LJ Best Books 2016

A jury of our peers discussed, debated, disagreed, and finally declared LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles. VISIT THE WEBSITE

The “New” University, Life of Indra Nevi, Political Power of Music, Plus Pro Media, Paris Memoirs | Social Sciences Reviews, April 15, 2015

redstarCrow, Michael M. & William B. Dabars. Designing the New American University. Johns Hopkins. 2015. 360p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781421417233. $34.95; ebk. ISBN 9781421417240. ED

designingnewuniversity42215This book stands out among many recent publications outlining the flaws in contemporary higher education because it combines its criticism with a thoughtful proposal for addressing the problems: the creation of the New American University. Crow and Dabars, president and research professor, respectively, at Arizona State University, praise the high quality of America’s elite research universities at institutionalizing late 19th-century initiatives but regret their restricted, elitist limitations. Instead, they call for a new vision combining broader access with excellent research and teaching. Universities have to serve more students, especially those from wider socioeconomic groups. Crow and Dabars offer a close analysis of the history and values that spawned our world-renowned research facilities and present a fresh model characterized by a pragmatic research structure and transdisciplinary organization. They describe the successful developments over the past decade at Arizona State, which has enrolled greater numbers of students and supported their achievement in a productive research environment. The authors assert that the New American University, focusing on expansion and scalability, is an essential approach to meet the nation’s need. VERDICT The authors present a dense and extensively investigated explanation of the strengths and limitations of our contemporary higher education environment and the possibilities of a new model represented by Arizona State.—Elizabeth Hayford, formerly with Associated Coll. of the Midwest, Evanston, IL

redstarGoldberg, Michelle. The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West. Knopf. Jun. 2015. 352p. notes. index. ISBN 9780307593511. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101874646. BIOG

goddesspose42215Inspired by her interest in yoga, journalist and author Goldberg (The Means of Reproduction) gives us a highly readable biography of the so-called “first lady of yoga,” an eccentric personality who has also been called a female Forrest Gump because of the wide-ranging nature of her experiences. Born Eugenia Peterson in czarist Russia, the self-proclaimed Indra Devi (1899–2002) reinvented herself many times over as she traveled throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the United States over the course of her century-long life. Fascinated with spiritualism and the occult from an early age, the rebellious and nomadic Devi journeyed to India to learn the secrets of yoga and brought her craft to southern California in the post–World War II years just as New Age culture was emerging. A tutor to Gloria Swanson, Jennifer Jones, and Greta Garbo among others, Devi became internationally renown as the global interest in yoga exploded in the 1990s. This painstakingly researched book is more than mere biography, however. It helps readers to understand where yoga, as we practice it in the West, came from and how it differs from its roots. VERDICT Highly recommended for general readers and cultural historians alike. This fascinating and groundbreaking book should be enthusiastically received by a wide audience. [See Prepub Alert, 11/17/14.]—Marie M. Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., NJ

redstarTolan, Sandy. Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land. Bloomsbury USA. Apr. 2015. 480p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781608198139. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781608198177. POL SCI

childrenofthestone42215Tolan (journalism, Univ. of Southern California Annenberg Sch. for Communication and Journalism; The Lemon Tree) has masterfully woven the story of the creation of a Palestinian music school, Al Kamandjâti; the struggles of the man, Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, who built the school with the help of multiple international supporters; and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Tolan takes the reader on a journey that follows the life of a young Palestinian boy from the time he was abandoned by his mother, through his years as a shahab (name given to Palestinian youths who throw stones) to his success as a musician and leader of a Palestinian orchestra. The education provided by the school, and the concerts that Ramzi’s orchestra would perform, were designed with two primary goals. First, that he could in some way help to heal the pain suffered by the children of Palestine by giving them something in which they could find joy. Secondly, that the orchestra could assist in knocking down the walls dividing cultures by bringing young musicians from around the world to play together, work side by side, and teach one another. Tolan’s incredible ability to tell the moving true stories of individuals with the historical backdrop of the Arab-Israeli conflict is again on display here. VERDICT This inspiring tale will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in humanity, Middle Eastern studies, the Arab-Israeli conflict, or the healing power of music. [See “Editors’ Spring Picks,” LJ 2/15/15, p. 33.]—Brenna Smeall, AtoZdatabases, Omaha, NE

April in paris

redstarBaxter, John. Five Nights in Paris: After Dark in the City of Light. Harper Perennial. Apr. 2015. 352p. photos. index. ISBN 9780062296252. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062296269. TRAV

fivenightsinparis42215Well-known biographer and film critic Baxter (Paris at the End of the World) has produced a fourth book on his most beloved of cities, this time focusing on the peculiarities of the Paris night. Readers might presume that this is a suggested itinerary of sorts, and though Baxter reveals that he leads literary walking tours in Paris, this volume provides little in the way of practical information. Rather, this is armchair travel at its very best. Baxter, whose knowledge of Paris’s recent cultural history is vast, is a worthy guide. Fascinating stories and anecdotes are framed by a tantalizing focus on sight, sound, scent, taste, and touch. As we stroll the crooked streets of the Marais, we can almost hear the faint, tinkling music and rowdy shouting of long-gone cafés. We smell the pissoirs and parfumeries in equal measure. Baxter’s poetic language (“the autumn sun’s rancid light,” “that crocodile of preschoolers, hands linked”) packs a punch. VERDICT Readers will emerge from the experience of this book feeling like well-traveled experts on the City of Light’s sensual history. Charming personal photographs strewn throughout only increase the sense that one is dipping into delicious secrets.—Erin O. ­Romanyshyn, Frances ­Morrison Central Lib., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Betts, Kate. My Paris Dream: An Education in Style, Slang, and Seduction in the Great City on the Seine. Spiegel & Grau. May 2015. 256p. photos. ISBN 9780679644422. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780679644439. MEMOIR

A move to Paris after her graduation from Princeton University provided journalist Betts (Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style) with a real-life postgraduate education in both French life and fashion. Betts, who eventually rose through the well-dressed ranks at various publications before becoming a senior editor at Vogue and editor of Harper’s Bazaar, concentrates her attentions here on the several years in the 1980s she spent in Paris. This was a time of absorbing the mysteries of French chic from friends and lovers as well as the realities of the fashion publishing world from her associates at W and WWD, where she toiled while trying to figure out whether her future was in France or the United States. The breakneck pace of magazine publishing was often at odds with the more leisurely milieu of friends, food, and fun the author’s Parisian acquaintances inhabited, and required a fair amount of juggling of travel, dates, and wardrobe. Betts’s account of those tumultuous years is replete with industry gossip but also conveys the importance of the business in economic and historic terms. VERDICT Francophiles and fashonistas alike will enjoy this look back at the practical, not sentimental, education of an American in Paris. [See Prepub Alert, 11/10/14.]—Thérèse Purcell Nielsen, Huntington P.L., NY

Downie, David. A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2015. 320p. illus. ISBN 9781250043153. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466841253. TRAV

Downie (Paris, Paris; Paris to the Pyrenees) adds to his travel oeuvre with an exploration of Paris in the Romantic Age. Through literary, artistic, and political lenses, the author describes the emergence of the Romantics in the 1830s and their influence on Paris for the next 20 years. From the love triangle of ­Victor Hugo, his wife, and Charles-­Augustin Sainte-Beuve to Romantic Parisian architecture, Downie covers a wide range of topics and features photographs and illustrations to visually support the text. He describes his travels through the world of the ­Romantics and encourages readers to visit these Parisian spots made famous by the likes of ­Alexandre Dumas, Franz Liszt, George Sand, and many others. He also provides a listing of key dates and characters of the period. VERDICT This title will appeal to lovers of the City of Light who are interested in a more in-depth exploration of the metropolis. Those with an interest in the music, art, and literature of the Romantic Age will find the work engaging.—Lacy S. Wolfe, Ouachita ­Baptist Univ. Lib., Arkadelphia, AR

Professional Media

redstarBizzle, Ben with Maria Flora. Start a Revolution: Stop Acting Like a Library. ALA Editions. 2015. 208p. index. ISBN 9780838912676. pap. $52. PRO MEDIA

startarevolution42215Library services have moved into the 21st century, but promotional efforts haven’t kept pace with the times, writes Bizzle (director of technology, Craighead Cty. Jonesboro P.L.). Using eCards, promotional videos, yard signs, and billboards, the Jonesboro Public Library increased attendance at its programs and the use of services, creating an updated image reflective of the digital age. Bizzle is a 2013 LJ Mover and Shaker (see ow.ly/KPGox), and this book is based on presentations he has made to the library community. Humor plays a big part in the author’s marketing strategy, and he provides examples of how his tactics have reached new users. In a simple, straightforward manner, Bizzle demonstrates how a campaign increased library visitors by 90 percent in three years. He also stresses the importance of a mobile presence and of Facebook. Included are chapters on Twitter and Pinterest, written by other authors, as they are not part of the Jonesboro marketing strategy. “Convincing the Decision Makers” is the money chapter, and in it, Bizzle describes the approaches that worked for him with the library director and board. VERDICT Highly recommended and especially useful for public libraries, but all libraries will find the marketing strategies for public awareness and support of programs valuable.—Susan Belsky, Oshkosh P.L., WI

redstarPalfrey, John. Bibliotech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google. Basic. May 2015. 240p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780465042999. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780465040605. PRO MEDIA

bibliotech42215In his latest book, Palfrey (head, Phillips Andover Academy; board of directors, Digital P.L. of America; Born Digital) offers a celebration of libraries as well as a dose of tough love. The author believes that libraries are critical to the future of American democracy, social justice, and cultural preservation, but they must be willing to adapt and innovate in order to remain relevant as society transitions from preferring mostly analog to mostly digital. He argues that libraries’ primary focus should no longer be information access and collections, although these will remain important, but they will need to focus on knowledge creation, collaboration, and dissemination. This book is a starting point for thinking about libraries’ role in an increasingly digital and connected society, but there is still a lot more work that could and should be done to extend Palfrey’s arguments. Chapters are arranged thematically and can be read in any order. VERDICT ­Palfrey’s intended audience is non­librarians, and library advocates will find this approach to be useful for thinking about the future without resorting to nostalgia. While it’s not specifically written for them, this work should be required reading for librarians, particularly those who are looking to lead their libraries into the future.—Amanda Folk, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib., Greensburg

Smith, Kevin L. Owning and Using Scholarship: An IP Handbook for Teachers and Researchers. ACRL. 2015. 240p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780838987476. pap. $54. PRO MEDIA

Attorney Smith (director, Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communications, Duke Univ. Libs.) tackles the subject of intellectual property law, relating arguments and concepts most relevant to scholarship and teaching. The author achieves this goal in plain English, quite an accomplishment considering the complexity of the topic. But that’s not to say Smith pulls any punches. He guides the reader down the trail of relevant cases, explaining where intellectual property laws are in flux and why. Most helpful are the examples called out in text with a large black bar in which Smith explicates real-world situations, allowing the reader to draw parallels and make comparisons. The coverage is ample as well, ranging from what intellectual property law is and why it matters to questions of ownership, using copyrighted works in scholarship, copyright management and dissemination of scholarship, and licensing and technological measures. Smith also gives fair use and Creative Commons licensing plenty of stage time. A competing title, Donna L. Ferullo’s Managing Copyright in Higher Education, offers a librarian’s perspective. While Smith is not a librarian, he shows his awareness of library challenges throughout. VERDICT A fantastic intellectual property law resource for librarians and teachers at all levels.—Paul Stenis, Pepperdine Univ. Lib., Malibu, CA

 

 

Spy Stories

redstarCopeland, Cyrus M. Off the Radar: A Father’s Secret, a Mother’s Heroism, and a Son’s Quest. Blue Rider: Penguin. 2015. 368p. bibliog. ISBN 9780399158506. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698170728. CRIME

offtheradar42215Copeland’s book traces a personal, emotional, and ultimately satisfying journey of a son trying to discover who his father really was. Using journals, interviews with his father’s friends and former coworkers, and frank discussions with his mother, the author here puts the pieces together to find out if his father was a CIA agent in Iran during the revolution in the late 1970s. Born in Oklahoma, Max Copeland toured the world at a young age, married Shahin, an Iranian woman, converted to Islam, and moved the family to Iran to eventually become an employee of Westinghouse. Things turn as Max is accused of being a CIA spy and is put on trial for his life. The author weaves a tale full of uncertainty, tension, and drama. The character that shines the most is Shahin, who fights with all of her strength, intelligence, and will as she tries to save her husband and family, not knowing for sure if he is truly a spy or not. VERDICT This brilliant, touching tale of espionage, discovering family, and balancing cultures is recommended for fans of memoirs, spy stories, and Iranian culture. [See Prepub Alert, 7/21/14.]—Ryan Claringbole, Coll. Lib. at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

