Father's Day is just around the corner, and American Triumvirate is a great combo of history and sports for dads who love hitting the links on a lazy afternoon.
Veteran golf writer James Dodson shares the stories of Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan. These three golf masters changed the face of modern golf during the mid-20th century, "when its growth was hampered by the Depression and World War II." Explains our reviewer: ". . . their lively competitions a postwar period of prosperity in which tournaments became more plentiful and the purses much larger."
Check out the trailer from Knopf:
Be sure to check out all the books in our Father's Day roundup!
The publisher sets the scene: "New York, 1933. The city and the nation are in the depths of the Great Depression. The crime families of New York have prospered in this time, but with the coming end of Prohibition, a battle is looming that will determine which organizations will rise and which will face a violent end."
Check out the cinematic, super fancy book trailer for The Family Corleone, called "The Book Job":
Someone spent some big bucks on that trailer! Are you ready for a return to the Corleones?
Our May Top Pick in Audio is The Fear Index by Robert Harris, which takes place on just one day—May 6, 2010, the day of the market "flash crash."
Dr. Alex Hoffman makes billions of dollars off his genius computer program that predicts movements in the financial markets. During the wee hours of May 6, an intruder breaches his elaborate security measures, leading to paranoia, fear and "a whirlwind of mayhem, financial and physical."
You can listen to an excerpt from the audiobook in our audio column. Check out the trailer from Doubleday:
Next month is Audiobook Month! What are your favorite types of audiobooks?
Sadie Jones, author of the award-winning The Outcasts, heads into new, weird territory with her third novel, The Uninvited Guests.
The story takes place over a single day in the crumbling Sterne estate, somewhere in the pre-WWI English countryside. A train derailment disrupts the day's party, and what follows is "a kind of prickly menace and biting wit . . . [that] builds to a horrible crescendo in a scene with echoes of the war to come."
Check out our Q&A with Jones, where she chats about The Uninvited Guests and its pre-war English setting:
I simply needed a time we perceive as beautiful and romantic and yet trembles on the brink of the unknown. Western civilization was at a peak, both culturally and scientifically; to me that generation sits like white icing on the dark slag heap of the century before it, looking blindly toward the new century, the mass suicide of the Great War.
Is Sadie Jones' newest on your list?
That's the thought behind the Buried Life, a group of four grads who set out to achieve the ultimate bucket list: every single crazy thing they wanted to do. Their cross-country Winnebago tour became an MTV reality show and led to What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?. The book is a graphic collection of illustrated dreams of the Buried Life's fans, plus heartfelt essays by the guys and more.
Meet the four boys who make up the Buried Life in the book trailer from Artisan books:
Is this a book you'd give to a graduate? Do you wish you'd received it when you graduated?
Mother's Day is this Sunday! Our May issue features five great books for moms (grandmothers and expecting moms, too!). Below are the book trailers for two of these books: Up by Patricia Ellis Herr and Bloom by Kelle Hampton.
Up is the memoir of a mom and her pint-sized hiking partner. Patricia Ellis Herr and her five-year-old daughter climbed nearly 50 New England peaks during their year-and-a-half adventure. Our reviewer called it "half hiking reference manual and half meditation on how to instill independence and confidence at a young age—an odd and oddly compelling combination."
Kelle Hampton, best known for her blog Enjoying the Small Things, shares the story of giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome. Her memoir, Bloom, is a "searing and brave portrait of her baby’s first year . . . [that] gives a whole new meaning to the term 'open book.'"
No sugar-coated motherhood stories here. Will you check these out? Do you know a mom who would love to read one of these incredible memoirs?
Don't feel bad if Jenny Lawson, aka the Bloggess, makes you laugh at terrible things (dead pets, etc.). It's not your fault—her life has been ridiculous, her humor is questionable and her memoir, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, captures it all.
Here's what our reviewer had to say about Lawson's riotous book:
"This is the kind of book where, once you’ve got the lay of the land, a sentence like '[My neighbor] seemed more concerned this time, possibly because I was belting out Bonnie Tyler and crying while swinging a machete over a partially disturbed grave' makes total sense. It might also make you laugh and cry simultaneously, since the grave held Lawson’s beloved pug and she was swinging at vultures who were trying to dig him up. If that doesn’t make you laugh, there’s a story about her multiple miscarriages and the subsequent birth of her daughter that’s an absolute howler. No, seriously. Plus: Chupacabras!"
Is this a must-read?
Tania Head was one of the most famous survivors of 9/11. She barely escaped the collapse of the south tower while her fiancé perished in the north tower. She became a lifeline for fellow survivors through the World Trade Center Survivors’ Network.
But Tania lied.
The Woman Who Wasn't There captures her story of deception and betrayal that catapulted her into the spotlight. Author Robin Gaby Fisher collaborated with Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr., a filmmaker Tania approached to make a documentary for the Survivors' Network—the same documentary that began to unravel her story in 2007.
Check out the book trailer from Simon & Schuster:
This book has my attention, not just because of the "what was she thinking?" aspect (and subsequent anger from everyone), but also because our reviewer had this to say:
"But what causes someone to exploit such a tragic event? Head never applied for victim compensation, and her work with the Network was voluntary. In the end, all she gained was a small measure of fame and intimate friendships with survivors. Ultimately, The Woman Who Wasn’t There forces us to examine our need for connection and purpose by any means necessary."
Our April Top Pick in Nonfiction is Wild, the magnificent memoir by Cheryl Strayed. After the death of her mother, Strayed decided to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. She starts her journey alone, grieving and misguided (her pack weighs more than 70 pounds) but discovers "a visionary state of solitude" while battling blisters and the elements. Writes our reviewer:
Wild is never simply a survival memoir. . . It is also a guidebook for living in the world, introducing a vibrant new American voice with a deceptively simple message: Go outside and take a hike.
Is this a memoir you will check out?
Grace McCleen's debut novel, The Land of Decoration, looks at the world through a unique set of eyes—those of a 10-year-old girl who has created a model of the Promised Land in her bedroom. It's one of our most buzzed-about debuts of 2012 and one of our 30 most anticipated books of 2012.
In our interview with the author, McCleen touches on childhood, everyday miracles and spirituality:
"And there are people these days who believe that miracles still happen. I’m not sure. . . . I could see how something could appear to be a miracle, but also make scientific sense. Now I’m open to many things which I wasn’t when I believed in a single God.”
The Land of Decoration is out now! Fans of Emma Donoghue's Room should check it out – will you?