A Peek at Peak Picks for July 2022

Here’s a sneak peek at the nine new books are joining Peak Picks in July!

In fiction, Soviet Ukraine-born and Brooklyn-raised Margarita Montimore (Oona Out of Order) tells the story of a famous magician who disappears, leaving her sister to figure out what happened to her, in Acts of Violet; Natasha Pulley gives readers an epic Cold War novel based on (sur)real events involving a nuclear explosion in the Siberian city Chelyabinsk in The Half Life of Valery K.; Bolu Babalola delights with a romance about Kiki Banjo, a young Black British woman who ends up in tangled in a fake relationship with a player who represents everything she preaches against in Honey & Spice; Gabrielle Zevin entices us with an exhilarating novel about Sam and Sadie, who collaborate on a video game that brings them fame and fortune but tests their creative and romantic ambitions in Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow; and bestselling author Blake Crouch (Dark Matter, Recursion) tells the tale of a man who finds that his genome has been hacked to help preserve the human species in the dark techno-thriller Upgrade.

In nonfiction, Erika L. Sánchez (I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter) recounts the “triumphs, disappointments, delights, and resurrections” of her life in this hilarious and touching memoir-in-essays Crying in the Bathroom; Isaac Fitzgerald reckons with toxic masculinity and body image following a life filled with poverty, violence and destructive addictions in the “confessional” Dirtbag, Massachusetts;  theoretical physicist and cosmologist Antonio Padilla takes readers through nine extraordinary numbers in physics and how they explain everything from black holes to string theory in Fantastic Numbers and Where to Find Them; and Ingrid Rojas Contreras (Fruit of the Drunken Tree) uncovers her family legacy of healers who could talk to the dead, see the future, and change the weather in the magical The Man Who Could Move Clouds.

~posted by Frank B.

New Nonfiction Roundup – June 2022

Check out some of the best nonfiction books being released in June! Science and nature, historical and current events, and biographies, memoirs and essays figure prominently this month.

Biography & Memoir
Bestselling author Stuart Woods discusses his two loves – writing and sailing – in An Extravagant Life, while the world’s bestselling novelist celebrates his life and career in James Patterson by James Patterson. MSNBC anchor Katy Tur recounts how being the daughter of helicopter journalists led to her own career in news in Rough Draft; NBA All-Star Grant Hill reflects on his stellar basketball career in Game; and Nabil Ayers (a co-founder of Sonic Boom Records) recalls his journey to connect with his jazz musician father in My Life in the Sunshine. Fans of memoirs will be drawn to Blood Orange Night, Melissa Bond’s chronicle of her dependence on benzodiazepines; Corrections in Ink, where Keri Blakinger details her descent from figure skater to herion user; and If We Break, where Kathleen Buhle shares the story of how her marriage to Hunter Biden unraveled in the wake of his growing addiction to alcohol and drugs. Singer songwriter Kenny Loggins lets everyone know he’s Still Alright, and the man behind legendary sitcoms including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, Cheers, Frasier, Friends, and Will & Grace writes a love letter to the small screen in Directed by James Burrows. Finally, armchair travelers will be inspired by The Catch Me if You Can, where Jessica Nabongo discusses all 195 countries she visited.

Science & Nature
Pulitzer Prize-winner Ed Yong explores how animals perceive their surroundings in An Immense World and Lyndsie Bourgon delves into the illegal timber market in Tree Thieves. In The Monster’s Bones, David K. Randall tells the gripping story of the discovery of T. Rex while David Christian considers where humans are headed, far down the road, in Future Stories and microbiologist Joseph Osmundson tackles the impact of viruses through a queer and social justice lens in Virology. Ellyn Gaydos debuts with a beautiful but brutal account of farming and animal husbandry in Pig Years; Kier Holmes provides tips on turning your yard into something special on a small budget in The Garden Refresh; and Mike Unwin tells the stories of dozens of the world’s most interesting feathered friends in Around the World in 80 Birds.

Current Events
In Under the Skin, Linda Villarosa looks at the toll of racism on the health of individuals and the nation, while Marie Brenner recounts 18 months at the New York-Presbyterian hospital system during COVID in The Desperate Hours. Corban Addison reveals how a rural community in North Carolina took on Big Agriculture – and won – in Wastelands, while M. Chris Fabricant shows that forensics are not infallible in Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System. Finally, former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer takes Fox, Facebook and MAGA media to task in Battling the Big Lie. Continue reading “New Nonfiction Roundup – June 2022”

A Peek at Peak Picks for June 2022

Here’s a sneak peek at the nine books joining Peak Picks in June!

For fiction, Kirstin Chen tells the tale of two Asian American friends whose fake handbag scheme goes global in the feminist caper Counterfeit; 37-year-old Lola runs into ex after ex and suspects it’s more than a coincidence in Sloan Crosley’s ambitious and witty Cult Classic; a Ghanaian American medical student navigates love, parental expectations, career choices and more in Shirlene Obuobi’s charming debut On Rotation; the ambitious heroine of the much beloved novel and movie Election is back, and still has her eyes on the top prize – principal of her suburban New Jersey high school – in Tom Perrotta’s sharp and darkly comic Tracy Flick Can’t Win; and Kali Fajardo-Anstine returns with a multigenerational saga about an Indigenous Chicano family in the captivating epic Woman of Light.