Jamali, Naveed & Ellis Henican. How To Catch a Russian Spy: The True Story of an American Civilian Turned Double Agent. Scribner. Jun. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781476788821. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781476788852. CRIME

This is the true account of an aspiring intelligence officer’s attempts to forge a fulfilling and patriotic career path following the September 11, 2001 attacks. It offers a voyeuristic peek at a unique counterintelligence experience from the perspective of a keen neophyte. ­Jamali spent three years trading thumb drives with Russia—not, as they thought, as a spy for them, but as a double agent working for the FBI. The book’s mildly uneven pacing is not objectionable, as it echoes Jamali’s uneven progress through the narrative; likewise, his penchant for comparing real-life events to famous scenes in movies (such as Rob Cohen’s film xXx) amusingly emphasizes his inexperience. It is difficult to sympathize with Jamali’s periodic impatience with respect to making a name for himself, as it comes off as selfish compared to the broader scope of the operation. Still, these apparent criticisms lend a sense of realism to the story, reminding the reader that it is a human being putting himself at risk for his country. VERDICT Readers interested in intelligence operations, U.S.–Russia relations, and career development will find various aspects of this tale compelling. [Film rights have been sold to 20th Century Fox.—Ed.] [See Prepub Alert, 11/24/14.]—Ricardo Laskaris, York Univ. Lib., Toronto

McDonald, Deborah & Jeremy Dronfield. A Very Dangerous Woman: The Lives, Loves and Lies of Russia’s Most Seductive Spy. Oneworld Pubs. Jun. 2015. 368p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781780747088. $27.99. CRIME

averydangerouswoman42215Great biographies can easily transport a reader into a different time and place, especially those places that are often in hurly-burly. McDonald (The Prince, His Tutor and the Ripper) and Dronfield (The Locust Farm) detail the life of Moura Budberg (1892–1974), a noble Russian émigré who was a European socialite and, more important, a Soviet-British double spy. The authors draw on diaries, correspondence, and newly released files to create a powerful study that attracts sympathy toward their subject. It also produces a great snapshot of life in Russia during the collapse of the czarist regime through the early part of the Joseph Stalin era. Survival was the main thrust of why Budberg became a spy—and was behind whom she chose as confidants and partners. Sympathy was earned because of what she lost in terms of love, and those close to her who were killed. This book is in good company with recent works about espionage such as Ben Macintyre’s A Spy Among Friends and Karen Abbott’s Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy. VERDICT Recommended for fans of espionage and strong-willed women as well as biography connoisseurs.—Jacob Sherman, John Peace Lib., Univ. of Texas–San Antonio

Trabue, Alan B. A Life of Lies and Spies: Tales of a CIA Covert Ops Polygraph Interrogator. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781250065049. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466871557. CRIME

A second-generation CIA employee, Trabue spent four decades with the agency, most of it with the polygraph division. The use and accuracy of this technique is controversial within the intelligence community. Most of this book is about the author’s many missions abroad to conduct tests on foreign agents and employees in the field, to try to assess their truthfulness and the value of their information. This could be nerve-racking as the local security services weren’t always friendly and case officers weren’t always professional; Trabue survived some dangerous moments. He makes this a personal story, with some generalized details as to cases, tradecraft, and how the process of conducting these examinations actually worked, and doesn’t dwell on policies or bureaucratic politics. As often happens with the art of intelligence work, success boils down to the experience and skills of the individual, plus a little luck, although even the veterans can be fooled sometimes. Effective training, which Trabue enjoyed, is key to providing a solid foundation to doing these jobs. VERDICT For anyone interested in spy operations and the use of lie detectors.—Daniel Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL

Stalin and Family

Khlevniuk, Oleg V. Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator. Yale Univ. May 2015. 424p. tr. from Russian by Nora S. Favorov. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9780300163889. $35. BIOG

stalin42215Russia has been ruled by a long list of tyrants. Khlevniuk (History of the Gulag), a senior research fellow at several Russian institutes including the State Archive of the Russian Federation, places Joseph Stalin (1878–1953) if not first, certainly among the top, of this ignominious list. Stalin was responsible for the suffering and death of millions during his 24-year reign. His rule of the Soviet Union was empowered by paranoia, spying, and denunciation from the highest levels of the Kremlin to the lives of everyday citizens. Extensively footnoted with newly accessible sources from Russian state archives, Khlevniuk’s work convincingly proves that the policies of terror, assassination, state-sponsored famine, and the Gulag were conceived by Stalin and carried out with his full knowledge and approval. Although Stephen Kotkin’s Stalin: Paradoxes of Power 1878–1928 has more historical context, Khlevniuk meticulously charts, in one volume, Stalin’s entire life from childhood poverty through his rise to power and years of rule, with a dramatic recounting of the last few days of the despot’s experience. ­VERDICT Readers with an interest in Soviet history, and those who can’t wait for the next two volumes of Kotkin’s Stalin, will appreciate this well-documented portrayal of a man whose despotic rule reverberates in Russia to this day.—Laurie Unger Skinner, Coll. of Lake County, Waukegan, IL

Sullivan, Rosemary. Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva. Harper. Jun. 2015. 752p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062206107. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780062206145. BIOG

Sullivan’s (Villa Air-Bel) biography of Svetlana Alliluyeva (1926–2011), daughter of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, is insightful and thoroughly researched. Drawing from Svetlana’s personal lifelong correspondence and interviews with family and friends, Sullivan paints a portrait of a woman at times conflicted over her sense of self, often used as a pawn in the battle of ideology between East and West, and forever caught, despite her own efforts, in her father’s shadow. When Svetlana defected, she traded political oppression for freedom of expression. She also experienced the unsettling transition away from a privileged position within Soviet society to being a functioning member of the capitalist West. Her lack of proficiency with matters of finance, along with her frequent struggles to find love and happiness, were major, long-standing themes. Sullivan frequently highlights instances when Svetlana’s lack of fiscal acuity or her willingness to be influenced by those who claimed her affections exacerbated difficult situations or even assisted in their creation. VERDICT This excellent and engrossing biography is suitable for anyone interested in Russian history or in Svetlana’s struggle to make a difference in a world that never could separate her from her father. [See Prepub Alert, 9/14/14.]—Elizabeth Zeitz, Otterbein Univ. Lib., ­Westerville, OH

 

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
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Biography

Bingham, Emily. Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham. Farrar. Jun. 2015. 384p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780809094646. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780374713805. BIOG

Brands, H.W. Reagan: The Life. Doubleday. Jun. 2015. 816p. notes. index. ISBN 9780385536394. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780385536400. BIOG

redstarHartnett, Kimberly Marlowe. Carolina Israelite: How Harry Golden Made Us Care About Jews, the South, and Civil Rights. Univ. of North Carolina. May 2015. 432p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781469621036. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781469621043. BIOG

Mann, Sally. Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs. Little, Brown. May 2015. 496p. ISBN 9780316247764. $32; ebk. ISBN 9780316247740. MEMOIR

Sacks, Oliver. On the Move: A Life. Knopf. May 2015. 416p. index. ISBN 9780385352543. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385352550. AUTOBIOG

Seyler, Dorothy U. The Obelisk and the Englishman: The Pioneering Discoveries of Egyptologist William Bankes. Prometheus. May 2015. 300p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781633880368. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781633880375. HIST

Economics

Batra, Ravi. End Unemployment Now: How To Eliminate Joblessness, Debt, and Poverty Despite Congress. Palgrave Macmillan. May 2015. 256p. illus. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781137280077. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781466878891. ECON

Branch, Miko with Titi Branch. Miss Jessie’s: Creating a Successful Business from Scratch—Naturally. Amistad: HarperCollins. Apr. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062329189. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062329202. BUS

redstarKotler, Philip. Confronting Capitalism: Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System. AMACOM. Apr. 2015. 256p. notes. index. ISBN 9780814436455. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780814436462. ECON

Richards, Carl. The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way To Be Smart About Your Money. Portfolio. 2015. 224p. illus. ISBN 9781591847557. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698184565. BUS

