Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the backissue database. PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital edition via our app or online. For more information on PW's new integrated subscription plan, click here. If you are currently a PW subscriber, click "Login" for full access to the site (if you have not done so already, you will need to set up your account for the new system by going here), or click the "Subscribe" button to become a PW subscriber. Email service@publishersweekly.com with questions.

Login or Subscribe
When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II

Molly Guptill Manning. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-0-544-53502-2

..
Supplying American soldiers with reading material has long been a modest priority, but nothing compares to the massive, WWII operation that sent over 140 million books to U.S. troops. Manning (The Myth of Ephraim Tutt), an attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals, begins this delightful history of a little-known aspect of the war in 1940, with America scrambling to build an army from scratch. Officers responsible for morale noticed that post libraries showed "circulation rates so staggering that it was a wonder the print had not been wiped clean from the pages." Grassroots campaigns produced an avalanche of donations, mostly hardcovers, appropriate for libraries but hopelessly bulky for a frontline soldier. In 1942, publishers put their heads together and Manning delivers an engrossing story of the result: a compact paperback designed to fit into a soldier's pocket. This legendary Armed Services Edition became "the most significant project in publishing history." Over 1,300 titles poured overseas to an enthusiastic reception, and "there was a book for every taste, whether a man preferred Sad Sack comics or Plato." The usual Congressional diehards aside, censorship was minimal. Manning's entertaining account will have readers nostalgic for that seemingly distant era when books were high priority. (Dec.)

Reviewed on 12/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Art and Prayer: The Beauty of Turning to God

Timothy Verdon. Paraclete/Mount Tabor, $32.50 (330p) ISBN 978-1-61261-572-1

..
At first glance a glossy gift book of religious art, this inspired—and inspiring—title from the publisher's new imprint explores prayer. "Images put before believers can in fact teach them how to turn to God in prayer," writes Verdon, a Catholic priest and art historian, "and in every age characterize man's encounter with God as ‘a feast.'" The author, who specializes in art and spirituality, skillfully leads the reader through astute analyses of paintings and other art objects, each a puzzle to be investigated and a mystery to be pondered. Verdon's key themes unfurl through chapters on liturgical prayer, lectio divina, intercession, and the like, concluding with a tender reflection on prayer in the face of death. His discussions of prayer space and the dimension of time as it is experienced in prayer are illuminating. The author's analysis of art is grounded in the words of the Bible and early Christian writers such as Tertullian, Jerome, Augustine, and others in the Catholic tradition; his style is clear and engaging, accessible to the general reader. While Verdon, a long-time resident of Florence, focuses on Italian art of the Renaissance, he also considers works from other European countries and eras. Throughout he demonstrates not only mastery of his topics but also a love of great art and deep faith. The result is a visual and verbal feast for contemplation and study. (Dec.)

Reviewed on 12/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Rise: Get Up and Live In God's Great Story

Trip Lee. Thomas Nelson, $16.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-529-12099-1

..
Pastor-in-training and rapper Lee (The Good Life) endeavors to dispel the myth that youth is for carefree living and serious issues of faith is a task left to older Christians. The book, divided into three sections, is primarily written to encourage young Christians to live a purposeful, godly life. The tone of the book gives the impression of a conversation with a wise older brother. Shorter chapters, many of which are styled like blog posts, help to simplify foundational Christian teaching. Lee's music background shows in his lyrical prose and rhythmic sentences. Some of his pop culture references may be lost on readers, but his practical teaching shows Lee's understanding of his audience. Lee encourages young Christians to rise beyond the stereotypes that are used to label them. He provides a realistic glimpse of what a relationship with God can look like for young adults, who tend to leave the church between the ages of 18-30. This book will not only inspire new Christians, but motivate young people to move beyond the basics of faith. (Jan.)

