Narrative Non-fiction

A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020)

A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020)

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A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

There's no right way to keep a diary, but if there's an entertaining way, David Sedaris seems to have mas­tered it.

If it's navel-gazing you're after, you've come to the wrong place; ditto treacly self-examination. Rather, his observations turn outward: a fight between two men on a bus, a fight between two men on the street, pedestrians being whacked over the head or gathering to watch as a man considers leap­ing to his death. There's a dirty joke shared at a book signing, then a dirtier one told at a dinner party--lots of jokes here. Plenty of laughs.

These diaries remind you that you once really hated George W. Bush, and that not too long ago, Donald Trump was just a harm­less laughingstock, at least on French TV. Time marches on, and Sedaris, at his desk or on planes, in hotel dining rooms and odd Japanese inns, records it. The entries here reflect an ever-changing background--new administrations, new restrictions on speech and conduct. What you can say at the start of the book, you can't by the end. At its best, A Carnival of Snackery is a sort of sampler: the bitter and the sweet. Some entries are just what you wanted. Others you might want to spit discreetly into a napkin.

ALL CREATURES WEIRD AND DANGEROUS

ALL CREATURES WEIRD AND DANGEROUS

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An improbable journey through the world of strange and mysterious creatures.

All Creatures Weird and Dangerous describes the author's experiences as a veterinarian drawn by chance to care for a variety of cryptozoological creatures. As a practicing veterinarian, the author is called upon, as if by strange forces, to care for a Chupacabra, Sasquatch, Lake Erie's monster Bessie, mermaids and fairies in Newfoundland, and eventually a unicorn in the Highlands of Scotland. Drawing on his experiences as a wildlife rehabilitator and exotic-animal veterinarian, the author cares for these odd creatures, describing his work in accurate medical detail and touching on the importance of compassion and the need to respect all creatures on our planet. An homage to James Herriott's All Creatures Great and Small, while touching on stories equally appropriate for an episode of the X-Files.

Arctic Dreams

Arctic Dreams

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Winner of the National Book Award

This bestselling, groundbreaking exploration of the Far North is a classic of natural history, anthropology, and travel writing.

The Arctic is a perilous place. Only a few species of wild animals can survive its harsh climate. In this modern classic, Barry Lopez explores the many-faceted wonders of the Far North: its strangely stunted forest, its mesmerizing aurora borealis, its frozen seas. Musk oxen, polar bears, narwhal, and other exotic beasts of the region come alive through Lopez's passionate and nuanced observations. And, as he examines the history and culture of the indigenous people, along with parallel narratives of intrepid, often underprepared and subsequently doomed polar explorers, Lopez drives to the heart of why the austere and formidable Arctic is also a constant source of breathtaking beauty, beguilement, and wonder.

Written in prose as memorably pure as the land it describes, Arctic Dreams is a timeless mediation on the ability of the landscape to shape our dreams and to haunt our imaginations.

Look for Barry Lopez's new book, Horizon, available now.

As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 (USED)

As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 (USED)

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This, the second of three volumes of Susan Sontag's journals and notebooks, begins where the first volume left off, in the middle of the 1960s. It traces and documents Sontag's evolution from fledgling participant in the artistic and intellectual world of New York City to world-renowned critic and dominant force in the world of ideas with the publication of the groundbreaking Against Interpretation in 1966.

As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh follows Sontag through the turbulent years of the 1960s--from her trip to Hanoi at the peak of the Vietnam War to her time making films in Sweden--up to 1981 and the beginning of the Reagan era. This is an invaluable record of the inner workings of one of the most inquisitive and analytical thinkers of the twentieth century at the height of her power. It is also a remarkable document of one individual's political and moral awakening.

AUTOPORTRAIT

AUTOPORTRAIT

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A work of unflinching honesty, Autoportrait is a hypnotic memoir of reflection, loss, and everyday joy from one of America's best contemporary novelists

Jesse Ball has produced fourteen acclaimed works of deeply empathetic absurdism in poetry and fiction. Now, he offers readers his first memoir, one that showcases his "humane curiosity" (James Wood) and invites the reader into a raw and personal account of love, grief, and memory. Inspired by the memoir Édouard Levé put to paper shortly before his death, Autoportrait is an extraordinarily frank and intimate work from one of America's most brilliant young authors.

The subtle power of Ball's voice conjures the richness of everyday life. On each page, half-remembered moments are woven together with the joys and triumphs--and the mistakes and humiliations, too--that somehow tell us who we are, why we are here. Held at the same height as tragic accounts of illness or death are moments of startling beauty, banality, or humor: I wake in the morning, I sit, I walk long distances. If there is somewhere to swim, I may swim. If I have a bicycle, I will ride it, especially to meet someone. There is no more preparing for me to do, other than preparing for death, and I do that by laughing. Not laughing at death, of course. Laughing at myself.

