Books for the First-Year Experience from Macmillan

2016_fye_catalog_coverMacmillan is pleased to offer a diverse selection of broadly appealing, critically acclaimed books—all of them ideally suited for First-Year Experience and Common Reading programs.

Now, our latest catalog is online, and you can browse title by title, by theme, or by author. Then, request examination copies online, by email, by postal mail, or by fax. You can also download the catalog to view or print (6.0 MB PDF – Adobe Reader is required). Paper-and-ink catalogs are available by postal mail upon request.

Accessible yet challenging, timely yet classic, these are books that invite campus-wide discussion while also fostering individual growth, that ask questions and make demands of all who pick them up—books meant to open doors, change minds, undercut assumptions, spark debates.

Above all, these books will help students to succeed across all manner of academic disciplines by addressing them—and stimulating them, and moving them—as only the best books can. As a class or on their own, freshmen achieve their very best, as readers and as students, when they’re “on the same page” as their peers. That’s where these books come in.

The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction

336 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-06218-5

An Unnatural History

Elizabeth Kolbert

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“It is not possible to overstate the importance of Kolbert’s book. Her prose is lucid, accessible and even entertaining as she reveals the dark theater playing out on our globe.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us.

Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamanian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. “Ms. Kolbert shows in these pages that she can write with elegiac poetry about the vanishing creatures of this planet, but the real power of her book resides in the hard science and historical context she delivers here, documenting the mounting losses that human beings are leaving in their wake.”—The New York Times

© Barry Goldstein

Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.

The Sixth Extinction has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Linfield College (OR); Occidental College (CA)

Being Mortal

Being Mortal

Metropolitan Books
304 pages • $26.00
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9515-9

Medicine and What Matters in the End

Atul Gawande

Being Mortal, Atul Gawande’s masterful exploration
of aging, death, and the medical profession’s
mishandling of both, is his best and most
personal book yet.” —The Boston Globe

Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering. Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

© Tim Llewellyn

Atul Gawande is author of three bestselling books: Complications; Better; and The Checklist Manifesto. He is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He and his wife have three children and live in Newton, Massachusetts.

Being Mortal has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

East Central University Honors Program (OK); Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science (OH); University of Massachusetts Medical School

Spare Parts

Spare Parts

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
240 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-374-53498-1

Los Inventores
Spanish Language Edition
240 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-374-28450-3

Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

Joshua Davis

Spare Parts is an unforgettable tale of hope and human ingenuity. Joshua Davis offers a moving testament to how teamwork, perseverance, and a few good teachers can lift up and empower even the humblest among us.”—Héctor Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark

In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much—but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot.

And build a robot they did.

They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition—and yet, against all odds . . . they won!

But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story—which became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement—will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan. Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.

“Joshua Davis tells the story of these four plucky teenagers and their robot in his fast-moving [book] . . . It’s a feel-good tale of scrappy underdogs beating long odds. But there’s more to the story, and Spare Parts illuminates the human side of two polarizing political issues: immigration and education . . . [It] is a delightful book, perfect for entertaining and inspiring . . . [These young men] have a great story to tell—a great American story.”—Peter Carlson, The Washington Post

“It’s the most American of stories: how determination and ingenuity can bring triumph over long odds. There are too few stories like these written about Latino students. Poignant and beautifully told, Spare Parts makes you feel their frustration at the obstacles and indignities faced by Cristian, Lorenzo, Luis, and Oscar—and to cheer as they rise to overcome each one of them.” —Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey

Joshua Davis © Sebastian Mlynarski

© Sebastian Mlynarski

Joshua Davis is a contributing editor at Wired and a cofounder of Epic magazine. He lives in San Francisco with his family.

