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PETRUCELLI PICKS: GIFT GUIDE 2019: THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR (PART DEUX)

We’ve said it once, we say it again. Jeanine Basinger is the best (read:  insightful, pithy, fun) film historian.
With her trademark wit and zest, the whole story of the Hollywood musical is told in the most telling, most incisive, most detailed, most gorgeously illustrated book of her long and remarkable career.
Welcome to The Movie Musical (Knopf, $45). From Fred Astaire, whom she adores, to La La Land, which she deplores (me too!), Basinger examines a dazzling array of stars, strategies, talents, and innovations in the history of musical cinema. Whether analyzing a classic Gene Kelly routine, relishing a Nelson Eddy-Jeanette MacDonald operetta, or touting a dynamic hip hop number (in the underrated Idlewild), she is a canny and charismatic guide to the many ways that song and dance have been seen and heard on film.


War sucks. Yet Vicksburg: Grant’s Campaign That Broke the Confederacy (Simon & Schuster, $35) tells the full story of  the last stronghold of the Confederacy on the Mississippi River. It prevented the Union from using the river for shipping between the Union-controlled Midwest and New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The Union navy tried to take Vicksburg, which sat on a high bluff overlooking the river, but couldn’t do it. General Grant moved his army south and joined forces with Admiral Porter, but even together they could not come up with a successful plan.
At one point Grant even tried to build a canal so that the river could be diverted away from Vicksburg.is year-long campaign to win the city.
Donald L. Miller brings to life all the drama, characters, and significance of Vicksburg, a historic moment that rivals any war story in history.


Cute book, clever design. The Queeriodic Table: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Culture ( Summersdale , $13.99) plays on the periodic table to celebrate all aspects of the culture in small, easy-to-digest sections.
Celebrate the richness of modern queer culture and its vast history with this fascinating introduction to all the essential elements that helped sculpt the queer community up to the present day.


Stephen King calls the book “one hell of a suspense novel.” We couldn’t agreed more.  ?—Stephen King
Linwood Barclay’s Elevator Pitch (William Morrow, $26.99) begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.
Right to the bottom of the shaft.
It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world—and the nation’s capital of media, finance and entertainment—is plunged into chaos.
You expect us to give more away?
Take the elevator to the bottom floor and go get your copy!


People from all over the United States visit Nantucket Island to celebrate Christmas in a charming Early American setting. From the Christmas Stroll along cobblestoned Main Street to the Festival of Trees held each year at the historic Whaling Museum, Nantucket celebrates the holiday season with traditions and decorations that transform the island into a winter wonderland.
Can’t make it this year? Opt for Lesley Linsley’s Christmas on Nantucket (Globe Pequot, $29.99) as she takes readers on a holiday tour through this picturesque island, offering her own ideas for recreating a quaint Nantucket-style Christmas along the way.


The Wild Bunch has been named one of the greatest Westerns of all time by the American Film Institute. With good reason. Sam Peckinpah’s film is the story of a gang of outlaws who are one big steal from retirement. When their attempted train robbery goes awry, the gang flees to Mexico and falls in with a brutal general of the Mexican Revolution, who offers them the job of a lifetime. Conceived by a stuntman, directed by a blacklisted director, and shot in the sand and heat of the Mexican desert, the movie seemed doomed. Instead, it became an instant classic with a dark, violent take on the Western movie tradition.
In The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film  Bloomsbury Publishing, $28), W.K. Stratton tells the fascinating history of the making of the movie and documents for the first time the extraordinary contribution of Mexican and Mexican-American actors and crew members to the movie’s success. The Wild Bunch is an authoritative history of the making of a movie and the era behind it.


Written in Gary John Bishop’s  irreverent, in-your-face style that resonated with the hundreds of thousand of fans who read his  Unfu*k YourselfStop Doing That Sh*t: End Self-Sabotage and Demand Your Life Back (HarperOne, $22.99) reveals our deepest subconscious machinery, with a real-world approach to powerfully translate our most negative thoughts and behaviors into a vitalizing, sabotage-free future.
Think you’ve unfucked yourself? Yet why do you act the way you do? Do you ever feel like you get stuck in destructive cycles that hold you back from living the life you really want? In a dynamic, compelling and aha-filled journey, the book helps you connect the dots of your “stuff” all the way from your past to the present. You’ll make sense of yourself as you uncover how to interrupt those destructive cycles of yours and make the kind of profound shift needed to get your life on track.


Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen ( W. W. Norton & Company, $25.95) is a charming account of Mary Norris’s lifelong love affair with words (pencils and punctuation kept her busy in The New Yorker’s celebrated copy department)  and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo.
Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, goes searching for the fabled Baths of Aphrodite, and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English. Filled with Norris’s memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine―and more than a few Greek men―Greek to Me is the Comma Queen’s fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.


