Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag by Orlando Figes. Figes reconstructs a heroic and touching love story that occurred in the midst of one of Stalin's most notorious work camps, drawing on personal letters, KGB archives and recent interviews to brilliantly illustrate the broader world in which their story unfolded.
Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto. Meticulously researched and beautifully written, the true story of a Japanese American family that found itself on opposite sides during World War II an epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption this is a riveting chronicle of U.S. Japan relations and the Japanese experience in America.
The Reason for Flowers: Their History, Culture, Biology, and How They Change Our Lives by Stephen Buchmann. Cultural history at its best--the engaging, lively, and definitive story of the beauty, sexuality, ecology, myths, lore, and economics of the world's flowers, written by a passionately devoted author and scientist, and illustrated with his stunning photographs.
City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp by Ben Rawlence. In "City of Thorns," Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Rawlence combines intimate storytelling with broad socio-political investigative journalism, doing for Dadaab what Katherinee Boo's "Behind the Beautiful Forevers "did for the Mumbai slums.
#3 - Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists--both famous and less well known--and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his investigative skills to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Hailed by Toni Morrison as required reading, a bold and personal literary exploration of America s racial history by the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States ("The New York Observer") " This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it. "
Chilled: How Refrigeration Changed the World and Might Do So Again. The discovery of refrigeration and its applications features a cast of characters that includes the Ice King of Boston, Galileo, Francis Bacon, an expert on gnomes, a magician who chilled a cathedral, a Renaissance duke addicted to iced eggnog, and a Bavarian nobleman from New England.
Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham. In this brilliant biography, Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize winning author, chronicles the life of George Herbert Walker Bush. Drawing on President Bush's personal diaries, on the diaries of his wife, Barbara, and on extraordinary access to the forty-first president and his family, Meacham paints an intimate and surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times.