatest writers."--NPR "Johnson offers visions and sadness and laughter. But it's the sentences--those adamantine, poetic sentences--that made him one of America's great and lasting writers. It's the sentences that live on."--The Boston Globe "Johnson's fiction . . . overflows with creative energy, moving from one beauty to another with a mercurial, at times almost chaotic grace."--Chicago Tribune "Sly, open-ended, and meticulously wise . . . [Johnson] is a writer whose ambitions were in their own way as broad and burgeoning as Dostoyevsky's. He is for all time."--Rachel Kushner, Bookforum

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • Feel Free

    Feel Free

    Zadie Smith
    Essays
    Literary Collections
    Religion

    Winner of the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism A New York Times Notable Book From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right. Arranged into five sections--In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free--this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network--and Facebook itself--really about? "It's a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore." Why do we love libraries? "Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay." What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? "So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we'd just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes--and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat." Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, "Joy," and, "Find Your Beach," Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive--and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith. Zadie Smith's new book, Grand Union, is on sale 10/8/2019.

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

    The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

    David Treuer
    Native America from 1890 to the Present
    Indians of North America

    FINALIST FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Named a best book of 2019 by The New York Times, TIME, The Washington Post, NPR, Hudson Booksellers, The New York Public Library, The Dallas Morning News, and Library Journal. "Chapter after chapter, it's like one shattered myth after another." - NPR "An informed, moving and kaleidoscopic portrait... Treuer's powerful book suggests the need for soul-searching about the meanings of American history and the stories we tell ourselves about this nation's past.." - New York Times Book Review, front page A sweeping history--and counter-narrative--of Native American life from the Wounded Knee massacre to the present. The received idea of Native American history--as promulgated by books like Dee Brown's mega-bestselling 1970 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee--has been that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. Not only did one hundred fifty Sioux die at the hands of the U. S. Cavalry, the sense was, but Native civilization did as well. Growing up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, training as an anthropologist, and researching Native life past and present for his nonfiction and novels, David Treuer has uncovered a different narrative. Because they did not disappear--and not despite but rather because of their intense struggles to preserve their language, their traditions, their families, and their very existence--the story of American Indians since the end of the nineteenth century to the present is one of unprecedented resourcefulness and reinvention. In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes' distinctive cultures from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The devastating seizures of land gave rise to increasingly sophisticated legal and political maneuvering that put the lie to the myth that Indians don't know or care about property. The forced assimilation of their children at government-run boarding schools incubated a unifying Native identity. Conscription in the US military and the pull of urban life brought Indians into the mainstream and modern times, even as it steered the emerging shape of self-rule and spawned a new generation of resistance. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is the essential, intimate story of a resilient people in a transformative era.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • The Yellow House

    The Yellow House

    Sarah M. Broom
    A Memoir (2019 National Book Award Winner)
    Biography & Autobiography

    A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION A brilliant, haunting and unforgettable memoir from a stunning new talent about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East. In 1961, Sarah M. Broom’s mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant—the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah’s father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventually number twelve children. But after Simon died, six months after Sarah’s birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae’s thirteenth and most unruly child. A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America’s most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother’s struggle against a house's entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina. The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure. Located in the gap between the “Big Easy” of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • A Different Way to Win

    A Different Way to Win

    Jim Rooney
    Dan Rooney's Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule
    Biography & Autobiography

    A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney's Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Say Nothing

    Say Nothing

    Patrick Radden Keefe
    A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland
    Authors
    American
    True Crime

    One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR - TIME MAGAZINE ONE OF THE BEST 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR - WASHINGTON POST NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD "Masked intruders dragged Jean McConville, a 38-year-old widow and mother of 10, from her Belfast home in 1972. In this meticulously reported book -- as finely paced as a novel -- Keefe uses McConville's murder as a prism to tell the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Interviewing people on both sides of the conflict, he transforms the tragic damage and waste of the era into a searing, utterly gripping saga." - New York Times Book Review, Ten Best Books of the Year From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes. Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders. From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past--Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Asymmetry

