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Movies (and Other Things)

Serrano knows how to craft a think piece, and his perspective is illuminating. With essays on Get Out, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Booksmart, this is also a timely read to be enjoyed by film buffs and general audiences alike.

Religion in Vogue: Christianity and Fashion in America

With an academic focus, this extensively researched, fascinating account of two distinct arenas of thought and forms of expression will be essential for students and scholars of religion, fashion, cultural studies, and sociology.

The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina; Separating the Myth from the Medicine

For anyone seeking a factual and fun take on a subject that should never have been, yet still is, taboo, this book will be much appreciated.
PREMIUM

American Demagogue: The Great Awakening and the Rise and Fall of Populism

Despite its misleading title, this work remains a thoughtful take on an intriguing period of American history.
PREMIUM

Lincoln’s Informer: Charles A. Dana and the Inside Story of the Union War

An insightful work about an influential but often overlooked political figure.
PREMIUM

Small Garden Design

Professional landscape designers will find plenty to ponder here. Even as the overall vibe is more upscale Architectural Digest than down-to-earth Better Homes and Gardens, there is enough practical wisdom seeded among the dreamy images that even home gardeners will find a tip or two to apply to their own cherished plots of verdant happiness.

Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War, The Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place On Earth

A fascinating take on the importance of level-headed people and international agreements working together to manage tense geopolitical situations.

Barbara’s Picks (From Jennifer Finney Boylan to Jessica Ward), Plus Arts, Science, Business, & Health: Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2020, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America

A general purchase recommended for public libraries.
PREMIUM

999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz

Against the backdrop of World War II, this respectful narrative presents a compassionate and meticulous remembrance of the young women profiled throughout.
PREMIUM

Fighting Churchill, Appeasing Hitler: Neville Chamberlain, Sir Horace Wilson, & Britain’s Plight of Appeasement: 1937–1939

This fascinating study is a model of historical sleuthing. Vigorously researched, it should appeal widely to history buffs.
PREMIUM

The Founding Fortunes: How the Wealthy Paid for and Profited from America’s Revolution

Overall, the work presents a commendable treatment of pecuniary matters during this country’s embryonic stages and is recommended for readers interested in fiscal matters and American economic habits.

Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever

All readers will find inspiration in this uplifting book, particularly in today’s complex world. Pair with Maxwell King’s The Good Neighbor for a multifaceted look at an innovator of children’s television. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Wham!, George Michael and Me: A Memoir

This fond memoir of friendship and fame will appeal to fans of Wham! and 1980s pop. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

The Theology of Liberalism: Political Philosophy and the Justice of God

While ultimately Nelson is unable to refute nonideal critiques of his position, even readers leery of his conclusions will learn much from his attempt.
PREMIUM

Listening for America: Inside the Great American Songbook from Gershwin to Sondheim

While Kapilow doesn’t quite make his case, he has written an engaging, informative, and provocative book that is recommended for fans of Broadway musicals.
PREMIUM

When Reagan Sent in the Marines: The Invasion of Lebanon

Complementary to Benis Frank’s thoroughly researched U.S. Marines in Lebanon, 1982–1984 and John Laffin’s The War of Desperation: Lebanon 1982–1984, this smoothly written assessment of a modern American military disaster will be a worthwhile addition to most history collections.

Know My Name: A Memoir

A much-needed memoir giving voice to those who must be heard. Miller’s writing stands apart.

Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years

A frank and intimate storyteller whose radiant spirit fills these pages, Andrews chronicles the peaks and valleys of her life and career. This event-packed memoir is a must for fans of Andrews’s life and work, students of cinema history, and anyone who is curious about musical film production. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]

Permanent Record

For those fascinated by electronic spying or impassioned by the issue of privacy rights, Snowden’s memoir casts an enlightening view of the U.S. intelligence community despite sometimes being marred by cumbersome jargon.

71 Superb Titles | Starred Reviews, October 2019

Barbara’s Picks (Götz Aly, Robert D. Putnam, Richie Robertson, Chris Whipple), Plus America Past & Present: History Previews, Apr. 2020, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Time Is Tight: My Life, Note by Note

An enjoyable and insightful read. For fans of Booker T. and the M.G.’s, the Stax era, and soul music.
PREMIUM

Out of My Head: On the Trail of Consciousness

The presentation of this work may appeal to some readers seeking a new approach to the elusive trail of consciousness. Yet the majority of audiences will find this structure off-putting as its style further complicates an already complex topic.
PREMIUM

Afterimages: On Cinema, Women and Changing Times

Future filmmakers as well as art and media students will find this academic take on feminism and cinema a valuable resource.
PREMIUM

