"Yes, men and women eat meals. But they also ingest nutrients. They grind and sculpt them into a moistened bolus that is delivered, via a stadium wave of sequential contractions, into a self-kneading sack of hydrochloric acid and then dumped into a tubular leach field, where it is converted into the most powerful taboo in human history."
~ from Mary Roach's Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie BrownsteinMemoir. Familiar to music lovers as a member of pioneering feminist punk trio Sleater-Kinney and to comedy fans as co-creator and star of television's Portlandia, Carrie Brownstein reveals, in this candid memoir, that we don't really know her as a person. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl aims to change that, focusing on Brownstein's childhood, dysfunctional family, and early musical career, with all the personal and professional turbulence that entailed. Don't miss this "strikingly expressive" (Publishers Weekly) memoir from a continually evolving artist.
City on Fire by Garth Risk HallbergFiction. Set against a vivid, panoramic backdrop of 1970s New York City, this sprawling saga follows an ensemble cast as they explore all that the gritty, yet glittering, metropolis has to offer -- from sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll to love, money, and crime. An immersive, kaleidoscopic debut, City on Fire unfolds from multiple perspectives whose respective subplots converge during the July 1977 blackout.
After Alice: A Novel by Gregory MaguireFiction. Inspired by Lewis Carroll's classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Wicked author Gregory Maguire imagines the lives of those left behind when Alice falls down the rabbit hole. While her friend Ada follows in her footsteps (often just a few paces behind), Alice's sister Lydia remains above ground, in Victorian England, searching for the missing girls. Full of "magic, wonder, and fresh twists" (Booklist) on a much-loved tale, After Alice should please both lifelong fans of and newcomers to Wonderland.
The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy SchiffHistory Writing. "In 1692, the Massachusetts Bay Colony executed 14 women, five men, and two dogs for witchcraft," explains Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff in this accessible account of the Salem Witch Trials. Schiff introduces both major and minor players in the drama, describes the circumstances that contributed to the outbreak of mass hysteria, and examines our enduring fascination with this defining event of early American history.
M Train by Patti SmithMemoir. "It's not so easy writing about nothing," declares musical icon Patti Smith at the outset of this follow-up to her acclaimed memoir, Just Kids. Of course, Smith isn't really recounting nothing (though even if she were, it would probably still be riveting). Described by the author as "a roadmap to my life," M Train takes listeners on a tour of the places and spaces that have influenced Smith throughout her long and multifaceted career.
The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen BrowerNonfiction. Not every workplace stations snipers on the roof to protect those inside, but then, not every workplace is the White House. In this behind-the-scenes look at "the country's most public private home," listeners are invited to explore the executive mansion's 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, eight staircases, and three elevators, not to mention the 18 acres it sits on. Covering 50 years and 10 administrations, from JFK to Obama, The Residence brings history to life through interviews with former and current staff, as well as presidential residents both past and present.
No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels by Jay Dobyns and Nils Johnson-SheltonMemoir. In 2002, ATF agent Jay Dobyns took on an undercover assignment to infiltrate the infamous Hell's Angels motorcycle gang. Over the course of the two-year operation, Dobyns gained unprecedented access to the Angels' inner circle, while the boundary began to blur between "Jay," the federal agent and devoted family man, and "Bird," the hardened criminal he portrayed. An adrenaline-fueled first-person account with evocative chapter titles such as "my sucking chest wound" (and many more less printable, more profane ones), No Angel provides a fascinating glimpse into a much-mythologized but little-known world.
Inside of a Dog: What Dogs Think and Know by Alexandra HorowitzScience Writing. From her dual perspective as a dog lover and an ethologist (a scientist specializing in animal behavior), Alexandra Horowitz is uniquely qualified to illuminate the inner lives of our canine companions. In this fascinating guide, she examines their biology, sensory abilities, behavior, psychology, and cognition. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be able to smell sadness or why your pooch will or won't sit, stay, or play fetch, check out, Inside of a Dog.
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary RoachScience Writing. Can your stomach really burst? And why doesn't it digest itself? As she's proven in previous books, including Stiff and Bonk, science writer Mary Roach isn't squeamish when it comes to the physiology or functions of the human body. In addition to exploring the science of the digestive system, she also debunks myths and misconceptions including flammable farts and the possibility of surviving being swallowed by a whale. And as a bonus, you'll be able to impress your friends with all kinds of trivia ranging from literally explosive colonoscopies (France, 1977) to slang terms describing the act of concealing contraband in one's rectum ("keistering," "hooped," and "prison wallet" are but a few examples).
Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah ThorntonNonfiction. Offering a "an elegant, evocative, sardonic view into some of the art world's most prestigious institutions" (Publishers Weekly), journalist Sarah Thornton introduces the artists, curators, critics, collectors, dealers, and appraisers who shape the contemporary art world. Following the life cycle of art from creation to consumption, she travels the world, visiting artists' studios, museums, jury rooms, auction houses, and international exhibitions.
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