Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby
Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wow, No Thank You, Samantha Irby has returned to the printed page with a much-anticipated new collection of side-splitting essays, and not a moment too soon. Irby’s career has taken her to new heights. She dodges calls from Hollywood and flop sweats on the red carpet at premieres (well, one premiere). But nothing is ever as it seems online, where she can crop out all the ugly parts.
Irby got a lot of weird emails about Carrie Bradshaw, and not only is there diarrhea to avoid, but now—anaphylactic shock. She is turned away from restaurants for being inappropriately dressed and looks for the best ways to cope, i.e., reveling in the offerings of QVC and adopting a deranged pandemic dog. Filled with such unabashed gems as advice for the bathroom etiquette you were dying to know but always too afraid to ask about and an exposé on how to speak with an actual teenager, Quietly Hostile makes light as Irby takes us on another outrageously funny tour of all the gory details that make up the true portrait of a life behind the screenshotted depression memes. Relatable, poignant, and uproarious, once again, Irby is the tonic we all need to get by.
Banana Ball: The Unbelievably True Story of the Savannah Bananas by Jesse Cole
For his entire childhood, Jesse Cole dreamed of pitching in the Majors. Now, he has a life in baseball that he could have only imagined: he met the love of his life in the industry; they shaped Savannah, Georgia’s professional team into the league champion Savannah Bananas; and now the Bananas have restyled baseball itself into something all their own: Banana Ball.
Fast, fun, and outrageously entertaining, Banana Ball brings fans right into the game. The Bananas throw out a first banana rather than a ball. Their first-base coach dances to “Thriller” or Britney between innings. Players run into the crowd to hand out roses. And the rules themselves are bananas: if a fan catches a foul ball it’s an out; and players might go to bat on stilts or wearing a banana costume. And their fans absolutely love it.
But the reason this team is on the forefront of a movement is less about the play on the field and more about the atmosphere that the team culture creates. For the first time in this book, Jesse reveals the ideas and experiences that allowed him to reimagine America’s oldest sport by creating a phenomenon that is helping fans fall in love with the game all over again.
This is a story that’s bigger than baseball and bigger than the yellow tuxedo Jesse wears as the “ringmaster” of every game. And to understand the movement, you have to understand the story at its core. In Jesse’s telling, it takes heart, innovation, and joy (and a bit of tropical fruit) to make something wholly original out of one of America’s great traditions. His story is part Moneyball, part Field of Dreams, part The Greatest Showman. It is a personal story, a creativity story, and the story of a business scrapping for every success. And it has several distinct love stories—love stories like Jesse and his father, Jesse and his wife, the team and the sport of baseball, the team and the fans.
King: A Life by Jonathan Eig
Vividly written and exhaustively researched, Jonathan Eig’s King: A Life is the first major biography in decades of the civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.―and the first to include recently declassified FBI files. In this revelatory new portrait of the preacher and activist who shook the world, the bestselling biographer gives us an intimate view of the courageous and often emotionally troubled human being who demanded peaceful protest for his movement but was rarely at peace with himself. He casts fresh light on the King family’s origins as well as MLK’s complex relationships with his wife, father, and fellow activists. King reveals a minister wrestling with his own human frailties and dark moods, a citizen hunted by his own government, and a man determined to fight for justice even if it proved to be a fight to the death. As he follows MLK from the classroom to the pulpit to the streets of Birmingham, Selma, and Memphis, Eig dramatically re-creates the journey of a man who recast American race relations and became our only modern-day founding father―as well as the nation’s most mourned martyr.
In this landmark biography, Eig gives us an MLK for our times: a deep thinker, a brilliant strategist, and a committed radical who led one of history’s greatest movements, and whose demands for racial and economic justice remain as urgent today as they were in his lifetime.
The World: A Family History of Humanity by Simon Sebag Montefiore
In this epic, ever-surprising book, Montefiore chronicles the world’s great dynasties across human history through palace intrigues, love affairs, and family lives, linking grand themes of war, migration, plague, religion, and technology to the people at the heart of the human drama. It features a cast of extraordinary diversity: in addition to rulers and conquerors, there are priests, charlatans, artists, scientists, tycoons, gangsters, lovers, husbands, wives, and children. There is Hongwu, the beggar who founded the Ming dynasty; Ewuare, the Leopard-King of Benin; Henry Christophe, King of Haiti; Kamehameha, the conqueror of Hawaii; Zenobia, the Arab empress who defied Rome; Lady Murasaki, the first female novelist; Sayyida al-Hurra, the Moroccan pirate-queen. Here too are moderns such as Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, and Volodymyr Zelensky. Here are the Caesars, Medicis and Incas, Ottomans and Mughals, Bonapartes, Habsburgs and Zulus, Rothschilds, Rockefellers and Krupps, Churchills, Kennedys, Castros, Nehrus, Pahlavis and Kenyattas, Saudis, Kims and Assads. These powerful families represent the breadth of human endeavor, with bloody succession battles, treacherous conspiracies, and shocking megalomania alongside flourishing culture, moving romances, and enlightened benevolence. A dazzling achievement as spellbinding as fiction, The World captures the whole human story in a single, masterful narrative.