Nonfiction Previews, May 2013, Pt. 4: Food/Advice/Sports/Fun

Armstrong, Jennifer. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted and All the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic. S. & S. May 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781451659207. $26; eISBN 9781451659238. TELEVISION
Folks of a certain age and pop culture fanatics everywhere will instantly catch the titular reference to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the show to watch in the 1970s. Armstrong, senior writer for Entertainment Weekly, gives us both history and consequences.

Connors, Jimmy. The Outsider: A Memoir. Harper: HarperCollins. May 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780061242991. $29.99. lrg. prnt. MEMOIR
A former World No. 1 tennis player with eight Grand Slam titles to his name, and still he feels like an “outsider”? Not a lot of details yet on this memoir from Connors, but given his reputation for brashness, it’s fair to expect some in-your-face reading. Perhaps the cover sets the tone. With a 200,000-copy first printing. 

Edgerton, Clyde. Pappadaddy’s Book for New Fathers: Advice to Dads of All Ages. Little, Brown. May 2013. 160p. ISBN 9780316056922. $24.95. PARENTING
The popular author of works like The Night Train is also the father of children ranging from five to 30 (from two families), so he should have some insight into parenting. Yes, there are more older dads about, and, yes, they carry the wisdom of the ages (I know, because I am married to one). Lots of in-house love for this book.

Esselstyn, Rip. My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet. Grand Central Life & Style. May 2013. 288p. ISBN 9781455509362. $24.99. HEALTH
Professional triathlete–turned–firefighter Esselstyn, who scored a huge hit with The Engine 2 Diet, here further celebrates the long-term health advantages of plant-based eating. Dozens of recipes, and since Engine resided on several best sellers lists and Esselstyn has just begun promoting his Engine 2 food products with Whole Foods, there should be interest.

Fieri, Guy & Ann Volkwein. Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: The Funky Finds in Flavortown: America’s Classic Joints and Killer Comfort Food. Morrow Cookbooks. May 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780062244659. pap. $21.99; eISBN 9780062244666. COOKING
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives reached No. 2 and More Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives No. 1 on the New York Times best sellers list, so where can this third entry in the series go? The TV show that inspired these books is in its 13th season, and Fieri just followed up his success with two West Coast restaurants by opening a new establishment in New York’s Times Square (which I understand got a scathing New York Times review). With a 350,000-copy first printing; get wherever there are foodies.

Finkelstein, Michael, M.D. & Ian Newhem. Beyond Conventional Medicine: 77 Skillful Questions for Extraordinary Health. Morrow. May 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780062225511 $25.99; eISBN 9780062225535. HEALTH
Finkelstein is a pioneer of integrative medicine, which blends conventional and holistic approaches to help patients help themselves, particularly when they are suffering from chronic illnesses. His website, blog, and biweekly enewsletter jointly attract over 1000 subscribers. Here, he uses 77 questions to help readers pinpoint the cause of an illness or disorder and find an effective solution. The 75,000-copy first printing caught my eye.

Jackson, Phil & Hugh Delehanty. Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). May 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781594205118. $27.95. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR/SPORTS
Part memoir by legendary coach Jackson, who racked up 11 NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, this is also a self-helpful consideration of what constitutes good leadership. Since Jackson started out as a preacher’s kid in North Dakota, then wended his way through humanistic psychology, Native American philosophy, Zen meditation, and more to arrive at coaching techniques that effectively challenged the dog-eat-dog world of professional sports, it seems we should listen.

Robinson, Sir Ken with Lou Aronica. Finding Your Element: How To Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life. Viking. May 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780670022380. $27.95. SELF-HELP
A leader in the area of human potential whose 2006 TED talk is among those most watched, Robinson triumphed with The Element, a New York Times best seller that defined satisfaction as a meeting between one’s talents and personal passions. In this companion, he addresses more practical considerations, e.g., How do I determine my passions and talents? (So hard?) And what if I’m not so good at what I love? You can anticipate the five-city tour and a one-hour PBS special.

Sokolov, Raymond. Steal the Menu: A Memoir of Forty Years in Food. Knopf. May 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780307700940.  $25.95. COOKING
In 1971, in the thick of the revolution in America’s way of eating, Sokolov came to the New York Times as food editor (he replaced Craig Claiborne and has since served as the Natural History magazine food historian and the Wall Street Journal arts and culture editor). Here he recounts that revolution from Julia Child’s 1961 publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking through the opening of modernist restaurants like El Bulli and The Fat Duck to the rise of food stars like Grant Achatz. Great if you have foodie readers, especially those who enjoyed Sokolov’s The Saucier’s Apprentice.

Williams, Wendy. Ask Wendy. Morrow. May 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780062268389 $24.95. SELF-HELP
Host of The Wendy Williams Show, now in its third season and seen worldwide in 52 countries, the wise and wild Williams dishes out tart commentary with advice on everything from looking ten pounds thinner to figuring out whether your guy is cheating. Not the hugest first printing at 30,000, but she’s got fans—and her last book was a New York Times best seller.

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.