Book cover of When Crack Was King: A People's History of a Misunderstood Era by Donovan X. Ramsey

When Crack Was King: A People’s History of a Misunderstood Era

The crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s is arguably the least examined crisis in American history. Beginning with the myths inspired by Reagan’s war on drugs, journalist Donovan X. Ramsey’s exacting analysis traces the path from the last triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement to the devastating realities we live with today: a racist criminal justice system, continued mass incarceration and gentrification, and increased police brutality. […Learn More]

Book cover of Ordinary Notes by Christina Sharpe
Politics & Social Science

Ordinary Notes

A singular achievement, Ordinary Notes explores profound questions about loss and the shapes of Black life that emerge in the wake. In a series of 248 notes that gather meaning as we read them, Christina Sharpe skillfully weaves artifacts from the past—public ones alongside others that are poignantly personal—with present realities and possible futures, intricately constructing an immersive portrait of everyday Black existence. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos by Jaime Green
Astronomy & Space Science

The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos

A spellbinding exploration of alien life and the cosmos, examining how the possibility of life on other planets shapes our understanding of humanity

One of the most powerful questions humans ask about the cosmos is: Are we alone? While the science behind this inquiry is fascinating, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is a reflection of our values, our fears, and most importantly, our enduring sense of hope.   […Learn More]

Book cover of The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide by Steven W. Thrasher
Health and Psychology

The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide

Having spent a ground-breaking career studying the racialization, policing, and criminalization of HIV, Dr. Thrasher has come to understand a deeper truth at the heart of our society: that there are vast inequalities in who is able to survive viruses and that the ways in which viruses spread, kill, and take their toll are much more dependent on social structures than they are on biology alone. […Learn More]

Book cover of All the Sinners Bleed: A Novel by S. A. Cosby
Fiction

All the Sinners Bleed: A Novel

Titus Crown is the first Black sheriff in the history of Charon County, Virginia. In recent decades, quiet Charon has had only two murders. But after years of working as an FBI agent, Titus knows better than anyone that while his hometown might seem like a land of moonshine, cornbread, and honeysuckle, secrets always fester under the surface. […Learn More]

Book cover of Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation by Maud Newton
Biography & Autobiography

Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation

Maud Newton’s ancestors have fascinated her since she was a girl. Her mother’s father was said to have married thirteen times. Her mother’s grandfather killed a man with a hay hook. Mental illness and religious fanaticism percolated Maud’s maternal lines back to an ancestor accused of being a witch in Puritan-era Massachusetts. […Learn More]

Book cover of Butts: A Backstory by Heather Radke
Health and Psychology

Butts: A Backstory

Whether we love them or hate them, think they’re sexy, think they’re strange, consider them too big, too small, or anywhere in between, humans have a complicated relationship with butts. It is a body part unique to humans, critical to our evolution and survival, and yet it has come to signify so much more: sex, desire, comedy, shame. A woman’s butt, in particular, is forever being assessed, criticized, and objectified, from anxious self-examinations trying on jeans in department store dressing rooms to enduring crass remarks while walking down a street or high school hallways. But why? In Butts: A Backstory, reporter, essayist, and RadioLab contributing editor Heather Radke is determined to find out. […Learn More]

Book cover of Sea of Tranquility: A novel by Emily St. John Mandel
Fiction

Sea of Tranquility: A novel

The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time travel, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space. […Learn More]

Book cover of Festival Days by Jo Ann Beard
Biography & Autobiography

Festival Days

When “The Fourth State of Matter,” her now famous piece about a workplace massacre at the University of Iowa was published in The New Yorker, Jo Ann Beard immediately became one of the most influential writers in America, forging a path for a new generation of young authors willing to combine the dexterity of fiction with the rigors of memory and reportage, and in the process extending the range of possibility for the essay form. […Learn More]