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195 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
A Fine Romance
Jewish Songwriters, American Songs
Written by David Lehman


Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: Schocken
On Sale: October 6, 2009
Price: $23.00
ISBN: 978-0-8052-4250-8 (0-8052-4250-3)

In A Fine Romance, David Lehman looks at the formation of the American songbook—the timeless numbers that became jazz standards, iconic love songs, and sound tracks to famous movies—and explores the extraordinary fact that this songbook was written almost exclusively by Jews.

An acclaimed poet, editor, and cultural critic, David Lehman hears... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Too Many Songs by Tom Lehrer

Written by Tom Lehrer


Format: Trade Paperback, 160 pages
Publisher: Pantheon
On Sale: October 12, 1981
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-394-74930-3 (0-394-74930-8)

The subversive songs of Tom Lehrer, the sardonic piano-wielding fugitive from Harvard, have corrupted generations of Americans since he first began recording and performing in the 1950s. His uniquely depraved wit has been forced again on an unsuspecting public via Tomfoolery, the stage revue based on his ever-trenchant observation of the... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Mansion of Happiness
A History of Life and Death
Written by Jill Lepore


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: March 26, 2013
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-47645-6 (0-307-47645-6)

Renowned Harvard scholar and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has written a strikingly original, ingeniously conceived, and beautifully crafted history of American ideas about life and death from before the cradle to beyond the grave.

How does life begin? What does it mean? What happens when we die? “All anyone can... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
The Mansion of Happiness
A History of Life and Death
Written by Jill Lepore


Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: June 5, 2012
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-59299-6 (0-307-59299-5)

Renowned Harvard scholar and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has composed a strikingly original, ingeniously conceived, and beautifully crafted history of American ideas about life and death from before the cradle to beyond the grave.

How does life begin? What does it mean? What happens when we die? “All anyone can... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Top of the Rock
Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV
Written by Warren Littlefield and T. R. Pearson


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: February 12, 2013
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-73976-6 (0-307-73976-7)

Top of the Rock is an absorbing insiders’ account of an incredible time and place in television history: the years when Must See TV—led by Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, ER, and Law & Order—made NBC an unstoppable success. Here the story is vividly told through the words of the actors, writers, producers... Read more >

Exam Copy
America's Public Holidays, 1865-1920

Written by Ellen M. Litwicki


Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: March 17, 2003
Price: $21.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-061-0 (1-58834-061-9)

From the revered Memorial Day to the forgotten Lasties Day, America’s Public Holidays is a timely and thoughtful analysis of how the civic culture of America has been fashioned. By analyzing how holidays became a forum for expressing patriotism, how public tradition has been invented, and how the definition of America... Read more >

Exam Copy
Poetry After 9/11
An Anthology of New York Poets
Edited by Dennis Loy Johnson and Valerie Merians


Format: Trade Paperback, 128 pages
Publisher: Melville House
On Sale: August 16, 2011
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-61219-000-6 (1-61219-000-6)

This 10th anniversary edition is an important and inspiring document from a defining moment in our nation’s history. There will be great interest as the events of 9/11 are commemorated and analyzed on the 10-year anniversary.

A sweeping collection of poems, written in the year after the 9/11 attacks, by all New... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Honky Tonk Girl
My Life in Lyrics
Written by Loretta Lynn


Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: April 3, 2012
Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-59489-1 (0-307-59489-0)

One of the most beloved country music stars of all time gives us the first collection of her lyrics and, in her own words, tells the stories that inspired her most popular songs, such as "Coal Miner's Daughter," "Don't Come Home A' Drinkin'," and, of course, "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl."

Loretta... Read more >

Exam Copy
Masscult and Midcult
Essays Against the American Grain
Written by Dwight Macdonald
Edited by John Summers
Introduction by Louis Menand


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: NYRB Classics
On Sale: October 11, 2011
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-59017-447-0 (1-59017-447-X)

Political radical, trenchant essayist, and impresario of the New York intellectuals, Dwight Macdonald was one of the towering figures of twentieth-century American letters. In his most famous and controversial essay, “Masscult and Midcult”, MacDonald turns his formidable critical attention to what he sees as a new, and potentially catastrophic, development in... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Class A
Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere
Written by Lucas Mann


Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: March 11, 2014
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-94975-2 (0-307-94975-3)

An unforgettable chronicle of a year of minor-league baseball in a small Iowa town that follows not only the travails of the players of the Clinton LumberKings but also the lives of their dedicated fans and of the town itself.

Award-winning essayist Lucas Mann delivers a powerful debut in his telling of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Class A
Baseball in the Middle of Everywhere
Written by Lucas Mann


Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Publisher: Pantheon
On Sale: May 7, 2013
Price: $26.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-90754-7 (0-307-90754-6)

An unforgettable chronicle of a year of minor-league baseball in a small Iowa town that follows not only the travails of the players of the Clinton LumberKings but also the lives of the dedicated fans and of the fading town itself.

