Language, Literature, Philosophy: Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2023, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

Smart opinions, shared. 

Dennett, Daniel C. I’ve Been Thinking. Norton. Oct. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9780393868050. $38. MEMOIR/PHILOSOPHY

Gay, Roxane. Opinions. Harper. Oct. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780063341463. $32. CD. LITERATURE/ESSAYS

Hecimovich, Gregg. The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts: The True Story of the Bondwoman’s Narrative. Ecco. Oct. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780062334732. $40. LITERATURE/BIOGRAPHY

Ogilvie, Sarah. The Dictionary People: The Unsung Heroes Who Created the Oxford English Dictionary. Knopf. Oct. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780593536407. $28. LANGUAGE/HISTORY

Sapolsky, Robert M. Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will. Penguin Pr. Oct. 2023. 528p. ISBN 9780525560975. $32. PHILOSOPHY/BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

Sisman, Adam. The Secret Life of John le Carré. Harper. Oct. 2023. 128p. ISBN 9780063341043. $27.99. CD. LITERATURE/BIOGRAPHY

I’ve Been Thinking , muses eminent philosopher and cognitive scientist Dennett (Consciousness Explained), whose memoir examines key influences on his thought (e.g., Gilbert Ryle, Stephen Jay Gould) and both breakthroughs and diversions along the way. Has influential author/editor/commentator Gay got Opinions, which she shares in her first new book in six years, collecting key nonfiction pieces from the last decade (100,000-copy first printing). In The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts, Furman University professor Hecimovich uncovers the true identity of Hannah Bonds, credited with authoring The Bondwoman's Narrative, the first novel known to be written by a Black American woman. In The Dictionary People, linguist/lexicographer Ogilvie chronicles the many volunteers—from a Yale president and a suffragette to the daughter or Karl Marx and three murderers—who helped create the Oxford English Dictionary. A Macarthur Fellow and Stanford professor of biology and neurology, Sapolsky argues that we are all Determined—that there is no separate self dictating what our biology does—and considers what this means for morality. A National Book Critics Circle Award–winning biographer, Sisman here reveals The Secret Life of John le Carré, sharing details—particularly regarding affairs—that he could not reveal while writing a biography of le Carré during his lifetime.

Author Image
Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing