Friday July 9th, 2010

Fall Preview: Nonfiction, Part Two

drawing-powerDrawing Power by Rick Marschall and Warren Bernard (November 24)

In what promises to be one of the season’s more aesthetically pleasing books, Drawing Power collects mass market print advertisements from the 1890s to the recent past, including ads starring Mickey Mouse and Little Orphan Annie and ads drawn by Dr. Seuss and Rube Goldberg.

There’s a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From by Bryan Charles (October 5)

A memoir by the author of Grab On to Me Tightly as if I Knew the Way, and a friend of The Second Pass, about coming to New York City from the Midwest, living in a rapidly changing Brooklyn, developing as a writer, and finding a fateful day job in the World Trade Center.

Bob Dylan In America by Sean Wilentz (September 7)

A notable historian considers the musical icon’s influences, craft, and impact in “a unique blend of fact, interpretation, and affinity.”

On Balance by Adam Phillips (August 31)

A new collection of essays about human psychology (these focusing on “the paradoxes inherent in our appetites and fears”) by the writer and analyst who John Banville called, “One of the finest prose stylists at work in the language, an Emerson of our time.”

Cultures of War by John Dower (September 7)

Historian Dower follows up Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, which won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, with a look at the culture of war reflected in four events: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9/11, and the invasion of Iraq.

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier (October 12)

Two excerpts from Frazier’s travelogue appeared in The New Yorker a few months ago. From the publisher: “The book brims with Mongols, half-crazed Orthodox archpriests, fur seekers, ambassadors of the czar bound for Peking, tea caravans, German scientists, American prospectors, intrepid English nurses, and prisoners and exiles of every kind.”

Mourning Diary by Roland Barthes (October 12)

Beginning the night after his mother died, Barthes wrote a series of 330 brief note cards detailing his own grief and the idea of grief more generally. This volume collects them.

The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee (November 16)

A renowned oncologist’s sprawling history of cancer, from its centuries-long history to the current-day search for a cure. My guess is that this is in the vein of Andrew Solomon’s book about depression, The Noonday Demon.

Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything by Kevin Cook (November 22)

A biography of the road gambler who was Damon Runyon’s model for Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. A terrific golfer, Thompson was also a five-time murderer, five-time groom, and someone who ran across Houdini, Al Capone, and Minnesota Fats, among others.

Between Religion and Rationality by Joseph Frank (July 26)

A collection of essays by the esteemed Dostoevsky biographer. Here, he writes more about Dostoevsky, and about the tension in Russian literature (and wider culture) between reason and faith. The publisher claims the book “[offers] insights for general readers and experts alike,” though it arrives with the expert cover price of $60.

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown (December 7)

The astronomer who discovered the celestial body that knocked Pluto off the planet list tells his story.

Running the Books by Avi Steinberg (October 19)

A memoir about Steinberg’s time running a library in a tough Boston prison.

A Week at the Airport by Alain de Botton (September 21)

De Botton spent a week at Heathrow Airport as writer-in-residence. This illustrated book recounts his experience of “a place that most of us never slow down enough to see clearly.”

Exiles in Eden by Paul Reyes (August 31)

Journalist Reyes details the foreclosure crisis from a personal perspective, working with his father’s company, which empties out foreclosed homes in Florida.

How to Become a Scandal by Laura Kipnis (August 31)

In her heavily blurbed new book (15 of them on Amazon at the moment), Kipnis (Against Love) writes about four particular scandals to examine why Americans love to watch — and act out — psychodramas.

A Life Like Other People’s by Alan Bennett (September 14)

The prize-winning playwright’s latest work of memoir details his parents’ marriage and the lives of two of his aunts.