What’s your News Years resolution? To read more books, of course! But where to start? Why not with our bestsellers? For your perusal, we’ve put together a list of our bestsellers this year. We are so thrilled that some of these titles that have appeared on best-of lists, have won and have been nominated for awards! You can get these titles, as well as all our other titles, for 30% off using code HOLIDAY30 through December 31st. You still have time. Check out our website.
Nancy Ellen Abrams, philosopher of science, lawyer, and lifelong atheist, explores a radically new way of thinking about God in A God That Could Be Real. The omniscient, omnipotent God that created the universe and plans what happens is incompatible with science, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a God that can comfort and empower us. In her paradigm-shifting blend of science, religion, and philosophy, Abrams imagines a higher power in the new science of emergence. God, she argues, is an “emergent phenomenon” that arises from the staggering complexity of humanity’s collective aspirations and is in dialogue with every individual. This God created the meaning of the universe and helps us change the world.
After a freak accident during a pick-up game of basketball in his junior year at Harvard, writer Howard Axelrod became permanently blind in his right eye. His perception of the world and of himself lost its sense of balance and solidity. The distance between how others saw him and how he saw himself widened into a gulf. Desperate for a stable sense of orientation, and reeling from a failed romance with a woman in Italy, Axelrod retreated to a jerry-rigged house in the Vermont woods, where he lived without a computer or television, and mostly without human interaction, for two years. His lyrical memoir The Point of Vanishing, named as one of Laura Miller’s 10 favorite books of 2015 on Slate.com and selected for many other best book lists, follows him in his search for identity and the stabilizing beauty of nature.
In his biography One Righteous Man, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Arthur Browne not only chronicles the life of Samuel Battle, an unjustly forgotten civil rights pioneer, he also creates an important and compelling social history of New York. Samuel Battle, the New York Police Department’s first ever black officer, broke the color line as early as the second decade of the twentieth century. The son of former slaves in the South, Battle led an against-all-odds journey to the top of his career, facing racism from his own colleagues, further hostility from criminals, and death threats. He had to be three times better than his white peers and many times more resilient. His smarts, strength, and outsized personality carried him through the trajectory of his career and the bustling cultural milieu of the first half of the twentieth century. One Righteous Man has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award.
Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s American Book Award-winning An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States has truly resonated with readers. Covering four centuries of Native Americans actively resisting expansion of the US empire, colonialism, and the attendant systemic injustices against them, it is the first book of its kind—a history of our country told from the perspective of Indigenous nations. It challenges the pervasive mythos of our colonial heritage and gives a voice to the participants in American history that for long stretches of time were silenced.
First published in 1959, psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning continues to be relevant to this day. Based on his own experiences in Nazi death camps and the stories of his patients, his memoir argues that while suffering is unavoidable, we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward. This year, his book helped late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon through his ring avulsion accident and Chris Martin, lead vocalist of the English rock back Coldplay, through his breakup with actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Indeed, the enduring influence of Man’s Search for Meaning is broad and far-reaching.
Renowned as the ambassador for nonviolent protest and celebrated as one of the greatest orators in our history, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. isn’t usually recognized for his radical thinking. As Cornel West informs us in The Radical King from our King Legacy Book Series, the FBI and the US government knew just how radical he was. West edited and wrote an introduction to this collection that showcases Dr. King’s revolutionary vision: his identification with the poor, his crusade against global imperialism, his unapologetic opposition to the Vietnam War. The Radical King shows one of the most recognizable leaders of the civil rights movement to be every bit as radical as Malcolm X.
Sometimes Nature’s salvation comes in the form we least expect. In The New Wild, named one of the best books of 2015 by The Economist, environmental journalist Fred Pearce explains how invasive species are crucial in helping nature regenerate. His provocative exploration of this new ecology scrutinizes our misconceptions—and misgivings—about alien species. His travels across six continents show how the rewilding of the earth owes itself to the alien species that settle down and become model eco-citizens. In an era of climate change and widespread ecological damage, Pearce argues that we need to let go of our idea of reengineering ecosystems and embrace Nature’s helpful invaders.
Hailed by the Washington Post as one of the notable nonfiction books of 2015, Eileen Pollack’s The One Woman in the Room asks why science is still a boys’ club, even in the twenty-first century. Part memoir and part case study, her book compiles her personal experiences with those of young women today, and honestly explores the most recent findings about why women often choose not to pursue careers in STEM (sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics). Pollack herself, novelist, short story writer, and professor of creative writing, was one of the first two women to earn a Bachelor of Science in physics from Yale in 1978. Her book not only documents the subtle disincentives women in the sciences still face, but also provides hope for changing attitudes and behaviors in ways that could bring far more women in the fields where they’re underrepresented.
There is such a thing as too much medical care, which can become excessive, ineffective, and sometimes harmful. Dr. H. Gilbert Welch’s provocative Less Medicine, More Health diagnoses seven widespread assumptions that have convinced the American public that seeking medical care is one of the most important steps to maintain wellness. Drawing from fascinating stories and compelling data, Dr. Welch proves that it’s not always better to fix the problem, that sooner (or newer) isn’t always better, that getting more information can actually be detrimental. Too many people are made to worry about diseases and afflictions they don’t have. Medical care, surprisingly, is not well correlated with good health. Dr. Welch’s book could save you money and, more importantly, improve your health outcome.