While we know the story—a German submarine sunk the large cruise ship Lusitania on May 7, 1915 leaving 1,198 people dead—there are still many questions being asked about it one hundred years later. Did the British Navy know about the submarine and still allow the ship to sail near it unescorted? Were there munitions on board the Lusitania? Why did it take only 18 minutes to sink?
Chicago’s Second City is known for its amazing improv, quirky takes on current events and for launching the careers of such luminaries as Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert. But a lesser known aspect of its mission has been its work with teaching creativity and emotional intelligence to corporate clients over the past two decades via improv techniques. By embracing authenticity and the freedom to fail, they teach how to become a more compelling leader and a more collaborative follower. But aside from all that serious stuff, this is a fun read, full of interesting anecdotes, artful insights and humor.
A prominent surgeon and journalist takes a clear-eyed look at aging and death. Modern medicine can perform miracles, but it is also only concerned with preserving life rather than dealing with end-of-life issues. Drawing on his own experiences observing and helping terminally ill patients, Gawande offers a timely account of how modern Americans cope with decline and mortality. Rather than simply inform patients about their options or tell them what to do, some doctors are choosing to offer guidance that helps patients make their own decisions regarding treatment options and o
Competitive rowing in 1936 was popular and dominated by upper class, East Coast men. Author Brown gives us a thrilling look at a group of working class students from the University of Washington who were molded into the perfect rowing team and who peaked at just the right time for the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The story of the struggles of the team members coming of age during the Great Depression, the training and tactics needed to win, and the thrill of competing in Berlin are all woven into this exciting account of the triumph of these Americans on the world stage.
Moved by an article about the plight of orphans of the AIDS epidemic in Africa, Knobler and his wife adopted a five-year-old boy from Ethiopia. The energetic and free-spirited Nate quickly brought change to the dynamic of their quiet Jewish family that included their biological son and daughter. In this heartwarming memoir, Nobler weaves moving stories such as meeting Nate’s dying mother in Ethiopia with the hilarious tales of Nate’s adjustment to his new life.
In this hilarious take on literary favorites, Mallory Ortberg holds imaginary and hilarious conversations via text message with everyone’s favorite characters and writers. From Achilles to Hamlet, Jessica Wakefield to Hermione Granger, Ortberg perfectly captures them in texts. This is a must read for literature lovers, English majors, and anyone who ever wanted to be best friends with a fictional character.
Humor ORTBERG, M.
Hired to write a book explaining Western etiquette to the Chinese, long-time businesswoman Collinsworth spent a year living in China, exploring the differences between the cultures and customs of China and the West. I Stand Corrected is a funny and entertaining story of her life in China, her struggle to explain Western customs to her Chinese readers and her explanation of the ways China changed in the past decade.
This moving memoir, written in free verse, follows Jacqueline Woodson through her childhood as a young, black girl growing up during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The use of poetic verse allows Woodson to capture poignant moments in her childhood and share them in a way that really resonates with the reader. She talks of growing up with her mother, grandparents, and siblings, first in South Carolina and then in New York City.
Englishman Billy Williams landed a job in Burma in 1920 as a “forest man” for a teak company and became enamored with the elephants used by the company to haul logs through remote jungle. Elephant Company is the story of these elephants, their native keepers and Billy’s increasing skill at handling them and fascination with their intelligence and personalities. When Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Billy and the elephants had another job—helping the war effort and saving lives.
NPR’s Book Critic, Maureen Corrigan, lets us readers in on her love affair with The Great Gatsby in a funny, passionate, and conversational tone. There is an intimate relationship between a book and its readers; none more so than The Great Gatsby and Corrigan brings it all to light. Even if you thought you knew everything about one of America’s favorite novels, you will learn to appreciate something new here. This is not The Great Gatsby you remember from your high school English class.