125 Most Borrowed Nonfiction Books of 2020

In celebration of ICPL’s 125th anniversary, we thought you might like to browse the top 125 Nonfiction Checkouts of 2020 for adults! This list is posted in order of popularity. Enjoy!

Educated : a memoir

Tara Westover

BIOGRAPHY Westover, Tara

With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

user image

Our highest circulating nonfiction book of 2020!
- Becky


Michelle Obama

BIOGRAPHY Obama, Michelle

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States. In telling her story with honesty and boldness, she issues a challenge to the rest of us: Who are we and who do we want to become?

Maybe you should talk to someone : a therapist, her therapist, and our lives revealed

Lori Gottlieb

616.8914092 /Gottlieb

From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist's world--where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she)--

Talking to strangers : what we should know about the people we don't know

Malcolm Gladwell

302 /Gladwell

In this thoughtful treatise spurred by the 2015 death of African-American academic Sandra Bland in jail after a traffic stop, Gladwell aims to figure out the strategies people use to assess strangers- to "analyze, critique them, figure out where they came from, figure out how to fix them," in other words: to understand how to balance trust and safety.

The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz

Erik Larson

940.5421 /Larson

In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people "the art of being fearless." The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today's political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when-in the face of unrelenting horror-Churchill's eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.--

The body : a guide for occupants

Bill Bryson

612 /Bryson

As compulsively readable as it is comprehensive, this is Bryson at his very best, a must-read owner's manual for everybody. The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you in particular.

The pioneers : the heroic story of the settlers who brought the American ideal west

David G. McCullough

977.02 /McCullough

Best-selling author David McCullough tells the story of the settlers who began America's migration west, overcoming almost-unimaginable hardships to build in the Ohio wilderness a town and a government that incorporated America's highest ideals--

Too much and never enough : how my family created the world's most dangerous man

Mary L. Trump

BIOGRAPHY Trump, Donald

In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald's only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world's health, economic security, and social fabric.

A woman of no importance : the untold story of the American spy who helped win World War II

Sonia Purnell

940.5486 /Purnell

The never-before-told story of one woman's heroism that changed the course of the Second World War In 1942-- Virginia Hall, one of the greatest spies in American history. Sonia Purnell uncovers the captivating story of a powerful, influential, yet shockingly overlooked heroine of the Second World War. Told with Purnell's signature insight and novelistic panache, A Woman of No Importance is the breathtaking story of how one woman's fierce persistence helped win the war.

Born a crime : stories from a South African childhood

Trevor Noah

791.45028092 /Noah

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of Apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

How to be an antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

305.8 /Kendi

"The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dismantle it." Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America -- but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other.

White fragility : why it's so hard for White people to talk about racism

Robin J. DiAngelo

305.8 /DiAngelo

Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

Girl, wash your face : stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be

Rachel (Event planner) Hollis

248.843 /Hollis

Drawing from her life experiences as a lifestyle guru, the author presents a guide to becoming a joyous, confident woman by breaking the cycle of negativity and burnout and pursuing a life of exuberance. Hollis shows readers how to give yourself grace without giving up.

How to change your mind : what the new science of psychedelics teaches us about consciousness, dying, addiction, depression, and transcendence

Michael Pollan

615.7883 /Pollan

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book.

Between the world and me

Ta-Nehisi Coates

BIOGRAPHY Coates, Ta-Nehisi

At every stage of his life, Ta-Nehisi Coates sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him--most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear... In [this book], Coates takes readers along on his journey through America's history of race and its contemporary resonances.

The library book

Susan Orlean

027.4794 /Orlean

Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives.

Three women

Lisa Taddeo

306.7082 /Taddeo

Based on years of immersive reporting, and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is a groundbreaking portrait of erotic longing in today's America, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power.

Caste : the origins of our discontents

Isabel Wilkerson

305.5122 /Wilkerson

The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power-- which groups have it and which do not. Wilkerson discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.

Just mercy : a story of justice and redemption

Bryan Stevenson

340.092 /Stevenson

The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.

