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Us and Our World

These nonfiction books take us all across the globe and inside our own minds to show us how the world works.


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A Message from Ukraine

- Volodymyr Zelensky

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An urgent call to arms from the Ukrainian leader whose unwavering courage in the face of the Russian invasion has inspired the world and turned him overnight into a global beacon of democracy
 
The words of a man. The message of a people.
 
Bringing together a new introduction by Volodymyr Zelensky with his most powerful war speeches, this book recounts Ukraine's story through the words of its president.
 
It is the story of a nation valiantly defending itself from Russian aggression. And it is the story of a people leading the world in the struggle for democracy.
 
Above all, it is a battle cry for us all to stand up and fight for liberty. If not now, when?
 
The only book officially authorized by President Zelensky, A Message from Ukraine includes speeches he has personally selected to tell the story of the Ukrainian people.

Lives Lived, Lives Imagined

- Sabrina Reed

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Perceptive, controversial, topical, and achingly funny, Miriam Toews's books have earned her a place at the forefront of Canadian literature. In this first monograph on Toews's work, Sabrina Reed examines the interplay of trauma and resilience in the author's fiction. Reed skillfully demonstrates how Toews situates resilience across key themes, including: the home as both a source of trauma and an inspiration for resilient action; the road trip as a search for resolution and redemption; and the reframing of the Mennonite diaspora as an escape from patriarchal oppression. The deaths by suicide of Toews's father and sister stand out as the most shocking and tragic of the author's biographical details, and Reed explores Toews's use of autofiction as a reparative gesture in the face of this trauma. Written in an accessible style that will appeal to both scholars and devotees of Toews's work, Lives Lived, Lives Imagined is a timely examination of Toews's oeuvre and a celebration of fiction's ability to simultaneously embody compassion and anger, joy and sadness, and to brave the personal and communal oppressions of politics, religion, family, society, and mental illness.

Values

- Mark Carney

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER
 
A bold and urgent argument for the radical, foundational change that is required if we are to build an economy and society based not on market values but on human values.

Our world is full of fault lines--growing inequality in income and opportunity; systemic racism; health and economic crises from a global pandemic; mistrust of experts; the existential threat of climate change; deep threats to employment in a digital economy with robotics on the rise. Mark Carney argues that these fundamental problems and others like them stem from a common crisis in values. Drawing on the turmoil of the past decade, he shows how "market economies" have evolved into "market societies" where price determines the value of everything.

When we think about what we, as individuals, value most highly, we might list fairness, health, the protection of our rights, economic security from poverty, the preservation of natural diversity, resources, and beauty. The tragedy is, these things that we hold dearest are too often the casualties of our twenty-first century world, where they ought to be our bedrock.

In this profoundly important book, Mark Carney offers a vision of a more humane society and a practical manifesto for getting there. How we reform our infrastructure to make things better and fairer is at the heart of every chapter, with outlines of wholly new ideas that can restructure society and enshrine our human values at the core of all that we build for our children and grandchildren.

Weather Permitting

- Chris St Clair

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From the longtime host of The Weather Network comes a behind-the-scenes look at Canada's biggest weather events and climate phenomena.

For more than twenty-five years, Chris St. Clair was on the frontline of Canada's biggest weather events as a popular presenter on The Weather Network. For the first time, he shares his never-before-told stories covering the country's most astounding weather events.

From the flooding of the Red River in Winnipeg to the ice storm in Montreal, the hurricanes in Newfoundland, the devastating wildfires in Fort McMurray, the hailstorm in Calgary, and the heat dome and horrifying floods in British Columbia, St. Clair recalls these extreme weather events and relays their impact on communities across the country. He also follows Canadian snowbirds south to Florida and recounts their dramatic escape from record-breaking Hurricanes Matthew and Irma.

A vivid personal narrative with accessible scientific explanations and meteorological analysis, Weather Permitting tells the story of how the weather has shaped the character and psyche of our nation, and is an homage to the strength and resilience of Canadian communities from coast to coast.

True Reconciliation

- Jody Wilson-Raybould

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From the #1 bestselling author of 'Indian' in the Cabinet, a groundbreaking and accessible roadmap to advancing true reconciliation across Canada.

There is one question Canadians have asked Jody Wilson-Raybould more than any other: What can I do to help advance reconciliation? It is clear that people from all over the country want to take concrete and tan­gible action that will make real change. We just need to know how to get started. This book provides that next step. For Wilson-Raybould, what individuals and organizations need to do to advance true reconciliation is self-evident, accessible, and achievable. True Reconciliation is broken down into three core practices--Learn, Understand, and Act--that can be applied by individuals, communities, organiza­tions, and governments.

