MORE books?! Yep! More books. :)

We know we JUST put out a blog entry listing new materials, but guess what? We have more!! In this latest installment of new books, we’ve got everything from guides to understanding Gen Y, discovering what annoys us and how to annoy other people (or avoid doing so), and one Hollywood star’s true experience in breaking with the Church of Scientology to fictional accounts of vampires, murder, love, and loyalty.

Browse through our new titles and see what piques your interest:


St. Louis Seen and Unseen by Michael Kilfoy 
St. Louis Seen and Unseen is a visual portrait of an amazing place. Some of the people and places shown are well known, some are not. The 184 photographs in this book are by 33 photographers that call, or have called, St. Louis their home. Through their lenses, you can see our city with new eyes.

Animal Farm by George Orwell A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned – a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible. When Animal Farm was first published, Stalinist Russia was seen as its target. Today it is devastatingly clear that wherever and whenever freedom is attacked, under whatever banner, the cutting clarity and savage comedy of George Orwell’s masterpiece have a meaning and message still ferociously fresh.

Refire! Don’t Retire by Ken Blanchard & Morton Shaevitz Refire! Don’t Retire asks readers the all-important question: as you look at the years ahead, what can you do to make them satisfying and meaningful?

Ken Blanchard and Morton Shaevitz point out that some people see their later years as a time to endure rather than as an exciting opportunity. Both research and common sense confirm that people who embrace these years with energy and gusto – rather than withdrawing and waiting for things to happen – consistently make the rest of their lives the best of their lives.

In the trademark Ken Blanchard style, the authors tell the compelling story of Larry and Janice Sparks, who discover how to see each day as an opportunity to enhance their relationships, stimulate their minds, revitalize their bodies, and grow spiritually. As they learn to be open to new experiences, Larry and Janice rekindle passion in every area of their lives.

Readers will find humor, practical information, and profound wisdom in Refire! Don’t Retire. Best of all, they will be inspired to make all the years ahead truly worth living.

The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan On New Year’s Eve, journalist and former Parade editor in chief Janice Kaplan makes a promise to be grateful and look on the bright side of whatever happens. She realizes that how she feels over the next twelve months will have less to do with the events that occur than with her own attitude and perspective. Getting advice at every turn from psychologists, academics, doctors, and and philosophers, she brings readers on a smart and witty journey to discover the value of appreciating what you have.

Relying on both amusing personal experiences and widespread research, Kaplan explores how gratitude can  tranform every aspect of life, including marriage and friendship, money and ambition, and health and fitness. She learns how appreciating your spouse changes the neurons of your brain and why saying thanks helps CEOs succeed. Through extensive interviews with experts and lively conversations with real people, including celebrities like Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, and Jerry Seinfeld, Kaplan discovers the role of gratitutde in everything from our sense of fulfillment to our children’s happiness. 

With warmth, humor, and appealing insight, Kaplan’s journey will empower readers to think positively and strart living wither own best year ever. 

Rare by Keith Veronese How will your life change when the supply of tantalum dries up? You may never have heard of this unusual metal, but without it smartphones would be instantly less omniscient, video game systems would falter, and laptops would fail. Tantalum is not alone. Rhodium. Osmium. Niobium. Such refugees from the bottom of the periodic table are key components of many consumer products like cell phones, hybrid car batteries, and flat-screen televisions, as well as sophisticated medical devices and even weapon systems. Their versatile properties have led manufacturers to seek these elements out maximize longevity, value, and efficiency of a vast array of products but not without a human price.

Rare metals are subject to the law of supply and demand, and when finite resources go up against costly retrieval processes, an upsurge in demand can have catastrophic consequences for those who mine and recycle them. Many countries today are becoming “first world” nations, if not politically then technologically, leading to increased competition to acquire tantalum and other high-demand rare metals. In addition to explaining both the chemistry behind these metals and their critical importance, Rare delves into the economic and geopolitical issues surrounding “conflict minerals,” blending tales of financial and political struggles with glimpses into the human lives that are shattered by the international race to secure them. 

The Maker Movement Manifesto by Mark Hatch A revolution is under way. But it’s not about tearing down the old guard. It’s about building , it’s about creating, it’s about breathing life into groundbreaking new ideas. It’s called the Maker Movement, and it’s changing the world.

