Saturday, November 15, 2014

New Non-Fiction

http://bit.ly/141qeIH
A young Armenian-American goes to Turkey in a “love thine enemy” experiment that becomes a transformative reflection on how we use—and abuse—our personal histories

Meline Toumani grew up in a close-knit Armenian community in New Jersey where Turkish restaurants were shunned and products made in Turkey were boycotted. The source of this enmity was the Armenian genocide of 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish government, and Turkey’s refusal to acknowledge it. A century onward, Armenian and Turkish lobbies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to convince governments, courts and scholars of their clashing versions of history.

Frustrated by her community’s all-consuming campaigns for genocide recognition, Toumani leaves a promising job at The New York Times and moves to Istanbul. Instead of demonizing Turks, she sets out to understand them, and in a series of extraordinary encounters over the course of four years, she tries to talk about the Armenian issue, finding her way into conversations that are taboo and sometimes illegal. Along the way, we get a snapshot of Turkish society in the throes of change, and an intimate portrait of a writer coming to terms with the issues that drove her halfway across the world.

In this far-reaching quest, told with eloquence and power, Toumani probes universal questions: how to belong to a community without conforming to it, how to acknowledge a tragedy without exploiting it, and most importantly how to remember a genocide without perpetuating the kind of hatred that gave rise to it in the first place.


http://bit.ly/1stMBMs
The nature writing of Gary Ferguson arises out of intimate experience. He trekked 500 miles through Yellowstone to write Walking Down the Wild and spent a season in the field at a wilderness therapy program for Shouting at the Sky. He journeyed 250 miles on foot for Hawks Rest and followed through the seasons the first fourteen wolves released into Yellowstone National Park for The Yellowstone Wolves. But nothing could prepare him for the experience he details in his new book.

The Carry Home is both a moving celebration of the outdoor life shared between Ferguson and his wife Jane, who died tragically in a canoeing accident in northern Ontario in 2005, and a chronicle of the mending, uplifting power of nature. Confronting his unthinkable loss, Ferguson set out to fulfill Jane’s final wish: the scattering of her ashes in five remote, wild locations they loved and shared. The act of the carry home allows Ferguson the opportunity to ruminate on their life together as well as explore deeply the impactful presence of nature in all of our lives.

Theirs was a love borne of wild places, and The Carry Home offers a powerful glimpse into how the natural world can be a critical prompt for moving through cycles of immeasurable grief, how bereavement can turn to wonder, and how one man rediscovered himself in the process of saying goodbye.


http://bit.ly/1xjNuvc
Ever since Christopher Columbus stepped off the Santa Maria onto what is today San Salvador, the Caribbean has been a stage for competition between world powers. In Empire’s Crossroads, Carrie Gibson traces the rich history of this coveted region.Gibson tells myriad stories of conquest and fortune: of Scotland’s failed settlement in Panama; the Spanish plunder of precious metals; the region’s first cash crops, tobacco and sugar; the bitter legacy of slavery—and great slave rebellions; decolonization and “banana republics”; and of racial riots and n├ęgritude, Cold War politics, and today’s tourist economy.

Empire’s Crossroads reinterprets five centuries of history in a rich panorama of a complex and misunderstood region.


http://bit.ly/1tYx77v
Chuck Todd's gripping, fly-on-the-wall account of Barack Obama's tumultuous struggle to succeed in Washington.

Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 partly because he was a Washington outsider. But if he'd come to the White House thinking he could change the political culture, he soon discovered just how difficult it was to swim against an upstream of insiders, partisans, and old guard networks allied to undermine his agenda---including members of his own party. He would pass some of the most significant legislation in American history, but his own weaknesses torpedoed some of his greatest hopes.

In The Stranger, Chuck Todd draws upon his unprecedented inner-circle sources to create a gripping account of Obama's White House tenure, from the early days of drift and helplessness to a final stand against the GOP in which an Obama, at last liberated from his political future, finally triumphs.

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