Take a Virtual Tour
Download a Printable Library Map
We are now on Regular Hours
Take a Virtual Tour
Download a Printable Library Map
We are now on Regular Hours
In the spirit of March Madness, the WDM Public Library is hosting our own bracket challenge: but with books! We've pulled the top titles in four "divisions": Adult, Young Adult, Picture Books, and Juvenile.
In the tradition of Killers of a Flower Moon, a haunting murder-mystery that reveals one of the great crimes of our time: the ruthless destruction of the Amazon rainforest--and anyone who stands in the way.
The city of Rondon do Pará, a remote but fast-growing outpost deep in the heart of the Amazon, lived for decades under the control of Josélio de Barros, one of Brazil's most notorious land barons. Josélio had cut a grisly path to success: he arrived in the jungle with a shady past, quickly making a name for himself as an invincible thug who grabbed up massive tracts of public land--razing and burning the jungle in the process--falsified private title deeds, summarily executed family farmers who refused to sell their plots, and kept migrant workers in conditions of modern-day slavery. The government's support of these practices has led directly to the devastating superfires we've seen in the past few years--extracting all value to be gotten from the land at any cost.
Enter José Dutra da Costa (nicknamed Dezinho), the leader of Rondon's small but robust farm workers' union, who had been fighting back against these land grabs, ecological destruction, and blatant human rights abuses for decades. When Dezinho was killed in a shocking cold-blooded assassination, some 2,000 people turned out for his funeral, and the city of Rondon held its breath. Would Josélio, whom everyone knew had ordered the hit, finally be brought to account? Or would authorities look the other way, as they had hundreds of times before?
Dezinho's widow, Dona Joelma, was not about to let that happen. After his murder, she stepped into the spotlight, orchestrating a huge push to bring national media attention to the injustice happening in the Amazon. Against great odds, and at extreme personal risk, she succeeded in expanding the campaign Dezinho had started, and since his death, has helped thousands of people through her agrarian reform and redistribution efforts. Legally, she threw her weight behind the murder charges against Josélio, using her deep network of loyal rural workers to deliver a key witness that cracked the case wide open.
Set against the backdrop of President Bolsonaro's devastating cuts to environmental protections, Brazil's rapidly changing place in the geopolitical spectrum, and the Amazon's crucial role in climate change, this book promises a gripping read that's also a timely story of how people are fighting for--and winning--justice for their futures and for the future of one of the last wild places on earth.
Edited by Kate
The definitive biography of fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, written by journalist and author William Middleton, who knew the designer in Paris.
In February 2019, the world lost one of its most enduring cultural icons, Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director for the storied House of Chanel for thirty-five years. Larger than life, Lagerfeld was legendary not only for reinventing Chanel; and creating constant fashion excitement at Chloé, Fendi, and his eponymous brand; but also for his vivid personal style, including his signature uniform of dark sunglasses and a powdered white ponytail. And then there was his utter devotion to his cat, Choupette.
Journalist and author William Middleton spent years working in Paris for Women's Wear Daily, W, and Harper's Bazaar. During his time in Paris, he interviewed and socialized with Lagerfeld, coming to see a side of the designer that he kept private from the world.
In this deliciously entertaining book, Middleton takes us inside the most exclusive rooms in the fashion industry, behind the catwalk, and into a world of brilliantly talented artists, stylish socialites, and famous stars--some of the most elusive and unforgettable figures of fashion's inner circle for the past four decades.
Edited by Kate
Refinery 29's Most Anticipated Books By Black & Latine Authors in 2023!
Philadelphia Inquirer's Best New Books for February!
"A necessary discourse about power and control, and who ultimately has a voice versus whose is often stifled." —Preston D. Mitchum, LGBTQIA attorney, activist, and adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University
The first major case for cancel culture as a fundamental means of democratic expression throughout history, and timely necessity aimed at combating systems of oppression.
“___ is canceled.”
Chances are, you’ve heard this a lot lately. What might’ve once been a niche digital term has been legitimized in the discourse of presidents, politicians, and lawmakers.
But what really is cancel culture? Blacklisting celebrities? Censorship? Until now, this has been the general consensus in the media. But it’s time to raise the bar on our definition— to think of cancel culture less as scandal or suppression, and more as an essential means of democratic expression and accountability.
The Case for Cancel Culture does just that. This cultural critique from 2023 Philly News Award-Winning journalist Ernest Owens offers a fresh progressive lens in favor of cancel culture as a tool for activism and change. Using examples from politics, pop culture, and his own personal experience, Owens helps readers reflect on and learn the long history of canceling (spoiler: the Boston Tea Party was cancel culture); how the left and right uniquely equip it as part of their political toolkits; how intersections of society wield it for justice; and ultimately how it levels the playing field for the everyday person’s voice to matter.