The practices are based not only on the historical and con­temporary experience of Indigenous peoples in their relentless efforts to effect transformative change and decolonization, but also on the deep understanding and expertise about what has been effective in the past, what we are doing right, and wrong, today, and what our collective future requires. Fundamental to a shared way of thinking is an understand­ing of the Indigenous experience throughout the story of Canada. In a manner that reflects how work is done in the Big House, True Reconciliation features an "oral" history of these lands, told through Indigenous and non-Indigenous voices from our past and present.

The ultimate and attainable goal of True Reconciliation is to break down the silos we've created that prevent meaning­ful change, to be empowered to increasingly act as "inbe­tweeners," and to take full advantage of this moment in our history to positively transform the country into a place we can all be proud of.

Inciting Joy

- Ross Gay

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"BRILLIANT." --Ada Limón, U.S. poet laureate

An intimate and electrifying collection of essays from the New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Delights.

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2022  

 
In these gorgeously written and timely pieces, prizewinning poet and author Ross Gay considers the joy we incite when we care for each other, especially during life's inevitable hardships. Throughout Inciting Joy, he explores how we can practice recognizing that connection, and also, crucially, how we can expand it.
 
In "We Kin," Gay thinks about the garden (es­pecially around August, when the zucchini and tomatoes come in) as a laboratory of mutual aid; in "Share Your Bucket," he explores skateboard­ing's reclamation of public spaces; he considers the costs of masculinity in "Grief Suite"; and in "Through My Tears I Saw," he recognizes what was healed in caring for his father as he was dying.
 
In an era when divisive voices take up so much airspace, Inciting Joy offers a vital alternative: What might be possible if we turn our attention to what brings us together, to what we love?
 
Taking a clear-eyed look at injustice, political polarization, and the destruction of the natural world, Gay shows us how we might resist, how the study of joy might lead us to a wild, unpredictable, transgressive, and unboundaried solidarity. In fact, it just might help us survive.

The Philosophy of Modern Song

- Bob Dylan

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The Philosophy of Modern Song is Bob Dylan's first book of new writing since 2004's Chronicles: Volume One--and since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.

Dylan, who began working on the book in 2010, offers his extraordinary insight into the nature of popular music. He writes over sixty essays focusing on songs by other artists, spanning from Stephen Foster to Elvis Costello, and in between ranging from Hank Williams to Nina Simone. He analyzes what he calls the trap of easy rhymes, breaks down how the addition of a single syllable can diminish a song, and even explains how bluegrass relates to heavy metal. These essays are written in Dylan's unique prose. They are mysterious and mercurial, poignant and profound, and often laugh-out-loud funny. And while they are ostensibly about music, they are really meditations and reflections on the human condition. Running throughout the book are nearly 150 carefully curated photos as well as a series of dream-like riffs that, taken together, resemble an epic poem and add to the work's transcendence.

In 2020, with the release of his outstanding album Rough and Rowdy Ways, Dylan became the first artist to have an album hit the Billboard Top 40 in each decade since the 1960s. The Philosophy of Modern Song contains much of what he has learned about his craft in all those years, and like everything that Dylan does, it is a momentous artistic achievement.

Sentient

- Jackie Higgins

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Perfect for fans of The Soul of an Octopus and The Genius of Birds, this "revelatory book" (Sy Montgomery, New York Times bestselling author) explores how we process the world around us through the lens of the incredible sensory capabilities of thirteen animals, revealing that we are not limited to merely five senses.

There is a scientific revolution stirring in the field of human perception. Research has shown that the extraordinary sensory powers of our animal friends can help us better understand the same powers that lie dormant within us.

From the harlequin mantis shrimp with its ability to see a vast range of colors, to the bloodhound and its hundreds of millions of scent receptors; from the orb-weaving spider whose eyes recognize not only space but time, to the cheetah whose ears are responsible for its perfect agility, these astonishing animals hold the key to better understanding how we make sense of the world around us.

"An appealingly written, enlightening, and sometimes eerie journey into the extraordinary possibilities for the human senses" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Sentient will change the way you look at humanity.

Art Is Life

- Jerry Saltz

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From the Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of How to Be an Artist: a deliciously readable survey of the art world in turbulent times

Jerry Saltz is one of our most-watched writers about art and artists, and a passionate champion of the importance of art in our shared cultural life. Since the 1990s he has been an indispensable cultural voice: witty and provocative, he has attracted contemporary readers to fine art as few critics have. An early champion of forgotten and overlooked women artists, he has also celebrated the pioneering work of African American, LGBTQ+, and other long-marginalized creators. Sotheby's Institute of Art has called him, simply, "the art critic." 
 
Now, in Art Is Life, Jerry Saltz draws on two decades of work to offer a real-time survey of contemporary art as a barometer of our times. Chronicling a period punctuated by dramatic turning points--from the cultural reset of 9/11 to the rolling social crises of today--Saltz traces how visionary artists have both documented and challenged the culture. Art Is Life offers Saltz's eye-opening appraisals of trailblazers like Kara Walker, David Wojnarowicz, Hilma af Klint, and Jasper Johns; provocateurs like Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, and Marina Abramovi?; and visionaries like Jackson Pollock, Bill Traylor, and Willem de Kooning. Saltz celebrates landmarks like the Obama portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, writes searchingly about disturbing moments such as the Ankara gallery assassination, and offers surprising takes on figures from Thomas Kinkade to Kim Kardashian. And he shares stories of his own haunted childhood, his time as a "failed artist," and his epiphanies upon beholding work by Botticelli, Delacroix, and the cave painters of Niaux. 
 
With his signature blend of candor and conviction, Jerry Saltz argues in Art Is Life for the importance of the fearless artist--reminding us that art is a kind of channeled voice of human experience, a necessary window onto our times. The result is an openhearted and irresistibly readable appraisal by one of our most important cultural observers.

Waypoints

- Sam Heughan

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Journey deep into the Scottish Highlands in the first memoir by #1 New York Times bestselling author and award-winning star of Outlander, Sam Heughan--exploring his life and reflecting on the waypoints that define him

"I had to believe, because frankly, I had come so far there could be no turning back."

In this intimate journey of self-discovery, Sam sets out along Scotland's rugged ninety-six-mile West Highland Way to map out the moments that shaped his views on dreams and ambition, family, friendship, love, and life. The result is a love letter to the wild landscape that means so much to him, full of charming, funny, wise, and searching insights into the world through his eyes. 

Waypoints is a deeply personal journey that reveals as much about Sam to himself as it does to his readers. 
 

The Persuaders

- Anand Giridharadas

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER o An insider account of activists, politicians, educators, and everyday citizens working to change minds, bridge divisions, and fight for democracy--from disinformation fighters to a leader of Black Lives Matter to Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more--by the best-selling author of Winners Take All and award-winning former New York Times columnist

"Anand Giridharadas shows the way we get real progressive change in America--by refusing to write others off, building more welcoming movements, and rededicating ourselves to the work of changing minds." --Robert B. Reich, best-selling author of The System

The lifeblood of any free society is persuasion: changing other people's minds in order to change things. But America is suffering a crisis of faith in persuasion that is putting its democracy and the planet itself at risk. Americans increasingly write one another off instead of seeking to win one another over. Debates are framed in moralistic terms, with enemies battling the righteous. Movements for justice build barriers to entry, instead of on-ramps. Political parties focus on mobilizing the faithful rather than wooing the skeptical. And leaders who seek to forge coalitions are labeled sellouts.

In The Persuaders, Anand Giridharadas takes us inside these movements and battles, seeking out the dissenters who continue to champion persuasion in an age of polarization. We meet a leader of Black Lives Matter; a trailblazer in the feminist resistance to Trumpism; white parents at a seminar on raising adopted children of color; Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; a team of door knockers with an uncanny formula for changing minds on immigration; an ex-cult member turned QAnon deprogrammer; and, hovering menacingly offstage, Russian operatives clandestinely stoking Americans' fatalism about one another.

As the book's subjects grapple with how to call out threats and injustices while calling in those who don't agree with them but just might one day, they point a way to healing, and changing, a fracturing country.

The Song of the Cell

- Siddhartha Mukherjee

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A New York Times Bestseller and Goodreads Choice Awards 2022 Finalist!

From the author of The Emperor of All Maladies, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and The Gene, a #1 New York Times bestseller, comes his most spectacular book yet, an exploration of medicine and our radical new ability to manipulate cells. Rich with Mukherjee's revelatory and exhilarating stories of scientists, doctors, and the patients whose lives may be saved by their work, The Song of the Cell is the third book in this extraordinary writer's exploration of what it means to be human.


Mukherjee begins this magnificent story in the late 1600s, when a distinguished English polymath, Robert Hooke, and an eccentric Dutch cloth-merchant, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek looked down their handmade microscopes. What they saw introduced a radical concept that swept through biology and medicine, touching virtually every aspect of the two sciences, and altering both forever. It was the fact that complex living organisms are assemblages of tiny, self-contained, self-regulating units. Our organs, our physiology, our selves--hearts, blood, brains--are built from these compartments. Hooke christened them "cells".

The discovery of cells--and the reframing of the human body as a cellular ecosystem--announced the birth of a new kind of medicine based on the therapeutic manipulations of cells. A hip fracture, a cardiac arrest, Alzheimer's dementia, AIDS, pneumonia, lung cancer, kidney failure, arthritis, COVID pneumonia--all could be reconceived as the results of cells, or systems of cells, functioning abnormally. And all could be perceived as loci of cellular therapies.

