Nonfiction Stars - 2004

Nonfiction Stars of 2004 - A selected list of titles.

Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW. The review source assigns the star.

This reading list is based on personal preferences. It reflects interests in nonfiction that reads like good fiction, history, science, nature, travel, biography, memoirs and a few assorted odd topics. An emphasis is placed on nonfiction that reads like good fiction. Titles are listed by approximate date of publication, then alphabetically by author.

Annotations are from Advance, the Ingram Book Magazine - unless otherwise noted.


December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

December

  • Hope in Hell: The World of Doctors Without Borders
    Author: Bortolotti, Dan
    Publisher: Firefly $ 29.95 ISBN: 1552978656 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, delivers emergency aid around the world. This book tells its history and examines the lives of individual volunteers. Topics range from emergency surgery in war zones to witnessing atrocities.
    Suggested Reading: Medical Nonfiction Stars
    Updated 10.4.04
  • Orphans: Essays
    Author: D'Ambrosio, Charles
    Publisher: Clear Cut $ 12.95 ISBN: 0972324357 Date: 2004
    starPW
    Updated 11.22.04
  • Bound To Please
    Author: Dirda, Michael
    Publisher: Norton $ 35 ISBN: 0393057577 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    This new work features scores of Dirda's most engaging essays, all intended to introduce readers to wonderful writers, from the anecdotal Herodotus and James Boswell to the sensuous Colette and Steven Millhauser and European masters including Joseph Roth, Flann O'Brien, and Penelope Fitzgerald.
    Updated 11.4.04
  • In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction
    Author: Gutkind, Lee (ed)
    Publisher: Norton $ 15.95 (paper) ISBN: 0393326659 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Gutkind collects 25 examples of narrative nonfiction--liberated journalism that invites writers to dramatize, interpret, speculate, and even re-create their subjects--all originally published in "Creative Nonfiction," the journal that he founded in 1994.
    Updated 11.29.04
  • Downtown: My Manhattan
    Author: Hamill, Pete
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 23.95 ISBN: 0316734519 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    More than just history or reporting, this is an elegy by a native son who haslived through some of New York's most historic moments, and continues to callthis magnificent, haunted city his home.
    Updated 11.15.04
  • The Queen's Slave Trader: Jack Hawkyns, Elizabeth I, and the Trafficking in Human Souls
    Author: Hazlewood, Nick
    Publisher: Morrow $ 26.95 ISBN: 0066210895 Date: 2004
    starPW
    In the 17th and 18th centuries, England became the greatest slave trading nation in the world. This painstakingly researched biography of Jack Hawkyns, the queen's personal slave trader, explores his life and chronicles the rise of the English slave trade.
    Suggested Reading: Queen Elizabeth I
    Updated 10.25.04
  • The Titled Americans: Three American Sisters and the British Aristocratic World into Which They Married
    Author: Kehoe, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Atlantic $ 27.50 ISBN: 0871139243 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    The author pens a family saga chronicling the glamorous lives of Leonard Jerome, his daughters, and their children through the apogee and the twilight of the British Empire. Daughter Jennie married Randolph Churchill and was Winston's mother. Daughter Clara was romanced by the dashing Moreton Frewen, while daughter Leonie married into the Leslies, a distinguished Irish family.
    Suggested Reading: Sisters
    Updated 12.27.04
  • On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
    Author: McGee, Harold
    Publisher: Scribner $ 35 ISBN: 0684800012 Date: 2004
    starPW
    The revised and updated twentieth anniversary edition of the classic
    On Food And Cooking features 90 percent new material, addressing the culinary mechanics, mysteries, and trends of the past 20 years. Compulsively readable and engaging, this updated volume covers every aspect of how food is grown, harvested, cooked, eaten, and digested.
    Suggested Reading: Cooked Books
    Updated 11.22.04
  • Bugatti Queen: In Search of a Racing Legend
    Author: Seymour, Miranda
    Publisher: Random $ 24.95 ISBN: 1400061687 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    Drawn from a remarkable cache of newly discovered papers, this work sheds new light on both the treacherous world of international racing and life in Occupied France, while revealing the story of Hell Nice, a fearless and passionate woman who lived for the challenge of becoming the fastest woman in the world.
    Suggested Reading: Driven Stars | Women's History Stars
    Updated 11.29.04
  • The Rose and the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad
    Author: Willentz, Sean and Greil Marcus (ed)
    Publisher: Norton $ 26.95 ISBN: 0393059545 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Wilentz and Marcus have assembled an astonishing group of writers and artists--more than a dozen novelists, essayists, performers, and critics--to explore the ineffable power of the American ballad in words and in drawings.
    Suggested Reading: Music - Nonfiction Stars
    Updated 11.29.04

December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

November

  • The Heart of the World: A Journey To the Last Great Place
    Author: Baker, Ian
    Publisher: Penguin $ 27.95 ISBN: 1594200270 Date: 2004
    starPW
    One of the most captivating stories of exploration and discovery in recent memory, The Heart of the World is an extraordinary journey to one of the wildest and most inaccessible places on Earth--and a pilgrimage to the heart of the Tibetan Buddhist faith.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales | Tibet
    Updated 10.19.04
  • My Life With Bonnie & Clyde
    Author: Barrow, Blanche Caldwell
    Publisher: Univ of Oklahoma $ 29.95 ISBN: 0806136251 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Blanche Barrow's previously unknown memoir of her life on the run with Bonnie and Clyde.
    Suggested Reading: True Crime Stars
    Updated 11.2.04
  • Zara's Tales: Perilous Escapades in Equatorial Africa
    Author: Beard, Peter H.
    Publisher: Random $ 26.95 ISBN: 0679426590 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Updated 10.25.04
  • Road Work: Among Tyrants, Beasts, Heroes and Rogues
    Author: Bowden, Mark
    Publisher: Atlantic $ 24 ISBN: 087113876x Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Road Work collects Mark Bowden's award-winning nonfiction, from his breakout stories for "The Philadelphia Inquirer" to his most recent high-profile pieces in "The Atlantic." The stories are powerfully gripping, elucidating and often wryly humorous.
    Updated 9.24.04
  • Magical Thinking: True Stories
    Author: Burroughs, Augusten
    Publisher: St Martins $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312315945 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    From the #1 bestselling author of Running with Scissors and Dry comes an outrageous collection of true stories that confirms Augusten Burroughs' position as a top satirist and memoirist.
    Updated 7.6.04
  • The Future of Ice: A Journey into Cold
    Author: Ehrlich, Gretel
    Publisher: Pantheon $ 21.95 ISBN: 037542251x Date: 2004
    starBookliststarLJ
    Gretel Ehrlich is a woman who loves extremes--extreme weather; extreme cold--is exhilarated by the challenges they present, and is keenly alive to sensation and impression at every turn. In The Future of Ice, she travels to extreme points (from Tierra del Fuego to the top of the world) in her quest to understand the complex, primal nature of cold. - Publisher Marketing
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales | Nature Stars
    Updated 11.22.04
  • Jacquard's Web: How a Hand-Loom Led to the Birth of the Information Age
    Author: Essinger, James
    Publisher: Oxford $ 28 ISBN: 0192805770 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Essinger tells the story of some of the most brilliant inventors the world has ever known, in this fascinating account of how a hand-loom invented in Napoleonic France led to the development of the modern information age.
    Updated 8.25.04
  • Earth, an Intimate History
    Author: Fortey, Richard A.
    Publisher: Knopf $ 30 ISBN: 0375406263 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBookliststarLJ
    The face of the earth, crisscrossed by chains of mountains like the scars of old wounds, has changed and changed again over billions of years. This text shows how human culture and natural history--even the shape of cities--are rooted in this deep geological past.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 11.22.04
  • Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague
    Author: Goldberg, Myla
    Publisher: Crown $ 16 ISBN: 1400046041 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Author Goldberg takes readers through the city's historic streets, some eerily transformed by the devastating flood of 2002; to Lunapark, home to bumper cars, go-carts, and a discomfiting array of Technicolor confections; and through Strahov Monastery, where the cabinets of curiosity display everything from butterfly specimens to a supposedly real jabberwocky.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 11.2.04
  • Hell or High Water: Seven Men, Seven Kayaks and the Last Great Quest
    Author: Heller, Peter
    Publisher: Rodale $ 24.95 ISBN: 1579548725 Date: 2004
    starPW
    In this grand adventure, an elite kayaking team makes a heroic conquest of the world's last great adventure prize: Tibet's Tsangpo River. Publication coincides with the release of a documentary about the expedition by National Geographic.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales | Adult Books for Teens | Tibet
    Updated 8.16.04
  • Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-45
    Author: Hastings, Max
    Publisher: Knopf $ 30 ISBN: 0375414339 Date: 2004
    starLJ blackstar.jpg - 947 BytesPW
    The author has scoured the archives of the major combatants and interviewed many survivors to create an unprecedented understanding of the events and their impact for this rousing and revealing chronicle of the crucial final 18 months of the 20th-century's greatest global conflict, World War II.
    Updated 12.27.04
  • 13 Dreams Freud Never Had: The New Mind Science
    Author: Hobson, J. Allan
    Publisher: Pi $ 24.95 ISBN: 0131472259 Date: 2004
    starPW
    From the author of The Dream Drugstore and Dreaming comes a new book which delves into the nature of psychoanalysis.
    Updated 11.15.04
  • Past Imperfect: Facts, Fictions, Frauds - American History From Bancroft and Parkman to Ambrose, Bellisles, Ellis and Goodwiin
    Author: Hoffer, Peter Charles
    Publisher: Public Affairs $ 26 ISBN: 1586482440 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    At a time when the writing of history has never been more contentious and its interpreters never more publicly at war, a renowned American historian provides an evocative examination of his profession.
    Updated 11.4.04
  • Taste of the Sweet Apple: A Memoir
    Author: Holt-Watson, Jo Anna
    Publisher: Sarabande $ 14.95 ISBN: 1932511083 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Updated 10.4.04
  • Men of Tomorrow
    Author: Jones, Gerard
    Publisher: Basic $ 26 ISBN: 0465036562 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    This full-scale history of superhero comic books reveals how ambitious crooks and adolescent dreamers created a new art form and forever changed the entertainment business in America.
    Suggested Reading: Graphic Novel and Comic Stars | Cartoonists Stars
    Updated 8.25.04
  • Prisoner of the Vatican: The Pope's Sercret Plot to Capture Rome From the New Italian State
    Author: Kertzer, David L.
    Publisher: Houghton $ 26 ISBN: 0618224424 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    Based on a wealth of documents long buried in the Vatican archives, Prisoner of the Vatican tells the story of the Church's secret attempt to block the unification of Italy and seize control--not in ancient times, but in the late 19th century.
    Updated 9.6.04
  • Cutty, One Rock: Low Characters and Strange Places, Gently Explained
    Author: Kleinzahler, August
    Publisher: FSG $ 18 ISBN: 0374133778 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Readers are taken on a wild journey by from childhood to early manhood in the company of a New Jersey family in equal measures cultivated and deranged. These individual pieces, most of which first appeared in "The London Review of Books," make up an intellectual and emotional autobiography on the run.
    Updated 8.25.04
  • A Tale of Love and Darkness
    Author: Oz, Amos
    Publisher: Harcourt $ 26 ISBN: 0151008787 Date: 2004
    starPW
    Tragic, comic, and utterly honest, this family saga tells the the story of a boy growing up in the war-torn Jerusalem of the 1940s and 50s and fifties. It is also a magical self-portrait of a writer who witnessed the birth of a nation and lived through its turbulent history.
    Updated 11.15.04
  • Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour
    Author: Persico, Joseph E.
    Publisher: Random $ 29.95 ISBN: 0375508252 Date: 2004
    starLJstarKirkus
    The author puts the reader in the trenches with the forgotten and the famous as he follows ordinary soldiers' lives, illuminating their fate as the end of World War I approaches.
    Updated 10.19.04
  • Broken: The Troubled Past and Uncertain Future of the FBI
    Author: Powers, Richard
    Publisher: Free $ 30 ISBN: 0684833719 Date: 2004
    starBookliststarPW
    On the heels of 9/11, historian Powers shows how the FBI has arrived at a critical juncture and why its future has become gravely imperiled.
    Updated 10.4.04
  • The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy
    Author: Reid, T.R.
    Publisher: Penguin $ 25.95 ISBN: 1594200335 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Reid lays bare the ways in which the EU is positioning itself to be a global counterweight and second superpower, on equal footing with the U.S.
    Updated 10.4.04
  • Fork It Over: The Intrepid Adventures of a Professional Eater
    Author: Richman, Alan
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 24.95 ISBN: 006058629x Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    From the ten-time James Beard Award winner and "GQ's" food critic comes a witty, globe-trotting smorgasbord of culinary escapades.
    Suggested Reading: Cooked Books
    Updated 8.25.04
  • Wanted Man: The Forgotten Story of an American Outlaw
    Author: Spargo, Tamsin
    Publisher: Bloomsbury $ 23.95 ISBN: 1582342288 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    In 1892, a masked man boarded the American Express Special train as it sped through New York State and stole a fortune. His name was Oliver Curtis Perry, and he instantly became the country's most wanted man and media darling. Spargo brings this extraordinary portrait of a forgotten man to life in a story of adventure and tragedy.
    Updated 11.2.04
  • Rising Up and Rising Down: Some Thoughts on Violence, Freedom, and Urgent Means
    Author: Vollmann, William T.
    Publisher: Ecco $ 29.95 ISBN: 0060548185 Date: 2004
    starPW
    When is violence justified? This abridged version of Vollmann's 3,000-page, seven-volume opus is a meditation on this age-old conundrum.
    Updated 11.2.04
  • The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi
    Author: Wilson, William Scott
    Publisher: Kodansha $ 24 ISBN: 47702942x Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Updated 8.25.04
  • We Are All the Same: The Story of a Boy's Courage and a Mother's Love
    Author: Wooten, Jim
    Publisher: Penguin $ 19.95 ISBN: 1594200289 Date: 2004
    starPWstarKirkus
    We Are All the Same is a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit, even as it bears witness to the scope of the tragedy that is unfolding in Africa and around the world, cutting down millions of children like Nkosi Johnson.
    Suggested Reading: South Africa | AIDS
    Updated 9.6.04
  • Nine Suitcases: A Memoir
    Author: Zsolt, Bela
    Publisher: Schocken $ 25 ISBN: 080524204x Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Originally published in Hungary in weekly installments starting in 1946, Nine Suitcases tells the harrowing story of Bela Zsolt's experiences in the ghetto and as a forced laborer in the Ukraine. It not only offers a rare insight into Hungarian fascism, but also shockingly exposes the cruelty, indifference, selfishness, cowardice, and betrayal of which human beings--the victims no less than the perpetrators--are capable in extreme circumstances.- Publisher Marketing.
    Suggested Reading: Memoirs
    Updated 10.4.04

