Barnstorming Ohio : to understand America by David GiffelsBARNSTORMING OHIO is an on-the-ground look at the diverse challenges facing Ohio, and its national significance as the state that has historically sided with the presidential election winner more than any other -- from award-winning lifelong Ohioan author and writer David Giffels, dubbed by the New York Times as "the Bard of Akron.""
The Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsThe Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette's brilliant and charismatic father captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered. The Glass Castle is truly astonishing-a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.
Vanderbilt : the rise and fall of an American dynasty by Anderson Cooper; Katherine HoweFew names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt." When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman who worked in New York Harbor, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would come to epitomize American business, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country. In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would last for decades. For the generations of Vanderbilts who followed, fortunes were lost and made and lost again. In this tide of success and failure, a particularly American excess displayed itself. By 2019, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers-- the estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his son and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would most likely have been unrecognizable to the Commodore. Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, tells the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Working with historian and novelist Katherine Howe, Cooper breathes life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, doubled the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with American capitalism and high society. Moving from Staten Island to the drawing rooms of Fifth Avenue, the ornate cottages of Newport to Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the family's triumphs and tragedies and reflect on the social mores they observed, flouted, and shaped. Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.