Best of
Biography

2019

Insights from a Prophet’s Life: Russell M. Nelson


Sheri Dew - 2019
    Nelson took advantage of every opportunity to learn and become more. In Insights from a Prophet's Life, Sheri Dew takes us through the life of President Nelson from childhood to the current day. This unique collection of life experiences is told in short episodes from the purpose of helping readers gain their own personal insights. For if we have much to learn from what a prophet says, surely we have much to learn from how a prophet lives.

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company


Robert Iger - 2019
    Morale had deteriorated, competition was more intense, and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company's history. "I knew there was nothing to be gained from arguing over the past," Iger writes. "The only thing that mattered was the future, and I believed I had a clear idea of the direction Disney needed to go." It came down to three clear ideas: 1) Create the highest quality content Disney could produce. 2) Embrace and adopt technology instead of fighting it. And 3) Think bigger--think global--and turn Disney into a stronger brand in international markets.Twelve years later, Disney is the largest, most respected media company in the world counting Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox among its properties. Its value is nearly five times what it was when Iger took over, and Iger is recognized as one of the most innovative and successful CEOs of our time.Now, he's sharing the lessons he's learned while running Disney and leading its 200,000 employees--taking big risks in the face of historic disruption; learning to inspire the people who work for you; leading with fairness and communicating principles clearly. This book is about the relentless curiosity that has driven Iger for forty-five years, since the day he started as a studio supervisor at ABC. It's also about thoughtfulness and respect, and a decency-over-dollars approach that has become the bedrock of every project and partnership Iger pursues, from a deep friendship with Steve Jobs in his final years to an abiding love of the evolving Star Wars myth."Over the past fourteen years, I think I've learned so much about what real leadership is," Iger writes. "But I couldn't have articulated all of this until I lived it. You can't fake it--and that's one of the key lessons in this book."Librarian Note: This is an Advance Reader Copy issued with ISBN 9780399592096. That ISBN has been moved to the final published copy, found here

It's Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Adapted for Young Readers)


Trevor Noah - 2019
    Trevor Noah shares his story of growing up in South Africa, with a black South African mother and a white European father at a time when it was against the law for a mixed-race child like him to exist. But he did exist--and from the beginning, the often-misbehaved Trevor used his smarts and humor to navigate a harsh life under a racist government.

Becoming Superman: A Writer's Journey from Poverty to Hollywood with Stops Along the Way at Murder, Madness, Mayhem, Movie Stars, Cults, Slums, Sociopaths, and War Crimes


J. Michael Straczynski - 2019
    Michael Straczynski has been one of the most successful writers in Hollywood, one of the few to forge multiple careers in movies, television and comics. Yet there’s one story he’s never told before: his own.In this dazzling memoir, the acclaimed writer behind Babylon 5, Sense8, Clint Eastwood’s Changeling and Marvel’s Thor reveals how the power of creativity and imagination enabled him to overcome the horrors of his youth and a dysfunctional family haunted by madness, murder and a terrible secret.Joe's early life nearly defies belief. Raised by damaged adults—a con-man grandfather and a manipulative grandmother, a violent, drunken father and a mother who was repeatedly institutionalized—Joe grew up in abject poverty, living in slums and projects when not on the road, crisscrossing the country in his father’s desperate attempts to escape the consequences of his past. To survive his abusive environment Joe found refuge in his beloved comics and his dreams, immersing himself in imaginary worlds populated by superheroes whose amazing powers allowed them to overcome any adversity. The deeper he read, the more he came to realize that he, too, had a superpower: the ability to tell stories and make everything come out the way he wanted it. But even as he found success, he could not escape a dark and shocking secret that hung over his family’s past, a violent truth that he uncovered over the course of decades involving mass murder.Straczynski’s personal history has always been shrouded in mystery. Becoming Superman lays bare the facts of his life: a story of creation and darkness, hope and success, a larger-than-life villain and a little boy who became the hero of his own life. It is also a compelling behind-the-scenes look at some of the most successful TV series and movies recognized around the world.Featuring an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing


Robert A. Caro - 2019
    He describes what it was like to interview the mighty Robert Moses; what it felt like to begin discovering the extent of the political power Moses wielded; the combination of discouragement and exhilaration he felt confronting the vast holdings of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas; his encounters with witnesses, including longtime residents wrenchingly displaced by the construction of Moses’ Cross-Bronx Expressway and Lady Bird Johnson acknowledging the beauty and influence of one of LBJ’s mistresses. He gratefully remembers how, after years of loneliness, he found a writers’ community at the New York Public Library’s Frederick Lewis Allen Room and details the ways he goes about planning and composing his books. Caro recalls the moments at which he came to understand that he wanted to write not just about the men who wielded power but about the people and the politics that were shaped by that power. And he talks about the importance to him of the writing itself, of how he tries to infuse it with a sense of place and mood to bring characters and situations to life on the page. Taken together, these reminiscences–some previously published, some written expressly for this book–bring into focus the passion, the wry self-deprecation, and the integrity with which this brilliant historian has always approached his work.

Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service


Gary Sinise - 2019
    But when he impulsively auditioned for a school production of West Side Story, he found his purpose—or so it seemed. Within a few years Gary and a handful of friends created what became one of the most exciting and important new theater companies in America. From its humble beginnings in a suburban Chicago church basement and eventual move into the city, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company launched a series of groundbreaking productions, igniting Gary's career along with those of John Malkovich, Joan Allen, Gary Cole, Laurie Metcalf, Jeff Perry, John Mahoney, and others. Television and film came calling soon after, and Gary starred in Of Mice and Men (which he also directed) and The Stand before taking the role that would change his life in unforeseeable ways: Lieutenant Dan in the Academy Award–winning Forrest Gump.The military community's embrace of the character of the disabled veteran was matched only by the depth of Gary's realization that America's defenders had not received all the honor, respect, and gratitude their sacrifices deserve. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, this became Gary's mission. While starring in hits like Apollo 13, Ransom, Truman, George Wallace, CSI:NY, and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Gary has worked tirelessly on behalf of those who serve this country, entertaining more than a half million troops around the world playing bass guitar with his Lt. Dan Band, raising funds on behalf of veterans, and eventually founding the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to serve and honor America's defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.Grateful American is the moving, entertaining, profoundly gripping story of how one man found his calling: to see that those who defend this country and its freedoms are never forgotten.

The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir


Samantha Power - 2019
    The Education of an Idealist traces Power’s distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential Cabinet official. In 2005, her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of newly elected senator Barack Obama, who invited her to work with him on Capitol Hill and then on his presidential campaign. After Obama was elected president, Power went from being an activist outsider to a government insider, navigating the halls of power while trying to put her ideals into practice. She served for four years as Obama’s human rights adviser, and in 2013, he named her US Ambassador to the United Nations, the youngest American to assume the role.A Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, 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. The Education of an Idealist lays bare the battles and defining moments of her life and shows how she juggled the demands of a 24/7 national security job with the challenge of raising two young children. Along the way, she illuminates the intricacies of politics and geopolitics, reminding us how the United States can lead in the world, and why we each have the opportunity to advance the cause of human dignity.

The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose


Chris Wilson - 2019
    One night, defending himself, he killed a man. At eighteen, he was sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole.But what should have been the end of his story became the beginning. Deciding to make something of his life, Chris embarked on a journey of self-improvement--reading, working out, learning languages, even starting a business. He wrote his Master Plan: a list of all he expected to accomplish or acquire. He worked his plan every day for years, and in his mid-thirties he did the impossible: he convinced a judge to reduce his sentence and became a free man. Today Chris is a successful social entrepreneur who employs returning citizens; a mentor; and a public speaker. He is the embodiment of second chances, and this is his unforgettable story.

Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations


William H. McRaven - 2019
    McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden.Sea Stories begins in 1960 at the American Officers' Club in France, where Allied officers and their wives gathered to have drinks and tell stories about their adventures during World War II -- the place where a young Bill McRaven learned the value of a good story. Sea Stories is an unforgettable look back on one man's incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security military sites to a day job of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages.

Between the Stops: The View of My Life from the Top of the Number 12 Bus


Sandi Toksvig - 2019
    It's about a bus trip really, because it's my view from the Number 12 bus (mostly top deck, the seat at the front on the right), a double-decker that plies its way from Dulwich, in South East London, where I was living, to where I sometimes work - at the BBC, in the heart of the capital. It's not a sensible way to write a memoir at all, probably, but it's the way things pop into your head as you travel, so it's my way'.From London facts including where to find the blue plaque for Una Marson, 'The first black woman programme maker at the BBC', to discovering the best Spanish coffee under Southwark's railway arches; from a brief history of lady gangsters at Elephant and Castle to memories of climbing Mount Sinai and, at the request of a fellow traveller, reading aloud the Ten Commandments; from the story behind Pissarro's painting of Dulwich Station to performing in Footlights with Emma Thompson; from painful memoires of being sent to Coventry while at a British boarding school to thinking about how Wombells Travelling Circus of 1864 haunts Peckham Rye;from anecdotes about meeting Prince Charles, Monica Lewinsky and Grayson Perry to Bake-Off antics; from stories of a real and lasting friendship with John McCarthy to the importance of family and the daunting navigation of the Zambezi River in her father's canoe, this Sandi Toksvig-style memoir is, as one would expect and hope, packed full of surprises. A funny and moving trip through memories, musings and the many delights on the Number 12 route, Between the Stops is also an inspiration to us all to get off our phones, look up and to talk to each other because as Sandi says: 'some of the greatest trips lie on our own doorstep'.

Me


Elton John - 2019
    By the age of twenty-three, he was on his first tour of America, facing an astonished audience in his tight silver hotpants, bare legs and a T-shirt with ROCK AND ROLL emblazoned across it in sequins. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again.His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with the Queen; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation. All the while, Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade.In Me Elton also writes about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father.

The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero who Infiltrated Auschwitz


Jack Fairweather - 2019
    The name of the detention centre -- Auschwitz.It was only after arriving at the camp that he started to discover the Nazi’s terrifying designs. Over the next two and half years, Witold forged an underground army that smuggled evidence of Nazi atrocities to the West, culminating in the mass murder of over a million Jews. His reports from the camp were to shape the Allies response to the Holocaust - yet his story was all but forgotten for decades.This is the first major account of his amazing journey, drawing on exclusive family papers and recently declassified files as well as unpublished accounts from the camp’s fighters to show how he saved hundreds of thousands of lives.The result is a enthralling story of resistance and heroism against the most horrific circumstances, and one man’s attempt to change the course of history.

Permanent Record


Edward Snowden - 2019
    The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it.Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online—a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the Internet’s conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic.

Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead


Jim Mattis - 2019
    Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas--and short-sighted thinking--now facing our nation. He makes it clear why America must return to a strategic footing so as not to continue winning battles but fighting inconclusive wars.Mattis divides his book into three parts: Direct Leadership, Executive Leadership, and Strategic Leadership. In the first part, Mattis recalls his early experiences leading Marines into battle, when he knew his troops as well as his own brothers. In the second part, he explores what it means to command thousands of troops and how to adapt your leadership style to ensure your intent is understood by your most junior troops so that they can own their mission. In the third part, Mattis describes the challenges and techniques of leadership at the strategic level, where military leaders reconcile war's grim realities with political leaders' human aspirations, where complexity reigns and the consequences of imprudence are severe, even catastrophic.Call Sign Chaos is a memoir of a life of warfighting and lifelong learning, following along as Mattis rises from Marine recruit to four-star general. It is a journey about learning to lead and a story about how he, through constant study and action, developed a unique leadership philosophy, one relevant to us all.