The far away brothers : two young migrants and the making of an American life

Lauren Markham

305.868 /Markham

The deeply reported story of identical twin brothers who escape El Salvador's violence to build new lives in California--fighting to survive, to stay, and to belong. With intimate access and breathtaking range, Markham offers a coming of age tale that is also a nuanced portrait of Central America's child exodus, an investigation of U.S. immigration policy, and an unforgettable testament to the migrant experience.

When breath becomes air

Paul Kalanithi

616.99424 /Kalanithi

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live.


Glennon Doyle

BIOGRAPHY Doyle, Glennon

Soulful and uproarious, forceful and tender, Untamed is both a memoir and a galvanizing wake-up call. It offers a piercing, electrifying examination of the restrictive expectations women are issued from birth; shows how hustling to meet those expectations leaves women feeling dissatisfied and lost; and reveals that when we quit abandoning ourselves and instead abandon the world's expectations of us, we become women who can finally look at our lives and recognize: There She Is. Untamed shows us how to be brave.

The yellow house

Sarah M. Broom

BIOGRAPHY Broom, Sarah M.

The Yellow House tells a hundred years of Broom's family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America's most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother's struggle against a house's entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina.

Women rowing north : navigating life's currents and flourishing as we age

Mary Bray Pipher

305.26 /Pipher

Women growing older contend with ageism, misogyny, and loss. Yet Pipher shows most older women are deeply happy and filled with gratitude for the gifts of life. Their struggles help them grow into the authentic, empathetic, and wise people they have always wanted to be. Here she offers a timely examination of the cultural and developmental issues women face as they age.

God land : a story of faith, loss, and renewal in Middle America

Lyz Lenz

261.7 /Lenz

Through a thoughtful interrogation of the effects of faith and religion on our lives, our relationships, and our country, God Land investigates whether our divides can ever be bridged and if America can ever come together.

Know my name : a memoir

Chanel Miller

364.1532 /Miller

"Know My Name" will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing.

Trick mirror : reflections on self-delusion

Jia Tolentino

814.6 /Tolentino

A breakout writer at The New Yorker examines the fractures at the center of contemporary culture with verve, deftness, and intellectual ferocity--for readers who've wondered what Susan Sontag would have been like if she had brain damage from the internet.rnet.

Sapiens : a brief history of humankind

Yuval N Harari

599.938 /Harari

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one--homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

A promised land

Barack Obama

BIOGRAPHY Obama, Barack

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency--a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Killers of the Flower Moon : the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI

David Grann

364.15232 /Grann

Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

Furious hours : murder, fraud, and the last trial of Harper Lee

Casey N. Cep

364.15232 /Cep

The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird. Now Casey Cep brings this nearly inconceivable story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country's most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

Catch and kill : lies, spies, and a conspiracy to protect predators

Ronan Farrow

364.153 /Farrow

This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it's the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement.

Hillbilly elegy : a memoir of a family and culture in crisis

J. D. Vance

305.562 /Vance

Shares the story of the author's family and upbringing, describing how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan that included the author, a Yale Law School graduate, while navigating the demands of middle class life and the collective demons of the past.

Spying on the South : an odyssey across the American divide

Tony Horwitz

917.5 /Horwitz

The author retraces Frederick Law Olmsted's journey across the American South in the 1850s, on the eve of the Civil War. Olmsted roamed eleven states and six thousand miles, and the New York Times published his dispatches about slavery and its defenders. More than 150 years later, Tony Horwitz followed Olmsted's route, discovering and reporting on vestiges of what Olmsted called the Cotton Kingdom.

Maid : hard work, low pay, and a mother's will to survive

Stephanie Land

331.481 /Land

A journalist describes the years she worked in low-paying domestic work under wealthy employers, contrasting the privileges of the upper-middle class to the realities of the overworked laborers supporting them.

Shortest way home : one mayor's challenge and a model for America's future

Pete Buttigieg

BIOGRAPHY Buttigieg, Pete

A mayor's inspirational story of a Midwest city that has become nothing less than a blueprint for the future of American renewal. Once described by the Washington Post as "the most interesting mayor you've never heard of," Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-six-year-old Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has improbably emerged as one of the nation's most visionary politicians.

