Armour, Vernice “FlyGirl.” Zero to Breakthrough: The 7-Step, Battle-Tested Method for Accomplishing Goals That Matter. Gotham Bks: Penguin Group (USA). May 2011. NAp. ISBN 9781592406241. $26.
Self-help comes in so many forms today. Here’s advice from the first female African American combat pilot, who’s since become a motivational speaker and is set to make you soar personally and professionally.

Barry, Dan. Bottom of the 33rd: Hope and Redemption in Baseball’s Longest Game. Harper: HarperCollins. May 2011. 288p. ISBN 9780062014481. $26.99.
Two minor league teams‚ the Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox‚ began slugging it out on Holy Saturday night, April 18, 1981, saw play suspended after eight hours and 32 innings, and returned for the 33rd and final inning on June 23. This account of baseball’s longest game has a lot to teach us about the sport, from the dedication of minor leaguers and small-town fans to the problems caused by too-rigid rules. Two of the players ended up in the Hall of Fame. A refreshing change from the big glossies; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Cannon, Dyan. Dear Cary. It: HarperCollins. Mar. 2011. 224p. ISBN 9780061961403. $24.99. lrg prnt.
Cannon isn’t dishing the dirt or aiming to get even in this account of her life with Cary Grant. Instead, she finally comes to terms with why their marriage didn’t last and learns to accept Grant’s death. For readers who love the oldies but goodies; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Carroll, Andrew. Here Is Where: Discovering America’s Great Forgotten History. Crown Archetype. May 2011. 304p. ISBN 9780307463975. $25.99. eISBN 9780307463999. CD/Download: Random Audio.
With backing from National Geographic, Carroll encourages citizen historians to find local hot spots where important events occurred; this 50-state tour offers plenty of examples. Consider if you have citizen historians of your own.

Carroll, James. Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited the Modern World. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2011. 448p. ISBN 9780547195612. $28. eISBN 9780547549057.
Author of the admirable Constantine’s Sword and winner of the first PEN/Galbraith Award, Carroll here explores not Jerusalem but the idea of Jerusalem‚ how, from the Crusades to Christopher Columbus’s Jerusalem-centric view (ultimately replicated in the American notion of the City on the Hill) to the founding of Israel, the city has inspired passionate idealism and hence conflict. With a seven-city tour to New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco; one of my nonfiction favorites.

Denmead, Ken. The Geek Dad’s Guide to Weekend Fun: Cool Hacks, Cutting-Edge Games, and More Awesome Projects for the Whole Family. Gotham Bks: Penguin Group (USA). May 2011. NAp. ISBN 9781592406449. pap. $17.
Who would have imagined that Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids To Share would become an instant New York Times best seller? Here’s a follow-up with more cool projects.

DioGuardi, Kara. A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love, and American Idol. It: HarperCollins. May 2011. 224p. ISBN 9780062059895. $24.99.
DioGuardi is likely best known as a judge on American Idol, but she’s also a songwriter for major talents like Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Santana, and Enrique Iglesias. Part memoir, part motivation, this is an account of how she’s worked through some tough stuff‚ including crippling stage fright and the uphill battle in a male-dominated business‚ to write those songs. Idol fans and her 80,000 Twitter followers will want; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Dukan, Pierre, M.D. The Dukan Diet. Crown Archetype. May 2011. 302p. ISBN 9780307887962. $26. eISBN 9780307887979.
Just how successful is French physician Dukan’s pure protein diet? His book has been on the French best sellers lists for ten years (but I thought that French women, at least, never get fat?), and it’s sold three million copies worldwide in 20 countries. Could be the next rage.

Fieri, Guy with Ann Volkwein. Guy Fieri Food. Morrow. May 2011. 304p. ISBN 9780061894558. $29.99.
Fieri has hosted three top-rated Food Network shows‚ Guy’s Big Bite; Diners, Drive-ins & Dives; and Ultimate Recipe Showdown‚ and just debuted as host of NBC’s Minute To Win It, which has more viewers than any other major network show. His last two books were both New York Times best sellers, with More Diners, Drive-ins and Dives hitting the top spot. No wonder this has a 250,000-copy first printing. Featuring distinctive food like Irish Nachos and Peach Blueberry Crumb Pizza for dessert, the book will be presented in an oversize, paper-on-board package‚ it is its own confection. Bon appétit.

