Nonfiction, May 23, 2011

Corrigan, Gordon. The Second World War: A Military History. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2011. 672p. ISBN 9780312577094. $35. HISTORY
So many books on World War II, told from every angle (see Neill Lochery’s Lisbon and Stanley Weintraub’s Pearl Harbor Christmas, both previewed below). Here’s that rare overview, which could be especially useful wherever one can buy only a limited number of titles on this subject. A member of the British Commission for Military History and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, Corrigan (Mud, Blood and Poppycock) should know his stuff.

Evans, Linda. Recipes for Life: My Memories. Vanguard: Perseus. Nov. 2011. 256p. ISBN 9781593156480. $25.99; eISBN 9781593156909. MEMOIR/TV
Not just a memoir, though Evans has a lot to share after over five decades on American television, this book also includes advice for living and lots of recipes (some from celebrated friends; try the Duke’s Crab Dip). Plus, you get over 60 photographs, many under wraps until now. An in-house favorite and apparently a sweet-natured, genial book.

Fisher, Carrie. Shockaholic. S. & S. Nov. 2011. 304p. ISBN 9780743264822. $25. MEMOIR/FILM
Fisher has more to say after Postcards from the Edge and Wishful Drinking? With Wishful a People Top Ten of the Year, I guess so. Here Fisher focuses on the Star War years and her relationships in the immediate aftermath. As she says of Hollywood success, It isn’t all sweetness and light sabers. For all celeb bio nuts.

Galanes, Philip. Social Q’s: How To Survive the Quirks, Quandaries and Quagmires of Today. S. & S. Nov. 2011. 288p. ISBN 9781451605785. $23. ETIQUETTE
Found every Sunday in the Styles section of the New York Times, Galanes’s Social Q’s column dispenses slightly acerbic, edgy-contemporary advice for behaving well in a Twitter-wrought, what’s-a-date?, possibly post‚ Emily Post era. I read it religiously, not because I’m particularly stylish or well behaved but because it’s so entertaining. And it does show you how people really act today; it’s great fodder for social scientists and aspiring novelists alike. So check out Galanes’s expanded essay collection, especially if you’re in the metropolitan area and recognize his name.

God with David Javerbaum. The Last Testament: A Memoir. S. & S. Nov. 2011. 304p. ISBN 9781451640182. $23.99. HUMOR
With a little help from comedy writer Javerbaum, God speaks out on everything that has happened since the creation of the universe. He starts with Adam and Steve, works His way through the Ten Commandments (Never did I suspect how popular this work would prove), weighs in on evolution, and predicts the next 93 Super Bowl winners. Obviously, He’s aiming for big laughs; buy if you think this sound entertaining.

Greenfield, Robert. The Last Sultan: The Life and Times of Ahmet Ertegun. S. & S. Nov. 2011. 352p. ISBN 9781416558385. $30. BIOGRAPHY/MUSIC
Why read Greenfield’s biography of Ahmet Ertegun? Because as founder of Atlantic Records, Ertegun brought us everyone from Ray Charles to Aretha Franklin to the Rolling Stones. And because to write this work, Greenfield interviewed everyone from David Geffen and Bette Midler to Keith Richards and Henry Kissinger. With those cultural connections, this work should be interesting even if you taste runs to Mozart. Note, too, that Greenfield is a distinguished journalist, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, as well as former associate editor of the London bureau of Rolling Stone. So the guy can write. Don’t miss.

Jacobovici, Simcha & James Tabor. The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find That Reveals the Birth of Christianity. S. & S. Jan. 2011. 288p. ISBN 9781451650402. $27.95. RELIGION/ARCHAEOLOGY
Television producer Jacobovici and Tabor, chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, discuss a major archaeological discovery in Jerusalem: a sealed first-century tomb with iconography revealing a belief in Jesus’ resurrection (before the gospels were written). How does that relate to a nearby tomb the authors have already identified as belonging to Jesus’ family? Tabor wrote The Jesus Dynasty, Jacobovici cowrote The Jesus Family Tomb, and the controversy continues. There’s was to have been a National Geographic Society television documentary, but now it will show on the Discovery Channel, so be prepared.

Lochery, Neill. Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939‚ 45. PublicAffairs: Perseus. Nov. 2011. 384p. ISBN 9781586488796. $27.99; eISBN 9781586488802. HISTORY
Anyone who has ever watched Casablanca knows how crucial Lisbon was during World War II. The only European city where Allied and Axis powers both operated openly, it was home not only to exiled royalty, escaped POWs, and a million refugees desperately seeking passage to America but spies, secret police, and black marketeers. An expert on Mediterranean history, Lochery lets the amazing facts speak for themselves. A different way to look at the war; for another take, see Stanley Weintraub’s Pearl Harbor Christmas, previewed below.

Marcus, Greil. The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Wilds Years. PublicAffairs: Perseus. Nov. 2011. 240p. ISBN 9781586489458. $24.99; eISBN 9781586489465. MUSIC
Hard to believe that the Doors were around for only five years; their music was and remains so outsize. Distinguished rock/culture critic Marcus aims to get beyond the very long shadow of Jim Morrison and talk about the sound and the fury of this group as a whole. Not just for Sixties type; my 15-year-old wants to read this book.

Matthews, Chris. Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero. S. & S. Nov. 2011. 448p. ISBN 9781451635089. $27.50. BIOGRAPHY
Host of MSNBC’s Hardball and a long-time Kennedy follower, Matthews has been collecting JFK stories for years. Here he blends them into a single story that he hopes will give us a more personal feel for the President whose own wife called him that elusive man. He also portrays Kennedy as a fighter and an idealist who was more of a hero than he ever seemed to know. Camelot continues.

Scottoline, Lisa & Francesca Serritella. Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life As a Mother and Daughter. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2011. 256p. ISBN 9780312651633. $24.99. FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS
Super-best-selling thriller author Scottoline and daughter Serritella get together again with more insights on mother-daughter ups and downs. Says Francsca, My mom is a great dresser. Mostly because she’s wearing my clothes. Says Lisa, Motherhood has no expiration date. You get the picture; buy where the authors’ My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space was popular.

Valastro, Buddy. Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy’s Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets. Free Pr: S. & S. 272p. ISBN 9781439183526. $30; eISBN 9781451628913. COOKING
You’ve seen him on Cake Boss and other TLC shows, you’ve read his best-selling Cake Boss, you might even have visited his Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken, NJ, for a sugar rush. Here you can discover not only more recipes but Valastro’s baking techniques. For flour hounds everywhere.

Weintraub, Stanley. Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War, December 1941. DaCapo. Nov. 2011. 224p. ISBN 9780306820618. $25; eISBN 9780306820625. HISTORY
Christmas was not what folks were expecting in 1941; America had just declared war, fighting was unfolding globally, and then Churchill swept across the waters to plan strategy with Roosevelt and help light the White House Christmas tree. Veteran history author Weintraub has a refreshing new angle on World War II; look for a big push at BEA and ALA.

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.