    Asymmetry

    Lisa Halliday
    A Novel
    Fiction

    A TIME and NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 BOOK of the YEAR * New York Times Notable Book and Times Critic’s Top Book of 2018 NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2018 BY * Elle * Bustle * Kirkus Reviews * Lit Hub* NPR * O, The Oprah Magazine * Shelf Awareness The bestselling and critically acclaimed debut novel by Lisa Halliday, hailed as “extraordinary” by The New York Times, “a brilliant and complex examination of power dynamics in love and war” by The Wall Street Journal, and “a literary phenomenon” by The New Yorker. Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, “Folly,” tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War, “Folly” also suggests an aspiring novelist’s coming-of-age. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda. A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is “a transgressive roman a clef, a novel of ideas, and a politically engaged work of metafiction” (The New York Times Book Review), and a “masterpiece” in the original sense of the word” (The Atlantic). Lisa Halliday’s novel will captivate any reader with while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself.

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • The Return

    The Return

    Hisham Matar
    Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between
    Biography & Autobiography

    WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • The acclaimed memoir about fathers and sons, a legacy of loss, and, ultimately, healing—one of The New York Times Book Review’s ten best books of the year, winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize When Hisham Matar was a nineteen-year-old university student in England, his father went missing under mysterious circumstances. Hisham would never see him again, but he never gave up hope that his father might still be alive. Twenty-two years later, he returned to his native Libya in search of the truth behind his father’s disappearance. The Return is the story of what he found there. The Pulitzer Prize citation hailed The Return as “a first-person elegy for home and father.” Transforming his personal quest for answers into a brilliantly told universal tale of hope and resilience, Matar has given us an unforgettable work with a powerful human question at its core: How does one go on living in the face of unthinkable loss? NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Guardian • Financial Times “A tale of mighty love, loyalty and courage. It simply must be read.”—The Spectator (U.K.) “Wise and agonizing and thrilling to read.”—Zadie Smith “[An] eloquent memoir . . . at once a suspenseful detective story about a writer investigating his father’s fate . . . and a son’s efforts to come to terms with his father’s ghost, who has haunted more than half his life by his absence.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “This outstanding book . . . roves back and forth in time with a freedom that conceals the intricate precision of its art.”—The Wall Street Journal “Truly remarkable . . . a book with a profound faith in the consolations of storytelling . . . a testament to [Matar’s] father, his family and his country.”—The Daily Telegraph (U.K.) “The Return is a riveting book about love and hope, but it is also a moving meditation on grief and loss. . . . Likely to become a classic.”—Colm Tóibín “Matar’s evocative writing and his early traumas call to mind Vladimir Nabokov.”—The Washington Post “Utterly riveting.”—The Boston Globe “A moving, unflinching memoir of a family torn apart.”—Kazuo Ishiguro, The Guardian “Beautiful . . . The Return, for all the questions it cannot answer, leaves a deep emotional imprint.”—Newsday “A masterful memoir, a searing meditation on loss, exile, grief, guilt, belonging, and above all, family. It is, as well, a study of the shaping—and breaking—of the bonds between fathers and sons. . . . This is writing of the highest quality.”—The Sunday Times (U.K.)

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • Tough Love

    Tough Love

    Susan Rice
    My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For
    Biography & Autobiography

