New Nonfiction Roundup – October 2019

Two  memoirs from titans in the music industry join Peak Picks this “Rocktober”: The Beautiful Ones by Prince and Me by Elton John. Bill Bryson’s latest, a guide to The Body and comedian Ali Wong’s first book,  Dear Girls, will delight readers, while Rachel Maddow will infuriate news junkies with an expose on Big Oil in Blowout. Seattleite Timothy Egan embarks on A Pilgrimage to Eternity along the Via Francigena, and David Workman and Suquamish Tribe chairman Leonard Forsman honor the Salish Sea in We Are Puget Sound

Ronan Farrow reveals the reporting on the Harvey Weinstein scandal that earned him a Pulitzer in Catch & KillAmaryllis Fox’s experience as a CIA operative will leave readers speechless in Life Undercover. Nobel-Prize winner Robert Shiller explains how stories can influence the economy in Narrative EconomicsGloria Steinem shares words of wisdom in The Truth Will Set You Free, But First it Will Piss You Off!

The late Edmund Morris’s final biography on Edison is epic in scope and size. Debbie Harry talks about Blondie, New York and art in Face It while Liz Phair transcends genres with Horror Stories and Holly George Warren considers the explosive life of Janis Joplin. Beloved star Julie Andrews talks about her most famous roles on stage and screen in Home Work. Comedian/actor John Hodgman returns with another funny memoir, Medallion Status, focusing on his career, and the latest from Augusten Burroughs, Toil & Trouble finds the author coming to terms with being a witch. Jeannie Gaffigan, wife of comedian Jim Gaffigan, shares a health scare with sincerity and humor in When Life Gives You PearsAnd Hillary and Chelsea Clinton survey women who’ve made a difference in The Book of Gutsy Women

Three memoirs by debut authors have generated lots of buzz: Saeed Jones talks about growing up gay and Black in How We Fight For Our Lives; Jaquira Díaz reflects on growing up poor amidst mental illness and addiction in Puerto Rico  in Ordinary Girls; and Adrienne Brodeur’s complicity in her mother’s affair with her father’s best friend is the subject of Wild Game. Jeannie Vanasco confronts the man who raped her in Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl. Thomas Chatterton Williams asks what it means to be biracial in Self-Portrait in Black & White. Megan Phelps-Roper reveals all as she left the Westboro Baptist Church in Unfollow.

THOUGHT-PROVOKING ESSAYS & COMPELLING NARRATIVES. Conservationist Terry Tempest-Williams considers the topic of Erosion in multiple contexts. Shauna James-Ahern (“Gluten-Free Girl”) finds her voice in Enough. Meghan Daum navigates the culture wars in The Problem with Everything while writer Paul Kingsnorth wrestles with words in Savage GodsTravel writer Paul Theroux’s latest, On the Plain of Snakes takes him along the U.S.-Mexico border, New York Times columnist Gail Collins celebrates older women in No Stopping Us Now while Ryan Holiday meditates on the value of slowing down in Stillness is the Key. In Before & After, Lisa Wingate looks at the notorious adoption scandal behind her novel Before We Were Yours and Nathalia Holt uncovers the women who made history at Disney in The Queens of Animation

In Good Habits, Bad Habits,Wendy Wood gives you the tools to change the way you think, while Today Show host Hoda Kotb motivates us with inspirational quotes in I Really Needed This TodayDeepak Chopra helps us unleash our limitless potential in Metahuman; motivational speaker Simon Sinek teaches leaders how to adopt a new mindset in Infinite Game; and Dave Asprey helps you up your game and reverse aging in Super Human. Finally, beloved Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön helps us live whole in a broken world in Welcoming the Unwelcome

Three classic cookbooks receive updates: Fuchsia Dunlop’s Food of Sichuan, Elizabeth Prueitt’s Tartine, and Mark Bittman’s How to Cook EverythingTyler Ford authors the latest addition to Food52 with Food52 Dynamite Chicken while Tieghan Gerard keeps things manageable in Half Baked Harvest Super SimpleMaangchi, “You Tube’s Korean Julia Child,” returns with Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking and Martha Stewart keeps it sweet with Martha Stewart’s Cookie PerfectionAlison Roman teaches the art of having people over in Nothing Fancy while Paul Kahan encourages you to be the best host you can be in Cooking for Good TimesSean Brock embraces Southern cuisine in South and Meredith Erickson goes north to showcase Alpine Cooking

~posted by Frank B.


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