GRRL's top 20 of 2020: adult nonfiction

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Check out the most popular nonfiction books across all GRRL libraries in 2020


Michelle Obama
Description: In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America, she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private. A deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations.
Call Number: B Oba
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Tara Westover
Description: A memoir about a young girl who, raised by Mormon survivalists in the mountains of Idaho and forbidden to go to school, defies her family, educates herself, and earns degrees including a PhD from Cambridge University.
Call Number: 270.092 Wes
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Malcolm Gladwell
Description: In this thoughtful treatise spurred by the 2015 death of African-American academic Sandra Bland in jail after a traffic stop, New Yorker writer Gladwell (The Tipping Point) aims to figure out the strategies people use to assess strangers-to "analyze, critique them, figure out where they came from, figure out how to fix them," in other words: to understand how to balance trust and safety. He uses a variety of examples from history and recent headlines to illustrate that people size up the motivations, emotions, and trustworthiness of those they don't know both wrongly and with misplaced confidence.
Call Number: 302 Gla
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Erik Larson
Description: Erik Larson delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz. On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold the country together and persuade President Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally--and willing to fight to the end. Larson shows how Churchill taught the British people "the art of being fearless." He provides a new lens on London's darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their daughter, Mary, their son, Randolph, and his wife, Pamela; Pamela's illicit lover, and the cadre of close advisers who comprised Churchill's "Secret Circle." In the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill's eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 940.5421 Lar
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Ronan Farrow
Description: In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood's most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move, and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family. All the while, Farrow and his producer faced a degree of resistance they could not explain--until now. A trail of clues revealed corruption and cover-ups from Hollywood to Washington and beyond. This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. It's the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement.
Call Number: 331.4133 Far
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Glennon Doyle
Description: There is a voice of longing inside every woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good mothers, daughters, partners, employees, citizens, and friends. We believe all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We hide our simmering discontent--even from ourselves. Four years ago, Glennon Doyle was speaking at a conference when a woman entered the room. Glennon looked at her and fell instantly in love. Glennon was finally hearing her own voice--the voice that had been silenced by decades of cultural conditioning, numbing addictions, and institutional allegiances. This was the voice of the girl Glennon had been before the world told her who to be. She decided to build a life of her own--one based on her individual desire, intuition, and imagination, reclaiming her true, untamed self. She offers here an examination of the restrictive expectations women are issued from birth; shows how hustling to meet those expectations leaves women feeling dissatisfied and lost; and reveals that when we quit abandoning ourselves and instead abandon the world's expectations of us, we become women who can finally look at our lives and recognize what we are to see.-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 306.89 Doy
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Mary L. Trump
Description: "In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald's only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world's health, economic security, and social fabric."--Amazon.com
Call Number: B Tru
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Bill Bryson
Description: Bill Bryson takes us on a head-to-toe tour of the human body--how it functions, its ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail. Full of extraordinary facts anecdotes, The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you in particular. -- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 612 Bry
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Lori Gottlieb
Description: Lori Gottlieb, a therapist with a Los Angeles practice, faced a crisis that caused her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist. Now Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change. -- adapted from jacket
Call Number: 616.8914 Got
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Susan Orlean
Description: "Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 027.4794 Orl
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
James Clear
Description: James Clear reveals practical strategies that will teach you how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. He draws on proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible.
Call Number: 155.24 Cle
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Rachel (Event planner) Hollis
Call Number: 248.843 Hol
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Mark Manson
Description: In this generation-defining self-help guide, Mark Mason shows us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. For decades, we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. Mason doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is--a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. HIs books is his antidote to the coddling, let's-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up. Manson makes the argument that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. We need to figure out which things really matter. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. -- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 158.1 Man
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
J. D. Vance
Description: Shares the story of the author's family and upbringing, describing how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan that included the author, a Yale Law School graduate, while navigating the demands of middle class life and the collective demons of the past.
Call Number: 306.5 Van
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Ali Wong
Description: Ali Wong offers sharp insights and humor are quite personal in this completely original collection. She shares the wisdom she's learned from a life in comedy and reveals stories from her life off stage, including the brutal singles life in New York (i.e. the inevitable confrontation with erectile dysfunction), reconnecting with her roots (and drinking snake blood) in Vietnam, tales of being a wild child growing up in San Francisco, and parenting war stories. Though addressed to her daughters, Ali Wong's letters are funny, surprisingly moving, and enlightening (and disgusting) for all.-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: B Won
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Marie Kondō, Cathy Hirano
Call Number: 648 Kon
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Ibram X. Kendi
Description: "The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dismantle it. Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America, pointing us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. He weaves ethics, history, law, and science together with a personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism" -- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 305.8 Ken
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Robin J. DiAngelo
Description: Educator Robin DiAngelo illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively-- From publisher's description.
Call Number: 305.8 DiA
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Trevor Noah
Description: Noah's path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at the time such a union was punishable by five years in prison. As he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist, his mother is determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty, Noah weaves together a moving yet funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.
Call Number: B Noa
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Jordan B. Peterson, Norman Doidge, Ethan Van Scriver
Description: Psychologist Jordan B. Peterson combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street. Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world's wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life.-- From statement provided by publisher.
Call Number: 170.44 Pet
Format: Book
Date Added: Jan 27, 2021
Subscribe to New Best Fun List: GRRL's top 20 of 2020: adult nonfiction
Becoming
Michelle Obama
B Oba
Atomic Habits : Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results : An Easy & Proven Way To Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
James Clear
155.24 Cle
Educated : A Memoir
Tara Westover
270.092 Wes
Girl, Wash Your Face : Stop Believing The Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant To Be
Rachel (Event planner) Hollis
248.843 Hol
Talking To Strangers : What We Should Know About The People We Don't Know
Malcolm Gladwell
302 Gla
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck : A Counterintuitive Approach To Living A Good Life
Mark Manson
158.1 Man
The Splendid And The Vile : A Saga Of Churchill, Family, And Defiance During The Blitz
Erik Larson
940.5421 Lar
Hillbilly Elegy : A Memoir Of A Family And Culture In Crisis
J. D. Vance
306.5 Van
Catch And Kill : Lies, Spies, And A Conspiracy To Protect Predators
Ronan Farrow
331.4133 Far
Dear Girls : Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice For Living Your Best Life
Ali Wong
B Won
Untamed
Glennon Doyle
306.89 Doy
The Life-changing Magic Of Tidying Up : The Japanese Art Of Decluttering And Organizing
Marie Kondō, Cathy Hirano
648 Kon
Too Much And Never Enough : How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man
Mary L. Trump
B Tru
How To Be An Antiracist
Ibram X. Kendi
305.8 Ken
The Body : A Guide For Occupants
Bill Bryson
612 Bry
White Fragility : Why It's So Hard To Talk To White People About Racism
Robin J. DiAngelo
305.8 DiA
Maybe You Should Talk To Someone : A Therapist, Her Therapist, And Our Lives Revealed
Lori Gottlieb
616.8914 Got
Born A Crime : Stories From A South African Childhood
Trevor Noah
B Noa
The Library Book
Susan Orlean
027.4794 Orl
12 Rules For Life : An Antidote To Chaos
Jordan B. Peterson, Norman Doidge, Ethan Van Scriver
170.44 Pet