In Store & Online: We Recommend…
Battle for the Big Top: P.T. Barnum, James Bailey, John Ringling, and the
Death-Defying Saga of the American Circus
By Les Standiford (PublicAffairs, $28)
The untold story of three Golden Age titans and the confrontations, cutthroat business strategies, and eccentric personalities that built the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus
Millions have sat under the “big top,” watching as trapeze artists glide and clowns entertain, but few know the captivating stories behind the men whose creativity, ingenuity, and determination created one of our country’s most beloved pastimes.
In Battle for the Big Top, New York Times–bestselling author Les Standiford brings to life a remarkable era when three circus kings—James Bailey, P.T. Barnum, and John Ringling—all vied for control of the vastly profitable and influential American Circus. Ultimately, the rivalry of these three men resulted in the creation of an institution that would surpass all intentions and, for 147 years, hold a nation spellbound.
Filled with details of their ever-evolving showmanship, business acumen, and personal magnetism, this Ragtime-like narrative will delight and enchant circus-lovers and anyone fascinated by the American experience.
Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day: A Cookbook
By Rodney Scott (Clarkson Potter, $29.99)
In the first cookbook by a Black pitmaster, James Beard Award–winning chef Rodney Scott celebrates an incredible culinary legacy through his life story, family traditions, and unmatched dedication to his craft.
“BBQ is such an important part of African American history, and no one is better at BBQ than Rodney.”—Marcus Samuelsson, chef and restaurateur
Rodney Scott was born with barbecue in his blood. He cooked his first whole hog, a specialty of South Carolina barbecue, when he was just eleven years old. At the time, he was cooking at Scott’s Bar-B-Q, his family’s barbecue spot in Hemingway, South Carolina. Now, four decades later, he owns one of the country’s most awarded and talked-about barbecue joints, Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston.
In this cookbook, co-written by award-winning writer Lolis Eric Elie, Rodney spills what makes his pit-smoked turkey, barbecued spare ribs, smoked chicken wings, hush puppies, Ella’s Banana Puddin’, and award-winning whole hog so special. Moreover, his recipes make it possible to achieve these special flavors yourself, whether you’re a barbecue pro or a novice. From the ins and outs of building your own pit to poignant essays on South Carolinian foodways and traditions, this stunningly photographed cookbook is the ultimate barbecue reference. It is also a powerful work of storytelling. In this modern American success story, Rodney details how he made his way from the small town where he worked for his father in the tobacco fields and in the smokehouse, to the sacrifices he made to grow his family’s business, and the tough decisions he made to venture out on his own in Charleston.
Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ is an uplifting story that speaks to how hope, hard work, and a whole lot of optimism built a rich celebration of his heritage—and of unforgettable barbecue.
The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War
By Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown & Co., $27)
An exploration of how technology and best intentions collide in the heat of war
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
In The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.
Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists, the “Bomber Mafia,” asked: What if precision bombing could cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal?
In contrast, the bombing of Tokyo on the deadliest night of the war was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose brutal pragmatism and scorched-earth tactics in Japan cost thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared even more by averting a planned US invasion. In The Bomber Mafia, Gladwell asks, “Was it worth it?”
Things might have gone differently had LeMay’s predecessor, General Haywood Hansell, remained in charge. Hansell believed in precision bombing, but when he and Curtis LeMay squared off for a leadership handover in the jungles of Guam, LeMay emerged victorious, leading to the darkest night of World War II. The Bomber Mafia is a riveting tale of persistence, innovation, and the incalculable wages of war.
Project Hail Mary: A Novel
By Andy Weir (Ballantine Books, $28.99)
“An epic story of redemption, discovery and cool speculative sci-fi.”—USA Today
“If you loved The Martian, you’ll go crazy for Weir’s latest.”—The Washington Post
Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.
Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.
All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.
His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.
Or does he?
An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian—while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.
A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey
of the World’s Smartest Birds of Prey
By Jonathan Meiburg (Knopf, $30)
“A fascinating, entertaining, and totally engrossing story.”—David Sibley, author of What It’s Like to Be a Bird
“Utterly captivating and beautifully written, this book is a hugely entertaining and enlightening exploration of a bird so wickedly smart, curious, and social, it boggles the mind.”—Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Bird Way
“As curious, wide-ranging, gregarious, and intelligent as its subject.”—Charles C. Mann, author of 1491
An enthralling account of a modern voyage of discovery as we meet the clever, social birds of prey called caracaras, which puzzled Darwin, fascinate modern-day falconers, and carry secrets of our planet’s deep past in their family history.
