The Killer's Shadow: The FBI's Hunt for a White Supremacist Serial Killer by John Douglas and Mark OlshakerWhat it's about: serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin's three-year crime spree, which began with a shooting at a St. Louis synagogue in 1977.
Read it for: FBI profiler John Douglas' breakneck pursuit of Franklin; the pair's confrontation once the latter was imprisoned.
Reviewers say: "This is a must read for those looking for insight into the minds of those instigating racial violence today" (Publishers Weekly).
Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds: Ebola and the Ravages of History by Paul FarmerWhat it is: medical anthropologist and Partners in Health cofounder Paul Farmer's chronicle of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
What's inside: a disturbing (and often gruesome) firsthand account of a public health crisis spurred by government neglect, bureaucracy, resource exploitation, and colonialism.
Featuring: heartrending testimonies from Ebola survivors and first responders; an epilogue detailing Farmer's work combatting COVID-19.
Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-Up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen... by Rachel Maddow and Michael YarvitzStarring: disgraced vice president Spiro Agnew, who resigned in 1973 after he was caught committing tax fraud and running a bribery and extortion ring in his office.
Why you might like it: This well-researched examination of a lesser-known political scandal, which happened concurrently (but unrelatedly) with Watergate, offers striking parallels to current events.
Media buzz: Bag Man is an engaging expansion of the authors' podcast of the same name, which was nominated for a Peabody Award in 2018.
The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Precarious State by Declan WalshWhat it is: an incisive debut exploring the tumult of modern Pakistan, written by Guardian and New York Times journalist Declan Walsh, who spent nearly a decade living and reporting in the country.
What sets it apart: Walsh's profiles of nine individuals (the titular "nine lives") whose experiences offer illuminating perspectives on Pakistan's ongoing ails.
Reviewers say: "This masterfully reported account deserves a wide readership" (Publishers Weekly).
The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks; illustrated by Caanan WhiteWhat it is: a well-researched, lightly fictionalized account of the Harlem Hellfighters, the highly decorated all-Black Army regiment who fought in World War I.
Art alert: Caanan White's dark and detailed artwork doesn't shy away from gory imagery, starkly conveying the chaos and violence of war.
Book buzz: This New York Times bestseller from World War Z author Max Brooks was named a Library Journal Best Graphic Novel in 2014.
Tetris: The Games People Play by Box BrownWhat it is: the complicated origin story of Tetris, "the game that escaped the USSR" in 1984 after its Russian creator smuggled it out of Moscow.
Why you might like it: Bestselling author and illustrator Box Brown (Andre the Giant: Life and Legend) presents the tale in a whimsical and engaging narrative.
Art alert: Straightforward illustrations feature hard edges and minimal coloring meant to evoke the visuals of the game's earliest iterations.
Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq by Sarah GliddenWhat it's about: Accompanying two journalist friends and an Iraq War veteran during a Middle East trip to report on the impact of the war, cartoonist Sarah Glidden grappled with ethical quandaries as she learned about the complexity of the journalistic process.
Art alert: Delicate pastel watercolors complement Glidden's thought-provoking and empathetic insights into life in conflict-riven areas.
Showa: A History of Japan, 1926-1939 by Shigeru Mizuki; translated by Zack DavissonWhat it is: the first of a four-part series exploring the personal and political history of Japan's Showa era (1926-1989), written and illustrated by beloved manga artist Shigeru Mizuki.
Topics include: the author's childhood in rural Sakaiminato; the Nanjing Massacre; Japan's entry into World War II.
Art alert: Mizuki contrasts realistic illustrations (for newsworthy events) with cartoony ones (for scenes of everyday life); fans of his previous works will enjoy the appearances from GeGeGe no Kitaro's Rat Man.
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