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré


Anika Aldamuy Denise - 2019
    Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular stories into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and cuentistas continue to share her stories and celebrate Pura’s legacy.This portrait of the influential librarian, author, and puppeteer reminds us of the power of storytelling and the extraordinary woman who opened doors and championed bilingual literature.

Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement


Albert Woodfox - 2019
    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.

Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice


Debbie Levy - 2019
    She blazed trails to the peaks of the male-centric worlds of education and law, where women had rarely risen before.Ruth Bader Ginsburg has often said that true and lasting change in society and law is accomplished slowly, one step at a time. This is how she has evolved, too. Step by step, the shy little girl became a child who questioned unfairness, who became a student who persisted despite obstacles, who became an advocate who resisted injustice, who became a judge who revered the rule of law, who became…RBG.

Innocent: The True Story of Siblings Struggling to Survive


Cathy Glass - 2019
    Aneta maintains she is innocent of harming them, while Filip appears bewildered and out of his depth. It’s true the family has never come to the attention of the social services before and little Kit and Molly appear to have been well looked after, but Kit has a broken arm and bruises on his face. Could it be they were a result of a genuine accident as Aneta is claiming? Both children become sick with a mysterious illness while, experienced foster carer, Cathy, is looking after them. Very worried, she asks for more hospital tests to be done. They’ve already had a lot. When Cathy’s daughter, Lucy, becomes ill too she believes she has found the cause of Kit and Molly’s illness and the parents aren’t to blame. However, nothing could be further from the truth and what comes to light is far more sinister and shocking.

Surprisingly Down to Earth, and Very Funny: My Autobiography


Limmy - 2019
    You might know me from Limmy’s Show. Or you might not know me at all. Don’t worry if you don’t.They asked me to write a book about mental health, because I sometimes talk about my mental health in tweets and interviews, like suicidal thoughts and anxiety, and what I’ve done to try and deal with it.I said to them, oh, I don’t know if I could fill a whole book with just that. But how’s about I write a general autobiography type of thing, and all the mental health stuff will naturally appear along the way? I could talk about growing up and slashing my wrist and taking acid all the time and getting done for car theft and feeling like a mad freak that would never amount to anything.And then how I made my own sketch show. I directed it and everything. Plus I’m a dad. I’m an adult. But I still feel like that mad freak from years ago. I still feel like chucking it all away, for a laugh.I asked them if they wanted me to write about all that, plus some other stuff. Like being an alky. And my sexual problems. Stuff like that.They said aye.So here it is.

Against All Odds: The inside account of the Thai cave rescue and the courageous Australians at the heart of it


Craig Challen - 2019
    You’re going to dive to the end of the cave. You’re going to see these kids. They’re all looking healthy and happy and smiley. Then, you’re going to swim away, and they’re probably all going to die.’ In June 2018, for seventeen days, the world watched and held its breath as the Wild Boars soccer team were trapped deep in a cave in Thailand. Marooned beyond flooded cave passages after unexpected rains, they were finally rescued, one-by-one, against almost impossible odds, by an international cave-diving team which included Australians Dr Richard Harris and Dr Craig Challen.These two men were chosen for their medical expertise and cave diving knowledge, but this dangerous rescue asked so much more of them. They had to remain calm under extreme pressure and intense scrutiny, adapt to constantly changing circumstances and importantly, build trust among the rescue team and with the young boys and their coach, whose lives were in their hands. Here is the story of these two Australian men who became international heroes – it is a story of determination, cunning and triumph that will long be remembered.

Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself


Jill Biden - 2019
    senator Joe Biden when he called her out of the blue to ask her on a date.Growing up, Jill had wanted two things: a marriage like her parents'--strong, loving, and full of laughter--and a career. An early heartbreak had left her uncertain about love, until she met Joe. But as they grew closer, Jill faced difficult questions: How would politics shape her family and professional life? And was she ready to become a mother to Joe's two young sons?She soon found herself falling in love with her three "boys," learning to balance life as a mother, wife, educator, and political spouse. Through the challenges of public scrutiny, complicated family dynamics, and personal losses, she grew alongside her family, and she extended the family circle at every turn: with her students, military families, friends and staff at the White House, and more.This is the story of how Jill built a family--and a life--of her own. From the pranks she played to keep everyone laughing to the traditions she formed that would carry them through tragedy, hers is the spirited journey of a woman embracing many roles.Where the Light Enters is a candid, heartwarming glimpse into the creation of a beloved American family, and the life of a woman at its center.

With All Due Respect: Defending America With Grit and Grace


Nikki R. Haley - 2019
    The New York Times and USA Today bestsellerA revealing, dramatic, deeply personal book about the most significant events of our time, written by the former United States Ambassador to the United NationsNikki Haley is widely admired for her forthright manner (“With all due respect, I don’t get confused”), her sensitive approach to tragic events, and her confident representation of America’s interests as our Ambassador to the United Nations during times of crisis and consequence.In this book, Haley offers a first-hand perspective on major national and international matters, as well as a behind-the-scenes account of her tenure in the Trump administration.This book reveals a woman who can hold her own—and better—in domestic and international power politics, a diplomat who is unafraid to take a principled stand even when it is unpopular, and a leader who seeks to bring Americans together in divisive times.

Overcoming: A Memoir


Vicky Phelan - 2019
    It would emerge that, like Vicky, 220 other women who were diagnosed with cervical cancer were not informed that a clinical audit -carried out by the national screen programme CervicalCheck - had revised their earlier, negative smear tests. Their cancers could possibly have been preventable.Since then, Vicky has become women's voice for justice on the issue, and her system-changing activism has made her a household name.In her memoir Overcoming, Vicky shares her remarkable personal story, from a life-threatening accident in early adulthood through to motherhood, a battle with depression, her devastating later discovery that her cancer had returned in shocking circumstances - and the ensuing detective-like scrutiny of events that led the charge for her history-making legal action.An inspiring story of rare resilience and power, Overcoming is an account of how one woman can move mountains - even when she is fighting for her own life - and of finding happiness and strength in the toughest of times.'Calls to mind the work of Emilie Pine, or the memoir by Maggie O'Farrell, I Am, I Am, I Am ... Overcoming is more than the retelling of an extraordinary life. Its pacing and gentleness leaves plenty of room for tears and for reflection' Irish Independent

My Family's Survival: The true story of how the Shwartz family escaped the Nazis and survived the Holocaust


Aviva Gat - 2019
    Their will to live, and a bit a luck, kept the family safe during the Holocaust, bringing them across Eastern Europe all the way to Israel.In 1937, the Shwartz family lived a calm life in their small village in Poland. Fifteen-year-old Rachel liked to sing and go out dancing at a local night club, while her older brother David was busy running a farm and raising a family with his wife Hinda. But all that changed when the war reached Butla.First, the Russians came and kicked them out of their house. Then, the Nazis came to cart them off. But the Shwartz family resisted. David decided that no matter what, his family would not be taken captive. Instead, he snuck his family out of their village, through a large forest, and into Hungary, a place that was supposed to be safe. But that didn’t last long. Again the Shwartz family found themselves on the run, escaping prison, Nazis, and bombings.My Family’s Survival is the incredible true story of how the Shwartz family survived the Holocaust. It is a powerful tale of one family’s triumph during history’s darkest moments.Fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and We Were the Lucky Ones will enjoy this riveting saga where hope prevails.

That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea


Marc Randolph - 2019
    Late fees were ubiquitous, video-streaming unheard was of, and widespread DVD adoption seemed about as imminent as flying cars. Indeed, these were the widely accepted laws of the land in 1997, when Marc Randolph had an idea. It was a simple thought-leveraging the internet to rent movies-and was just one of many more and far worse proposals, like personalized baseball bats and a shampoo delivery service, that Randolph would pitch to his business partner, Reed Hastings, on their commute to work each morning. But Hastings was intrigued, and the pair-with Hastings as the primary investor and Randolph as the CEO-founded a company. Now with over 150 million subscribers, Netflix's triumph feels inevitable, but the twenty first century's most disruptive start up began with few believers and calamity at every turn. From having to pitch his own mother on being an early investor, to the motel conference room that served as a first office, to server crashes on launch day, to the now-infamous meeting when Netflix brass pitched Blockbuster to acquire them, Marc Randolph's transformational journey exemplifies how anyone with grit, gut instincts and determination can change the world-even with an idea that many think will never work. What emerges,though, isn't just the inside story of one of the world's most iconic companies. Full of counter-intuitive concepts and written in binge-worthy prose, it answers some of our most fundamental questions about taking that leap of faith in business or in life: How do you begin? How do you weather disappointment and failure? How do you deal with success? What even is success? From idea generation to team building to knowing when it's time to let go, That Will Never Work is not only the ultimate follow-your-dreams parable, but also one of the most dramatic and insightful entrepreneurial stories of our time.

A Good Wife: Escaping the Life I Never Chose


Samra Zafar - 2019
    She was going to go to university, and forge her own path. Then with almost no warning, those dreams were pulled away from her when she was suddenly married to a stranger at 17 and had to leave behind her family in Pakistan to move to Canada. Her new husband and his family promised that the marriage and the move would be a fulfillment of her dream, not a betrayal of it. But as the walls of their home slowly became a prison, Samra realized the promises were empty ones.In the years that followed she suffered her husband’s emotional and physical abuse that left her feeling isolated, humiliated and assaulted. Desperate to get out, and refusing to give up, she hatched an escape plan for herself and her two daughters. Somehow she found the strength to not only build a new future, but to walk away from her past, ignoring the pleas of her family and risking cultural isolation by divorcing her husband.But that end was only the beginning for Samra. Through her academic and career achievements, she has gone on to become a mentor and public speaker, connecting with people around the world from isolated women in situations similar to her own, to young schoolgirls in Kenya who never allowed themselves to dream to men making the decisions to save for their daughters’ educations instead of their dowries. A Good Wife tell her harrowing and inspiring story, following her from a young girl with big dreams, through finding strength in the face of oppression and then finally battling through to empowerment.

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century


George Packer - 2019
    Admired and detested, he was the force behind the Dayton Accords that ended the Balkan wars, America's greatest diplomatic achievement in the post-Cold War era. His power lay in an utter belief in himself and his idea of a muscular, generous foreign policy. From his days as a young adviser in Vietnam to his last efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, Holbrooke embodied the postwar American impulse to take the lead on the global stage. But his sharp elbows and tireless self-promotion ensured that he never rose to the highest levels in government that he so desperately coveted. His story is thus the story of America during its era of supremacy: its strength, drive, and sense of possibility, as well as its penchant for overreach and heedless self-confidence.In Our Man, drawn from Holbrooke's diaries and papers, we are given a nonfiction narrative that is both intimate and epic in its revelatory portrait of this extraordinary and deeply flawed man and the elite spheres of society and government he inhabited.