December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

October

  • The Fall of Baghdad
    Author: Anderson, Jon Lee
    Publisher: Penguin $ 24.95 ISBN: 1594200343 Date: 2004
    starPWstarKirkusstarLJ
    In channeling a tragedy of epic dimensions through the stories of real people caught up in the whirlwind of history, Anderson has written a book of timeless significance.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | Iraq Stars
    Updated 10.7.04
  • Where Will Wisdom Be Found?
    Author: Bloom, Harold
    Publisher: Riverhead $ 24.95 ISBN: 1573222844 Date: 2004
    starPW
    In this inspiring book, a preeminent literary critic, takes readers from the Bible to 20th-century writing, searching for the ways in which literature can inform our lives.
    Updated 8.30.04
  • Lucrezia Borgia: Life, Love and Death in Renaissance Italy
    Author: Bradford, Sarah
    Publisher: Viking $ 27.95 ISBN: 0670033537 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Drawing from a trove of contemporary documents and fascinating firsthand accounts, Bradford brings to life the art, the pageantry, and the dangerous politics of the Renaissance world Lucrezia Borgia helped to create.
    Suggested Reading: Women's History Stars
    Updated 11.2.04
  • The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language
    Author: Bragg, Melvyn
    Publisher: Arcade $ 27.95 ISBN: 1559707100 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Bragg's landmark history of the English language details how and where it began 1,500 years ago, and how it evolved to become the tongue of two billion people worldwide.
    Updated 11.2.04
  • Everyday Matters
    Author: Campion, Nardi Reeder
    Publisher: Univ Pr of New England $ 24.95 ISBN: 1584654074 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    With her wit, insightful storytelling, and keen ear for offbeat anecdotes, Nardi Reeder Campion speaks for a generation that has traveled from the roaring twenties into the twenty-first century.
    Updated 7.26.04
  • When Jesus Came to Harvard: Making Moral Choices Today
    Author: Cox, Harvey
    Publisher: Houghton $ 26 ISBN: 0618067442 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Translating the method and message of the Rabbi of Nazareth into today's idiom, world-renowned theologian Harvey Cox reinvigorates the stories of Jesus as contemporary guides for leading a moral life. By looking to Jesus' parables, Cox shows how readers can extrapolate answers and bridge the gap between the ancient and modern worlds.
    Updated 11.2.04
  • The Ancestors's Tale: A Pilgrimage To the Dawn of Evolution
    Author: Dawkins, Richard
    Publisher: Houghton $ 28 ISBN: 0618005838 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPWstarBooklist
    Renowned biologist and thinker Dawkins presents his most expansive work yet: a comprehensive look at evolution, ranging from the latest developments to his own provocative views, and loosely based on the form of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 10.19.04
  • Twelve Little Cakes
    Author: Dery, Dominka
    Publisher: Riverhead $ 24.95 ISBN: 1573222836 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarLJ
    Equal parts testimony to the struggle of a bygone era and a love letter to a joy-filled childhood that no external forces could dim, The Twelve Little Cakes is the colorful story of a precocious child born to recognized dissidents associated with the failed Prague Spring uprising.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 9.20.04
  • Fried Chicken: An American Story
    Author: Edge, John T.
    Publisher: Putnam $ 18.95 ISBN: 0399151834 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Edge weaves a beguiling tapestry of food and culture as he takes readers from a Jersey Shore hotel to a Kansas City roadhouse, from the original Buffalo wings to KFC, from Nashville Hot Chicken to haute fried chicken at a genteel Southern inn. And, best of all, offers 15 of the ultimate recipes along the way.
    Suggested Reading: Cooked Books
    Updated 11.2.04
  • His Excellency: George Washington
    Author: Ellis, Joseph J.
    Publisher: Knopf $ 26.95 ISBN: 1400040310 Date: 2004
    starPWstarBooklist
    The author of seven highly acclaimed books, Joseph J. Ellis has crafted a landmark biography that brings to life in all his complexity the most important and perhaps least understood figure in American history, George Washington. With his careful attention to detail and his lyrical prose, Ellis has set a new standard for biography.

    Drawing from the newly catalogued Washington papers at the University of Virginia, Joseph Ellis paints a full portrait of George Washington’s life and career–from his military years through his two terms as president. Ellis illuminates the difficulties the first executive confronted as he worked to keep the emerging country united in the face of adversarial factions. He richly details Washington’s private life and illustrates the ways in which it influenced his public persona. Through Ellis’s artful narration, we look inside Washington’s marriage and his subsequent entrance into the upper echelons of Virginia’s plantation society. We come to understand that it was by managing his own large debts to British merchants that he experienced firsthand the imperiousness of the British Empire. And we watch the evolution of his attitude toward slavery, which led to his emancipating his own slaves in his will. Throughout, Ellis peels back the layers of myth and uncovers for us Washington in the context of eighteenth-century America, allowing us to comprehend the magnitude of his accomplishments and the character of his spirit and mind.

    When Washington died in 1799, Ellis tells us, he was eulogized as “first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Since then, however, his image has been chisled onto Mount Rushmore and printed on the dollar bill. He is on our landscape and in our wallets but not, Ellis argues, in our hearts. Ellis strips away the ivy and legend that have grown up over the Washington statue and recovers the flesh-and-blood man in all his passionate and fully human prowess.

    In the pantheon of our republic’s founders, there were many outstanding individuals. And yet each of them–Franklin, Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison– acknowledged Washington to be his superior, the only indispensable figure, the one and only “His Excellency.” Both physically and politically, Washington towered over his peers for reasons this book elucidates. His Excellency is a full, glorious, and multifaceted portrait of the man behind our country’s genesis, sure to become the authoritative biography of George Washington for many decades. - Publisher Marketing.
    Suggested Reading: 1776 Stars
    Updated 9.22.04
  • Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir
    Author: Flynn, Nick
    Publisher: Norton $ 23.95 ISBN: 0393051390 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    In bold, dazzling prose, Flynn tells the story of two lives and the trajectory that led him and his father into that homeless shelter, onto those streets, and finally to each other.
    Suggested Reading: Memoir Stars
    Updated 9.20.04
  • Just Beneath My Skin: Autobiography and Self-Discovery
    Author: Foster, Patrica
    Publisher: Univ of Georgia $ 39.95/18.95 ISBN: 0820326828/0820326887 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Updated 7.26.04
  • Travelling With Che Guevara: The Making of A Revolutionary
    Author: Granado, Alberto
    Publisher: Newmarket $ 24.95/14.95 ISBN: 1557046409/1557046395 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 9.20.04
  • Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
    Author: Greenblatt, Stephen
    Publisher: Norton $ 26.95 ISBN: 0393050572 Date: 2004
    starPW
    Greenblatt interweaves a searching account of Elizabethan England with a vivid narrative of the playwright's life. Readers see Shakespeare learning his craft, starting a family, and forging a career for himself in the wildly competitive London theater world.
    Suggested Reading: Shakespearean Stars
    Updated 7.19.04
  • The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters With Strangers
    Author: Hansen, Eric
    Publisher: Pantheon $ 24 ISBN: 0375421262 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPWstarBooklist
    Eric Hansen is an intrepid traveler with a keenly perceptive eye and an appreciation for the odd and unusual. He will go anywhere and try anything. Through it all he manages to capture the most revealing conversations and the most transporting moments in his travels, from the Maldives to Sacramento, from Cannes to Borneo and far beyond. Hansen writes about the mind-altering experience of drinking kava in Vanuatu and about heartrending moments working at Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying Destitute in Calcutta. He joins a grieving husband searching for his dead wife’s wedding ring at a crash site in the Borneo rain forest. He recounts his miraculous survival of Cyclone Tracy on a fishing boat off the north coast of Australia, and he befriends an elderly Russian woman who would prepare catered dinners for George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky in her tiny Manhattan kitchen while drug dealers were shot to death in the downstairs lobby. He spends time with an ornithologist who studies endangered ants and the sex lives of banana slugs—and takes topless dancers on bird-watching expeditions. Each essay is a passionate experience of life refracted through the eyes and voice of a singularly evocative and original writer.- Publisher Marketing.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales | All Stars
    Updated 9.22.04
  • Hell or High Water: Seven Men, Seven Kayaks and the Last Great Quest
    Author: Heller, Peter
    Publisher: Rodale $ 24.95 ISBN: 1579548725 Date: 2004
    starPW
    In this grand adventure, an elite kayaking team makes a heroic conquest of the world's last great adventure prize: Tibet's Tsangpo River. Publication coincides with the release of a documentary about the expedition by National Geographic.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales | Tibet
    Updated 8.16.04
  • The Know-it-all: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
    Author: Jacobs, A.J.
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 25 ISBN: 0743250605 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Alarmed and more than a little chagrined at the massive gaps in his personal knowledge base, Jacobs sets for himself a suitably daunting, and some might say insane, task: to fill in the holes in his Ivy-league education by reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica from A to Z.
    Updated 7.26.04
  • The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France
    Author: Jager, Eric
    Publisher: Broadway $ 24.95 ISBN: 0767914163 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    Set during the Hundred Years War, this is the gripping, atmospheric true story of the "duel to end all duels" in medieval France: a trial by combat pitting a knight against a squire accused of violating the knight's beautiful young wife.
    Updated 9.7.04
  • A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family's Century of Conscience
    Author: Jones, Thai
    Publisher: Free $ 26 ISBN: 0743250273 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    In this elegant family history, journalist Thai Jones traces the past century of American radical politics through the extraordinary exploits of several generations of his own family.
    Updated 7.26.04
  • Broadway: The American Musical
    Author: Kantor, Michael
    Publisher: Bulfinch $ 60 ISBN: 0821229052 Date: 2004
    starBookliststarLJstarPW
    Along with jazz and abstract expressionism, the Broadway musical is one of the few uniquely American art forms. This companion to the six-part PBS documentary series is a colorful and fascinating exploration of how Americans define the Broadway musical and how the musical defines Americans. Compelling, in-depth text is complemented by lavish illustrations, including photographs, sheet-music covers, caricatures, and more.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | Music - Nonfiction Stars
    Updated 11.2.04
  • Outwitting History: How One Man Rescued a Million Books and Saved a Civilization
    Author: Lansky, Aaron
    Publisher: Algonquin $ 24.95 ISBN: 1565124294 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarLJ
    The man who spearheaded what has been called "the greatest cultural rescue effort in Jewish history" recounts his poignant, intrepid, and often riotous quest to safeguard a vanishing civilization.
    Suggested Reading: Reading & Books Stars
    Updated 11.2.04
  • Hip: The History
    Author: Leland, John
    Publisher: Ecco $ 26.95 ISBN: 0060528176 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Hip is the story of the evolution of American popular culture over the 20th century to its current position as the world's cultural touchstone.
    Updated 9.20.04
  • Janet & Me
    Author: Mack, Stan
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 14 (paper) ISBN: 0684872781 Date: 2004
    starPWstarLJ
    Featuring his trademark documentary cartooning style, acclaimed journalist-artist Stan Mack chronicles a poignant, unflinching, and intensely personal story of love and loss, and the remarkable relationship at the heart of it all. Illustrations throughout.
    Suggested Reading: Graphic Novel Stars | Breast Cancer
    Updated 11.3.04
  • A Reading Diary
    Author: Manguel, Alberto
    Publisher: FSG $ 20 ISBN: 0374247420 Date: 2004
    starPW
    While traveling, Manguel was struck by how the novel he was reading seemed to reflect the social chaos of the world he was living in. He decided to keep a diary of these moments, reading a book a month and recording his observations, which provides an enthralling adventure in literature and life.
    Suggested Reading: Reading & Books Stars
    Updated 6.30.04
  • The Red Letters: My Father's Enchanted Period
    Author: Mehta, Ved
    Publisher: Thunder's Mouth $ 22.95 ISBN: 1560256281 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    When, as a boy, Mehta finds his father weeping uncontrollably on his mother's shoulder during a New York dinner party, he begins to unravel a family mystery that takes him on a painful and revealing voyage into his father's past in the exotic, closed world of British India.
    Suggested Reading: Stars of India
    Updated 10.19.04
  • My Kind of Place: Travel Stories from a Woman Who's Been Everywhere
    Author: Orlean, Susan
    Publisher: Random $ 24.95 ISBN: 0679462937 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Susan Orlean has been called “a national treasure” by The Washington Post and “a kind of latter-day Tocqueville” by The New York Times Book Review. In addition to having written classic articles for The New Yorker, she was played, with some creative liberties, by Meryl Streep in her Golden Globe Award—winning performance in the film Adaptation.

