JULY 21, 2014

Book News by Vicky Eaves

I was so happy to see early demand for Mockingbird Next Door (9781594205194, Penguin, $27.95, HC) by Marja Mills, a  journalist who managed to make friends with Harper Lee and her sister late in their lives.  I always wanted to know that Harper Lee was every bit as interesting as I thought she should be and [...]

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Animals

Last Chain on Billie: How One Extraordinary Elephant Escaped the Big Top

Carol Bradley
(St. Martin's Press, $25.99, HC, 9781250025692)

Against the backdrop of a glittering but brutal circus world, Last Chain on Billie charts the history of elephants in America, the inspiring story of the Elephant Sanctuary and the spellbinding tale of Billie, a resilient elephant who defied the system even as she struggled to conquer her past, never losing sight of the life she was meant to have. The compelling story of Billie's battle to reclaim her old self is a testament to the remarkable strength of all elephants, captive or free.

Architecture

Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made

Tom Wilkinson
(Bloomsbury Publishing, $30.00, HC, 9781620406298)

In Bricks & Mortals, British architecture professor Tom Wilkinson selects ten buildings from across the globe that tell stories of architecture from the beginning of civilization to the present day. Professor Wilkinson draws on his extensive knowledge of art, literature, history urban planning, sociology, and culture to create a book that architecture buffs and city dwellers will appreciate.

Also New in Architecture:

Education

Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age -- From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between

Jason Boog
(Touchstone Books, $15.99, PB, 9781476749792)

A program for parents and professionals on how to raise kids who love to read, featuring interviews with childhood development experts, advice from librarians, tips from authors and children's book publishers, and reading recommendations for kids from birth up to age five. Born Reading will show anyone who loves kids how to make sure the children they care about are building a powerful foundation in literacy from the beginning of life.

Family & Parenting

Everything I Learned about Life, I Learned in Dance Class

Abby Lee Miller
(William Morrow & Company, $22.99, HC, 9780062304810)

Ultimate "Tiger Mom" Abby Lee Miller--the passionate, unapologetically outspoken, tough-as-nails star of Lifetime's phenomenal hits Dance Moms--offers inspirational, tough-love guidance for parents who want to help their children succeed and for readers of all ages striving to become the best they can be! This straight-talking guide provides clear and proven advice for achieving success, from figuring out your child's passion to laying the groundwork for an exciting future career.

Fiction

All I Love and Know

Judith Frank
(William Morrow & Company, $26.99, HC, 9780062302878)

A compelling follow-up to Crybaby Butch, Judith Frank's All I Love and Know is told with the storytelling power and emotional fidelity of Wally Lamb. This is a searing drama of a modern American family on the brink of dissolution, one that explores adoption, gay marriage, and love lost and found. Frank's strong storytelling and complex characters makes this novel a must-read.

Also New in Fiction:

Graphic Novels - Science Fiction & Fantasy

Seconds

Bryan Lee O'Malley
(Ballantine Books, $25.00, HC, 9780345529374)

Seconds is the highly anticipated new standalone full-color graphic novel from Bryan Lee O'Malley, author and artist of the hugely bestselling Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series. Seconds is a madcap new tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that's sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise.

History

Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II

Vicki Croke
(Random House, $28.00, HC, 9781400069330)

Elephant Company is the little known story of J.H. "Billy" Williams, an animal lover who after surviving World War I went to India to work with elephants. At the onset of World War II, Williams formed Elephant Company and was instrumental in defeating the Japanese in Burma and saving refugees. Part biography, part war story, and part wildlife adventure, Croke delivers an utterly charming narrative and an important, little-known piece of the legacy of World War II.