Why should we care? Because in a world where protest and free speech are being challenged by the most powerful institutions, those without power deserve to understand the nuance and importance of this democratic tool available to them. Readers will walk away from this first-of-its-kind exploration not despising cancel culture but embracing it as a form of democratic expression that’s always been leading the charge in liberating us all.
"Journalist Owens debuts with an incisive defense of cancel culture... his arguments are thought-provoking and well supported. The result is an invigorating survey of a hot-button political issue." —Publishers Weekly
"An important tool for all times, and for anyone looking to learn how to have the difficult but necessary conversations about race, injustice, inequality, and oppression." —Dawn Ennis, award-winning journalist, advocate, and university professor
Edited by Kate
A vital and timely investigation into the opaque and powerful consulting industry—and what to do about it
There is an entrenched relationship between the consulting industry and the way business and government are managed today that must change. Mariana Mazzucato and Rosie Collington show that our economies’ reliance on companies such as McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, and EY stunts innovation, obfuscates corporate and political accountability, and impedes our collective mission of halting climate breakdown.
The “Big Con” describes the confidence trick the consulting industry performs in contracts with hollowed-out and risk-averse governments and shareholder value-maximizing firms. It grew from the 1980s and 1990s in the wake of reforms by the neoliberal right and Third Way progressives, and it thrives on the ills of modern capitalism, from financialization and privatization to the climate crisis. It is possible because of the unique power that big consultancies wield through extensive contracts and networks—as advisors, legitimators, and outsourcers—and the illusion that they are objective sources of expertise and capacity. In the end, the Big Con weakens our businesses, infantilizes our governments, and warps our economies.
In The Big Con, Mazzucato and Collington throw back the curtain on the consulting industry. They dive deep into important case studies of consultants taking the reins with disastrous results, such as the debacle of the roll out of HealthCare.gov and the tragic failures of governments to respond adequately to the COVID-19 pandemic. The result is an important and exhilarating intellectual journey into the modern economy’s beating heart. With peerless scholarship, and a wealth of original research, Mazzucato and Collington argue brilliantly for building a new system in which public and private sectors work innovatively for the common good.
Edited by Kate
A bracing memoir about self-discovery, liberating escape, and moving forward across an adventurous and volatile American landscape. One year. One national park at a time.
This is it. No more California. I'm sifting into the underbelly of where the nomads go.
After a decade as an assistant to high-powered LA executives, Emily Pennington left behind her structured life and surrendered to the pull of the great outdoors. With a tight budget, meticulous routing, and a temperamental minivan she named Gizmo, Emily embarked on a yearlong road trip to sixty-two national parks, hell-bent on a single goal: getting through the adventure in one piece. She was instantly thrust into more chaos than she'd bargained for and found herself on an unpredictable journey rocked by a gutting romantic breakup, a burgeoning pandemic, wildfires, and other seismic challenges that threatened her safety, her sanity, and the trip itself.
What began as an intrepid obsession soon evolved into a life-changing experience. Navigating the tangle of life's unexpected sucker punches, Feral invites readers along on Emily's grand, blissful, and sometimes perilous journey, where solitude, resilience, self-reliance, and personal transformation run wild.
Edited by Kate
Inspired by the lapidaries of the ancient world, this book is a beautifully designed collection of true stories about sixty different stones that have influenced our shared history
The earliest scientists ground and processed minerals in a centuries-long quest for a mythic stone that would prolong human life. Michelangelo climbed mountains in Tuscany searching for the sugar-white marble that would yield his sculptures. Catherine the Great wore the wealth of Russia stitched in gemstones onto the front of her bodices.
Through the realms of art, myth, geology, philosophy and power, the story of humanity can be told through the minerals and materials that have allowed us to evolve and create. From the Taiwanese national treasure known as the Meat-Shaped Stone to Malta’s prehistoric “fat lady” temples carved in globigerina limestone to the amethyst crystals still believed to have healing powers, Lapidarium is a jewel box of sixty far-flung stones and the stories that accompany them. Together, they explore how human culture has formed stone, and the roles stone has played in forming human culture.
Edited by Kate
"A brilliant and brilliantly different" (Kiese Laymon), wrenching and redemptive coming-of-age memoir about the difficulty of growing up in a hazardous home and the glory of finding salvation in geek culture.