Goldman, David. A Father’s Love: One Man’s Unrelenting Battle To Bring His Abducted Son Home. Viking. May 2011. 288p. ISBN 9780670022625. $26.95. CD: Penguin Audio.
In 2004, while visiting her home country, Goldman’s Brazilian wife announced that she would be remaining there and would keep their four-year-old son, Sean. Goldman’s years-long battle to retrieve Sean stirred international controversy and led to big headlines. Here, Goldman details his long ordeal, his relief when Sean was returned in December 2009, and his efforts to rebuild ties with his son. Readers will remember the case, and the international abduction of children is becoming an issue.

Hochschild, Adam. To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914‚ 1918. Houghton Harcourt. May 2011. 480p. ISBN 9780618758289. $28. eISBN 9780547549217. $28.
World War II still gets the lion’s share of the attention, but World War I is gaining ground. For an overview, one probably couldn’t do much better than this account by Hochschild, a multiaward winner (e.g., the Duff Cooper, Los Angeles Times, and Mark Lynton History prizes) and frequent resident of LJ‘s Best Books list. He adds a personal touch, showing how the war affected his family and ultimately everyone‚ soldier or not (including some prestigious objectors)‚ who lived through it.

Joel, Billy with Fred Schruers. Untitled. Harper: HarperCollins. May 2011. 320p. ISBN 9780061797491. $29.99. lrg. prnt.
Grammys, Tonys, 100 million records sold, and entry into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame‚ Joel has had it all, except for a memoir. And now the Piano Man has that, too. Look for author appearances in New York and Los Angeles. With a one-day laydown on April 19 and a 600,000-copy first printing; for audiences of a certain age.

Joynt, Carol Ross. Innocent Spouse. Crown. May 2011. 288p. ISBN 9780307592095. $25. eISBN ISBN 9780307592125.
Emmy Award‚ winning news producer Joynt was devastated by the death of her husband, Howard, owner of a prominent Georgetown restaurant. Then the news got worse: Howard owed almost $3 million to the IRS, and as his widow she was responsible. A wakeup call: do you really know your spouse? Should be of interest.

My Pick
Larson, Erik. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. Crown. May 2011. NAp. ISBN 9780307408846. $26. eISBN 9780307887955. lrg. prnt. trade pap. CD/Downloadable: Random Audio.
When unassuming academic William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany, he brings his family with him to Berlin. There, his wild daughter, Margaret, launches on a series of flirtations with leading Nazis‚ including Rudolf Diels, the first chief of the Gestapo‚ while her father deals routinely with the government amid signs of increasing violence. Then comes the Night of the Long Knives, as Hitler moved decisively against the independent-minded SA in a series of bloody executions, and neither father nor daughter can deny any longer the evil that surrounds them. Yes, it sounds like fiction, but it’s not; in the hands of Larson, author of Devil in the White City, this chilling true-life story should be extraordinary reading.

Lesnar, Brock with Paul Heyman. Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival. Morrow. May 2011. 256p. ISBN 9780062023124. $25.99.
Apparently, the three-time World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) champion and current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) World Heavyweight champion has always shunned fans and the media, but he did decide to write this‚ dare I say it‚ no-holds-barred memoir. As his last UFC bout registered more than 1.6 million pay-per-view buys, one can assume that there’s an audience. With a 125,000-copy first printing and author appearances in Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and New York.

Miller, James Andrew & Tom Shales. Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN. Little, Brown. May. 2011. 624p. ISBN 9780316043007. $27.99.
Offering 5100 live or original hours of sports annually and reportedly worth more than major league baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League combined, ESPN is a powerhouse. The authors‚ respected journalists who brought us the best-selling Live from New York in 2002‚ cover ESPN’s history from the beginning. And that’s all LJ will be able to tell you until publication‚ the book is embargoed, with earthshaking revelations promised.

Morris, Dick & Eileen McGann. Untitled. Broadside: HarperCollins. Mar. 2011. 304p. ISBN 9780062073303. $26.99.
Just dropped in: the follow-up to the authors’ recent and highly successful 2010: Take Back America, offering a plan for rolling back legislation accomplished under Obama. No doubt a rallying cry for many; with a one-day laydown on March 15 and a 250,000-copy first printing.

O’Connor, Ian. The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter. Houghton Harcourt. Apr. 2011. 336p. ISBN 9780547327938. $26. eISBN 9780547327838. $26.
Winner of several AP awards and now an columnist and ESPN radio show host, O’Connor has had plenty of contact with Derek Jeter over the years. Here he supplements that experience with over 200 interviews to chart Jeter’s rise to fame and the struggles within. From what I can see, lots of surprising little-known facts here.

O’Neal, Tatum. Found: A Daughter’s Journey Home. May 2011. Morrow. 304p. ISBN 9780062066565. $25.99.
O’Neal follows up her best-selling memoir, A Paper Life, with a continuing examination of what it has taken her to get sober, stay sober, and make peace with her children. In addition, she discusses efforts to reconcile with her long-estranged father, Ryan O’Neal. Around the time of publication, look for a new reality show, Ryan and Tatum: The O’Neals, which launches on Oprah Winfrey’s new cable network venture, OWN, and chronicles the reconciliation process. Okay, a bit much for me, but I am sure there will be fans; the book has a one-day laydown on May 3 and a 150,000-copy first printing.

Reagan, Ronald. The Notes: Ronald Reagan’s Private Collection of Stories and Wisdom. Harper: HarperCollins. May 2011. 256p. ISBN 9780062065131. $26.99. lrg. prnt.
Loaded with quotations that Reagan collected from authors he admired (e.g., Lincoln, Solzhenitsyn) plus his own jokes and asides, this compendium is billed as ideal for graduates, fathers, and fans of the former President‚ rather a wide-ranging crowd. Clearly, this is seen in part as a gift book, something to keep in mind. Edited by Douglas Brinkley; with a 200,000-copy first printing.

Robbins, Mel. Stop Saying You’re Fine: Get What You Want by Getting Out of Your Own Way. Crown Archetype. May 2011. 288p. ISBN 9780307716729. $24.
How are you? Fine, thanks. Actually, says Robbins, whose syndicated radio show reaches 30 million listeners in 40 markets, sometimes we’re not. The problem is we’d rather stick with the script we’ve got. Here’s how to get gutsy and improvise; buy especially where Robbins has a following.

Roth, Geneen. Lost and Found: Unexpected Revelations About Food and Money. Viking. Mar. 2011. 240p. ISBN 9780670022717. $25.95. CD: Penguin Audio.
The best-selling author of self-helpers like Breaking Free from Emotional Eating, Roth parallels our bad habits about food with our bad habits about finances. Not surprisingly, she does so by highlighting her own behavior after she and her husband suffered a financial crunch‚ alternating binge shopping with virtuous belt tightening, for instance, and using money as love. Oprah regular Roth has a following and certainly knows how to capture the Zeitgeist.

Saramago, José. Small Memories. Houghton Harcourt. May 2011. 176p. ISBN 9780151015085. $22.
The recently deceased Nobel prize winner reflects on a youth divided between Lisbon, where his parents moved when he was an infant, and the tiny village of Azinhaga, where he often spent time with his maternal grandparents. Details range from his mother’s pawning the family’s blankets each spring and buying them back before the cold set in, to Saramago’s learning to read by assaying the daily newspaper (his grandparents were illiterate). Of definite interest to the literary crowd.

