Thursday July 8th, 2010

Fall Preview: Nonfiction, Part One

This is the first of a two-part preview of some notable nonfiction titles being published this fall. Part two will appear tomorrow.

jaykirkKingdom Under Glass by Jay Kirk (October 26)

Journalist Kirk’s first book is a biography of Carl Akeley, the famed American taxidermist whose early-20th-century African safaris (with Theodore Roosevelt, among others) are the stuff of legend. Publishers Weekly called the book “a beguiling, novelistic portrait of a man and an era straining to hear the call of the wild.”

Love’s Work by Gillian Rose (October 12)

NYRB Classics reissues Rose’s philosophical memoir, written while she was dying of cancer. Arthur Danto said the book “[m]akes whatever else has been written on the deepest issues of human life by the philosophers of our time seem intolerably abstract and even frivolous.”

They Live by Jonathan Lethem (November 1)
Death Wish by Chris Sorrentino (November 1)

These are the first two entries in Soft Skull Press’ new Deep Focus series, which features short books written by notable authors about “the most vital and popular corners of cinema history: midnight movies, the New Hollywood of the sixties and seventies, film noir, screwball comedies, international cult classics, and more.”

Nothing Left to Burn by Jay Varner (September 21)

Varner’s memoir looks back at his childhood in small-town Pennsylvania, with a fire-chief father and arsonist grandfather, and at the present day, when Varner is reporting on fires and accidents for his hometown paper.

FreeDarko presents The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History (November 9)

In time for the new NBA season, the eggheads at the eggheadiest basketball blog around release their second, no doubt beautifully designed, book of hoops analysis.

The Killer of Little Shepherds by Douglas Starr (October 5)

A true-crime account of Joseph Vacher, a serial killer in late 19th-century France, and the groundbreaking forensic science used to catch him.

The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris (October 5)

In his latest polemic, Harris argues that science, without the aid of religion, can tell us all we need to know about morals.

Apathy for the Devil by Nick Kent (August 31)

A British rock journalist recounts his experience of the 1970s, carousing with the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and the Sex Pistols, among others, and getting hooked on heroin. Published earlier this year in the UK, one review from overseas sums up the conflicted critical reaction: “Kent’s initial attempts to reach back across the opiated canyons of his memory and re-establish contact with the precocious innocence of his formative years feel so clumsily generic that they might as well be ghost- written. . . . [But the book] ends up as a surprisingly clear-eyed and courageous dismantling of the very Dionysian rock mythology which was at once Kent’s meal-ticket and his downfall.”

Life by Keith Richards (October 26)

Speaking of drug-hazy memories, Richards’ autobiography covers everything from his earliest days listening to music to his founding of the Rolling Stones with Mick Jagger to the countless adventures that followed.

My Year of Flops by Nathan Rabin (October 19)

Based on his column for The Onion (where he’s a staffer), Rabin takes a closer look at some of the most notoriously bad performers in cinematic history, including The Last Action Hero and Waterworld.