Wait! Dont jump off the roof because the bestseller lists have turned into books from the Right screaming at books from the Left, and visa versa. Here are some of the silly, interesting, wondrous books, and also a couple Left/ Right books forthcoming yet this year 2009, and in 2010 and one (#21), oddly but probably precipitously planned for 2011 ‘just in time’ for the 2012 elections. These are ones that recently caught my eye, offered to to you as ‘thought gifts’ for the future: I hope at least one will interest, nourish your mind, heart, and soul.
1. CHILDREN: Helene Boudreau’s I DARE YOU NOT TO YAWN, an anti-bedtime story testing the theory of whether yawns are contagious, to be published by Candlewick. (I can just see the children practicing their yawning, with the reading parent yawning back to them. Good, innocent fun.)
2. NONFICTION: Michael Ochs’s TADELAKT: AN ANCIENT STONE PLASTER TECHNIQUE REDISCOVERED, the first comprehensive description of an old Moroccan plaster wall surfacing technique that creates unique, sensual, natural effects, to Nancy Green at Norton, for publication in Fall 2009. (Long ago, when I worked as a nanny, this technique was used in the house of the family I worked for… the technique was carried into the US southwest by old men plasterers who would create ‘pictures of landscapes and animals’ on the house walls, but the textural outlines of which could only be seen in the early slanted light of dawn.)
3. NONFICTION: Christiane Kohl’s THE WITNESS HOUSE, is an account of the 1945 Nuremberg war crimes trials… and the villa in which witnesses for both sides were housed together… creating a microcosm of personal responses to the war, to be pub’d by Other Press, for publication in Fall 2010. (Miss Vivienne, an elderly friend who visits here in the Rockies now, was a stenographer at the Nuremburg trials back then, and she says this book will be fascinating insight into the ordinariness of those who turn murderous.)
4. AUDIO: James McGrath Morris’s “THE ROSE MAN OF SING SING: A True Tale of Life, Murder, and Redemption in the Age of Yellow Journalism,” is about the life of Pulitzer’s notorious editor Charles Chapin who murdered his wife and spent the end of his life growing roses in Sing Sing Prison: Random House Audio,
5. NONFICTION: Glen Finland’s NEXT STOP, about the summer the author and her 21-year-old autistic son spent riding the Washington, DC metro system together with the hope of him being able to go solo and be the first step towards his independence. To be published by Amy Einhorn Books.
6. NONFICTION: Charles Bowden’s MURDER CITY: Lessons of the Dead in Mexico, on the violence in Juarez, Mexico and its role as harbinger to future world violence, will be pub’d by Nation Books in 2010.
7. FICTION, THRILLER: “CITY OF LIGHT” by author Lauren Belfer’ is set against the secret race to develop the arsenal of “weapons of life” — now known as antibiotics. The story illuminates the struggle of one family to cohere amid the passions, betrayals, and triumphs of World War II, taking us from the streets of Manhattan to the battlefields of North Africa, to Harper, for publication in June 2010.
8. NONFICTION, DIET: Tyler Graham and Drew Ramsey, M.D.’s THE HAPPINESS DIET, an overview of the biology of happiness and the ways in which its building blocks have disappeared from our food supply, outlining the nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins, and other problems in the Western diet that have led to our health crisis in mind and body and offering a detailed solution, to be pub’d by Rodale.
9.NONFICTION, SPORTS: World-ranked forty-plus endurance sports champion and elite trainer Don Fink’s ‘FAST MARATHONS AFTER 40,’ new training methods and approaches which result in faster times, fewer injuries, and more enjoyment for the forty-plus marathoner, to Keith Wallman at Lyons Press, for publication in Fall 2010.
10. NON-FICTION, ILLUSTRATED/ART: Mark Stephen Meadows’s ‘WE, ROBOT’, an illustrated book that examines the robots of our favorite science fiction tales – Battlestar Galactica, The Terminator, Blade Runner, Robocop, Wall-E, The Jetsons, Iron Man, and others – and reveals which ones pretty much exist today and what we can expect to see in the not-too-distant future, to Lyons Press, for publication in Fall 2010.
11. NON-FICTION, MEMOIR: Linda York Leaming’s ‘MARRIED TO BHUTAN,’ a humorous memoir about the author’s ten years as the only American living in the tiny Himalayan country, her mystical encounter with the thanka painter who would become her husband, and the ways in which Bhutanese way of life can be integrated elsewhere. To be pub’d by Hay House
12. NON-FICTION: HISTORY/POLITICS/CURRENT AFFAIRS: Associate professor of history and public policy at the Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University– Jeffrey Engel’s ‘WHEN THE WORLD SEEMED NEW: American Foreign Policy in the Age of George H. W. Bush,’ examines the foreign policy of George H.W. Bush’s presidency during one of history’s great turning points: the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Tiananmen Square Massacre, and the Persian Gulf War. Based on interviews with the principals, and access to new documents including the heretofore classified Brent Scowcroft Papers. To be pub’d by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
13. NON-FICTION: SPORTS: David Barrett’s ‘MIRACLE OF MERION: The Inspiring Story of Ben Hogan’s Miraculous Comeback and Victory at the 1950 U.S. Open,’ the remarkable tale of the legendary golfer’s return to the pinnacle of pro golf just 15 months after suffering career-and life-threatening injuries in an automobile accident. To be pub’d by Skyhorse, Fall 2010.
14. CURRENTLY IN PRINT: Rose George’s ‘A THOUSAND MOVES: On the Uncharted World of Freight,’ a voyage through the shady world of international shipping, and a follow-up to ‘The Big Necessity;’ there are 40,000 freighters on the seas, and between them they carry 80% of the world’s trade and 90% of its energy.
15. NON-FICTION: SPORTS: Boxing trainer Freddie Roach with Peter Owen Nelson wrote ‘THE WILD CARD: Hard Fought Lessons from a Life in the Ring,’ containing illuminating anecdotes about training champion boxers like Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya, to Skyhorse, for publication in Spring 2010.
16. NON-FICTION: SCIENCE: Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis’s ‘THE SHAPE OF INNER SPACE: Surveying the Geometry of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions,’ an argument by the leading mind behind the mathematics of string theory, for the fundamental importance of geometry to our understanding of our universe, to Basic Books for publication in Fall 2011.
17. NON-FICTION: HISTORY/POLITICS/CURRENT AFFAIRS: Pulitzer Prize-winner, Philadelphia Daily News writer “REBELS WITHOUT A CLUE: The Threat to America from an Armed, Apocalyptic Right-Wing Minority,” a chronicle of a new American dystopia of extreme talk and extreme actions in the Obama era, to Harper, for publication in 2010.
18. NON-FICTION: SCIENCE: Author of ‘The Smaller Majority,’ discoverer of over 80 new insect species, and director of the Invertebrate Diversity Initiative at Conservation International… Piotr Naskrecki’s ‘RELICS AND SANCTUARIES,’ is a history of the planet’s most ancient species and ecosystems, illustrated with the author’s own expert nature photography. To be pub’d by University of Chicago Press, for publication in 2010.
19. NON-FICTION: SPORTS: Fulbright scholar and Harper’s assistant editor Rafe Bartholomew has authored ‘PACIFIC RIMS,’… equal parts underdog sports story, cultural study, and memoir. The author (a lifelong basketball fanatic who grew up playing on the streets of New York) travels to the Philippines, where children are named after NBA players and jerry-rigged hoops populate every corner of the nation. There, he discovers the one place in the world where people are even more committed to the sport than he is. To be pub’d by NAL.
20. NON-FICTION: HISTORY/POLITICS/CURRENT AFFAIRS: Acclaimed author of The Suicide of Reason, Lee Harris’s ‘THE NEXT AMERICAN CIVIL WAR,’ in which the author argues that the disruption of town hall meetings, rumors of death panels and of the advent of Socialism signal the makings of a new populist revolt in America and draws insight from two thousand years of history and philosophy to show that it is the effort to bridge the divide between left and right that allows us to maintain our liberty. To be pub’d by Palgrave.
21. NON-FICTION: HISTORY/POLITICS/CURRENT AFFAIRS: Fox News commentator/O’Reilly Factor regular, as well as great-granddaughter of President Herbert Hoover, Margaret Hoover has written a call to action to return to, and restate — especially for a younger generation — the fundamentals of conservatism and a reinvigoration of the Republican party post-Karl Rove. Broadway Books will publish in Spring 2011.
” Minds are like parachutes,
they only function when they are open. ”
Sir James Dewar