Mark Hatch has been at the forefront of the Maker Movement since it began. A cofounder of TechShop – the first, largest, and most popular makerspace – Hatch has seen it all. Average people pay a small fee for access to advanced tools – everything from laser cutters and milling machines to 3D printers and AutoCAD software. All they have to bring is their creativity and some positive energy. Prototypes of new products that would have cost $100,000 in the past have been made in his shop for $1,000.

The Maker Movement is where all the next great inventions and innovations are happening – and you can play a part in it.

The Maker Movement Manifesto takes you deep into the movement. Hatch describes the remarkable technologies and tools now accessible to you and share stories of how ordinary people have devised extraordinary products, giving rise to successful new business ventures. He explains how economic upheavals are paving the way for individuals to create, innovate, make a fortune – and even drive positive societal change – with nothing more than their own creativity and some hard work. 

It’s all occurring right now, all around the world – and possibly in your own neighborhood.

The creative spirit lives inside every human being. We are all makers. Whether you’re a banker, lawyer, teacher, tradesman, or politician, you can play an important role in the Maker society.

So fire up your imagination, read The Maker Movement Manifesto – and start creating!

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Professor Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology, and economics, and incorporating full-color illustrations throughout the text, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behavior from the legacy of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?

Bold, wide-ranging, and provocative, Sapiens integrates history and science to challenge everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our heritage . . . and our future.

First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman The greatest managers in the world seem to have little in common. They differ in sex, age, and race. They employ vastly different styles and focus on different goals. Yet despite their differences, great manager share one common trait: they do not hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom. They do not believe that, with enough training, a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They do not try to help people overcome their weaknesses. They consistently disregard the golden rule. And, yes, they even play favorites. This amazing book explains why.

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman of the Gallup Organization present the remarkable findings of their massive in-depth study of great managers across a wide variety of situations. Some were in leadership positions. Others were front-line supervisors. Some were in Fortune 500 companies; others were key players in small, entrepreneurial companies. Whatever their situations, the managers who ultimately became the focus of Gallup’s research were invariably those who excelled at turning each employee’s talent into performance.

In today’s tight labor markets, companies compete to find and keep the best employees, using pay benefits, promotions,and training. But these well-intentioned efforts often miss the mark. The front-line manager is the key to attracting and retaining talented employees. No matter how generous its pay or how renowned its training, the company that lacks great front-line managers will suffer. Buckingham and Coffman explain how the best managers select an employee for talent rather than for skills or experience; how they set expectations for him or her – they define the right outcomes rather than the right steps; how they motivate people  they build on each person’s unique strengths rather than trying to fix his weaknesses; and, finally, how great managers develop people – they find the right fit for each person, not the next rung on the ladder. And perhaps most important, this research – which initially generated thousands of different survey questions on the subject of employee opinion – finally produced the twelve simple questions that work to distinguish the strongest departments of a company from all the rest. This book is the first to represent this essential measuring stick and to prove the link between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction, and the rate of turnover. 

There are vital performance and career lessons here for managers at every level, and best of all, the book shows you how to apply them to your own situation.

Palimpsest by Matthew Battles Why does writing exist? What does it mean to those who write? Born from the interplay of natural and cultural history, the seemingly magical act of writing has continually expanded our consciousness. Portrayed in mythology as either a gift from heroes or a curse from the gods, it has been used as both an instrument of power and a channel of the divine; a means of social bonding and of individual self-definition. NOw, as the revolution once wrought by the printed word gives way to the digital age, many fear that the art of writing, and the nuanced thinking nurtured by writing, are under threat. But writing itself, despite striving for permanence, is always in the midst of growth and transfiguration.

Celebrating the impulses to record, to invent, and to make one’s mark, Matthew Battles reenchants the written word for all those susceptible to the power and beauty of writing in all its forms.

Red: A History of the Redhead by Jacky Colliss Harvey Just the mention of red hair conjures vivid images and provokes strong reactions. Popular stereotypes of redheaded women range from the fiery-tempered vixen and the penitent prostitute – Mary Magdalene is often portrayed in art as a redhead – to fun-loving scatterbrains such as Lucille Ball. Red-haired men, meanwhile, are consistently associated with either the savage barbarian or the red-headed clown. But why?

