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
Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family

Melissa Hart. Globe Pequot/Lyons, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7627-9680-9

Hart (Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood) was a depressed, recently separated transplant to Eugene, Ore. when she met Jonathan, a volunteer at Cascades Raptor rehabilitation center, who was equally unlucky in love. What follows is the harrowing story of would-be adoptive parents and the redemptive powers of dedication to a cause, laid out in brutally honest detail. The couple's courtship begins with a road trip to retrieve six hundred pounds of frozen rats to feed the center's raptors and ends with a wedding featuring an owl ring bearer and the release of a newly healthy red-tailed hawk. While Hart begins spending time at the center to be with Jonathan, she learns quickly that volunteers often "found themselves rehabilitated along with the birds." The book follows the couple as they embark on a long, painful process to adopt a child. They find themselves shut out from adopting in Korea, and China, suffering relationship-threatening tension and a stressful social worker's visit in a home containing "half-empty Merlot bottles, eight shedding pets, and [her] husband's collection of animal skulls." Meanwhile, Hart develops affection for a human-imprinted snowy owl named Archimedes and becomes resolved to train him despite his reputation as a "difficult bird." These twin narratives skillfully woven together make for an exciting and endearingroller coaster of a memoir. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Naked and Marooned: One Man. One Island.

Ed Stafford. Plume, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-14-218096-9

After setting a world record by walking the length of the Amazon River, adventurer Stafford's (Walking the Amazon) next challenge strands him on Olorua, a remote Fiji island, for 60 days armed with only cameras to document his stay for the Discovery Channel. Naked, and without tools and weapons, he recounts his epic feat. What could come off as a droning procedural (woke up sore, ate some snails, dislodged a coconut, rinse, repeat) is anything but—Stafford shares his immediate regret once he arrives on the island and the gravity of his situation fully sinks in and he realizes that food, shelter, and hydration will be constant worries. He artfully engages and draws in the reader as he battles the elements and struggles to secure a reliable source of fresh water and rejoices when he's finally able to start and sustain a fire. The author's humility and gratitude are truly inspiring. Readers will not only come away with an admiration for Stafford's will to survive, but also a greater appreciation for everyday comforts easily taken for granted. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free

Héctor Tobar. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0374-28060-4

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and novelist Tobar (The Barbarian Nurseries) presents the riveting story of the 33 men who spent 69 days trapped more than 2,000 feet underground in Chile’s San José Mine in 2010. Noting that the abundance of minerals under the hills of the Atacama desert drew workers from all corners of Chile, Tobar—who was granted exclusive access to the miners and their families—compassionately recounts the miners’ personal histories, experiences during the 17 days they were without outside contact, extended rescue, and the drama above ground with the families living near the mine in their makeshift “Camp Esperanza,” mingling with government ministers, NASA advisors, engineers, mechanics, and drillers. Particularly moving is the reenactment of the first 17 days when the “33” banded together, drinking dirty water used to cool off the mine’s drilling systems and sharing their meager food supplies. Feeling as though “they are living inside a Bible parable,” the men keep their hopes up through prayer, and some gravitate toward particular roles: the pastor, the chronicler, the unofficial spokesman. Tobar vividly narrates the miners’ lives post-rescue as they come to terms with their life-changing experience and the media frenzy surrounding it. Rich in local color, this is a sensitive, suspenseful rendering of a legendary story. Agent: Jay Mandel, WME. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
All the Truth Is Out: The Fall of Gary Hart and the Rise of Tabloid Politics

Matt Bai. Knopf, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-307-27338-3

Political columnist Bai (The Argument) makes a persuasive case for reexamining the career of presidential candidate Gary Hart, whose downfall in the wake of speculation about an extramarital affair, he argues, marks a turning point in the deterioration of American political journalism and democracy. Bai analyzes the forces coalescing around the scandal that brought down the Democratic frontrunner in May 1987, and captures those frenzied days in a masterfully written account. The possibility that a candidate might be lying about his sex life was not usually relevant, given the close relationship between major news outlets and politicians, but much had changed, especially given Watergate’s influence on a generation of reporters. By the time allegations of adultery met Hart’s campaign in New Hampshire, two previously separate streams, the tabloid press and political journalism, joined forces. The result has been “an unbridgeable divide... between our candidates and our media” and an accompanying lack of substance and transparency in the political process. Based on extensive interviews with reporters and campaign insiders, including Hart and Donna Rice (the then 29-year-old model photographed sitting on his lap), Bai appraises Hart the politician, political visionary, and high-minded yet obstinately private man, and asks what the country might have lost with his foreshortened career. This first-rate work of political journalism will fan embers long thought to have gone out. Photos. Agent: Sarah Chalfant, Wylie Agency. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Ways of Curating

Hans Ulrich Obrist, with Asad Raza. Faber & Faber, $24 (176p) ISBN 978-0-86547-819-0

With more than 250 shows to his credit, art curator, critic, and historian Obrist (Ai Weiwei Speaks), a director at London’s Serpentine Galleries, is an international force. His latest book provides an accessible and entertaining consideration of curatorial practices, in which the author describes the museum experiences, meetings with artists, and exhibitions that have most influenced his thinking, while occasionally touching upon the broader history of museums and exhibitions. Of course, because Obrist is responsible for some of the most game-changing exhibitions in recent decades, the line between personal history and general art history is thin. Obrist collaborates with cultural figures ranging from artists Félix González-Torres and Gilbert and George to the architect Cedric Price and the writer Doris Lessing. However, rather than name-dropping, his insistence on collaboration reflects one of his overarching themes, namely his “belief... that curators follow artists, not the other way around.” Despite his considerable influence, Obrist doesn’t fit comfortably into the mode of curator-as-artist that increasingly dominates the marketplace, but instead turns, with respectful deference, to the work of others. Biennials excite him because they might be a “spark or catalyst for something else in the local scene,” while the best shows highlight history as well as the present. Obrist educates and delights, with the simple goal of sharing his life’s joy. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control

