Staff Pick

Elliott Maraniss was a talented newspaperman when, in 1952, he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee for his communist affi liations. He lost his job and was blacklisted for five years, yet retained his faith in the United States and went on eventually to a successful career in journalism. In A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father (Simon & Schuster, $28), David Maraniss tells his dad’s story along with the stories of others who were in the Committee hearing room—members of the Committee, his dad’s lawyer, and the FBI informant who named him. Through these individual histories, Maraniss explores what it means to be an American. On one level, the book is a touching family tale about a son’s search for his father’s past, but on a larger level it’s a resonant story with enduring universal significance, a tale of courage, conviction, betrayal, political opportunism, reckoning, and ultimately American identity.

A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501178375
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 14th, 2019

Staff Pick

In her latest memoir, Travel Light, Move Fast (Penguin Press, $27), Alexandra Fuller returns to the family history and African childhood that made her 2001 Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight a classic. Recounting her upbringing on a farm in war-torn Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, Alexandra chronicles the incomparable and fastmoving life of her ex-pat father, Tim Fuller. Starting with his death a few years ago, Fuller highlights the nuggets of wisdom Tim gathered over the course of his life from experiences that included his sense of himself as a black sheep, his self-exile from England, his role as patriarch of his own family, and his efforts, throughout Africa, to grow bananas in the midst of post-colonial revolutions. Moving through her grief, Fuller mines her memories and her father’s example for the resilience she needs to navigate the challenges of her own life. Writing with her signature striking, beautiful prose and hilarious anecdotes, Fuller effortlessly blends her story and her father’s into a moving account of an unconventional family.

Travel Light, Move Fast Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781594206740
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Press - August 6th, 2019

Staff Pick

In 2003, Tim O'Brien began “a few short messages in a bottle that my kids might find tucked away in a dusty file cabinet long after my death.” Then his son Tad proposed he write a “maybe” book: which all writers do at the outset. “We are all writing our maybe books full of maybe tomorrows, and each maybe tomorrow brings another maybe tomorrow and then another until the last line of the last page receives its period.” If this sounds hokey, think again. Dad’s Maybe Book (Houghton Mifflin, $28) explores ambiguity. Tender, funny, and poignant, it reveals O’Brien as father, magician, Vietnam vet, and reader (especially of Hemingway) as well as O’Brien the writer. Though he believes his obituary will call him a “war writer” really he is anti-war, anti-absolutism. “This entire maybe book, like our lives, is full of maybes…and it’s okay to say ‘maybe’ even when you believe you have access to some self-evident ironclad miraculous and eternal Truth.” The most poignant chapter—“An Immodest and Altogether Earnest Proposal”—suggests we eliminate the word war from our vocabulary, substituting killing people, including children. This reframes not only our best war literature but also our values themselves.

Dad's Maybe Book Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780618039708
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 14th, 2019

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