Barbree on Neil Armstrong, Memoirs from Travis Barker & Lee Grant, Germaine Greer on Trees | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2013. Pt. 2

Barbree, Jay. Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781250040718. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466836341. BIOGRAPHY
During 55 years at NBC News, Barbree covered all 166 American astronaut flights and moon landings—the only reporter to have done so—and he got an Emmy for his efforts. So he seems like the right person to do a biography of Neil Armstrong. Lots of photos.barkertravis

Barker, Travis with Gavin Edwards. Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums. Morrow. Jul. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780062319425. $28.99. MEMOIR
“No punk band of the 1990s has been more influential than Blink-182,” proclaims the New York Times. And it has sold over 30 million albums. Here, band drummer Barker talks about his life, his music, the plane crash that nearly killed him in 2008, and his road to redemption. With a 100,000-copy first printing—not surprising, given his nearly two million Facebook followers.

Cole, Juan. The New Arabs: How the Wired and Global Youth of the Middle East Is Transforming It. S. & S. Jul. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781451690392. $26. POLITICAL SCIENCE
A Middle East expert (he’s Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan) and a leading blogger, Cole focuses his narrative on today’s Arab youth—the ones that got the Arab Spring going, for instance, yet haven’t figured as prominently in recent accounts of those events.

Dudgeon, Piers. Maeve Binchy: The Biography. St. Martin’s. Jul. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781250047144. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466847507. BIOGRAPHY/LITERATURE
Dudgeon, a prolific biography whose subjects have ranged from Daphne du Maurier to the composer Sir John Tavener, takes on beloved Irish author Binchy. Binchy died in July 2012, but Dudgeon met her in 2000 and interviewed her over the next 12 years, also talking to her close friends. A sentimental journey, indeed.

Feldman, David & Lee Kravetz. Supersurvivors: The Surprising Link Between Suffering and Success. Harper. Jul. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780062267856. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062267870. PSYCHOLOGY
You’ve heard the phrase “the power of positive thinking”? The authors challenge it in this study of triumphing in the wake of trauma, showing realistic expectations with an underpinning of hope and support are more likely to succeed. Kravetz himself survived a battle with cancer at age 29, which changed his thinking. Plenty of other success stories are listed, from the businesswoman who became an international rock star after her bout with cancer to a badly injured basketball player who became a Hollywood stuntman. With a 50,000-copy first printing.grantlee

Grant, Lee. I Said Yes to Everything: A Memoir. Blue Rider. Jul. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780399169304. $28.95. MEMOIR
Not your standard actress memoir, and not because Grant is an Academy Award winner. Just as her career was taking off, Grant found herself blacklisted during the McCarthy era and fought for 12 years to exonerate herself. Lots of Hollywood insider stuff, too, plus memoirs of her rise to fame at the Actors Studio and as a Broadway star and Vogue “It Girl.”

Greer, Germaine. White Beech: The Rainforest Years. Bloomsbury USA. Jul. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781620406113. $30. NATURE
An unexpected book from feminist Greer, this memoir celebrates the nature of her native Australia. At 62, Greer was in a despairing frame of mind when she became entranced by 60 hectares of dairy farmland in southeast Queensland. On the land, she spotted a few of the 120-foot-tall white beeches almost completely logged out by white settlers, and she was determined to bring the beeches back.

Heymann, C. David. Joe and Marilyn. Emily Bestler: Atria. Jul. 2014. 400p.
ISBN 9781439191774. $26. BIOGRAPHY
The author of Bobby and Jackie and The Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club, among other titles, Heymann is a purveyor of upper-crust, hot-item biography. Here he takes on the star-crossed marriage of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe.

Leovy, Jill. The Homicide Report: Understanding Murder in America. Spiegel & Grau. Jul. leovyjill2014. 448p. ISBN 9780385529983. $32. CD: Random Audio. SOCIOLOGY
Los Angeles Times reporter/editor Leovy was part of a six-member team that won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News, so she’ll have the skills to detail the investigation of a young black man’s murder in Los Angeles in spring 2007. First, though, she embedded herself with the homicide division of the South Bureau in Los Angeles.

Timberg, Robert. Blue-Eyed Boy. Penguin Pr. Jul. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781594205668. $27.95. MEMOIR
That Timberg spent three decades as a reporter, editor, and White House correspondent for the Baltimore Sun is interesting. That he did so after terrible injuries sustained in Vietnam in 1967, which led to 35 operations, is more newsworthy. But what’s especially important here is that, having immersed himself in reporting on the Iran-Contra scandal and talking with the Vietnam-era veterans at the heart of it (see his The Nightingale’s Song), he finally saw clearly how the Vietnam War has shaped this nation.

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.