From Sisters in Law O’Connor & Ginsburg to Expanding Children’s Brains | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 4,

Ananthaswamy, Anil. The Man Who Wasn’t There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self. Dutton. Aug.  2015. 320p. ISBN 9780525954194. $26.95. MEDICALanat
If you like Oliver Sacks, you’ll love this new work by Ananthaswamy, an award-winning science journalist and former deputy news editor and current consultant for New Scientist. His smart approach to helping us understand neuroscience is to look at disorders from schizophrenia to autism to Cotard’s syndrome, whose sufferers believe that they are dead, and to interview those afflicted for a real you-are-in-there experience. It could change your sense of self.

Brock, David. Killing the Messenger: Clintonland, Kochville, and the Battle for 2016. Twelve. Sept. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781455533763. $28. CD: Hachette Audio. POLITICAL SCIENCE
Brock is aptly described as a Democratic activist; among other things, he founded the Democratic SuperPAC American Bridge, one of the largest modern campaign war rooms ever assembled, which relies on research and rapid response to bring down Republicans. Here he shows how things are shaping up for the 2016 run on the White House.

Brown, Brené. Rising Strong. Spiegel & Grau. Sept. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780812995824. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780812995831. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. SELF-HELP
A research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, Brown studies issues of vulnerability and shame—which leads her directly to this book’s subject, coracatbravery, both what it is and how we can find it in ourselves. Since she’s author of the No. 1 New York Times best sellers Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection and has had nearly 19 million views of her 2010 TED talk, this book is a sure bet. Originally a March 2015 title, previewed on 9/8/14 as Mapping Brave; with a 200,000-copy first printing.

Cora, Cat. Cooking As Fast As I Can: A Chef’s Story of Family, Food, and Forgiveness. Scribner. Sept. 2015. 256p. ISBN 9781476766140. $25. MEMOIR
Famed chef and cookbook author Cora, the first-ever female Iron Chef, grew up in Jackson, MS, where she enjoyed meals cooked from scratch and came to blend the influences of Southern upbringing and her Greek heritage in her approach to cooking. But her memoir also affectingly reveals childhood sexual abuse and the difficulties of being a lesbian in the Deep South.

Hirshman, Linda. Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World. Harper. Sept. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9780062238467. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062238481. BIOGRAPHY/LAW
Hirshman (Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution) here offers a dual biography of Supreme Court justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, showing that despite their differences—as Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, Western rancher’s daughter and daughter of Brooklyn—both have been groundbreakers in a man’s profession and have made hirshmanAmerica a better place for women as they’ve helped shape the discussion on employment discrimination, abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and more. Lawyer Hirshman is attuned to the subject, having taught  women’s studies as well as philosophy courses.

Kennedy, Patrick & Stephen Fried. A Common Struggle. Blue Rider. Sept. 2015. 400p. ISBN 9780399173325. $28.95. MEMOIR/MENTAL HEALTH
The youngest child of Senator Ted Kennedy, Kennedy was serving as a congressman from Rhode Island in 2006 when he disclosed an addiction to prescription pain killers and a struggle with bipolar disorder. He has since become an advocate for mental health and substance abuse care, eventually stepping down from Congress to continuing pushing the plans detailed here for better mental health care in the future. The personal passages here focus on Kennedy’s treatment and recovery.

Max, Tucker & Geoffrey Miller. Mate: A Man’s Guide to the World of Sex and Dating. Little, Brown. Sept. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780316375368. $27. CD: Hachette Audio. RELATIONSHIPS
It’s been a few years since king-of-fratire Max broke out with I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, which currently claims two million copies in print. Now happily married and tending toward the responsible, he has spent the last year doing a podcast with evolutionary psychologist Miller, an expert on human sexuality, that gives dating and mating advice grounded in the science of behavior genetics and animal communication (really!). Cultivating your best traits, choosing the most appealing careers, and learning which cities have the best dating markets: it’s all here for suskindyou guys, and for women, too, who make up 60 percent of the podcast’s 1.6 million listeners. Maybe so that they can ponder counter-strategies?

Suskind, Dana, MD. Thirty Million Words: How To Build Your Child’s Brain. Dutton. Sept. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780525954873. $28. PSYCHOLOGY
A 1995 study found that some children heard 30 million more words by their fourth birthdays than other children and that  those who hear more are far more likely to read better and score higher through the third grade in what is called the achievement gap. Spurred by these findings, medical doctor Suskind joined with her sister-in-law, Beth Suskind, to found the Thirty Million Words Initiative. The program, of which Suskind  serves as director, aims to bridge the gap by showing parents from all walks of life what kinds of parent-child communication optimize neural development. Successfully tested in and around Chicago, the program comes down to the three Ts: tuning into your children, talking more with descriptive words, and taking turns with them in conversation. A big book for the publisher.




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.