Hidden Gems

Updated June 30, 2023
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The quiet zone : unraveling the mystery of a town suspended in silence
Kurczy, Stephen
In this riveting account of an area of Appalachia known as the Quiet Zone where cell phones and WiFi are banned, journalist Stephen Kurczy explores the pervasive role of technology in our lives and the innate human need for quiet. "Captures the complex beauty of a...
True raiders : the untold story of the 1909 expedition to find the legendary Ark of the Covenant
Ricca, Brad
True Raiders is The Lost City of Z meets The Da Vinci Code, from critically acclaimed author Brad Ricca. This book tells the untold true story of Monty Parker, a British rogue nobleman who, after being dared to do so by Ava Astor, the so-called "most...
Life on delay : making peace with a stutter
Hendrickson, John (Atlantic senior editor)
A NEW YORKER BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR. USA TODAY BOOK CLUB PICK . ONE OF AUDIBLE'S BEST BIOS AND MEMOIRS OF 2023 . "A raw, intimate look at Hendrickson's life with a stutter. It's a profoundly moving book that will reshape the way you think about people living with this condition."-...
On savage shores : how indigenous Americans discovered Europe
Dodds Pennock, Caroline
AN ECONOMIST AND SMITHSONIAN BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR * A landmark work of narrative history that shatters our previous Eurocentric understanding of the Age of Discovery by telling the story of the Indigenous Americans who journeyed across the Atlantic to Europe after...
Have you eaten yet? : stories from Chinese restaurants around the world
Kwan, Cheuk
An eye-opening and soul-nourishing journey through Chinese food around the world. *A PEOPLE MAGAZINE BEST NEW BOOK* *A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITOR'S CHOICE* *A NEW YORK POST BEST NEW BOOK* From Cape Town, South...
Africatown : America's last slave ship and the community it created
Tabor, Nick
In 1860, a ship called the Clotilda was smuggled through the Alabama Gulf Coast, carrying the last group of enslaved people ever brought to the U.S. from West Africa. Five years later, the shipmates were emancipated, but they had no way of getting back home. Instead they created their own community...
Fragile cargo : the World War II race to save the treasures of China's Forbidden City
Brookes, Adam (Journalist)
The gripping true story of the bold and determined museum curators who saved the priceless treasures of China's Forbidden City in the years leading up to World War II and beyond. Spring 1933: The silent courtyards and palaces of Peking's Forbidden City, for centuries the home of...
The new guys : the historic class of astronauts that broke barriers and changed the face of space travel
Bagby, Meredith E.
The never-before-told story of NASA's 1978 astronaut class, which included the first American women, the first African Americans, the first Asian American, and the first gay person to fly to space. With the exclusive participation of the astronauts who were there, this is the thrilling, behind...
The sergeant : the incredible life of Nicholas Said : son of an African general, slave of the Ottomans, free man under the tsars, hero of the Union Army
Calbreath, Dean
From his noble childhood in the kingdom of Borno to being kidnapped into slavery, the inspiring life-story of Nicholas Said is an epic journey that takes him from Africa and the Ottoman Empire through Czarist Russia and, finally, to heroic acclaim in the American Civil War. In...
Personal effects : what recovering the dead teaches me about caring for the living
Jensen, Robert A.
The owner of the world's leading disaster management company chronicles the unseen world behind the yellow tape, and explores what it means to be human after a lifetime of caring for the dead. You have seen Robert A. Jensen--you just never knew it. As the owner of the world's...
All the living and the dead : from embalmers to executioners, an exploration of the people who have made death their life's work
Campbell, Hayley
A deeply compelling exploration of the death industry and the people--morticians, detectives, crime scene cleaners, embalmers, executioners--who work in it and what led them there. We are surrounded by death. It is in our news, our nursery rhymes, our true-crime podcasts. Yet...
France : an adventure history
Robb, Graham
Beginning with the Roman army's first recorded encounter with the Gauls and ending in the era of Emmanuel Macron, France takes readers on an endlessly entertaining journey through French history. Frequently hilarious, always surprising, Graham Robb's France combines the stylistic versatility of a...
Hijab butch blues : a memoir
H, Lamya
A queer hijabi Muslim immigrant survives her coming-of-age by drawing strength and hope from stories in the Quran in this "raw and relatable memoir that challenges societal norms and expectations" (Linah Mohammad, NPR). "A masterful, must-read contribution to conversations on...

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