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      The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast

      by Andrew Blum

      Sep 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      The weather is the foundation of our daily lives. It’s a staple of small talk, the app on our smartphones, and often the first thing we check each morning. Yet behind all these humble interactions is the largest and most elaborate piece of infrastructure human beings have ever constructed—a triumph of both science and global cooperation. But what is the weather machine, and who created it?
      In The Weather Machine, Andrew Blum takes readers on a fascinating journey through the people, places, and tools of forecasting, exploring how the weather went from something we simply observed to something we could actually predict. As he travels across the planet, he visits some of the oldest and most important weather stations and watches the newest satellites blast off. He explores the dogged efforts of forecasters to create a supercomputer model of the atmosphere, while trying to grasp the ongoing relevance of TV weather forecasters.
      In the increasingly unpredictable world of climate change, correctly understanding the weather is vital. Written with the sharp wit and infectious curiosity Andrew Blum is known for, The Weather Machine pulls back the curtain on a universal part of our everyday lives, illuminating our changing relationships with technology, the planet, and our global community.

      Source notes. Selected bibliography. Index.

      Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race

      by Lara Prior-Palmer

      Sep 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      At the age of nineteen, Lara Prior-Palmer discovered a website devoted to “the world’s longest, toughest horse race”—an annual competition of endurance and skill that involves dozens of riders racing a series of twenty-five wild ponies across 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland. On a whim, she decided to enter the race. As she boarded a plane to East Asia, she was utterly unprepared for what awaited her.
      Riders often spend years preparing to compete in the Mongol Derby, a course that recreates the horse messenger system developed by Genghis Khan, and many fail to finish. Prior-Palmer had no formal training. She was driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness, and a lifelong love of horses. She raced for ten days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she decided she had nothing to lose. Each dawn she rode out again on a fresh horse, scrambling up mountains, swimming through rivers, crossing woodlands and wetlands, arid dunes and open steppe, as American television crews chased her in their Jeeps.
      Told with terrific suspense and style, in a voice full of poetry and soul, Rough Magic captures the extraordinary story of one young woman who forged ahead, against all odds, to become the first female winner of this breathtaking race.

      Author’s note.

      Notes From a Young Black Chef: A Memoir

      by Kwame Onwuachi

      Aug 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      By the time he was twenty-seven, Kwame Onwuachi had competed on Top Chef, cooked at the White House, and opened and closed one of the most talked about restaurants in America. In this inspiring memoir, he shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming-of-age. Growing up in the Bronx and Nigeria (where he was sent by his mother to “learn respect”), food was Onwuachi’s great love. He launched his own catering company with twenty thousand dollars he made selling candy on the subway, and trained in the kitchens of some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country. But the road to success is riddled with potholes. As a young chef, Onwuachi was forced to grapple with just how unwelcoming the world of fine dining can be for people of color, and his first restaurant, the culmination of years of planning, shuttered just months after opening. A powerful, heartfelt, and shockingly honest memoir of following your dreams—even when they don’t turn out as you expected—Notes from a Young Black Chef is one man’s pursuit of his passions, despite the odds.

      Midnight in Chernobyl: The Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster

      by Adam Higginbotham

      Jul 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth.

      Note on translation and transliteration. Maps. Cast of characters. Epilogue. Author’s note. Glossary. Further information about measuring radiation. Source notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white photo inserts.

      Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive

      by Stephanie Land

      Jun 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      At 28, Stephanie Land's plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly. She wrote the true stories that weren't being told: the stories of overworked and underpaid Americans. Of living on food stamps and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) coupons to eat. Of the government programs that provided her housing, but that doubled as halfway houses. The aloof government employees who called her lucky for receiving assistance while she didn't feel lucky at all. She wrote to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor.

      Foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich.

      The Edge of Anarchy: The Railroad Barons, the Gilded Age, and the Greatest Labor Uprising in America

      by Jack Kelly

      May 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      This epochal tale offers fascinating portraits of two iconic characters of the pinnacle of the Gilded Age. George Pullman, who amassed a fortune by making train travel a pleasure, thought the model town that he built for his workers would erase urban squalor. Eugene Debs, founder of the nation’s first industrial union, was determined to wrench power away from the reigning plutocrats. The clash between the two men’s conflicting ideals pushed the country to what the U.S. Attorney General called “the ragged edge of anarchy.”

      Source notes. Bibliography. Index. Black-and-white maps, photographs, and reproductions.

      A Second Kind of Impossible: The Extraordinary Quest for a New Form of Matter

      by Paul J. Steinhardt

      Apr 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      Curious geometric patterns inspired physicist Paul Steinhardt to hypothesize the impossible: matter made of quasicrystals. His quest for a sample took decades, and led him to the ends of the Earth.
      Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions. Full-color photo insert.

      The Library Book

      by Susan Orlean

      Mar 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      In 1986, a fire at the Los Angeles Public library burned for seven hours, destroying 400,000 books and damaging 700,000 more. More than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

      Selected sources.

      American Dialogue: The Founding Fathers and Us

      by Joseph J. Ellis

      Feb 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      “What would the Founding Fathers think?” A consideration of contemporary topics including racism, inequality, and imperialism, paired with in-depth looks at the relevant opinions of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison. Endnotes. Index.

      Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling

      by Philip Pullman

      Jan 2019

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      In more than thirty essays, Philip Pullman discusses the origins of his novels as well as some of the influences of his work—including Charles Dickens and the Brothers Grimm. In more than thirty personal and wide-ranging essays, Philip Pullman discusses the origins of his novels as well as some of the influences of his work—including Charles Dickens and the Brothers Grimm. Introduction by Simon Mason. Index. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions. Insert with full-color photographs and reproductions.

      A Girl's Guide to Missiles: Growing Up in America's Secret Desert

      by Karen Piper

      Dec 2018

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      The China Lake missile range in the Mojave Desert, created during World War II, has always been shrouded in secrecy. But people who make missiles are regular working people, and four of them were Karen Piper’s parents, her sister, and—when she needed summer jobs—herself. Author’s note. Source notes. Black-and-white photo insert.

      The Schoolhouse Gate

      by Justin Driver

      Nov 2018

      Adult Crossover Nonfiction Plus

      Source notes. Index. What rights do students have? A constitutional scholar assesses the history of Supreme Court decisions affecting public education—including racial segregation, un¬authorized immigration, economic inequality, and teacher-led prayer.
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