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

Politics, Sports, & Otis Redding | Nonfiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 5

Gould, Jonathan. Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life. Crown Archetype. May 2017. 480p. ISBN redding9780307453945. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780307453969. Downloadable: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY/MUSIC
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Otis Redding’s landmark performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival—and with the last year of his tragically short life—this book investigates the contributions of a man jazz musician Gould calls “the purest distillation of what we talk about when we talk about ‘soul.'”

Piniella, Lou & Bill Madden. Lou: Fifty Years of Kicking Dirt, Playing Hard, and Winning Big in the Sweet Spot of Baseball. Harper. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780062660794. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062660817. lrg. prnt. MEMOIR/SPORTS
Piniella played 16 full seasons in the Major Leagues, 11 of them for the New York Yankees, then had a long career as a manager. This memoir should have plenty to say that’s both personal and overarchingly aware of how major-league baseball has grown and changed in the last decades. With a 75,000-copy printing.

Positano, Rock & John Positano. Dinner with DiMaggio: Memories of An American Hero. S. & S. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781501156847. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501156861. MEMOIR/SPORTS
Here’s a fresh, new view of baseball great Joe DiMaggio, who was introduced to internationally renowned foot specialist Dr. Rock Positano following a career-sabotaging heel spur injury and subsequent botched surgeries. Positano shows us a  lion in the winter of his last ten years.

Rice, Condoleezza. Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom. Twelve. May 2017. 512p. ISBN 9781455540181. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781455540198. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. POLITICAL SCIENCE
While she’s currently the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, among other estimable posts, Rice is of course best known as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold that position. Here she tells us what events from the end of the Cold War to the current turmoil in the Middle East mean for democracy worldwide. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Sfard, Michael. The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights. Metropolitan: Holt. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781250122704. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781250122711. POLITICAL SCIENCE
Israel’s leading human rights lawyer, Sfard here considers key cases and issues in the ongoing human rights struggle in Israel, including deportations, confiscation of land, punitive home demolitions, torture, and targeted killings. In the title case, a farmer in the occupied West Bank soufansuddenly cut off from his olive groves by Israel’s controversial separation wall asks Sfard how to secure a gate in the wall–but would that legitimize the looming wall itself?

Soufan, Ali. Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State. Norton. May 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780393241174. $27.95. POLITICAL SCIENCE/TERRORISM
Author of the New York Times best seller The Black Banners, former FBI special agent Soufan reflects on the ongoing appeal of radical Islam, which has certainly survived the death of Osama bin Laden. The stories of true believers from a Jordanian drug dealer to an Iraqi intellectual to an air force colonel who served Saddam Hussein help clarify the arguments. Look for big media coverage.

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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.

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