Memoir & More | Last of the Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2018


Bernstein, Jamie. Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein. Harper. Jun. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9780062641359. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062641373. MEMOIR
For the centenary in 2018 of legendary composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein’s birth, to be celebrated with a two-year global extravaganza involving more than 1,000 events, his daughter recalls “growing up Bernstein” and the father who was both outscale grand and cozily familiar, playing the piano in the wee hours in his bathrobe. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Bones, Bobby. Fight Grind Repeat: Until You Finally Don’t Fail. Dey Street. Jun. 2018. 224p. ISBN 9780062795816. $26.99. ebk. ISBN 9780062795830. MEMOIR
Host of the top-rated morning program The Bobby Bones Show, the youngest ever inductee into National Radio Hall Of Fame, and called “the most powerful man in country music” by Forbes, Bones relates his life via the goofs he turned into winning moments. With a 150,000-copy first printing; following the No. 1 New York Times best-selling Bare Bones.

Brockes, Emma. An Excellent Choice: Panic and Joy on My Solo Path to Motherhood.
Penguin Pr. Jun. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781594206634. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780698402621. CD/downloadable. MEMOIR
Single, in her late thirties, and just launching a same-sex relationship, British-born, New York–based journalist Brockes (She Left Me the Gun) also wanted a baby. So she turned to assisted reproductive technology via sperm donor, a process she documents with care, right up to the birth of her twins. From a two-time British Press Award winner, so expect good reporting.

Fisher, Todd. My Girls. Morrow. Jun. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780062792310. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062792310. lrg. prnt. MEMOIR
The son of movie darlings Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, producer/director Fisher had a lot to contend with in 2016 when his mother and his sister, the formidable Carrie Fisher, died within hours of each other. Here he offers personal stories spanning the lives of his, ahem, girls. With a 125,000-copy first printing.

Glen, David Gold. I Will Be Complete: A Memoir. Knopf. Jun. 2018. 496p. ISBN 9781101946398. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101946404. Downloadable. MEMOIR
Best-selling novelist Glen (e.g., the Discover pick Carter Beats the Devil) offers a life story as colorful as any fiction, moving from a wealthy childhood in the wild Sixties, to abandonment at age 12 by his divorced mother in the Me First Seventies, to boarding-school heaven, punk rock, a dream job at a bookstore, and more in the Eighties. All set in California.

Leon, Kenny. Take You Wherever You Go. Grand Central. Jun. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9781538744970. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781538744963. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781538730362. Downloadable. MEMOIR
The first African American director to win a Tony Award (for the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun), Leon here relates his life and the lessons he learned, especially from a strong grandmother who taught him to find his inspiration and let it  “take you wherever you go.” Insights also on the great playwright August Wilson, whose Fences claimed ten Tony nominations and three Tony wins when Leon directed the 2010 revival.

Mitchell, Wendy. Somebody I Used To Know: A Memoir. Ballantine. Jun. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9781524797911. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781524797928. MEMOIR
Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in her late fifties, Mitchell retired nine months later as an administrator for the British National Health Service and has since made two awareness-raising videos while writing the much-followed blog “Which Me Am I Today?” Here she explains what it’s like to live with dementia and how she regards it as a way to look at the world anew.

Sundberg, Kelly. Goodbye, Sweet Girl: A Story of Domestic Violence and Survival. Harper. Jun. 2018. 272p. ISBN 9780062497673. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062497697. MEMOIR
Expanding her Guernica essay “It Will Look Like a Sunset,” a viral sensation included in Best American Essays 2015, Sundberg chronicles marrying a charming man she learns is vengefully violent, coming to understand that the marriage is too dangerous to endure, and realizing how childhood in a remote Idaho town set her up for this situation. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

White, Edmund. The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading. Bloomsbury. Jun. 2108. 240p. ISBN 9781635571172. $28. MEMOIR
After heart surgery in 2014, acclaimed multithreat author White briefly lost the desire to read, which taught him just how much reading has shaped his life. Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past helped him accept his homosexuality while in boarding school, for instance, and he enjoyed morning phone calls with Vladimir Nabokov, who called White his favorite American writer. Let the “unpunished vice” reign!