Reviewed on 12/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Last Days of George Armstrong Custer: The True Story of the Battle of the Little Bighorn

Thom Hatch. St. Martin’s, $29.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-05102-8

..
Most historians blame Custer for the 1876 massacre, but this energetic, intensely researched, and eccentric account from Hatch (The Last Outlaws) concludes that he was blameless. The author focuses on the years following 1874, when the Lakota Sioux refused to leave their Black Hills reservation after gold was discovered. Determined to eject them, several army units converged on what turned out to be a huge Sioux encampment. Arriving first, Custer split his regiment into three columns, a sensible tactic according to Hatch, to prevent their escape (as Custer was ordered). The first unit disobeyed his order to charge; the others disobeyed orders to join their commander after he was attacked. With Custer dead, the surviving commanders and superior officers hastened to blame him, and historians agree that the official inquiry was a cover-up. Hatch takes the bizarre position that the U.S. “had every right to expand its boundaries to include the Great Plains West” and disapproves of the Sioux’s violence in defending their land—which, he maintains, warranted military intervention to “restore peace.” Readers may find this unsettling (and arguably racist), but they will agree that he makes a reasonable case for Custer’s competence. (Feb.)

Reviewed on 12/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Thieves’ Road: The Black Hills Betrayal and Custer’s Path to Little Bighorn

Terry Mort. Prometheus Books, $25 (300p) ISBN 978-1-61614-960-4

..
Though much has been written about the legendary confrontation between the Lakota Sioux and Gen. George Custer’s U.S. cavalry at the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn, Mort (The Wrath of Cochise) examines Custer’s less well-known 1874 expedition to South Dakota’s Black Hills, in this dense work of narrative history. Custer’s goal was to discover if this region, little known to white Americans, held extensive gold deposits, and though he was careful not to exaggerate how much gold he found, word soon spread, drawing prospectors from across the nation. In Mort’s view, Custer’s discovery of gold made it inevitable that the federal government would try to gain control of the Black Hills by any means necessary, a decision that spelled the end of the Lakota Sioux’s way of life. Although Mort’s book suffers from occasional overwriting, it is a lively and impressively researched account not only of the collision between two very different ways of life, but between ideas about the ownership and use of landa collision whose outcome would have long-lasting significance for both the victors and the vanquished, far beyond the remote hills of South Dakota. Agent: Don Fehr, Trident Media Group. (Feb.)

Reviewed on 12/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Water-Wise Home: How to Conserve, Capture, and Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape

Laura Allen. Storey, $24.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-61212-169-7

..
Allen, cofounder of Greywater Action, a collaborative that educates those building sustainable water culture and infrastructure, outlines the U.S. water shortfall, along with techniques for saving and reusing water for the benefits of trees, wildlife, and one’s bank account. The average American family uses 400 gallons of water a day. Homeowners who want to conserve can get their feet wet in the essentials of drought-proofing the home, understanding the failures in current municipal water systems, and installing pipes for house waste as well as rainwater. The author explains how to determine the faults in one’s home water-delivery system before immersing the reader in the less appealing aspects of water conservation (sharing bath water or converting the swimming pool into a harvesting tank). Complete instructions are offered for using rain barrels, tanks, and cisterns, before moving on to more complicated processes, such as installing an indoor gray-water greenhouse with a composting toilet. Awash with information, the beginner may feel a bit intimidated by the prospect of fertilizing with urine by book’s end, but the projects address all skill levels and degrees of commitment. (Feb.)

Reviewed on 12/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Nourishing Homestead: One Back-to-the-Land Family’s Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit

Ben Hewitt, with Penny Hewitt. Chelsea Green, $29.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-60358-551-4

