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New Arrivals - Biography

"Between the Confederacy and recognition by Great Britain stood one unlikely Englishman who hated the slave trade. His actions helped determine the fate of a nation. When Robert Bunch arrived in Charleston to take up the post of British consul in 1853, he was young and full of ambition, but even he couldn't have imagined the incredible role he would play in the history-making events to unfold. In an age when diplomats often were spies, Bunch's job included sending intelligence back to the British government in London. Yet as the United States threatened to erupt into Civil War, Bunch found himself plunged into a double life, settling into an amiable routine with his slavery-loving neighbors on the one hand, while working furiously to thwart their plans to achieve a new Confederacy. As secession and war approached, the Southern states found themselves in an impossible position. They knew that recognition from Great Britain would be essential to the survival of the Confederacy, and also that such recognition was likely to be withheld if the South reopened the Atlantic slave trade. But as Bunch meticulously noted from his perch in Charleston, secession's red-hot epicenter, that trade was growing. And as Southern leaders continued to dissemble publicly about their intentions, Bunch sent dispatch after secret dispatch back to the Foreign Office warning of the truth--that economic survival would force the South to import slaves from Africa in massive numbers. When the gears of war finally began to turn, and Bunch was pressed into service on an actual spy mission to make contact with the Confederate government, he found himself in the middle of a fight between the Union and Britain that threatened, in the boast of Secretary of State William Seward, to 'wrap the world in flames.' In this masterfully told story, Christopher Dickey introduces Consul Bunch as a key figure in the pitched battle between those who wished to reopen the floodgates of bondage and misery, and those who wished to dam the tide forever. Featuring a remarkable cast of diplomats, journalists, senators, and spies, Our Man in Charleston captures the intricate, intense relationship between great powers on the brink of war"-- Provided by publisher.

An insider account of the high-risk world of elite wilderness firefighters who parachute into deep-wilderness fire zones reveals the unique skills that smokejumpers must employ to fight dangerous fires and stay alive.

The author draws on his experiences as both a hoarder and an investigator to profile subjects ranging from professional decluttering services and anti-hoarding therapy to the brain science behind hoarding and the way clutter affects relationships.

Published to coincide with the seventieth anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, a narrative of human resilience, told through first-hand experiences of five survivors, reveals the physical, emotional, and social challenges of post-atomic life.

"A rollercoaster rags-to-riches story, Blaine Lourd's meaningful debut is both a nostalgic send-up of '60s and '70s Louisiana, and a heartfelt portrait of one family's coming of age. In honest, confessional prose, Born on the Bayou transports us to a pocket of the South where Lourd learns how to be a man from the two people he looks up to the most: his larger-than-life father, 'Puffer,' a prominent figure in the oil business (coonass translation: awl bidness), and his successful older brother, Bryan. With an eye turned perpetually toward the gruff and distant Puffer, Lourd illustrates how those closest to us can cause the most hurt, even as we seek their approval. Whether he's learning how to skin a duck at age ten, enjoying his first beer at thirteen, or detailing the finer points of ride-on lawn mowing, Lourd gets to the heart of being a Southerner with rawness and grace. From his early childhood through his eventual pilgrimage to the West Coast, he beautifully details what it means to have tangible roots to a place so ingrained it is a part of your own being. From barreling down the low country roads in a shiny Thunderbird to chasing women and learning to be a gentleman, Born on the Bayou is one man's struggle against the forces of family love, loyalty and obligation, and the ties that keep us tethered to our roots no matter how far we run. As the saying goes, 'a coonass always goes his own way'"-- Provided by publisher.

"Lyrical visionary, enduring style icon, and one indispensable fifth of post-Peter Green megaband Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks is one of the most recognizable figures in rock n roll history -- very much Fleetwood Macs "Queen Bee," as Mick Fleetwood himself described her. With gold and quadruple platinum solo albums under her beaded belt, Stevie Nicks has enjoyed the ultimate in rock n roll success as a recording artist but this charmed life has come as a result of hard graft, self-belief, and a devotion to creativity above all; hers has been a journey of intense highs and lows. This new biography, a celebration of the Stevie Nicks phenomenon, takes us on her journey from peripatetic Midwest childhood to her explosion onto the music scene as chiffon-swathed rock goddess, right up to present day. Including exclusive interviews with some of Stevies associates and collaborators from over the years, author Zoë Howe explores the mystique while retaining the magic of this modern-day musical sorceress and wise woman of rock."--Amazon.com.