More Nonfiction

Bass, Rick. The Traveling Feast: On the Road and At the Table with America’s Finest Writers. Little, Brown. Jun. 2018. 448p. ISBN 9780316381239. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316381192. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316381246. Downloadable. LITERARY CRITICISM
At a breaking point in his life, Bass, who’s taken us far in books like Story Prize winner For A Little While and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Why I Came West, commenced a years-long journey both to thank those who have helped him (including contemporaries like Peter Matthiessen and Lorrie Moore) and to help others—two young writers accompanied him. With a 35,000-copy first printing.

Bensinger, Ken. Red Card: How the U.S. Blew the Whistle on the World’s Biggest Sports Scandal. S. & S. Jun. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781501133909. $28; ebk ISBN 9781501133923. SPORTS
In his first book, Loeb Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Bensinger details the scandal that recently engulfed FIFA, the international governing board of football—called soccer in America, where an IRS agent’s review of a soccer official’s tax returns launched an investigation that led to multiple global indictments involving wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering. Just in time for the 2018 World Cup.

Brower, Kate Andersen. First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents, and the Pursuit of Power. Harper. Jun. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780062668943. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062668967. POLITICAL SCIENCE
Notwithstanding the famous assessment that the vice presidency is not worth a bucket of warm spit, 14 of the 47 U.S. vice presidents have gone on to the presidency. A CNN contributor who spent four years covering the Obama White House for Bloomberg News, Brower interviewed 200 people, including vice presidents and their families, to find out what the job is really like. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Crump, Benjamin. Open Season: The Systemic Legalization of Discrimination. Amistad. Jul. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780062375094. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062375117. LAW/MEMOIR
The president of the National Bar Association and a leading civil rights attorney who recently represented Trayvon Martin’s family, Crump has handled cases in state and federal courts nationwide. Here, he relies on those cases when arguing not simply that in our justice system the protections of the Constitution aren’t applied equally regarding race and class but that the system is rigged actually to harm people of color. He expands his case by considering factors ranging from the 13th Amendment and the Stand Your Ground laws to the impact of increased gun ownership and decreased education spending. With a 40,000-copy first printing; originally scheduled for last January.

Faulkner, Harris. 9 Rules of Engagement.  Harper. Jun. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780062697516. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062697530. SELF-HELP
Faulkner points to the discipline, integrity, and leadership skills she learned growing up in a military family to explain how she became the Emmy Award–winning news anchor of Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner and cohost of the talk show Outnumbered. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Fieseler, Robert W. Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation. Liveright: Norton. Jun. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781631491641. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781631491658. HISTORY
In 1973, arson destroyed the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans and also destroyed the city’s under-the-radar, blue-collar gay community. Thirty-one lives were lost, and with families ashamed to claim bodies and the Catholic Church refusing burial, the tragedy became an only recently acknowledged catalyst of the gay liberation movement. From a winner of Lynton and Pulitzer Traveling fellowships.

Gayford, Martin. Modernists and Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters. Thames & Hudson. Jun. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780500239773. $39.95. FINE ARTS
The painters active in London from World War II to the 1970s ranged widely indeed, from the titular Bacon, Freud, and Hockney to Bridget Riley and Gillian Ayers. But Spectator art critic Gayford reveals underlying connections while showing why painting thrived in these environs at a time when the genre was considered dead and done. With over 100 illustrations, 70 in color, plus never-before-seen interviews.

Stein, Arlene. Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity. Pantheon. Jun. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781524747459. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101972502. GENDER STUDIES
How do transgender men think about their sexuality? How did they decide to transition? How did family and friends react? What was the process like? What dangers do they continue to face? Stein, a multi-award-winning Rutgers sociology professor, blends a history of the transgender movement with the personal stories of more than 100 individuals (focusing on four) to update for us a key contemporary phenomenon.


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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