    Now, in My Kind of Place, the real Susan Orlean takes readers on a series of remarkable journeys in this uniquely witty, sophisticated, and far-flung travel book. In this irresistible collection of adventures far and near, Orlean conducts a tour of the world via its subcultures, from the heart of the African music scene in Paris to the World Taxidermy Championships in Springfield, Illinois–and even into her own apartment, where she imagines a very famous houseguest taking advantage of her hospitality.

    With Orlean as guide, lucky readers partake in all manner of armchair activity. They will climb Mt. Fuji and experience a hike most intrepid Japanese have never attempted; play ball with Cuba’s Little Leaguers, promising young athletes born in a country where baseball and politics are inextricably intertwined; trawl Icelandic waters with Keiko, everyone’s favorite whale as he tries to make it on his own; stay awhile in Midland, Texas, hometown of George W. Bush, a place where oil time is the only time that matters; explore the halls of a New York City school so troubled it’s known as “Horror High”; and stalk caged tigers in Jackson, New Jersey, a suburban town with one of the highest concentrations of tigers per square mile anywhere in the world.

    Vivid, humorous, unconventional, and incomparably entertaining, Susan Orlean’s writings for The New Yorker have delighted readers for over a decade. My Kind of Place is an inimitable treat by one of America’s premier literary journalists. - Publisher Marketing
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 7.26.04
  • Audubon: The Making of an American
    Author: Rhodes, Richard
    Publisher: Knopf $ 28.95 ISBN: 0375414126 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPWstarBookliststarLJ
    From the Pulitzer Prize—winning historian Richard Rhodes, the first major biography of John James Audubon in forty years, and the first to illuminate fully the private and family life of the master illustrator of the natural world.

    Rhodes shows us young Audubon arriving in New York from France in 1803, his illegitimacy a painful secret, speaking no English but already drawing and observing birds. We see him falling in love, marrying the wellborn English girl next door, crossing the Appalachians to frontier Kentucky to start a new life, fashioning himself into an American just as his adopted country was finding its identity.

    Here is Audubon exploring the wilderness of birds–pelicans wading the shallows of interior rivers, songbirds flocking, passenger pigeons darkening the skies–and teaching himself to revivify them in glorious life-size images. Now he finds his calling: to take his hundreds of watercolor drawings to England to be engraved in a great multivolume work called The Birds of America. Within weeks of his arrival there in 1826, he achieves remarkable celebrity as “the American Woodsman.” He publishes his major work as well as five volumes of bird biographies enhanced by his authentic descriptions of pioneer American life.

    Audubon’s story is an artist’s story but also a moving love story. In his day, communications by letter across the ocean were so slow and uncertain that John James and his wife, Lucy, almost lost each other in the three years when the Atlantic separated themuntil he crossed the Atlantic and half the American continent to claim her. Their letters during this time are intimate, moving, and painful, and they attest to an enduring love.

    We examine Audubon’s legacy of inspired observation–the sonorities of a wilderness now lost, the brash life of a new nation just inventing itself–precisely, truthfully, lyrically captured. And we see Audubon in the fullness of his years, made rich by his magnificent work, winning public honor: embraced by writers and scientists, fêted by presidents and royalty.

    Here is a revelation of Audubon as the major American artist he is. And here he emerges for the first time in his full humanity–handsome, charming, volatile, ambitious, loving, canny, immensely energetic. Richard Rhodes has given us an indispensable portrait of a true American icon. - Publisher Marketing
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 9.22.04
  • Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer - America's Deadliest Serial Murderer
    Author: Rule, Ann
    Publisher: Free $ 26 ISBN: 0743238516 Date: 2004
    starPW
    America's master of true crime presents her biggest book yet: the long-awaited story of the terrifying Green River killings, with more than 48 young women victims, and the "man next door" murderer who hid his horrific addiction for two decades.
    Suggested Reading: True Crime Stars
    Updated 8.30.04
  • The Life of Graham Greene
    Author: Sherry, Norman
    Publisher: Viking $ 39.95 ISBN: 0670031429 Date: 2004
    starBookliststarKirkus
    Updated 11.2.04
  • Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger
    Author: Slater, Nigel
    Publisher: Gotham $ 25 ISBN: 1592400906 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarLJ
    Toast is Slater's extraordinary story of a childhood remembered through food. A bestseller and award-winner in the United Kingdom, Toast is sure to delight both foodies and memoir readers on this side of the pond.
    Suggested Reading: Memoir Stars | Cooked Books
    Updated 8.16.04
  • Nelson: A Dream of Glory, 1758-1797
    Author: Sugden, John
    Publisher: Henry Holt $ 35 ISBN: 080507757x Date: 2004
    starBookliststarPW
    Historian Sugden has penned one of the most authoritative and captivating accounts ever written of legendary British naval commander Horatio Nelson's early career and rise to prominence.
    Updated 11.2.04
  • Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer
    Author: Turchi, Peter
    Publisher: Trinity $ 24.95 ISBN: 159534005x Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Drawing on texts as varied as poetry, novels, and cartoons, Turchi explores how writers and cartographers use many of the same devices for plotting and executing their work. Tracing the history of maps, he then relates what writers do in projecting a literary work from the imagination onto the page.
    Updated 10.4.04
  • Born Fighting: How the Scots- Irish Shaped America
    Author: Webb, James
    Publisher: Broadway $ 25.95 ISBN: 0767916883 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Webb tells the epic story of the Scots-Irish, a people whose lives and worldview were dictated by resistance, conflict, and struggle, and who, in turn, profoundly influenced the social, political, and cultural landscape of America.
    Updated 10.4.04
  • Greenpeace: How a Group of Journalists, Ecologists and Visionaries Changed the World
    Author: Weyler, Rex
    Publisher: Rodale $ 24.95 ISBN: 1594861064 Date: 2004
    starPWstarBooklist
    Greenpeace founder and Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Weyler has penned the first comprehensive eyewitness account of the human drama behind the creation of the world's largest direct-action environmental group.
    Updated 10.25.04