Traces the entire arc of Ringo Starr's remarkable life and career from his sickly childhood to his life as the world's most famous drummer to his triumphs, addictions, and emotional battles following the breakup of The Beatles as he came to terms with his legacy.

Anthony Doerr has received many awards -- from the New York Public Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Library Association. Then came the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and with it a stipend and a writing studio in Rome for a year. Doerr learned of the award the day he and his wife returned from the hospital with newborn twins. Exquisitely observed, Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr's varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats -- the chroniclers of Rome who came before him -- and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. He and his family are embraced by the butchers, grocers, and bakers of the neighborhood, whose clamor of stories and idiosyncratic child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself. This intimate and revelatory book is a celebration of Rome, a wondrous look at new parenthood, and a fascinating story of a writer's craft -- the process by which he transforms what he sees and experiences into sentences.

"Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, a child from a Palestinian refugee camp, confronts an occupying army, gets an education, masters an instrument, dreams of something much bigger than himself, and then, through his charisma and persistence, inspires scores of others to work with him to make that dream real. The dream: a school to transform the lives of thousands of children--as Ramzi's life was transformed--through music"--Amazon.com.

""Honey, you are 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring." When New York Post writer Stephanie Smith made a turkey and swiss on white bread for her boyfriend, Eric (aka E), he took one bite and uttered those now-famous words. While her beau's declaration initially seemed unusual, even antiquated, Stephanie accepted the challenge and got to work. Little did she know she was about to cook up the sexiest and most controversial love story of her generation. 300 Sandwiches is the story of Stephanie and E's epic journey of bread and betrothal, with a whole loaf of recipes to boot. For Stephanie, a novice in the kitchen, making a sandwich--or even 300--for E wasn't just about getting a ring; it was her way of saying "I love you" while gaining confidence as a chef. It was about how many breakfast sandwiches they could eat together on future Sunday mornings, how many s'mores might follow family snowboarding trips, how many silly fights would end in makeup sandwiches. Suddenly, she saw a lifetime of happiness between those two slices of bread. Not everyone agreed. The media dubbed E "the Internet's Worst Boyfriend"; bloggers attacked the loving couple for setting back the cause of women's rights; opinions about their romance echoed from as far away as Japan. Soon, Stephanie found her cooking and her relationship under the harsh glare of the spotlight. From culinary twists on peanut butter and jelly to "Not Your Mother's Roast Beef" spicy French Dip to Chicken and Waffle BLTs, Stephanie shares the creations--including wraps, burritos, paninis, and burgers--that ultimately sated E's palate and won his heart. Part recipe book, part girl-meets-boy memoir, 300 Sandwiches teaches us that true love always wins out--one delicious bite at a time"-- Provided by publisher.

Rifqa Bary grew up in a devout Muslim home, obediently following her parents orders to practice the rituals of Islam. But God was calling her to freedom and love. He was calling her to true faith. He was calling her to give up everything. Leaving Islam for Christianity cost her more than she imagined but gave more than she could have dreamed"--Publisher.

Recounts the story of how a notorious gang of MIT blackjack savants devised and received backing for a system for winning at the world's most sophisticated casinos, an endeavor that earned them more than three million dollars.

"Maci Bookout was just a normal, slightly overachieving high school girl in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But then she got pregnant, and everything turned upside down. Even as she rose to fame on MTV's hit series Teen Mom, Maci was struggling to balance life as a single teen mom with her own hopes and dreams...all while honoring her own sense of independence. This is the true story of how she took charge of the unexpected to build a life for herself and her son Bentley, and managed not to go crazy in the process. Because sometimes growing up is an act of will...and Maci's will is bulletproof" --Back cover.

Describes how Leslie Richard Groves of the Army Corps of Engineers enlisted the help of theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer on a three-year collaboration that resulted in the U.S. beating the Nazis to the invention of the atomic bomb.

Traces the story of forgotten genius Ernest Lawrence and his invention of the cyclotron, which triggered "Big Science" breakthroughs that have rendered science dependent on government and industry.

