Biography

This long-awaited biography establishes Shirley Jackson as a towering figure in American literature and revives the life and work of a neglected master. Still known to millions only as the author of the The Lottery, Shirley Jackson  remains curiously absent from the American literary canon. A genius of literary suspense, Jackson plumbed the cultural anxiety of postwar America better than anyone. Now, biographer Ruth Franklin reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the author behind such classics as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Guy Burgess was the most important, complex, and fascinating of the Cambridge Spies--Maclean, Philby, Blunt--brilliant young men recruited in the 1930s to betray their country to the Soviet Union. An engaging and charming companion to many, an unappealing, utterly ruthless manipulator to others, Burgess rose through academia, the BBC, the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6, gaining access to thousands of highly sensitive secret documents which he passed to his Russian handlers. In this first full biography, Andrew Lownie shows us how even Burgess's chaotic personal life of drunken philandering did nothing to stop his penetration and betrayal of the British Intelligence Service.

From the moment she uttered the brave and honest words, "I am an alcoholic," to interviewer George Stephanopoulos, Elizabeth Vargas began writing her story, as her experiences were still raw. Vargas discusses her accounts of growing up with anxiety-which began suddenly at the age of six when her father served in Vietnam-and how she dealt with this anxiety as she came of age, to her eventually turning to alcohol for relief. She tells of how she found herself living in denial, about the extent of her addiction and keeping her dependency a secret for so long. She addresses her time in rehab, her first year of sobriety, and the guilt she felt as a working mother who had never found the right balance.

Ruler of Florence for seven bloody years, 1531 to 1537, Alessandro de' Medici was arguably the first person of color to serve as a head of state in the Western world. Born out of wedlock to a dark-skinned maid and Lorenzo de' Medici, he was the last legitimate heir to the line of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Groomed for power, he carved a path through the backstabbing world of Italian politics in a time when cardinals, popes, and princes vied for wealth and advantage. By the age of nineteen, he was prince of Florence, inheritor of the legacy of the grandest dynasty of the Italian Renaissance.

Amy Schumer, Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star, mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationship, and sex, and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is--a woman with the courage to bare her soul and stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.

There is something about a non-fiction book that challenges people to change, to reflect upon their lives, to explore new worlds...

'Grunt' tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries-- panic, exhaustion, heat, noise-- and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them.

The story of the gene begins in earnest in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where Gregor Mendel, a monk working with pea plants, stumbles on the idea of a "unit of heredity." It intersects with Darwin's theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms postwar biology. It invades discourses concerning race and identity and provides startling answers to some of the most potent questions coursing through our political and cultural realms. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation, temperament, choice, and free will, thus raising the most urgent questions affecting our personal realms. Above all, the story of the gene is driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds-- from Mendel and Darwin to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Rosalind Franklin to the thousands of scientists working today to understand the code of codes. Woven through the book is the story of Mukherjee's own family and its recurring pattern of schizophrenia, a haunting reminder that the science of genetics is not confined to the laboratory but is vitally relevant to everyday lives. The moral complexity of genetics reverberates even more urgently today as we learn to "read" and "write" the human genome-- unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children and our children's children .

An gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah In this remarkably human portrait of one of the 20th century's most complicated personalities, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Biography of the maverick newspaperwoman, equestrian, aviatrix and intrepid adventurer Alicia Patterson, following  her exceptional exploits through the first half of the 20th century, from her trouble making days as the middle child of complicated parents to her successes as publisher of the Pulitzer Prize winning Newsday.

"Gene Wilder, who regularly stole the show in such comedic gems as 'The Producers,' 'Blazing Saddles,' 'Young Frankenstein,' 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' and 'Stir Crazy,' died Monday at his home in Stamford, Conn. His nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman said he died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83." (Variety http://variety.com/2016/film/news/gene-wilder-dead-dies-willie-wonka-young-frankenstein-1201846745)

Please check our collection for works by this heart-warming performer. He will be missed.

A spoof of every cliché in the western film genre, telling the story of an African American sheriff who is sent to clean up a frontier town, with unpredictable results.

Nonfiction Book Group October 2016

Please join the Nonfiction Book Group to discuss:

The Vanderbilt family patriarch, the Commodore, built a fortune that made him the world's richest man by 1877. Less than 50 years after his death, not a single Vanderbilt descendent was counted among the world's richest people. As Publisher's Weekly noted in the review of this book, "Stories about the author's ancestors have been told before, but not so vividly as in his evocations of the snobbery, ostentation and profligacy.Today's Vanderbilts are not rich-rich; the money is gone with the clan's grand homes, felled by wrecking balls in New York and elsewhere, leaving only memories of a singular time in the American past."

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In light of the upcoming presidential election, take a look at the lives of past Presidents!

A biography of US president Barack Obama, the first African-American to ever become president. 

George W. Bush by Sally Lee

A biography of George W. Bush, whose response to terrorists forever altered the United States and changed the way security was viewed by the government.

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