Mark Adams, Julie Holland, & the Art of Poetry | Nonfiction Previews, Mar. 2015, Pt. 4

Adams, Mark. Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest To Find the Sunken City. Dutton. Mar. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780525953708. $27.95. TRAVEL
The author of the New York Times best seller Turn Right at Machu Picchu can’t visit the subject ADAMSof his new book: the lost city of Atlantis. But he does talk to the amateur explorers still searching for the city, and he ferrets out revealing numerical and musical codes in the works of Plato, the only source of our knowledge about Atlantis. See what philosophers can do?

Bruni, Frank. Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Grand Central. Mar. 2015. 176p. ISBN 9781455532704. $25. EDUCATION
In his op-ed columns for the New York Times, Bruni speaks frequently about our skewed view of college education. In this expansion of an April 2014 column, “Our Crazy College Crossroads,” which topped the paper’s “Most Viewed” and “Most Emailed” categories for several days, he asks high school students and their parents to stop thinking of college in terms of bragging rights and to focus on the education itself, which does not have to be Ivy League to be the best for a particular student. A New York Times best-selling author, Bruni was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his work at the Detroit Free Press.

Carney, Scott. A Death on Diamond Mountain: A True Story of Obsession, Madness, and the Path to Enlightenment. Gotham. Mar. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781592408610. $26.95. PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION
Hearing about the death of 38-year-old Ian Thorson, who succumbed to dehydration and dysentery on an Arizona mountaintop while practicing Buddhist meditation, journalist/anthropologist Carney began investigating the connection between prolonged CARNEYmeditation and mental instability. Carney, who speaks Hindi, lived in India for six years and knows the territory.

Crawford, Matthew B. The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction. Farrar. Mar. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780374292980. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374708443. CD: Macmillan Audio. PHILOSOPHY
Crawford follows up his surprise best-selling Shop Class as Soulcraft, which emphasizes the value of manual labor as a means of mastering our environment, with a study of mastering our minds. He’s particularly concerned with our scattershot attention span, which he sees as rooted in cultural tendencies that antedate the technology revolution and contrast sharply, say, with the hockey player’s intense focus on the ice. If only life allowed us always to be that single-minded!

Crawford, Robert. Young Eliot: A Biography. Farrar. Mar. 2015. 560p. ISBN 9780374279448. $35; ebk ISBN 9781429951760. LITERARY BIOGRAPHY
A fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the British Academy, Crawford is also a published poet whose work has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. So it seems appropriate for him to be offering this first volume in what is being called the definitive biography of the HAYESimmortal Eliot, bringing his life up to the publication of The Waste Land.

Hayes, Tim. Riding Home: The Power of Horses To Heal. St. Martin’s. Mar. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9781250033512. $25.99. NATURE
Troubled teens, individuals with autism or multiple sclerosis, war veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder—all sorts of people have been helped by equine therapy, which allows them to heal from physical or mental trauma by riding and working with horses. Hayes, a sought-out instructor in this area, was the subject of the award-winning documentary Natural Horsemanship with Tim. I’ve had some volunteer experiences with equine therapy; it works.

Hirshfield, Jane. Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World. Knopf. Mar. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780385351058. $24.95. LITERARY COLLECTIONS
A chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and winner of numerous awards, e.g., the Poetry Center Book Award, Hirshfield offers ten essays that throw open the sash, helping us understand how poetry works and especially how its greatest examples illuminate the world. The term windows, in fact, references the moment in a poem—a particular word, phrase, or tone—that opens up something significant for the reader. Notably, Hirshfield uses not just the expected poets, e.g., Emily Dickinson, but less expected ones from Basho to Wislawa Szymoborska to make her points. Also coming from Knopf this month: Hirshfield’s new collection of poetry, The Beauty (ISBN 9780385351072. $26)

Holland, Julie. Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Missing, The Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Feel Crazy. Penguin Pr. Mar. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9781594205804. $27.95. PSYCHOLOGY
Women, drop the guilt about your ups and downs. Holland, who has a private psychiatric practice in Manhattan and authored Weekends at Bellevue (which chronicles her nine years spent running the hospital’s psychiatric ER), argues that all those hormones mean you’re meant to be moody. Furthermore, it’s wrong to medicate them away (one in four American women hollandtakes a psychiatric drug, excluding sleeping pills); those moods keep you in touch with what’s really happening. Look for a related HBO production with Oprah Winfrey and Diablo Cody.

James, Clive. Poetry Notebook: Reflections on the Intensity of Language. Liveright: Norton. Mar. 2015. 192p. ISBN 9781631490279. $24.95. LITERARY CRITICISM/POETRY
Noted critic, poet, and author of Cultural Amnesia, James sums up his understanding of the 20th century’s greatest poets, from Hart Crane to Anne Sexton, while arguing that poetry needs to resonate beyond its own borders. No argument there, though one can imagine readers taking in the essay on James’s five favorite poetry books (by Yeats, Frost, Auden, Wilbur, and Larkin) and heatedly tossing back their own favorites.

Lieberman, Jeffrey A. Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry. Little, Brown. Mar. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780316278867. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316278843. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316295260. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. PSYCHOLOGY
The Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a former President of the American Psychiatric Association, Lieberman gives us a history of psychiatry—and he doesn’t shrink from chronicling its dark and weird phases, such as hydrotherapy, lobotomies, and primal screaming. Ultimately, Lieberman aims to reveal psychiatry’s transformation into an evidence-based profession and to persuade readers to regard mental illness as, indeed, illness rather than a state of mind. With a 75,000-copy first printing and a four-city tour to New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Boston.

Nagoski, Emily. Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life. S. & S. Mar. 2015. 432p. ISBN 9781476762098. pap. $16. HEALTH/SEXUALITY
There are high expectations for this book by Nagoski, the Wellness Education director at Smith College, where she teaches a course in women’s sexuality. She argues that each woman’s sexuality is unique, so there can be no pill for women comparable to Viagra, and that sexuality must be understood in context. So, cutting-edge research for your mind and down-to-earth wildchildapplications for your body.

Sampson, Scott D. How To Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780544279322. $25. PARENTING
Sampson is vice president of research and collections at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, but he’s probably better known as Dr. Scott the Paleontologist, host of the PBS KIDS television series Dinosaur. Here, he uses the sad statistic that American children spend only four to seven minutes a day playing outdoors as a springboard to show that contact with nature makes children stronger socially, emotionally, and cognitively. And he’s got the research (and age-appropriate activities) to prove it.


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.