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Notable New Nonfiction: April 2018

Here are some highlights from the new nonfiction titles added to the catalog recently.

Find more reading suggestions at Books & More.

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The War on Normal People: The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universay Basic Income is Our Future by Andrew Yang

The shift toward automation is about to create a tsunami of unemployment. Not in the distant future--now. One recent estimate predicts 13 million American workers will lose their jobs within the next seven years-jobs that won't be replaced. In a future marked by restlessness and chronic unemployment, what will happen to American society? In The War on Normal People, Andrew Yang paints a dire portrait of the American economy. Rapidly advancing technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and automation software are making millions of Americans' livelihoods irrelevant. The consequences of these trends are already being felt across our communities in the form of political unrest, drug use, and other social ills. The future looks dire-but is it unavoidable? Yang imagines a different future -- one in which having a job is distinct from the capacity to prosper and seek fulfillment. At this vision's core is Universal Basic Income (UBI), the concept of providing all citizens with a guaranteed income-and one that is rapidly gaining popularity among forward-thinking politicians and economists. Yang proposes that UBI is an essential step toward a new, more durable kind of economy, one he calls "human capitalism."

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The Existentialist's Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age by Grodon Daniel Marino

In The Existentialist's Survival Guide, Gordon Marino, director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College and boxing correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, recasts the practical takeaways existentialism offers for the twenty-first century. From negotiating angst, depression, despair, and death to practicing faith, morality, and love, Marino dispenses wisdom on how to face existence head-on while keeping our hearts intact, especially when the universe feels like it's working against us and nothing seems to matter. What emerges are life-altering and, in some cases, lifesaving epiphanies--existential prescriptions for living with integrity, courage, and authenticity in an increasingly chaotic, uncertain, and inauthentic age.

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Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff

What happens when we stop avoiding difficult people and simply love everyone? In his wildly entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a life-altering journey into the secret of living without fear, care, constraint, or worry. The path toward the outsized, unfettered, liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.

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Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found by Gilbert King

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Devil in the Grove, the gripping true story of a small town with a big secret. In December 1957, the wife of a Florida citrus baron is raped in her home while her husband is away. She claims a "husky Negro" did it, and the sheriff, the infamous racist Willis McCall, does not hesitate to round up a herd of suspects. But within days, McCall turns his sights on Jesse Daniels, a gentle, mentally impaired white nineteen-year-old. Soon Jesse is railroaded up to the state hospital for the insane, and locked away without trial. But crusading journalist Mabel Norris Reese cannot stop fretting over the case and its baffling outcome. Who was protecting whom, or what? She pursues the story for years, chasing down leads, hitting dead ends, winning unlikely allies and bit by bit, the unspeakable truths behind a conspiracy that shocked a community into silence begin to surface.

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Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang

In a wryly whimsical portrait of nineteenth-century conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker, Huang describes their rise from subhuman, freak-show celebrities to rich southern gentry; their marriage to two white sisters, resulting in twenty-one children; and their owning of slaves; this is not just another sensational biography but a Hawthorne-like excavation of America’s historical penchant for finding feast in the abnormal, for tyrannizing the “other”—a tradition that, as Huang reveals, becomes inseparable from American history itself.

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The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Stephen Brusatte

In this captivating narrative (enlivened with more than seventy original illustrations and photographs), Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field, masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy.

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Mary Berry Everyday: Make Every Meal Special by Mary Berry

Add a little Mary magic to your cooking with 120 brand-new recipes from the inspiring BBC series. Delicious family suppers, tempting food for sharing and plenty of sweet treats, all made with everyday ingredients and a clever twist. Includes metric measures and conversion charts. "Everyday cooking is about sharing your love of food with family and friends. With this book I hope that you will feel encouraged to create new favorites, making everyday meals into something extra-special." - Mary Berry

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The Sound of Music: The Making of America's Favorite Movie by Julia Antopol Hirsch

The Sound of Music: The Making of America's Favorite Movie is not only an unequalled tribute to this beloved movie musical but also the most complete behind-the-scenes account of the creation of this Hollywood classic. Through exclusive, in-depth interviews with Robert Wise, Ernest Lehman, Saul Chaplin, Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Kym Karath, Johannes von Trapp, Richard Zanuck, and dozens of other cast and crew members; over 200 stills from the movie's most memorable scenes; rare snapshots from personal scrapbooks; and papers from the Fox Studio archives, Julia Antopol Hirsch has re-created the magic that is The Sound of Music:

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A Distant Center by Ha Jin

The poems of A Distant Center speak in a voice that is steady and direct, balancing contemplative longing with sober warnings from a writer who has confronted the traumas of censorship and state violence. With unadorned language and epigrammatic wit, Jin conjures scenes that encompass the personal, historical, romantic, and environmental, interrogating conceptions of foreignness and national identity as they appear and seep into everyday interactions and being. These are poems that offer solace in times of political reaction and uncertainty. Jin's voice is wise, comforting, and imploring; his words are necessary and his lessons are invaluable. Question your place in the world--do not be complacent--look for strength and hope in every nook: "Keep in mind the meaning of / your existence: wherever you land, / your footprints will become milestones."

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Drive: The Definitive History of Driving by Giles Chapman

Charting the 130-years from the arrival of horseless carriages to the advent of driverless vehicles, Drive celebrates the automobile and the romance of the open road. Beginning with the development of the first vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine, Drive explores the early glamour of driving, motor sport, and car design, and looks at how the automobile has shaped the modern world.

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Richard III: England's Most Controversial King by Chris Skidmore

Richard III is one of English history's best known and least understood monarchs. Immortalized by Shakespeare as a hunchbacked murderer, the discovery in 2012 of his skeleton in a Leicester parking lot re-ignited debate over the true character of England's most controversial king. Richard was born into an age of brutality, when civil war gripped the land and the Yorkist dynasty clung to the crown with their fingertips. Was he really a power-crazed monster who killed his nephews, or the victim of the first political smear campaign conducted by the Tudors? Now Chris Skidmore draws on new manuscript evidence to reassess Richard's life and times and to unravel the mystery of the last English monarch to die on the battlefield.

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The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Johnson

Documents the astonishing 2009 theft of an invaluable collection of ornithological displays from the British Museum of Natural History by a talented American musician, tracing the author's years-long investigation to track down the culprit and understand his motives, which were possibly linked to an obsession with the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying.