#FridayReads

A selection of books we're diving into this weekend!

One of the world's most accomplished astronauts presents a continent-by-continent tour of the world as captured in photographs he took in space, sharing engaging commentary on life in zero gravity and the impact of natural forces shaping the planet.  Divided by continent, YOU ARE HERE represents one (idealized) orbit of the ISS. This planetary photo tour -- surprising, playful, thought-provoking, and visually delightful -- is also punctuated with fun, fascinating commentary on life in zero gravity. In the spirit of his bestselling An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, YOU ARE HERE opens a singular window on our planet, using remarkable photographs to illuminate the history and consequences of human settlement, the magnificence (and wit) of never-before-noticed landscapes, and the power of the natural forces shaping our world and the future of our species.  Buy Now

 

Neil Young’s first memoir, Waging Heavy Peace, was an international bestseller and critical sensation. The Wall Street Journal wrote that it was terrific: modest, honest, funny and frequently moving,” while The New York Times found it as charismatically off the wall as Mr. Young’s records.” Now, in Special Deluxe, Young has fashioned a second work of extraordinary reminiscences about his Canadian boyhood, his musical influences, his family, the rock ’n’ roll life, and one of his deepest, most ebullient passions: cars. Through the framework of the many vehicles he’s collected and driven, Young explores his love for the well-crafted vintage automobile,and examines his newfound awareness of his hobby’s negative environmental impact. With his ferocious devotion to clean energy, he recounts the saga of Lincvolt, his specially modified electric car, and his efforts to demonstrate to lawmakers and consumers how viable non-gas-guzzling vehicles truly can be.

Special Deluxe captures Young’s singular lyrical, almost musical, voice. Witty, eclectic, and wonderfully candid, Special Deluxe is an unforgettable amalgam of memories, artwork, and political ponderings from one of the most genuine and enigmatic artists of our time. Buy Now

A heartfelt, and riveting biography of the short life of a talented young African-American man who escapes the slums of Newark for Yale University only to succumb to the dangers of the streets—and of one’s own nature—when he returns home.

When author Jeff Hobbs arrived at Yale University, he became fast friends with the man who would be his college roommate for four years, Robert Peace. Robert’s life was rough from the beginning in the crime-ridden streets of Newark in the 1980s, with his father in jail and his mother earning less than $15,000 a year. But Robert was a brilliant student, and it was supposed to get easier when he was accepted to Yale, where he studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics. But it didn’t get easier. Robert carried with him the difficult dual nature of his existence, “fronting” in Yale, and at home.

Through an honest rendering of Robert’s relationships—with his struggling mother, with his incarcerated father, with his teachers and friends and fellow drug dealers—The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace encompasses the most enduring conflicts in America: race, class, drugs, community, imprisonment, education, family, friendship, and love. It’s about the collision of two fiercely insular worlds—the ivy-covered campus of Yale University and Newark, New Jersey, and the difficulty of going from one to the other and then back again. It’s about poverty, the challenges of single motherhood, and the struggle to find male role models in a community where a man is more likely to go to prison than to college. It’s about reaching one’s greatest potential and taking responsibility for your family no matter the cost. It’s about trying to live a decent life in America. But most all the story is about the tragic life of one singular brilliant young man. His end, a violent one, is heartbreaking and powerful and unforgettable. Buy Now