In 1833, Charles Darwin was astonished by an animal he met in the Falkland Islands: handsome, social, and oddly crow-like falcons that were “tame and inquisitive . . . quarrelsome and passionate,” and so insatiably curious that they stole hats, compasses, and other valuables from the crew of the Beagle. Darwin wondered why these birds were confined to remote islands at the tip of South America, sensing a larger story, but he set this mystery aside and never returned to it.
Almost two hundred years later, Jonathan Meiburg takes up this chase. He takes us through South America, from the fog-bound coasts of Tierra del Fuego to the tropical forests of Guyana, in search of these birds: striated caracaras, which still exist, though they’re very rare. He reveals the wild, fascinating story of their history, origins, and possible futures. And along the way, he draws us into the life and work of William Henry Hudson, the Victorian writer and naturalist who championed caracaras as an unsung wonder of the natural world, and to falconry parks in the English countryside, where captive caracaras perform incredible feats of memory and problem-solving. A Most Remarkable Creature is a hybrid of science writing, travelogue, and biography, as generous and accessible as it is sophisticated, and absolutely riveting.
World Travel: An Irreverent Guide
By Anthony Bourdain (ECCO, $35)
A guide to some of the world’s most fascinating places, as seen and experienced by writer, television host, and relentlessly curious traveler Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain saw more of the world than nearly anyone. His travels took him from the hidden pockets of his hometown of New York to a tribal longhouse in Borneo, from cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, Paris, and Shanghai to Tanzania’s utter beauty and the stunning desert solitude of Oman’s Empty Quarter—and many places beyond.
In World Travel, a life of experience is collected into an entertaining, practical, fun and frank travel guide that gives readers an introduction to some of his favorite places—in his own words. Featuring essential advice on how to get there, what to eat, where to stay and, in some cases, what to avoid, World Travel provides essential context that will help readers further appreciate the reasons why Bourdain found a place enchanting and memorable.
Supplementing Bourdain’s words are a handful of essays by friends, colleagues, and family that tell even deeper stories about a place, including sardonic accounts of traveling with Bourdain by his brother, Christopher; a guide to Chicago’s best cheap eats by legendary music producer Steve Albini, and more. Additionally, each chapter includes illustrations by Wesley Allsbrook.
For veteran travelers, armchair enthusiasts, and those in between, World Travel offers a chance to experience the world like Anthony Bourdain.
Sooley: A Novel
By John Grisham (Doubleday Books, $28.95)
“Hard to put down … the pages turn quickly … building to a climax that won’t leave readers doubting whether this is a John Grisham novel.” –Associated Press
In the summer of his seventeenth year, Samuel Sooleymon gets the chance of a lifetime: a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teammates to play in a showcase basketball tournament. He has never been away from home, nor has he ever been on an airplane. The opportunity to be scouted by dozens of college coaches is a dream come true.
Samuel is an amazing athlete, with speed, quickness, and an astonishing vertical leap. The rest of his game, though, needs work, and the American coaches are less than impressed.
During the tournament, Samuel receives devastating news from home: A civil war is raging across South Sudan, and rebel troops have ransacked his village. His father is dead, his sister is missing, and his mother and two younger brothers are in a refugee camp.
Samuel desperately wants to go home, but it’s just not possible. Partly out of sympathy, the coach of North Carolina Central offers him a scholarship. Samuel moves to Durham, enrolls in classes, joins the team, and prepares to sit out his freshman season. There is plenty of more mature talent and he isn’t immediately needed.
But Samuel has something no other player has: a fierce determination to succeed so he can bring his family to America. He works tirelessly on his game, shooting baskets every morning at dawn by himself in the gym, and soon he’s dominating everyone in practice. With the Central team losing and suffering injury after injury, Sooley, as he is nicknamed, is called off the bench. And the legend begins.
But how far can Sooley take his team? And will success allow him to save his family?
Gripping and moving, Sooley showcases John Grisham’s unparalleled storytelling powers in a whole new light. This is Grisham at the top of his game.
By Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex
(Random House Books for Young Readers, $18.99)
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex’s first children’s book, The Bench, beautifully captures the special relationship between father and son, as seen through a mother’s eyes. The book’s storytelling and illustration give us snapshots of shared moments that evoke a deep sense of warmth, connection, and compassion.
