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  1. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

    by J.D. Vance
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” … (Goodreads)

  2. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

    by Bryan Stevenson
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    In 1989, idealistic young Harvard law graduate Bryan Stevenson travels to Alabama hoping to help fight for poor people who cannot afford proper legal representation. Teaming with Eva Ansley, he founds the Equal Justice Initiative , then travels to a prison to meet its death row inmates. He meets Walter "Johnny D." McMillian , an African-American man who was convicted of the 1986 murder of Ronda Morrison, a white woman. Stevenson looks over the evidence in the case and discovers it hinges entirely on the testimony of convicted felon Ralph Myers, who provided highly self-contradictory testimony in exchange for a … (Wikipedia)

  3. The Wright Brothers

    by David McCullough
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Librarian's note: An alternate cover edition can be found ,here, Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did? David … (Goodreads)

  4. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

    by Atul Gawande
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    In ,Being Mortal,, author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed … (Goodreads)

  5. Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

    by Erik Larson
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    Readership: Eclectic

    September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed over six thousand people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history--and Isaac Cline found himself the victim of a devastating personal tragedy. Using Cline's own telegrams, letters, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our … (Goodreads)

  6. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

    by John Carreyrou
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of a multibillion-dollar startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyers. In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising … (Goodreads)

  7. Leonardo da Vinci

    by Walter Isaacson
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    Readership: Eclectic

    The #1 ,New York Times, bestseller from Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography that is “a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it...Most important, it is a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life” (,The New Yorker,). Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo da Vinci’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson “deftly reveals an intimate Leonardo” ( San Francisco Chronicle ) in a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we … (Barnes & Noble)

  8. Grant

    by Ron Chernow
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    Readership: Very niche

    Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman, fond of drinking to excess; or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War; or as a credulous and hapless president whose tenure came to symbolize the worst excesses of the Gilded Age. These stereotypes don't come close to capturing adequately his spirit and the sheer magnitude of his monumental accomplishments. A biographer at the height of his powers, Chernow has produced a portrait of Grant that is a masterpiece, the first to provide a complete … (Goodreads)

  9. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    by Isabel Wilkerson
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    Readership: Eclectic

    In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American … (Goodreads)

  10. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    by Candice Millard
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    Readership: Eclectic

    James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile … (Goodreads)

  11. The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

    by Kate Moore
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    A New York Times , USA Today , Wall Street Journal , and Amazon Charts Bestseller! For fans of Hidden Figures, comes the incredible true story of the women heroes who were exposed to radium in factories across the U.S. in the early 20th century, and their brave and groundbreaking battle to strengthen workers' rights, even as the fatal poison claimed their own lives... In the dark years of the First World War, radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the … (Barnes & Noble)

  12. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

    by John Berendt
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    A sublime and seductive reading experience. This portrait of a beguiling Southern city was a best-seller (though a flop as a movie). ~ Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt interweaves a first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists … (Goodreads)

  13. The Library Book

    by Susan Orlean
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    Readership: Eclectic

    On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, … (Goodreads)

  14. Between the World and Me

    by Ta-Nehisi Coates
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.” In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and … (Goodreads)

  15. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

    by Isabel Wilkerson
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Eclectic

    The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. “As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not.” In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an … (Goodreads)

  16. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    by Irin Carmon
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Eclectic

    New York Times Bestseller Featured in the critically acclaimed documentary ,RBG, "It was beyond my wildest imagination that I would one day become the 'Notorious RBG." — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2019 She was a fierce dissenter with a serious collar game. A legendary, self-described “flaming feminist litigator” who made the world more equal. And an intergenerational icon affectionately known as the Notorious RBG. As the nation mourns the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, discover the story of a remarkable woman and learn how to carry on her legacy. This runaway bestseller, brought to you by the attorney founder of the … (Barnes & Noble)

  17. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

    by Anthony Bourdain
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    A deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet of wild-but-true tales of life in the culinary trade from Chef Anthony Bourdain, laying out his more than a quarter-century of drugs, sex, and haute cuisine—now with all-new, never-before-published material. New York Chef Tony Bourdain gives away secrets of the trade in his wickedly funny, inspiring memoir/expose. Kitchen Confidential reveals what Bourdain calls "twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine." … (Goodreads)

  18. Lab Girl

    by Hope Jahren
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more. ,,Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the … (Goodreads)

  19. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

    by Dee Brown
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Now a special 30th-anniversary edition in both hardcover and paperback, the classic bestselling history The New York Times called "Original, remarkable, and finally heartbreaking...Impossible to put down." Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown's eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. A national bestseller in hardcover for more than a year after its initial publication, it has sold almost four million copies and has been translated into seventeen languages. For this elegant thirtieth-anniversary edition—published in both hardcover and paperback—Brown has contributed an incisive new preface. … (Goodreads)

  20. The Autobiography of Malcolm X

    by Malcolm X
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Alternate cover for ISBN 9780345350688 Through a life of passion and struggle, Malcolm X became one of the most influential figures of the 20th Century. In this riveting account, he tells of his journey from a prison cell to Mecca, describing his transition from hoodlum to Muslim minister. Here, the man who called himself "the angriest Black man in America" relates how his conversion to true Islam helped him confront his rage and recognize the brotherhood of all mankind. An established classic of modern America, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" was hailed by the New York Times as "Extraordinary. A … (Goodreads)