Lucas Mann strikes gold as he tells the unforgettable story of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Wicked Messenger
Bob Dylan and the 1960s; Chimes of Freedom, revised and expanded
Written by Mike Marqusee


Format: Trade Paperback, 376 pages
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
On Sale: October 4, 2005
Price: $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-58322-686-5 (1-58322-686-9)

Bob Dylan’s abrupt abandonment of overtly political songwriting in the mid-1960s caused an uproar among critics and fans. In Wicked Messenger, acclaimed cultural-political commentator Mike Marqusee advances the new thesis that Dylan did not drop politics from his songs but changed the manner of his critique to address the changing political... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
To a Young Jazz Musician
Letters from the Road
Written by Wynton Marsalis and Selwyn Seyfu Hinds


Format: Trade Paperback, 144 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: November 8, 2005
Price: $12.95
ISBN: 978-0-8129-7420-1 (0-8129-7420-4)

In To a Young Jazz Musician, the renowned jazz musician and Pulitzer Prize—winning composer Wynton Marsalis gives us an invaluable guide to making good music–and to leading a good life.
Writing from the road “between the bus ride, the sound check, and the gig,”

Marsalis passes on wisdom gained from experience, addressed... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Hidden Power
Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History
Written by Kati Marton


Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: July 16, 2002
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-385-72188-2 (0-385-72188-9)

An extraordinary work of history and original reporting that reveals the ways in which presidential marriages have affected the tone, character, and policies of twelve administrations, from Woodrow and Edith Wilson to George W. and Laura Bush.

Each of the marriages that Kati Marton examines in this hugely appealing book offers up... Read more >
Also available as an abridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
Cole Porter

Written by William McBrien


Format: Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: December 5, 2000
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-72792-7 (0-679-72792-2)

In his life and in his music, Cole Porter was "the top"—the pinnacle of wit, sophistication, and success. His songs—"I Get a Kick Out of You," "Anything Goes," and hundreds more—were instant pop hits, and their musical and emotional depths have made them lasting standards.

William McBrien has captured the creator of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Shakey: Neil Young's Biography

Written by Jimmy McDonough


Format: Trade Paperback, 816 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: May 13, 2003
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-75096-3 (0-679-75096-7)

Neil Young is one of rock and roll’s most important and enigmatic figures, a legend from the sixties who is still hugely influential today. He has never granted a writer access to his inner life—until now. Based on six years of interviews with more than three hundred of Young’s associates, and... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
A Long Strange Trip
The Inside History of the Grateful Dead
Written by Dennis McNally


Format: Trade Paperback, 736 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
On Sale: August 12, 2003
Price: $19.99
ISBN: 978-0-7679-1186-3 (0-7679-1186-5)

The complete history of one of the most long-lived and legendary bands in rock history, written by its official historian and publicist–a must-have chronicle for all Dead Heads, and for students of rock and the 1960s’ counterculture.

From 1965 to 1995, the Grateful Dead flourished as one of the most beloved, unusual... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
How McGruff and the Crying Indian Changed America
A History of Iconic Ad Council Campaigns
Written by Wendy Melillo


Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: September 10, 2013
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-393-2 (1-58834-393-6)

How McGruff and the Crying Indian Changed America: A History of Iconic Ad Council Campaigns details how public service advertising campaigns became part of our national conversation and changed us as a society. The Ad Council began during World War II as a propaganda arm of President Roosevelt’s administration to preserve... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Art of Video Games
From Pac-Man to Mass Effect
Written by Chris Melissinos
Foreword by Elizabeth Broun
Introduction by Mike Mika


Format: Hardcover, 216 pages
Publisher: Welcome Books
On Sale: March 5, 2012
Price: $40.00
ISBN: 978-1-59962-110-4 (1-59962-110-X)

This is the story of how video games capture our imaginations and influence our world.

While video games are still a relatively young medium, the industry has seen staggering progress in its forty-year history, both technologically and as an artistic form. The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Sweetest Thing
A Boxer's Memoir
Written by Mischa Merz


Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
On Sale: April 5, 2011
Price: $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-58322-928-6 (1-58322-928-0)

Journalist and amateur boxer Mischa Merz fulfills a long-held ambition to travel across the United States and compete in a series of amateur boxing tournaments. On this wild and fascinating journey she meets her idols, including Lucia Rijker of Million Dollar Baby fame, and some other truly extraordinary characters. Merz discovers... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Why We Hate Us
American Discontent in the New Millennium
Written by Dick Meyer


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: September 22, 2009
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-40663-7 (0-307-40663-6)

"Dick Meyer has done the impossible -- he diagnoses the self-loathing, moral confusion and ennui that infect supersized America without hectoring us and badgering us, and without tiresome self-righteousness or smugness. Why We Hate Us takes us on a rollicking, laugh-out-loud ride across the brittle American landscape, and by 'us' I... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Evel
The High-Flying Life of Evel Knievel: American Showman, Daredevil, and Legend
Written by Leigh Montville


Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: May 1, 2012
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-7679-3052-9 (0-7679-3052-5)

Evel Knievel, the father of extreme sports, was a high-flying daredevil. He was the personification of excitement and danger and showmanship, and represented a unique slice of American culture and patriotism. But behind the flash and the frenzy, who was this man in red, white, and blue?

With characteristic flair and insight... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download and an eBook.

Exam Copy
Supergods
What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human
Written by Grant Morrison


Format: Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
On Sale: June 26, 2012
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-8138-4 (0-8129-8138-3)

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, and the X-Men—the list of names as familiar as our own. They are on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and in our dreams. But what... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The American Night
The Writings of Jim Morrison
Written by Jim Morrison


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: July 30, 1991
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-73462-8 (0-679-73462-7)

The American Night presents Morrison’s previously unpublished work in its truest form. The book includes the complete text of the legendary performance pieces “An American Prayer,” “Celebration of the Lizard,” and “Soft Parade”; the lyrics so such songs as “Moonlight Drive,“ ”Soul Kitchen,” and “The End”; a tantalizing excerpt from an... Read more >

Exam Copy
Wilderness
The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison
Written by Jim Morrison


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: December 17, 1989
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-72622-7 (0-679-72622-5)

Compiled from the literary estate of the singer who brought a wildly lyrical poetry of the damned to the world of rock 'n' roll. Includes unpublished poems, drawings, photos, and a candid self-interview. Read more >
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