Say nothing : a true story of murder and memory in Northern Ireland

Patrick Radden Keefe

941.60824 /Keefe

From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions-- [this book] conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.

Stamped from the beginning : the definitive history of racist ideas in America

Ibram X. Kendi

305.896 /Kendi

While racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited. In shedding much-needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose them--and in the process, gives us reason to hope.

Quiet : the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking

Susan Cain

155.232 /Cain

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with the indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Cain draws on cutting-edge research on the biology and psychology of temperament to reveal how introverts can modulate their personalities according to circumstance, how to empower an introverted child, and how companies can harness the natural talents of introverts.

The subtle art of not giving a f*ck : a counterintuitive approach to living a good life

Mark Manson

158.1 /Manson

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

A warning

973.933 /Warning

An unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the Trump presidency from the anonymous senior official whose first words of warning about the president rocked the nation's capital.

The home edit : a guide to organizing and realizing your house goals

Clea Shearer

648.8 /Shearer

The Home Edit is filled with bright photographs and detailed tips, from placing plastic dishware in a drawer where little hands can reach to categorizing pantry items by color. Above all, it's like having your best friends at your side to help you turn the chaos into calm.

The hidden life of trees : what they feel, how they communicate : discoveries from a secret world

Peter Wohlleben

582.16 /Wohlleben

"A forester's fascinating stories, supported by the latest scientific research, reveal the extraordinary world of forests and illustrate how trees communicate and care for each other"--

I'll be gone in the dark : one woman's obsessive search for the Golden State Killer

Michelle McNamara

364.1532 /McNamara

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer-- the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade-- from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.

How to do nothing : resisting the attention economy

Jenny (Multimedia artist) Odell

303.4833 /Odell

When the technologies we use every day collapse our experiences into 24/7 availability, platforms for personal branding, and products to be monetized, nothing can be quite so radical as . . . doing nothing. Here, Jenny Odell sends up a flare from the heart of Silicon Valley, delivering an action plan to resist capitalist narratives of productivity and techno-determinism, and to become more meaningfully connected in the process.


David Sedaris

817.54 /Sedaris

Personal essays share the author's adventures after buying a vacation house on the Carolina coast and his reflections on middle age and mortality.

Dear girls : intimate tales, untold secrets, and advice for living your best life

Ali Wong

792.23092 /Wong

In her hit Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra, an eight-month pregnant Ali Wong resonated so heavily that she became a popular Halloween costume. Wong told the world her remarkably unfiltered thoughts on marriage, sex, Asian culture, working women, and why you never see new mom comics on stage but you sure see plenty of new dads. The sharp insights and humor are even more personal in this completely original collection.

The second mountain : the quest for a moral life

David Brooks

302 /Brooks

Everybody tells you to live for a cause larger than yourself, but how exactly do you do it? The bestselling author of The Road to Character explores what it takes to lead a meaningful life in a self-centered world.

The room where it happened : a White House memoir

John R. Bolton

973.933 /Bolton

As President Trump's National Security Advisor, Bolton spent many of his 453 days in the room where it happened. What Bolton saw with Trump astonished him: a President for whom getting re-elected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation. Here he shows a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government.

The devil in the white city : murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America

Erik Larson

364.1523 /Larson

Investigative reporter Erik Larson unearths the lost history of the 1893 World's Fair and of a madman who grimly parodied the fair's achievements. While the fair ushered in a new epoch in American history, Holmes marked the emergence of the serial killer, who thrived on the forces transforming the country.

Being mortal : medicine and what matters in the end

Atul Gawande

362.175 /Gawande

Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families of the terminally ill.

Thinking, fast and slow

Daniel Kahneman

153.42 /Kahneman

Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities and also the faults and biases of fast thinking, and the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on peoples' thoughts and choices.

Permanent record

Edward J. Snowden

BIOGRAPHY Snowden, Edward J.

In 2013, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth.

Braving the wilderness : the quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone

Brené Brown

158.2 /Brown

A life-changing book that uses new research to challenge old beliefs about belonging.

12 rules for life : an antidote to chaos

Jordan B. Peterson

170.44 /Peterson

What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world's wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers.