Stranded within an ever-shifting family's desperate but volatile attempts to love, saddled with a mercurial mother mired in crack addiction, and demeaned daily for his perceived weakness, Joseph Earl Thomas grew up feeling he was under constant threat. Roaches fell from the ceiling, colonizing bowls of noodles and cereal boxes. Fists and palms pounded down at school and at home, leaving welts that ached long after they disappeared. An inescapable hunger gnawed at his frequently empty stomach, and requests for food were often met with indifference if not open hostility. Deemed too unlike the other boys to ever gain the acceptance he so desperately desired, he began to escape into fantasy and virtual worlds, wells of happiness in a childhood assailed on all sides.
In a series of exacting and fierce vignettes, Thomas guides readers through the unceasing cruelty that defined his circumstances, laying bare the depths of his loneliness and illuminating the vital reprieve geek culture offered him. With remarkable tenderness and devastating clarity, he explores how lessons of toxic masculinity were drilled into his body and the way the cycle of violence permeated the very fabric of his environment. Even in the depths of isolation, there were unexpected moments of joy carved out, from summers where he was freed from the injurious structures of his surroundings to the first glimpses of kinship he caught on his journey to becoming a Pokémon master. SINK follows Thomas's coming-of-age towards an understanding of what it means to lose the desire to fit in--with his immediate peers, turbulent family, or the world--and how good it feels to build community, love, and salvation on your own terms.
Edited by Kate
The remarkable story of the intrepid French archaeologist who led the international effort to save ancient Egyptian temples from the floodwaters of the Aswan Dam, by the New York Times bestselling author of Madame Fourcade’s Secret War
In the 1960s, the world’s attention was focused on a nail-biting race against time: Fifty countries contributed nearly a billion dollars to save a dozen ancient Egyptian temples, built during the height of the pharaohs’ rule, from drowning in the floodwaters of the massive new Aswan High Dam. But the extensive press coverage at the time overlooked the gutsy French archaeologist who made it all happen. Without the intervention of Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, the temples would now be at the bottom of a vast reservoir. It was an unimaginably large and complex project that required the fragile sandstone temples to be dismantled, stone by stone, and rebuilt on higher ground.
A willful real-life version of Indiana Jones, Desroches-Noblecourt refused to be cowed by anyone or anything. During World War II she joined the French Resistance and was held by the Nazis; in her fight to save the temples she challenged two of the postwar world’s most daunting leaders, Egypt’s President Nasser and France’s President de Gaulle. As she told a reporter, “You don’t get anywhere without a fight, you know.”
Yet Desroches-Noblecourt was not the only woman who played an essential role in the historic endeavor. The other was Jacqueline Kennedy, who persuaded her husband to call on Congress to help fund the rescue effort. After years of Western plunder of Egypt’s ancient monuments, Desroches-Noblecourt did the opposite. She helped preserve a crucial part of Egypt’s cultural heritage, and made sure it remained in its homeland.
Edited by Kate
An evocative and epic story, Nick Tabor's Africatown charts the fraught history of America from those who were brought here as slaves but nevertheless established a home for themselves and their descendants, a community which often thrived despite persistent racism and environmental pollution.
In 1860, a ship called the Clotilda was smuggled through the Alabama Gulf Coast, carrying the last group of enslaved people ever brought to the U.S. from West Africa. Five years later, the shipmates were emancipated, but they had no way of getting back home. Instead they created their own community outside the city of Mobile, where they spoke Yoruba and appointed their own leaders, a story chronicled in Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon.
That community, Africatown, has endured to the present day, and many of the community residents are the shipmates’ direct descendants. After many decades of neglect and a Jim Crow legal system that targeted the area for industrialization, the community is struggling to survive. Many community members believe the pollution from the heavy industry surrounding their homes has caused a cancer epidemic among residents, and companies are eyeing even more land for development.
At the same time, after the discovery of the remains of the Clotilda in the riverbed nearby, a renewed effort is underway to create a living memorial to the community and the lives of the slaves who founded it.
Edited by Kate
From the "deliriously clever" (Boston Globe) Simon Garfield, New York Times bestselling author of Just My Type, comes the wild and fascinating story of the encyclopedia, from Ancient Greece to the present day.
"A brilliant book about knowledge itself." --Deirdre Mask, author of The Address Book
"Magnificent. ... A perfectly styled work of literature - at times sad, at times funny, but always full of life." --Engineering & Technology Magazine
The encyclopedia once shaped our understanding of the world. Created by thousands of scholars and the most obsessive of editors, a good set conveyed a sense of absolute wisdom on its reader. Contributions from Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Orville Wright, Alfred Hitchcock, Marie Curie and Indira Gandhi helped millions of children with their homework. Adults cleared their shelves in the belief that everything that was explainable was now effortlessly accessible in their living rooms.