Tell Me Why: The Story of My Life and My Music


Archie Roach - 2019
    Not many have lived as many lives as Archie Roach – stolen child, seeker, teenage alcoholic, lover, father, musical and lyrical genius, and leader – but it took him almost a lifetime to find out who he really was. Roach was only two years old when he was forcibly removed from his family. Brought up by a series of foster parents until his early teens, his world imploded when he received a letter that spoke of a life he had no memory of. In this intimate, moving and often shocking memoir, Archie’s story is an extraordinary odyssey through love and heartbreak, family and community, survival and renewal – and the healing power of music. Overcoming enormous odds to find his story and his people, Archie voices the joy, pain and hope he found on his path through song to become the legendary singer-songwriter and storyteller that he is today – beloved by fans worldwide. Tell Me Why is a stunning account of resilience and the strength of spirit – and of a great love story.Shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Non-FictionShortlisted for the 2020 Indie Book Awards, Non-FictionArchie Roach is the 2020 VIC Australian of the Year  ‘Just like his early songs, Tell Me Why was written with empathy as its impetus and that intent shines through on every page. This is a phenomenal work by one of the most articulate and recognisable members of the Stolen Generations. It will be read, studied and discussed for many years to come.’ The Australian ‘Beautiful, gut-wrenching and compelling memoir’ Sydney Morning Herald ‘Archie’s deeply resonant voice sings out – of a broken country and a life renewed. The voice of Australia.’ Daniel Browning, ABC journalist and producer ‘Roach is honest and humble in his oft-heartbreaking retelling of his search for identity, belonging and purpose’ Courier Mail ‘Best book of 2019: Tell Me Why by Archie Roach, a beautifully written autobiography that captures one of the most remarkable lives in Australian music’ Weekend Australian

What Are the Odds? From Crack Addict to CEO


Mike Lindell - 2019
    Mike’s gripping narrative transports readers from his small-town tavern with its colorful cast of “Regulars” to Mexico and a drug deal gone awry. From Las Vegas casinos, where Mike won and lost fortunes as a professional gambler, to a jail-cell beat down. From failed rehabs to his 20-year marriage, an ideal union decimated by addiction. And finally, to the redemption of the most shameful moment of his life.An unvarnished account of the ravages of cocaine, crack, and gambling addiction, What Are the Odds? tells the improbable tale of how a small-town guy with a dream somehow made it a reality. More importantly, Mike opens up about the God who relentlessly chased him down, turning him from a casual believer to a passionate evangelist with an absolute, mathematical certainty that God is real.What Are the Odds? will not only speak to entrepreneurs and those struggling with addiction, but also to anyone looking for a message of hope.Digital download edition available on author's website.

Alone at Dawn: Medal of Honor Recipient John Chapman and the Untold Story of the World's Deadliest Special Operations Force


Dan Schilling - 2019
    Outnumbered by Al Qaeda fighters, Air Force Combat Controller John Chapman and a handful of Navy SEALs struggled to take the summit in a desperate bid to find a lost teammate.Chapman, leading the charge, was gravely wounded in the initial assault. Believing he was dead, his SEAL leader ordered a retreat. Chapman regained consciousness alone, with the enemy closing in on three sides.John Chapman's subsequent display of incredible valor -- first saving the lives of his SEAL teammates and then, knowing he was mortally wounded, single-handedly engaging two dozen hardened fighters to save the lives of an incoming rescue squad -- posthumously earned him the Medal of Honor. Chapman is the first airman in nearly fifty years to be given the distinction reserved for America's greatest heroes.Alone at Dawn is also a behind-the-scenes look at the Air Force Combat Controllers: the world's deadliest and most versatile special operations force, whose members must not only exceed the qualifications of Navy SEAL and Army Delta Force teams but also act with sharp decisiveness and deft precision -- even in the face of life-threatening danger.Drawing from firsthand accounts, classified documents, dramatic video footage, and extensive interviews with leaders and survivors of the operation, Alone at Dawn is the story of an extraordinary man's brave last stand and the brotherhood that forged him.

Defying Jihad: The Dramatic True Story of a Woman Who Volunteered to Kill Infidels—and Then Faced Death for Becoming One


Esther Ahmad - 2019
    A chance to win not only the love of Allah, but the love of her father—something she had never been able to earn. Esther took a deep breath and raised her hand in the air. At the age of eighteen, she had just volunteered to become a suicide bomber.Defying Jihad is the true story of a girl growing up under radical Islamic rule, trained to believe her ultimate purpose was to serve Allah by dying as a jihadist. But two nights before she was to leave forever, she had a dream . . . one that would change the course of her destiny.Against all odds, Esther became a follower of Jesus—even though leaving Islam meant her death sentence. But rather than kill her immediately, Esther’s furious father challenged her to a series of public debates with Muslim scholars: the Bible versus the Quran. If Esther won, she might yet survive. But if the Muslim clerics won, Esther must renounce her Christian faith. For an entire month—if she lived that long—Esther would be brought before the mob daily to defend her newfound faith. Would God give her the words to argue against Muslim leaders, former friends, and even her own family?Defying Jihad is an amazing story of a woman prepared to surrender all for Jesus—and whose life transformed from terror to overwhelming love.

Who Was Ruth Bader Ginsburg?


Patricia Brennan Demuth - 2019
    Now that famous face graces the cover of this Who Was? book. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was famous for her stylish collars (called jabots) and her commanding dissents. This opera-loving New Yorker always spoke her mind; as a young lawyer, RBG advocated for gender equality and women's rights when few others did. She gained attention for the cases she won when arguing in front of the Supreme Court, before taking her place on the bench in 1993. Author Patricia Brennan Demuth answers all the questions about what made RBG so irreplaceable and how the late Supreme Court justice left a legacy that will last forever.

Anthony Bourdain Remembered


CNN - 2019
    The tributes spoke to his legacy: That the world is much smaller than we imagine and people are more alike than they are different. As Bourdain had once said, “If I’m an advocate of anything, it’s to move…Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food.”Remembering Anthony Bourdain brings together memories and stories from fans reminiscing about Bourdain’s unique achievements and his enduring effect on their lives as well as comments from chefs, journalists, filmmakers, musicians, and writers inspired by Tony including Barack Obama, Daniel Boulud, Jill Filipovic, Ken Burns, Questlove, and José Andrés, among many others.These remembrances give us a glimpse of Tony’s widespread impact through his political and social commitments; his dedication to travel and eating well (and widely); and his love of the written word, along with his deep compassion, open-mindedness, and interest in lives different from his own.Remembering Anthony Bourdain captures Tony’s inimitable spirit and passion in the words of his closest friends and colleagues as well as some of his most devoted fans.

Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future


Pete Buttigieg - 2019
    With soaring prose that celebrates a resurgent American Midwest, Shortest Way Home narrates the heroic transformation of a “dying city” (Newsweek) into nothing less than a shining model of urban reinvention.Interweaving two narratives—that of a young man coming of age and a town regaining its economic vitality—Buttigieg recounts growing up in a Rust Belt city, amid decayed factory buildings and the steady soundtrack of rumbling freight trains passing through on their long journey to Chicagoland. Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s legacy, Buttigieg first left northern Indiana for red-bricked Harvard and then studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, before joining McKinsey, where he trained as a consultant—becoming, of all things, an expert in grocery pricing. Then, Buttigieg defied the expectations that came with his pedigree, choosing to return home to Indiana and responding to the ultimate challenge of how to revive a once-great industrial city and help steer its future in the twenty-first century.Elected at twenty-nine as the nation’s youngest mayor, Pete Buttigieg immediately recognized that “great cities, and even great nations, are built through attention to the everyday.” As Shortest Way Home recalls, the challenges were daunting—whether confronting gun violence, renaming a street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., or attracting tech companies to a city that had appealed more to junk bond scavengers than serious investors. None of this is underscored more than Buttigieg’s audacious campaign to reclaim 1,000 houses, many of them abandoned, in 1,000 days and then, even as a sitting mayor, deploying to serve in Afghanistan as a Navy officer. Yet the most personal challenge still awaited Buttigieg, who came out in a South Bend Tribune editorial, just before being reelected with 78 percent of the vote, and then finding Chasten Glezman, a middle-school teacher, who would become his partner for life.While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home, with its graceful, often humorous, language, challenges our perception of the typical American politician. In chronicling two once-unthinkable stories—that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a revitalized Rust Belt city no longer regarded as “flyover country”—Buttigieg provides a new vision for America’s shortest way home.

Nerves of Steel: How I Followed My Dreams, Earned My Wings, and Faced My Greatest Challenge


Tammie Jo Shults - 2019
    Though the odds were against her, she became one of the few female fighter pilots in the Navy. In 1994, after serving her country honorably for eight years, Tammie Jo left the Navy and joined Southwest Airlines in the early 1990’s. On April 17, 2018, Tammie Jo was called to service once again. Twenty minutes into a routine domestic flight, Captain Shults was faced with the unthinkable—a catastrophic engine failure in the Boeing 737 caused an explosion that punctured hydraulic lines and severed fuel lines, tearing away sections of the plane, puncturing a window, and taking a woman’s life. Captain Shults and her first officer, Darren Ellisor, struggled to stabilize the aircraft.Drawing deeply from her well of experience, Tammie Jo was able to wrestle the severely damaged 737 safely to the ground. Not originally scheduled for that flight, there is no doubt God had prepared her and placed her right where she needed to be that day.

Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem


Daniel R. Day - 2019
    & Rakim to Beyoncé and Jay-Z along the way.With his now-legendary store on 125th Street in Harlem, Dapper Dan pioneered high-end streetwear in the early 1980s, remixing classic luxury-brand logos into his own flamboyant designs. But before reinventing fashion, he was a hungry boy with holes in his shoes, a teen who daringly gambled drug dealers out of their money, a young man in a prison cell who found nourishment in books, and, finally, a designer who broke barriers to outfit a whos-who of music, sport, and crime world celebrities in looks that went on to define an era.By turns playful, poignant, and inspiring, and featuring two incredible eight-page color photo inserts, including the only existing, never-before-seen images of the notorious Mike Tyson-Mitch Green street fight, Dapper Dan's memoir is a high-stakes coming-of-age story, spanning more than seventy years and set against the backdrop of an ever-evolving America.

Transformed: A Navy SEAL's Unlikely Journey from the Throne of Africa, to the Streets of the Bronx, to Defying All Odds


Remi Adeleke - 2019
    But what would it take for one young man not only to rise above those statistics but also become a Navy SEAL, actor, entrepreneur, writer, and successful husband and father?In Transformed, Remi Adeleke takes you back to stories from his childhood, from living as Nigerian royalty to losing his father early in life and being stripped financially of everything by the Nigerian government. He delves into being raised by a single mother in the Bronx and doesn’t shy away from his illegal activities as a young man that threatened to derail his future. At every turn, including throughout his naval career, Adeleke found a way to overcome the odds, even when it didn’t make sense. His is an inspiring story of true personal transformation.

Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy Network Against Hitler


Lynne Olson - 2019
    Brave, independent, and a lifelong rebel against her country's conservative, patriarchal society, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was temperamentally made for the job. Her group's name was Alliance, but the Gestapo dubbed it Noah's Ark because its agents used the names of animals as their aliases. Marie-Madeleine's codename was Hedgehog.No other French spy network lasted as long or supplied as much crucial intelligence as Alliance--and as a result, the Gestapo pursued them relentlessly, capturing, torturing, and executing hundreds of its three thousand agents, including her own lover and many of her key spies. Fourcade had to move her headquarters every week, constantly changing her hair color, clothing, and identity, yet was still imprisoned twice by the Nazis. Both times she managed to escape, once by stripping naked and forcing her thin body through the bars of her cell. The mother of two young children, Marie-Madeleine hardly saw them during the war, so entirely engaged was she in her spy network, preferring they live far from her and out of harm's way. In Madame Fourcade's Secret War, Lynne Olson tells the tense, fascinating story of Fourcade and Alliance against the background of the developing war that split France in two and forced its citizens to live side by side with their hated German occupiers.