Save me the plums : my Gourmet memoir

Ruth Reichl

BIOGRAPHY Reichl, Ruth

Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams--even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be.

How to forget : a daughter's memoir

Kate Mulgrew

BIOGRAPHY Mulgrew, Kate

In this profoundly honest and examined memoir about returning to Iowa to care for her ailing parents, Mulgrew takes us on an unexpected journey of loss, betrayal, and the transcendent nature of a daughter's love for her parents.

The Wahls protocol : how I beat progressive MS using Paleo principles and functional medicine

Terry L Wahls

616.834 /Wahls

The author shares her integrative approach to healing MS and other chronic autoimmune conditions.

These truths : a history of the United States

Jill Lepore

973 /Lepore

In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation. A spellbinding chronicle filled with arresting sketches of Americans from John Winthrop and Frederick Douglass to Pauli Murray and Phyllis Schlafly, These Truths offers an authoritative new history of a great, and greatly troubled, nation.

Why we sleep : unlocking the power of sleep and dreams

Matthew P. Walker

612.821 /Walker

The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert--Professor Matthew Walker--reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better. Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity.

Storm Lake : a chronicle of change, resilience, and hope from a heartland newspaper

Art Cullen

977.718 /Cullen

An unsentimental ode to America's heartland as seen in small-town Iowa--a story of reinvention and resilience, environmental and economic struggle, and surprising diversity and hope. Storm Lake may be a community in flux, occasionally in crisis (farming isn't for the faint hearted), but one that's not disappearing--in fact, its population is growing with immigrants from Laos, Mexico, and elsewhere.

The British are coming : the war for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777

Rick Atkinson

973.3 /Atkinson

From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1777, the ragtag Continental Army took on the world's most formidable fighting force. Atkinson introduces us to the war for America, and shows it is populated by astonishing characters who were heroes and knaves, who made sacrifices and blunders.

Man's search for meaning

Viktor E. (Viktor Emil) Frankl

616.8914 /Frankl

Invisible women : data bias in a world designed for men

Caroline Criado-Perez

305.42 /Criado-Perez

Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development to health care to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives.

How to win friends and influence people

Dale Carnegie

158.2 /Carnegie

Midnight in Chernobyl : the untold story of the world's greatest nuclear disaster

Adam Higginbotham

363.1799 /Higginbotham

Draws on twenty years of research, recently declassified files, and interviews with survivors in an account of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster that also reveals how propaganda and secrets have created additional dangers.

Tightrope : Americans reaching for hope

Nicholas D. Kristof

305.562 /Kristof

Through the lives of real Americans, Kristof and WuDunn address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure.

Inheritance : a memoir of genealogy, paternity, and love

Dani Shapiro

BIOGRAPHY Shapiro, Dani

"The acclaimed and beloved author of Hourglass now gives us a new memoir about identity, paternity, and family secrets--a real-time exploration of the staggering discovery she made last year about her father, and her struggle to piece together the hidden the story of her own life"--

The day the world came to town : 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland

Jim DeFede

971.804 /DeFede

After thirty-eight jetliners were rerouted to Newfoundland on September 11, 2001 because the United States' airspace was closing, the townspeople of Gander came to the aid of six thousand travelers, offering food, lodging, and other comforts.

The moment of lift : how empowering women changes the world

Melinda Gates

305.42 /Gates

A timely call to action for women's empowerment by the influential co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation identifies the link between women's equality and societal health, sharing uplifting insights by international advocates in the fight against gender bias. --Publisher

Wow, no thank you : essays

Samantha Irby

814.6 /Irby

The essays in this collection draw on the raw, hilarious particulars of Irby's new life. Wow, No Thank You is Irby at her most unflinching, riotous, and relatable.

Lake of the Ozarks : my surreal summers in a vanishing America

William Geist

BIOGRAPHY Geist, William

"Bill Geist reflects on his coming of age in the American heartland of the Midwest and traces his evolution as a man and a writer, in the summers between high school and college, before he went off to Vietnam and the country went to Hell."--Provided by publisher


John Lewis

973.00496 /Lewis

How to hide an empire : a history of the greater United States

Daniel Immerwahr

973 /Immerwahr

"A history of the United States' overseas possessions, from Puerto Rico to the Philippines and beyond, and what they reveal about the true meaning of American empire."--Provided by publisher.

