Staff Pick

Trita Parsi, who heads the National Iranian American Council, is one of the foremost authorities in Washington on U.S.-Iranian relations and an outspoken advocate of dialogue and engagement between the United States and Iran. His latest book builds on his two previous works, which examined important episodes in U.S.-Iranian relations. In Losing an Enemy, Parsi focuses on how the nuclear deal between the United States and Iran was negotiated. He had exceptional access to many of those involved in the talks. Drawing on those contacts as well as on other primary sources, Parsi provides fresh detail and insight about the negotiations. His book is important not only as a detailed history of a major diplomatic breakthrough but also for the lessons it offers in how diplomacy can avert war and could help resolve future international conflicts.

Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9780300218169
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Yale University Press - August 1st, 2017

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Staff Pick

After three successful books, all of which offered fake news and invented facts in almanac form, John Hodgman has produced a largely autobiographical work. Vacationland consists of a collection of essay-type stories that chart Hodgman’s progress through both time and space, tracking his experience from childhood to his forties and his movement from his youth in western Massachusetts to his later forays in Maine. His topics range widely, from such major themes as death, drugs, and adulthood, to such particulars as the singular lack of appeal of Maine’s beaches, the horrors of freshwater clams, and the purpose of the mustache. The book is filled with hilarious asides, wry anecdotes, self-deprecating quips, and whimsical observations, but the overall image of Hodgman that emerges is of a middle-aged guy struggling with the realities of aging and trying to make sense of the absurdities of life.

Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780735224803
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Viking - October 24th, 2017

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Staff Pick

If you’re like me, you pick up Henry Fountain’s new book, The Great Quake, and you immediately assume it’s about some California disaster. It’s not. This one happened in Alaska on March 27, 1964. At 9.2 on the Richter scale, it was the biggest earthquake ever recorded in North America and the second most powerful in world history. The human tragedy and physical damage of it all are dramatically and vividly captured by Fountain, a New York Times reporter, but that’s only part of the story. Fountain also explores how this major natural disaster ended up spurring scientific inquiry, largely thanks to the efforts of one individual, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey named George Plafker. The study that Plafker produced to explain what caused the earthquake in Alaska helped confirm idea of plate tectonics, which was then a controversial notion but is now widely accepted.

The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781101904060
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - August 8th, 2017

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