Since the moment we first entered Downton Abbey in 1912, we have been swept away by Julian Fellowes’ evocative world of romance, intrigue, drama and tradition. Now, in 1925, as Downton Abbey prepares to close its doors for the final time, Jessica Fellowes leads us through the house and estate, reliving the iconic moments of the wonderfully aristocratic Crawley family and their servants as they navigate the emerging modern age.
St. Martin’s Press has released two scumptions books that fans will relish. Downton Abbey A Celebration: The Official Companion to All Six Seasons ($22.99) is crammed with  in-depth cast interview, as well as a complete episode guide for the first five seasons and a teaser for the sixth.
Downton Abbey: The Official Film Companion (St. Martin’s Press, $29.99) brings the world and the characters of our favorite fictional country house to life.
Featuring spectacular photographs from the production, interviews with the cast and crew, and a look into the historical and geographical backdrop of the film, this official guide to the film is made to be treasured and loved by fans across the globe.
The film revolves around the King and Queen making an official visit to Downton in 1927, and not only sees the return of all the main cast from the final television series, but also introduces some great British actors to the world of Downton, as we meet the royal family and their retinue. The accompanying book is lavishly illustrated with stunning shots from both behind and in front of the camera, which capture some wonderful off-guard moments during filming, as well as the original costume illustrations.


Did you know that one of the world’s sharpest and most forensic minds inhabited the persona of an attractive old lady, with pink cheeks and blue eyes and a gentle, rather fussy manner? Discover the secrets of Miss Marple in Murder, She Said: The Quotable Miss Marple (William Morrow, $16.99).
It’s a tiny tome of her quotes and sayings, and an essay by Agatha Christie (the Queen of Crime who created MM) appearing for the first time in any book.


Experience the work of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest painters, inventors, and scientists of all time, in a brand-new way. Courtney Watson McCarthy has crafted many brilliant pop-up books, and Leonardo Pop-Ups (Thames & Hudson, $34.95) is the most dynamic.
Featuring many of Da Vinci’s most enduring artworks, both as illustrations and pop-ups, including The Vitruvian ManThe Last Supper, and, of course, the Mona LisaLeonardo Pop-Ups also includes Da Vinci’s self-portrait, an overview of his architectural designs, and inventions such as a flapping ornithopter.


Spanning every episode of Game of Thrones across all eight seasons, Kim Renfro goes deep into how the show was made, why it became such a phenomenon and explores every detail you want to know.
The Unofficial Guide to Game of Thrones is the perfect book to look back at all you may have missed or to jump-start you on a second viewing of the whole series. Valar morghulis!


We would not have honey without honeybees. Without the pinhead-sized chocolate midge, cocoa flowers would not pollinate. No cocoa, no chocolate. The ink that was used to write the Declaration of Independence was derived from galls on oak trees, which are induced by a small wasp. The fruit fly was essential to medical and biological research experiments that resulted in six Nobel prizes. Blowfly larva can clean difficult wounds; flour beetle larva can digest plastic; several species of insects have been essential to the development of antibiotics. Insects turn dead plants and animals into soil. They pollinate flowers, including crops that we depend on. They provide food for other animals, such as birds and bats. They control organisms that are harmful to humans. Life as we know it depends on these small creatures.
With ecologist Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson as our capable, entertaining guide into the insect world, we’ll learn that there is more variety among insects than we can even imagine and the more you learn about insects, the more fascinating they become. Buzz, Sting, Bite: Why We Need Insects (Simon & Schuster, $26) is an essential introduction to the little creatures that make the world go round.


Nelson DeMille and Alex DeMille’s blistering thriller The Deserter (Simon & Schuster, $28.99) is and features a brilliant and unorthodox Army investigator, his enigmatic female partner, and their hunt for the Army’s most notorious—and dangerous—deserter.
When Captain Kyle Mercer of the Army’s elite Delta Force disappeared from his post in Afghanistan, a video released by his Taliban captors made international headlines.
But circumstances were murky: Did Mercer desert before he was captured? Then a second video sent to Mercer’s Army commanders leaves no doubt: The trained assassin and keeper of classified Army intelligence has willfully disappeared.
And we ain’t telling you anything else: Why spoil the read?


1973 was the year rock hit its peak while splintering―just like the rest of the world. Ziggy Stardust travelled to America in David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. The Dark Side of the Moon began its epic run on the Billboard charts, inspired by the madness of Pink Floyd’s founder, while all four former Beatles scored top ten albums, two hitting #1. FM battled AM, and Motown battled Philly on the charts, as the era of protest soul gave way to disco, while DJ Kool Herc gave birth to hip hop in the Bronx. The glam rock of the New York Dolls and Alice Cooper split into glam metal and punk. Elvis Presley’s Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite was NBC’s top-rated special of the year, while Elton John’s albums dominated the number one spot for two and a half months.
Just as U.S. involvement in Vietnam drew to a close, Roe v. Wade ignited a new phase in the culture war. While the oil crisis imploded the American dream of endless prosperity, and Watergate’s walls closed in on Nixon, the music of 1973 both reflected a shattered world and brought us together.
Celebrate the year with 1973: Rock at the Crossroads (Thomas Dunne Books, $29.99). You will be glad you did.

