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A Gracious Plenty
by Sheri Reynolds

In the lush and isolated cemetery of a small Southern town, Finch Nobles, the narrator of this brilliantly inventive novel, tends to the flowers and shrubs that surround the monuments of people who were not known to her while they lived but who in death have become her lifeline.

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A Short History of Nearly Everything
by Bill Bryson

Popular writer Bryson turns from geographical to temporal realms to summarize what has happened from the time of the Big Bang to now, especially as it pertains to items of local interest, such as the solar system, earth, life, and humans. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Dinner At the New Gene Cafe
by Bill Lambrecht

Dinner at the New Gene Cafeacute; expertly lays out the battle lines of the impending collision between a powerful but unproved technology and a gathering resistance from people worried about the safety of genetic change.

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Eureka! : Scientific Breakthroughs That Changed the World
by Leslie Horvitz

A fascinating tour of great moments in science From Newton's apple to Fleming's mold, from the structure of carbon molecules to the structure of DNA, Eureka! tells the true stories behind some of the most memorable and revolutionary discoveries in the history of science, and the dedicated, often unconventional scientists who made them.

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Fast Food Nation
by Eric Schlosser

Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from California's subdivisions where the business was born to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike where many fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths -- from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, and even real estate.

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Friday Night Lights : A Town, A Team, and A Dream
by H.G. Bissinger

Odessa, Texas, is not known to be big on dreams, but the Panthers help keep the hopes of this small, dusty town alive. Socially and racially divided, its fragile economy follows the treacherous up-and-down path of the oil business. But every Friday night from September to December, when the Permian High School Panthers play football, this West Texas town becomes a place where dreams can come true.

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Insect Lives
by Erich Hoyt

The editors of this anthology, by their own admission, have gathered here an eclectic assortment of pieces about insects and how we humans have perceived them through the ages.

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Krakatoa : The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883
by Simon Winchester

In this first US edition, the author of the The Map That Changed the World portrays the 19th-century eruption of a Javanese volcano that still has global repercussions in both historical and scientific contexts

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Lucky
by Alice Sebold

In this memoir, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was transformed when at age 18 she was raped and beaten in a park near her college campus.

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Me and Orson Welles
by Robert Kaplow

So begins Me and Orson Welles, a comic coming-of-age novel set against the background of the twenty-two-year-old Orson Welles's debut production at the Mercury Theatre on Broadway. Richard Samuels is the stage struck seventeen-year-old from New Jersey who wanders onto the set one day and gets a small role in Welles's Julius Caesar. His life will never be the same

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Nickel and Dimed
by Barbara Ehrenreich

Between 1998 and 2000, Ehrenreich spent about three months in three cities throughout the nation, attempting to "get by" on the salary available to low-paid and unskilled workers.

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Push
by Sapphire Sapphire

Relentless, remorseless, and inspirational, this "horrific, hope-filled story" (Newsday) is certain to haunt a generation of readers. Precious Jones, 16 years old and pregnant by her father with her second child, meets a determined and highly radical teacher who takes her on a journey of transformation and redemption.

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Six Wives
by David Starkey

No one in history had a more eventful career in matrimony than Henry VIII. His marriages were daring and tumultuous, and made instant legends of six very different women. What could make him marry six times? In this remarkable new study, David Starkey argues that the king was not a depraved philanderer, but someone seeking happiness -- and a son.

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The BeanTrees
by Barbara Kingsolver

"A warmhearted and highly entertaining first novel in which a poor but plucky Kentucky girl . . . arrives at surprising new meanings for love, friendship, and family."--Kirkus Reviews

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The Demon in the Freezer
by Richard Preston

This book about smallpox begins with the anthrax attacks of October, 2001, and, by the end of this thriller, Preston has chillingly linked the two topics. All of the anthrax evidence from the Hart Senate Office Building was taken to the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, MD, and it is here that the author first brings smallpox into consideration by introducing Peter Jahrling, the organization's senior scientist.

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The Farming Of Bones
by Edwidge Danticat

The young Haitian National Book Award nominee tells an epic tale of the 1937 tragedy at the border between Haiti & the Dominican Republic.

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The Primal Teen : What New Discoveries About the Teenage Brain Tell Us to About Our Kids
by Barbara Strauch

While raging hormones and an inclination toward rebellion are major players in the teenage drama, the brain is actually running the show. Strauch looks at the cutting-edge science that provides vital new information about what makes teens tick and shows that understanding these findings can lead the way to a saner and smoother relationship between parent and child.

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Triangle: The Fire That Changed America
by David Von Drehle

This harrowing yet compulsively readable book is both a chronicle of the Triangle shirtwaist fire and a vibrant portrait of an entire age. It follows the waves of Jewish and Italian immigration that inundated New York in the early years of the century, filling its slums and supplying its garment factories with cheap, mostly female labor.

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