    Recalling pivotal moments from her dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy, Susan E. Rice—National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and US Ambassador to the United Nations—reveals her surprising story with unflinching candor in this New York Times bestseller. Mother, wife, scholar, diplomat, and fierce champion of American interests and values, Susan Rice powerfully connects the personal and the professional. Taught early, with tough love, how to compete and excel as an African American woman in settings where people of color are few, Susan now shares the wisdom she learned along the way. Laying bare the family struggles that shaped her early life in Washington, DC, she also examines the ancestral legacies that influenced her. Rice’s elders—immigrants on one side and descendants of slaves on the other—had high expectations that each generation would rise. And rise they did, but not without paying it forward—in uniform and in the pulpit, as educators, community leaders, and public servants. Susan too rose rapidly. She served throughout the Clinton administration, becoming one of the nation’s youngest assistant secretaries of state and, later, one of President Obama’s most trusted advisors. Rice provides an insider’s account of some of the most complex issues confronting the United States over three decades, ranging from “Black Hawk Down” in Somalia to the genocide in Rwanda and the East Africa embassy bombings in the late 1990s, and from conflicts in Libya and Syria to the Ebola epidemic, a secret channel to Iran, and the opening to Cuba during the Obama years. With unmatched insight and characteristic bluntness, she reveals previously untold stories behind recent national security challenges, including confrontations with Russia and China, the war against ISIS, the struggle to contain the fallout from Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, the U.S. response to Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the surreal transition to the Trump administration. Although you might think you know Susan Rice—whose name became synonymous with Benghazi following her Sunday news show appearances after the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya—now, through these pages, you truly will know her for the first time. Often mischaracterized by both political opponents and champions, Rice emerges as neither a villain nor a victim, but a strong, resilient, compassionate leader. Intimate, sometimes humorous, but always candid, Tough Love makes an urgent appeal to the American public to bridge our dangerous domestic divides in order to preserve our democracy and sustain our global leadership.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Trust Exercise

    Trust Exercise

    Susan Choi
    A Novel
    Fiction

    WINNER OF THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION “Electrifying” (People) • “Masterly” (The Guardian) • “Dramatic and memorable” (The New Yorker) • “Magic” (TIME) • “Ingenious” (The Financial Times) • "A gonzo literary performance” (Entertainment Weekly) • “Rare and splendid” (The Boston Globe) • “Remarkable” (USA Today) • “Delicious” (The New York Times) • “Book groups, meet your next selection" (NPR) In an American suburb in the early 1980s, students at a highly competitive performing arts high school struggle and thrive in a rarified bubble, ambitiously pursuing music, movement, Shakespeare, and, particularly, their acting classes. When within this striving “Brotherhood of the Arts,” two freshmen, David and Sarah, fall headlong into love, their passion does not go unnoticed—or untoyed with—by anyone, especially not by their charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley. The outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and of their future adult lives, fails to penetrate this school’s walls—until it does, in a shocking spiral of events that catapults the action forward in time and flips the premise upside-down. What the reader believes to have happened to David and Sarah and their friends is not entirely true—though it’s not false, either. It takes until the book’s stunning coda for the final piece of the puzzle to fall into place—revealing truths that will resonate long after the final sentence. As captivating and tender as it is surprising, Susan Choi's Trust Exercise will incite heated conversations about fiction and truth, and about friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and of the powers and responsibilities of adults.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Trick Mirror

    Trick Mirror

    Jia Tolentino
    Reflections on Self-Delusion
    Literary Collections

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "From The New Yorker's beloved cultural critic comes a bold, unflinching collection of essays about self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television."--Esquire "A whip-smart, challenging book."--Zadie Smith * "Jia Tolentino could be the Joan Didion of our time."--Vulture FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE'S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND HARVARD CRIMSON AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review * Time * Chicago Tribune * The Washington Post * NPR * Variety * Esquire * Vox * Elle * Glamour * GQ * Good Housekeeping * The Paris Review * Paste * Town & Country * BookPage * Kirkus Reviews * BookRiot * Shelf Awareness Jia Tolentino is a peerless voice of her generation, tackling the conflicts, contradictions, and sea changes that define us and our time. Now, in this dazzling collection of nine entirely original essays, written with a rare combination of give and sharpness, wit and fearlessness, she delves into the forces that warp our vision, demonstrating an unparalleled stylistic potency and critical dexterity. Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly through a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Tolentino writes about a cultural prism: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the advent of scamming as the definitive millennial ethos; the literary heroine's journey from brave to blank to bitter; the punitive dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies, should become more efficient and beautiful until we die. Gleaming with Tolentino's sense of humor and capacity to elucidate the impossibly complex in an instant, and marked by her desire to treat the reader with profound honesty, Trick Mirror is an instant classic of the worst decade yet. FINALIST FOR THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD FOR THE ART OF THE ESSAY

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Song of Solomon

    Song of Solomon

    Toni Morrison
    Fiction

    An official Oprah Winfrey’s “The Books That Help Me Through” selection With this brilliantly imagined New York Times bestselling novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. As Morrison follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, she introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized Black world.

