On Ted Hughes, Prince’s Purple Rain, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Dec. 2014, Pt. 2

Baillie, John & Susanna Wright. A Diary of Private Prayer. Scribner. Dec. 2014. 144p. ISBN 9781476754703. $15.99. RELIGION
Teacher/preacher Baillie’s classic Christian devotional, first published in 1936, claims more than a million copies in print. Now, theologian Wright has updated it for modern readers. A nice, new package overall.

Hall, Donald. Essays After Eighty. Houghton Harcourt. Dec. 2014. 144p. ISBN 9780544287044. $22. LITERATURE
America’s 14th poet laureate and recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, among countless other honors, Hall offers essays that report meditatively from the “unknown, unanticipated heaveygalaxy” of advanced age. He still lives to write, enjoying life at his ancestral Eagle Pond Farm.

Heavey, Bill. You’re Not Lost if You Can Still See the Truck: The Further Adventures of America’s Everyman Outdoorsman. Atlantic Monthly. Dec. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780802123022. $25. SPORTS
Copublished in 2007 with Field & Stream, If You Didn’t Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat? went through five hardcover printings for a total of 50,000 copies sold. This new book, also a copublication, collects pieces from Field & Stream and other venues for which Heavey writes (e.g., Men’s Journal, the Washington Post) to offer a sometimes funny, sometimes touching view of the compleat sportsman unafraid of ’fessing up to his goofs.

Hofmann, Michael. Where Have You Been?: Selected Essays. Farrar. Dec. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780374259969. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374709167. SPORTS
An award-winning poet, translator, and critic, Hofmann can be trusted to provide gleaming insights in this collection of essays, which focuses on poetry of the last 100 years. Here’s “poets’ poets’ poet” Elizabeth Bishop, ready-to-spook-you Frederick Seidel, meditations on the art of translation, and more.

Hughes, Gerald. Ted and I: A Brother’s Memoir. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Dec. 2014. HUGHES240p. ISBN 9781250045270. $25.99. MEMOIR/LITERARY
What’s it like to grow up with a younger brother who became one of the great poets of the 20th century? Hughes recounts a childhood spent tramping through the countryside with Ted, watching him emerge as a writer, and remaining close over decades and distances (Hughes lives in Australia). With an introduction by Frieda Hughes, the daughter of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.

Light, Alan. Let’s Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain. Atria. Dec. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781476776729. $26. MUSIC
Talk about the perspective that Light can offer on Prince’s Purple Rain—not just the song but the album (which sold over a million copies in its first week when it was released 30 years ago and is considered one of the most important of all time), and the Academy Award–winning film. Light was a senior editor at Rolling Stone, founding music editor and editor in chief at Vibe, and editor in chief at Spin, and he’s got books like The Holy and the Broken to his name.

Mailer, Norman & J. Michael Lennon. The Selected Letters of Norman Mailer. Random. Dec. 2014. 896p. ed. by J. Michael Lennon. ISBN 9780400066230. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780812986099
Author of last year’s big biography of Norman Mailer, Mailer scholar Lennon edits a hefty selection of letters from the perpetual enfant terrible—just check out the page count.

Weta. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles: Art & Design. HarperDesign. Dec. 2014. 240p. ISBN 9780062265715. $45. FILM
Weta is the multi-award-winning design and manufacturing facility based in Wellington, New Zealand, that gave us the visuals for King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar, District 9, and, of course, the phenomenon that was and remains The Lord of the Rings. Here you’ll find an inside look at designing the last part of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, plus hundreds of four-color visuals. Note the 100,000-copy first printing.


Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @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.