Nicholson Baker, Mike Love, Danielle Trussoni, Jennifer Weiner | Essential Memoirs, Sept. 2016, Pt. 1


Baker, Nicholson. Substitute. Blue Rider. Sept. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780399160981. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780399160981. MEMOIR Mention Baker’s name, and folks will likely think first of his daring and deeply descriptive novels, like Vox and House of Holes. But let’s remember that he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction, namely, Double Fold: Libraries […]

The Editor’s Life, the Designer’s Life, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 3


Byatt, A.S. Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano Fortuny. Knopf. Aug. 2016. 192p. ISBN 9781101947470. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101947487. LITERARY/DESIGN Englishman William Morris famously revolutionized design in the second half of the 19th century, while Spanish aristocrat Mariano Fortuny contributed his own radical ideas on everything from women’s fashion to stage lighting. Booker […]

Famous Fossils, Parenting Issues, & the Microbes Within | Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 2


Gopnik, Alison. The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children. Farrar. Aug. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780374229702. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781429944335. PSYCHOLOGY A professor of psychology and an affiliate professor of philosophy at Berkeley, Gopnik argues that while caring for children is clearly […]

A Celebrity Friendship, a Musician as Healer, & More | Biography/Memoir Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1


Achon, Julius & John Brant. The Boy Who Runs: The Odyssey of Julius Achon. Ballantine. Aug. 2016. 272p. ISBN 9780553392159. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780553392166. Downloadable: Random Audio.  BIOGRAPHY Born into poverty in Uganda, Achon was forced into the horrific Lord’s Resistance Army at age 12 but escaped to become a gifted local runner. He was […]

The Idiot Brain, Fashion Photography, the Microbiome, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 3


Burnett, Dean. Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To. Norton. Jul. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780393253788. $26.95. COGNITIVE SCIENCE Ever popular, books about the brain typically extol its wonders, but Burnett lets us in on all the weird things it does, ranging from blackouts to insomnia, and all the mistakes we’ve made in trying […]

From the U.S. Post Office to the Fall of the Shah | History Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 2


Cooper, Andrew Scott. The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran. Holt. Jul. 2016. 624p. ISBN 9780805098976. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780805098983. HISTORY/MIDDLE EAST When it comes to Iran, Cooper knows his stuff; author of The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in […]

Brazillionaires, Surveillance, & the U.S. Diplomatic Corps | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 1


Carville, James. We’re Still Right–And They’re Still Wrong. Blue Rider. Jul. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780399576225. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780399576232. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. POLITICAL SCIENCE In his follow-up to the 1996 best seller We’re Right, They’re Wrong, Democratic stalwart Carville argues that the policies initially enacted by President Bill Clinton and continued by President Barack Obama […]

Nature, Nurture, & Technology | Science Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 5


Balcombe, Jonathan. What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins. Scientific American: Farrar. Jun. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780374288211. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374714338. NATURE/FISH Admit it; you don’t think a lot about fish. But there are actually 30,000 species of our wet, wriggly brethren, more than all mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian species combined. […]

On Hemingway, Soccer, New Possibilities, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 5


Blume, Lesley. Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises. Eamon Dolan: Houghton Harcourt. Jun. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780544276000. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780544237179. LITERARY HISTORY Award-winning journalist and cultural historian Blume takes us back to the summer of 1925, when a struggling newspaper stringer traveled to Pamplona, Spain, with a group […]

Four Books for Foodies | Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 4


Behr, Edward. The Food and Wine of France: Eating and Drinking from Champagne to Provence. Penguin Pr. Jun. 2016. 352p. ISBN 9781594204524. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780399564024. COOKING Most people think French food and wine are the world’s best, but what does best mean? Behr, an important food writer who founded the food magazine The Art […]