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    They\'re transcendent...You\'ll be glad you read them.

    Aug 15, 2019 — Source

  • Maid

    Maid

    Stephanie Land
    Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive
    Biography & Autobiography

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land's memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Includes a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich. At 28, Stephanie Land's plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly. She wrote the true stories that weren't being told: the stories of overworked and underpaid Americans. Of living on food stamps and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) coupons to eat. Of the government programs that provided her housing, but that doubled as halfway houses. The aloof government employees who called her lucky for receiving assistance while she didn't feel lucky at all. She wrote to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor. Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them. "I'd become a nameless ghost," Stephanie writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients' lives-their sadness and love, too-she begins to find hope in her own path. Her compassionate, unflinching writing as a journalist gives voice to the "servant" worker, and those pursuing the American Dream from below the poverty line. Maid is Stephanie's story, but it's not her alone. It is an inspiring testament to the strength, determination, and ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Coach Wooden and Me

    Coach Wooden and Me

    David Fisher,Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court
    Sports & Recreation

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explores his 50-year friendship with Coach John Wooden, one of the most enduring and meaningful relationships in sports history. In 1965, 18-year old Lew Alcindor played basketball for Coach John Wooden at UCLA. It was the beginning of what was to become a 50-year long relationship. On the court, they broke basketball records. Off the court, they transcended their athletic achievements to gain even wider recognition and tremendous national respect. Part memoir, and part inspirational, Abdul-Jabbar reveals the lessons Coach Wooden taught him through the "Pyramid of Success" and discusses how they in turn shaped his life. Through beautiful storytelling, COACH WOODEN AND ME takes you back to the basics of what a coach should be.

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    The best books I read in 2017

    Jan 1, 2018 — Source

  • How to Do Nothing

    How to Do Nothing

    Jenny Odell
    Resisting the Attention Economy
    ART

    After the American presidental election of 2016, Jenny Odell felt so overstimunated and disoriented by information, misinformation, and the expressions of others, that reality itself seemed to slip away. How To Do Nothing is her action plan for resistance. Drawing on the ethos of tech culture, a background in the arts, and personal storytelling, Jenny Odell makes a powerful argument for refusal: refusal to believe that our lives are instruments to be optimised. She argues that nothing can be quite so radical as doing... nothing.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Normal People

    Normal People

    Sally Rooney
    Fiction

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE - COMING TO HULU IN 2020 - SALLY ROONEY NAMED TO THE 2019 TIME 100 NEXT LIST "A stunning novel about the transformative power of relationships" (People) from the author of Conversations with Friends, "a master of the literary page-turner" (J. Courtney Sullivan). NAMED ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S TEN BEST NOVELS OF THE DECADE - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Entertainment Weekly - People - The New York Public Library - Slate - Harvard Crimson AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Dwight Garner, The New York Times - The New York TImes Book Review - O: The Oprah Magazine - Time - NPR - The Washington Post - Vogue - Esquire - Glamour - Elle - Marie Claire - Vox - The Paris Review - Good Housekeeping - Town & Country - Kirkus Reviews - BookPage - BookRiot "Absolutely engrossing and surprisingly heartbreaking with more depth, subtlety, and insight than any one novel deserves."--Stephanie Danler Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation--awkward but electrifying--something life changing begins. A year later, they're both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other. Normal People is the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can't. Praise for Normal People "[A] novel that demands to be read compulsively, in one sitting."--The Washington Post "Arguably the buzziest novel of the season, Sally Rooney's elegant sophomore effort . . . is a worthy successor to Conversations with Friends. Here, again, she unflinchingly explores class dynamics and young love with wit and nuance."--The Wall Street Journal "[Rooney] has been hailed as the first great millennial novelist for her stories of love and late capitalism. . . . [She writes] some of the best dialogue I've read."--The New Yorker