December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

September

  • The Truth About Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What To Do About It
    Author: Angell, Marcia
    Publisher: Random $ 24.95 ISBN: 0375508465 Date: 2004
    starLJstarPW
    During her two decades at "The New England Journal of Medicine", Dr. Marcia Angell had a front-row seat on the appalling spectacle of the pharmaceutical industry. She watched drug companies stray from their original mission of discovering and manufacturing useful drugs and instead become vast marketing machines with unprecedented control over their own fortunes. She saw them gain nearly limitless influence over medical research, education, and how doctors do their jobs. She sympathized as the American public, particularly the elderly, struggled and increasingly failed to meet spiraling prescription drug prices. Now, in this bold, hard-hitting new book, Dr. Angell exposes the shocking truth of what the pharmaceutical industry has become - and argues for essential, long-overdue change. - Publisher Marketing.
    Suggested Reading: Medical Nonfiction Stars
    Updated 8.2.04
  • Spirit and Flesh: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church
    Author: Ault, James M.
    Publisher: Knopf $ 27.95 ISBN: 037540242x Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    In an attempt to understand the growing influence of the Christian Right, sociologist and documentary filmmaker Ault reports on the three years he spent inside the world of a Massachusetts fundamentalist church he encountered while studying a variety of new-right groups.
    Updated 6.30.04
  • Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age
    Author: Boyle, Kevin
    Publisher: Holt $ 26 ISBN: 0805071458 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    Boyle recounts the electrifying story of the sensational 1925 Ossian Sweet murder trial, an epic tale of one man trapped by the battles of his era's changing times, a city divided, and the advent of the civil rights struggle in Detroit.
    Suggested Reading: True Crime Stars
    Updated 8.2.04
  • When Corruption Was King: How I Helped the Mob Rule Chicago, Then Brought the Outfit Down
    Author: Cooley, Robert & Hillel Levin
    Publisher: Carroll & Graf $ 26 ISBN: 0786713305 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Former Chicago mob lawyer Cooley tells of living a double life in order to turn on his cronies and help the federal government take down America's most corrupt criminal justice system.
    Suggested Reading: True Crime Stars
    Updated 10.4.04
  • Teasing Secrets from the Dead: My Investigations at America's Most Infamous Crime Scenes
    Author: Craig, Emily A.
    Publisher: Crown $ 24.95 ISBN: 1400049229 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    A forensic anthropologist recounts her unlikely career, which has ranged from murder victims discovered in the backwoods of Appalachia to some of the highest-profile cases of our time.
    Updated 6.30.04
    Suggested Reading: CSI Stars - Crime Scene Investigations | Adult Books for Teens
  • The Stories of English
    Author: Crystal, David
    Publisher: Overlook $ 35 ISBN: 1585676012 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklsit
    Crystal turns the history of the language on its head and provides a startlingly original view of where the richness, creativity, and diversity of the language truly lies: in the accents and dialects of nonstandard English users all over the globe.
    Updated 10.19.04
  • Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest
    Author: Earley, Lawrence
    Publisher: Univ of NC $ 27.50 ISBN: 0807828866 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Longleaf pine once flourished across the South in park-like forests of astonishing beauty and diversity--the most extensive forest ecosystem in North America. Much of the region's history is connected to these trees, which were exploited for agriculture, pasturage, timber, and naval stores. Today longleaf pine forests are recognized as one of the world's most endangered ecosystems. This book blends human and natural history to reveal the compelling story of these magnificent trees and also addresses current conservation and restoration efforts.
    Suggested Reading: Nature
    Updated 6.10.04
  • All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians and Artists
    Author: Gross, Terry
    Publisher: Hyperion $ 24.95 ISBN: 1401300103 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    For this collection, Gross has selected more than three dozen of her best interviews for NPR's Fresh Air--ones of lasting relevance that are as lively on the page as they were on the air.
    Updated 6.30.04
  • The Cyanide Canary
    Author: Hilldorfer, Joseph & Robert Dugoni
    Publisher: Free $ 26 ISBN: 0743246527 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    In this true story of a horrific environmental crime, written by an EPA Special Agent, a brave young man suffers severe brain damage after being pulled from a poison-saturated 25,000-gallon storage tank.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens | True Crime Stars
    Updated 6.30.04
  • The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World
    Author: Hopkins, Roz (ed)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet $ 39.99 ISBN: 1741044510 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    From Lonely Planet's staff of travel experts comes a coffeetable book to inspire wanderlust in both novices and seasoned travelers. This ultimate travel pictorial delivers the world by featuring every country on the planet in gorgeous photographs and evocative descriptions.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 11.2.04
  • Bloodsworth: the True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA
    Author: Junkin, Tim
    Publisher: Algonquin $ ISBN: 1565124197 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    A shocking, page-turner of a book that, as Scott Turow says, "may well be the most incredible and important true story ever written about a death row convict's daily battle for survival, both in the cell block and in the courtrooms."
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens | True Crime Stars
    Updated 6.17.04
  • Maximum City: Bombay
    Author: Mehta, Suketu
    Publisher: Knopf $ 27.95 ISBN: 0375403728 Date: 2004
    starPWstarLJ
    A brilliantly illuminating portrait of Bombay and its people-a book as vast, diverse, and rich in experience, incident, and sensation as the city itself-from an award-winning Indian-American fiction writer and journalist. - Publisher Marketing.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales | Stars of India
    Updated 9.22.04
  • Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood
    Author: Mintz, Steven
    Publisher: Belknap $ 29.95 ISBN: 0674015088 Date: 2004
    starBookliststarLJ
    Like Huck's raft, the experience of American childhood has been both adventurous and terrifying. Mintz gives readers the first comprehensive history of American childhood, encompassing both the child's and the adult's tumultuous early years of life.
    Updated 11.2.04
  • Osama: The Making of a Terrorist
    Author: Randal, Jonathan C.
    Publisher: Knopf $ 26.95 ISBN: 0375409017 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    How is it possible for one middle-aged Saudi millionaire to threaten the world's only superpower? This is the question at the center of Jonathan Randal's riveting, timely account of Osama bin Laden's role in the rise of terrorism in the Middle East. - Publisher Marketing.
    Suggested Reading: Afghanistan Stars
    Updated 6.30.04
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place
    Author: Ralston, Aron
    Publisher: Atria $ 26 ISBN: 0743492811 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Icebound meets Into Thin Air in this astonishing, day-by-day account of Ralston's terrible accident, self-amputation, and subsequent rescue and recovery.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens | Rock Climbing
    Updated 8.13.04
  • Not So Prime Time: Chasing the Trivial on American Television
    Author: Rosenberg, Howard
    Publisher: Ivan Dee $ 26 ISBN: 1566635772 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Howard Rosenberg traces a disturbing pattern on American television, a relentless pursuit of the mundane in its seeming quest to dumb down America. Not So Prime Time records how this has happened-not overnight; the crud has been creeping forward for years.
    Updated 6.30.04
  • The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives and Broken Hearts
    Author: Rubenstein, Julian
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 23.95 ISBN: 0316071676 Date: 2004
    starPW
    Elmore Leonard meets Franz Kafka in the wild, improbably true story of Attila Ambrus, the legendary outlaw of Budapest.
    Suggested Reading: True Crime Stars
    Updated 8.23.04
  • In The Shadow of No Towers
    Author: Spiegelman, Art
    Publisher: Pantheon $ 19.95 ISBN: 0375423079 Date: 2004
    starPWstarBooklist
    In his first new book of comics since the groundbreaking Maus, Art Spiegelman offers a deeply personal, politically charged, graphically and emotionally stunning account of the events and aftermath of September 11, 2001--a no-holds-barred political statement and a revelation of the cultural reach of cartooning.
    Suggested Reading: 9/11 Stars | Graphic Novel Stars
    Updated 10.4.04
  • Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990-2002
    Author: Starr, Kevin
    Publisher: Knopf $ 35 ISBN: 0679412883 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    In this extraordinary book, Kevin Starr--widely acknowledged as the premier historian of California--probes the possible collapse of the California dream and the beginning of another in the years 1990-2003.
    Updated 8.12.04
  • The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction
    Author: Stewart, Jon and the Writers of the Daily Show
    Publisher: Warner $ 24.95 ISBN: 0446532681 Date: 2004
    starPW
    Timed to coincide with the height of the 2004 presidential election campaign, this book offers insights into America's unique system of government, dissecting its institutions, explaining its history and processes, and exploring modern urban myths.
    Updated 9.6.04
  • Sleepaway School: Stories from a Boy's Life
    Author: Stringer, Lee
    Publisher: Seven Stories $ 21.95 ISBN: 1583224785 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Sleepaway School is Stringer's recounting of his years at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls--a school for kids at risk--and the events that led up to them. This is a "boy-meets-world" story, the chronicle of one child's struggle simply to be.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 6.10.04
  • The Cincinnati Arch: Learning From Nature in the City
    Author: Tallmadge, John
    Publisher: Univ of Georgia $ 16.95 ISBN: 0820326909 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Updated 10.4.04
  • On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth WIth the Peregrine Falcon
    Author: Tennant, Alan
    Publisher: Knopf $ 25 ISBN: 0375415513 Date: 2004
    starBookliststarLJ
    In this extraordinary narrative, a passionate observer of nature recounts his all-out effort to radio-track the transcontinental migration of the peregrine falcon--an investigation no one before him had ever taken to such lengths.
    Suggested Reading: Nature | Adult Books for Teens | For the Birds
    Updated 9.20.04
  • Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood
    Author: Traig, Jennifer
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 22.95 ISBN: 0316158771 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    In the bestselling tradition of Running with Scissors and A Girl Named Zippy, Jennifer Traig tells an unforgettable story of youthful obsession.
    Suggested Reading: Memoir Stars | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 9.20.04

December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

August

  • The Portland Vase: the Extraordinary Odyssey of a Mysterious Roman Treasure
    Author: Brooks, Robin
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 24.95 ISBN: 0060510994 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Updated 6.30.04
  • Welcome to Lizard Motel: Children, Stories, and the Mystery of Making Things Up: A Memoir
    Author: Feinberg, Barbara
    Publisher: Beacon $ 25 ISBN: 0807071447 Date: 2004
    starPW
    Updated 5.17.04
  • Nightingales: The Story of Florence Nightingale and Her Remarkable Victorian Family
    Author: Gill, Gillian
    Publisher: Ballantine $ 27.95 ISBN: 0345451872 Date: 2004
    starPWstarBooklist
    Suggested Reading: Women's History Stars
    Updated 7.6.04
  • Journey From the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran
    Author: Hakakian, Roya
    Publisher: Crown $ 23 ISBN: 1400046114 Date: 2004
    starPW
    This lyrical coming-of-age story creates an intimate portrait of life in Tehran: the author's family and friends, her life at school, her observations of Iran's political life, and her longing to escape a sense of displacement from her home, culture, and language.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 6.1.04
  • Defining the Wind: The Beaufort Scales, and How a Nineteenth Century Admiral Turned Science into Poetry
    Author: Hueler, Scott
    Publisher: Crown $ 23 ISBN: 1400048842 Date: 2004
    starPWstarLJ
    A writer's fascination with the exquisite intersection of science and language inspires this riveting account of the Beaufort Scale and how a 19th-century admiral turned the measurement into poetry.
    Updated 7.19.04
  • Hell Bent for Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict
    Author: Hunter, Seb
    Publisher: Fourth Estate $ 26.95 ISBN: 0060722924 Date: 2004
    starPW
    Reaching deep into the most embarrassing depths of the family photo album, Hunter offers a witty and touching account of heavy metal mania in the tradition of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity.
    Suggested Reading: Music - Nonfiction Stars
    Updated 4.26.04
  • Landon Carter's Uneasy Kingdom: Revolution and Rebellion on a Virginia Plantation
    Author: Isaac, Rhys
    Publisher: Oxford $ 30 ISBN: 0195159268 Date: 2004
    starPWstarKirkus
    In this long-awaited work, Isaac mines the diary of a Revolutionary War-era Virginia planter--and many other sources--to reconstruct his interior world as it plunged into turmoil.
    Suggested Reading: 1776 Stars | Virginia Stars
    Updated 6.1.04
  • Namath
    Author: Kreigel, Mark
    Publisher: Viking $ 27.95 ISBN: 0670033294 Date: 2004
    starBookliststarPW
    Kriegel details football legend Joe Namath's journey from steeltown pool halls to the upper reaches of American celebrity--and beyond. "Namath" is not just for football fans, but for any reader interested in the role of sports in American culture.
    Updated 7.6.04
  • The Interrogators: Inside the Secret War Against Al Qaeda
    Author: Mackey, Chris & Greg Miller
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 25.95 ISBN: 0316871125 Date: 2004
    starPW
    Hogan and Miller--senior interrogator in Kandahar and a reporter with access to the interrogations--offer an illuminating examination of the psychology and physiology of lying and determining whether someone is telling the truth.
    Suggested Reading: Afghanistan Stars
    Updated 7.19.04
  • Slipping Into Paradise: Why I Live in New Zealand
    Author: Masson, Jeffrey
    Publisher: Ballantine $ 24.95 ISBN: 0345466144 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    In the tradition of Under the Tuscan Sun and A Year in Provence, here is Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s ode to his personal paradise–his adopted home, New Zealand. After living in California, why did Masson settle– out of all the places on earth–in such a faraway land? It turns out that while visiting a beautiful sandy beach just fifteen minutes from bustling Auckland, Masson and his family were utterly seduced by the exotic locale. There was little deliberation. This place, surrounded by lush forest on a bay dotted with volcanic islands, would be their new home.
    Masson takes readers on a remarkable journey to another world, as he and his family “slip into” the paradise that is New Zealand. For anyone who has ever dreamed of finding utopia, Masson reveals a country where neighbors talk to one another and provide a sense of real community–rarely, outside of the big cities, locking their doors–and where politics are as mellow as the weather. New Zealand is also a land of spectacular scenery, made even more famous for being the shooting location for the Lord of the Rings films. The flora is plentiful. Mangroves, banana plants, papaya trees, and more than ten thousand species of ferns grow wild and freely. The fauna is benign. There are no snakes, tarantulas, or scorpions. Children can walk to school barefoot without a care– there is nothing to sting them, bite them, or give them a rash. In the blue waters near the lush coastline, dolphins and orcas abound.

    While describing his love affair with the country and his affinity for its citizens, Masson reflects on the meaning of home, the importance of acting on intuition, and what happens when we lose our connection to the place we live in. Responding to an impulse, Masson reveals, he realized a dream. - Publisher Marketing

    Updated 6.10.04
  • No Man's River
    Author: Mowat, Farley
    Publisher: Carroll & Graf $ 25 ISBN: 0786714301 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    From one of the best-known and best-loved storytellers in the world comes the highly anticipated bridge between People of the Deer and Never Cry Wolf.
    Updated 7.8.04
  • Assembling My Father: A Daughter's Detective Story
    Author: Oliver, Anna Cypra
    Publisher: Houghton $ 25 ISBN: 0618341528 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    Oliver's father's suicide, committed when she was only five years old, has haunted her all her life. In Assembling My Father, she offers the extraordinary chronicle of her journey of discovery to learn who he was and why he died.
    Updated 8.13.04
  • Ghosts of Vesuvius: A New Look at the Last Days of Pompeii, How Towers Fall ,and Other Strange Connectons
    Author: Pellegrino, Charles R.
    Publisher: Morrow $ 25.95 ISBN: 0380973103 Date: 2004
    starPWstarBooklist
    From Pellegrino comes a fascinating archaeologist's look at Pompeii and its remarkably well-preserved suburb, Herculaneum, as well as an examination of the Vesuvius eruption in comparison with the World Trade Center disaster.
    Updated 8.13.04
  • The Life and Times of Mexico
    Author: Shorris, Earl
    Publisher: Norton $ 29.95 ISBN: 039305926x Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    Driven by 3,000 years of Mexican history and Shorris's original methods of storytelling, this grand narrative offers magnificent scope and profound insight into the divided soul of Mexico.
    Updated 7.6.04
  • Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer: A Journey Into the Heart of Fan Mania
    Author: St. John, Warren
    Publisher: Crown $ 24 ISBN: 0609607081 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    New York Times writer and Alabama native Warren St. John presents a rollicking RV ride through a season in the heart of football mania with the world's most obsessive sports fans.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 7.6.04
  • Persepolis 2
    Author: Satrapi, Marjane
    Publisher: Pantheon $ ISBN: Date: 2004
    starPW
    Funny and heartbreaking, edgy and searingly observant, Satrapi's tale about the life of one adolescent and about the life of an entire nation continues with the same dazzling combination of singular artistry, insight, and storytelling as her first book.
    Suggested Reading: Graphic Novel Stars | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 7.26.04
  • Hey Rube
    Author: Thompson, Hunter
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 23 ISBN: 0684873192 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    With Hey Rube, Thompson has put together his most hilarious, thought-provoking, genuine, outlandish, and highly irreverent writings from his recent career as columnist on ESPN.com's popular Page 2. This look at Gonzo journalism in his most organic form includes some "extra" columns that have never before been published.
    Updated 6.10.04
  • Borges
    Author: Williamson, Edwin
    Publisher: Viking $ 29.95 ISBN: 0670885797 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPWstarBookliststarLJ
    Based on an unprecedented range of interviews and new research, this is the first biography to encompass the entire life of short story writer, essayist, and poet Jorge Luis Borges, who revolutionized Latin American literature.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 8.16.04

