Science, Psychology, & Food | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2018

Barth, F. Diane. I Know How You Feel: The Joy and Heartbreak of Friendship in Women’s Lives. Houghton Harcourt. Feb. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9780544870277. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780544870291. PSYCH
New York–based psychotherapist Barth, whose Psychology Today blog boasts over 4.5 million views, weaves together stories from a range of women to explain how life affects women’s friendships and how women’s friendships affect their lives. Not Sex in the City chatty but deep; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Friedman, Andrew. Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits and Wanderers Created a New American Profession. Ecco. Feb. 2018. 480p. ISBN 9780062225856. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062225870. COOKING/HISTORY
From the coauthor of two dozen cookbooks, here’s the story of how American chefs became hot in the 1970s–1980s, from the spark struck in politically charged California by the likes of Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck to East Coast wonders Mario Batali and Tom Colicchio and the fall of New York City’s French restaurant as the only game in town. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Haselton, Martie & Geoffrey Miller. Hormonal: The Hidden Intelligence of Hormones—How They Drive Desire, Shape Relationships, Influence Our Choices, and Make Us Wiser. Little, Brown. Feb. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780316369213. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316369190. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316269537. HEALTH & SEXUALITY
Good news, women: hormonal ups and downs aren’t there to drive you crazy but to help you choose mates, shove off rivals, produce healthy offspring, and generally cope with biological overload. During ovulation, women are at their most attractive (they even shop more), and PMS might serve to weed out undesirable boyfriends. From a UCLA professor who leads the field in evolutionary psychology and women’s sexuality. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Hyman, Mark. Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? Little, Brown. Feb. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780316338868. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316338851. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316558440. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. FOOD
Eggs aren’t bad for you, and oatmeal isn’t the best breakfast food ever: some of food whiz Hyman’s many myth busters as he works his way through every food group, explaining what really nurtures us. From a ten-time No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, so the 200,000-copy first printing doesn’t seems extreme.

Lee, Sang-Hee with Shin-Young Yoon. Close Encounters with Humankind: A Paleoanthropologist Investigates Our Evolving Species. Norton. Feb. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780393634822. $26.95. SCIENCE/EVOLUTION
Billed as Korea’s first paleoanthropologist and currently a professor of anthropology and an associate dean at the University of California, Riverside, Lee uses quick-take chapters and a congenial tone to give us an overview of what paleoanthropology has discovered and how it works. The book began as a series of articles in a leading Korean science magazine, became a best seller, and is currently used in Korea as a teaching tool on many levels. Think of it as visiting some really old friends.

Santella, Andrew. Soon: What Science, Philosophy, Religion and History Teach Us about the Surprising Power of Procrastination. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Jan. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9780062491589. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062491602. PSYCH
Chatting to psychologists, philosophers, and priests and surveying case studies ranging from Old Testament prophets to Leonardo da Vinci to Civil War generals, Santella examines why we keep putting things off. It’s not laziness but ambivalence, he argues, as we try to decide in a hyperactive and efficiency-driven world what really matters to us. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Schaefer, Kayleen. Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship. Dutton. Feb. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9781101986127. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781101986134. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. PSYCH
What does female friendship mean in contemporary culture? Something different from what it used to mean, when women competed with nails unsheathed and dumped their girlfriends as soon as Mr. Right came along. There’s even a Galentine’s Day, the unofficial female friendship holiday on February 13. Journalist Schaefer draws on research and personal anecdote to assay this bright new world.

Slater, Lauren. Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs That Changed Our Minds. Little, Brown. Feb. 2018. 416p. ISBN 9780316370646. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316370585. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316370639. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. MEDICAL/PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
Who better than the author of Prozac Diary to offer a thoroughgoing history of psychotropic drugs? Science writer Slater tracks back nearly 70 years to Thorazine and lithium, then moves through Prozac and antidepressants to Ecstasy and the new memory drugs, discussing their discovery, their use, and everything we don’t know about how they work and indeed how our brains function. With a 100,000-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.

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