Pathfinder roleplaying game : bestiary

793.93 /Pathfinder/1st Edition/Bestiary

Spark joy : an illustrated master class on the art of organizing and tidying up

Marie Kondō

648.5 /Kondo

"Tidying expert Marie Kondo's follow-up to her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is an illustrated master manual on her renowned KonMari Method with item-specific guidance and step-by-step folding illustrations"--Provided by publisher.

Evicted : poverty and profit in the American city

Matthew Desmond

339.46 /Desmond

As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America's vast inequality-- and to people's determination and intelligence in the face of hardship. Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

Sorry I'm late, I didn't want to come : one introvert's year of saying yes

Jessica Pan

155.232 /Pan

What would happen if a shy introvert lived like a gregarious extrovert for one year? If she knowingly and willingly put herself in perilous social situations that she'd normally avoid at all costs? Writer Jessica Pan intends to find out.


Bob Woodward

973.933 /Woodward

An essential account of the Trump presidency draws on interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, diaries, and confidential documents to provide details about Trump's moves as he faced a global pandemic, economic disaster, and racial unrest.

The warmth of other suns : the epic story of America's great migration

Isabel Wilkerson

973.00496 /Wilkerson

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.

Over the top : a raw journey to self-love

Jonathan Van Ness

791.45028092 /Van Ness

Over the Top uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen. JVN fans may think they know the man behind the stiletto heels, the crop tops, and the iconic sayings, but there's much more to him than meets the Queer Eye.

Astrophysics for people in a hurry

Neil deGrasse Tyson

523.01 /Tyson

The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist. What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There's no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

She said : breaking the sexual harassment story that helped ignite a movement

Jodi Kantor

364.153 /Kantor

From the Pulitzer-prize winning reporters who broke the news of Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment and abuse comes the thrilling untold story of their investigation and its consequences for the #MeToo movement.

The uninhabitable earth : life after warming

David Wallace-Wells

304.28 /Wallace-Wells

The Uninhabitable Earth is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation.

Rising strong

Brené Brown

158.1 /Brown

For Brene, the conversation about vulnerability and shame naturally evolves into a discussion of bravery--its origins, its catalysts, its chemistry. How we are brave. What constitutes bravery. What activates the impulse to be brave.

Daring greatly : how the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead

Brené Brown

158.2 /Brown

Based on twelve years of research, thought leader Dr. Brené Brown argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection.

Wild : from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Cheryl Strayed

917.9 /Strayed

A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.

They called us enemy

George Takei

940.547273 /Takei

A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. They Called Us Enemy is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What is American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do?

Maus I : a survivor's tale

Art Spiegelman

940.5318 /Spiegelman

The new Jim Crow : mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness

Michelle Alexander

364.973 /Alexander

Overview: "As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status - much like their grandparents before them. " In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community - and all of us - to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.

So you want to talk about race

Ijeoma Oluo

305.8 /Oluo

A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today's racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide.

Stay sexy & don't get murdered : the definitive how-to guide

Karen Kilgariff

155.333 /Kilgariff

In Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being 'nice' or 'helpful.' They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness.

The heartbeat of Wounded Knee : native America from 1890 to the present

David Treuer

970.1 /Treuer

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is the essential, intimate story of a resilient people in a transformative era.

The book of gutsy women

Hillary Rodham Clinton

920.72 /Clinton

The Clintons share stories of the gutsy women who have inspired them-- women with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves.

Homebody : a guide to creating spaces you never want to leave

Joanna Gaines

747 /Gaines

In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there.

Outliers : the story of success

Malcolm Gladwell

302.14 /Gladwell

The best-selling author of Blink identifies the qualities of successful people, posing theories about the cultural, family, and idiosyncratic factors that shape high achievers, in a resource that covers such topics as the secrets of software billionaires, why certain cultures are associated with better academic performance, and why the Beatles earned their fame.