December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

July

  • Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34
    Author: Burrough, Bryan
    Publisher: Penguin $ 27.95 ISBN: 1594200211 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    Both a hugely satisfying entertainment and a groundbreaking work with powerful echoes in today's news, Burrough's account of America's greatest crime wave and the birth of the FBI is the definitive history of America's first war on crime.
    Suggested Reading: True Crime Stars
    Updated 6.30.04
  • Jacob's Ladder: The History of the Human Genome
    Author: Gee, Henry
    Publisher: Norton $ 25.95 ISBN: 0393050831 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Evolutionary biologist Gee delivers a remarkably lucid explanation of what the sequencing of the human genome really tells us--and explains that the next frontier is understanding how they interact to direct the growth of an organism.
    Updated 5.10.04
  • Sex With Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge
    Author: Herman, Eleanor
    Publisher: Morrow $ 25.95 ISBN: 0060585439 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    Herman shares the scandalous truth about the illicit relationships of some of history's most powerful men--and the women who slept with them to get to the top.
    Updated 7.12.04
  • All the Centurions: A New York City Cop Remembers His Years on the Street, 1961-1981
    Author: Leuci, Bob
    Publisher: Morrow $ 24.95 ISBN: 0380976269 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Leuci takes readers into the world of the New York City Police Department at a time when the city was crumbling under its own weight, drugs were taking over the poorer neighborhoods, and crime was rampant on the streets and subways.
    Suggested Reading: True Crime Stars
    Updated 4.26.04
  • The Last Run: A True Story of Rescue and Redemption on the Alaska Seas
    Author: Lewan, Todd
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 24.95 ISBN: 0060196483 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    In the tradition of Black Hawk Down and The Perfect Storm comes an epic tale of the daring helicopter rescue of an Alaskan fishing vessel wrecked in the worst Arctic storm in years.
    Suggested Reading: Sea Stories
    Updated 5.10.04
  • Politicas: Observations and Arguments, 1966-2003
    Author: Hertzberg, Hendrik
    Publisher: Penguin $ 27.95 ISBN: 1594200181 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    In his most hilarious, devastating and infuriating dispatches from the American scene over four decades, Hertzberg deconstructs politics into components--campaigns, debates, rhetoric, the media, wars, high crimes and misdemeanors, the right, and more.
    Updated 6.15.04
  • The New World of Martin Cortes
    Author: Lanyon, Anna
    Publisher: Da Capo $ 24.95 ISBN: 0306813645 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Lanyon looks at the absorbing and fascinating life of Cortes--the illegitimate son of a conquistador and an indigenous American woman--who lived grandly and suffered greatly in the new and old worlds of 16th century Spain.
    Updated 4.26.04
  • The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece and Western Civilization
    Author: Strauss, Barry S.
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 25 ISBN: 0743244508
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    A scholar who has reexamined the original sources for this stirring narrative presents an exciting, perceptive work of military history and a shrewd analysis of the cultural differences between and even within the contending Persian and Greek factions.
    Updated 4.8.04

December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

June

  • Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another
    Author: Ball, Philip
    Publisher: FSG $ 27 ISBN: 0374281254 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Ball shows how much can be understood of human behavior when we cease to predict and analyze the behavior of individuals and instead look to the impact of individual decisions--whether in circumstances of cooperation or conflict--on our laws, institutions and customs.
    Updated 3.25.04
  • The Secret Life of Lobsters
    Author: Corson, Trevor
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 24.95 ISBN: 0060555580 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    In this intimate portrait of an island lobstering community and an eccentric band of renegade biologists, Corson escorts the reader onto slippery fishing boats and on treacherous scuba dives to learn about lobsters--who prove to be a masters of the boudoir, lethal boxers, snoopy socialites and underwater bloodhounds.
    Suggested Reading: Nature
    Updated 4.20.04
  • Rip in Heaven: A Memoir of Murder and Its Aftermath
    Author: Cummins, Jeanine
    Publisher: New American Library $ 12.95 (paper) ISBN: 0451210530
    starPW
    This intimate memoir tells of one family's immediate and widely publicized story of surviving a shocking crime and suffering in the aftermath.
    Suggested Reading: True Crime Stars | Memoir Stars
    Updated 4.19.04
  • Acquainted With the Night: An Intimate Journey Through the World After Dark
    Author: Dewdney, Christopher
    Publisher: Bloomsbury $ 24.95 ISBN: 1582343969 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    Dewdney takes readers on a fascinating, hour-by-hour journey through the nocturnal realm, covering bedtime stories, festivals of the night, fireworks, nightclubs, astronomy, sleep and dreams, the graveyard shift, ladies of the night, the art of night, and more.
    Suggested Reading: Nature
    Updated 4.26.04
  • The Last Man Down: Life on the Edge at Rescue Two Firehouse
    Author: Downey, Tom
    Publisher: Holt $ 25 ISBN: 0805071695 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    A group of gritty, larger-than-life personalities takes center stage as Downey presents the inside story of one of America's most elite firehouses and the extraordinary brotherhood of men who face extreme danger every day.
    Updated 4.8.04
  • Hardline: Life and Death on the U.S. - Mexico Border
    Author: Ellingwood, Ken
    Publisher: Pantheon $ 25 ISBN: 0375422439 Date: 2004
    starPW
    Ellingwood, who covered the U.S.-Mexico border for the Los Angeles Times from 1998 to 2002, captures the symbiotic relationships between towns on opposite sides of the border, where residents once crossed between countries as easily as crossing a street. He weaves the personal with the historical, chronicling the changing world of the border from the mid-19th century on.
    Updated 4.19.04
  • What's the Matter With Kansas: How Conservative Won the Heart of America
    Author: Frank, Thomas
    Publisher: Metropolitan $ 24 ISBN: 0805073396 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    One of "our most insightful social observers" (Los Angeles Times) cracks the great political mystery of our time: how conservatism, once a marker of class privilege, became the creed of millions of ordinary Americans.
    Updated 4.8.04
  • The Dark Heart of Italy
    Author: Jones, Tobias
    Publisher: North Point $ 24 ISBN: 0865477000 Date: 2004
    starPWstarBooklist
    Jones recounts his four-year voyage across the Italian peninsula where, instead of the pastoral bliss he expected, he discovers unfathomable terrorism and deep-seated paranoia.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 4.19.04
  • Shadow Divers: The True Story of Two Americans Who Discovered Hitler's Last Sub
    Author: Kurson, Robert
    Publisher: Random $ 26.95 ISBN: 0375508589 Date: 2004
    starPW
    This "New York Times" bestseller tells the true adventure of two American scuba divers who discovered a sunken World War II-era German U-boat 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey, and risked everything on a dangerous mission to salvage it.
    Suggested Reading: Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 3.29.04
  • Gag Rule: On the Stifling of Dissent and the Suppression of Democracy
    Author: Lapham, Lewis H.
    Publisher: Penguin $ 19.95 ISBN: 1594200173 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Never before, argues Lapham, have voices of protest been so locked out of the mainstream political conversation. Gag Rule is a call to action in defense of one of our most important liberties--the right to raise our voices against the powers that be and have those voices heard.
    Updated 4.8.04
  • Amazonia
    Author: Marcus, James
    Publisher: New Press $ 24.95 ISBN: 1565848705 Date: 2004 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    The entertaining story of the first five years of Amazon.com is recounted by employee number 55. "The most impressive aspect . . . is Marcus's sculpting of self into an everyman caught between two magnets--culture and commerce."--David Shields (Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity)
    Updated 6.10.04
  • The Genuine Article: A Historian Looks at Early America
    Author: Morgan, Edmund S.
    Publisher: Norton $ 26.95 ISBN: 0393059200 Date: 2004
    starPWstarKirkus blackstar.jpg - 947 BytesLJ
    Dividing his work into 24 essays with sections on "New Englanders," "Southerners," and "Revolutionaries," Morgan examines the history of the American colonies from the arrival of the first settlers in 1607 to the radical changes brought forth by the American Revolution.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | 1776 Stars
    Updated 4.8.04
  • Hatchet Jobs: Cutting Through Contemporary Literature
    Author: Peck, Dale
    Publisher: New Press $ 23.95 ISBN: 1565848748 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Rife with textual analysis, historical context, and insights about the power of fiction, Peck hacks away literature's deadwood to discover the vital heart of the contemporary novel.
    Updated 3.25.04
  • Murdered by Capitalism: A Memoir of 150 Years of Life and Death on the American Left
    Author: Ross, John
    Publisher: Thunder's Mouth $ 15.95 ISBN: 1560255781 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Updated 4.8.04
  • Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
    Author: Sedaris, David
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 24.95 ISBN: 0316143464 Date: 2004
    starPW
    Sedaris returns to his deliriously twisted domain: hilarious childhood dramas infused with melancholy; the gulf of misunderstanding that exists between people of different nations or members of the same family; and the poignant divide between one's best hopes and most common deeds.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 5.24.04
  • The Battle of Blair Mountain: The Story of America's Largest Labor Uprising
    Author: Shogan, Robert
    Publisher: Westview $ 26 ISBN: 0813340969 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarLJ
    Shogan depicts the relatively unrecognized but highly dramatic confrontation culminating at Blair Mountain in West Virginia, between unionized mineworkers, mine owners, and the federal government in the largest armed uprising since the Civil War.
    Updated 6.17.04
  • So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star: Dispatches from the Belly of the Beast
    Author: Slichter, Jacob
    Publisher: Broadway $ 21.95 ISBN: 0767914708 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    This perfect guide to the inner workings of the music industry and instant celebrity is a hysterical and witty look at what happens just before and during one's 15 minutes of fame.
    Updated 3.25.04
  • Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire, from Columbus to Magellan
    Author: Thomas, Hugh
    Publisher: Random $ 35 ISBN: 0375502041 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    From one of the greatest historians of the Spanish world, here is a fresh and fascinating account of Spain’s early conquests in the Americas. Hugh Thomas’s magisterial narrative of Spain in the New World has all the characteristics of great historical literature: amazing discoveries, ambition, greed, religious fanaticism, court intrigue, and a battle for the soul of humankind.

    Hugh Thomas shows Spain at the dawn of the sixteenth century as a world power on the brink of greatness. Her monarchs, Fernando and Isabel, had retaken Granada from Islam, thereby completing restoration of the entire Iberian peninsula to Catholic rule. Flush with success, they agreed to sponsor an obscure Genoese sailor’s plan to sail west to the Indies, where, legend purported, gold and spices flowed as if they were rivers. For Spain and for the world, this decision to send Christopher Columbus west was epochal—the dividing line between the medieval and the modern.

    Spain’s colonial adventures began inauspiciously: Columbus’s meagerly funded expedition cost less than a Spanish princess’s recent wedding. In spite of its small scale, it was a mission of astounding scope: to claim for Spain all the wealth of the Indies. The gold alone, thought Columbus, would fund a grand Crusade to reunite Christendom with its holy city, Jerusalem.

    The lofty aspirations of the first explorers died hard, as the pursuit of wealth and glory competed with the pursuit of pious impulses. The adventurers from Spain were also, of course, curious about geographical mysteries, and they had a remarkable loyalty to their country. But rather than bridging earth and heaven, Spain’s many conquests bore a bitter fruit. In their search for gold, Spaniards enslaved “Indians” from the Bahamas and the South American mainland. The eloquent protests of Bartolomé de las Casas, here much discussed, began almost immediately. Columbus and other Spanish explorers—Cortés, Ponce de León, and Magellan among them—created an empire for Spain of unsurpassed size and scope. But the door was soon open for other powers, enemies of Spain, to stake their claims.
    Great men and women dominate these pages: cardinals and bishops, priors and sailors, landowners and warriors, princes and priests, noblemen and their determined wives.