Red: A History of the Redhead is the first book to chronicle red hair and redheadedness from prehistory to present day. As both intrepid cultural detective and compelling storyteller, Jacky Collins Harvey weaves a fascinating history beginning with the moment the redheaded gene made its way out of Africa during the early human diaspora. She goes on to trace red hair in the ancient world, the intolerance manifested against it as an indicator of Jewishness across medieval Europe, red hair as the height of fashion in Renaissance England, the redheaded “stunner” in Pre-Raphaelite art and the paintings of the Impressionists, and into the modern age, from its symbolism and adoration in popular culture to “gingerism,” perhaps the last unacknowledged form of discrimination .

More than a book for redheads, Red is both an exploration of red hair as “other” and a celebration of every aspect of its unique social and scientific heritage, at a time when it has never before been so frequently in the news or played such a prominent role in our visual culture.

Not Everyone Gets a Trophy by Bruce Tulgan Based on more than a decade of research, Not Everyone Gets a Trophy reframes Generation Y (those born between 1978 and 1990) at a time when many employers are struggling to engage, develop, and retain them. Bruce Tulgan declares that Generation Y is the most high-maintenance workforce in history, but he argues that they also have the potential to be the most high-performing workforce in history.

As he does in his seminars, Bruce presents poignant quotes from Gen Yers and those who manage them, putting the two perspectives in conversion throughout the book. Not Everyone Gets a Trophy does what no other study of Generation Y has done:

  • Debunked the fourteen most common myths about Genration Y in the workplace.
  • Shows managers how to tune-in to Gen Yers’ “short-term and transactional” mindset.
  • Argues that the key to success is not trying to make the workplace “fun.” Rather, the key is strong, highly engaged leadership. He devotes an entire chapter to what he calls “in loco parentis management.”
  • Provides proven, step-by-step best practices for getting Gen Yers onboard and up-to-speed – giving them the context they lack, teaching them how to manage themselves  and how to be managed, and turning the very best into new leaders.

Not Everyone Gets a Trophy is the essential guide for winning talent wars and managing Generation Y.

Underground in Berlin by Marie Jalowicz Simon On June 22, 1942, Marie Jalowicz, a twenty-year-old Jewish Berliner, made an extraordinary decision. All around her, friend sand family were being rounded up for deportation, forced labor, and extermination. With nothing but a fierce determination to live, Marie decided she would do everything in her power to avoid the concentration camps. She removed her yellow star, took on an assumed identity, and disappeared into the city.

In the years that followed, Marie lived in constant fear, never certain whom she could trust. She took shelter wherever it was offered, living with the strangest of bedfellows, from circus performers and committed communitsts to dedicated Nazis. As Marie quickly learned, however, compassion and cruelty are very often two sides of the same coin.

Fifty years later, Marie agreed to tell her story for the first time. Written in her own voice with unflinching honesty, Underground in Berlin is a book like no other, recounting the absurd, even surreal day-to-day life in wartime Berlin and the lengths that people went to to protect themselves and, sometimes, strangers. Underground in Berlin might be just one woman’s story, but it gives an unparalleled glimpse of what it truly means to be human.

The Wisdom of Oz So what are your dreams? What do you want? is it a promotion? Improving a relationship? Rescuing a child? Finding a new job? Saving a marriage? Getting a degree? Finding the love of your life? Making a difference in your community? This book will help you get whatever you consider worthwhile in life.

Simply put, when you unleash the power of personal accountability it will energize you in life-altering ways, giving you a concrete boost that enhances your ability to think, to withstand adversity, to generate confidence, and to increase your own natural emotional, mental, and intellectual strength. Roger Connors and Tom Smith know this because they’ve seen it work in their own lives and witnessed it in the lives of some of the most successful and influential people in the world.

The authors first introduced this powerful accountability philosophy in the New York Times bestseller The Oz Principle. Since then, millions have come to know them as “The Oz Guys” and they have gone on to help leaders all over the world teach and apply the principles you’re about to learn. Principles that have generated billions of dollars of wealth – along with a host of even more important results. Devotees of The Oz Principle have brought life-saving medications to market, created better education in community colleges, greatly surpassed charity fund-raising goals, and improved medical practices in battlefield hospitals.

In The Wisdom of Oz, Connors and Smith present the practical and powerful principles of personal accountability in simple, down-to-earth terms that you can apply in your homes, schools, communities, churches, and volunteer groups. The book will help you strengthen family relationships, improve friendships, motivate children, increase value on the job, improve health and financial well-being, or achieve whatever it is you most desire.