Education

redstarGarton, Christie. UChic: College Girls’ Real Advice for Your First Year (and Beyond!) Sourcebooks. Apr. 2015. 432p. index. ISBN 9781492613350. pap. $14.99. ED

Jennings, Jack. Presidents, Congress, and the Public Schools: The Politics of Education Reform. Harvard Education. 2015. 264p. notes. index. ISBN 9781612507972. $70; pap. ISBN 9781612507965. $35. ED

History

Bregman, Ahron. Cursed Victory: Israel and the Occupied Territories. Pegasus. May 2015. 424p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781605987804. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781605987811. HIST

Bryant, Jonathan M. Dark Places of the Earth: The Voyage of the Slave Ship Antelope. Liveright: Norton. Jul. 2015. 416p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780871406750. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781631490774. HIST

Crutchfield, James A. Revolt at Taos: The New Mexican and Indian Insurrection of 1847. Westholme. May 2015. 248p. photos. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781594162237. $28. HIST

Goldstone, Nancy. The Rival Queens: Catherine de’ Medici, Her Daugher Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom. Little, Brown. Jun. 2015. 448p. photos. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780316409650. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780316409674. HIST

Green, Kristen. Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle. Harper. Jun. 2015. 320p. notes. index. ISBN 9780062268679. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062268693. HIST

Hajari, Nisid. Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition. Houghton Harcourt. Jun. 2015. 336p. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780547669212. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780547669243. HIST

Laoutaris, Chris. Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle That Gave Birth to the Globe. Pegasus. Jun. 2015. 544p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781605987927. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781605987934. HIST

Newkirk, Pamela. Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga. Amistad: HarperCollins. Jun. 2015. 304p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780062201003. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062201010. HIST

Schultz, Kevin M. Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship That Shaped the Sixties. Norton. Jun. 2015. 400p. notes. index. ISBN 9780393088717. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393248234. HIST

Law & Crime

redstarBenforado, Adam. Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice. Crown. Jun. 2015. 400p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780770437763. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780770437770. LAW

The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Cambridge Univ. 2015. 336p. ed. by Scott Dodson. notes. index. ISBN 9781107062467. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781316234785. LAW

Political Science

Axelrod, David. Believer: My Forty Years in Politics. Penguin Pr. 2015. 528p. photos. index. ISBN 9781594205873. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780698145665. POL SCI

Smith, Mike. Boko Haram: Inside Nigeria’s Unholy War. I.B.Tauris. 2015. 256p. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781784530747. $29; ebk. ISBN 9780857735775. POL SCI

Stern, Jessica & J.M. Berger. ISIS: The State of Terror. Ecco: HarperCollins. 2015. 416p. notes. index. ISBN 9780062395542. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062395566. POL SCI

redstarTudor, Daniel & James Pearson. North Korea Confidential: Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters and Defectors. Tuttle. Apr. 2015. 192p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9780804844581. $21.95; ebk. ISBN 9781462915125. POL SCI

Psychology

Lambert, Craig. Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day. Counterpoint. May 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781619025257. $26. PSYCH

Patrick, Wendy L. Red Flags: How To Spot Frenemies, Underminers, and Toxic People in Your Life. St. Martin’s. May 2015. 320p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781250052926. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466869714. PSYCH

Social Science

Barcott, Bruce. Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America. Time Home Entertainment. Apr. 2015. 400p. notes. ISBN 9781618931405. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781618936073. SOC SCI

City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis. Farrar. May 2015. 496p. ed. by Keith Gessen & Stephen Squibb. maps. ISBN 9780865478312. pap. $17; ebk. ISBN 9780374713409. SOC SCI

Hedges, Chris. Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt. Nation: Perseus. May 2015. 304p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781568589664. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781568584904. SOC SCI

Travel & Geography

Abroad at Home: The 600 Best International Travel Experiences in North America. National Geographic. 2015. 288p. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9781426214998. pap. $24.95. TRAV

Buck, Rinker. The Oregon Trail: An American Journey. S. & S. Jun. 2015. 480p. photos. maps. ISBN 9781451659160. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781451659184. TRAV

Papp, Hannah. The Mystical Backpacker. Atria. May 2015. 272p. illus. notes. ISBN 9781582704869. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781476771465. TRAV

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