Tag Archives: 2016

A More Beautiful Question

A More Beautiful Question

Bloomsbury
Paperback
272 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781632861054
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The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Warren Berger

“Berger presents a simple three-part framework, the ‘Why-What If-How’ model, to guide effective inquiry . . . 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 www.amorebeautifulquestion.com.

Warren Berger © Jerome Levine

© Jerome Levine

Warren Berger, an expert on design thinking and innovation, is author of the acclaimed book Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Business and Your Life, which was named one of Business Week‘s “Best Innovation & Design Books of the Year.” Berger also writes for Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, and was a longtime contributing editor at Wired magazine. He lives in New York.

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

Bowling Green State University (OH); North Central College (IL); Quinnipiac University (CT); University of South Carolina

Spare Parts

Spare Parts

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Paperback
240 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374534981
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Los Inventores
Spanish Language Edition
Paperback
224 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374284503

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

Joshua Davis

Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize

Spare Parts illuminates the human side of two polarizing political issues: immigration and education.”

The Washington Post

In 2004, four undocumented Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 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 kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT. This was never a level competition, and yet, against all odds . . . they won! But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story 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.

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

“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 

“This is important reading . . . Young adults will benefit from from reading and discussing this realistic, eye-opening chronicle . . . Davis pulls no punches as he describes the grim sociopolitical atmosphere that allows the oppression of talented people for no morally acceptable reason. The four young inventors and their struggles helped spur the DREAMers movement.”—Donna Chavez, Booklist (starred review)

“A gratifying human interest story that calls attention to the plight and promise of America’s undocumented youth.”Library Journal

“Davis takes what could have been another feel-good story of triumphant underdogs and raises the stakes by examining the difficulties of these young immigrants in the context of the societal systems that they briefly and temporarily overcame.”Publishers Weekly

Joshua Davis © Sebastian Mlynarski

© Sebastian Mlynarski

Joshua Davis is a contributing editor at Wired, co-founder of Epic magazine, and the author of The Underdog, a memoir about his experiences as an arm wrestler, backward runner, and matador. He has also written for The New Yorker, and his writing is anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best Technology Writing. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Spare Parts has been adopted for more than forty First-Year Experience programs:

Alamo Heights High School (TX); Broward College (FL); The Browning School (NY); California State University – Los Angeles; Cedar Valley College (TX); Chemeketa Community College (OR); Concordia University (TX); Des Moines Area Community College (IA); Hesston College (KS); Hood College (MD); Johns Hopkins University (MD); Kansas State University; Lafayette Public Library and School District (LA); Lewis University (IL); Metropolitan Community College – Maple Woods (MO); Miami University (OH); Monroe Community College (NY); Naugatuck Valley Community College (CT); Nash Community College (NC); North Iowa Area Community College; North Lake College (TX); Norwalk Community College (CT); Oakland University, The Honors College (MI); Pasadena City College (CA); Providence College (RI); Queensborough Community College (NY); Rutgers University, Honors College (NJ); Sacramento State University (CA); Salem State University (MA); Santa Ana College; San Jose State University (CA); Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ); Stony Brook University (NY); Texas A&M University; University of Alaska – Southeast; University of Houston – Clear Lake (TX); University of North Carolina – Charlotte; University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science; University of Michigan College of Engineering; Washington State University, Vancouver; Winthrop University (SC)

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The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction

Picador
Paperback
336 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9781250062185
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An Unnatural History

Elizabeth Kolbert

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

“In her timely, meticulously researched and well-written book, Kolbert combines scientific analysis and personal narratives to explain it to us. The result is a clear and comprehensive history of earth’s previous mass extinctions—and the species we’ve lost—and an engaging description of the extraordinarily complex nature of life. Most important, Kolbert delivers a compelling call to action.”

The New York Times Book Review

Over the last half-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. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

© 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 18 First-Year Experience programs at:

American University (DC); Colgate University (NY); Lafayette College (PA); Linfield College (OR); Occidental College (CA); Feather River College (CA); Millsaps College (MS); Montclair State University’s Presidential Scholars Program (NJ); NYU-Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; Piedmont Virginia Community College; Rowan University (NJ); Saint Francis High School (CA); Stanford University (CA);  Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ); University of Michigan – Flint; University of Vermont; Villanova University (PA); Williams College (MA)

Dreamland

Dreamland

Bloomsbury
Paperback
384 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9781620402528

The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

Sam Quinones

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

Dreamland—true crime, sociology, and exposé—illuminates a catastrophe unfolding all around us, right now.””