    Rivers of Gold is a great story brilliantly told. More significant, it is an engrossing history with many profound—often disturbing—echoes in the present.
    - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 4.8.04
  • Under the Weather: How Weather and Climate Affect Our Health
    Author: Thomas, Pat
    Publisher: Vision $ 15.95 (paper) ISBN: 1904132308 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Under the Weather explores the fascinating links between the weather and certain medical conditions.
    Suggested Reading: Nature
    Updated 6.1.04
  • The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific
    Author: Troost, J. Maarten
    Publisher: Broadway $ 12.95 (paper) ISBN: 0767915305
    starKirkusstarPW
    After racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs, author Troost decided the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the Earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better. This is his hilarious story.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 4.8.04
  • American Taboo: A Murder in the Peace Corps
    Author: Weiss, Philip
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 25.95 ISBN: 0060096861 Date: 2004
    starPW
    Twenty-five years after a young Peace Corps volunteer was murdered and her killer set free, Weiss unravels the truth behind what happened on the South Pacific island and why the government suppressed the case.
    Suggested Reading: True Crime Stars
    Updated 6.1.04
  • Infidels: A History of Conflict Between Christendom and Islam
    Author: Wheatcroft, Andrew
    Publisher: Random $ 29.95 ISBN: 1400062306 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    In this dazzlingly-written, pull-no-punches account of the long conflict between Christianity and Islam, Wheatcroft delves beneath stereotypes, and looks incisively at how images and ideas, as well as politics, religion, and conquest, fueled a seemingly unquenchable enmity and hostility on both sides across centuries.
    Updated 6.10.04
  • The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel
    Author: Wood, James
    Publisher: FSG $ 24 ISBN: 0374177376 Date: 2004
    starPW
    In 23 passionate, sparkling dispatches, Wood defends what he calls "secular comedy"--human, tragicomic, forgiving, bound up with the very origins of the novel--against the narrower "religious comedy" of satire and farce, which is corrective, punitive, and theatrical.
    Suggested Reading: Books About Books
    Updated 3.11.04

December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

May

  • An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain
    Author: Ackerman, Diane
    Publisher: Scribner $ 25 ISBN: 0743246721
    starLJstarBookliststarPW
    From the bestselling author of A Natural History of the Senses "comes a playful, rewarding jaunt through the brain's chemical realities and emotional intangibles" (Kirkus Reviews).
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
    Updated 6.1.04
  • The Old Iron Road: An Epic of Rails, Roads, and the Urge to Go West
    Author: Bain, David Haward
    Publisher: Viking $ 27.95 ISBN: 0670033081
    starPW
    From Omaha to San Francisco, Bain and his family retraced the entire route of the first transcontinental railroad and discovered the deep, restless, uniquely American spirit of adventure.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 4.5.04
  • A Sentimental Murder: Love and Madness in the Eighteenth Century
    Author: Brewer, John
    Publisher: FSG $ 25 ISBN: 0374261032
    starKirkus
    Leading historian Brewer reexamines a 235-year-old crime of passion whose true story seems hopelessly obscured by an intermingling of fact and fiction.
    Suggested Reading: True Crime Stars
    Updated 3.25.04
  • Alexander Hamilton
    Author: Chernow, Ron
    Publisher: Penguin $ 35 ISBN: 1594200092 Date: 2005
    starKirkusstarLJstarBooklist
    From National Book Award winner Ron Chernow comes a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | 1776 Stars
    Updated 6.9.05
  • Hitler's Piano Player: The Rise and Fall of Ernst Hanfstaengle, Confidante of Hitler, Ally of FDR
    Author: Conradi, Peter
    Publisher: Carroll & Graf $ 26 ISBN: 078671283x Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Conradi recounts the remarkable life of Ernst Hanfstaengl--Hitler's court jester, pianist, and foreign press chief, and history's personal link between Hitler and FDR--through newly declassified documents, photographs, interviews with members of his family and writing by Hanfstaengl himself.
    Updated 6.10.04
  • The State Boys Rebellion
    Author: D'Antonio, Michael
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 25 ISBN: 0743245121
    starPW
    Evocative of Erin Brockovich and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, D'Antonio presents a remarkable history of a group of boys who survived one of the darkest and least known episodes in American history.
    Updated 3.29.04
  • Status Anxiety
    Author: De Botton, Alain
    Publisher: Pantheon $ 24 ISBN: 0375420835
    starKirkus
    With characteristic originality, lucidity, and lan, de Botton addresses the anxieties that seem inextricably embedded in our pursuit of success and status, and explores what, if anything, we can do about them.
    Updated 3.25.04
  • This Man's Army
    Author: Exum, Andrew
    Publisher: Gotham $ 25 ISBN: 1592400639
    starKirkus
    Soldier X vividly brings to life his journey through ROTC training, the grueling trials of the elite Ranger School, and into the treacherous terrain of the Shah-e-Kot Valley in Afghanistan where he must confront and kill an Al Qaeda fighter.
    Link: ThisMansArmy.com
    Suggested Reading: Afghanistan Stars | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 1.26.04
  • Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England
    Author: Flanders, Judith
    Publisher: Norton $ 34.95 ISBN: 0393052095
    starLJstarBooklist
    A rich selection from diaries, letters, advice books, magazines, and paintings creates a rooms-by-room portrait of Victorian life--from childbirth in the master bedroom to separate gender domains in the drawing room and parlor.
    Updated 4.19.04
  • Scribbling the Cat: Travels With an African Soldier
    Author: Fuller, Alexandra
    Publisher: Penguin $ 24.95 ISBN: 1594200165
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    With the same fiercely beautiful prose that won her acclaim for Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Fuller describes her trip home to Zambia, where she comes away with a remarkably unbiased and unsentimental glimpse of men who have killed, mutilated, tortured and scrambled to survive during wartime, and who now live with their past.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 4.22.04
  • On Being Born and Other Difficulties
    Author: Gonzalez-Crussi, F.
    Publisher: Overlook $ 23.95 ISBN: 1585674494
    starKirkusstarPW
    Drawing on a variety of sources from biology, literature, history, myth, medicine and philosophy, Gonzales-Crussi contrasts the supremely rational processes by which we evolved on this planet with our irrational and often bizarre attempts to understand them.
    Updated 6.1.04
  • Prophet of Love: And Other Tales of Power and Deceit
    Author: Kolbert, Elizabeth
    Publisher: Bloomsbury $ 23.95 ISBN: 1582344639
    starKirkus
    New York Magazine writer Kolbert joyously dissects the complicated workings of power in these lucid and riveting profiles of the people--such as Rudolph Giuliani, Boss Tweed and even Regis Philbin--who have taken a bite of the Big Apple.
    Updated 3.25.04
  • No Greater Glory: The Four Immortal Chaplains and the Sinking of the Dorchester in World War II
    Author: Kurzman, Dan
    Publisher: Random $ 24.95 ISBN: 0375508775
    starLJ
    The sinking of the Dorchester in the icy waters off Greenland shortly after midnight on February 3, 1942, was one of the worst sea disasters of World War II. It was also the occasion of an astounding feat of heroism—and faith.
    In No Greater Glory, Dan Kurzman tells how four extraordinary men left their mark on a single night of war—and forever changed the lives of those they saved. Riveting and inspiring, this is a true story of heroism, of goodness in the face of disaster, and of faith that transfigures even the horror of war. - Publisher Marketing
    Suggested Reading: WWII
    Updated 4.5.04
  • The Outlaw Sea
    Author: Langewiesche, William
    Publisher: FSG $ 23 ISBN: 0865475814
    starPW
    With typically understated lyricism, Langewiesche explores international waters--the last radically free place on Earth--and the licit and illicit enterprises that flourish in the privacy afforded by its horizons.
    Suggested Reading: Sea Stories | Terrorism
    Updated 3.29.04
  • Do You Remember Me: A Father, a Daughter, and a Search for the Self
    Author: Levine, Judith
    Publisher: Free Pr $ 26 ISBN: 074322230x
    starKirkusstarPW
    Unsentimental yet moving, dead serious yet darkly funny--this incisively written memoir recounts Levine's struggle to care for her aging father while offering an unflinching critique of our culture's attitude toward the old and disabled.
    Suggested Reading: Memoir Stars
    Updated 4.19.04
  • The Amber Room: The True Story of the World's Greatest Lost Treasure
    Author: Levy, Adrian
    Publisher: Walker $ 26 ISBN: 0802714242
    starKirkus
    This revelatory and startling book solves a 60-year mystery about the eighth wonder of the world--an ambitious and valuable work of art that was stolen by the Nazi's from the palace in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1942.
    Updated 3.25.04
  • Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood
    Author: Linn, Susan
    Publisher: New Press $ 24.95 ISBN: 1565847830
    starPW
    In Consuming Kids, psychologist Linn takes a comprehensive and unsparing look at the demographic advertisers call "the kid market," taking readers on a compelling and disconcerting journey through modern childhood as envisioned by commercial interests.
    Updated 3.29.04
  • Locust: : The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect That Shaped the American Frontier
    Author: Lockwood, Jeffrey A.
    Publisher: Basic $ 25 ISBN: 0738208949 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Drawing on historical accounts and modern science, Lockwood brings to life the cultural, economic and political forces at work in America in the late-nineteenth century, as he investigates the mysterious disappearance of the dreaded Rocky Mountain locust.
    Suggested Reading: Nature
    Updated 4.20.04
  • The Reformation: A House Divided
    Author: MacCulloch, Diarmaid
    Publisher: Viking $ 34.95 ISBN: 0670032964 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    The Reformation and Counter-Reformation represented the greatest upheaval in Western society since the collapse of the Roman Empire. In this masterful history, MacCulloch conveys the drama, complexity, and continuing relevance of these events.
    Updated 2.10.04
  • Plague: The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World's Most Dangerous Disease
    Author: Orent, Wendy
    Publisher: Free $ 25 ISBN: 0743236858 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Leaving no historical or scientific stone unturned, Orent has produced electrifying reading that offers a chilling prognosis for mankind at the dawn of a new antibiotic-resistant, terrorist age.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 6.1.04
  • Truth and Beauty: A Friendship
    Author: Patchett, Ann
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 23.95 ISBN: 0060572140 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBookliststarLibrary Journal
    Tender but brutal, this portrait of unwavering commitment shines light on the little explored world of women's friendships through the author's relationship with critically acclaimed and recently deceased author, Lucy Grealy.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 5.20.04
  • The Path to Victory: The Mediterranean Theater in World War II
    Author: Porch, Douglas
    Publisher: FSG $ 35 ISBN: 0374205183 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Long overlooked by World War II historians who believe it was little more than a string of small-scale battles, the Mediterranean Theater takes center stage as a pivotal event in Porch's groundbreaking new work.
    Updated 3.1.04
  • Climbing Brandon: Science and Faith on Ireland's Holy Mountain
    Author: Rayo,Chet
    Publisher: Walker $ 22 ISBN: 0802714331 Date: 2004
    starPW
    In this rich celebration of Ireland's Mount Brandon--used for centuries by pilgrims in search of spiritual enlightenment--Raymo constructs a lens through which to view the modern conflicts between science and religion.
    Suggested Reading: Nature
    Updated 4.5.04
  • A Death in Brazil: A Book of Omissions
    Author: Robb, Peter
    Publisher: Holt $ 26 ISBN: 0805076417 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Robb's chronicle flashes from intimate present day Brazil to a richly detailed and often dangerous past, enhanced by the gorgeous climate, lush landscapes and cobalt-blue waters.
    Updated 3.11.04
  • Blood Done Sign My Name: A Memoir
    Author: Tyson, Timothy B.
    Publisher: Crown $ 24 ISBN: 0609610589 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    Tyson sheds a new light on the struggle for racial justice as he weaves together childhood memories with the realities of present-day Oxford, NC--his hometown--where a young black man was killed in the town square by a Klansmen in 1970 and acquitted by an all-white jury.
    Suggested Reading: Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction | True Crime Stars
    Updated 4.19.04
  • Stalking the Green Fairy: And Other Fantastic Adventures in Food and Drink
    Author: Villas, James
    Publisher: Wiley $ 26.95 ISBN:0471273449 Date: 2004 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    The Food Writer of the Year (Bon Appetit, 2003) Takes You on His Quest for the Ultimate Culinary Experiences . . .
    Suggested Reading: Cooked Books
    Updated 6.1.04
  • Our Mother's War: Amrican Women's Lives During World War II
    Author: Yellin, Emily
    Publisher: Free $ 26 ISBN: 0743245148 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    A stunning and unprecedented portrait of women--from factory workers to pinup girls to spies--during World War II, which drastically transformed women's roles in American society.
    Updated 2.23.04
  • Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis
    Author: Zaretsky, Eli
    Publisher: Knopf $ 30 ISBN:0679446540 Date: 2004
    starLJstarPW
    First to synthesize the vast international history and heritage of psychoanalysis, this hugely ambitious book details one of the most influential movements of the 20th century.
    Updated 6.1.04

