From Cuba to Good Eating | Nonfiction Previews, Dec. 2017

Guerriero, Leila, ed. Cuba on the Verge: 12 Writers on Continuity and Change in Havana and Across the Country. Ecco. Dec. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780062661067. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062661081. ESSAYS
Conceived before the Trump administration’s reversal of President Obama’s refreshed U.S. policy regarding Cuba, this collection of essays is now all the more relevant. Key writers investigate the country’s current status and transformation. There’s Francisco Goldman on the Tropicana, Leonardo Padura Cuban baseball, Patricia Engel on taxi riding in Havana, and New Yorker author Jon Lee Anderson, who traveled with President Obama on the first trip to Cuba by an American president since the 1920s, on Cuba’s political climate.

Haddish, Tiffany. The Last Black Unicorn. Gallery: S. & S. Dec. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781501181825. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501181849. MEMOIR
Known to fans for her work on NBC’s The Carmichael Show and in the feature film Girls Trip, Haddish recalls a tougher-than-tough upbringing in South Central Los Angeles, where she circulated through foster care after her mother sustained a serious brain injury and tried to cope at a nearly all-white school as a ninth grader who didn’t know how to read. Now she has her first Showtime stand-up comedy special, She Ready, in the fal.

Julien, Maude. The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir. Little, Brown. Dec. 2017. 288p. tr. from French by Adriana Hunter. ISBN 9780316466622. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316466608. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316505260. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. MEMOIR
Drawing comparison to Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle, this memoir details some pretty horrific stuff. Julien’s parents, obsessed with making her a survivor devoid of any sort of weakness, deprived her of heat, hot water, decent food, and affection and made her do things like holding onto an electrified fence without recoiling. Now she’s a therapist specializing in the issues surrounding manipulation and control. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Lenzer, Jeanne. The Danger Within Us: America’s Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man’s Battle To Survive It. Little, Brown. Dec. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780316343763. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316269483. lib. ebk. 9780316343787. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. MEDICAL/ETHICS
An award-winning medical investigative journalist and former Knight Science Journalism fellow, Lezner brings us up to speed on a startling phenomenon. From hip replacements to pacemakers, medical interventions are now the third leading cause of death in America, killing more Americans each year than diabetes, murders, car accidents, and AIDS combined. As you might guess, corruption, cover-ups, and profiteering in an industry with little accountability let this happen. So watch your back. With a 35,000-copy first printing.

Raaflaub, Kurt A., ed. The Landmark Julius Caesar: The Complete Works: Gallic War, Civil War, Alexandrian War, African War, and Spanish War. Pantheon. Dec. 2017. 1008p. tr. from Latin by Kurt A. Raaflaub. ISBN 9780307377869. $50. ANCIENT HISTORY
This big, beautiful doorstopper of a book for history fans is the definitive single-volume edition of Julius Caesar’s complete works, which means Latin lovers can read Caesar’s Gallic War and Civil War in one place, if not in one sitting. It’s all here: a new translation, detailed maps, annotations, images, beautiful endpapers, and ancillary materials from classical scholars. Raaflaub was codirector of the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC, and is now professor emeritus of classics and history at Brown University, and obviously he’s been busy.

Taranto, Nick. The Evolved Eater: A Quest To Eat Better, Live Better, and Change the World. St. Martin’s. Dec. 2017. 272p. ISBN 9781250122117. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250122124. BUSINESS/FOOD INDUSTRIES
Cofounder of Plated, the home delivery food service, Taranto wants to persuade us to change how we eat and indeed how we think about food. And he wants the industrial American food complex to change, too. He knows whereof he speaks, having gained 20 pounds in six months while working on Wall Street. Get inspired.  An Editors’ Picks title at thsi year’s Day of Dialog.


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.

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