Shafak, Elif. Black Milk: On Writing, Motherhood and the Harem Within. Viking. May 2011. 288p. ISBN 9780670022649. $25.95.
Turkish author Shafak always thought of herself as a free-spirited artistic type, but postpartum depression following the birth of her first child in 2006 left her so bewildered about the value of her work that for a time she stopped writing altogether. Here’s how she learned to manage the harem within‚ the studied intellectual, the ambitious writer, and the hopeful mom. You’ll remember Shafak as author of The Bastard of Istanbul, for which she was prosecuted under provisions of the Turkish Criminal Code for insulting Turkishness; a character in the novel referred to the Armenian massacre as genocide.

Sieberg, Daniel. The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan To Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life. Three Rivers. May 2011. 256p. ISBN 9780307887382. pap. $13.
A self-help book for the digitally addicted, showing them how to get off their Blackberries and reconnect with life. No, I don’t think this is tongue in check.

Theroux, Paul. The Tao of Travel. Houghton Harcourt. May 2011. 304p. ISBN 9780547336916. $25.
Packed as a suitcase, this book includes not only examples of the travel writing that has most influenced Theroux‚ from Thoreau to Nabokov to John McPhee‚ but also his own sly commentary and reminiscences. The ultimate armchair traveler’s book.

Tyler, Steven with David Dalton. Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir. Ecco. May. 2011. 352p. ISBN 9780061767890. $27.99.
How the son of a classical pianist met up with his mutant twin and created Aerosmith, one of the greatest bands of all time. As Tyler himself says, I’ve been mythicized, Mick-icized, eulogized and fooligized, I’ve been Cole-Portered and farmer’s-daughtered, I’ve been Led Zepped and 12-stepped. I’m a rhyming fool and so cool that the one-day laydown on May 10 and the 500,000-copy first printing is no surprise. Not necessarily what I’d expect from Ecco, but more power to ’em.

Ulrich, Marshall. Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America. Avery: Penguin Group (USA). Apr. 2011. NAp. ISBN 9781583334232. $26.
Superrunner Ulrich has completed 122 ultramarathons averaging over 100 miles each; he’s perhaps best known for the run recounted here: a 3,063.2-mile trek across America in 52.5 days, equal to 117 marathons. Fifteen pairs of shoes got wasted in the process. Buy wherever there are big-time runners and extreme sports fans.

Van Dyke, Dick. My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir. Crown Archetype. May 2011. 320p. ISBN 9780307592231. $25. eISBN 9780307592262. lrg. prnt. trade pap. CD/Download: Random Audio.
An enduring performer discusses his life from the Phil Silvers Show to his own Dick Van Dyke Show, winner of 15 Emmys, from Bye Bye Birdie to A Night at the Museum. Pretty big audience; even my teenaged daughter knows who he is. How many time did we watch Mary Poppins?

Westoll, Andrew. The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A True Story of Resilience and Recovery. Houghton Harcourt. May 2011. 256p. ISBN 9780547327808. $25. eISBN 9780547549200. $25.
Westoll trained as a biologist/primatologist before becoming a successful journalist‚ his first feature, Somewhere Up a Jungle River, won a National Magazine Award and eventually became the well-regarded The Riverbones. His new book recounts the time he spent at Fauna Sanctuary, a haven outside Montreal for chimps retired from biomedical research, while pondering our treatment of nearest genetic relations. It took time for these badly used animals to trust Westoll, but do expect scenes of monkey business.

Zuckoff, Mitchell. Lost in Shangri-la: The Epic True Story of a Plane Crash into the Stone Age. Harper: HarperCollins. May 2011. 400p. ISBN 9780061988349. $26.99. lrg. prnt.
On May 13, 1945, 24 officers and enlisted men and women left their base in Dutch New Guinea for a sightseeing tour of Shangri-La‚ a remote and beautiful valley that supposedly recalled the setting of the novel Lost Horizon. When their plane crashed, all but three were killed, and the burned and bloodied survivors commenced a hike to safety through territory crawling with poisonous snakes and Japanese soldiers. But their worst encounter was with a headhunting Stone Age tribe entirely unfamiliar with outsiders. Sounds gripping, and the 200,000-copy first printing suggests in-house enthusiasm; from the author of Choosing Naia.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @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.