Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Next Week in the Bookstore: Chick-Lit, Trickster Gods, and Scraps of Dylan

Book roll-outs continue with lots of exciting new releases in the bookstores this week.

Monday, September 19
Ryder Windham has compiled Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide to provide fans and newcomers "everything they need to know about the highest-grossing movie saga ever... the first-ever visual guide to the entire Star Wars franchise," including Episode III. (Publisher's release notes)

Cinnamon Kiss, by Walter Mosley, follows Easy Rawlins on his 10th outing, as he grapples with a mystery and his own personal problems at the height of the Vietnam era. "Easy leaves Los Angeles for San Francisco, where his new employer puts him on the trail of a wealthy and eccentric lawyer and the lawyer's exotic lover, a girl known as Cinnamon... As ever, Mosley is able to capture the era—hippies, Watts, communes—in brief strokes that provide a brilliant background to Easy's search for solutions to both a convoluted mystery and complex personal problems." —Publishers Weekly

Tuesday, September 20
Goodnight Nobody by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner, tells the story of a young mother's move to a postcard-perfect Connecticut town and the secrets she uncovers there... She discovers the secrets and lies behind Upchurch's placid picket-fence facade—and the choices and compromises all modern women make as they navigate between independence and obligation, small towns and big cities, being a mother and having a life of one's own. (Publisher's release notes)

Sure to generate cross-over excitement, The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, 1956-1966 by Bob Dylan, is released Tuesday. A "highly collectable illustrated biography of Dylan's life during the 1950s and 60s..., the Scrapbook is crammed with features including rare photographs, facsimiles of handwritten lyrics and rare memorabilia." (Publisher's release notes)

Following last year's self-help bestseller, He's Just Not That Into You, It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken: The Smart Girl's Break-Up Buddy, by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt, takes you "From how to put yourself through 'he-tox,' to how to throw yourself a kick-ass pity party... gives you everything you need to get over him and make the right decisions along the way. Complete with an essential workbook to help you put the crazy down on paper and not take it out into the world, this is a straight-talking, spot-on, must-have manual for finding your way back to an even more rocking you." (Publisher's release notes)

Anasi Boys is another Neil Gaiman novel in the vein of American Gods. A London workaholic learns that his father was the African trickster god Anasi, and that he has a magically-endowed brother, Spider. "Other characters—including Charlie's malevolent boss, Grahame Coats ("an albino ferret in an expensive suit"), witches, police and some of the folk from American Gods—are expertly woven into Gaiman's rich myth, which plays off the African folk tales in which Anansi stars. But it's Gaiman's focus on Charlie and Charlie's attempts to return to normalcy that make the story so winning—along with gleeful, hurtling prose." —Publishers Weekly

Christopher Andrew follows the stunning revelations of The Sword and the Shield with The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, revealing new secrets from the smuggled records of Vasili Nikitich Mitrokhin, senior KGB archivist and defector. "For decades the KGB believed that the world was going their way—and Americans at the highest reaches of government lived in fear that they were losing the Cold War in the Third World. This extraordinary book will transform our understanding of the history of the twentieth century." (Publisher's release notes)

Mark Twain: A Life by Ron Powers is available Tuesday. "Powers succeeds in validating his own assertion that Twain became 'the representative figure of his times.' Powers demonstrates that Twain embodied America during the tumultuous latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, from the divided self of the Civil War, through the unstable prosperity of the Gilded Age, to the verge of WWI. All the while, Twain asserted in both literature and life his confidence in New World progress over Old World conservatism." —Publishers Weekly

In Nicholas Perricone's eponymous The Perricone Weight-Loss Program: A Simple 3-Part Plan to Lose the Fat, the Wrinkles, and the Years the "father of the Inflammation Theory of Aging reveals the role of internal micro-inflammations, caused mainly by additive-packed foods and a sedentary lifestyle, not only in accelerated aging, but also in unwanted weight gain... slow down the clock, clear the skin, and shed the pounds by following a diet of whole foods and natural supplements, and by progressively adopting an 'anti-inflammatory lifestyle'..." — review

Fans of historical fiction will welcome Tuesday's release of a new E.L. Doctorow novel: The March. "The march in question is that of General William Tecumseh Sherman and his Union soldiers as they slash and burn their way through Georgia and the Carolinas, and the 'march to freedom' as liberated slaves fall in step with the liberating army. But it is also, given the poetic depth of Doctorow's vision, the great march of time and of humanity in all its cruelty and glory." —Donna Seaman, American Library Association

Wickett's Remedy by Myla Goldberg, author of the bestselling debut novel Bee Season, is "an accomplished but peculiarly tensionless historical novel that follows the shifting fortunes of a young Irish-American woman," Lydia Wickett, in turn-of-the-century South Boston. "A pastiche of other voices deepens her story: chapters close with snippets from contemporary newspapers, conversations among soldiers and documents revealing the surprising fate of Wickett's Remedy. And the dead offer margin commentary—by turns wistful, tender and corrective (and occasionally annoying). Yet as well-researched, polished and poignant as the book is, Goldberg never quite locks in her characters' mindsets, and sometimes seems adrift amid period detritus. While readers will admire Lydia, they may not feel they ever truly know her." —Publishers Weekly

Thursday, September 22
New from Dennis Smith, author of Report from Ground Zero, is San Francisco Is Burning: The Untold Story of the 1906 Earthquake and Fires. Smith, a former New York City firefighter, "performs an exhausting autopsy on the temblor and subsequent fire that devastated San Francisco 100 years ago. With 92 chapters, the narrative effect is one of a nervous cameraman trying to take in everything (the chapter on Enrico Caruso jumping from his bed at the Palace Hotel is one paragraph long) and managing to make a distant event seem even more remote... His firefighter's-eye-view of the disaster will have a tough time competing with Simon Winchester's terrific A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906, due out [Oct. 4th]." —Publishers Weekly

I'll have the Gaiman, with a side order of KGB secrets, please! Hold the chick-lit.

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