Below I’m highlighting some nonfiction books coming out in September. All of the mentioned titles are available to put on hold in our catalog and will also be made available via the library’s Overdrive website on the day of publication in eBook and downloadable audiobook format (as available). For a more extensive list of new nonfiction books coming out this month, check our online catalog.
“The Six: The Untold Story of America’s First Women Astronauts” by Loren Grush (Sep 12)
When NASA sent astronauts to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s the agency excluded women from the corps, arguing that only military test pilots — a group then made up exclusively of men — had the right stuff. It was an era in which women were steered away from jobs in science and deemed unqualified for space flight. Eventually, though, NASA recognized its blunder and opened the application process to a wider array of hopefuls, regardless of race or gender. From a candidate pool of 8,000 six elite women were selected in 1978 — Sally Ride, Judy Resnik, Anna Fisher, Kathy Sullivan, Shannon Lucid, and Rhea Seddon. In “The Six,” acclaimed journalist Loren Grush shows these brilliant and courageous women enduring claustrophobic — and sometimes deeply sexist — media attention, undergoing rigorous survival training, and preparing for years to take multi-million-dollar payloads into orbit. Together, the Six helped build the tools that made the space program run. One of the group, Judy Resnik, sacrificed her life when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded at 46,000 feet. Everyone knows of Sally Ride’s history-making first space ride, but each of the Six would make their mark.
“Astor: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune” by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe (Sep 19)
The story of the Astors is a quintessentially American story — of ambition, invention, destruction and reinvention. From 1783, when German immigrant John Jacob Astor first arrived in the United States, until 2009, when Brooke Astor’s son, Anthony Marshall, was convicted of defrauding his elderly mother, the Astor name occupied a unique place in American society. The family fortune, first made by a beaver trapping business that grew into an empire, was then amplified by holdings in Manhattan real estate. Over the ensuing generations, Astors ruled Gilded Age New York society and inserted themselves into political and cultural life, but also suffered the most famous loss on the Titanic, one of many shocking and unexpected twists in the family’s story. In this unconventional, page-turning historical biography, featuring black-and-white and color photographs, authors Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe chronicle the lives of the Astors and explore what the Astor name has come to mean in America — offering a window onto the making of America itself.
“Of Time and Turtles: Mending the World, Shell by Shattered Shell” by Sy Montgomery and Matt Patterson (illustrator) (Sep 19)
When acclaimed naturalist Sy Montgomery and wildlife artist Matt Patterson arrive at Turtle Rescue League, they are greeted by hundreds of turtles recovering from injury and illness. Endangered by cars and highways, pollution and poachers, these turtles — with wounds so severe that even veterinarians would have dismissed them as fatal — are given a second chance at life. The League’s founders, Natasha and Alexxia, live by one motto: Never give up on a turtle. But why turtles? What is it about them that inspires such devotion? Ancient and unhurried, long-lived and majestic, their lineage stretches back to the time of the dinosaurs. Some live to 200 years, or longer. Others spend months buried under cold winter water. Montgomery turns to these little-understood yet endlessly surprising creatures to probe the eternal question: How can we make peace with our time? In pursuit of the answer, Sy and Matt immerse themselves in the delicate work of protecting turtle nests, incubating eggs, rescuing sea turtles and releasing hatchlings to their homes in the wild. We follow the snapping turtle Fire Chief on his astonishing journey as he battles against injuries incurred by a truck. Hopeful and optimistic, “Of Time and Turtles” is an antidote to the instability of our frenzied world. Elegantly blending science, memoir, philosophy, and drawing on cultures from across the globe, this compassionate portrait of injured turtles and their determined rescuers invites us all to slow down and slip into turtle time.
More Notable Releases for September
- “Why We Love Baseball: A History in 50 Moments” by Joe Posnanski (Sep 5)
- “To Infinity and Beyond: A Journey of Cosmic Discovery” by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Lindsey Nyx Walker (Sep 12)
- “Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America” by Heather Cox Richardson (Sep 26)
- “Killing the Witches: The Horror of Salem, Massachusetts” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (Sep 26)