Saturday, July 12, 2014

New Non-Fiction Just Hitting the Shelves
A tour of the world's hidden geographies--from disappearing islands to forbidden deserts--and a stunning testament to how mysterious the world remains today

At a time when Google Maps Street View can take you on a virtual tour of Yosemite's remotest trails and cell phones double as navigational systems, it's hard to imagine there's any uncharted ground left on the planet. In Unruly Places, Alastair Bonnett goes to some of the most unexpected, offbeat places in the world to reinspire our geographical imagination.

Bonnett's remarkable tour includes moving villages, secret cities, no man's lands, and floating islands. He explores places as disorienting as Sandy Island, an island included on maps until just two years ago despite the fact that it never existed. Or Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, issuing passports and crowning his wife as a princess. Or Baarle, a patchwork of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where walking from the grocery store's produce section to the meat counter can involve crossing national borders.

An intrepid guide down the road much-less traveled, Bonnett reveals that the most extraordinary places on earth might be hidden in plain sight, just around the corner from your apartment or underfoot on a wooded path. Perfect for urban explorers, wilderness ramblers, and armchair travelers struck by wanderlust, Unruly Places will change the way you see the places you inhabit.
He spent twenty-five years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He lost his wife, his son, and his freedom. This is the story of how Michael Morton finally got justice--and a second chance at life.

On August 13, 1986, just one day after his thirty-second birthday, Michael Morton went to work at his usual time. By the end of the day, his wife Christine had been savagely bludgeoned to death in the couple's bed--and the Williamson County Sherriff's office in Texas wasted no time in pinning her murder on Michael, despite an absolute lack of physical evidence. Michael was swiftly sentenced to life in prison for a crime he had not committed.

He mourned his wife from a prison cell. He lost all contact with their son. Life, as he knew it, was over.

It would take twenty-five years--and thousands of hours of effort on the part of Michael's lawyers, including the team at the New York-based Innocence Project--before DNA evidence was brought to light that would ultimately set Michael free. The evidence had been collected only days after the murder--but was never investigated.

Drawing on his recollections, court transcripts, and more than one thousand pages of personal journals he wrote in prison, Michael recounts the hidden police reports about an unidentified van parked near his house that were never pursued; the treasure trove of evidence, including a bandana with the killer's DNA on it, that was never introduced in court; the call from a neighboring county reporting the attempted use of his wife's credit card (a message that was received, recorded, and never returned by local police); and ultimately, how he battled his way through the darkness to become a free man once again.

Getting Life is an extraordinary story of unfathomable tragedy, grave injustice, and the strength and courage it takes to find forgiveness.
A Pulitzer Prize finalist presents the rare and intimate narrative of a daring national security sting designed to protect US soldiers, sailors, and pilots from the greatest danger they face on the battlefield--an enemy equipped with American-made weapons and technology.

In Operation Shakespeare, investigative journalist John Shiffman traces an audacious and high-risk undercover operation--from Philadelphia to Shiraz to London to Beverly Hills to Tbilisi and Dubai. The sting is launched by an elite undercover Homeland Security unit created to stop the Iranians, Russians, Chinese, Pakistanis, and North Koreans from acquiring sophisticated American-made electronics capable of guiding missiles, jamming radar, and triggering countless weapons--from wireless IEDs to nuclear bombs. The US agents must outwit not only enemy brokers, but American manufacturers and global bankers too willing to put profit over national security.

The three-year sting in Operation Shakespeare climaxes when the US agents lure the Iranian broker to a former Soviet republic with the promise of American-made radar, fighter-jet and missile components, then secretly drag him back to the United States, where he is held in secret for two years. The laptop the Iranian carries into the sting provides the CIA with a treasure trove, a virtual roadmap to Tehran's clandestine effort to obtain US military technology.

Tenacious, richly detailed, broad in scope, and emotionally powerful--and boasting unprecedented access to the government agents fighting this shadow war, as well as the captured Iranian arms broker--Operation Shakespeare is a fast-paced and masterful account of the covert effort to preserve American military supremacy, and to protect US troops.
From author, triathlete, and punk rocker John Joseph, a provocative, entertaining, and eye-opening guide to plant-based life that crushes the myth that eating meat is macho.

At first glance, few people would associate the word "vegan" with John Joseph. As the lead singer of a punk rock band and a competitive triathlete, his tattoo-covered biceps don't exactly scream "plant eater." But it's that very misconception he rallies against in his provocative book, Meat Is for Pussies.

According to Joseph, eating animals--whether in the form of steak, burgers, wings, or ribs--is for the weak. Contrary to popularly accepted wisdom, eating animal protein doesn't make you stronger, tougher, or manlier--it makes you sicker, heavier, slower, and more prone to life-threatening disease. In essence: it makes you a pussy.

In Meat Is for Pussies, Joseph shares his shocking and compelling story of evolving from a life of violence and hard-knock living to a man who chooses not to participate in the cycle of violence by eating animals. He also dispels the common myths surrounding meat, while sharing the latest information on the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet and the dangers of eating meat and processed foods. In addition, Joseph offers practical guidance about such everyday issues as meal planning, recipes, and working out.

There is a substantial category of vegan literature out there, but no one has written a book like this. By turns explosive, controversial, moving, and laugh-out-loud funny, and illustrated with eight pages of black-and-white photos, Meat Is for Pussies is a plant-based manifesto.

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