An extraordinary memoir that reminds us what is possible and builds to the kind of power one might feel reading Anne Carson's Glass Essay, or Joe Brainard's I Remember. Autoportrait will leave you feeling utterly invigorated, inspired, and a little afraid.

Bad Feminist

Bad Feminist

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From the author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, the New York Times Bestseller, Best Book of the Year at NPR, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and many more, and instant classic

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.

"Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink--all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I'm not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue."

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better, coming from one of our most interesting and important cultural critics.

Best of Me

Best of Me

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"Genius... It is miraculous to read these pieces... You must read The Best of Me." --Andrew Sean Greer, New York Times Book Review

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice


A CNN and Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Month

For more than twenty-five years, David Sedaris has been carving out a unique literary space, virtually creating his own genre. A Sedaris story may seem confessional, but is also highly attuned to the world outside. It opens our eyes to what is at absurd and moving about our daily existence. And it is almost impossible to read without laughing.

Now, for the first time collected in one volume, the author brings us his funniest and most memorable work. In these stories, Sedaris shops for rare taxidermy, hitchhikes with a lady quadriplegic, and spits a lozenge into a fellow traveler's lap. He drowns a mouse in a bucket, struggles to say "give it to me" in five languages, and hand-feeds a carnivorous bird.

But if all you expect to find in Sedaris's work is the deft and sharply observed comedy for which he became renowned, you may be surprised to discover that his words bring more warmth than mockery, more fellow-feeling than derision. Nowhere is this clearer than in his writing about his loved ones. In these pages, Sedaris explores falling in love and staying together, recognizing his own aging not in the mirror but in the faces of his siblings, losing one parent and coming to terms--at long last--with the other.

Taken together, the stories in TheBest of Me reveal the wonder and delight Sedaris takes in the surprises life brings him. No experience, he sees, is quite as he expected--it's often harder, more fraught, and certainly weirder--but sometimes it is also much richer and more wonderful.

Full of joy, generosity, and the incisive humor that has led David Sedaris to be called "the funniest man alive" (Time Out New York), The Best of Me spans a career spent watching and learning and laughing--quite often at himself--and invites readers deep into the world of one of the most brilliant and original writers of our time.

Book of Delights: Essays

Book of Delights: Essays

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The New York Times bestselling book of essays celebrating ordinary delights in the world around us by one of America's most original and observant writers, award-winning poet Ross Gay.

As Heard on NPR's This American Life

"Ross Gay's eye lands upon wonder at every turn, bolstering my belief in the countless small miracles that surround us." --Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate

The winner of the NBCC Award for Poetry offers up a spirited collection of short lyrical essays, written daily over a tumultuous year, reminding us of the purpose and pleasure of praising, extolling, and celebrating ordinary wonders.

In The Book of Delights, one of today's most original literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives. Among Gay's funny, poetic, philosophical delights: a friend's unabashed use of air quotes, cradling a tomato seedling aboard an airplane, the silent nod of acknowledgment between the only two black people in a room. But Gay never dismisses the complexities, even the terrors, of living in America as a black man or the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture or the loss of those he loves. More than anything else, though, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world-his garden, the flowers peeking out of the sidewalk, the hypnotic movements of a praying mantis.

The Book of Delights is about our shared bonds, and the rewards that come from a life closely observed. These remarkable pieces serve as a powerful and necessary reminder that we can, and should, stake out a space in our lives for delight.

Born a Crime

Born a Crime

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - More than one million copies sold! A "brilliant" (Lupita Nyong'o, Time), "poignant" (Entertainment Weekly), "soul-nourishing" (USA Today) memoir about coming of age during the twilight of apartheid

"Noah's childhood stories are told with all the hilarity and intellect that characterizes his comedy, while illuminating a dark and brutal period in South Africa's history that must never be forgotten."--Esquire

Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and an NAACP Image Award - Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Time, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Esquire, Newsday, and Booklist

Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother--his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love.

Dead Wake

Dead Wake

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania

"Both terrifying and enthralling."--Entertainment Weekly
"Thrilling, dramatic and powerful."--NPR
"Thoroughly engrossing."--George R.R. Martin

On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds"--the fastest liner then in service--and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack.

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger's U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small--hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more--all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

It is a story that many of us think we know but don't, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love.

Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.

Finalist for the Washington State Book Award - One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Miami Herald, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, LibraryReads, Indigo