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • The Shallows

    The Shallows

    Nicholas Carr
    How the Internet Is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember

    The 10th-anniversary edition of this landmark investigation into how the Internet is dramatically changing how we think, remember and interact, with a new afterword.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • How to Read the Air

    How to Read the Air

    Dinaw Mengestu
    Fiction

    A "beautifully written"* (New York Times Book Review) novel of redemption by a prize-winning international literary star. From the acclaimed author of The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears comes a heartbreaking literary masterwork about love, family, and the power of imagination. Following the death of his father Yosef, Jonas Woldemariam feels compelled to make sense of the volatile generational and cultural ties that have forged him. Leaving behind his marriage and job in New York, he sets out to retrace his mother and father's honeymoon as young Ethiopian immigrants and weave together a family history that will take him from the war-torn country of his parents' youth to a brighter vision of his life in America today. In so doing, he crafts a story- real or invented-that holds the possibility of reconciliation and redemption.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • The Power

    The Power

    Naomi Alderman
    Fiction

    What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power? "The Power is our era's The Handmaid's Tale." --Ron Charles, Washington Post **WINNER OF THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION** One of the New York Times's Ten Best Books of the YearOne of President Obama's favorite reads of the YearA Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year One of the Washington Post's Ten Best Books of the YearAn NPR Best Book of the Year One of Entertainment Weekly's Ten Best Books of the Year A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the YearA Bustle Best Book of the Year A Paste Magazine Best Novel of the YearA New York Times Book Review Editors' ChoiceAn Amazon Best Book of the Year "Alderman's writing is beautiful, and her intelligence seems almost limitless. She also has a pitch-dark sense of humor that she wields perfectly." --Michael Schaub, NPR In THE POWER, the world is a recognizable place: there's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power--they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets. From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, THE POWER is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.

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    The best books I read in 2017

    Jan 1, 2018 — Source

  • The Warmth of Other Suns

    The Warmth of Other Suns

    Isabel Wilkerson
    The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
    Biography & Autobiography
    Social Science

    Presents an epic history that covers the period from the end of World War I through the 1970s, chronicling the decades-long migration of African Americans from the South to the North and West through the stories of three individuals and their families.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Arthur Ashe

    Arthur Ashe

    Raymond Arsenault
    A Life
    Biography & Autobiography

    A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK The first comprehensive, authoritative biography of American icon Arthur Ashe—the Jackie Robinson of men’s tennis—a pioneering athlete who, after breaking the color barrier, went on to become an influential civil rights activist and public intellectual. Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1943, by the age of eleven, Arthur Ashe was one of the state's most talented black tennis players. Jim Crow restrictions barred Ashe from competing with whites. Still, in 1960 he won the National Junior Indoor singles title, which led to a tennis scholarship at UCLA. He became the first African American to play for the US Davis Cup team in 1963, and two years later he won the NCAA singles championship. In 1968, he won both the US Amateur title and the first US Open title, rising to a number one national ranking. Turning professional in 1969, he soon became one of the world’s most successful tennis stars, winning the Australian Open in 1970 and Wimbledon in 1975. After retiring in 1980, he served four years as the US Davis Cup captain and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985. In this revelatory biography, Raymond Arsenault chronicles Ashe’s rise to stardom on the court. But much of the book explores his off-court career as a human rights activist, philanthropist, broadcaster, writer, businessman, and celebrity. In the 1970s and 1980s, Ashe gained renown as an advocate for sportsmanship, education, racial equality, and the elimination of apartheid in South Africa. But from 1979 on, he was forced to deal with a serious heart condition that led to multiple surgeries and blood transfusions, one of which left him HIV-positive. In 1988, after completing a three-volume history of African-American athletes, he was diagnosed with AIDS, a condition he revealed only four years later. After devoting the last ten months of his life to AIDS activism, he died in February 1993 at the age of forty-nine, leaving an inspiring legacy of dignity, integrity, and active citizenship. Based on prodigious research, including more than one hundred interviews, Raymond Arsenault’s insightful and compelling biography puts Ashe in the context of both his time and the long struggle of African-American athletes seeking equal opportunity and respect.

