New Nonfiction Arrivals

Posted on: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 12:00:00 pm

Here's a sampling of our new nonfiction book, audiobook, and dvd arrivals. Click an image to view availability or place a hold.

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American Experience: War of the Worlds (Not Rated)

The night of October 30th 1938 began as any other peaceful Sunday evening with millions of listeners tuned to their radios. Yet the outward calm hid a nation tense with apprehension: the Great Depression refused to let up and the threat of war in Europe loomed larger every day. Then at 8:15 p.m. there was a report on the radio that Martians had landed in New Jersey. Almost instantly people listening in responded to the shocking news. Newspapers were flooded with calls from worried listeners; many feared that New Jersey had been laid to waste and that the Martians were heading west. In cities and towns throughout the country people stopped a moment to pray- then grabbed their loved ones and fled into the night. What began as a broadcast performance of H.G. Wells's fantasy The War of the Worlds turned into one of the biggest mass hysteria events in U.S. history. American Experience examines the elements that together created this frenzy including our longtime fascination with life on Mars; the emergence of radio as a powerful new medium; and the creative wunderkind Orson Welles the twenty-three-year-old director of the drama and mischief-maker supreme.

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The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin, read by Edward Herrman

The gap between rich and poor has never been wider . . . legislative stalemate paralyzes the country . . . corporations resist federal regulations . . . spectacular mergers produce giant companies . . . the influence of money in politics deepens . . . bombs explode in crowded streets . . . small wars proliferate far from our shores . . . a dizzying array of inventions speeds the pace of daily life.

These unnervingly familiar headlines serve as the backdrop for Doris Kearns Goodwin’s highly anticipated The Bully Pulpit—a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air.

The story is told through the intense friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft—a close relationship that strengthens both men before it ruptures in 1912, when they engage in a brutal fight for the presidential nomination that divides their wives, their children, and their closest friends, while crippling the progressive wing of the Republican Party, causing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to be elected, and changing the country’s history.

The Bully Pulpit is also the story of the muckraking press, which arouses the spirit of reform that helps Roosevelt push the government to shed its laissez-faire attitude toward robber barons, corrupt politicians, and corporate exploiters of our natural resources. The muckrakers are portrayed through the greatest group of journalists ever assembled at one magazine—Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White—teamed under the mercurial genius of publisher S. S. McClure.

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Deadliest Critters: Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan (Not Rated)

Take a walk on the wild side as actor and wildlife enthusiast, Dominic Monaghan (Lost, Lord of the Rings), who brings his love of the slithering and crawling creatures of your worst nightmares. Dominic explores the remote corners of the globe in search of some the most badass animals in the world. He'll educate the masses on their origins, their unique qualities and why we shouldn't be so quick to squash them on sight. Get up close and personal with the Beaded lizard, BHTT Scorpion, Army ants and the Water bug.

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The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son by Pat Conroy, read by Dick Hill

Pat Conroy’s father, Donald Patrick Conroy, was a towering figure in his son’s life. The Marine Corps fighter pilot was often brutal, cruel, and violent; as Pat says, “I hated my father long before I knew there was an English word for ‘hate.’” As the oldest of seven children who were dragged from military base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the toll his father’s behavior took on his siblings, and especially on his mother, Peg. She was Pat’s lifeline to a better world—that of books and culture. But eventually, despite repeated confrontations with his father, Pat managed to claw his way toward a life he could have only imagined as a child.
Pat’s great success as a writer has always been intimately linked with the exploration of his family history. While the publication of The Great Santini brought Pat much acclaim, the rift it caused with his father brought even more attention. Their long-simmering conflict burst into the open, fracturing an already battered family. But as Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. In the final years of Don Conroy’s life, he and his son reached a rapprochement of sorts. Quite unexpectedly, the Santini who had freely doled out physical abuse to his wife and children refocused his ire on those who had turned on Pat over the years. He defended his son’s honor.

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Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisims, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

Every time Allie Brosh posts something new on her hugely popular blog Hyperbole and a Half the internet rejoices. Touching, absurd, and darkly comic, Allie Brosh’s highly anticipated book Hyperbole and a Half showcases her unique voice, leaping wit, and her ability to capture complex emotions with deceptively simple illustrations.

This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features more than fifty percent new content, with ten never-before-seen essays and one wholly revised and expanded piece as well as classics from the website like, “The God of Cake,” “Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving,” and her astonishing, “Adventures in Depression,” and “Depression Part Two,” which have been hailed as some of the most insightful meditations on the disease ever written.

Brosh’s debut marks the launch of a major new American humorist who will surely make even the biggest scrooge or snob laugh. We dare you not to.

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Joanna Lumley's Nile (Not Rated)

Growing up abroad as an army brat, Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) always dreamed of one day seeing the mighty Nile. This trip of a lifetime marks a dream come true. Traveling by fishing boat, ferry, cruise ship, plane, train, car, and Zapcat, Joanna follows the world’s longest river from mouth to source. The 4,000-mile journey takes her from the teeming city of Alexandria to the verdant forests of Rwanda, from the heat of the Sudanese desert to the highlands of Ethiopia, through multiple countries and across thousands of years of history. 

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Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football by Rich Cohen

For Rich Cohen and millions of other fans, the 1985 Chicago Bears were more than a football team: they were the greatest football team ever—a gang of colorful nuts, dancing and pounding their way to victory. They won a Super Bowl and saved a city.

It was not just that the Monsters of the Midway won, but how they did it. On offense, there was high-stepping running back Walter Payton and Punky QB Jim McMahon, who had a knack for pissing off Coach Mike Ditka as he made his way to the end zone. On defense, there was the 46: a revolutionary, quarterback-concussing scheme cooked up by Buddy Ryan and ruthlessly implemented by Hall of Famers such as Dan “Danimal” Hampton and “Samurai” Mike Singletary. On the sidelines, in the locker rooms, and in bars, there was the never-ending soap opera: the coach and the quarterback bickering on TV, Ditka and Ryan nearly coming to blows in the Orange Bowl, the players recording the “Super Bowl Shuffle” video the morning after the season’s only loss.

Cohen tracked down the coaches and players from this iconic team and asked them everything he has always wanted to know: What’s it like to win? What’s it like to lose? Do you really hate the guys on the other side? Were you ever scared? What do you think as you lie broken on the field? How do you go on after you have lived your dream but life has not ended?

 

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Room 237 (Not Rated)

Filmmaker Rodney Ascher examines the many conspiracy theories surrounding Stanley Kubrick's controversial 1980 horror classic The Shining by speaking with fans of the film, and scholars who claim the director had a hidden agenda in adapting Stephen King's bestselling novel to the big screen. In-depth conversations with Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan, and Jay Weidner (Kubrick's Odyssey) reveal a wide spectrum of theories pertaining to Kubrick's film, including speculation that it was a cinematic allegory for the slaughter of Native Americans, the Holocaust, or perhaps a cleverly-constructed confession that he was in fact the filmmaker responsible for faking the 1969 moon landing that placed the U.S. at the cutting-edge of the international space race against the former Soviet Union.*

Item descriptions from Amazon. Item description from All Movie Guide.

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