Walter Mischel. Little, Brown, $29 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-23087-2

Mischel, the renowned psychologist behind the now-famous marshmallow tests of the 1960s, shares the culmination of over 50 years of research on willpower and self-control in this expansive, eye-opening book. The test was simple (a choice of one marshmallow now or two later on provided the means to quantify willpower), yet the results predicted future successes and failures, such that those with self-control as children displayed similar restraint as adults. In addition to an overview of the original longitudinal study, we are given insight into the history and physiology of self-control, its manifestations and its mastery. But, somewhat surprisingly, this book is largely about the ways in which self-control can be learned at any stage in life. Indeed “marshmallows” can take on many forms, as Mischel demonstrates through case studies and more contemporary tests. All of the anecdotes here, not to mention the entire chapter on practical applications, provide insight into how we can maximize our willpower—without overextending its potential. Mischel’s expansive scope makes the title somewhat of a misnomer, as the book covers more than a matter of his initial experiments. To be human is to grapple with the will: this stimulating book encourages us to make mindful decisions. Agent: John Brockman, Brockman Inc. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Death Dealer: How Cops and Cadaver Dogs Brought a Killer to Justice

Kate Clark Flora. New Horizon, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-88282-476-5

The title of this middling true-crime narrative, the latest from former prosecutor Flora (Finding Amy), pretty much removes any suspense. Early in the book, when David Tanasichuk calls the police in Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada in 2003, to report his wife Maria missing, readers already know that she will not be found alive—and that her murderer will not get away with the crime. With some dramatized passages that show traces of Flora’s flare for mystery fiction, Flora works through the story from David’s call, to his transformation from spouse of a victim to suspect. The writing sometimes lapses into the banal—“Sometimes, in police work, an officer will learn something that suddenly places a past experience in a startling new light”—and suffers from too many observations that real life not the same as TV. Furthermore, when it comes to the court proceedings, Flora relays far too heavily on legal documents, filling 15-plus pages almost entirely with quotes and breaking the flow of the narrative. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
American Monsters: A History of Monster Lore, Legends, and Sightings in America

Linda S. Godfrey. Penguin/Tarcher, $16.95 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-16554-2

Mystery expert Godfrey (Real Wolfmen) collects the eyewitness accounts of Americans who claim to have crossed paths with monsters—at least in the author’s sense of the word. These so called monsters Godfrey defines as beings who are “bigger than they ought to be,” who “hiss, growl... and scream.” They are divided by terrain into three groups: those who roam the land (bigfoots, werewolves, and freakish felines), those who fly across the sky (dragons, oversized bats, and the Mothman), and those and lurk underwater (alligator men, squids, merpeople, and sea serpents). Godfrey frequently draws from myth and folklore and cites cases from history and pop culture, demonstrating extensive knowledge of her subject matter. She offers theories as to why certain regions attract certain types of monsters. Many of the stories she includes are similar tales of people driving and spotting a weird creature, and this piling-on of stories book often reads like a list. Despite its repetitiveness, the book will prove a handy encyclopedia for enthusiastic cryptozoologists of all ages. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer

Bettina Stangneth, trans. from the German by Ruth Martin. Knopf, $35 (608p) ISBN 978-0-307-95967-6

German philosopher and historian Stangneth provides plenty of evidence to dispel Adolf Eichmann’s cowardly testimony at his 1961 trial in Jerusalem, where he claimed he was simply a “small cog in Adolf Hitler’s extermination machine.” The gossip surrounding Eichmann during WWII and his subsequent escape to Argentina proves otherwise, Stangneth shows, as she maps out Eichmann’s post-war years and his careful management of his own persona. Eichmann had quickly gained the title of the “Czar of the Jews” while working within the Third Reich bureaucracy; his calculated dealings with the Jewish communities in Austria, Poland, and Hungary brought him in contact with many Jewish leaders who spread word of his monstrous actions to their respective communities. Stangneth writes with clarity and determination, allowing the overwhelming evidence to drive her theory that Adolf Eichmann was “clearly someone who was out to ‘create’ a verdict rather than reach one.” Thrilling in its purpose, Stangneth paints a portrait very different from the banality of “Eichmann in Jerusalem” Hannah Arendt reported on in 1961. This work is daunting, but there is no doubt of its importance: Stangneth’s research, full of forgotten papers, lost interviews, and buried evidence, turns the conventional wisdom about Eichmann on its head. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz. Gotham, $27.50 (384p) ISBN 978-1-592-40870-2

Performance poet Aptowicz (Words in Your Face) turns her attention to the birth of modern American medicine, and the astonishing degree to which it was influenced by one man, in this moving and delicately crafted biography. As chief of surgery at Jefferson Medical College, one of the U.S.’s first teaching hospitals, Thomas Dent Mütter (1811–1850) transformed medicine with technical innovations like the surgical skin flap that has saved millions of burn victims. Mütter instinctively understood the value of sterility long before germs were discovered—establishing cleanliness standards in hospital wards, operating rooms, and surgical recovery rooms—and viewed anesthesia as a triumph that rendered certain surgical horrors a thing of the past rather than a Satanic tool. Mütter also transformed the profession via his attitude, entertaining and involving students instead of lecturing at them, and told patients the truth about their illnesses, respecting their “right to know” a century before the patient autonomy movement. Aptowicz shows Mütter, beloved by his students, evolving from a mischievous, impatient young doctor to an increasingly spiritual man beset by premature illness, and her writing is as full of life as her subject. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
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.