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • We Live in Water

    We Live in Water

    Jess Walter
    Stories
    Fiction

    The first collection of short fiction from Jess Walter, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins, We Live in Water is a diverse suite of stories marked by the wry wit and generosity of spirit that has made him one of America’s most talked-about writers. Stories in We Live in Water range from comic tales of love to social satire and suspenseful crime fiction. Traveling from hip Portland to once-hip Seattle to never-hip Spokane, to a condemned casino in Las Vegas and a bottomless lake in the dark woods of Idaho, this is a world of lost fathers and redemptive con men, of personal struggles and diminished dreams. In title story “We Live in Water”, a lawyer returns to his corrupt hometown to find his father, who disappeared 30 years earlier. In “Thief,” a blue-collar worker turns unlikely detective to find out which of his kids is stealing from the family fund. “Anything Helps” sees a homeless man try to raise money to buy his son the new Harry Potter book; and in “Virgo,” a newspaper editor attempts to get back at his superstitious ex-girlfriend by screwing with her horoscope. Also included are “Don’t Eat Cat” and “Statistical Abstract of My Hometown, Spokane, Washington,” both of which achieved cult status after their first publication online.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Life 3.0

    Life 3.0

    Max Tegmark
    Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
    Technology & Engineering

    New York Times Best Seller How will Artificial Intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology—and there’s nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who’s helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial. How can we grow our prosperity through automation without leaving people lacking income or purpose? What career advice should we give today’s kids? How can we make future AI systems more robust, so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, replacing humans on the job market and perhaps altogether? Will AI help life flourish like never before or give us more power than we can handle? What sort of future do you want? This book empowers you to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. It doesn’t shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues—from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • Girl, Woman, Other

    Girl, Woman, Other

    Bernardine Evaristo
    A Novel (Booker Prize Winner)
    Fiction

    NATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE “A must-read about modern Britain and womanhood . . . An impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves . . . Her style is passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humor. There is never a single moment of dullness in this book and the pace does not allow you to turn away from its momentum.”—Booker Prize Judges Bernardine Evaristo is the winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and the first black woman to receive this highest literary honor in the English language. Girl, Woman, Other is a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain’s colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean. The twelve central characters of this multi-voiced novel lead vastly different lives: Amma is a newly acclaimed playwright whose work often explores her Black lesbian identity; her old friend Shirley is a teacher, jaded after decades of work in London’s funding-deprived schools; Carole, one of Shirley’s former students, is a successful investment banker; Carole’s mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter’s lack of rootedness despite her obvious achievements. From a nonbinary social media influencer to a 93-year-old woman living on a farm in Northern England, these unforgettable characters also intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class. Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative fast-moving form that borrows technique from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that shows a side of Britain we rarely see, one that reminds us of all that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Dying

    Dying

    Cory Taylor
    A Memoir
    Biography & Autobiography

    "Bracing and beautiful . . . Every human should read it." —The New York Times A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice At the age of sixty, Cory Taylor is dying of melanoma-related brain cancer. Her illness is no longer treatable: she now weighs less than her neighbor’s retriever. As her body weakens, she describes the experience—the vulnerability and strength, the courage and humility, the anger and acceptance—of knowing she will soon die. Written in the space of a few weeks, in a tremendous creative surge, this powerful and beautiful memoir is a clear-eyed account of what dying teaches: Taylor describes the tangle of her feelings, remembers the lives and deaths of her parents, and examines why she would like to be able to choose the circumstances of her death. Taylor’s last words offer a vocabulary for readers to speak about the most difficult thing any of us will face. And while Dying: A Memoir is a deeply affecting meditation on death, it is also a funny and wise tribute to life.