Digital minimalism : choosing a focused life in a noisy world

Cal Newport

303.4833 /Newport

Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough. Digital minimalism applies this idea to our personal technology. It's the key to living a focused life in an increasingly noisy world.

The 5 love languages : the secret to love that lasts

Gary D. Chapman

306.872 /Chapman

Dr. Chapman explains how people communicate love in different ways, and shares the wonderful things that happen when men and women learn to speak each other's language.

Elderhood : redefining medicine, life, and aging in America

Louise Aronson

305.26 /Aronson

Louise Aronson uses stories from her quarter century of caring for patients, and draws from history, science, literature, popular culture, and her own life to weave a vision of old age that's neither nightmare nor utopian fantasy -- a vision full of joy, wonder, frustration, outrage, and hope about aging, medicine, and humanity itself.

Frederick Douglass : prophet of freedom

David W. Blight

BIOGRAPHY Douglass, Frederick

"An acclaimed historian's definitive biography of the most important African-American figure of the 19th century, Frederick Douglass, who was to his century what Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the 20th century"--

Fun home : a family tragicomic

Alison Bechdel

BIOGRAPHY Bechdel, Alison

How we fight for our lives : a memoir

Saeed Jones

BIOGRAPHY Jones, Saeed

Haunted and haunting, Jones's memoir tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears.

Heartland : a memoir of working hard and being broke in the richest country on Earth

Sarah Smarsh

BIOGRAPHY Smarsh, Sarah

Combining memoir with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, this is an uncompromising look at class, identity, and the particular perils of having less in a country known for its excess.

Leadership in turbulent times

Doris Kearns Goodwin

973.099 /Goodwin

In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration into the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership. Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the man make the times or do the times make the man?

The minimalist home : a room-by-room guide to a decluttered, refocused life

Joshua Becker

648.8 /Becker

The popular blogger outlines practical guidelines for simplifying a home lifestyle and rendering spaces both peaceful and purposeful while addressing the underlying issues that contribute to home clutter problems.

Outer order, inner calm : declutter and organize to make more room for happiness

Gretchen Rubin

158.1 /Rubin

In this easy-to-read but hard-to-put-down book, Gretchen Rubin suggests more than 150 short, concrete clutter-clearing ideas so each reader can choose the ones that resonate most.

The glass castle : a memoir

Jeannette Walls

BIOGRAPHY Walls, Jeannette

Heavy : an American memoir

Kiese Laymon

BIOGRAPHY Laymon, Kiese

Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about the physical manifestations of violence, grief, trauma, and abuse on his own body. He writes of his own eating disorder and gambling addiction as well as similar issues that run throughout his family.

The source of self-regard : selected essays, speeches, and meditations

Toni Morrison

814.54 /Morrison

In the writings and speeches included here, Morrison takes on contested social issues: the foreigner, female empowerment, the press, money, "black matter(s)," and human rights. She looks at enduring matters of culture: the role of the artist in society, the literary imagination, the Afro-American presence in American literature, and in her Nobel lecture, the power of language itself.

Volo's guide to monsters

793.93 /Dungeons

The esteemed loremaster Volothamp Geddarm is back! And never has his research been so dangerous-- he's compiled a dissertation on iconic monsters! Elminster doesn't believe Volo got some the details quite right-- but you'll discover the stories and lairs of giants, mind flayers, orcs, goblinoids, and much more. They're monsters-- but will they be your friends or your foes?

5 ingredients : quick & easy food

Jamie Oliver

641.555 /Oliver

Features 130 recipes focusing on creating incredible combinations of just five ingredients for maximum flavor with minimum fuss.

Lab girl

Hope Jahren

570.92 /Jahren

"An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world,"--Amazon.com.

The radium girls : the dark story of America's shining women

Kate (Writer and editor) Moore

363.1799 /Moore

As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" were considered the luckiest alive--until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America's biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights.

Norse mythology

Neil Gaiman

293 /Gaiman

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he presents his fashioning of the primeval Norse myths into a novel.

Big magic : creative living beyond fear

Elizabeth Gilbert

153.35 /Gilbert

Gilbert digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.