..
The Hewitts moved to their hilly Vermont homestead-to-be in 1997 with some farming experience, but it was only by living through 17 years of “experimentation, triumphs, failures, simple curiosity, and… passion” that they discovered “how radically different true nourishment looks” from what Hewitt calls “the captive economy” of commercialism and consumerism. This book is both the story of their bucolic life and an introductory guide to homesteading skills they’ve gleaned along the way. A comparison to Scott and Helen Nearing’s Living the Good Life is inevitable, and the books are strikingly similar in their combination of personal narrative, practical advice from house-building to soil-building, and sermon-y philosophizing on the ills of contemporary mainstream culture. Unlike the Nearings, the Hewitts benefit from 21st-century developments like permaculture, rotational grazing, and nutrient-dense farming, and they incorporate livestock as an essential and beloved element of their farmstead—almost a third of the book is devoted to animal husbandry. Best of all, adorable photos of the Hewitts’ two young sons lounging on cows, curing hides, and harvesting garlic leaven the earnest prose. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 12/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Eat, Play, Sleep: The Essential Guide to Your Baby’s First Three Months

Luiza DeSouza. Atria, $24 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4516-5092-1

..
Debut author DeSouza has no-nonsense advice for first-time parents, courtesy of her five decades of experience as a baby nurse. Focusing on the important first three months, she writes that caring for infants requires “patience, openness, and attentiveness.” DeSouza prescribes giving loving attention to a baby’s individual needs, within a sensibly set routine that includes meals, gentle interaction with caregivers and the outside world, and sleeping. Although there’s nothing groundbreaking in her system, DeSouza covers many time-honored tricks of essential care, such as putting washcloths on newborns bathing for the first time so they feel less disoriented. Moms without a nurse or a more experienced relative on hand should find these suggestions very helpful, particularly because such specifics can get lost in books by more academic or medically oriented experts. Though never effusive, her voice does convey steadiness with just a bit of toughness, lending credibility to her statement that coolly confident mothers make for calm, happy babies. She doesn’t hide her disdain for certain modern parenting ideas, singling out the attachment theory behind cosleeping as particularly misguided. Families who want a traditional nurse’s approach to care, but can’t afford help at home, may find this manual a good alternative. (Feb.)

Reviewed on 12/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living like the World’s Healthiest People

Dan Buettner. National Geographic (Random, dist.), $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4262-1192-8

..
Bestselling author Buettner (The Blue Zones) is back with a well-organized game plan for a long and well-lived life. Taking what he’s learned from over a decade of studying the so-called Blue Zones—five hot spots across the globe where people enjoy optimal health and vitality well into their 80s, 90s, and as centenarians—Buettner and his colleagues tested whether Blue Zones could be willfully created, targeting communities in California, Iowa, and Minnesota. The results, as reported here, are both impressive and persuasive. Buettner neatly distills the enriching lifestyles, environments, and diets found in each area into small changes anyone can adopt. He also offers intriguing glimpses into other projects in progress and shares more than 80 pages of life-extending recipes designed to be cooked in the average American kitchen. This is a thoughtfully presented and well-written guide from which anyone—no matter where he or she is in the journey to better health—can benefit. Agent: Laurie Liss, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 12/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Success Is a Side Effect: Leadership, Relationships, and Selective Amnesia

Monica F. Anderson. Tymac, $10.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-9786378-3-5

..
High-energy positivity comes right off the page in this guide, which is intended to help women of all ages with their personal and professional lives. Anderson (When a Sistah’s Fed Up) provides 10 strategies, encouraging readers to self-assess two times a year “where you are experiencing challenges.” These aren’t the usual strategies; they range from the girl-power admonition “Be fierce” to the tamer “Eat lunch with strangers” and a warning to “Be leery” of non-readers. While Anderson throws a number of self-help phrases out there—“Fake it ’til you make it” and “Don’t make excuses; make changes”—they don’t sound shopworn coming from her. Anderson doesn’t just say, for example, “Take the scenic way home”; she tells you why. She employs a wide range of role models, from Angelina Jolie to Stephen R. Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and covers varied topics like sex (“Don’t expect it to happen like magic. Make a plan and take action”) and personal finance. Even her intimate disclosures about battling cancer can’t dampen the book’s contagiously enthusiastic tone. This is a book for anybody looking for an upbeat approach to a happier life. (BookLife)

Reviewed on 12/12/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.