Becoming Beauvoir: A Life

Marked by a clear narrative contextualizing the many key figures interacting with Beauvoir across her life, as well as the international events that also touched and affected her, this biography belongs in both academic and popular philosophy collections.
PREMIUM

Judy Chicago: Roots of The Dinner Party; History in the Making

Art enthusiasts interested in postmodernism and women’s studies will delight in this consciousness-raising tribute to a watershed work.
PREMIUM

The History of Rock & Roll. Vol. 2: 1964–1977; The Beatles, the Stones, and the Rise of Classic Rock

Mainly of interest to music historians, vintage record collectors, and informed general readers.
PREMIUM

South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels

Biking and adventure travel enthusiasts will revel in the author’s descriptions and ability to endure such an arduous trip, and find this account restores one’s faith in human goodness.
PREMIUM

Bedlam: An Intimate Journey into America’s Mental Health Crisis

Providing a comprehensive overview of critical issues continuing to plague our mental health system, this well-researched volume serves as a nice companion to Pete Earley’s Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness.
PREMIUM

The Eight Master Lessons of Nature: What Nature Teaches Us About Living Well in the World

This inspirational work will spur readers to start noticing the world around them.
PREMIUM

8 Keys To End Emotional Eating

Farkas’s angle of eating for defiance will touch a nerve but will also offer help to instill a constructive response in many overeaters seeking ways to get to the core of the behavior.
PREMIUM

Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief

An excellent addition to grief literature that helps pave the way for steps toward healing.
PREMIUM

I Wanted Fries with That: How To Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need

This page-turner of a self-help book highlights great ideas on almost every page. A solid choice for all collections.
PREMIUM

Kill Reply All: A Modern Guide to Online Etiquette, from Social Media to Work to Love

A particularly insightful guide for practically anyone who emails, seeks romance, or desires to build relationships with others online.
PREMIUM

20 Things I Know for Sure: Principles for Cultivating a Peaceful Life

Once again, Casey delivers a useful framework with which to help one embark on a spiritual journey.
PREMIUM

The Power of Nunchi: The Korean Secret to Happiness and Success

These two books give readers the chance to incorporate principles into their daily lives that will help them see through many everyday challenges.
PREMIUM

Fragile Power: Why Having Everything Is Never Enough; Lessons from Treating the Wealthy and Famous

This fascinating read illuminates the inner lives of the rich and famous even as it demonstrates how to understand and share the feelings of others and develop a real connection.
PREMIUM

Average Is the New Awesome: A Manifesto for the Rest of Us

This delightful, fun read will especially appeal to teens and readers in their 20s and 30s.
PREMIUM

Mudlark: In Search of London’s Past Along the River Thames

Maiklem positions the River Thames as a narrator, which only offers up some of its stories in a piecemeal fashion. The parts that are revealed, however, make for a captivating read.
PREMIUM

The Body: A Guide for Occupants

Bryson has shaped an enormous amount of anatomy and physiology into an informative and entertaining biostory. Recommended for Bryson fans and nonspecialists interested in human health and biology.
PREMIUM

Molly: The True Story of the Amazing Dog Who Rescues Cats

Animal lovers will devour this British-toned, feel-good book, and might even develop some strategies in case their furry friends go missing.
PREMIUM

Erosion: Essays of Undoing

These essays are wide ranging and heartfelt and will attract dedicated environmentalists.
PREMIUM

Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives—and Save Theirs

Looking at scientific research from a variety of experts, this is a compelling call to reestablish ties with the animal world. Strongly recommended for anyone feeling overwhelmed or spiritually bereft in today’s society.
PREMIUM

Who Says You’re Dead? Medical & Ethical Dilemmas for the Curious & Concerned

An engaging, thought-provoking, and accessible exploration of the many knotty issues that have appeared in newspaper headlines or challenged medical professionals behind closed doors.
PREMIUM

When the Earth Had Two Moons: Cannibal Planets, Icy Giants, Dirty Comets, Dreadful Orbits, and the Origins of the Night Sky

A fun read from an award-winning scientist. Asphaug’s literary skill shines throughout this entertaining work.
PREMIUM

The Zookeepers’ War: An Incredible True Story from the Cold War

Well researched and executed, this book will appeal to zoologists, zoo lovers, and readers interested in the history of postwar Germany.
PREMIUM

Critical Insights: Censored & Banned Literature

Most readers will home in on a specific essay or section, but they will likely find something useful in this wide-ranging text.

