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

Frank Sinatra at 100 | Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 1

Brady, John. Frank & Ava: In Love and War. Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781250070913. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466881570. BIOGRAPHY
Rising star Ava Gardner had two brief marriages behind her when she first encountered Frank Sinatra, frankandavamarried with three children and on a downward slide, his film and recording studios having dropped him. Gardner was the good-luck charm he pursued all over Europe, and their affair and subsequent marriage were notorious. Brady was working at Reprise Records in the 1970s when he met Sinatra, as well as other artists whom he interviewed to tell this love story, which should give this book an authentic feel.

Hamill, Pete. Why Sinatra Matters. Little, Brown. Oct. 2015. 208p. ISBN 9780316347174. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316069540. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316150996. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. BIOGRAPHY
Originally published in 1999, this book is being reissued with a new introduction by noted journalist/novelist Hamill, a longtime friend of Sinatra. In the New York Times Book Review, critic/playwright Terry Teachout summed up the book by saying, “A graceful reminiscence of Sinatra after hours serves as the frame for shrewd reflections on the singer’s art, his personality, his audience, and—most interesting—his ethnicity, a subject about which Hamill, against all odds, contrives to say fresh and persuasive things.”

Howick, Andrew & Barbara Sinatra. Sinatra: The Photographs. Abrams. Oct. 2015. 224p. ISBN 9781419717925. $50. PHOTOG
Presenting works mostly by Bob Willoughby, Sid Avery, Ted Allan, and Ed Thrasher, who were especially significant in shaping Frank Sinatra’s image, this book sparkles with photographs both well known and rare, showing the artist in recording studios and concerts and on the film set. Thoughts, too, from people who knew him. With an introduction from Sinatra’s fourth and final wife.

Kaplan, James. Sinatra: The Chairman. Doubleday. Oct. 2015. 992p. ISBN 9780385535397. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780385535403. BIOGRAPHY
Prolific business and pop culture commentator Kaplan here picks up where he left off in his 2010 best-selling Frank: The Voice, with Sinatra coming out of a slump by grabbing the little gold statue as best supporting actor in From Here to Eternity. He went on to reinvigorate his singing career, shoot multiple movies, appear in concert and nightclub performances, found a recording company, and much more.

Lehman, David. Sinatra’s Century: One Hundred Notes on the Man and His World. Harper. Oct. 2015. 224p. ISBN 9780061780066. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062408822. BIOGRAPHY
This book offers 100 brief meditations on Sinatra and his music. Lots of fans out there could write 100 mash notes, but what sinatraat100makes this book so special is that the fan in question is distinguished poet Lehman, editor of the “Best American Poetry” series and the Oxford Book of American Poetry. So expect elegant writing and creative insight along with the outpouring of affection.

Pignone, Charles. Sinatra 100. Thames & Hudson. Oct. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780500517826. $60. PHOTOG
Created with the help of Sinatra’s three children, this huge Sinatra celebration includes previously unseen photographs (plus some classics), as well as eye-opening examples of memorabilia and ephemera—over half never before published. The text is drawn from unpublished personal interviews and conversations with Sinatra and his friends, family, and colleagues. For Pignone, author of the New York Times best seller The Sinatra Treasures and vice president of Frank Sinatra Enterprises, it’s clearly a labor of love, and for fans it will be just pure love.

Share
Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.