Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Since the publication last summer of his new book, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau, $24), Ta-Nehisi Coates has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and the 2015 National Book Award for nonfiction. Toni Morrison has called him “the next James Baldwin.” And, to be sure, few writers have so quickly pricked the conscience of a nation, and done so with such fierce urgency. Written as a letter to his teenage son, the book is part memoir, part polemic, and mostly Coates’s deeply personal attempt to explain the racial divide in America in the context of history, politics, and his own experiences growing up in an African-American family in Baltimore, attending Howard University, and becoming a writer and journalist. Fear as a root of black anger is a major theme of the book, and Coates’s language is both poetic and painful. His anguish over the death of a college friend killed by police after being misidentified as a crime suspect is more than a cautionary tale. And in the end, whether you agree with Coates or not, the book and its message will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.


Between the World and Me By Ta-Nehisi Coates Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812993547
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: One World - July 14th, 2015

The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools? - Dale Russakoff

Veteran journalist Dale Russakoff is an exceptional reporter and writer, and both skills are on full display in her excellent book, The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools? (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27). First excerpted in The New Yorker, the book is a masterful exposition of how politics, money, and egos—along with entrenched interests and lofty intentions—collided in a highly-publicized attempt to fix the deteriorating public school system in Newark, New Jersey. Over four years of reporting, Russakoff was granted extraordinary access to the lead characters in the story: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; then Newark Mayor (and now U.S. Senator) Cory Booker; and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who pledged $100 million to improve Newark’s schools. But the author also immersed herself in the schools, visiting classrooms, getting to know teachers, and following students, most of them low-income, as the unlikely trio of Christie, Booker, and Zuckerberg’s launched what became a hugely misguided effort to rescue public education in America by making Newark a national model of reform

The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools? By Dale Russakoff Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547840055
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - September 8th, 2015

The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools? By Dale Russakoff Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544810907
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Paperbacks - August 2nd, 2016

Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future - Lauren Redniss

In this graphic history of weather, Thunder & Lightning (Random House, $35) are only the beginning. Weather can raise the dead, as floods following Hurricane Irene did in Vermont. Extreme cold accomplishes the same thing on the Svalbard Archipelago, gradually unearthing caskets. Lauren Redniss gives such phenomena the full attention and respect they deserve, conveying in words and hand-colored copperplate and photopolymer-process prints conditions ranging from chaos to rain to heat. As she did in her unforgettable treatment of Marie Curie, Radioactive, Redniss has carefully considered each detail of her book; she designed a new font, named after the Inuktitut for “falling snow.” She fills every page to the edges with colors and shapes, disregarding perspective as early naturalists did, intent on recording details for the sake of science. Often taking a counter-intuitive approach to her subject, Redniss discusses wind by entering the breathless crush of Mecca and by shadowing Diana Nyad across a turbulent Atlantic. She listens to Eucalyptus trees explode in the intense Australian wildfires and joins black kites diving into the crests of flames for insects. She also looks at what we’ve done with weather, from the cloud-seeding that made rain a weapon of mass destruction in the Vietnam War to the climate changes that are destabilizing permafrost. “For millennia people have found meaning and divinity in weather,”Redniss reminds us, and notes that before Gutenberg printed a bible, he produced an almanac, that “calendar of the heavens” that guides us through the Earthly storms.

Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future By Lauren Redniss Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812993172
Availability: Backordered
Published: Random House - October 27th, 2015