Also New in History:

Language Arts

The Story of Spanish

Jean-Benoit Nadeau
(St. Martin's Griffin, $16.99, PB, 9781250049049)

Just how did a dialect spoken by a handful of shepherds in Northern Spain become the world's second most spoken language, the official language of twenty-one countries on two continents, and the unofficial second language of the United States? Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow, the husband-and-wife team who chronicled the history of the French language in The Story of French, now look at the roots and spread of modern Spanish. The Story of Spanish is the first full biography of a language that shaped the world we know. Now in paperback

Math

Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning, and Math

Daniel Tammet
(Back Bay Books, $16.00, PB, 9780316187367)

Thinking in Numbers is the book that Daniel Tammet, mathematical savant and bestselling author, was born to write. In Tammet's world, numbers are beautiful and mathematics illuminates our lives and minds. Using anecdotes, everyday examples, and ruminations on history, literature, and more, Tammet's provocative and inspiring new book will change the way you think about math and fire your imagination to view the world with fresh eyes. Now in paperback

Political Science

Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine

Daniel Halper
(Broadside Books, $27.99, HC, 9780062311238)

In Clinton, Inc., Weekly Standard reporter Daniel Halper compiles a wealth of research, exclusive documents, and candid interviews with former Clinton administration officials, senators, congressmen, friends, allies, and former enemies of the Clintons to reveal how they rebuilt their reputations, reconstructed their political machine, and positioned themselves for even greater success. Compulsively readable and filled with juicy scoops and inside information, Clinton, Inc. is the key to understanding America's most powerful political couple.

Science

Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, & Better at What You Do

Wallace J. Nichols
(Little Brown and Company, $27.00, HC, 9780316252089)

A landmark book by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols on the remarkable effects of water on our health and well-being, Blue Mind not only illustrates the crucial importance of our connection to water-it provides a paradigm shifting "blueprint" for a better life on this Blue Marble we call home.

Also New in Science:

Self Help

Beyond IQ: Scientific Tools for Training Problem Solving, Intuition, Emotional Intelligence, Creativity, and More

Garth Sundem
(Three Rivers Press, $14.00, PB, 9780770435967)

In these pages, journalist Garth Sundem draws on interviews with psychology's top experts and the latest research to show you how to tweak those parts of intelligence that matter most to real world success. Beyond IQ is a new kind of brain training guide, one packed with useful, engaging exercises scientifically shown to help you make the most of the brain you've got in the arena that matters most--life!

Social Science

Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters

Jessica Valenti
(Seal Press, $17.00, PB, 9781580055611)

Now in its updated second edition, Full Frontal Feminism is a book that continues to embody the forward-looking messages that author Jessica Valenti propagated as founder of the popular website, Feministing.com. Since its original publication, Full Frontal Feminism has reassured readers--yeah, you're feminists, and that's actually pretty cool.

Also New in Social Science:

Technology

Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things

David Rose
(Scribner Book Company, $28.00, HC, 9781476725635)

In the tradition of Who Owns the Future? and The Second Machine Age, an MIT Media Lab scientist imagines how everyday objects can intuit our needs and improve our lives. Groundbreaking, timely, and provocative, Enchanted Objects is a blueprint for a better future, where efficient solutions come hand in hand with technology that delights our senses. It is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the future and stay relevant in the Internet of Things.

Transportation

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Claude G. Luisada, Steven Kimmell
(Schiffer Publishing, $35.00, HC, 9780764346378)

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner follows the life of this aircraft from its initial inception to the delivery of the first production models beginning with Boeing's initial thoughts concerning a new wide-body transport through its final configuration. Claude G. Luisada has created a book that relates the story of the Dreamliner with honesty and with a view to who might be reading the book.

Also New in Transportation:

Travel

Hidden Tuscany: Discovering Art, Culture, and Memories in a Well-Known Region's Unknown Places

John Keahey
(Thomas Dunne Books, $26.99, HC, 9781250024312)

In Hidden Tuscany, acclaimed author John Keahey takes the reader into a part of Tuscany beyond the usual tourist destinations of Chianti, Florence, and Siena. The often overlooked western portion of Tuscany is rich with history, cuisine, and scenery begging to be explored, and Keahey encourages travelers to abandon itineraries and let the grooves in the road and the curves of the coast guide your journey instead.

True Crime

Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier

Tom Kizzia
(Broadway Books, $14.95, PB, 9780307587831)

Into the Wild meets Helter Skelter in this riveting true story of a modern-day homesteading family in the deepest reaches of the Alaskan wilderness--and of the chilling secrets of its maniacal, spellbinding patriarch. In this powerful piece of Americana, veteran Alaska journalist, Tom Kizzia uses his unparalleled access to capture an era-defining clash between environmentalists and pioneers ignited by a mesmerizing sociopath who held a town and a family captive. Now in paperback