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation


Barry Wittenstein - 2019
    and the 1963 March on Washington. But there's little on his legendary speech and how he came to write it. Find out more in this gripping book with illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney.Martin Luther King, Jr. was once asked if the hardest part of preaching was knowing where to begin. No, he said. The hardest part is knowing where to end. "It's terrible to be circling up there without a place to land."Finding this place to land was what Martin Luther King, Jr. struggled with, alongside advisors and fellow speech writers, in the Willard Hotel the night before the March on Washington, where he gave his historic "I Have a Dream" speech. But those famous words were never intended to be heard on that day, not even written down for that day, not even once.Barry Wittenstein teams up with legendary illustrator Jerry Pinkney to tell the story of how, against all odds, Martin found his place to land.

It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way


Kyo Maclear - 2019
    Now it's time for Gyo's story to be told -- a story of artistic talent that refused to be constrained by rules or expectations.Growing up quiet and lonely at the beginning of the twentieth century, Gyo learned from her relatives the ways in which both women and Japanese people lacked opportunity. Her teachers and family believed in her and sent her to art school and later Japan, where her talent flourished. But while Gyo's career grew and led her to work for Walt Disney Studios, World War II began, and with it, her family's internment. But Gyo never stopped fighting -- for herself, her vision, her family and her readers -- and later wrote and illustrated the first children's book to feature children of different races interacting together.This luminous new book beautifully and openly touches on Gyo's difficult experiences and growth. Through Julie Morstad's exquisite illustrations, alternating between striking black-and-white linework and lush colour, and Kyo Maclear's artful and accessible writing, the story of this cherished figure is told at last.

Daddy's Little Soldier


Maggie Hartley - 2019
    Tom has been taken into care following concerns from his teachers about his dad Mark's ability to cope as a single parent, following the death of his wife.As a former soldier, Mark has resorted to his military training in order to cope with his young son, forcing him to scrub the floors until his hands bleed and perform repeated push-ups as punishment for his misdeameanors.Working with both father and son, Maggie Hartley must try everything she knows to help the pair grieve for the mother and wife they've lost and reconnect with one another. But can dad, Mark, overcome his own demons and become the father his son so desperately needs?

Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life


Randy Travis - 2019
    But in 2009, this seemingly charmed life began a downward spiral. His marriage dissolved, he discovered that his finances had unraveled, and his struggles with anger led to alcohol abuse, public embarrassment, and even police arrest in 2012.Then, just as he was putting his life back together, Randy suffered a devastating viral cardiomyopathy that led to a massive stroke which he was not expected to survive. Yet he not only survived but also learned to walk again and, in 2016, accepted his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame by singing the hymn that explains his life today: "Amazing Grace."Filled with never-before-told stories, Forever and Ever, Amen is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at dizzying success and the miraculous road to restoration.

Eye Can Write: A Memoir of a Child’s Silent Soul Emerging


Jonathan Bryan - 2019
    He was locked inside his own mind, aware of the outside world but unable to fully communicate with it until he found a way by using his eyes to laboriously choose individual letters, and through this make his thoughts known. In Eye Can Write, we read of his intense passion for life, his mischievous sense of fun, his hopes, his fears, and what it's like to be him. This is a powerful book from an incredible young writer whose writing ability defies age or physical disability—a truly inspirational figure.

Lalechka: A WW2 Jewish Girl's Holocaust Survival True Story (World War II Memoir Book 1)


Amira Keidar - 2019
    Two courageous women. And an inspirational story of survivalIt is 1941, the height of World War II, and in a Polish ghetto, a baby girl named Rachel is born. Her parents, Jacob and Zippa, are willing to do anything to keep her alive. They nickname her Lalechka.Just before Lalechka’s first birthday, the Nazis begin to murder everyone in the ghetto. Her mother discovers a hideaway in the attic where other Jews are hiding. The father, serving as Jewish policeman in the ghetto, understands that staying in the attic will mean a certain death for his wife and child.In a desperate but hope-filled move, Lalechka’s parents decide to save their daughter no matter what the price.Jacob smuggle them outside the boundaries of the ghetto where Zippa meets Polish friends, Irena and Sophia. She gives her beloved Lalechka to them and returns to the ghetto to be with her husband and parents – unaware of the fate that awaits her.Irena and Sophia take on the burden of caring for Lalechka during the war, pretending that she is part of their family despite the danger of being discovered and executed.Lalechka is based on the unique journal written by the young mother during the annihilation of the ghetto, as well as on interviews with key figures in the story, rare documents and authentic letters.

A Change of Affection: A Gay Man's Incredible Story of Redemption


Becket Cook - 2019
    He devoted his time to growing his career as a successful set designer and to finding "the one" man who would fill his heart. His life centered around celebrity-filled Hollywood parties and he traveled to society hot-spots around the world--until a chance encounter with a pastor at an LA coffee shop one morning changed everything.        In A Change of Affection, Becket Cook shares his testimony as someone who was transformed by the power of the gospel. His dramatic conversion to Christianity and subsequent seminary training inform his views on homosexuality--personally, biblically, theologically, and culturally--and his compelling book guides readers through this complex and controversial issue while revealing how to lovingly engage with those who disagree. Provocative, genuine, and deeply faithful, A Change of Affection is a timely and indispensable resource for anyone who desires to understand more fully one of the most common and difficult stumbling blocks to faithfully following Christ today.

The United States of Trump: How the President Really Sees America


Bill O'Reilly - 2019
    Now, O’Reilly turns his razor-sharp observations to his most compelling subject thus far—President Donald J. Trump. In this thrilling narrative, O’Reilly blends primary, never-before-released interview material with a history that recounts Trump’s childhood and family and the factors from his life and career that forged the worldview that the president of the United States has taken to the White House. Not a partisan pro-Trump or anti-Trump book, this is an up-to-the-minute, intimate view of the man and his sphere of influence—of “how Donald Trump’s view of America was formed, and how it has changed since becoming the most powerful person in the world”— from a writer who has known the president for thirty years. This is an unprecedented, gripping account of the life of a sitting president as he makes history. As the author will tell you, “If you want some insight into the most unlikely political phenomenon of our lifetimes, you’ll get it here.”

A Search for Belonging


Michael Fuller - 2019
    He loved to ride his bike and collect coins and stamps and grew up celebrating the freedom of 1960s Britain. But when he was nine, a local paper described him as the 'coloured boy' in his school production. It was the first time Michael felt judged based on the colour of his skin. Thirty-six years later, Michael became Britain's first ever black Chief Constable. That moment taught Michael he would always be searching for a place to belong. Hoping to tackle injustice and create change from within, he joined the police force, but experienced racism and inequality. From colleagues shouting racist insults into his office, to the Brixton Riots where 'Kill the black one first!' was yelled from the crowds. Determined, despite everything, not to turn and walk away, he rose through the ranks and made his way to the very top. A Search For Belonging is a story of resilience, persistence and optimism; of how one man set out, against the odds, to try and belong. Published originally as "Kill The Black One First".

Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of the Black Crowes--A Memoir


Steve Gorman - 2019
    With hits like "Hard to Handle," "She Talks to Angels," and "Remedy," their massive success launched them to stardom in the early '90s, earning them a place among rock royalty. They were on the cover of Rolling Stone, MTV played their videos 24/7, and Generation X rediscovered the power of classic rock and blues by digging into multi-platinum classics like Shake Your Money Maker and The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.But stardom can be fleeting. For the Black Crowes, success slowly dwindled as the band members got caught up in the rock star world and lost sight of their musical ambition. Despite the drinking, drugs, and incessant fighting between Chris and Rich Robinson -- the angriest brothers in rock and roll, with all due respect to Oasis and the Kinks -- the band continued to tour until 2013. On any given night, they could be the best band you ever saw (or the most combative). Then, one last rift caused by Chris Robinson proved insurmountable for the band to survive. After that, the Black Crowes would fly no more.Founding member Steve Gorman was there for all of it -- the coke- and weed-fueled tours; the tumultuous recording sessions; the backstage hangs with legends like Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and the Rolling Stones. As the band's drummer and voice of reason, he tried to keep the Black Crowes together musically and emotionally. In Hard To Handle -- the first account of this great American rock band's beginning, middle, and end -- Gorman explains just how impossible that job was with great insight, candor, and humor. They don't make bands like the Black Crowes anymore: crazy, brilliant, self-destructive, inspiring, and, ultimately, not built to last. But, man, what a ride it was while it lasted.

The Fear Bubble: Harness Fear and Live Without Limits


Ant Middleton - 2019
    1 bestseller FIRST MAN IN. Without fear, there’s no challenge. Without challenge, there’s no growth. Without growth, there’s no life. Ant Middleton is no stranger to fear: as a point man in the Special Forces, he confronted fear on a daily basis, never knowing what lay behind the next corner, or the next closed door. In prison, he was thrust into the unknown, cut off from friends and family, isolated with thoughts of failure and dread for his future. And at the top of Everest, in desperate, life-threatening conditions, he was forced to face up to his greatest fear, of leaving his wife and children without a husband and father.But fear is not his enemy. It is the energy that propels him. Thanks to the revolutionary concept of the Fear Bubble, Ant has learned to harness the power of fear and understands the positive force that it can become. Fear gives Ant his edge, allowing him to seek out life’s challenges, whether that is at home, pushing himself every day to be the best father he can be, or stuck in the death zone on top of the world in a 90mph blizzard.In his groundbreaking new book, Ant Middleton thrillingly retells the story of his death-defying climb of Everest and reveals the concept of the Fear Bubble, showing how it can be used in our lives to help us break through our limits. Powerful, unflinching and an inspirational call to action, The Fear Bubble is essential reading for anyone who wants to push themselves further, harness their fears and conquer their own personal Everests.

Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again


Andrea Barber - 2019
    Why did she leave and what did she do for twenty years out of the spotlight before returning to television? This is her funny and inspiring memoir of fame, heartache, resilience--and the reboot of a lifetime . . .When Kimmy Gibbler burst into the Tanners' home on Full House in 1987, audiences immediately connected with the confident and quirky pre-teen character, played by ten-year-old actress Andrea Barber. During an eight-season run on one of the most popular series of the '80s and '90s, Andrea came of age in front of millions. But she was as far removed from her character as a girl can get. The introverted young star was plagued with self-doubt, insecurities, and debilitating anxieties that left her questioning her identity after the show's cancelation. Andrea wouldn't return to the public eye until 2016, for Fuller House. So what happened in those intervening decades that Andrea jokingly calls "the lost years"?For starters, Andrea never stopped working. But it was on a series of life-changing transitions: earning a college degree, then a Master's, building a career in international education, getting married, and starting a family. She also faced some unforeseeable transitions: navigating a sudden divorce after nearly twelve years of marriage, and second-guessing her capabilities as a single mother. But it was her devastating bout with post-partum anxiety and depression that derailed Andrea's life--and became a crucial turning point. Full Circle is a raw, refreshingly honest look into the life of a celebrity who has never been fully comfortable in the spotlight. Here Andrea shares her deeply personal struggles with mental health in a way she has never done before. She opens up about fighting her way back and finding solace--while finding herself--all before her life came full circle with her costars and lifelong friends on Fuller House. Sharing her journey from child star, to champion of mental health, and back to stardom, Andrea writes in a way that feels like catching up with an old friend.You'll laugh, reminisce, and finally get to know the woman behind the zany next door neighbor.

