Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary. From Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond comes a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. Through intimate prose, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.
The Irish-American story, with all its twists and triumphs, is told through the improbable life of one man. From the National Book Award winning and best-selling author Timothy Egan comes the epic story of one of the most fascinating and colorful Irishman in nineteenth-century America, Thomas Francis Meagher. A dashing young orator radicalized during the Great Famine of the 1840s, he became a hero on three continents before his mysterious death, to which Egan brings haunting, colorful new evidence.
For a Little While by Rick Bass
“For A Little While is nothing short of remarkable. In the powerful lyricism of his exquisitely wrought prose, Rick Bass conveys not only the ordinary thoughts and impulses of his characters but also those moments of pure sensation–convincing in every physical, mental, and emotional detail–when the intensity of life exists at a pitch almost beyond language. Grace has always been the great, elusive subject of his short fiction, and the extraordinary, transcendent stories collected here pursue it in myriad and seamless ways.”- Joyce Carol Oates
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
“From special relativity to the nature of the human mind, Rovelli unravels the complexities of the universe with grace and humor, illuminating esoteric ideas through accessible conversation. With the patience and understanding you wish your physics professor had, this volume demonstrates that any abstraction, no matter how seemingly convoluted, can be reduced to its constituent parts and presented in a way that even I can understand. This is a lofty, literary text for non-academics, illustrating the history and application of seven essential enigmas, and it should be included prominently in the library of anyone with a basic curiosity about the workings of existence.” -Steven W.
Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves
From Michener Center graduate Virginia Reeves comes a debut novel about a prideful electrician in 1920s rural Alabama struggling to overcome past sins and find peace after being sent to prison for manslaughter. Gorgeously spare and insightful, it’s a striking story of love and redemption, the heavy burdens of family and guilt, and how we escape them.
In this witty, sometimes acerbic, always perceptive chronicle, Simone begins by trying to understand why Madonna’s birthplace, Bay City, Michigan, won’t even put up a sign to celebrate its most famous citizen, and ends by asking why local bands who make music that’s authentic and true can disappear with barely a trace. Filled with fresh insights about the music business, fandom, and what it takes to become a superstar, Madonnaland is as much a book for people who, like Simone, prefer “dark rooms, coffee, and state-subsidized European films filled with existential despair” as it is for people who can’t get enough of Madonna.
The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting by Jill Chamberlain
Screenwriters – you may know how to set a scene, write snappy dialogue, and format a script; but do you know how to tell a story? Join us next week when veteran script consultant Jill Chamberlain shares the secrets of the Nutshell Technique, a method whereby writers identify eight dynamic, interconnected elements that are required to successfully tell a story. Learn the Nutshell Technique, and you’ll discover how to turn a mere situation into a truly compelling screenplay story.
The Eltingville Club by Evan Dorkin
“It’s the worst stereotypes of geeks all rolled into one, from Evan Dorkin, famous for the Milk & Cheese comic strip. There was an animated pilot on Adult Swim in 2002 called of Welcome to Eltingville. I absolutely loved it. This was before geek was chic.” -Jesse
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
“The world Novik creates is one of a stubborn group of hamlets growing and, more importantly, surviving in the face of a dark, cursed wood from which none have ever returned. Into this darkness is thrust an incredible cast of characters that includes an ancient sorcerer, his young apprentice, nobles, peasants, and a mysterious dryad. At certain times I’ve found it difficult to describe Uprooted to people, but recently I’ve stumbled across the perfect way to do so: It’s a beautiful, haunting fairytale that would do both The Brothers Grimm and Walt Disney proud.” -Thomas Wilkerson, Master Bookseller