Kirsten Gillibrand, Jeffrey Kluger, Nicholas Kristof/Sheryl WuDunn, Geoffrey Ward/Ken Burns | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 2

Gillibrand, Kirsten. Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World. Ballantine. Sept. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780804179072. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780804179089. CD/downloadable: Penguin Random Audio. MEMOIR/WOMEN’S STUDIES
Appointed in 2009 to fill Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate seat when Clinton became secretary SenatorGillibrandpicof state, Gillibrand was elected to her first six-year Senate term in 2012 with 72 percent of the vote. Part of her activist stance in politics has been the founding of the PAC Off the Sidelines, which urges women to become more involved politically, speaking out on issues that concern them and the well-being of their families and communities. Also a mother with two young sons, she here delivers her message through discussion of her career, marriage, friendships, and family; fans of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and Debora L. Spar’s Wonder Women will want especially.

Kluger, Jeffrey. The Narcissist Next Door: Understanding the Monster in Your Family, in Your Office, in Your Bed—in Your World. Riverhead. Sept. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9781594486364. $27.95. PSYCHOLOGY
Though narcissism is not a disorder for which one can easily find statistics, we probably all have narcissists in our lives—people whose extreme sense of self-worth leads to arrogance, envy, exploitation of others, and unrealistic expectations. The chief science writer at Time and author of the New York Times best-selling The Sibling Effect, Kluger knows how to make scientific research accessible to the crowds. So listen up as he explains the latest thinking on this disorder, how it affects us, and what can be done to counter its impact.

Kristof, Nicholas & Sheryl WuDunn. A Path Appears: Enriching the Lives of Others—and Ourselves. Knopf. Sept. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780385349918. $27.95; ebk ISBN 9780385349925. CD/downloadable: Penguin Random Audio. SOCIAL SCIENCE/CHARITY
These joint Pulitzer Prize winners for their coverage of China are well known for their crusading kristofwork for human rights—Kristof as a New York Times op-ed columnist, WuDunn as founder of a firm dedicated to promoting the idea of blending charitable mission into for-profit work (now that she has left the Times), and together in three books that include Half the Sky, a huge New York Times best seller on women’s rights worldwide, which spawned a Half the Sky movement and a PBS documentary. They’re still at it, in a book that examines individuals who are making a difference and how we can help them. They aim not simply to urge us to contribute time, skills, and/or money but to parse which approaches and initiatives really work. The forthcoming four-part PBS documentary amplifies the message.With a 200,000-copy first printing.

Ward, Geoffrey & Ken Burns. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Knopf. Sept. 2014. 576p. ISBN 9780307700230. $60. CD/downloadable: Penguin Random Audio. HISTORY
The author of 16 books, including the National Book Critics Circle Award winner A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, Ward again collaborates with filmmaker Burns to vivify American history. By giving us intimate portraits of Theodore, Eleanor, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the coauthors offer a larger picture of the entire family, uniting the Republican Roosevelts of Oyster Bay with the Democrat Roosevelts of Hyde Park to show a family with the strong sense of public service that’s lacking today. Itself highly illustrated, the book serves as the basis of a seven-part PBS series that will take over prime time for an entire week, starting on September 14. With a 250,000-copy first printing.

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.