Nonfiction Recommendations

Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power

Requiem for the American dream : the 10 principles of concentration of wealth & powerBy Chomsky, Noam
"Noam Chomsky in Requiem for the American Dream directs the fierce light of his intellect on the utopian ideology of neoliberalism..." -Chris Hedges, from the jacket
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Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom

Churchill and Orwell : the fight for freedomBy Ricks, Thomas E.
"It is the agreement that objective reality exists, that people of good will can perceive it and that other people will change their views when presented with the facts of the matter". -Thomas Ricks, p. 270
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He Calls Me By Lightning : The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice and the Death Penalty

He calls me by lightning : the life of Caliph Washington and the forgotten saga of Jim Crow, southern justice, and the death penaltyBy Bass, S. Jonathan author.
"This absorbing chronicle of deep injustice reveals how the Jim Crow South protected racial humiliation with distorted law and organized terror. Written with insider knowledge and analytical power, the book engages our senses to experience repression and challenges our intellect to appreciate the courage of resistance." -Ira Katznelson (Fear Itself)
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The Humane Gardener : Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife

The humane gardener : nurturing a backyard habitat for wildlifeBy Lawson, Nancy, 1970- author.
"In this eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species, journalist and gardener Nancy Lawson describes why and how to welcome wildlife to our backyards. Through engaging anecdotes and inspired advice, profiles of home gardeners throughout the country, and interviews with scientists and horticulturalists, Lawson applies the broader lessons of ecology to our own outdoor spaces." Publisher annotation
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Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

Locking up our own : crime and punishment in black AmericaBy Forman, James, 1967- author.
“I think of it as a 239-page rebuttal to the claim that black people and their elected leaders only care about crime when it’s [committed by] the police,”... “If there’s one thing that I hope the book does, it’s demolish that lie.” -James Forman, Jr., in an interview with The Guardian, April 29, 2017
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Imagine Wanting Only This

Imagine wanting only thisBy Radtke, Kristen
"Riveting and glorious. A book of sorrow filtered through intellect; in Kristen Radtke's hands, nonfiction becomes poetry. A tremendous achievement." -Tom Hart, author of Rosalie's Lightning
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A Colony in a Nation

A colony in a nationBy Hayes, Christopher L.,
"A Colony in a Nation is a highly original analysis of America's arbitrary and erratic criminal justice system. Indeed, by Hayes's lights, the system is not erratic at all--it treats one group of Americans as citizens and another as the colonized. This is an essential and groundbreaking text in the effort to understand how American criminal justice went to badly awry." -Ta-Nehisi Coates, from the jacket
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Same Family, Different Colors : Confronting Colorism in America's Diverse Families

Same family, different colors : confronting colorism in America's diverse familiesBy Tharps, Lori L.
"...the first book on colorism to take us inside African American, Latino, Asian, and interracial families as they speak candidly about how the politics of skin color shape their family dynamics and lives. Lori Tharp explores this taboo and urgent subject with courage, vision, and great sensitivity." -Michael Eric Dyson (from the cover)
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Comic Books and American Cultural History

Comic books and American cultural history : an anthologyBy Pustz, Matthew (EDT)
"A highly original collection of essays, demonstrating how comic books can be used as primary sources in the teaching and understanding of American history." -NBN
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Age of Anger : A History of the Present

Age of anger : a history of the presentBy Mishra, Pankaj
" Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other". -from the jacket
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The Firebrand and the First Lady : Portrait of a Friendship : Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice

The firebrand and the First Lady : portrait of a friendship : Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the struggle for social justiceBy Bell-Scott, Patricia
An important, groundbreaking book--two decades in work--that tells the story of the unlikely but history-changing twenty-eight-year bond forged between Pauli Murray (granddaughter of a mulatto slave, who, against all odds, as a lesbian black woman, became a lawyer, civil rights pioneer, Episcopal priest, poet, and activist) and Eleanor Roosevelt (First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1948 and human rights internationalist) that critically ... Read more
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Plant Craft : 30 Projects That Add Natural Style to Your Home

Plant craft : 30 projects that add natural style to your homeBy Atkinson, Caitlin,
Plant Craft features 30 projects inspired by the natural world and made out of live plants, cut flowers, foraged branches, and more. (PUB)
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NEW PERSPECTIVES ON RACISM (3 items)

Writings on the wall : searching for a new equality beyond black and whiteBy Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem, 1947-
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has become a lauded observer of culture and society, a New York Times bestselling author, and a regular contributor to The Washington Post, TIME magazine and TIME.com.He now brings that keen insight to the fore in Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White, his most incisive and important work of non-fiction in years.... Read more
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Ghetto : The Invention of a Place, The History of an Idea

Ghetto : the invention of a place, the history of an ideaBy Duneier, Mitchell author.
"By expertly resurrecting the history of the ghetto from Venice to the present, Duneier's Ghetto provides a remarkable new understanding of an age-old concept. He concludes that if we are to understand today's ghettos--including the recent events in Ferguson--the Jewish and black ghettos of the past should not be forgotten." Publisher annotation
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The Fire This Time : A New Generation Speaks about Race

