Nonfiction Previews, February 2012, Pt. 4: Yoga, Cupcakes, The Senate, the Enterprise

Arieff, Adrienne. The Sacred Thread. Crown. Feb. 2012. 288p. ISBN 9780307716682. $24. MEMOIR/MEDICAL
In San Francisco, thirtyish Arieff despairs of having a child after a miscarriage. In India, Vaina has a husband and three children but not enough money. They work out something that’s great for both of them. Yes, international surrogacy is big business; it’s expected to hit the $2 billion mark in India alone by 2012. Not just a memoir about shared motherhood but also a study of divergent culture; note that eblasts will be sent to travel and yoga blogs as well as mommy blogs. And look for an excerpt on I’m thinking that this could be big.

Broad, William J. The Science of Yoga: The Myths and the Rewards. S. & S. Feb. 2012. 320p. ISBN 9781451641424. $26; eISBN 9781451641448. YOGA
A best-selling author (Germs) and multi-award-winning senior writer at the New York Times whose purview has ranged from science to the spread of nuclear arms, Broad has practiced yoga since 1970. Here he covers what he calls a burgeoning global industry, separating scientific fact from hustle, benefits from dangerous delusions. For all those yoga folks who really want to understand what they’re doing.

Cordery, Stacy A. Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts. Viking. Feb. 2012. 400p. ISBN 9780670023301. $27.95. BIOGRAPHY
Rebellious Southern belle Juliette Daisy Gordon married a British aristocrat but took no pleasure in upper-crust life. Then she met Boy Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell and was inspired to create a similar organization for girls. This biography by Cordery, who previously tackled Alice Roosevelt Longworth, is out in time for the Girl Scouts’ centennial. Lots of Scouts out there will want to read.

Feingold, Russ. While America Sleeps: A Wake-Up Call for the Post-9/11 Era. Crown. Feb. 2012. 320p. ISBN 9780307952523. $26. CURRENT EVENTS
A former senator from Wisconsin following in the footsteps of great Midwest progressives from LaFollette to Humphrey and beyond, Feinfold offers his take on what has gone wrong in the decade after 9/11. In particular, he discusses how our whirlwind response to 9/11 has weakened both constitutional guarantees and national security. Bound to raise both cheers and hackles.

Ledbetter, Lilly with Lanier Isom. Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond. Crown Archetype. Feb. 2012. NAp. ISBN 9780307887924. $25. MEMOIR
Ledbetter was a manager at Goodyear for 19 years when she received an anonymous note telling her that she was earn considerably less then men in her position. She filed a sex discrimination case against Goodyear and won, but lost in appeals‚ right up to the Supreme Court. Now her name graces Obama’s first official piece of legislation‚ the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. Not just a memoir.

Shapiro, Ian. The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis. PublicAffairs: Perseus. Feb. 2012. 448p. ISBN 9781586489366. $29.99. GOVERNMENT
Back in the Sixties and Seventies, the Senate cast aside political divisions and passed transformative Civil Rights and Great Society legislation while challenging the administration regarding Vietnam and Watergate. Then came the conservative triumph of the 1980s, and the Senate has never been the same. Having worked for Senators Gaylord Nelson, Abraham Ribicoff, Thomas Eagleton, Robert Byrd, and Jay Rockefeller, Shapiro has the insight to explain what was so right about the Last Great Senate‚ and what went so wrong. Important.

Simon, James F. FDR and Chief Justice Hughes: The President, the Supreme Court, and the Epic Battle Over the New Deal. S. &. S. Feb. 2012. 368p. ISBN 9781416573289. $27; eISBN 9781416578895. HISTORY
With the Depression in full swing, FDR proposed far-reaching legislation to regulate the economy and set hundreds of thousands to work. But his efforts were challenged as unconstitutional by a conservative bloc within the Supreme Court, often joined by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. Martin Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at New York Law School, Simon recounts the interplay between President and Chief Justice and the consequences of its outcome. Pretty relevant, no?

Tack, Karen & Alan Richardson. Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pie, Oh My! Houghton. Feb. 2012. 240p. ISBN 9780547662428. $17.95. BAKING
As the title suggests, Tack and Richardson aren’t neglecting cupcakes, but they’re adding cookies, pies, and more into the mix, doing for them what they did for cupcakes in Hello, Cupcake! and What’s New, Cupcake? (jointly two million copies out there and counting). Their wild decorations give a whole new meaning to the phrase It looks good enough to eat. My faves: pop-art brownies and piggies on a layer cake. Essential for bakers.

Tillman, Barrett. Enterprise: America’s Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War II. S. & S. Feb. 2012. 384p. ISBN 9781439190876. $27; eISBN 9781439190890. HISTORY
The most decorated warship of World War II, first to sink a Japanese vessel after Pearl Harbor and ultimately responsible for downing 911 enemy aircraft and 71 ships, the Big E gets its own history from Admiral Arthur Radford Award winner Tillman. For all World War II devotees.

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.