Andrew Cuomo, the Mona Lisa, & Fashion Kings Alexander McQueen & John Galliano | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Aug. 2014, Pt. 2

Cuomo, Andrew. All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life. Harper. Aug. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780062300089. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062300096. POD: Harper andrewAudio. MEMOIR
Cuomo isn’t just the 56th governor of New York, as well as a former New York attorney general and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He’s also the son of a governor, and he’s had some telling ups and downs on his way to Albany. So this memoir will discuss not just politics but family and duty, setbacks and successes, as Cuomo considers what his zigzag trajectory has taught him. Only a local tour (the guy’s busy), but there’s a one-day laydown on August 5.

Franks, Lucinda. Sweetheart, Gone To See the President: An Unconventional Marriage. Sarah Crichton: Farrar. Aug. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780374280802. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781429949279. MEMOIR
Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Franks has maintained radical beliefs since her college hippie days, having broken laws by doing things like bloodying draft files. Her husband, the renowned former New York County district attorney Robert M. Morgenthau, should be shocked. Instead, for 35 years, they’ve had the intensely close marital union revealed here. Franks also discusses pertinent cases from Morgenthau’s files, including his discovery of a terrorist cell that eventually became al-Qaeda headquarters. Too bad the CIA didn’t believe him.halesdianne

Hales, Dianne. Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered. S. & S. Aug. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781451658965. $28. BIOGRAPHY/HISTORY
Who’s Lisa Gherardini, you might ask? She was a woman of Renaissance Florence whose life (1479–1542) spanned a particularly fascinating and tumultuous time in history. You know her best as the Mona Lisa, painted by the great Leonardo da Vinci. Her story is told by Hales, who was given an honorary knighthood by the president of Italy in recognition of her best-selling La Bella Lingua. Just a regional tour, but I bet this book will attract attention.

Jauhar, Sandeep. Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician. Farrar. Aug. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780374141394. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781429945844. MEMOIR/MEDICAL
Not just a memoir of Jauhar’s work as director of the Heart Failure Program at a Long Island, NY, hospital, this critique does for our health-care system what the author’s best-selling eye-opener, Intern, did for the hospital residency: it gives us an insider’s view of some harsh and enduring realities that cry out for reform. Jauhar focuses on the cronyism, needless tests, and treatment of one patient by multiple specialists, leading to big bills and a fractured health-care picture, all part of the push to cover costs and stave off malpractice suits. Important reading as we debate health care.

Rosbottom, Ronald C. When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940–1944. Little, Brown. Aug. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780316217446. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316217453; lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316365987. lrg. prnt. HISTORY
Currently holder of the Winifred Arms Professorship in the Arts and Humanities at Amherst College, Rosbottom draws on memoirs, diaries, letters, archives, interviews, and even posters, photographs, films, and fiction to offer this thoroughgoing account of German-occupied Paris during World War II. Not a huge first printing, surprisingly; the ongoing interest in both Paris and World War II should make for broad appeal.

Thomas, Dana. Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John thomasdana Galliano. Penguin Pr. Aug. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781594204944. $29.95. BIOGRAPHY
For 15 years the European cultural and fashion correspondent for Newsweek in Paris, now a contributing editor for T: The New York Times Style Magazine and author of the best-selling Luxe, Thomas parallels the lives of leading fashion designers Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, both shy gay men from inner-city London who upended the fashion world starting in the 1990s. Then in 2010 McQueen took his life, and Galliano imploded a year later in a soused anti-Semitic tirade. What does the unmaking of these fashion kings tell us about couture—and culture?

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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.