The fire this time : a new generation speaks about raceBy Ward, Jesmyn
"A groundbreaking anthology on race in America bringing together the most important voices of a new generation"...Baldwin's 'fire next time' is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about." (Publisher)
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Blood at the Root : A Racial Cleansing in America

Blood at the root : a racial cleansing in AmericaBy Phillips, Patrick, 1970- author.
"A gripping tale of racial cleansing in Forsyth County, Georgia, and a harrowing testament to the deep roots of racial violence in America." Publisher annotation
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The Long Game : How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America's Role in the World

The long game : how Obama defied Washington and redefined America's role in the worldBy Chollet, Derek H, author.
"Describes how President Obama has changed and improved the course of American foreign policy through the way he approached difficult global challenges including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, turbulence in Syria and the rise of ISIS." Pub annotation
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National Book Awards 2016 Finalists in Nonfiction (5 items)

Strangers in their own land : anger and mourning on the American rightBy Hochschild, Arlie Russell, 1940- author.
In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into the heart of the bayou of Lake Charles, Louisiana, a stronghold of the conservative Right.
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Kill 'em and Leave : Searching for James Brown and the American Soul

Kill 'em and leave : searching for James Brown and the American soulBy McBride, James, 1957-
"National Book Award winner James McBride goes in search of the "real" James Brown--and his surprising journey illuminates the ways in which our cultured heritage has been shaped by Brown's legacy."-Jacket
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Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching : A Young Black Man's Education

Invisible man, got the whole world watching : a young black man's educationBy Smith, Mychal Denzel, author.
"Smith cautiously sketches a useful blueprint for radical and intersectional politics in a country where a black child can grow up to be president but where living while black is still dangerous." -Kirkus Review
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White Rage : The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

White rage : the unspoken truth of our racial divideBy Anderson, Carol (Carol Elaine)
Carolyn Anderson says "it is time to rethink America" in her insightful, challenging new book, which expands on her Washington Post article " "Ferguson isn't about black rage against cops. It's white rage against progress."
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The Black Presidency : Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America

The Black presidency : Barack Obama and the politics of race in AmericaBy Dyson, Michael Eric author.
Noted author, journalist and commentator Michael Eric Dyson gives us an extremely well-written, in-depth look at all the major junctions in the 8 years of Barack Obama’s presidency. Dyson presents a cogent analysis of the self-imposed, disciplined limitations and outside political pressure Obama has been working under when it comes to the representation of race.... Read more
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Rosalie Lightning

Rosalie Lightning : a graphic memoirBy Hart, Tom, 1969-
Tom Hart teaches at New York City’s School of Visual Arts and is Director of the Sequential Artists Workshop in Florida. He is the creator of the Hutch Owens comics. His graphic memoir, Rosalie Lightning, is a tribute to his daughter, who died suddenly in her crib at the age of two. Hart pours out his heart in this book, in words and pictures, to the extent that the sensitive reader will be moved to tears.... Read more
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The Evolution of Everything : How New Ideas Emerge

The evolution of everything : how new ideas emergeBy Ridley, Matt author.
Matt Ridley, a writer for The Times (London) and The Wall Street Journal, author of The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, offers up his newest book, which is sure to engender vigorous debate.... Read more
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Democracy in Black : How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul

Democracy in black : how race still enslaves the American soulBy Glaude, Eddie S., Jr., 1968-
Princeton University professor Glaude’s important book debunks any notion of America being a post-racial society. The challenges and discrimination faced by black people today are as virulent and substantial as anything seen in Jim Crow south, and it will take nothing short of a “revolution of value” to change because Americans continue to hold on to the “belief that some people are better than others because they are white”.... Read more
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Award Winners & Bestsellers

Nobel Prize
2015 Prize in Literature
Svetlana Alexievich

National Book Award

2015 Prize for Fiction
Fortune Smiles
by Adam Johnson

2015 Prize for Nonfiction
Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Newbery Medal
2016 award
Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt de la Peña

Caldecott Medal
2016 award
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
b
y Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Printz Award

2016 award
Bone Gap

by Laura Ruby

New York Times Fiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sales)
The Last Mile
, by David Baldacci
The Obsession
, by Nora Roberts
Stuck-up Suit, by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Bounty, by Kristen Ashley
The Girl on the Train
, by Paula Hawkins
 

New York Times Nonfiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sale)
The Rainbow Comes and Goes, by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
The Sleep Revolution, by Arianna Huffington
When Breath Becomes Air
, by Paul Kalanithi
Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates
, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaegar
Alexander Hamilton
, by Ron Chernow

 

More Award Winners & Bestsellers

Following is a list of award-winning and bestselling materials from a variety of sources. Links will take you to an external page that will open in a new window. If YDL does not have an item you are interested in, please submit a Materials Suggestion to us.

Academy Awards

American Booksellers Association National Indie Bestsellers

Billboard Top 100 songs

Caldecott Medal

Coretta Scott King Award

New York Times Bestsellers

Newbery Medal

Printz Award