"When American physician Sumner Jackson, who lived with his wife and young son Phillip at Number 11, Avenue de Foch, found himself drawn into the Liberation network of the French resistance, he knew the stakes were impossibly high. From his office at the American Hospital, itself an epicenter of Allied and Axis intrigue, Jackson smuggled fallen Allied fighter pilots safely out of France, a job complicated by the hospital director's close ties to collaborationist Vichy. After witnessing the brutal round-up of his Jewish friends, Jackson invited Liberation to officially operate out of his home at Number 11. When his secret life was discovered by his Nazi neighbors, he and his family were forced to undertake a journey into the dark heart of the war-torn continent from which there was little chance of return. Awash with the tense atmosphere of World War II's Europe, Avenue of Spies introduces us to the brave doctor who risked everything to defy Hitler"-- Provided by publisher.

A memoir of growing up in the tough world of Baltimore in the 1980s chronicles the relationship between the author and his father, a Vietnam vet and Black Panther affiliate, and his campaign to keep his sons from falling victim to the temptations of the streets.

"One of YouTube's top beauty and fashion influencers offers her motivational manual on finding your passion, building confidence, and creating your own success story. After emigrating from Mexico at six years old with her family, Dulce Candy Ruiz spent her formative years in a trailer park, watching her parents work in strawberry fields. After high school, Dulce joined the military as a mechanic and was soon deployed to Iraq, fixing generators in an environment that forced this bubbly girlie-girl to blend in. Tired of wearing fatigues and no makeup for weeks on end, Dulce started filming makeup tutorials and posting them to YouTube to reclaim her femininity--and have a little fun. In just a few years, Dulce has skyrocketed into superstardom with the creation of her YouTube channel, Dulce Candy -- which now has more than two million subscribers -- becoming one of the site's top beauty and fashion influencers, transforming Dulce from a shy, self-doubting army specialist into a risk-taking businesswoman, confident role model, and beauty expert. The Sweet Life chronicles Dulce Candy's inspiring story, sharing her hard-won wisdom about finding your passion, answering opportunity when it knocks on your door, and overcoming failure. She emphasizes the importance of inner and outer beauty and being true to yourself, embracing the things that make you unique and using them to live your dreams, including practical advice on building your career ("keep your role models close but your mentors closer"), staying focused when the going gets tough ("progress, not perfection"), and balancing the personal and professional ("don't settle, settle down")" -- Provided by publisher.

"After suffering a brain aneurysm and a life-threatening infection, Jessica Fechtor set about cooking and baking to pull herself back together again, fixing what was broken, and living with what couldn't be fixed"--Provided by publisher.

Describes the author's experiences as a lifelong surfer, from his early years in Honolulu through his culturally sophisticated pursuits of perfect waves in some of the world's most exotic locales.

Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski holds nine league-wide records and three Patriots franchise records. His accomplishments include thirty-eight receiving touchdowns in his first three seasons (thirteen more than any other tight end in the NFL) and the 2011 record for most touchdowns made by a tight end, with seventeen receiving and eighteen overall. With a Super Bowl victory under his belt and a nationwide reputation for a personality that? "comedy gold" (CBS Sports), he has continued to win the hearts of fans through his fun-loving attitude. From hamming it up at Super Bowl Media Day, to spicing up interviews with "Gronk-esque" dance moves, to cuddling with kittens in the pages of ESPN The Magazine, to christening a used party bus his ride of choice, Gronk? good humor and playful persona make it seem like other players are "living in black and white, and Gronk is in color" (CBS Sports). But it? not all fun and games. After multiple surgeries on his forearms, ankle, and back, Gronk tore his ACL and MCL, prematurely ending his 2013 season (but not before scoring four touchdowns and 592 receiving yards). His many injuries and subsequent recoveries made his key play in Super Bowl XLIX?hich led to victory and the title of "Comeback Player of the Year"áll the sweeter. Gronk takes fans from the field to the locker room to the VIP room to the talk show green room to his parent? kitchen tableá full tour of the world according to Gronk.

Laura Evens wasn't any ordinary soiled dove from the days of Colorado's Wild West. Raised by a Grand Cyclops of the KKK from the Mobile, Alabama, branch, she wasn't about to let anything stand in the way of what she wanted. She wanted to be rich. From a lesbian encounter during her first audition into the trade, a gun fight to help save her business, her failed attempts to prevent her friends from poisoning themselves, selling bootleg booze for her supplier who lay dying on her couch, hiding battered women and children from distraught husbands suffering from the effects of the Depression, to identifying the corpse of a friend beaten to death by a lover--all while achieving her goal of owning an entire red light district, which stayed open until December 1949. Laura worked in parlors in Denver, Leadville, Central City, and Salida, until she opened her own Salida parlor house. Laura's house stayed open longer than any other in Colorado, due largely to the unusual qualities of its owner.