December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

April

  • The Lost Pet Chronicles
    Author: Albrecht, Kat with Jana Murphy
    Publisher: Bloomsbury $ 23.95 ISBN: 1582343799 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    The nation's first law-enforcement-based pet detective shares her remarkable story, which combines the thrill of CSI's forensic detection with the warmth and charm of All Creatures Great and Small.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 4.5.04
  • A Thousand Sighs, a Thousand Revolts: Journeys in Kurdistan
    Author: Bird, Christiane
    Publisher: Ballantine $ 25.95 ISBN: 0345468929 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Celebrated journalist Bird offers a fascinating, illuminating and very personal glimpse into an exotic land and people of increasing global significance: Kurdistan.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 3.11.04
  • The Trout Pool Paradox: The American Lives of Three Rivers
    Author: Black, George
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin $ 24 ISBN: 0618310800 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Presenting detailed stories of early industrialists, 19th-century naturalistsand contemporary river foes and stewards, Black throws brilliant light on ourdynamic relationship with nature and our demands on our waterways.
    Suggested Reading: Nature
    Updated 4.6.04
  • Descartes' Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human
    Author: Bloom, Paul
    Publisher: Basic $ 26 ISBN: 046500783x Date: 2004
    starPW
    Bloom draws on a wealth of scientific discoveries to show how two ways of knowing--socially and scientifically--give rise to such uniquely human traits as humor, disgust, religion, art, and morality.
    Updated 2.23.04
  • The Virus and the Vaccine: The True Story of a Cancer-Causing Monkey Virus, Contaminated Polio Vaccine and the Millions of Americans Exposed
    Author: Bookchin, Debbie & Jim Schumacher
    Publisher: St Martins $ 25.95 ISBN: 0312278721 Date: 2004
    starBookliststarLJ
    Updated 4.20.04
  • Blue Blood
    Author: Conlon, Edward
    Publisher: Riverhead $ 26.95 ISBN: 1573222666 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBookliststarPWstarLJ
    With brio and a thrilling literary style, Conlon depicts his life on the force--from his first days walking a beat in the South Bronx to his ascent to detective. The pace is relentless, the stories hypnotic, the scope nothing less than grand.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction | Adult Books for Teens | True Crime Stars
    Updated 4.5.04
  • Kepler's Witch: An Astronomer's Discovery of Cosmic Order Amid Religious War, Political Intrigue, and the Heresy Trial of His Mother
    Author: Connor, James A.
    Publisher: Harper SF $ 24.95 ISBN: 0060522550 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Set against the backdrop of the witchcraft trial of his mother, this fascinating biography of Johannes Kepler, "the Protestant Galileo" and 16th-century mathematician and astronomer, reveals the surprisingly spiritual nature of the quest of early modern science.
    Updated 3.11.04
  • One With Ninevah: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future
    Author: Ehrlich, Paul R. and Anne H.
    Publisher: Shearwater $ 27 ISBN: 1559638796 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    The acclaimed writers Paul and Anne Ehrlich explore how overpopulation, overconsumption and political and economic inequity are increasingly determining today's politics and shaping humankind's future.
    Updated 5.7.04
  • My Turquoise Years
    Author: Farrant, M.A.C.
    Publisher: Greystone $ 14.95 (paper) ISBN: 1553650379 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    My Turquoise Years is a touching, funny, and elegantly written account of a 13-year-old girl's life. Throughout her childhood, Marion Farrant had heard stories of the sophisticated life her mother, Nancy, led aboard cruise ships and in Australia. The exotic world of furs, jewels, cigarette holders, and handsome men seemed miles away from the west coast hamlet where Marion lived with her aunt and uncle, running wild on the beach with her friends and enjoying weekend visits with her devoted father. But things changed the year she entered her teens. First, a package arrived from her mom - a gift of sexy lingerie. Next, Nancy threw everyone into a tizzy by announcing that she was coming to visit! With affection and wry humor, Farrant remembers her own impetuousness and sarcastic attitude as a teenager, and perfectly captures the emerging counterculture of the early-1960s. - Publisher Marketing.
    Updated 6.17.04
  • A Continent for the Taking: the Tragedy and Hope of Africa
    Author: French, Howard W.
    Publisher: Knopf $ 25 ISBN: 0375414614 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    In this powerfully written book, a senior writer for the New York Times gives an unstinting account of the disastrous consequences of the centuries-old encounters between Africa and the West.
    Updated 2.10.04
  • The Bells in Their Silence: Travels Through Germany
    Author: Gorra, Michael Edward
    Publisher: Princeton $ 24.95 ISBN: 0691117659 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 4.21.04
  • Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart
    Author: Guy, J.A.
    Publisher: Houghton $ 28 ISBN: 0618254110 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Eminent British historian Guy has unearthed a wealth of evidence that upends the popular notion of Mary Queen of Scots as a femme fatale and establishes her as the intellectual and political equal of Elizabeth I.
    Updated 3.11.04
  • The Great Game: The Myth and Reality of Espionage
    Author: Hitz, Frederic Porter
    Publisher: Knopf $ 22 ISBN: 0375412107 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarLJ
    From the former inspector general of the Central Intelligence Agency comes a completely original book that compares the classics of spy literature to the realities of espionage.
    Updated 4.5.04
  • Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
    Author: Jacoby, Susan
    Publisher: Metroplitan $ 27.50 ISBN: 0805074422 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    At a time when the separation of church and state is under attack as never before, Freethinkers offers a powerful defense of the secularist heritage that gave Americans the first government in the world founded not on the authority of religion but on the bedrock of human reason.
    Updated 4.6.04
  • The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat: How Penicillin Began the Age of Miracle Cures
    Author: Lax, Eric
    Publisher: Holt $ 25 ISBN: 0805067906 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    In this compelling history, Lax reveals the untold story of the discovery of penicillin--the first wonder drug--the men who led the way, and how it changed the modern world.
    Updated 3.22.04
  • Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity
    Author: Lessig, Laurence
    Publisher: Penguin $ 24.95 ISBN: 1594200068 Date: 2004
    starPWstarLJ
    From "the most important thinker on intellectual property in the Internet era" (The New Yorker) comes a landmark manifesto about the genuine closing of the American mind.
    Updated 4.20.04
  • The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan
    Author: Macintyre, Ben
    Publisher: FSG $ 24 ISBN: 0374201781 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    In the year 1838, a young adventurer raised the American flag on the summit of the Hindu Kush in the wilds of Afghanistan. Macintyre tells the astonishing true story of Josiah Harlan, the first American ever to enter Afghanistan, the man who would be the first and last American king.
    Suggested Reading: Afghanistan Stars
    Updated 2.10.04
  • In Service to the Horse: Chronicles of a Labor of Love
    Author: Nusser, Susan
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 25.95 ISBN: 0316806315 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Nusser explores a year in the lives of three grooms, all working with champion thoroughbreds, interweaving stable lore, horse mythology, animal behavior, and meditations on the precise nature of the intense bond between humans and horses.
    Suggested Reading: Horse Tales
    Updated 4.6.04
  • A Pirate of Exquisite Mind: The Life of William Dampier
    Author: Preston, Diana & Michael
    Publisher: Walker $ 27 ISBN: 0802714250 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    The first major biography of the explorer--and pirate--who inspired Darwin, Defoe, and Cook, A Pirate of Exquisite Mind restores William Dampier to his rightful place in history--one of the pioneers on whose insights our understanding of the natural world was built.
    Suggested Reading: Darwin, Naturalists & Evolution | Pirates
    Updated 3.11.04
  • High Steel: The Daring Men Who Built the World's Greatest Skyline
    Author: Rasenberger, Jim
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 26.95 ISBN: 0060004347 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    A frequent contributor to the New York Times pens a powerful, firsthand account of the many generations and ethnic groups of men who have built America's skyscrapers.
    Updated 2.23.04
  • The Devil's Disciples: Hitler's Inner Circle
    Author: Read, Anthony
    Publisher: Norton $ 34.95 ISBN: 0393048004 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Read presents a fresh perspective on the Third Reich: the deadly contests among Hitler's lieutenants, and their disastrous consequences.The Devil's Disciples is the first major book for a general readership to examine those lieutenants, not only as individuals but also as a group.
    Updated 3.1.04
  • Let Me Go
    Author: Schneider, Helga
    Publisher: Walker $ 19 ISBN: 0802714358 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    In this extraordinary memoir, a daughter's sense of obligation collides with inescapable horror when she discovers that her mother abandoned her in 1941 Berlin to become a guard in Nazi concentration camps.
    Suggested Reading: Memoir Stars | Berlin Stars
    Updated 4.21.04
  • A Man After His Own Heart
    Author: Siebert, Charles
    Publisher: Crown $ 23.95 ISBN: 0609602217 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Blending scientific observation with poetic eloquence, this deeply moving narrative is a "biography" of the heart.
    Updated 3.22.04
  • A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money & Luck
    Author: Smiley, Jane
    Publisher: Knopf $ 22 ISBN: 1400040582 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    A Pulitzer-winning author presents a charming, funny, and a bit outrageous exploration of the abiding bond between humans and horses, told with panache, intelligence, and humor.
    Suggested Reading: Horse Tales
    Updated 3.22.04
  • The Rose of Martinque: A Life of Napoleon's Josephine
    Author: Stuart, Andrea
    Publisher: Grove $ 27.50 ISBN: 0802117708 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Josephine Bonaparte was one of the most remarkable women of the modern era. In this acclaimed biography, Andrea Stuart brings her so utterly to life that readers finally understand why Napoleon's last word before dying was the name he had given her, Josephine.
    Updated 3.11.04
  • The Miracle Detective: An Investigation of Holy Visions
    Author: Sullivan, Randall
    Publisher: Atlantic $ 25 ISBN: 0871139162 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    An examination of the longest-running Marian apparitions in history, and the author's own faith and beliefs as he himself becomes a miracle detective, are at the heart of Sullivan's stunning new book, The Miracle Detective.
    Updated 3.11.04
  • Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants
    Author: Sullivan, Robert
    Publisher: Bloomsbury $ 23.95 ISBN: 1582343853 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPWstarLJ
    Behold the rat, dirty and disgusting. The author of A Whale Hunt now turns the lowly rat into the star of the most perversely intriguing, remarkable, and unexpectedly elegant book of the season.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | Nature | Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 2.2.04
  • Life in a Cold Climate: Nancy Mitford: A Portrait of a Contradictory Woman
    Author: Thompson, Laura
    Publisher: Headline $ 15.95 (paper) ISBN: 0747245754 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Updated 7.26.04
  • The Devil's Highway: A True Story
    Author: Urrea, Luis Alberto
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 24.95 ISBN: 0316746711 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    The author of Across the Wire offers brilliant investigative reporting of what went wrong when, in May 2001, a group of 26 men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona. Only 12 men came back out.
    Updated 3.11.04
  • The Mapmaker's Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the Amazon
    Author: Whitaker, Robert
    Publisher: Basic $ 25 ISBN: 0738208086 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    In the early years of the 18th century, a band of French scientists set off on a daring, decade-long expedition to South America in a race to measure the precise shape of the earth. This is the story of Isabel Grames, who became stranded in the Amazon--an epic love story that unfolds against the backdrop of the greatest expedition the world has ever known.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 4.21.04
  • The Whale and the Supercomputer: On the Northern Front of Climate Change
    Author: Wohlforth, Charles
    Publisher: FSG/North Point $ 25 ISBN: 0865476594 Date: 2004
    starPWstarLJ
    With grace, clarity, and a sense of adventure, Wohlforth--a lifelong Alaskan--illuminates traditional Eskimo and modern scientific ways of seeing a world in flux, and in the process, helps readers to navigate a way through current climate changes.
    Updated 4.5.04