In nonfiction, fans of Under the Banner of Heaven will be drawn to Sally Denton’s latest as she recounts the history of a polygamist Mormon outpost that resulted in the massacre of women and children in Northern Mexico in The Colony; Ibram X. Kendi gives parents, caregivers and teachers the tools to raise empowered critical thinkers in How to Raise an Antiracist; celebrated journalist Patrick Radden Keefe (Say Nothing, Empire of Pain) offers a collection of twelve pieces about grifters, killers, rebels and crooks in the enthralling and thought-provoking Rogues; and Seattle professors (and husband and wife) David Montgomery and Anna Biklé issue a call to action that a return to regenerative farming is key to combat chronic disease and climate change in What Your Food Ate.​

~posted by Frank

New Nonfiction Roundup – May 2022


Spring continues to bloom with outstanding nonfiction. In addition to May’s Peak Picks, this month is rich in reflections of current events, inspiring memoirs, fascinating histories, and more!

In the News.
In His Name is George Floyd, Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa reveal how systemic racism shaped the life of the man whose murder sparked a global movement. Philanthropist Bill Gates tackles another of the world’s biggest challenges in the upbeat How to Prevent the Next Pandemic, while Jonathan Martin’s analysis of the 2020 presidential election and its threat to democracy is decidedly less than optimistic in This Will Not Pass. Bestselling author Bill McKibben examines race, inequality, religion and the environment and asks the question “what the hell happened?” in The Flag, The Cross and the Stationwagon; Marine veteran Phil Klay looks at the how twenty years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan has contributed to a divided America in Uncertain Ground. And Ric Edelman answers all your questions about Bitcoin, blockchain, NFTs and all things digital in The Truth About Crypto.

Read more

Memoirs.
There’s no shortage of celebrity memoirs this month. In Mean Baby, actor Selma Blair discusses her provocative career and life with multiple sclerosis while Simu Liu, star of Marvels’ first Asian superhero film Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings, discusses his life as a Chinese immigrant in We Were Dreamers. Jennifer Grey talks honestly about her highs (Dirty Dancing) and lows (plastic surgery gone awry) in Out of the Corner; Minnie Driver shares lessons from her unconvential upbringing and career in Managing Expectations; and Arrow and Teen Wolf star Colton Hayes reveals the consequences of stardom at a young age in Miss Memory Lane. Beloved novelist Ann Hood will entertain readers with tales of life as a TWA flight attendant in Fly Girl while activist Will Jawando will inspire with his testament to the father figures in his life in My Seven Black Fathers. Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey of The Office talk about the roots of their friendship and go behind the scenes of the beloved sitcom in The Office BFFs. In Chosen, Stephen Mills candidly discusses how he overcame sexual abuse at the hands of a social worker, while Cindy House combines essays with graphic shorts to illustrate her life twenty years sober in Mother Noise. New Yorker writer Tad Friend explores his relationship with his dying father as he raises two children of his own in In the Early Times. And Lynne Cox tells the story of a water rescue dog and his bond with his trainer in Tales of Al.

Continue reading “New Nonfiction Roundup – May 2022”

A Peek at Peak Picks for May 2022


Here’s a sneak peek at the ten new books joining Peak Picks in May!

For fiction, Emily Henry will delight readers with the story of a cutthroat literary agent who tries not to fall for her rival in Book Lovers; Adrian McKinty’s tale of a Seattle family’s nightmarish trip to the Australian Outback will thrill readers in The Island; Shelby Van Pelt traces the connection between a widow and giant Pacific octopus named Marcellus in the charming Remarkably Bright Creatures; Emma Straub’s 40-year-old heroine wakes up on her 16th birthday and sees her father in a whole new light in the captivating This Time Tomorrow; and National Book Award finalist Akwaeke Emezi tells the tale of a young woman whose second chance at love is complicated by the one person who’s off-limits in the seductive You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty.

In nonfiction, Seattle’s own Angela Garbes reflects on the state of caregiving and mothering as a means of social change in Essential Labor; misanthropic funnyman David Sedaris chronicles a world turned upside down by the pandemic along with the loss of his seemingly indestructible father in his first new essay collection in four years, Happy-go-Lucky; scientist Vaclav Smil investigates what science does, and does not, accomplish in the lucid primer on what’s possible in the 21st century in How the World Really Works; cook, writer and pitmaster Rick Martínez transports readers to Mexico with 100 recipes (Mole Coloradito and Tacos de Capeados, anyone?) in Mi Cocina; and historian Candice Millard tells the story of the quest to discover the source of the Nile, and its complicated legacy of colonialism and exploitation, in the thrilling River of the Gods.

~posted by Frank