New Nonfiction – October 2008

Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life Kathleen Norris – What is acedia? Ruminations from a noted author.

American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, The Birth of Hollywood, and the Crime of the Century Howard Blum – On the morning of October 1, 1910 the Los Angeles Times Building was bombed. This was a prelude to the devastation to come.

The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British Sarah LyallAs a young reporter for The New York Times, the author moved to London and began a chronicle of her adopted country.

Being Catholic Now: Prominent Americans Talk about Change in the Church and the Quest for MeaningKerry Kennedy – The daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy relates the importance of faith and showcases the thoughts of other Americans.

The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics Leonard Susskind – What is the true nature of black holes? Is our understanding of the entire universe at stake?

China: Getting Rich First Duncan Hewitt – Is it possible for the new China to reconcile its ancient past with the new dreams of modernization and globalization?

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the WorldVicki Myron with Bret Witter –How is possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save an American town, and become famous around the world?

Emotional Awareness: Overcoming the Obstacles to Psychological Balance and Compassion A Conversation Between the Dalai Lama and Paul Ekman – A remarkable exchange that delves into the nature of our emotional lives from the perspectives of science and spirituality.

Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World Roger Crowley – In 1521, Suleiman the Magnificent sent an invasion fleet to the Christian island of Rhodes. This was the opening shot in the struggle between rival empires and faiths for control of the Mediterranean.

The First Billion Is the Hardest T. Boone Pickens – At the age of 68, down and out, Pickens turned his remaining investment funds of $3 million into $8 billion in profit. Now, at age 80, he explains what he believes will be the future of energy in America.

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar Paul Theroux – The prolific and noted author of travel narratives describes his recent journey through Asia.

Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men Michael Kimmel – A look at the cultural and social world of young men through the years between 16 and 26.

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How It Can Renew America Thomas L. Friedman – The noted author of The World Is Flat takes a look at America’s loss of focus and the global environmental situation and how these two problems are linked.

The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington Jennet Conant – The story of the British spies who infiltrated the upper echelons of Washington during the early days of World War II.

The Last Undercover: The True Story of an FBI Agent’s Dangerous Dance with Evil Bob Hamer – Posing as everything from a drug dealer to an aging pedophile, the author describes his life as an undercover agent.

The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism Andrew J. Bacevich – The author identifies a triple crisis that confronts America and offers solutions to cope realistically with the future.

Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-Up IdealistsSusan Neiman – How is moral philosophy relevant to everyday life? The author presents a philosophical framework for forming clear opinions and taking responsible actions on today’s questions.

Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life Wynton Marsalis with Geoffrey C. WardThe award-winning musician relates the lessons he has learned from jazz that can help move us all to higher ground.

The Necklace: Thirteen Women and the Experiment that Transformed Their Lives Cheryl Jarvis – The author bought a beautiful, expensive necklace along with twelve other women who agreed to share it equally throughout the year. Here’s their story.

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein – The authors demonstrate how “choice architecture” can be established to help individuals be nudged in beneficial directions, rather than to make those choices that make us poorer and less healthy.

A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East Kenneth M. Pollack – A leading Middle East policy analyst advises a more realistic and cohesive approach to the Arab world.

Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children Philip Shabecoff and Alice Shabecoff – The authors’ research links current rise in childhood disease to industrial toxins that are found both outside and in everyday products.

The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation Marian Wright Edelman – The founder of the Children’s Defense Fund calls on Americans to create a better world for all of our children.

Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief James M. McPherson – With virtually no military experience, President Lincoln emerged as the greatest commander in chief in American history.

The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do Peg Tyre – Struggling throughout elementary and secondary school, boys now account for less than 43% of those enrolled in college.

Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip—Confessions of a Cynical Waiter Steve Dublanica – An inside look at a waiter’s life at an upscale New York restaurant.

The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008 Bob Woodward – The author’s fourth book about the Bush administration takes the reader through the highest levels of decision-making at the White House, Pentagon and State Department.