In The Song of the Cell, Mukherjee tells the story of how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them, and are now using that knowledge to create new humans. He seduces you with writing so vivid, lucid, and suspenseful that complex science becomes thrilling. Told in six parts, laced with Mukherjee's own experience as a researcher, a doctor, and a prolific reader, The Song of the Cell is both panoramic and intimate--a masterpiece.

For a Better World

- James Naylor , Rhonda L Hinther , Jim Mochoruk

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Canada's largest and most famous example of class conflict, the Winnipeg General Strike, redefined local, national, and international conversations around class, politics, region, ethnicity, and gender. The Strike's centenary occasioned a re-examination of this critical moment in working-class history, when 300 social justice activists, organizers, scholars, trade unionists, artists, and labour rights advocates gathered in Winnipeg in 2019. Probing the meaning of the General Strike in new and innovative ways, For a Better World includes a selection of contributions from the conference as well as others' explorations of the character of class confrontation in the aftermath of the First World War. Editors Naylor, Hinther, and Mochoruk depict key events of 1919, detailing the dynamic and complex historiography of the Strike and the larger Workers' Revolt that reverberated around the world and shaped the century following the war. The chapters delve into intersections of race, class, and gender. Settler colonialism's impact on the conflict is also examined. Placing the struggle in Winnipeg within a broader national and international context, several contributors explore parallel strikes in Edmonton, Crowsnest Pass, Montreal, Kansas City, and Seattle. For a Better World interrogates types of commemoration and remembrance, current legacies of the Strike, and its ongoing influence. Together, the essays in this collection demonstrate that the Winnipeg General Strike continues to mobilize--revealing our radical past and helping us to think imaginatively about collective action in the future.

Women Holding Things

- Maira Kalman

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From the critically acclaimed artist, designer, and author of the bestsellers The Principles of Uncertainty and My Favorite Things comes a wondrous collection of words and paintings that is a moving meditation on the beauty and complexity of women's lives and roles, revealed in the things they hold.

"What do women hold? The home and the family. And the children and the food. The friendships. The work. The work of the world. And the work of being human. The memories. And the troubles. And the sorrows and the triumphs. And the love."

In the spring of 2021, Maira and Alex Kalman created a small, limited-edition booklet "Women Holding Things," which featured select recent paintings by Maira, accompanied by her insightful and deeply personal commentary. The booklet quickly sold out. Now, the Kalmans have expanded that original publication into this extraordinary visual compendium.

Women Holding Things includes the bright, bold images featured in the booklet as well as an additional sixty-seven new paintings highlighted by thoughtful and intimate anecdotes, recollections, and ruminations. Most are portraits of women, both ordinary and famous, including Virginia Woolf, Sally Hemings, Hortense Cezanne, Gertrude Stein, as well as Kalman's family members and other real-life people. These women hold a range of objects, from the mundane--balloons, a cup, a whisk, a chicken, a hat--to the abstract--dreams and disappointments, sorrow and regret, joy and love.

Kalman considers the many things that fit physically and metaphorically between women's hands: We see a woman hold a book, hold shears, hold children, hold a grudge, hold up, hold her own. In visually telling their stories, Kalman lays bare the essence of women's lives--their tenacity, courage, vulnerability, hope, and pain. Ultimately, she reveals that many of the things we hold dear--as well as those that burden or haunt us--remain constant and connect us from generation to generation.

Here, too, are pictures of a few men holding things, such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Anton Chekhov, as well as objects holding other objects that invite us to ponder their intimate relationships to one another.

Women Holding Things explores the significance of the objects we carry--in our hands, hearts, and minds--and speaks to, and for, all of us. Maira Kalman's unique work is a celebration of life, of the act and the art of living, offering an original way of examining and understanding all that is important in our world--and ultimately within ourselves.

Ordinary Wonder Tales

- Emily Urquhart

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A journalist and folklorist explores the truths that underlie the stories we imagine--and reveals the magic in the everyday. "I've always felt that the term fairy tale doesn't quite capture the essence of these stories," writes Emily Urquhart. "I prefer the term wonder tale, which is Irish in origin, for its suggestion of awe coupled with narrative. In a way, this is most of our stories." In this startlingly original essay collection, Urquhart reveals the truths that underlie our imaginings: what we see in our heads when we read, how the sight of a ghost can heal, how the entrance to the underworld can be glimpsed in an oil painting or a winter storm--or the onset of a loved one's dementia. In essays on death and dying, pregnancy and prenatal genetics, radioactivity, chimeras, cottagers, and plague, Ordinary Wonder Tales reveals the essential truth: if you let yourself look closely, there is magic in the everyday.

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