Nonfiction Previews

Kennedys and Johnsons: Three Fresh Takes | Nonfiction Previews, Nov. 2015, Pt. 2

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Caroli, Betty. Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President. S. & S. Nov. 2015. 464p. ISBN 9781439191224. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781439191248. BIOGRAPHY Some folks say that Lyndon Baines Johnson married Lady Bird for her money and treated her badly. But not Caroli, who here portrays Lady Bird as […]

Cultural Conversations, from The New Yorker to Film to St. Mark’s Place | Nonfiction Previews, Nov. 2015, Pt. 1

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Calhoun, Ada. St. Marks Is Dead : The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street. Norton. Nov. 2015. 400p. ISBN 9780393240382. $27.95. SOCIAL SCIENCE St. Mark’s Place, in lower Manhattan, occupies only three blocks, but in the intellectual life of the country it occupies a much grander space. Starting out as Colonial Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant’s pear […]

Two North Korean Memoirs, a Challenge to Fracking, Ted Koppel on Cyberattack Unpreparedness, & More | More Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 5

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Briggle, Adam. A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking: How One Texas Town Stood Up to Big Oil and Gas. Liveright: Norton. Oct. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9781631490071. $26.95. SCIENCE/ENERGY Yes, philosophy professors can go activist, as Briggle did when he moved to Denton, TX, to teach at the University of North Texas. He quickly became an […]

Sing Along with Carrie Brownstein, Elvis Costello, Beyoncé, & More | Music Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 5

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Bareilles, Sara. Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song. S. & S. Oct. 2015. 208p. ISBN 9781476727776. $28. MEMOIR The five-time Grammy Award–nominated American singer-songwriter and musician talks about her craft in that same revelatory style that has made her a big name since her 2007 hit, “Love Song.” The life balance she […]

Eight Essential Memoirs from Barrymore, Cisneros, Fraser, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 4

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Barrymore, Drew. Wildflower. Dutton. Oct. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781101983799. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101983805. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR While 1990’s Little Girl Lost details Barrymore’s drug and alcohol abuse as a very young actress, this book covers the durable actress’s life since age 14, when she found herself living on her own. How it’s all come […]

Luc Sante’s Paris, Sarah Vowell’s Lafayette, World War II Revisionism, & More | History & Biography Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 3

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Brown, Richard H. & Paul E. Cohen. Revolution: Mapping the Road to American Independence, 1755–1783. Norton. Oct. 2015. 160p. ISBN 9780393060324. $75. HISTORY When war broke out between Britain and its American colonies, surveyors, artists, and engravers rushed to capture the ever-changing topography of the various battlefields, thus providing important visual information for combatants—and an […]

Four Essential Sci/Med Titles from Tim Flannery, Lisa Randall, & More | Nonfiction Previews, October 2015, Pt. 2

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Flannery, Tim. Atmosphere of Hope: The Search for Solutions to the Climate Crisis. Atlantic Monthly. Oct. 2015. 256p. ISBN 9780802124067. $27; ebk. ISBN9780802190925. NATURE Ten years ago, Flannery helped jump-start the conversation on climate change with The Weather Makers, a No. 1 international best seller that was named an ALA Notable Book and has over […]

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

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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, married with three children and on a downward slide, his film and recording studios having dropped him. Gardner […]

From Sisters in Law O’Connor & Ginsburg to Expanding Children’s Brains | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 4,

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Ananthaswamy, Anil. The Man Who Wasn’t There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self. Dutton. Aug.  2015. 320p. ISBN 9780525954194. $26.95. MEDICAL If you like Oliver Sacks, you’ll love this new work by Ananthaswamy, an award-winning science journalist and former deputy news editor and current consultant for New Scientist. His smart approach to […]

Biography (e.g., J.M. Coetzee, Mary McGrory) & History (e.g., World War II) | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 3

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Attwell, David. J.M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing: Face to Face with Time. Viking. Sept. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780525429616. $27.95. LITERARY CRITICISM/BIOGRAPHY Currently a professor at the University of York, Attwell completed an MA in African literary theory and criticism at the University of Cape Town, where his supervisor was Nobel Prize–winning novelist J.M. […]