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A Promised Land (Crown Publishing Group)
In the first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world. A Promised Land is the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Yet Obama never wavers from his belief that progress is always possible. This book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something built together, day by day.
The Obama Portraits (Princeton University Press)
Taina Caragol, Kim Sajet, Dorothy Moss, Richard Powell
The portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama have become two of the most beloved artworks of our time. The Obama Portraits is the first book about the making, meaning, and significance of these remarkable artworks. This book offers insight into what these paintings can tell us about the history of portraiture and American culture. The volume also features a transcript of the unveiling ceremony. A reversible dust jacket allows readers to choose which portrait to display on the front cover. This book speaks to the power of art—especially portraiture—to bring people together and promote cultural change.
Becoming (Crown Publishing Group)
As First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls around the world. In her memoir, Obama chronicles the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive, to her time spent at the White House. Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Wolf Hall (Picador USA)
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition.
Bring Up the Bodies (Picador USA)
The sequel to Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Bring Up the Bodies delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn.
Mantel Pieces (Fourth Estate)
In 1987, when Hilary Mantel was first published in the London Review of Books, she wrote to the editor, Karl Miller, 'I have no critical training whatsoever, so I am forced to be more brisk and breezy than scholarly.' This collection of twenty reviews, essays and pieces of memoir from the next three decades, tells the story of what happened next. Her subjects range far and wide: Robespierre and Danton, the Hite report, Saudi Arabia where she lived for four years in the 1980s, the Bulger case, John Osborne, the Virgin Mary as well as the pop icon Madonna, a brilliant examination of Helen Duncan, Britain's last witch. There are essays about Jane Boleyn, Charles Brandon, Christopher Marlowe and Margaret Pole, which display the astonishing insight into the Tudor mind we are familiar with from the bestselling Wolf Hall Trilogy. Her famous lecture, 'Royal Bodies', which caused a media frenzy, explores the place of royal women in society and our imagination. Here too are some of her LRB diaries, including her first meeting with her stepfather and a confrontation with a circus strongman.
The Mirror and the Light (Henry Holt & Company)
Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with her peerless, Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.
Pride and Prejudice (Chronicle Books)
Jane Austen, Barbara Heller
Jane Austen (USA Oxford University Press)
Jane Austen wrote six of the best-loved novels in the English language. Her books pioneered new techniques for representing voices, minds, and hearts in narrative prose, and, despite some accusations of a blinkered domestic and romantic focus, they represent the world of their characters with unsparing clarity. Here, Tom Keymer explores the major themes throughout Austen's novels, setting them in the literary, social, and political backgrounds from which they emerge, and showing how they engage with social tensions in an era dominated by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.
Austen Years (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
In the turbulent period around the birth of her first child and the death of her father, Rachel Cohen turned to Jane Austen to make sense of her new reality. For Cohen, simultaneously grief-stricken and buoyed by the birth of her daughter, reading Austen became her refuge and her ballast. She was able to reckon with difficult questions about mourning, memorializing, living in a household, paying attention to the world, reading, writing, and imagining through Austen’s novels. Austen Years is a deeply felt and sensitive examination of a writer’s relationship to reading, and to her own family, winding together memoir, criticism, and biographical and historical material about Austen herself.
Home (Picador USA)
Jack (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Marilynne Robinson’s mythical world of Gilead, Iowa and its beloved characters have illuminated and interrogated the complexities of American history, the power of our emotions, and the wonders of a sacred world. Jack is Robinson’s fourth novel in this now-classic series. In it, Robinson tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the prodigal son of Gilead’s Presbyterian minister, and his romance with Della Miles, a high school teacher who is also the child of a preacher. Their deeply felt, tormented, star-crossed interracial romance resonates with all the paradoxes of American life, then and now.
Lila (Picador USA)
Lila, homeless and alone, steps inside a small-town Iowa church and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security. Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood. Together they crafted a life on the run. Despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life was laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to reconcile the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle Christian worldview of her husband which paradoxically judges those she loves.
Gilead (Picador USA)
In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears. Ames is the son of an Iowan preacher and the grandson of a minister who, as a young man, saw a vision of Christ bound in chains and came west to Kansas to fight for abolition. Reverend Ames writes to his son about the tension between his father--an ardent pacifist--and his grandfather, whose pistol and bloody shirts may be relics from the fight between the abolitionists and those settlers who wanted to vote Kansas into the union as a slave state. And he tells a story of the sacred bonds between fathers and sons, which are tested in his tender and strained relationship with his namesake, John Ames Boughton, his best friend's wayward son.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Dey Street Books)
Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame. But something funny happened: she won the internet. Notorious RBG, inspired by the Tumblr that amused the Justice herself, is more than just a love letter. A hybrid of reported narrative, annotated dissents, archival photos and documents, and illustrations, the book tells a never-before-told story of an unusual and transformative woman who transcends generational divides. As the country struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stands as a testament to how far we can come with a little chutzpah.
My Own Words (Simon and Schuster)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mary Hartnett, Wendy W. Williams
In this collection Justice Ginsburg discusses gender equality, the workings of the Supreme Court, being Jewish, law and lawyers in opera, and the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. This book’s sampling is selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers, who introduce each chapter and provide biographical context. Witty, engaging, serious, and playful, My Own Words is a glimpse into the life of one of America’s most influential women and “a tonic to the current national discourse” (The Washington Post).
Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Selection (Penguin Books)
Ed. Corey Brettschneider
This collection includes key concurrences, dissents, and selected writings by Justice Ginsburg that address gender equality and women’s rights, reproductive health care, and voting and civil rights. The volume includes Justice Ginsburg’s landmark Supreme Court opinions for cases including Bush v. Gore (2000), Lily Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (2007), Shelby County v. Holder (2013), Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014), and more.
Unlikely Angel: The Songs of Dolly Parton (University of Illinois Press)
Lydia R Hamessley
To give and receive well may be the most human thing you can do, but it is also the closest you can come to divinity. So argues Seneca (c. 4 BCE-65 CE) in his longest and most searching moral treatise, "On Benefits" (De Beneficiis). James Romm's new translation of essential selections from this work conveys the heart of Seneca's argument that generosity and gratitude are among the most important of all virtues.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, Suetonius wrote Lives of the Caesars, perhaps the greatest negative leadership book of all time. In How to Be a Bad Emperor, Josiah Osgood provides new translations of Suetonius's briskly paced, darkly comic biographies of the Roman emperors Julius Caesar, Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero. Entertaining and shocking, the stories of these ancient anti-role models show how power inflames leaders' worst tendencies, causing almost incalculable damage.
In sixteenth-century Germany, Vincent Obsopoeus (ca. 1498-1539) witnessed a culture of bingeing, hazing, peer pressure, and competitive drinking. Alarmed, he wrote The Art of Drinking (De Arte Bibendi) (1536), a manual for drinking with pleasure and discrimination. In How to Drink, Michael Fontaine offers the first proper English translation of Obsopoeus's text, rendering his poetry into contemporary prose and uncorking a forgotten classic that will appeal to drinkers of all (legal) ages.
Horace (65-8 BCE) has been cherished by readers not only for his wit, style, and reflections on Roman society, but also for his wisdom about how to live a life of contentment in a world of materialistic excess and personal pressures. In How to Be Content, Stephen Harrison provides fresh, contemporary translations of poems from Horace's works that continue to offer important lessons about the good life, friendship, love, and death.