Drawing on engaging stories about those who have overcome great odds – including South African president Nelson Mandela, Polish WWII hero Irena Sendler, and everyday men and women – Connors and Smith demonstrate that by taking personal ownership of your goals and accepting responsibility for your performance, you also take control of your success.

You will read stories about people just like you who learned to beat their struggles, like the New York area fisherman who fell off his lobster boat and was adrift at sea for twelve hours in the chilly Atlantic . . . but survived. You will learn the traits that allowed a college senior who landed flat on her face in a 600-meter race to jump up and win. Or a thirteen-year-old soccer player who moved from the beach to the starting lineup.

You will discover that while no one will ever wave a wizard’s wand and magically solve all your problems, there is a way to experience the near magical impact of personal accountability.

Annoying by Joe Palca & Flora Lichtman Annoyances are everywhere: annoying sounds, annoying smells, annoying drivers, annoying friends, annoying strangers, annoying spouses. There’s nowhere to hide, and no one is immune.

In Annoying, NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca and Science Friday’s Flora Lichtman dig through the scientific literature in search of explanations for what gets under our skin.

In this widely ranging scientific tour, you’ll meet researchers who have made strides in understanding why some things tick us off. You’ll find out why people blabbing on cell phones is so irritating and why you can’t help but tune in. You will learn the secrets of trash talk and how athletes overcome it or don’t. You’ll hear about an illness that makes people annoyed to the point of dysfunction and visit a tiny island where no one seems to be annoyed. You’ll discover why chili peppers stand on the cusp between pleasant and painful, why odor is so powerful and how skunks have taken advantage, why raw onion fumes make us cry, and why some chemicals have been irritating life on Earth for half a billion years. The science is there. You just have to know where to look.

And yes, there is a recipe for annoying others. Although most of us know how to do this intuitively, Palca and Lichtman provide a clear, easy-to-follow, step-by-step process for annoying almost anyone. One: find something that your victim finds unpleasant and distracting. Two: make it hard to predict when the unpleasantness and distraction will end. Three: make it impossible to ignore. While you may have been born knowing the recipe, the conclusions scientists are able to draw from it will surprise you.

It turns out that your inability to ignore that cell phone call is a good thing, tearing out your hair in a traffic jam could just be a positive personality trait, and understanding what annoys you gives you the tools to overcome your annoyance – sort of. It also gives you some insight into how to become less annoying yourself, and wouldn’t that be a blessing?

So, the next time you’re ready to strangle that coworker who keeps tapping his pen against his teeth, don’t lose your cool. Pull out your copy of Annoying, place it on his desk, and tell him what an interesting book it is. When he puts his pen down to pick up the book, swipe the pen.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates 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 segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coate’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

The Magic of Math by Arthur Benjamin The Magic of Math is the math book you wish you hyad in school. Using a delightful assortment of examples – from ice cream scoops and poker hands to measuring mountains and making magic squares – this book empowers you to see the beauty, simplicity, and truly magical properties behind those formulas and equations that once left your head spinning. You’ll learn the key ideas of classic areas of mathematics like arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus, but you’ll also have fun fooling around with Fibonacci numbers, investigating infinity, and marveling over mathematical magic tricks that will make you look like a math genius!

A mathematician who is known throughout the world as the “mathemagician,” Arthur Benjamin mixes mathematics and magic to make the subject fun, attractive, and easy to understand. In The Magic of Math, Benjamin does more than just teach skills: with a tip of his magic hat, he takes you on as his apprentice to teach you how to appreciate math the way he does. He motivates you to learn something new about how to solve for x, because there is real pleasure to be found in solving a challenging problem or using numbers to do something useful. But what he really wants you to do is be able to figure out why, for that’s where you’ll find the real beauty, power, and magic of math.

if you are already someone who likes math, this book will dazzle and amuse you. If you never particularly liked or understood math, Benjamin will enlighten you and – with a wave of his magic wand – turn you into a math lover.

Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance There are few industrialists in history who could match Elon Musk’s relentless drive and ingenious vision. A modern alloy of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs, Musk is the man behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity, each of which has sent shock waves throughout American business and industry. More than any other executive today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and as far-reaching as a science fiction fantasy.

In this lively, investigative account, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance offers an unprecedented look into the remarkable life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious businessman. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family, and his friends, the book traces his journey to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than fifty hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to three hundred people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk’s world-changing companies and to paint a portrait of a complex man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation – all while making plenty of enemies along the way.