Disability Experiences: Memoirs, Autobiographies, and Other Personal Narratives

This unusual approach to disability studies will be of interest to faculty and students researching disability studies, life writing, anthropology, psychology, and sociology.
PREMIUM

Iraq War: The Essential Reference Guide

This well-researched guide lives up to its title as an “essential reference,” providing readers with key facts. Anyone with an interest in military history, operations, the Iraq War, or modern warfare will find this title a valuable resource.
PREMIUM

Cities Around the World: Struggles and Solutions to Urban Life

An excellent primer for high school students, undergraduates, and interested nonspecialist readers who want to expand their perspectives about urban issues both within and beyond the United States.
PREMIUM

Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge

Well written and poignant, this is a must for Fisher’s fans. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]
PREMIUM

A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith

Readers with interest in the history of Christianity, theology, or apologetics will find this book useful.

Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle To Convert the Catholic Church

Highly recommended for readers seeking to understand the complexities of a papacy very different from those of the recent past.
PREMIUM

97,196 Words: Essays

A compelling collection, best suited for sophisticated readers up-to-date on their current affairs, and academic audiences.
PREMIUM

Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God

Blending theology and memoir, Bessey’s latest is a well-written reminder of seeing the miracles in life’s highs and lows.
PREMIUM

Me & Other Writings

An admirable translation that will enthrall fans of French literature as well as 20th-century history buffs.
PREMIUM

Meister Eckhart’s Book of Secrets: Meditations on Letting Go and Finding True Freedom

With an economy of language, these words read like Buddhist koans, encouraging a path toward the richness of an interior life.
PREMIUM

Screening Reality: How Documentary Filmmakers Reimagined America

Wilkman makes a compelling case for documentary filmmaking to help rebuild “the foundations of evidential inquiry.” And the best way to do that, he argues, is for documentaries to introduce us to people and experiences we may never otherwise encounter in our daily lives. For all audiences.
PREMIUM

Inventing Tomorrow: H.G. Wells in the Twentieth Century

Extensive references and footnotes make this a good choice for readers comfortable with analysis steeped in research. Recommended for larger academic holdings.
PREMIUM

Initiated: Memoir of a Witch

Although there are a few spells and ceremonies included, this is not a “how-to” for witchcraft. This account will reach readers with an interest in modern women’s autobiographies, true stories about witchcraft and magic, and resistance to patriarchy.
PREMIUM

A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away: My Fifty Years Editing Hollywood Hits—Star Wars, Carrie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Mission: Impossible, and More

Readers will learn a lot about the role of a film editor and will feel compelled to rewatch the many hit movies Hirsch edited. Highly recommended for fans of these films and those interested in filmmaking.

Overtime: Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines at the Crossroads of College Football

While Michigan’s 2018 season may have ended in disappointment for fans, this work does not disappoint. For fans of the Wolverines, this is a must-read along with Bacon’s other titles about the team.
PREMIUM

Frolic and Tour

As one might expect, these poems are replete with numerous allusions to Catholicism
PREMIUM

God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip-Hop

Iandoli gives female artists the recognition they deserve, while showing that there is still work to do. Place this book in the hands of fans of Hanif Abdurraqib and Jeff Chang.

Félix Vallotton

Highly recommended for informed readers who would like an introduction to this lesser-known artist.
PREMIUM

The Best American Essays 2019

A worthwhile series installment that should not only interest contemporary readers but also hold a place in the historical record.
PREMIUM

Silences

The poem “Magritte, The Empire of Light,” describes this paradoxical painting, which shows a daylight sky over a nighttime scene
PREMIUM

Ian McKellen: A Biography

A wonderful biography of a memorable artist, and a worthy addition to all libraries.
PREMIUM

The Color of the Moon: Lunar Painting in American Art

Of considerable interest to art lovers, scholars, moon gazers, and others, this publication will both delight and educate. Recommended for large public and academic visual arts collections.
PREMIUM

Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero

A humorous and heartwarming book about not only running with donkeys but about community, our connections with one another, and our abilities to persevere and overcome physical and mental challenges. [See Prepub Alert, 4/1/19.]

The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar’s and Everything in Between

A welcome update on Jewish history and culture that is mostly just plain fun.
PREMIUM

Frances Benjamin Johnston: The Hampton Album

While the gauzy classrooms look antiquarian enough to seem anachronistic, present-day realities of American education intrude into any viewing and will encourage individual responses from readers. A fascinating side window into a tragic history, still in progress.
PREMIUM

Bowie: The Definitive Collection with Unseen Images

Whether consumed chronologically or browsed, this is an enjoyable snapshot of a brief but important period of Bowie’s career. More than suitable for coffee tables and an essential addition to rock music photography collections.
PREMIUM

Virginia Woolf: And the Women Who Shaped Her World

Despite the occasionally gossipy tone and casual language that detracts from the work’s overall scholarly perspective, this volume will be welcomed by readers and students curious about the cultural aspects of Woolf’s development as a writer.