The Crayon Man: the True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons


Natascha Biebow - 2019
    purple mountains’ majesty, mauvelous, jungle green, razzmatazz… What child doesn't love to hold a crayon in their hands?  But children didn't always have such magical boxes of crayons. Here’s the true story of an inventor who so loved nature’s vibrant colors that he found a way to bring the outside world to children – in a box for only a nickel!

Break Point: SAS: Who Dares Wins Host's Incredible True Story: The Perfect Summer Read


Ollie Ollerton - 2019
    THIS IS HIS INCREDIBLE TRUE STORYWhere is your break point?Is it here? Facing the gruelling SAS selection process on one leg, with a busted ankle and the finish line nowhere in sight?Or here? Under heavy fire from armed kidnappers while protecting journalists en route to Baghdad.Or is it here? At the bottom of a bottle, with a family in pieces, unable to adapt to a civilian lifestyle, yearning for a warzone?Ex-Special Forces soldier and star of TV's SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ollie Ollerton has faced many break points in his life and now he tells us the vital lessons he has learnt. His incredible story features hardened criminals, high-speed car chases, counter-terrorism and humanitarian heroics - freeing children from a trafficking ring in Thailand.Ollie has faced break points in his personal life too, surviving a freak childhood attack, run-ins with the law as a teenager rebelling against a broken home, his self-destructive battles with alcohol and drug addiction, and his struggles with anxiety and depression. His final redemption as an entrepreneur and mental health charity ambassador has seen him overcome adversity to build a new and better life.'Everyone has the capacity for incredible achievement, because it's only when it's crunch time, when you're down to your last bullet - when you're at break point - that you find out who you really are.'

Jack Charles: Born-again Blakfella


Jack Charles - 2019
    But the title he’s most proud to claim is that of Aboriginal Elder.Stolen from his mother and placed into institutional care when he was only a few months old, Uncle Jack was raised under the government’s White Australia Policy. The loneliness and isolation he experienced during those years had a devastating impact on him that endured long after he reconnected with his Aboriginal roots and discovered his stolen identity. Even today he feels like an outsider; a loner; a fringe dweller.In this honest and no-holds-barred memoir, Uncle Jack reveals the ‘ups and downs of this crazy, drugged up, locked up, fucked up, and at times unbelievable, life’. From his sideline as a cat burglar, battles with drug addiction and stints in prison, to gracing the nation’s stages and screens as he dazzled audiences with his big personality and acting prowess, he takes us through the most formative moments of his life. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, Jack Charles: Born-again Blakfella is a candid and uplifting memoir from one of Australia’s finest and most beloved actors.

Unsinkable: My Story


Jane McDonald - 2019
    The nation first fell in love with Jane twenty years ago, as the break-out star of BBC reality TV show The Cruise. She was catapulted to dizzying overnight success, but since then, she has navigated some stormy waters. Her dreams hit the rocks as TV and music execs, 'the London lot', swooped in and tried to morph her into a generic international diva. Her fans didn't recognise her, and melted away. Her marriage to Henrik, which began with a fairytale Carribean wedding watched by a television audience of 13.5m, collapsed. Jane lost her confidence, and hid from the world.But Jane's unsinkable and now she's back on the crest of a wave. In her uplifting autobiography she shares her incredible story with heart and humour. It hasn't always been plain sailing, but now she's enjoying more success than she's ever had before, and her fans love her all the more for it.

26 Marathons: What I've Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life From Each Marathon I've Run


Meb Keflezighi - 2019
    When Meb Keflezighi ran his final marathon in New York City on November 5, 2017, it marked the end of an extraordinary distance-running career. As the first person in history to win both the Boston and New York City marathons as well as an Olympic marathon medal, Meb’s legacy is forever cemented. Meb's last marathon was also his 26th, and each of those marathons has come with its own unique challenges, rewards, and outcomes. In 26 Marathons, take on those legendary races alongside Meb—every hill, bend, and unexpected turn of events that made each marathon an exceptional learning experience, and a fascinating story. 26 Marathons offers the wisdom Meb has gleaned about life, family, identity, and faith in addition to tips about running, training, and nutrition. He shows runners of all levels how to apply the lessons he's learned to their own running and lives. Equal parts inspiration and practical advice, 26 Marathons provides an inside look at the life and success of one of the greatest runners living today.

Mary Wears What She Wants


Keith Negley - 2019
    And she wanted to wear pants!Inspired by the true story of Mary Edwards Walker, a trailblazing doctor who was arrested many times for wearing pants, this fresh, charming picture book encourages readers to think for themselves while gently challenging gender and societal norms.

Love & Courage: My Story of Family, Resilience, and Overcoming the Unexpected


Jagmeet Singh - 2019
    The historic milestone was celebrated across the nation.About a month earlier, in the lead up to his election, Jagmeet held community meet-and-greets across Canada. At one such event, a disruptive heckler in the crowd hurled accusations at him. Jagmeet responded by calmly calling for all Canadians to act with “love and courage” in the face of hate. That response immediately went viral, and people across the country began asking, “Who is Jagmeet Singh? And why ‘love and courage’?”This personal and heartfelt memoir is Jagmeet’s answer to that question. In it, we are invited to walk with him through childhood to adulthood as he learns powerful, moving, and sometimes traumatic lessons about hardship, addiction, and the impact of not belonging. We meet his strong family, including his mother, who teaches him that “we are all one; we are all connected,” a valuable lesson that has shaped who he is today.This story is not a political memoir. This is a story of family, love, and courage, and how strengthening the connection between us all is the way to building a better world.

The Reluctant Expat: Part Four - Settling Down


Alan Laycock - 2019
    SETTLING DOWN is the fourth and final instalment of THE RELUCTANT EXPAT, Alan Laycock’s light-hearted account of his life in Spain.

Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law


Haben Girma - 2019
    However, she had difficulty reading facial features or distinguishing people in group conversations. Relying on her own problem-solving skills, Girma overcame roadblocks while simultaneously obtaining her undergraduate and then law degree. In the process, she developed new methods of communication and found her calling in advocating for the deaf and blind communities in more accessible communication, education, and employment opportunities. As a lawyer and advocate, Girma shares a collection of vignettes illustrating the defining points in her life. She peppers her writing with a witty sense of humor and showcases her strength in facing obstacles, along with challenging antiquated societal beliefs about people with disabilities, whether describing her experience climbing Alaska's Mendenhall Glacier or helping a drunk friend get to his dorm by using her seeing-eye dog that he adores as a lure

The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown


Mac Barnett - 2019
    Illustrated with sumptuous art by rising star Sarah Jacoby, this is essential reading for children's book lovers of every age.

What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence


Stephen A. Schwarzman - 2019
    Schwarzman, a long-awaited book that uses impactful episodes from Schwarzman's life to show readers how to build, transform, and lead thriving organizations. Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, philanthropist, executive, or simply someone looking for ways to maximize your potential, the same lessons apply.People know who Stephen Schwarzman is—at least they think they do. He’s the man who took $400,000 and co-founded Blackstone, the investment firm that manages over $500 billion (as of January 2019). He’s the CEO whose views are sought by heads of state. He’s the billionaire philanthropist who founded Schwarzman Scholars, this century’s version of the Rhodes Scholarship, in China. But behind these achievements is a man who has spent his life learning and reflecting on what it takes to achieve excellence, make an impact, and live a life of consequence. Folding handkerchiefs in his father’s linen shop, Schwarzman dreamed of a larger life, filled with purpose and adventure. His grades and athleticism got him into Yale. After starting his career in finance with a short stint at a financial firm called DLJ, Schwarzman began working at Lehman Brothers where he ascended to run the mergers and acquisitions practice. He eventually partnered with his mentor and friend Pete Peterson to found Blackstone, vowing to create a new and different kind of financial institution. Building Blackstone into the leading global financial institution it is today didn’t come easy. Schwarzman focused intensely on culture, hiring great talent, and establishing processes that allow the firm to systematically analyze and evaluate risk. Schwarzman’s simple mantra “don’t lose money” has helped Blackstone become a leading private equity and real estate investor, and manager of alternative assets for institutional investors globally. Both he and the firm are known for the rigor of their investment process, their innovative approach to deal making, the diversification of their business lines, and a conviction to be the best at everything they do. Schwarzman is also an active philanthropist, having given away more than a billion dollars. In philanthropy, as in business, he is drawn to situations where his capital and energy can be applied to drive transformative solutions and change paradigms, notably in education. He uses the skills learned over a lifetime in finance to design, establish, and support impactful and innovative organizations and initiatives. His gifts have ranged from creating a new College of Computing at MIT for the study of artificial intelligence, to establishing a first-of-its-kind student and performing arts center at Yale, to enabling the renovation of the iconic New York Public Library, to founding the Schwarzman Scholars fellowship program at Tsinghua University in Beijing—the single largest philanthropic effort in China’s history from international donors. Schwarzman’s story is an empowering, entertaining, and informative guide for anyone striving for greater personal impact. From deal making to investing, leadership to entrepreneurship, philanthropy to diplomacy, Schwarzman has lessons for how to think about ambition and scale, risk and opportunities, and how to achieve success through the relentless pursuit of excellence. Schwarzman not only offers readers a thoughtful reflection on all his own experiences, but in doing so provides a practical blueprint for success.

The Life of Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Narrative of an Extraordinary Life


David F. Walker - 2019
    Comic book writer and filmmaker David F. Walker joins with the art team of Damon Smyth and Marissa Louise to bring the long, exciting, and influential life of Douglass to life in comic book form. Taking you from Douglass's life as a young slave through his forbidden education to his escape and growing prominence as a speaker, abolitionist, and influential cultural figure during the Civil War and beyond, Frederick Douglass presents a complete illustrated portrait of the man who stood up and spoke out for freedom and equality. Along the way, special features provide additional background on the history of slavery in the United States, the development of photography (which would play a key role in the spread of Douglass's image and influence), and the Civil War. Told from Douglass's point of view and based on his own writings.

Tell Me A Story: My Life with Pat Conroy


Cassandra King Conroy - 2019
    Pat and Cassandra ultimately married, ending Pat's long commutes from coastal South Carolina to her native Alabama. It was a union that would last eighteen years, until the beloved literary icon’s death from pancreatic cancer in 2016.In this poignant, intimate memoir, the woman he called King Ray looks back at her love affair with a natural-born storyteller whose lust for life was fueled by a passion for literature, food, and the Carolina Lowcountry that was his home. As she reflects on their relationship and the eighteen years they spent together, cut short by Pat’s passing at seventy, Cassandra reveals how the marshlands of the South Carolina Lowcountry ultimately cast their spell on her, too, and how she came to understand the convivial, generous, funny, and wounded flesh-and-blood man beneath the legend—her husband, the original Prince of Tides.