December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

March


December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

February

  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the 1918 Pandemic
    Author: Barry, John M.
    Publisher: Viking $ 29.95 ISBN: 0670894737 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. In his powerful new book, award-winning historian John M. Barry unfolds a tale that is magisterial in its breadth and in the depth of its research, and spellbinding as he weaves multiple narrative strands together.
    Suggested Reading: Flu
    Updated 2.23.04
  • Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness: A Reluctant Memoir
    Author: Cohen, Richard
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 23.95 ISBN: 0060014091 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    This is a hopeful memoir of coping with serious chronic illness by an accomplished journalist and once senior producer of the CBS Evening News.
    Suggested Reading: Memoir Stars
    Updated 1.15.04
  • Ramblin' Man: the Life and Times of Woody Guthrie
    Author: Cray, Ed
    Publisher: Norton $ 29.95 ISBN: 0393047598 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Cray is the first biographer to be granted access to the Woody Guthrie Archive, and he has interviewed over 70 of the people who knew Woody best. On this basis he creates a haunting portrait of an American original who profoundly influenced Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and American popular music itself.
    Updated 1.15.04
  • Saboteurs: The Nazi Raid on America
    Author: Dobbs, Michael
    Publisher: Knopf $ 25 ISBN: 0375414703 Date: 2004
    starBookliststarLJ
    A galvanizing nonfiction thriller, this is the story of eight Nazi saboteurs secreted into the United States in June 1942.
    Updated 2.13.04
  • After the Revolution
    Author: Guillermoprieto, Alma
    Publisher: Pantheon $ 25 ISBN: 0375420932 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    Updated 11.24.03
  • Finding Annie Farrell: A Family Memoir
    Author: Harpaz, Beth
    Publisher: St Martins $ 24.95 ISBN: 0312301510 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    This true story begins with five sisters from rural Maine. One girl, Annie Farrell, dreams of being a model and moves to New York. Yet Annie falls into a numbing depression. Twenty years after her death, her daughter embarks on a journey to uncover her mother's secret history and explain her sorrow. What Harpaz discovers is laid out in a narrative that is both compelling and irresistible.
    Suggested Reading: Memoir Stars
    Updated 1.15.04
  • Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic
    Author: Holland, Tom
    Publisher: Doubleday $ 27.50 ISBN: 038550313x Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    A masterful popular history of perhaps the greatest civilization ever and the events and people that caused its downfall--highly readable, suspense-filled, and well-researched.
    Updated 1.10.04
  • The Last Stand of the Tin Can Soldiers: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour
    Author: Hornfischer, James
    Publisher: Bantam $ 24.95 ISBN: 0553802577 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Desperately fought on the morning of October 25, 1944, the Battle of Samar was an upset victory won by American warships fighting a battle they were never supposed to fight. Filled with riveting details, this is war at sea as it has seldom been presented before.
    Updated 1.15.04
  • The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London
    Author: Jardine, Lisa
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 27.95 ISBN: 006053897x Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    From eminent historian Jardine comes a major biography of Robert Hooke, scientist, inventor, architect, mathematician, draftsman, and key figure in the emergence of modern science in the 17th century.
    Updated 12.10.03
  • Mediterranean Winter: The Pleasures of History and Landscape in Tunisia, Sicily, Dalmatia and the Peleponnese
    Author: Kaplan, Robert D.
    Publisher: Random $ 24.95 ISBN: 037550804x Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    The bestselling author of Warrior Politics turns his attention to the pleasures of history and landscape in Tunisia, Sicily, Dalmatia, and Greece.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 10.28.03
  • Skeletons on the Zahara
    Author: King, Dean
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 24.95 ISBN: 0316835145 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarPW
    While there have been numerous historical adventure narratives published, this is the first major work to take place in the greatest desert of all. King retraced parts of Captain James Riley's three-month trek through the desert, going for days consuming only camel urine and locusts. The book is rich with the sort of detail one could only get from being on the scene, in the heart of the desert.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 11.17.03
  • Goat: A Memoir
    Author: Land, Brad
    Publisher: Random $ 22.95 ISBN: 1400060931 Date: 2004
    starPWstarLJ
    A searing memoir of masculinity, violence, and brotherhood which chronicles a young man's painful recovery from a terrifying assault that leads him, ironically, to undergo the brutalizing initiation rites of a southern university fraternity.
    Suggested Reading: Memoir Stars | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 11.18.03
  • Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan
    Author: Lopate, Phillip
    Publisher: Crown $ 25.95 ISBN: 060965054 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Updated 2.5.04
  • Flesh in the Age of Reason: The Modern Foundations of Body and Soul
    Author: Porter, Roy
    Publisher: Norton $29.95 ISBN: 0393050750 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Starting with the revolutionary ideas of the Renaissance that challenged the sense of the body as a corrupt vessel for the soul, Porter goes on to chart how--through figures as diverse as Locke, Swift, Johnson, and Gibbon--ideas about medicine, politics, and religion fundamentally changed notions of self.
    Updated 2.5.04
  • To the Heart of the Nile: Lady Florence Baker and the Exploration of Central Africa
    Author: Shipman, Pat
    Publisher: Morrow $ 25.95 ISBN: 0060505559 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Joining the ranks of West with the Night and Out of Africa, this is the extraordinary true story of an unforgettable female adventurer from an award-winning author.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 2.5.04
  • Name All the Animals: A Memoir
    Author: Smith, Alison
    Publisher: Scribner $ 24 ISBN: 0743255224 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarLJ
    A story of grief and secret love, of a family holding on to the memory of a lost child, Name all the Animals is an extraordinary memoir about a girl who learns to define herself beyond the death of her brother.
    Suggested Reading: Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction | Memoir Stars | Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 3.1.04
  • Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945
    Author: Taylor, Frederick
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 29.95 ISBN: 0060006765 Date: 2004
    starPW
    A fascinating revisionist account of the Allied bombing of Dresden in February 1945--a city long thought to have been an innocent victim of a senseless and unjustified attack.
    Updated 1.26.04
  • Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir
    Author: Tucker, Neely
    Publisher: Crown $ 23.95 ISBN: 0609609769 Date: 2004
    starPWstarBookliststarLJ
    In the heart of conflict-torn Zimbabwe, an American couple fights to save the life of--and ultimately adopt--an infant girl who had been abandoned beneath an acacia tree on the day she was born.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction | Adult Books for Teens | Memoir Stars | Adoption |
    Updated 1.15.04
  • The Call of the Mall: The Author of Why We Buy on the Geography of Shopping
    Author: Underhill, Paco
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 24.95 ISBN: 0743235916 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    Nothing exemplifies shopping more than the mall, America's gift to personal consumption. This book is about the shopping mall as a dipstick reading on the commercial and social culture. It examines how people use it, what it means, why it works when it does, and why it fails when it fails.
    Suggested Reading: Shopping
    Updated 1.15.04
  • Flim-Flam Man: A True Family History
    Author: Vogel, Jennifer
    Publisher: Putnam $ 23 ISBN: 0743217071 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    An intense psychological portrait of a man--a doting father, a scheming philanderer, a charming scammer, counterfeiter, and would-be killer--is recorded by the daughter who loved him.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens | Memoir Stars
    Updated 10.8.03
  • Internal Bleeding: The Truth Behind America's Terrifying Epidemic of Medical Mistakes
    Author: Wachter, Robert & Kaveh Shojania
    Publisher: Rugged Land $ 24.95 ISBN: 1590710169 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    Invoking dramatic previously untold cases, two dynamic physician-professors investigate the rampant errors endemic to modern medical care and suggest ways to prevent hospitals and doctors from inadvertently killing their patients.
    Updated 12.29.03

December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

January

  • Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer
    Author: Cox, Lynne
    Publisher: Knopf $ 24.95 ISBN: 0375415076 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    The famous long-distance swimmer, known for her ability to withstand cold temperatures that might kill others, now tells the fascinating story of how she braved the frigid waters of Antarctica.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens | Sports Stars
    Updated 11.12.03
  • American Sucker
    Author: Denby, David
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 24.95 ISBN: 0316192945 Date: 2004
    starBookliststarKirkus
    Denby's writing has made him one of the country's most sought-after critics, and Great Books was a New York Times bestseller. Here Denby tells the story not only of his own decline, but of his new friends Sam Waksal, indicted founder of ImClone, and Henry Blodgett, disgraced analyst for Merrill Lynch.
    Updated 12.15.03
  • Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens
    Author: Dunn, Jane
    Publisher: Knopf $ 30 ISBN: 0375408983 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    The first dual biography of two of the world's most remarkable women--Elizabeth I of England and Mary Queen of Scots--by one of Britain's "best biographers" (The Sunday Times).
    Suggested Reading List: Elizabeth I
    Updated 11.24.03
  • Washington's Crossing
    Author: Fischer, David Hackett
    Publisher: Oxford $ 35 ISBN: 0195170342 Date: 2004
    starBookliststarKirkusstarPW | SLJ Best Books
    In a dramatic and colorful narrative of a pivotal moment in American history, we see how the campaign developed in a web of hard choices by many actors on both sides of the Delaware.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars | 1776 Stars | Valley Forge
    Updated 2.5.04
  • Mississippi in Africa: The Saga of the Slaves of Prospect Hill Plantation and Their Legacy in Liberia Today
    Author: Huffman, Alan
    Publisher: Gotham $ 28 ISBN: 1592400442 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    In the award-winning tradition of Slaves in the Family, this enthralling work traces an epic legacy that sweeps from the slave quarters of the antebellum South to the war-ravaged streets of modern-day Monrovia. Huffman has rescued a lost chapter of American history whose aftermath is far from over.
    Updated 10.28.03
  • Book Row: An Ancedotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade
    Author: Mondlin, Marvin & Roy Meadow
    Publisher: Carroll & Graf $ 28 ISBN: 0786713054 Date: 2004
    starPW
    The story of the sellers and the dealers, the collectors and the readers, when America got high on books. They called it the New York Booksellers' Row, or, more commonly, Book Row. It's an American story, the story that this richly anecdotal historical memoir amiably tells.
    Updated 11.3.03
  • Slave
    Author: Nazer, Mende
    Publisher: Public Affairs $ 25 ISBN: 1586482122 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    A shocking true story of contemporary slavery: Mende Nazer, snatched from her tribal village in Africa as a young girl, survives slavery in Sudan and London before making a courageous escape to freedom.
    Suggested Reading: Adult Books for Teens
    Updated 12.15.03
  • The Genome War: Science, Ambition, and the Untold Story of the Race for the Human Genome
    Author: Shreeve, James
    Publisher: Knopf $ 26.95 ISBN: 0375406298 Date: 2004
    starKirkus
    In this dramatic story of biologist Craig Venter, Shreeve details the race to solve history's greatest scientific challenge--the sequencing of the human genome.
    Updated 12.10.03
  • The Land That Never Was: Sir Gregor MacGregor and the Most Audacious Fraud in History
    Author: Sinclair, David
    Publisher: Da Capo $ 26 ISBN: 0306813092 Date: 2004
    starKirkusstarBooklist
    On a cold January morning in 1823, a group of Scottish immigrants looking for a new life set sail for a tropical Eden called Poyais. The only catch was that it didn't exist. This is the dazzling and very funny story of one of the greatest hoaxes in history--a story as colorful and bizarre as the mastermind behind it.
    Updated 1.10.04
  • Gorgon: The Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History
    Author: Ward, Peter Douglas
    Publisher: Viking $ 27.95 ISBN: 0670030945 Date: 2004
    starLJ
    This is the tale of the true Lost World. In the prehistory of the dinosaurs, Therapsids roamed the earth. The most terrifying of these was the gorgon. Gorgon is the first book to examine the gorgon and its contemporaries, the ancestors of the turtle, to ask what they were like, how they lived, and, most importantly, how they died.
    Suggested Reading: Nature
    Updated 1.15.04
  • Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain and How it Changed the World
    Author: Zimmer, Carl
    Publisher: Free Press $ 26 ISBN: 0743230388 Date: 2004
    starBooklist
    The untold story of a turning point in modern history--how the brain was discovered to be the seat of human consciousness--from an author The New York Times calls "as fine a science writer as we have, in the company of David Quammen and John McPhee."
    Updated 12.15.03

December | November | October | September | August
July | June | May | April | March | February | January

Starred Review Lists

Books that received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW.

2013 Crime Fiction: Jan-June | Fiction: Jan-June | Speculative Fiction

2012 Crime Fiction: July-Dec | Fiction: July-Dec | Speculative Fiction

Hotlists@ Google Docs

Crime Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

(lists of new and notable books - lists are sortable and can be downloaded)

more stars lists...

book mark Overbooked

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