In 1992, Elon Musk arrived in the United States as a ferociously driven immigrant bent on realizing his wildest dreams. Since then, Musk’s roller-coaster life has brought him grave disappointments alongside massive successes. After being forced out of PayPal, fending off a life-threatening case of malaria, and dealing with the death of his infant son, Musk abandoned Silicon Valley for Los Angeles. He spent the next few years baffling his friends by blowing his entire fortune on rocket ships and electric cars. Cut to 2012, however, and Musk had mounted one of the greatest resurrections in business history: Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity had enjoyed unparalleled success, and Musk’s net worth soared to more than $5 billion.

At a time when many American companies are more interested in chasing easy money than in taking bold risks on radical new technology, musk stands out as the only businessman with enough dynamism and vision to tackle – and even revolutionize – three industries at once. Vance makes the case that Musk’s success heralds a return to the original ambition and invention that made America an economic and intellectual powerhouse. Elon Musk is a brilliant, penetrating examination of what Musk’s career means for a technology industry undergoing dramatic change and offers a taste of what could be an incredible century ahead.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Powell From the bestselling author of Assassination Vacation and The Partly Cloudy Patriot, an insightful and unconventional account of George Washington’s trusted officer and friend, that swashbuckling teenage French aristocrat the Marquis de Lafayette. Chronicling General Lafayette’s years in Washington’s army, Vowell reflects on the ideals of the American Revolution versus the reality of the Revolutionary War. Riding shotgun with Lafayette, she swerves from the high-minded debates of Independence Hall to the frozen wasteland of Valley Forge, from bloody battlefields to the Palace of Versailles, bumping into John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Lord Cornwallis, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette, and various kings, Quakers, and redcoats along the way.

Drawn to the patriots’ war out of a lust for glory, Enlightenment ideas, and the traditional French hatred for the British, young Lafayette crossed the Atlantic expecting to join forces with an undivided people, encountering instead fault lines between the Continental Congress and the Continental Army, rebel and Loyalist inhabitants, and a conspiracy to fire George Washington, the one man holding together the rickety, seemingly doomed patriot cause.

While Vowell’s yarn is full of the bickering and infighting that mark the American past – and present – her telling of the Revolution is just as much as story of friendship: between Washington and Lafayette, between the Americans and their French allies, and most of all between Lafayette and the American people. Vowell lingers over the year 1824, which saw one of the most contentious presidential elections in our history as well as the elderly Lafayette’s sentimental return tour of America that year, when two-thirds of the population of New York City turned out to welcome him ashore. As a Frenchman and the last surviving general of the Continental Army, Lafayette belonged to neither North nor South, to no political party or faction. He was a walking, talking reminder of the sacrifices and bravery of the revolutionary generation and what the founders hoped this country could be. His return was not just a reunion with his beloved Americans, it was a reunion for Americans with their own astonishing, singular past.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.” She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home. 

Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.

Darjeeling by Jeff Koehler Darjeeling’s tea bushes run across a mythical Indian landscape steeped in the religious, the sacred, and the picturesque. Planted among eighty-seven tea estates at high elevation in the heart of the eastern Himalayas, and bound by Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim, the linear rows of brilliant slopes and valleys produce less than 1 percent of India’s tea. Yet, with its characteristic bright color and muscatel flavor, Darjeeling is generally considered the finest tea in the world.

Jeff Koehler tells the colorful story behind the tea that has beguiled millions. Built from scratch, India’s tea industry grew to be the largest on the globe and, as much as anything, came to symbolize British imperial rule in India. The indisputable jewel of its production was, and remains, Darjeeling and its story is rich in people, intrigue, and terroir. It includes Robert Fortune, whose audacious mid-nineteenth century smuggling of tea plants and expertise from China brought the British East India Company the quality tea it desperately sought; the charismatic and controversial Rajah Banerjee, whose family owned the iconic Makaibari plantation for 150 years, and who dreams of a more organic future; the tea pluckers who underpin the industry today; and the auctioneers who establish its prices. But it is also the story of how this Edenic spot in the Himalayan foothills is beset by labor and political unrest and an alarming climate change that all threaten its future.

With passion and perception, Koehler illuminates a historic and arcane world, such that an ordinary tea bag and the cup enjoyed by tens of millions each day take on entirely new meaning.

Gulp by Mary Roach “America’s funniest science writer” (Washington Post) takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour of our insides. In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks – or has the courage – to ask. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard for to find names for flavors and smells? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis?

