Five Essential Historical Titles | Nonfiction Previews, Dec. 2015, Pt. 2


Crowley, Roger. Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire. Random. Dec. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9780812994001. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780812994018. HISTORY Crowley spent some of his childhood in Malta, hung around Greece the summer after finishing school, and taught in Istanbul after reading English at Cambridge, and his enduring interest in the history of the […]

Sports, the Middle East, & the U.S. Presidential Campaign | Social Science Previews, Dec. 2015, Pt. 1


Coppins, McKay. The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party’s Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House. Little, Brown. Dec. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780316327411. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316327466. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316383714. POLITICAL SCIENCE With all the candidates vying for the Republican nomination for the U.S. presidency, wouldn’t it be nice to have […]

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 […]