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    The best books I read in 2017

    Jan 1, 2018 — Source

  • Truth Decay

    Truth Decay

    Douglas Groothuis
    Defending Christianity Against the Challenges of Postmodernism
    Religion

    A 2001 Christianity Today Award of Merit winner! The concept of truth as absolute, objective and universal has undergone serious deterioration in recent years. No longer is it a goal for all to pursue. Rather postmodernism sees truth as inseparable from culture, psychology, race and gender. Ultimately, truth is what we make it to be. What factors have accelarated this decay of truth? Why are people willing to embrace such a devalued concept? How does this new view compare and contrast with a Christian understanding? While postmodernism contains some truthful insights (despite its attempt to dethrone truth), Douglas Groothuis sees its basic tenets as intellectually flawed and hostile to Christian views. In this spirited presentation of a solid, biblical and logical perspective, Groothuis unveils how truth has come under attack and how it can be defended in the vital areas of theology, apologetics, ethics and the arts.

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    The title is self-explanatory, but the findings are very interesting.

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Long Walk to Freedom

    Long Walk to Freedom

    Nelson Mandela
    Political Science

    These memoirs from one of the great leaders of our time are 'essential reading for anyone who wants to understand history - and then go out and change it' Barack Obama The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader of our time, Long Walk to Freedom brilliantly re-creates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela's destiny. Emotive, compelling and uplifting, Long Walk to Freedom is the exhilarating story of an epic life; a story of hardship, resilience and ultimate triumph told with the clarity and eloquence of a born leader. 'Enthralling . . . Mandela emulates the few great political leaders such as Lincoln and Gandhi, who go beyond mere consensus and move out ahead of their followers to break new ground' Sunday Times 'The authentic voice of Mandela shines through this book . . . humane, dignified and magnificently unembittered' The Times 'Burns with the luminosity of faith in the invincible nature of human hope and dignity . . . Unforgettable' Andre Brink

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • Washington Black

    Washington Black

    Esi Edugyan
    A novel
    Fiction

    One of the New York Times Book Review TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR Eleven-year-old George Washington Black—or Wash—a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is initially terrified when he is chosen as the manservant of his master’s brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. Soon Wash is initiated into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky, where even a boy born in chains may embrace a life of dignity and meaning, and where two people, separated by an impossible divide, can begin to see each other as human. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, they must abandon everything and flee together. Over the course of their travels, what brings Wash and Christopher together will tear them apart, propelling Wash ever farther across the globe in search of his true self. Spanning the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, London to Morocco, Washington Black is a story of self-invention and betrayal, of love and redemption, and of a world destroyed and made whole again. One of the Best Books of the Year The Boston Globe ● The Washington Post ● Time ● Entertainment Weekly ● San Francisco Chronicle ● Financial Times ● Minneapolis Star Tribune ● NPR ● The Economist ● Bustle ● The Dallas Morning News ● Slate ● Kirkus Reviews

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    On Barack Obama's best of 2018 list

    Dec 28, 2018 — Source

  • The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

    The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

    Shoshana Zuboff
    The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power
    Business & Economics

    The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior. Shoshana Zuboff's interdisciplinary breadth and depth enable her to come to grips with the social, political, business, and technological meaning of the changes taking place in our time. We are at a critical juncture in the confrontation between the vast power of giant high-tech companies and government, the hidden economic logic of surveillance capitalism, and the propaganda of machine supremacy that threaten to shape and control human life. Will the brazen new methods of social engineering and behavior modification threaten individual autonomy and democratic rights and introduce extreme new forms of social inequality? Or will the promise of the digital age be one of individual empowerment and democratization? The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is neither a hand-wringing narrative of danger and decline nor a digital fairy tale. Rather, it offers a deeply reasoned and evocative examination of the contests over the next chapter of capitalism that will decide the meaning of information civilization in the twenty-first century. The stark issue at hand is whether we will be the masters of information and machines or its slaves.

