There are few creative acts more mysterious and magical than writing a song. But what if the goal wasn't so mysterious and was actually achievable for anyone who wants to experience more magic and creativity in their life? That's something that anyone will be inspired to do after listening to Jeff Tweedy's How to Write One Song. Why one song? Because the difference between one song and many songs isn't a cute semantic trick - it's an important distinction that can simplify a notoriously confusing art form. The idea of becoming a capital-S songwriter can seem daunting, but approached as a focused, self-contained event, the mystery and fear subsides, and songwriting becomes an exciting pursuit. And then there is the energizing, nourishing creativity that can open up. How to Write One Song brings listeners into the intimate process of writing one song - lyrics, music, and putting it all together - and accesses the deep sense of wonder that remains at the heart of this curious yet incredibly fulfilling artistic act. But it’s equally about the importance of making creativity part of your life every day and of experiencing the hope, inspiration, and joy available to anyone who’s willing to get started.
by Nnedi Okorafor
From Africanfuturist luminary Okorafor comes a new science fiction novel of intense action and thoughtful rumination on biotechnology, destiny, and humanity in a near-future Nigeria. Anwuli Okwudili prefers to be called AO. To her, these initials have always stood for Artificial Organism. AO has never really felt...natural, and that's putting it lightly. Her parents spent most of the days before she was born praying for her peaceful passing because even in-utero she was "wrong". But she lived. Then came the car accident years later that disabled her even further. Yet instead of viewing her strange body the way the world views it, as freakish, unnatural, even the work of the devil, AO embraces all that she is: A woman with a ton of major and necessary body augmentations. And then one day she goes to her local market and everything goes wrong. Once on the run, she meets a Fulani herdsman named DNA and the race against time across the deserts of Northern Nigeria begins. In a world where all things are streamed, everyone is watching the "reckoning of the murderess and the terrorist" and the "saga of the wicked woman and mad man" unfold. This fast-paced, relentless journey of tribe, destiny, body, and the wonderland of technology revels in the fact that the future sometimes isn't so predictable. Expect the unaccepted.
Sidelined: Sports, Culture, and Being a Woman in America
by Julie DiCaro
In a society that is digging deep into the misogyny underlying our traditions and media, the world of sports is especially fertile ground. From casual sexism, like condescending coverage of women’s pro sports, to more serious issues, like athletes who abuse their partners and face only minimal consequences, this area of our culture is home to a vast swath of gender issues that apply to all of us - whether or not our work and leisure time revolve around what happens on the field. No one is better equipped to examine sports through this feminist lens than sports journalist Julie DiCaro. Throughout her experiences covering professional sports for more than a decade, DiCaro has been outspoken about the exploitation of the female body, the covert and overt sexism women face in the workplace, and the male-driven toxicity in sports fandom. Now, through candid interviews, personal anecdotes, and deep research, she's tackling these thorny issues and exploring what America can do to give women a fair and competitive playing field in sports and beyond. Covering everything from the abusive online environment at Barstool Sports to the sexist treatment of Serena Williams and professional women's teams fighting for equal pay and treatment, and looking back at pioneering women who first took on the patriarchy in sports media, Sidelined will illuminate the ways sports present a microcosm of life as a woman in America - and the power in fighting back.
The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch
by Miles Harvey
In the summer of 1843, James Strang, a charismatic young lawyer and avowed atheist, vanished from a rural town in New York. Months later, he reappeared on the Midwestern frontier and converted to a burgeoning religious movement known as Mormonism. In the wake of the murder of the sect's leader, Joseph Smith, Strang unveiled a letter purportedly from the prophet naming him successor, and persuaded hundreds of fellow converts to follow him to an island in Lake Michigan, where he declared himself a divine king. From this stronghold, he controlled a fourth of the state of Michigan, establishing a pirate colony where he practiced plural marriage and perpetrated thefts, corruption, and frauds of all kinds. Eventually, having run afoul of powerful enemies, including the American president, Strang was assassinated, an event that was frontpage news across the country. The King of Confidence tells this fascinating but largely forgotten story. Centering his narrative on this charlatan's turbulent 12 years in power, Miles Harvey gets to the root of a timeless American original: the Confidence Man. Full of adventure, bad behavior, and insight into a crucial period of antebellum history, The King of Confidence brings us a compulsively listenable account of one of the country's boldest con men and the boisterous era that allowed him to thrive.
The Lucky One: A Novel
by Lori Rader-Day
Most people who go missing are never found. But Alice was the lucky one.... As a child, Alice was stolen from her backyard in a tiny Indiana community, but against the odds, her policeman father tracked her down within 24 hours and rescued her from harm. In the aftermath of the crime, her family decided to move to Chicago and close the door on that horrible day. Yet Alice hasn’t forgotten. She devotes her spare time volunteering for a website called The Doe Pages scrolling through pages upon pages of unidentified people, searching for clues that could help reunite families with their missing loved ones. When a face appears on Alice’s screen that she recognizes, she’s stunned to realize it’s the same man who kidnapped her decades ago. The post is deleted as quickly as it appeared, leaving Alice with more questions than answers. Embarking on a search for the truth, she enlists the help of friends from The Doe Pages to connect the dots and find her kidnapper before he hurts someone else. Then, Alice crosses paths with Merrily Cruz, another woman who’s been hunting for answers of her own. Together, they begin to unravel a dark, painful web of lies that will change what they thought they knew - and could cost them everything.
The Talented Miss Farwell: A Novel
by Emily Gray Tedrowe
At the end of the 1990s, with the art market finally recovered from its disastrous collapse, Miss Rebecca Farwell has made a killing at Christie's in New York City, selling a portion of her extraordinary art collection for a rumored 900 percent profit. Dressed in couture YSL, drinking the finest champagne at trendy Balthazar, Reba, as she's known, is the picture of a wealthy art collector. To some, the elusive Miss Farwell is a shark with outstanding business acumen. To others, she's a heartless capitalist whose only interest in art is how much she can make. But a thousand miles from the Big Apple, in the small town of Pierson, Illinois, Miss Farwell is someone else entirely - a quiet single woman known as Becky who still lives in her family's farmhouse, wears sensible shoes, and works tirelessly as the town's treasurer and controller. No one understands the ins and outs of Pierson's accounts better than Becky; she's the last one in the office every night, crunching the numbers. Somehow, her neighbors marvel, she always finds a way to get the struggling town just a little more money. What Pierson doesn't see - and can never discover - is that much of that money is shifted into a separate account that she controls, "borrowed" funds used to finance her art habit. Though she quietly repays Pierson when she can, the business of art is cutthroat and unpredictable. But as Reba Farwell's deals get bigger and bigger, Becky Farwell's debt to Pierson spirals out of control. How long can the talented Miss Farwell continue to pull off her double life?