Now these huge books gather dust and sell for almost nothing on eBay. Instead, we get our information from our phones and computers, apparently for free. What have we lost in this transition? And how did we tell the progress of our lives in the past?
All the Knowledge in the World is a history and celebration of those who created the most ground-breaking and remarkable publishing phenomenon of any age. Simon Garfield, who "has a genius for being sparked to life by esoteric enthusiasm and charming readers with his delight" (The Times), guides us on an utterly delightful journey, from Ancient Greece to Wikipedia, from modest single-volumes to the 11,000-volume Chinese manuscript that was too big to print. He looks at how Encyclopedia Britannica came to dominate the industry, how it spawned hundreds of competitors, and how an army of ingenious door-to-door salesmen sold their wares to guilt-ridden parents. He reveals how encyclopedias have reflected our changing attitudes towards sexuality, race, and technology, and exposes how these ultimate bastions of trust were often riddled with errors and prejudice.
With his characteristic ability to tackle the broadest of subjects in an illuminating and highly entertaining way, Simon Garfield uncovers a fascinating and important part of our shared past and wonders whether the promise of complete knowledge--that most human of ambitions--will forever be beyond our grasp.
Edited by Kate
Inspiration and stellar instruction in a groundbreaking resource for new(ish) cooks ready to level up. Perfect for teens and college students, twenty-somethings cooking in their own first kitchens, or folks of any age who are ready to get serious about making great food.
"Learning how to cook—simply, seasonally, and organically, for family and friends—is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in life. This book is the essential (and delicious!) roadmap you need: friendly, approachable, and perfectly ready to inspire new cooks to fall in love." —Alice Waters, chef, restaurateur, author, and American culinary icon
Filled with recipes for impressive, craveable food—with all the guidance needed to make it—(Serious) New Cook is perfect for young adults or any new(ish) cooks who have ever found themselves salivating at cooking TikToks or drooling over gorgeous cookbooks, only to believe they aren’t skilled enough to attempt the recipes themselves. Here, the clear, detailed instruction and stunning step-by-step photography will have readers wowing their friends and families from their very first dish. Along with recipes that are at once aspirational and totally doable, authors Leah Su Quiroga and Cammie Kim Lin use their experience as a chef from one of America’s top restaurants and an award-winning teacher and writer to deftly share knowledge, stories, and brilliant tips with humor and insight.
It’s an homage to their own multicultural families and to the countless young adults they’ve taught and cooked with—their own kids, Cammie’s high school and college students, the new cooks who came up under Leah in the Chez Panisse kitchen. (Serious) New Cook hits all the right notes, packed with inspired takes on familiar favorites, as well as new flavors to build an expansive repertoire: crepes with compote, handmade arepas, “broken” Caesar salad, mushroom pot pie, Korean bulgogi meatballs, classic cupcakes, dalgona milkshakes, and more. With stunning step-by-step photography by Molly DeCoudreaux, the recipes are presented in trios organized around a core technique or concept. Learn one recipe and readers will be well on their way to mastering all three. Also included are guest recipes from acclaimed chefs and authors Alice Waters, Bryant Terry, Sean Sherman, Sohui Kim, Russell Moore, Claire Ptak, Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis, ushering a new generation of (serious) new cooks into the fold. More than just a collection of recipes, (Serious) New Cook is an indispensable resource and an inspiring guide.
Edited by Kate
In Bloom, The Houseplant Guru Lisa Eldred Steinkopf unleashes all the secrets on how to grow dozens of indoor plants that produce colorful, intricate, and sometimes fragrant blooms.
If you’ve ever struggled to get an orchid or African violet to rebloom, or if you’ve hesitated to add plants like hoya, anthurium, Madagascar jasmine, or clivia to your windowsill for fear you may never see their gorgeous flowers, Lisa reveals the insider strategies you need to encourage these plants to strut their stuff. In her signature warm and beginner-friendly tone, she introduces simple techniques you can use to encourage bloom alongside all the ins and outs of caring for these beautiful plants. Lush, full-color photography accompanies each in-depth plant profile.
Upping your houseplant game doesn’t have to involve spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the next trendy leafy-green foliage plant. If you want to expand both your growing skills and the number of specimens in your houseplant family, dive into the world of flowering houseplants instead. New cultivars of old favorites are taking the houseplant world by storm, and other, more unusual, species are now making their way into the limelight, thanks to the interest of millions of new houseplant parents around the world.