Linked by Albert-László Barabási A cocktail party. A terrorist cell. Ancient bacteria. An international conglomerate. All are networks, and all are a part of a rapidly growing field of scientific inquiry. In Linked, Albert-László Barabási, the nation’s foremost expert in the new science of networks, takes us on an intellectual adventure to prove that social networks, corporations, and living organisms are more similar than previously thought. Barabási shows that a full understanding of network science will someday allow us to design blue-chip businesses, stop the outbreak of deadly diseases, and influence the exchange of ideas and information. By focusing on connective structures instead of individual components, Barabási provides a new perspective for understanding how the world works – form the bonds between atoms to the connective power of the Internet. Authoritative and engaging, Linked is a fascinating invitation to explore the next scientific revolution, link by link.

The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, bestselling author Bill Bryson brilliantly explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience, and sheer fun of the English language. From the first descent of the larynx into the throat (why you can talk but your dog can’t) to the fine lost art of swearing. Bryson tells the fascinating, often uproarious story of an inadequate, second-rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the world’s largest growth industries.

Becoming Beyoncé Determined, Talented, and Iconic . . . That’s Beyoncé “This is the story of the long road traveled by a talent show contestant, pageant winner, and girl group singer as she vevolved into the vocalist, actress, pop star, businesswoman, wife, and mother she is today. More than that, it is also the story of a darker side that is unfortunately often the price of great success. The path to converting Beyoncé the woman into ‘Beyoncé’ the brand was, for many people in her life – her father, her mother, her sister, her managers, and her singing partners – as treacherous as it was profitable. She too would experience as much pain and heartache as she did glory on the long, twisting road to becoming . . . Beyoncé.”

Mysteries of the Middle Ages And the Beginning of the Modern World by Thomas Cahill From the bestselling author of How the Irish Saved Civilization, a fascinating look at how medieval thinkers created the origins of modern intellectual movements.

After the long period of decline known as the Dark Ages, medieval Europe experienced a rebirth of scholarship, art, literature, philosophy, and science and began to develop a vision of Western society that remains at the heart of Western civilization today, from the entry of women into professions that had long been closed to them to the early investigations into alchemy that would form the basis of experimental science. On visits to the great cities of Europe – monumental Rome; the intellectually explosive Paris of Peter Abelard and Thomas Aquinas, the hotbed of scientific study that was Oxford; and the incomparable Florence of Dante and Giotto – acclaimed historian Thomas Cahill brilliantly captures the spirit of experimentation, the colorful pageantry, and the passionate pursuit of knowledge that built the foundations for the modern world.

Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins Country Clubs and garden parties. The last thing Cassandra wants is to spend the summer before her senior year marooned in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. Cass craves drama and adventure, which is hard to find when she just feels stuck.

But when a dreamy stranger shows up on her family’s private beach, claiming that it is his property – and that the year is 1925 – Cass is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making. As she searches for answers in the present, Cass discovers a truth that thrusts Lawrence’s life into jeopardy. It won’t matter which century he is from if he won’t live to see tomorrow.

Desperate to save the boy who’s come to mean everything to her, Cassandra must find a way to change history . . . or risk losing Lawrence forever.

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King Since his first collection, Night Shift, was published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles twenty stories, some of which have never appeared in print, some of which King has revisited and revised. he introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.

There are thrilling connections between stories: themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers – the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits”; the old judge in “the Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.

Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, the stories in The Bazaar of Bad Dreams comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his Constant Reader – “I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please  be careful. The best of them have teeth.”

Traffick by Ellen Hopkins What would you do to survive? Can one decision change your life forever? In her bestselling novel, Tricks, Ellen Hopkins introduced us to to five memorable characters tackling these enormous questions: Eden, the preacher’s daughter who turns tricks in Vegas and is helped into a child prostitution rescue; Seth, the gay farm boy disowned by his father who finds himself without money or resources other than his own body; Whitney, the privileged kid coaxed into the life by a pimp and whose dreams are ruined in a heroin haze; Ginger, who runs away from home with her girlfriend and is arrested for soliciting an undercover cop; and Cody, whose gambling habit forces him into the life, but who is shot and left for dead.

And now, in Traffick, these five are faced with the toughest question of all: Is there a way out?