Spare Parts has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Alamo Heights High School (TX); Concordia University (TX); Hood College (MD); Nash Community College (NC); Norwalk Community College (CT); Oakland University, The Honors College (MI); Salem State University (MA); University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science

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Humans of New York: Stories

Humans of New York: Stories

St. Martin’s Press
432 pages • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-05890-4

Brandon Stanton

“A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social
classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton set out to create a photographic census of New York City. Armed with his camera, he began crisscrossing the city, covering thousands of miles on foot, all in an attempt to capture New Yorkers and their stories. The result of these efforts was a vibrant blog he called “Humans of New York,” in which his photos were featured alongside quotes and anecdotes. The blog has steadily grown, now boasting millions of devoted followers; and in the summer of 2014, the UN chose Brandon to travel around the world on a goodwill mission that had followers meeting people from Iraq to the Ukraine to Mexico City via the photos he took. Ever since Brandon began interviewing people on the streets of New York, the dialogue he’s had with them has increasingly become as in-depth and moving as the photo themselves. Humans of New York: Stories presents a whole new group of humans, complete with stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor.

Stanton, BrandonBrandon Stanton studied at the University of
Georgia and worked as a bond trader in Chicago
before founding Humans of New York in the
summer of 2010. He is the creator of Humans of
New York (also published by St. Martin’s Press)
as well as the children’s book, Little Humans.
Stanton lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Humans of New York: Stories has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

St. John’s University (NY)

A More Beautiful Question

A More Beautiful Question

272 pages • $26.00
ISBN: 978-1-62040-145-3

The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Warren Berger

“Is there a relationship between innovation and the ability to ask ambitious questions? The journalist and innovation expert Berger argues there is, and in this breezy management book he seeks to improve our capacity to question . . . One closes Berger’s book newly conscious of the significance of smart questions.”—The New York Times Book Review

Warren Berger shows that one of the most powerful forces for igniting change in business and in our daily lives is a simple, under-appreciated tool—one that has been available to us since childhood. Questioning—deeply, imaginatively, “beautifully”—can help us identify and solve problems, come up with game-changing ideas, and pursue fresh opportunities. So why are we often reluctant to ask “Why?” As Berger shows, the most creative, successful people tend to be expert questioners. They’ve mastered the art of inquiry, raising questions no one else is asking—and finding powerful answers. The author takes us inside red-hot businesses like Google, Netflix, IDEO, and Airbnb to show how questioning is baked into their organizational DNA. He also shares inspiring stories of artists, teachers, entrepreneurs, basement tinkerers, and social activists who changed their lives and the world around them—by starting with a “beautiful question.” A More Beautiful Question outlines a practical Why / What If / How system of inquiry that can guide you through the process of innovative questioning—helping you find imaginative, powerful answers to your own “beautiful questions.”

For more information, please visit

Warren Berger © Jerome Levine

© Jerome Levine

Warren Berger’s writing and research on questioning and innovation has appeared in Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, and Wired. His previous book was Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Business and Your Life.

A More Beautiful Question has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Quinnipiac University (CT)

On the Run

On the Run

304 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-06566-7

Fugitive Life in an American City

Alice Goffman

“A remarkable feat of reporting.”—Alex Kotlowitz, The New York Times Book Review

Alice Goffman’s on-the-ground account—“[an] extraordinary new book (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker)—documents the effects of the American criminal justice system in a predominately African-American neighborhood in Philadelphia. Forty years in, the War on Drugs has done almost nothing to prevent drugs from being sold or used, but it has nonetheless created a little-known surveillance state in America’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Arrest quotas and high-tech surveillance techniques criminalize entire blocks, and transform the very associations that should stabilize young lives—family, relationships, jobs—into liabilities, as the police use such relationships to track down suspects, demand information, and threaten consequences. Goffman spent six years living in one such neighborhood in Philadelphia, and her close observations and often harrowing stories reveal the pernicious effects of this pervasive policing. Goffman introduces us to an unforgettable cast of young African American men who are caught up in this web of warrants and surveillance—some of them small-time drug dealers, others just ordinary guys dealing with limited choices. “[On the Run] is a closely observed study of the impact of the criminal justice system on everyday life in a low-income African-American neighborhood of Philadelphia.”—Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Times

Alice Goffman © Richard Burros

© Richard Burros

Alice Goffman is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She lives in Madison.

On the Run has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

California State University, East Bay

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