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Janesville

    Janesville

    Amy Goldstein
    An American Story
    Political Science

    * Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year * Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize​ * 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year * A New York Times Notable Book * A Washington Post Notable Book * An NPR Best Book of 2017 * A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2017 * An Economist Best Book of 2017 * A Business Insider Best Book of 2017 * “A gripping story of psychological defeat and resilience” (Bob Woodward, The Washington Post)—an intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class. This is the story of what happens to an industrial town in the American heartland when its main factory shuts down—but it’s not the familiar tale. Most observers record the immediate shock of vanished jobs, but few stay around long enough to notice what happens next when a community with a can-do spirit tries to pick itself up. Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Amy Goldstein spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin, where the nation’s oldest operating General Motors assembly plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, Goldstein shows the consequences of one of America’s biggest political issues. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of autoworkers, educators, bankers, politicians, and job re-trainers to show why it’s so hard in the twenty-first century to recreate a healthy, prosperous working class. “Moving and magnificently well-researched...Janesville joins a growing family of books about the evisceration of the working class in the United States. What sets it apart is the sophistication of its storytelling and analysis” (Jennifer Senior, The New York Times). “Anyone tempted to generalize about the American working class ought to meet the people in Janesville. The reporting behind this book is extraordinary and the story—a stark, heartbreaking reminder that political ideologies have real consequences—is told with rare sympathy and insight” (Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Soul of a New Machine).

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    The best books I read in 2017

    Jan 1, 2018 — Source

  • Lot

    Lot

    Bryan Washington
    Stories
    Ethnic relations

    "In the city of Houston - a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America - the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He's working at his family's restaurant, weathering his brother's blows, resenting his older sister's absence. And discovering he likes boys. Around him, others live and thrive and die in Houston's myriad neighborhoods: a young woman whose affair detonates across an apartment complex, a ragtag baseball team, a group of young hustlers, hurricane survivors, a local drug dealer who takes a Guatemalan teen under his wing, a reluctant chupacabra. With soulful insight into what makes a community, a family, and a life, Lot explores trust and love in all its unsparing and unsteady forms" --

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    On Barack Obama's best books of 2019 list

    Dec 29, 2019 — Source

  • Sing, Unburied, Sing

    Sing, Unburied, Sing

    Jesmyn Ward
    A Novel
    Fiction

    "A searing and profound Southern odyssey through Mississippi's past and present"--

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    The best books I read in 2017

    Jan 1, 2018 — Source

  • In the Shadow of Statues

    In the Shadow of Statues

    Mitch Landrieu
    A White Southerner Confronts History
    Fiction

    When Mitch Landrieu addressed the people of New Orleans in May 2017 about his decision to take down four Confederate monuments, including the statue of Robert E. Lee, he struck a nerve nationally, and his speech has now been heard or seen by millions across the country. In his first book, Mayor Landrieu discusses his personal journey on race as well as the path he took to making the decision to remove the monuments, tackles the broader history of slavery, race and institutional inequities that still bedevil America, and traces his personal relationship to this history.

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    Thats something Mitch takes to heart in this book, while grappling with some of the most painful parts of our history and how they still live in the present.

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source

  • Warlight

    Warlight

    Michael Ondaatje
    A novel
    Fiction

    NATIONAL BEST SELLER From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of The English Patient: a mesmerizing new novel that tells a dramatic story set in the decade after World War II through the lives of a small group of unexpected characters and two teenagers whose lives are indelibly shaped by their unwitting involvement. In a narrative as beguiling and mysterious as memory itself--shadowed and luminous at once--we read the story of fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings' mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn't know and understand in that time, and it is this journey--through facts, recollection, and imagination--that he narrates in this masterwork from one of the great writers of our time.

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    Is a meditation on the lingering effects of war on family.

    Aug 19, 2018 — Source

  • The New Geography of Jobs

    The New Geography of Jobs

    Enrico Moretti
    Business & Economics

    A rising young economist at Berkeley makes correlations between success and geography, explaining how such rising centers of innovation as San Francisco, Boston and Austin are likely to offer influential opportunities and shape the national and global economies in positive or detrimental ways.

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    a timely and smart discussion of how different cities and regions have made a changing economy work for them

    Jun 16, 2018 — Source