1. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
By Daniel James Brown, May 27, 2014
It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler.
2. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
By Atul Gawande, October 27, 2014
In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.
3. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
By Naomi Klein, September 16, 2014
In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.
4. The Slow Regard of Silent Things
By Patrick Rothfuss, October 28, 2014
The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows….
5. The Fault in Our Stars
By John Green, April 8, 2014
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
6. Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods
By Rick Riordan, Illustrations by John Rocco, August 19, 2014
So begins Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic–and sarcastic asides–to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who’s who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus. Percy does not hold back. “If you like horror shows, blood baths, lying, stealing, backstabbing, and cannibalism, then read on, because it definitely was a Golden Age for all that.”
7. Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up
By Grace Helbig, October 21, 2014
Infused with her trademark saucy, sweet, and funny voice, Grace’s Guide is a tongue-in-cheek handbook for millennials, encompassing everything a young or new (or regular or old) adult needs to know, from how to live online to landing a job to surviving a breakup to decorating a first apartment, and much more. Charmingly illustrated, Grace’s Guide features full-color photos, interactive worksheets, and exclusive stories from Grace’s own misadventures, including her disastrous interview for NBC’s Page Program, her lifelong struggles with anxiety, the first (and also last) time she entered a beauty pageant, meeting her first boyfriend at a high school Latin convention, and many other hilarious lessons she learned the hard way.
8. Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life’s Riches
By Steve Harvey, September 9, 2014
Steve shows how that gift holds your greatest chance at success, and the fulfillment of your life’s mission and purpose. He helps you learn to define your gift—whether it’s being a problem solver, a people-connector, a whiz with numbers, or having an eye for colors. He makes clear that your job is not your gift; you may use it in your work, but it can also be used in your marriage or relationship, your community, and throughout every aspect of your life. Throughout, he provides a set of principles that will help you direct your gift
9. The Way of Serenity: Finding Peace and Happiness in the Serenity Prayer
By Jonathan Morris, September 16, 2014
Exploring the prayer phrase by phrase, Morris shows the hope that can be found by gaining a deeper spiritual understanding of its words and by practicing its message. Enlightening and profound, The Way of Serenity includes moving narratives, illuminating historical anecdotes, and pertinent biblical passages that demonstrate the power of the Serenity Prayer to help us grow closer to God and find greater peace and happiness.
10. Waiting Is Not Easy! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
By Mo Willems, November 4, 2014
In Waiting Is Not Easy!, Piggie has a surprise for Gerald, but he is going to have to wait for it. And Wait. And wait some more…