George Marshall: Defender of the Republic


David L. Roll - 2019
    Winston Churchill called him World War II's "organizer of victory." Harry Truman said he was "the greatest military man that this country ever produced." Today, in our era of failed leadership, few lives are more worthy of renewed examination than Marshall and his fifty years of loyal service to the defense of his nation and its values. Even as a young officer he was heralded as a genius, a reputation that grew when in WWI he planned and executed a nighttime movement of more than a half million troops from one battlefield to another that led to the armistice. Between the wars he helped modernize combat training, and re-staffed the U.S. Army's officer corps with the men who would lead in the next decades. But as WWII loomed, it was the role of army chief of staff in which Marshall's intellect and backbone were put to the test, when his blind commitment to duty would run up against the realities of Washington politics. Long seen as a stoic, almost statuesque figure, he emerges in these pages as a man both remarkable and deeply human, thanks to newly discovered sources.Set against the backdrop of five major conflicts—two world wars, Palestine, Korea, and the Cold War—Marshall's education in military, diplomatic, and political power, replete with their nuances and ambiguities, runs parallel with America's emergence as a global superpower. The result is a defining account of one of our most consequential leaders.

Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past, 1883–1924


Vikram Sampath - 2019
    Accounts of his eventful and stormy life have oscillated from eulogizing hagiographies to disparaging demonization. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in between and has unfortunately never been brought to light. Savarkar and his ideology stood as one of the strongest and most virulent opponents of Gandhi, his pacifist philosophy and the Indian National Congress.An alleged atheist and a staunch rationalist who opposed orthodox Hindu beliefs, encouraged inter-caste marriage and dining, and dismissed cow worship as mere superstition, Savarkar was, arguably, the most vocal political voice for the Hindu community through the entire course of India's freedom struggle. From the heady days of revolution and generating international support for the cause of India's freedom as a law student in London, Savarkar found himself arrested, unfairly tried for sedition, transported and incarcerated at the Cellular Jail, in the Andamans, for over a decade, where he underwent unimaginable torture.From being an optimistic advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity in his treatise on the 1857 War of Independence, what was it that transformed him in the Cellular Jail to a proponent of 'Hindutva', which viewed Muslims with suspicion?Drawing from a vast range of original archival documents across India and abroad, this biography in two parts-the first focusing on the years leading up to his incarceration and eventual release from the Kalapani-puts Savarkar, his life and philosophy in a new perspective and looks at the man with all his achievements and failings.

This Team Is Ruining My Life (But I Love Them): How I Became a Professional Hockey Fan


Steve "dangle" Glynn - 2019
    From video blogging in his parents' house at 19 to yelling on televisions across Canada at 28, Dangle has been involved with some of the most important sports companies in the country.In between tales of Steve's adventures, both online and off, This Team Is Ruining My Life is also a kind of how-to (or how-not-to) guide: in an ever-evolving media landscape, sometimes you have to get creative to find the job you want. This is Steve Dangle and his accidentally on purpose journey through sports media so far.

Thank You for My Service


Mat Best - 2019
    From surviving a skin infection in the swampy armpit of America (aka Columbus, Georgia) to kicking down doors in the outskirts of Ramadi; from blowing up a truck full of enemy combatants to witnessing the effects of a suicide bombing right in front of your face, Thank You for My Service will give readers fresh insight into what it’s really like inside the minds of the men and women on the front linesIt’s also a sobering yet steadying glimpse at civilian life for veterans, after the fighting stops. When the enemy becomes self-doubt or despair, and you begin to wonder why anyone should be thanking you for anything, least of all your service. How do you keep going when something you love turns you into somebody you hate? For veterans and their friends and family,

Your Own Kind of Girl


Clare Bowditch - 2019
    Through her music and performing, this beloved Australian artist has touched hundreds of thousands of lives. But what of the stories she used to tell herself? That 'real life' only begins once you're thin or beautiful, that good things only happen to other people.YOUR OWN KIND OF GIRL reveals a childhood punctuated by grief, anxiety and compulsion, and tells how these forces shaped Clare's life for better and for worse. This is a heartbreaking, wise and at times playful memoir. Clare's own story told raw and as it happened. A reminder that even on the darkest of nights, victory is closer than it seems.With startling candour, Clare lays bare her truth in the hope that doing so will inspire anyone who's ever done battle with their inner critic. This is the work of a woman who has found her true power - and wants to pass it on. Happiness, we discover, is only possible when we take charge of the stories we tell ourselves.

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln


Margarita Engle - 2019
    If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too—the Civil War. Still, Teresa kept playing, and soon she grew famous as the talented Piano Girl who could play anything from a folk song to a sonata. So famous, in fact, that President Abraham Lincoln wanted her to play at the White House! Yet with the country torn apart by war, could Teresa’s music bring comfort to those who needed it most?

Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law


Jeffrey Rosen - 2019
    Rosen, a veteran legal journalist, scholar, and president of the National Constitution Center, shares with us the justice's observations on a variety of topics, and her intellect, compassion, sense of humor, and humanity shine through. The affection they have for each other as friends is apparent in their banter and in their shared love for the Constitution--and for opera.In Conversations with RBG, Justice Ginsburg discusses the future of Roe v. Wade, her favorite dissents, the cases she would most like to see overruled, the #MeToo movement, how to be a good listener, how to lead a productive and compassionate life, and of course the future of the Supreme Court itself. These frank exchanges illuminate the steely determination, self-mastery, and wit that have inspired Americans of all ages to embrace the woman known to all as "Notorious RBG."Whatever the topic, Justice Ginsburg always has something interesting--and often surprising--to say. And while few of us will ever have the opportunity to chat with her face-to-face, Jeffrey Rosen brings us by her side as never before. Conversations with RBG is a deeply felt portrait of an American hero.

Every Tool's a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It


Adam Savage - 2019
    It’s an exploration of making, but it’s also a permission slip of sorts from me to you. Permission to grab hold of the things you’re interested in, that fascinate you, and to dive deeper into them to see where they lead you. Through stories from forty-plus years of making and molding, building and break­ing, along with the lessons I learned along the way, this book is meant to be a toolbox of problem solving, complete with a shop’s worth of notes on the tools, techniques, and materials that I use most often. Things like: In Every Tool There Is a Hammer—don’t wait until everything is perfect to begin a project, and if you don’t have the exact right tool for a task, just use whatever’s handy; Increase Your Loose Tolerance—making is messy and filled with screwups, but that’s okay, as creativity is a path with twists and turns and not a straight line to be found; Use More Cooling Fluid—it prolongs the life of blades and bits, and it prevents tool failure, but beyond that it’s a reminder to slow down and reduce the fric­tion in your work and relationships; Screw Before You Glue—mechanical fasteners allow you to change and modify a project while glue is forever but sometimes you just need the right glue, so I dig into which ones will do the job with the least harm and best effects. This toolbox also includes lessons from many other incredible makers and creators, including: Jamie Hyneman, Nick Offerman, Pixar director Andrew Stanton, Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, artist Tom Sachs, and chef Traci Des Jardins. And if everything goes well, we will hopefully save you a few mistakes (and maybe fingers) as well as help you turn your curiosities into creations. I hope this book serves as “creative rocket fuel” (Ed Helms) to build, make, invent, explore, and—most of all—enjoy the thrills of being a creator.

Voice Lessons: How a Couple of Ninja Turtles, Pinky, and an Animaniac Saved My Life


Rob Paulsen - 2019
    If you don’t know him by name, you will know him by the many characters he has brought to life: Pinky from Pinky and the Brain, Yakko from Animaniacs, the tough but loveable Raphael from the original animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and many more. So you can imagine how terrifying it must have been when Rob was diagnosed with throat cancer, putting his entire livelihood in jeopardy and threatening to rob the world of all his loveable characters that filled our youths and adulthoods with humor and delight. Voice Lessons tells the heartwarming and life-affirming story of Rob’s experience with an aggressive cancer treatment and recovery regimen, which luckily led to a full recovery. Rob quickly returned to doing what he loves most, but with a much deeper appreciation of what he came so close to losing. His new lease on life inspired him to rededicate himself to his fans, particularly the new friends he made along the way: hundreds of sick children and their families. Rob said it best himself: “I can not only continue to make a living, but make a difference, and I can’t wait to use that on the biggest scale that I can.”

Devotedly: The Personal Letters and Love Story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot


Valerie Elliot Shepard - 2019
    Many also know the prolific legacy of Elisabeth Elliot, whose inspiring influence on generations of believers through print, broadcast, and personal testimony continues to resonate, even after her own death in 2015. What many don’t know is the remarkable story of how these two stalwart personalities—single-mindedly devoted to pursuing God’s will for their young lives, certain their future callings would require them to sacrifice forever the blessings of marriage—found their hearts intertwined. Their paths to God’s purpose led them together. Now, for the first time, their only child—daughter Valerie Elliot Shepard—unseals never-before-published letters and private journals that capture in first-person intimacy the attraction, struggle, drama, and devotion that became a most unlikely love story.  Riveting for old and young alike, this moving account of their personal lives shines as a gold mine of lived-out truth, hard-fought purity, and an insider’s view on two beloved Christian figures.

Mind Master: Winning Lessons from a Champion's Life


Viswanathan Anand - 2019
    1, bagged five World Championship titles and won tournaments across all formats of the game. A peerless ambassador of chess, his is one of the most revered names in the sport.In Mind Master, Vishy looks back on a lifetime of games played, opponents tackled and circumstances overcome, and draws from its depths significant tools that will help every reader navigate life’s challenges:What role do tactics and strategy play in the preparation for achieving a goal?How can emotions be harnessed to your advantage in tricky situations?What precautions should you take before you decide to leave your comfort zone and embrace risk?What do you need to do to stay relevant in the face of rapidly changing realities?Is unlearning really the only way to learn?These are just some of the nuggets Vishy touches upon with characteristic wit, easy wisdom and disarming candour in Mind Master – a delightful and invaluable exploration into the self that will thrill, inspire and motivate readers as few books have done before.

Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando


Andrea Wang - 2019
    Magic Ramen tells the true story behind the creation of one of the world's most popular foods.Every day, Momofuku Ando would retire to his lab—a little shed in his backyard. For years, he'd dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick, convenient, and tasty for the hungry people he'd seen in line for a bowl on the black market following World War II. Peace follows from a full stomach, he believed.Day after day, Ando experimented. Night after night, he failed. But Ando kept experimenting.With persistence, creativity, and a little inspiration, Ando succeeded. This is the true story behind one of the world's most popular foods.

A Woman of Firsts: The Midwife Who Built a Hospital and Changed the World


Edna Adan Ismail - 2019
    When she suffered the trauma of FGM herself as a young girl at the bidding of her mother, Edna’s determination was set.The first midwife to practise in Somaliland, Edna became a formidable teacher and campaigner for women’s health. As her country was swept up in its bloody fight for independence, Edna rose to become its First Lady and first female cabinet minister.She built her own hospital, brick by brick, training future generations in what has been hailed as one of the Horn of Africa’s finest university hospitalsThis is Edna’s truly remarkable story.

Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson


Katherine G. Johnson - 2019
    In school she quickly skipped ahead several grades and was soon studying complex equations with the support of a professor who saw great promise in her. But ability and opportunity did not always go hand in hand. As an African American and a girl growing up in an era of brutal racism and sexism, Katherine faced daily challenges. Still, she lived her life with her father’s words in mind: “You are no better than anyone else, and nobody else is better than you.” In the early 1950s, Katherine was thrilled to join the organization that would become NASA. She worked on many of NASA’s biggest projects including the Apollo 11 mission that landed the first men on the moon. Katherine Johnson’s story was made famous in the bestselling book and Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Now in Reaching for the Moon she tells her own story for the first time, in a lively autobiography that will inspire young readers everywhere.

All Secure: One Delta Force Operator's Fight From the Battlefield to the Homefront


Tom Satterly - 2019
    military, Command Sergeant Major Tom Satterly fought some of this country's most fearsome enemies. Over the course of twenty years and thousands of missions, he's fought desperately for his life, rescued hostages, killed and captured terrorist leaders, and seen his friends maimed and killed around him.All Secure is in part Tom's journey into a world so dark and dangerous that most Americans can't contemplate its existence. It recounts what it is like to be on the front lines with one of America's most highly trained warriors. As action-packed as any fiction thriller, All Secure is an insider's view of "The Unit."Tom is a legend even among other Tier One special operators. Yet the enemy that cost him three marriages, and ruined his health physically and psychologically, existed in his brain. It nearly led him to kill himself in 2014; but for the lifeline thrown to him by an extraordinary woman it might have ended there. Instead, they took on Satterly's most important mission-saving the lives of his brothers and sisters in arms who are killing themselves at a rate of more than twenty a day.Told through Satterly's firsthand experiences, it also weaves in the reasons-the bloodshed, the deaths, the intense moments of sheer terror, the survivor's guilt, depression, and substance abuse-for his career-long battle against the most insidious enemy of all: Post Traumatic Stress. With the help of his wife, he learned that by admitting his weaknesses and faults he sets an example for other combat veterans struggling to come home.

The Boy Who Grew a Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng


Sophia Gholz - 2019
    So he began planting trees. What began as a small thicket of bamboo, grew over the years into 1,300 acre forest filled with native plants and animals. The Boy Who Grew a Forest tells the inspiring true story of Payeng—and reminds us all of the difference a single person with a big idea can make.

Who Is Michael Jordan?


Kirsten Anderson - 2019
    Michael Jordan has always been competitive--even as a young boy, he fought for attention. His need to be the best made him a star player on his college basketball team and helped him become an NBA legend, both for his skills and his endorsements. His Nike contract for Air Jordan basketball shoes set an unmatched precedent for professional athletes. Author Kirsten Anderson takes readers through each exciting moment, detailing the iconic reverse lay-ups and jump shots of Michael Jordan's storied career.

A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon


Suzanne Slade - 2019
    She knew it was wrong that people thought women could only be teachers or nurses--as wrong as 10-5=3. And she proved everyone wrong by zooming ahead of her classmates, starting college at fifteen, and eventually joining NASA, where her calculations helped pioneer America's first manned flight into space, its first manned orbit of Earth, and the world's first trip to the moon!Award-winning author Suzanne Slade and debut artist Veronica Miller Jamison tell the story of a NASA "computer" in this smartly written, charmingly illustrated biography.

Tall Tales and Wee Stories: The Best of Billy Connolly


Billy Connolly - 2019
    It had been an extraordinary career. When he first started out in the late sixties, Billy played the banjo in the folk clubs of Scotland. Between songs, he would improvise a bit, telling anecdotes from the Clyde shipyard where he'd worked. In the process, he made all kinds of discoveries about what audiences found funny, from his own brilliant mimes to the power of speaking irreverently about politics or explicitly about sex. He began to understand the craft of great storytelling. Soon the songs became shorter and the monologues longer, and Billy quickly became recognised as one of the most exciting comedians of his generation.Billy's routines always felt spontaneous. He never wrote scripts, always creating his comedy freshly on stage in the presence of a live audience. A brilliant comic story might be subsequently discarded, adapted or embellished. A quick observation or short anecdote one night, could become a twenty-minute segment by the next night of a tour.Billy always brought a beautiful sense of the absurd to his shows as he riffed on his family, hecklers, swimming in the North Sea or naked bungee jumping. But his comedy can be laced with anger too. He hates pretentiousness and calls out hypocrisy wherever he sees it. His insights about the human condition have shocked many people, while his unique talent and startling appearance on stage gave him license to say anything he damn well pleased about sex, politics or religion. Billy got away with it because he has always had the popular touch. His comedy spans generations and different social tribes in a way that few others have ever managed. Tall Tales and Wee Stories brings together the very best of Billy's storytelling for the first time and includes his most famous routines including, The Last Supper, Jojoba Shampoo, Incontinence Pants and Shouting at Wildebeest. With an introduction and original illustrations by Billy throughout, it is an inspirational, energetic and riotously funny read, and a fitting celebration of our greatest ever comedian.

The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience


Hillary Rodham Clinton - 2019
    "Go ahead, ask your question," her father urged, nudging her forward. She smiled shyly and said, "You're my hero. Who's yours?" Many people - especially girls - have asked us that same question over the years. It's one of our favourite topics.HILLARY: Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home. So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own. Long after I stopped clipping articles, I continued to seek out stories of women who seemed to be redefining what was possible.CHELSEA: This book is the continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since I was little. For me, too, my mom was a hero; so were my grandmothers. My early teachers were also women. But I grew up in a world very different from theirs. My pediatrician was a woman, and so was the first mayor of Little Rock who I remember from my childhood. Most of my close friends' moms worked outside the home as nurses, doctors, teachers, professors, and in business. And women were going into space and breaking records here on Earth.Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there's a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book.So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named something no one had dared talk about before. Historian Mary Beard used wit to open doors that were once closed, and Wangari Maathai, who sparked a movement to plant trees, understood the power of role modeling. Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai looked fear in the face and persevered. Nearly every single one of these women was fiercely optimistic - they had faith that their actions could make a difference. And they were right.To us, they are all gutsy women - leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do. Because if history shows one thing, it's that the world needs gutsy women.

I Love the Bones of You: My Life, My Family, My Father


Christopher Eccleston - 2019
    I aim to capture him and his impact on my life and career.’  - Christopher Eccleston Drawing on his memories, Chris will describe a vivid life of growing up in a Salford, working-class household in the 1970s with his siblings, a loving mother, and the totemic figure of his hardworking, serious-minded and socialist father – Ronnie. How his life changed from a potential future as ‘factory fodder’ in his native Northwest, to a deep-rooted desire to perform on stage, and what developed into a burgeoning acting career – from his stunning film debut Let Him Have It; to the BBC’s landmark drama miniseries Our Friends in the North; his remarkable relaunch of the iconic Doctor Who franchise; and many more BAFTA-nominated roles over the past three decades such as starring in the current production of Macbeth for the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford; and, playing the role of the grandfather in the BBC1 hit drama series The A Word. Along this path of fame and fortune also lay a man still bonded to his home city of Salford, his politics, his family, and especially his beloved parents. Chris will discuss openly the loss of his father and his family’s struggle to cope with his condition over the past decade of his life as they watched his health deteriorate. A journey thousands of British families travel on each year. A heart-rending, honest and often touching memoir of a man embedded in his roots and mourning the loss of the father who nurtured those roots.

She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman


Erica Armstrong Dunbar - 2019
    As a leading abolitionist, her bravery and selflessness has inspired generations in the continuing struggle for civil rights. Now, National Book Award nominee Erica Armstrong Dunbar presents a fresh take on this American icon blending traditional biography, illustrations, photos, and engaging sidebars that illuminate the life of Tubman as never before. Not only did Tubman help liberate hundreds of slaves, she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the Civil War, worked as a spy for the Union Army, was a fierce suffragist, and was an advocate for the aged. She Came to Slay reveals the many complexities and varied accomplishments of one of our nation’s true heroes and offers an accessible and modern interpretation of Tubman’s life that is both informative and engaging. Filled with rare outtakes of commentary, an expansive timeline of Tubman’s life, photos (both new and those in public domain), commissioned illustrations, and sections including “Harriet By the Numbers” (number of times she went back down south, approximately how many people she rescued, the bounty on her head) and “Harriet’s Homies” (those who supported her over the years), She Came to Slay is a stunning and powerful mix of pop culture and scholarship and proves that Harriet Tubman is well deserving of her permanent place in our nation’s history.

What They Meant for Evil: How a Lost Girl of Sudan Found Healing, Peace, and Purpose in the Midst of Suffering


Rebecca Deng - 2019
    One of the first unaccompanied refugee children to enter the United States in 2000, after South Sudan's second civil war took the lives of most of her family, Rebecca's story begins in the late 1980s when, at the age of four, her village was attacked and she had to escape. What They Meant for Evil is the account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and purity of a child, Rebecca recalls how she endured fleeing from gunfire, suffering through hunger and strength-sapping illnesses, dodging life-threatening predators-lions, snakes, crocodiles, and soldiers alike-that dogged her footsteps, and grappling with a war that stole her childhood.Her story is a lyrical, captivating portrait of a child hurled into wartime, and how through divine intervention, she came to America and found a new life full of joy, hope, and redemption.

Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever


Gavin Edwards - 2019
    Warm and welcoming, he spoke directly to children—and their parents—about the marvels of the world, the things that worried them, and above all, the importance of being themselves. Dressed in his cardigan and sneakers, Fred Rogers offered a wholesome message of generosity and love that changed the landscape of television and shaped a generation of children. Kindness and Wonder pays tribute to this cultural icon: the unique, gentle man who embodied the best of what we could be.Looking back at the history of the show and the creative visionary behind it, pop culture aficionado Gavin Edwards reminds us of the indelible lessons and insights that Mister Rogers conveyed—what it means to be a good person, to be open-hearted, to be thoughtful, to be curious, to be compassionate—and why they matter. Beautifully crafted, infused with Mister Rogers’ gentle spirit, and featuring dozens of interviews with people whose lives were touched by Fred Rogers—ranging from Rita Moreno to NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann—Kindness and Wonder is a love letter to this unforgettable cultural hero and role model, and the beautiful neighborhood he created.

Daughter of Family G: A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate


Ami McKay - 2019
    In 1895 her great-great aunt, Pauline Gross, a seamstress in Ann Arbor, Michigan, confided to a pathology professor at the local university that she expected to die young, like so many others in her family. Rather than dismiss her fears, the pathologist chose to enlist Pauline in the careful tracking of those in her family tree who had died of cancer. Pauline's premonition proved true--she died at 46--but because of her efforts, her family (who the pathologist dubbed 'Family G') would become the longest and most detailed cancer genealogy ever studied in the world. A century after Pauline's confession, researchers would identify the genetic mutation responsible for the family's woes. Now known as Lynch syndrome, the genetic condition predisposes its carriers to several types of cancer, including colorectal, endometrial, ovarian and pancreatic. In 2001, as a young mother with two sons and a keen interest in survival, Ami McKay was among the first to be tested for Lynch syndrome. She had a feeling she'd test positive: her mother's side of the family was riddled with early deaths and her own mother was being treated for the disease. When the test proved her fears true, she began living in "an unsettling state between wellness and cancer," and she's been there ever since. Intimate, candid, and probing, her genetic memoir tells a fascinating story, teasing out the many ways to live with the hand you are dealt.