Goodness and the Literary Imagination

Interestingly, the essayists here, rather than literary experts, specialize in religion, history, theology, and ethics, which provides a refreshing analysis and perspective on Morrison’s work and a valuable contribution to Morrison scholarship.

Switched On Pop: How Popular Music Works, and Why It Matters

In much the same way that Wendy Carlos’s 1968 album Switched-on Bach introduced synthesizers to popular music, Sloan and Harding’s ode to popular music reintroduces the Billboard Top 100 to the field of musicology and the snobbiest of vinyl collectors. A necessary addition to any music collection.

A Mile and a Half of Lines: The Art of James Thurber

With 260 drawings, chapters covering “The Line of Matisse or a Doodling Child?,” “Signs of the Hard Times,” “The Thurber Dog and Other Creatures,” a chronology of solo and group exhibitions, and exhaustive back matter, this volume is worthy of readers’ holy shelf and invaluable to Thurberites everywhere.
PREMIUM

Acid for the Children: A Memoir

Readers will find much to relate to in Flea’s life story and will hope that this isn’t the only entry in his writing career. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]

Beautiful on the Outside: A Memoir

Recommended for all readers, especially those familiar with Rippon and who would like to learn more about his life and career. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Mary Ball Washington: The Untold Story of George Washington’s Mother

For general readers of American history, especially those interested in the revolutionary period.
PREMIUM

Bagels, Bumf, and Buses: A Day in the Life of the English Language

For anyone curious about where everyday English words “come from,” this accessible text will prove to be an enticing choice, as well as a useful guide for general readers seeking resources on English usage and popular linguistics.
PREMIUM

A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee

A high-demand biography for fans of Lee and Marvel comics.
PREMIUM

Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter

Greenidge’s meticulously documented, free-flowing narrative draws telling comparisons between the opening of the 20th and 21st centuries to reorient the career of black radicalism, showing how Trotter developed the art of public protest and civil disobedience. A must-read for both scholars and general readers interested in the civil rights movement. [See Prepub Alert, 4/28/19.]

The Last Negroes at Harvard: The Class of 1963 and the 18 Young Men Who Changed Harvard Forever

Essential reading for those interested in civil rights, racial identity, and higher education.
PREMIUM

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China

This accessible book will appeal to history buffs and biography fans in addition to those already familiar with Chang’s body of work.
PREMIUM

Boss of the Grips: The Life of James H. Williams and the Red Caps of Grand Central Terminal

Washington’s illustrated and well-researched work will have some appeal for rail fans, but its true value is for readers interested in the social condition of African Americans in New York during the period.
PREMIUM

Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl

This fiercely written, sobering account of actions that alter lives forever is recommended for students of sociology, gender studies, and psychology, as well as general readers wishing to learn more about the effects of sexual assault and rape.
PREMIUM

Your Voice Speaks Volumes: It’s Not What You Say, But How You Say It

Setter applies phonetic analysis to a range of aspects of daily life in a way that is approachable to a wide audience. However, the level of technical detail and geographical focus on the UK may limit the overall appeal to academic readers.
PREMIUM

Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations

This exceedingly well-written chronicle will please all history lovers.
PREMIUM

Disasterama! Adventures in the Queer Underground 1977 to 1997

An important memoir to add to any library’s collection about the turbulent beginning of the AIDS epidemic.
PREMIUM

Making a Difference: My Fight for Native Rights and Social Justice

Recommended for all readers interested in Native American history, and careers in public service.
PREMIUM

The Best American Travel Writing 2019

No matter what their mood or interest, readers can find much to move and delight them in this entertaining collection.

The Seine: The River That Made Paris

For readers who have walked along the banks of the Seine or dream of someday doing so, this love letter to a river is highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 4/28/19.]

The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness

Indispensable reading for aficionados of Cahalan’s Brain on Fire and Merve Imre’s The Personality Brokers.
PREMIUM

Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics, and Guilt in America

An urgent call to action. Recommended for anyone concerned with social justice, which should be all of us. [See author spotlight on p. 109.]
PREMIUM

Thomas Jefferson’s Education

Recommended only for readers of Jeffersonian history and those curious about the history of the University of Virginia and College of William & Mary. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/19.]
PREMIUM

America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States

This thoroughly researched, informative, and lucid work is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, and how it influences the current political environment.

The Turn On: How the Powerful Make Us Like Them—from Washington to Wall Street to Hollywood

References to present-day events improve readers’ understanding of the author’s thesis and the work’s timely relevance. Highly recommended.

Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century

A moving, wonderfully written history of a fascinating family that will attract readers of history and those interested in Judaic studies. Highly recommended.
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