The way these five teenagers face the aftermath of of their decisions and experiences is the soul of this story that exposes the dark, ferocious underbelly of the child-trafficking trade. Heart-wrenching and hopeful, Traffick takes us on five separate but intertwined journeys through the painful challenges of recovery, rehabilitation, and renewal to forgiveness and love. All the way home.

Born of Betrayal by Sherrilyn Kenyon Years ago, family loyalty caused Fain Hauk to give up everything he loved: his military career. His planet. His fiancee. Even his name.

Now, decades later, everything has changed. He’s built a new life out of the ashes of his old one, and he’s vowed to never let anything threaten his loved ones again.

But when old enemies align themselves with new ones, he’s caught in the middle of a brutal war. And when fate throws his former fiancee back into his world and she has her own agenda that includes taking his head for what he did to her years ago, more than just his life is at stake. The fate of the Ichidian universe and that of his brothers-in-arms hangs in the balance. Winner take all. 

It’s kill or be killed, and never has the battle been more fierce . . .

Or more fun.

Been There, Done That edited by Mike Winchell Have you ever wondered where authors get their ideas? Or how those ideas become stories? Now you can find the answers with this collection of short stories, as authors reveal the real-life experiences that inspired them! Some stories imitate the events almost exactly. Others use just a detail to spark an idea. But all the stories in Been There, Done That prove one thing: that inspiration can come from anywhere.

The contributing authors include Julia Alvarez, Karen Cushman, Margarita Engle, Dee Garretson, Nathan Hale, Matthew J. Kirby, Claire Legrand, Grace Lin, Kate Messner, Linda Sue Park, Adam Rex, Caroline Starr Rose, Chris Rylander, Gary D. Schmidt, Alan Lawrence Sitomer, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Rita Williams-Garcia, Tracy Edward Wymer, Lisa Yee, and Jane Yolen.

Information Insecurity by Brendan January By clicking to accept website user agreements, we often allow companies to track our activities online and to share our data with outside groups. In addition, the police and government agencies can also track people online – and this tracking is sometimes done secretly, without user agreements or search warrants.

Privacy laws and the US Constitution are supposed to protect privacy in the United States, as are laws and conventions in other parts of the world. But judicial and legal systems have not kept pace with technology. And until laws catch up, users enter a legal gray area when they communicate digitally – an arena in which their most private conversations might not be protected from intrusion. Such intrusion can be dangerous: government agencies can use information obtained via digital spying to harass, arrest, or imprison citizens. Other groups can use private digital data to discriminate in baking, housing, and other businesses.

Around the world, critics are sounding the alarm about digital privacy. Many have called for stricter controls on data tracking. What rights do you have when it comes to privacy online? How can you be a smart cyber citizen and protect your personal digital data? These questions are at the heart of the Internet privacy debate.

 

Troublemaker by Leah Remini The outspoken actress, talk show host, and reality television star offers up a no-holds-barred memoir, including an eye-opening insider account of her tumultuous and heart-wrenching thirty-year-plus association with the Church of Scientology.

Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.

That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.

Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology’s causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult,s he found the success she’d worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology’s most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.

But when she began to raise questions about some of the church’s actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a “Suppressive Person,” and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners – including members of her own family – were told to disconnect from her. Forever.

Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini’s remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly – from an author unafraid of the consequences.

 

Lost Souls by Lisa Jackson New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson delivers her most harrowing novel yet as a young woman’s determined hunt for a serial killer draws her into a twisted psychopath’s unspeakable crimes.

Twenty-seven-year-old Kristi Bentz is lucky to be alive. Not many people her age have nearly died twice at the hands of a serial killer, and lived to tell about it. Her dad, New Orleans detective, Rick Bentz, wants Kristi to stay in New Orleans and out of danger. But if anything, Kristi’s experiences have made her even more fascinated by the mind of the serial killer. She hasn’t given up her dream of being a true-crime writer – of exploring the darkest recesses of evil – and now she just may get her chance.

Four girls have disappeared at All Saints College in less than two years. All four were “lost souls” – troubled, vulnerable girls with no one to care about them, no one to come looking if they disappeared. The police think they’re runaways, but Kristi senses there’s something that links them, something terrifying. She decides to enroll, following their same steps. All Saints has changed a lot since Kristi was an undergraduate. The stodgy Catholic college has lured edgy new professors to its campus and gained a reputation for envelope-pushing, with classes like the very popular “the Influence of Vampirism in Modern Culture and Literature,” and elaborately staged morality plays that feel more like the titillating entertainment of some undergound club than the religious spectacles. And there are whispers of a dark cult on campus whose members wear vials of blood around their necks and meet in secret chambers – ritula s to which only the elite have access. To find the truth, Kristi will need to be come part of the cult’s inner circle, to learn their secrets, and play the part of lost soul without losing herself in the process. It’s a dangerous path, and Kristi is skating on its knife-thin edge.

