2021 Brings Great New Releases by Favorite Authors & Fresh Voices

2021 Brings Great New Releases by Favorite Authors & Fresh Voices

The new year has brought a wealth of new titles to DDR Books! We’ve scoured the globe for fresh releases by your favorite authors and first books by promising voices. We’ve also brought in the latest in science, psychology, history, aging, relationships, and social justice. And we haven’t neglected to restock your perennial favorites after a busy Christmas!

Since the pandemic began, it’s been a great joy to see many of you stopping in, healthy and looking for your next favorite read. But if you don’t have the time or ability to come in, we are happy to ship anywhere in the US, for you or as a gift. Shipping costs vary based on size and weight. Please email us at ddrbooks@wat.midco.net, call us at 605.868.3705, or order through our website at www.ddrbooks.com.

The season’s must-read is “The Children’s Blizzard,” by bestselling author Melanie Benjamin, a harrowing account of the 1888 natural disaster that threatened the lives of thousands of immigrant homesteaders across the Dakotas. The winner of the South Dakota Humanities Council Book of the Year, “The Children’s Blizzard” ($22.40) is based on actual oral histories of survivors. It follows the stories of two sisters, both schoolteachers—one becomes a hero of the storm and the other finds herself ostracized in the aftermath. It’s also the story of Anette Pedersen, a servant girl whose miraculous survival serves as a turning point in her life and touches the heart of Gavin Woodson, a newspaperman seeking redemption.

Benjamin writes, “At its heart, this is a story of courage, of children forced to grow up too soon, tied to the land because of their parents’ choices. It is a story of love taking root in the hard prairie ground, and of families being torn asunder by a ferocious storm that is little remembered today—because so many of its victims were immigrants to this country.”

Another fabulous recent release is number-one bestselling-author Kristin Hannah’s “The Four Winds,” which People Magazine called “a spectacular tour de force that shines a spotlight on the indispensable but often overlooked role of Greatest Generation women.”

Texas, 1921, is a land of abundance. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak–until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruins, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.

By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive. In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa―like so many of her neighbors―must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west.

The Four Winds ($23.19) is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it―the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, “The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

Other new fiction by well-loved authors includes Cate Quinn’s “Black Widows” ($26.99), a chilling murder mystery that takes a domestic thriller’s classic question—”Did his wife kill him?”—and twists it into a completely new type of suspense, and Goodreads’ most anticipated book of the year,The Paris Library($23.80) by Janet Skeslien Charles. The unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together is based on the true World-War-II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris and shows that extraordinary bravery can sometimes be found in the quietest of places.

One of our most gifted books during the holidays was South Dakota Magazine’sSky High South Dakota” ($39.95), an aerial tour of our beautiful state by acclaimed photographer Dave Tunge. Dave’s gorgeous artwork turns ripe cornfields and small towns into golden, sun-drenched canvases, letting us see our home in a totally new way.

Another Midwest-focused work reflects nature’s caprice and humans’ inherent strength. “In All Its Fury: A History of the Blizzard of January 12, 1888” ($27.99) is a reprint of accounts of one of the most destructive natural disasters in US history, affecting nearly one-third of the country. Its enduring effects can still be felt—the novel “The Children’s Blizzard” is set during the same storm. This non-fiction book is a collection of stories assembled by a 1940s’ group of Nebraskan amateur historians dedicated to recounting the heroism, fear, desperation, death, and courage the storm brought to the fore on the prairie.

Our new science releases include a variety of disciplines. Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s “Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age” ($25.20) offers insights from top scientists all over the world to help heighten and protect brain function and maintain cognitive health. Randall Munroe (creator of popular webcomic xkcd) gives hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask in “What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” ($21.60). What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last? His science-based and fully researched responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by his signature comics.

A popular New Year’s resolution is self-improvement, and DDR Books is here to help. New offerings include several NY Times bestsellers, led by “Think Again” by Adam Grant. Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. “Think Again” ($22.40) reveals that we don’t have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. It’s an invitation to let go of views that are no longer serving us well and prize mental flexibility over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom. In Boundaries” ($19.99), Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend help you learn when to say yes and know how to say no in order to take control of your life and set healthy, biblical boundaries with your spouse, children, friends, parents, co-workers, and even yourself.

Social justice and racism will continue to be major issues in 2021, and the NY Times has called How to Be an Antiracist,” by National Book Award-winner Ibram X. Kendi, “the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.” Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. How to Be an Antiracist” ($22.95) has been named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, The Washington Post, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and the Kirkus Reviews.

Kendi, along with Keisha N. Blain, also edited “Four Hundred Souls” ($27.20): A chorus of extraordinary voices tells the epic story of the 400-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present. This collection of diverse pieces approaches history through the eyes of towering historical icons and the untold stories of ordinary people, unlocking the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness.

As always, stay up to date on events, new releases, and important news at ddrbooks.com, on our Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to our emails at ddrbooks@wat.midco.net. Happy Reading!

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February 13, 2021