This is your bench
Where you’ll witness great joy.
From here you will rest
See the growth of our boy.
In The Bench, Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, touchingly captures the evolving and expanding relationship between father and son and reminds us of the many ways that love can take shape and be expressed in a modern family.
Evoking a deep sense of warmth, connection, and compassion, The Bench gives readers a window into shared and enduring moments between a diverse group of fathers and sons–moments of peace and reflection, trust and belief, discovery and learning, and lasting comfort.
Working in watercolor for the first time, Caldecott-winning, bestselling illustrator Christian Robinson expands on his signature style to bring joy and softness to the pages, reflecting the beauty of a father’s love through a mother’s eyes.
With a universal message, this thoughtful and heartwarming read-aloud is destined to be treasured by families for generations to come.
Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad
By Liz Climo (LB Kids, $7.99)
Perfect for Father’s Day or for any toddler craving independence, here is an adorable board book about a young dinosaur who wants to go on an adventure all by himself for the first time.
Meet Rory the Dinosaur. He loves spending time with his dad, but today he wants to go on an adventure all on his own. Rory can’t wait to tell his dad about all the things he’s doing by himself, like crossing rivers and finding shelter from the rain. But little does Rory know, his father is never far behind. There’s nothing Rory’s dad won’t do for his intrepid son. Liz Climo celebrates the bond between father and child with her adorable, deceptively simple illustrations in this timeless story of a child’s quest for independence.
Don’t Miss!:Rory the Dinosaur Wants a PetRory the Dinosaur Needs a Christmas Tree
My Dad Is a Superhero! (DC Superman)
By Dennis R. Shealy
(Random House Books for Young Readers, $6.99)
Celebrate superhero dads this Father’s Day with this extra cute version of Superman(TM) in this sturdy board book!
What makes your dad a superhero? My dad is the best at saving the day; he reminds me of Superman in every way!
Superman has never been more adorable than in this sturdy board book that’s the perfect way for babies and toddlers to celebrate Father’s Day! Great for DC fans of all ages, from the youngest readers to parental figures of all kinds, this board book features fun and delightful art of the DC Super Heroes.
Can You See My Daddy?
By Becky Davies
(Random House Books for Young Readers, $9.99)
Children can turn the peek-through pages to help the little critters find their daddies, a perfect book for Father’s Day!
Baby sea creatures including a clownfish, a starfish, and a crab tell readers what they love about their daddies. As children turn the peek-through pages, they’ll help each baby find their daddy! Filled with gorgeous artwork that camouflages the dads, the pages are die-cut so that the found dad is a raised piece that kids can touch. When the page is turned, the piece fits into a scooped cutout on the opposite page. With sweet, rhyming text that details what the babies love about their daddies, this is an ideal read-aloud for Father’s Day, as well as a great gift for baby showers and first birthdays.
You Be Daddy
By Karla Clark (Feiwell & Friends, $18.99)
A tired daddy lets his son have a turn being the parent at bedtime in Karla Clark’sYou Be Daddy, a humorously charming companion picture book to You Be Mommy, featuring illustrations by Steph Lew.
Daddy’s too tired to be Daddy tonight.
Can you be Daddy and hug me tight?
In this clever, rhyming picture book, a father tells his child that he’s simply too tired to be Daddy tonight and asks his son to take over for him.
An utterly relatable theme told with humor and heart provides a story parents and children will delight in reading together at bedtime.
#1 Dad: A Lift-the-Tie Book
By Cindy Jin (Little Simon, $7.99)
Inspired by the classic “dress shirt and tie” Father’s Day gift, this novelty book featuring tie-shaped lift-the-flaps celebrates the special bond between father and child by highlighting all kinds of fun, wacky ties for Dad!
From the favorite foods that dads make for breakfast to the handy things in any dad’s tool kit, each tie design highlights the ways dads play an important role in their child’s life. Featuring simple rhymes about all the cool things dads do, each spread includes a tie-shaped flap that little ones can lift to find fun trophies to award Dad—from #1 Fixer Upper to #1 Hairstylist!
The perfect way to show appreciation for all dads, father figures, and fathers-to-be in your life, this book is a sweet reminder for every dad that proves that they are, and will always be, World’s #1 Dad in their children’s eyes.