The deeper she goes, the more Kristi begins to wonder if she is the hunter or the prey.  She’s certain she’s being watched and followed – studied, even – as yet another girl disappears, and another. And when the bodies finally begin to surface 0 in ways that brig fear to the campus and terror to the hearts of even hardened cops like Detective Bentz and his partner Reuben Montoya – Kristi realizes with chilling clarity that she has underestimated her foe. She is playing a game with a killer more cunning and blood-thirsty than anyone can imagine, one who has personally selected her for membership in a cult of death from which there will be no escape.

 

Absolute Fear by Lisa Jackson A serial killer is stalking the streets of New Orleans. The victims are killed in a ritual fashion, a series of number stattooed into their bodies. THere are no clues, no connections except one: a crumb ling old asylum that was once the scene of unspeakable madness – and is now the calling card of a new kind of fear.

Eve Renner knows Our Lady of Virtues Hospital well. As the daughte rof one of its doctors, she spent her childhood exploring its secret chambers, hidden rooms, and forbidden passageways. Now, somehwere in the decaying asylum lies the key to a betrayal from the past whose echoes are being felt witha  vengeance – a crime beyond imagining that seems to lead to Eve herself.

As each new body is found and forgotten, memories surface, and Eve must race to put together a deadly puzzle, one terrifying piecfe at a time. A killer is watching, planning, luring her back to the ruins of Our Lady and the sholcking truths hidden there. For the sins of the past must be revealed, and the price paid – in blood . . .

 

Chosen to Die by Lisa Jackson Detective Regan Pescoli has worked the “Star Crossed Killer” case for months, never imagining she’d be captured by the madman she’s been hunting. Regan knows exactly what he’s capable of – and avoiding the same fate will take every drop of her courage and cunning.

Regan Pescoli is unlike any woman Nate Santana has met before. But now she’s missing, and Nate knows something is dangerously wrong.  The only person who can help him find her is Detective Selena Alvarez, Regan’s partner. As Nate and Selena dig deeper into the Star-Crossed Killer case and the body count rises, the truth about Regan’s disappearance becomes chillingly clear.

In the desolate Montana woods, evil is lurking. And with time running out, the only way to save Regan will be to get inside a killer’s twisted mind and unravel a shocking message that is being revealed, one body at a time.

 

Hot Blooded by Lisa Jackson A prostitute lies strangled in a seedy French Quarter hotel room. Miles away, in a rambling plantation house on the sultry shores of Lake Ponchartrain, popular late-night radio host Dr. Samantha Leeds receives a threatening crank call. All in a day’s work for a celebrity. Who would think to link the two?

A second hooker’s corpse turns up. Samantha’s ominous caller persists, along witha  mysterious female claiming to be a woman from her past 0 a woman who’s been dead for years. With Detective Rick Bentz convinced that the serial killer prowling the shadowy streets of New Orleans is somebody close to Samantha, she doesn’t dare trust anyone. Especially not Ty Wheeler, her seductive new neighbor who seems to know more about her than a stranger should. 

Somebody has discovered Samantha’s darkest secret. Somebody is convinced that lives must be sacrificed to pay for her sins. So far, the victims have been strangers. But as a cunning, cold-blooded killer grows bolder, Samantha wonders in dread if she will be the next to die . . .

 

Catch Me by Lisa Gardner Charlene Grant believes she is going to die. For the past few years, her childhood friends have been murdered one by one. Same day. Same time. Now she’s the last of her friends alive, and she’s counting down the final four days of her life until January 21.

Charlene doesn’t plan on going down without a fight. She has taken up boxing, shooting, and running. She also wants Boston’s top homicide detective, D. D. Warren, to handle the investigation.

But as D. D. delves deeper into the case, she starts to question the woman’s story. Instinct tells her that Charlene may not be in any danger at all. If that’s true, the woman must have a secret – one so terrifying that it alone could be the greatest threat of all.

 

That’s it for today. We’ll see you soon!! 🙂

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