Slate 

In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland. Acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma’s campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive—extremely addictive—miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin—cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico’s west coast, independent of any drug cartel—assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico. Introducing a memorable cast of characters—pharma pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors, and parents—Quinones shows how these tales fit together. Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America and its heartland.

quinones, sam

Sam Quinones is a journalist, author and storyteller whose two acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction about Mexico and Mexican immigration—True Tales From Another Mexico and Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream—made him, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, “the most original writer on Mexico and the border.” He lives in Los Angeles.

Dreamland has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Catawba Valley Community College (NC); College of Southern Nevada; Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science (OH); Ohio Northern University; University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus; Virginia Commonwealth University; Westfield State University (MA)

Citizen

Citizen

Graywolf Press
Paperback
160 pages • $20.00
ISBN: 9781555976903
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An American Lyric

Claudia Rankine

Winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize
Winner of the PEN Open Book Award
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
Finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in Poetry 

“Rankine defies genre and writes honestly and relentlessly about being black in modern America. This book is necessary in every sense of the word.”

—Roxane Gay, Esquire

Claudia Rankine’s new book—“a precise, complex, clear-eyed, and masterful work of art” (Guernica)—recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV—everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.

© John Lucas

© John Lucas

Claudia Rankine is the author of four previous books, including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. She currently teaches at Pomona College.

Citizen has been adopted for more than thirty First-Year Experience programs at:

Assumption College (MA); Art Institute of Chicago (IL); Bard College (NY); Brandeis University (MA); College of the Canyons (CA); Colorado College; Eckerd College (FL); Gateway Community College; Grand Valley State University (MI); Green River College (WA); Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY); Howard University (DC); Keene State College (NH); LaGrange College (GA); Millsaps College (MS); Mount Holyoke College (MA); New York University Tisch School of the Arts; Northern Michigan University; Old Dominion University (VA); Pomona College (CA); Ramapo College (NJ); Rhodes College (TN); St. Cloud State University (MN); SUNY Cortland;  Troy University (AL); University of Arizona, Tucson Honors College; University of Kansas; University of La Verne (CA); University of Nebraska Lincoln; Utica College (NY); Washington College (MD); Washington University in St. Louis (MO); Wesleyan University (CT)

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Make Your Home Among Strangers

Make Your Home Among Strangers

Picador
Paperback
416 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781250094551
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A Novel

Jennine Capó Crucet

“A smart, scathing, and hilarious depiction of a Cuban-American girl at a fancy northeastern university.”

Vanity Fair

When Lizet—the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school—secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she’s set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy—Lizet’s older sister, a brand-new single mom—without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live. Amidst this turmoil, Lizet begins her first semester at Rawlings College, distracted by both the exciting and difficult moments of freshman year. But the privileged world of the campus feels utterly foreign, as does her new awareness of herself as a minority. Struggling both socially and academically, she returns to Miami for a surprise Thanksgiving visit, only to be overshadowed by the arrival of Ariel Hernandez, a young boy whose mother died fleeing with him from Cuba on a raft. The ensuing immigration battle puts Miami in a glaring spotlight, captivating the nation and entangling Lizet’s entire family, especially her mother. Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life forever. Urgent and mordantly funny, Make Your Home Among Strangers tells the moving story of a young woman torn between generational, cultural, and political forces; it’s the new story of what it means to be American today.

(c) Monica McGivern

Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of Make Your Home Among Strangers and a story collection, How to Leave Hialeah, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award, John Gardner Book Prize, and Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award. She was raised in Miami and is currently assistant professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Make Your Home Among Strangers has been adopted for over thirty-five First-Year Experience programs:

Albion College (MI) (two consecutive years!); California State University, Channel Islands; Central College (IA) (two consecutive years!); The College of New Jersey; Doane University; Elon University (NC); College of the Holy Cross (MA); George Mason University (VA); Georgia Southern University; Hartwick College (NY); Hollins University (VA); Holy Names University (CA); Kalamazoo College (MI); Knox College (IL); Maryville University (MO) (two consecutive years!); Mount Saint Mary’s College (CA); New College of Florida; Northern Illinois University; Regis College (MA); Saint Mary’s College (CA); Simmons College (MA); St. Cloud State University’s ACE Program (MN); University of Massachusetts, Amherst; University of Miami; University of Minnesota School of Education and Human Development (two consecutive years!); University of Nebraska, Lincoln’s School of Journalism; University of North Carolina, Asheville; University of St. Joseph (CT); Ventura College (CA); Whitman College (WA)

Salvage the Bones

Salvage the Bones

Bloomsbury
Paperback
288 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781608196265
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A Novel

Jesmyn Ward

Winner of the National Book Award

“A taut, wily novel, smartly plotted and voluptuously written. It feels fresh and urgent . . . Jesmyn Ward makes beautiful music, plays deftly with her reader’s expectations.”

The New York Times Book Review

A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch’s father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn’t show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn’t much to save. Lately, Esch can’t keep down what food she gets; she’s fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull’s new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. Meanwhile, brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child’s play and short on parenting. As the twelve days that make up the novel’s framework yield to their dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family—motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce—pulls itself up to face another day. A big-hearted novel about familial love and community against all odds, and a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bones is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.

Jesmyn Ward

© Mike Stanton

Jesmyn Ward grew up in DeLisle, Mississippi. Her debut novel, Where the Line Bleeds received the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Honor Award and was a finalist for both the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

Salvage the Bones has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Adelphi University (NY); Alabama State University; Christian Brothers University (TN); Florida A&M University; Hampton University (VA); Rhodes College (TN); Rocky Mountain College (MT); Rutgers University, Douglass College (NJ); Salem College (NC); Stanford University (CA); University of Alaska, Anchorage; Vanderbilt University (TN); Xavier University of Louisiana

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The Sellout

The Sellout

Picador
Paperback
304 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9781250083258
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A Novel

Paul Beatty

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction

The Sellout is a comic masterpiece, but it’s much more
than just that—it’s one of the smartest and most honest reflections on race and identity in America in a very long time, written by an author who truly understands what it means to talk about the history of the country.”

—NPR

A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant. Born in the “agrarian ghetto” of Dickens—on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles—the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians. Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father’s pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family’s financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town’s most famous resident—the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins—he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

Paul Beatty

© Hannah Assouline

Paul Beatty is the author of the novels TuffSlumberland, and The White Boy Shuffle, and the poetry collections Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He was the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. He lives in New York City.

Blackballed

Blackballed

St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback
288 pages • $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-250-13154-6

The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses

Lawrence Ross

“Racism, Ross argues, has been a fact of life for black students on predominantly white campuses for nearly 200 years . . . [Ross] calls for efforts to make campuses more welcoming to black students, increases in the numbers of black students and faculty members, reform of the Greek system, and far more diversity training for all members of the campus community.”

—The Washington Post

“College” is a word that means many things to many people: a space for knowledge, a place to gain lifelong friends, and an opportunity to transcend one’s socioeconomic station. Today, though, this word also recalls a slew of headlines that have revealed a dark and persistent world of racial politics on campus. Does this association disturb our idealized visions of what happens behind the ivied walls of higher learning? It should—because campus racism on college campuses is as American as college football on Fall Saturdays.

Blackballed is a book that rips the veil off America’s hidden secret: America’s colleges have fostered a racist environment that makes them a hostile space for African American students. It exposes the white fraternity and sorority system, with traditions of racist parties, songs, and assaults on black students; and the universities themselves, who name campus buildings after racist men and women. It also takes a deep dive into anti-affirmative action policies, and how they effectively segregate predominately white universities, providing ample room for white privilege. A bold mix of history and the current climate, Blackballed is a call to action for universities to make radical changes to their policies and standards to foster a better legacy for all students.

© Jeff Lewis Photography

Lawrence Ross is a bestselling author, lecturer, writer, filmmaker, social media and consumer trends expert. He is the author of The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities and has written regular pieces for CNN, The Grio, The Root, Ebony, and USA Today. He lives in Westchester, California.

Being Mortal

Being Mortal

Picador
Paperback
304 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9781250076229
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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); Moravian College (PA); Pennsylvania College of Health and Sciences; Tufts University School of Medicine (MA); University of Massachusetts Medical School; University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill

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