Brave Surrender: Let God’s Love Rewrite Your Story


Kim Walker-Smith - 2019
    But she wasn't always so confident of God's unrelenting, powerful love.  Coming from a painful childhood, Kim struggled to believe that God could heal her heart or bring any sense from her past. Yet when she chose to hand her struggles over to God and receive His love, freedom, and healing in return, everything began to change. On the other side of surrender, Kim began a journey of looking at one painful memory at a time with God and exchanging her perspective for His truth--a journey in which God rewrote her story of pain into a story of redemption and hope.If you are longing to experience God more than the shame or hurts of your past, the pressures of your present, or the fear of your future, Brave Surrender offers a soul-healing path forward. As Kim learned in her own life, the first step--and the bravest step--is letting go. Once we let go of anything that gets between us and God, we are freed to take hold of the life that truly matters. As Kim writes, "When we encounter God's love, it changes the way we see. And when we learn to see what He sees, we will never be the same again."

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II


Sonia Purnell - 2019
    We must find and destroy her."This spy was Virginia Hall, a young American woman--rejected from the foreign service because of her gender and her prosthetic leg--who talked her way into the spy organization deemed Churchill's "ministry of ungentlemanly warfare," and, before the United States had even entered the war, became the first woman to deploy to occupied France.Virginia Hall was one of the greatest spies in American history, yet her story remains untold. Just as she did in Clementine, Sonia Purnell uncovers the captivating story of a powerful, influential, yet shockingly overlooked heroine of the Second World War. At a time when sending female secret agents into enemy territory was still strictly forbidden, Virginia Hall came to be known as the "Madonna of the Resistance," coordinating a network of spies to blow up bridges, report on German troop movements, arrange equipment drops for Resistance agents, and recruit and train guerilla fighters. Even as her face covered WANTED posters throughout Europe, Virginia refused order after order to evacuate. She finally escaped with her life in a grueling hike over the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown, and her associates all imprisoned or executed. But, adamant that she had "more lives to save," she dove back in as soon as she could, organizing forces to sabotage enemy lines and back up Allied forces landing on Normandy beaches. Told with Purnell's signature insight and novelistic flare, A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war.

Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon


Kim Chaffee - 2019
    This narrative biography follows Kathrine from running laps as a girl in her backyard to becoming the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with official race numbers in 1967.

This Searing Light, the Sun and Everything Else: Joy Division: The Oral History


Jon Savage - 2019
    It was then a city still labouring in the wake of the war and entering a phase of huge social and physical change, and something of this spirit made its way into the DNA of the band. Over the course of two albums, a handful of other seminal releases, and some legendary gigs, Joy Division became the most successful and exciting underground band of their generation. Then, on the brink of a tour to America, Ian Curtis took his own life.In This searing light, the sun and everything else, Jon Savage has assembled three decades worth of interviews with the principle players in the Joy Division story: Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Deborah Curtis, Peter Saville, Tony Wilson, Paul Morley, Alan Hempsall, Lesley Gilbert, Terry Mason, Anik Honor�, and many more. It is the story of how a band resurrected a city, how they came together in circumstances that are both accidental and extraordinary, and how their music galvanised a generation of fans, artists and musicians. It is a classic story of how young men armed with electric guitars and good taste in literature can change the world with four chords and three-and-a-half minutes of music. And it is the story of how illness and demons can rob the world of a shamanic lead singer and visionary lyricist.This searing light, the sun and everything else presents the history of Joy Division in an intimate and candid way, as orchestrated by the lodestar of British music writing, Jon Savage.

The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal


William J. Burns - 2019
    Burns is the most distinguished and admired American diplomat of his generation. Over the course of four decades, he played a central role in the most consequential diplomatic episodes of his time--from the bloodless end of the Cold War to post-Cold War relations with Putin's Russia, from post-9/11 tumult in the Middle East to the secret nuclear talks with Iran. Upon his retirement, Secretary John Kerry said Burns belonged on "the short list of American diplomatic legends, alongside George Kennan."In The Back Channel, Burns recounts with vivid detail and incisive analysis some of the seminal moments of his career. He draws on a trove of newly declassified cables and memos to give readers a rare, inside look at American diplomacy in action. His dispatches from war-torn Chechnya and Qadhafi's camp in the deserts of Libya and his searing memos warning of the "Perfect Storm" unleashed by the Iraq War will reshape our understanding of history and the policy debates of the future. Burns sketches the contours of effective American leadership in a world that resembles neither the zero-sum Cold War contest of his early years as a diplomat, nor the "unipolar moment" of American primacy that followed. Ultimately, The Back Channel is an eloquent, deeply informed, and timely story of a life spent in service of American interests abroad, as well as a powerful reminder, in a time of great turmoil, of the importance of diplomacy.

Journeys in the Wild: The Secret Life of a Cameraman


Gavin Thurston - 2019
    Against a backdrop of modern world history, he's lurked in the shadows of some of the world's remotest places in order to capture footage of the animal kingdom's finest: prides of lions, silverback gorillas, capuchin monkeys, brown bears, grey whales, penguins, mosquitoes - you name it he's filmed it.From journeys to the deepest depths of the Antarctic Ocean and the wide expanse of the Saharan deserts, to the peaks of the Himalayas and the wild forests of the Congo, Gavin's experiences describe much more than just the incredible array of animals he's filmed. He invites you to come inside the cameraman's hidden world and discover the hours spent patiently waiting for the protagonists to appear; the inevitable dangers in the wings and the challenges faced and overcome; and the heart-warming, life-affirming moments the cameras miss as well as capture.

Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom


Teresa Robeson - 2019
      When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, most girls did not attend school; no one considered them as smart as boys. But her parents felt differently. Giving her a name meaning “Courageous Hero,” they encouraged her love of learning and science. This engaging biography follows Wu Chien Shiung as she battles sexism and racism to become what Newsweek magazine called the “Queen of Physics” for her work on beta decay. Along the way, she earned the admiration of famous scientists like Enrico Fermi and Robert Oppenheimer and became the first woman hired as an instructor by Princeton University, the first woman elected President of the American Physical Society, the first scientist to have an asteroid named after her when she was still alive, and many other honors.

Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou


Bethany Hegedus - 2019
    In this comprehensive picture-book biography geared towards older readers, Bethany Hegedus lyrically traces Maya's life from her early days in Stamps, Arkansas through her work as a freedom fighter to her triumphant rise as a poet of the people. A foreword by Angelou's grandson, Colin A. Johnson, describes how a love of literature and poetry helped young Maya overcome childhood trauma and turn adversity into triumph. Coupled with Tonya Engel's metaphorical and emotive illustrations, this biography beautifully conveys the heartaches and successes of this truly phenomenal woman, and is a powerful tribute to the written word.

Open Side: The Official Autobiography


Sam Warburton - 2019
    No one put their body on the line quite like Sam Warburton.’ Brian O’Driscoll ‘It was an absolute privilege to play against Sam. An inspiring leader with an equally inspiring story to tell.’ Jonny Wilkinson Sam Warburton OBE was not only a titan of Welsh rugby, but an icon of the game. Having represented his country as a player and team captain at all junior levels, he propelled himself to international attention in 2011 when named as the youngest ever captain of Wales for the Rugby World Cup.Despite his tender age, Sam’s immense displays for club and country were recognised still further in April 2013, when, at just 24, he was named the Lions' captain for the extraordinary 2013 tour to Australia.  Four years later, after a year ‘in the wilderness’, Sam was named Lions’ captain yet again for the historic tour to New Zealand, thereby becoming the first ever Lions Captain never to lose a series in the professional era.Intelligent, calm, thoughtful – in many ways seemingly the exact opposite of the smash and crash of modern rugby – Warburton’s edge never came with his size, but with his depth of thought, his reading of movement, and his understanding that, to be a uniquely successful leader, one needs to set goals that far exceed the ambitions of even the most ferocious of opponents.  In leading other men, and in pitting himself against the world’s best, Warburton was forced repeatedly to push himself to the very edge of his physiological and mental limits, the 21 significant injuries over that period a painful testament to his sacrifice.Open Side is therefore not simply a chronology of events or a celebration of statistics. Written in a compelling but soul searching style, this is an astoundingly personal book exploring the nature of leadership, the value of self-control, the precision of mindset and of course the future of the game.  It is also a deeply personal meditation on the sacrifice of body, the torment of injury and the pain of retirement, a decision Sam was forced to make in July 2018, at just 29 years old. Never before has a rugby autobiography given such intimate access not only to the realities of the dressing room and the heroes and villains of the modern game, but to the unique mindset required to make someone a genuinely great leader of men.

A Dark Secret


Casey Watson - 2019
    It soon unfolds, however, that this is no simple case.Determined to get to the root of Sam’s behaviour, Casey is committed to uncover his mysterious past only to find out something far darker than she ever imagined…Having recently said goodbye to their last foster child, Miller, the Watson family are taking a bit of a break. But it’s while Casey is having fun catching up with her friends that she receives a call from her new link worker. Social services are desperately trying to find a settled home for nine-year-old Sam, who has Autism and some serious behavioural problems.Removed from his mother less than a week ago, Sam has been staying with respite carers. But with two young children of their own, they now find themselves unable to hold on to the little boy as he is bullying them relentlessly. It’s not an isolated situation, either. Apparently Sam’s own siblings begged not to be placed with their older brother – they were both adamant that they were too afraid of him.The Watsons agree to accommodate Sam, who, despite his tiny stature, turns out to be quite the whirlwind – destroying anything and everything in his path. In addition to the outward behaviours, it quickly becomes evident that there is a much darker past that has blighted the boy’s life. As Casey tries to get to the bottom of it, she discovers there are no files on Sam; only the testament of his previous neighbour. Thankfully, Mrs Gallagher is only too happy to help. And to talk. But it soon transpires that there is a great deal more to Sam’s secret history…

Just Like Beverly: A Biography of Beverly Cleary


Vicki Conrad - 2019
    She often wondered if there were any books about kids just like her. With hard work, and the encouragement of her parents and a special teacher, she learned to read and at a young age discovered she had a knack for writing.Beverly Cleary's story comes to life in this narrative nonfiction picture book as she grows to follow her dreams of writing the books she longed for as a child, becoming an award-winning writer and one of the most famous children's authors of all time.Beautiful illustrations capture Cleary's sense of humor, struggles, and triumphs, and are filled with Easter eggs throughout for fans to discover.

Out of the Gobi: My Story of China and America


Weijian Shan - 2019
    Out of the Gobi draws a vivid picture of the raw human energy and the will to succeed against all odds.Shan only finished elementary school when Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution tore his country apart. He was a witness to the brutality and absurdity of Mao's policies during one of the most tumultuous eras in China's history. Exiled to the Gobi Desert at age 15 and denied schooling for 10 years, he endured untold hardships without ever giving up his dream for an education. Shan's improbable journey, from the Gobi to the "People's Republic of Berkeley" and far beyond, is a uniquely American success story - told with a splash of humor, deep insight and rich and engaging detail.This powerful and personal perspective on China and America will inform Americans' view of China, humanizing the country, while providing a rare view of America from the prism of a keen foreign observer who lived the American dream.Says former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen: "Shan's life provides a demonstration of what is possible when China and the United States come together, even by happenstance. It is not only Shan's personal history that makes this book so interesting but also how the stories of China and America merge in just one moment in time to create an inspired individual so unique and driven, and so representative of the true sprits of both countries."