Inside the pages of Bloom, you’ll meet:
Fill your home with foliage and flowers, and enjoy all the color and calm they’ll add to your living space.
Edited by Kate
"The food writer (and photographer) for the world to watch." -The Spectator
From the beloved author of A Table for Friends, more than 100 nourishing recipes to bring people together-and a culinary love letter to cooking and eating with heart.
For Skye McAlpine, there's no better way to say “I love you” than with food. With recipes collected over a lifetime of meals prepared and shared, and with sections like Comfort, Seduce, Spoil, Nourish, and Cocoon, A Table Full of Love teaches you the culinary love language to say it, too.
Whether mending a friend's heartbreak with baked fennel and burrata gratin, seducing someone new with roast duck legs and winter citrus, nourishing family with the perfect eggs on toast, or gathering all of them together around a lit birthday cake, Skye McAlpine knows the flavor of any dish is more than its ingredients. Rather, it's the emotions and memories we collect over a lifetime of cooking and being cooked for.
In A Table Full of Love, these feelings are cherished and created anew through recipes for every meal that celebrate the most invaluable reason to cook: to fill a table with love.
Edited by Kate
An incisive exploration of ballet's role in the modern world, told through the experience of the author and her classmates at the most elite ballet school in the country: the School of American Ballet.
Growing up, Alice Robb dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer. But by age fifteen, she had to face the reality that she would never meet the impossibly high standards of the hyper-competitive ballet world. After she quit, she tried to avoid ballet--only to realize, years later, that she was still haunted by the lessons she had absorbed in the mirror-lined studios of Lincoln Center, and that they had served her well in the wider world. The traits ballet takes to an extreme--stoicism, silence, submission--are valued in girls and women everywhere.
Profound, nuanced, and passionately researched, Don't Think, Dear is Robb's excavation of her adolescent years as a dancer and an exploration of how those days informed her life for years to come.
As she grapples with the pressure she faced as a student at the School of American Ballet, she investigates the fates of her former classmates as well. From sweet and innocent Emily, whose body was deemed thin enough only when she was too ill to eat, to precocious and talented Meiying, who was thrilled to be cast as the young star of the Nutcracker but dismayed to see Asians stereotyped onstage, and Lily, who won the carrot they had all been chasing--an apprenticeship with the New York City Ballet--only to spend her first season dancing eight shows a week on a broken foot.
Theirs are stories of heartbreak and resilience, of reinvention and regret. Along the way, Robb weaves in the myths of famous ballet personalities past and present, from the groundbreaking Misty Copeland, who rose from poverty to become an icon of American ballet, to the blind diva Alicia Alonso, who used the heat of the spotlights and the vibrations of the music to navigate space onstage. By examining the psyche of a dancer, Don't Think, Dear grapples with the contradictions and challenges of being a woman today.
Edited by Kate
An award-winning defense expert tells the story of today’s great power rivalry—the struggle to control artificial intelligence.
A new industrial revolution has begun. Like mechanization or electricity before it, artificial intelligence will touch every aspect of our lives—and cause profound disruptions in the balance of global power, especially among the AI superpowers: China, the United States, and Europe. Autonomous weapons expert Paul Scharre takes readers inside the fierce competition to develop and implement this game-changing technology and dominate the future.
Four Battlegrounds argues that four key elements define this struggle: data, computing power, talent, and institutions. Data is a vital resource like coal or oil, but it must be collected and refined. Advanced computer chips are the essence of computing power—control over chip supply chains grants leverage over rivals. Talent is about people: which country attracts the best researchers and most advanced technology companies? The fourth “battlefield” is maybe the most critical: the ultimate global leader in AI will have institutions that effectively incorporate AI into their economy, society, and especially their military.
Scharre’s account surges with futuristic technology. He explores the ways AI systems are already discovering new strategies via millions of war-game simulations, developing combat tactics better than any human, tracking billions of people using biometrics, and subtly controlling information with secret algorithms. He visits China’s “National Team” of leading AI companies to show the chilling synergy between China’s government, private sector, and surveillance state. He interviews Pentagon leadership and tours U.S. Defense Department offices in Silicon Valley, revealing deep tensions between the military and tech giants who control data, chips, and talent. Yet he concludes that those tensions, inherent to our democratic system, create resilience and resistance to autocracy in the face of overwhelmingly powerful technology.
Engaging and direct, Four Battlegrounds offers a vivid picture of how AI is transforming warfare, global security, and the future of human freedom—and what it will take for democracies to remain at the forefront of the world order.
Edited by Kate