 

PETRUCELLI PICKS: GIFT GUIDE 2019: THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR (PART ONE)

Doris Day once reminded us that “four legged animals are much nicer than the two-legged ones”. 
We have always agreed. And how we relish Extraordinary Dogs: Stories from Search and Rescue Dogs, Comfort Dogs, and Other Canine Heroes (St. Martin’s Press, $27.99), which portrays more than 50 working dogs, along with the police officers, firefighters, veterans and other trained volunteer handlers who serve side-by-side with them.
Extraordinary Dogs: Stories from Search and Rescue Dogs, Comfort Dogs, and Other Canine HeroesTheir moving stories and beautiful photographs are an unprecedented glimpse at Comfort Dogs and Search and Rescue Dogs, along with bomb-detecting TSA dogs and canine ambassadors from across the United States.
Extraordinary Dogs is both a portrait of what love, hope, courage, and heroism look like in their purest forms and a tribute to the eternal and impactful bonds we forge with our furry friends.
We can’t be catty about What I Lick Before Your Face and Other Haikus By Dogs (Atria Books, $14.99), an adorable tiny tome that filled with picture-perfect photos of dogs as each  shares its innermost feelings in poetic form.
This book confirms what we’ve all long suspected: Inside every dog is the soul of a poet.

 


For a look at another dog, try MacTrump: A Shakespearean Tragicomedy of the Trump Administration, Part I (Quirk Books, $15.99). The clever satire, written in iambic pentameter in the style of Shakespeare, wittily fictionalizes the events of the first two years of the Frump administration.
MacTrump: A Shakespearean Tragicomedy of the Trump Administration, Part INo one thought that MacTrump—Lord of MacTrump Towers, Son of New York—would ascend to the highest position in the kingdom. Yet with the help of his unhappy but dutiful wife Lady MacTrump, his clever daughter Dame Desdivanka, and his coterie of advisers, MacTrump is comfortably ensconced in the White Hold as President of the United Fiefdoms, free to make proclamations to his subjects through his favorite messenger, McTweet.
MacTrump soon realizes he has no true allies. Will he be able to hold on to his throne? Only time will tell in this tragicomic tale of ambition, greed, and royal ineptitude.


We can’t wait to try Bull Penis Soup. That recipe (yes, it’s real, from Bolivia) is one of the tasty tidbits found in Bizarre World: A Collection of the World’s Creepiest, Strangest, and Sometimes Most Hilarious Traditions (Adams Media, $15.99), a survey of the most bizarre, creepy, and sometimes hilarious customs from cultures around the world.
Bizarre World: A Collection of the World's Creepiest, Strangest, and Sometimes Most Hilarious TraditionsJourney across the globe to understand how various cultures approach everything from grief, beauty standards, food, parenting, death, stress management, happiness and more. Try the soup. Delicious!


Blending biology, chemistry, and physics basics with accessible—and witty—prose, The Science of Rick and Morty: The Unofficial Guide to Earth’s Stupidest Show (Atria Books, $17) equips you with the scientific foundation to thoroughly understand Rick’s experiments from the hit Adult Swim show, such as how we can use dark matter and energy, just what is intelligence hacking, and whether or not you can really control a cockroach’s nervous system with your tongue.
The Science of Rick and Morty: The Unofficial Guide to Earth's Stupidest ShowPerfect for longtime and new fans of the show, this is the ultimate segue into discovering more about our complicated and fascinating universe.


Two mysteries that kept us up way beyond bedtime: Lieutenant Eve Dallas fights to save the innocent―and serve justice to the guilty―on the streets of New York in Connections in Death ( St. Martin’s Press, $28.99) the gritty and gripping new In Death novel from author J.D. Robb. Nope, we cannot give away anything else.
Connections in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel (In Death, Book 48)Everyone knows Mary Higgins Clark has superb skills at the cut and paste keys, but we enjoyed Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry (Simon & Schuster, $26.99). When investigative journalist Gina Kane receives an email from a “CRyan” describing her “terrible experience” while working at REL, a high-profile television news network, including the comment “and I’m not the only one,” Gina knows she has to pursue the story. But when Ryan goes silent, Gina is shocked to discover the young woman has died tragically in a Jet Ski accident.
Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry: A NovelGina realizes someone—or some people—will go to depraved lengths to keep the story from seeing the light. Nope, we cannot give away anything else.


This Tender Land (Atria Books , $27) is a magnificent novel about four orphans on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression. The Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own.
This Tender Land: A NovelOver the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, William Kent Krueger’s tome is an en­thralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.


In May 1974, as President Richard Nixon faced impeachment following the Watergate scandal, the House Judiciary Committee commissioned a historical account of the misdeeds of past presidents. .
The account, compiled by leading presidential historians of the day, reached back to George Washington’s administration and was designed to provide a benchmark against which Nixon’s misdeeds could be measured.
Yes Adolph Frump will be added.
Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to TodayOne reason why Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to Today (The New Press, $29.99) is a must. What the report found was that, with the exception of William Henry Harrison (who served less than a month), every American president has been accused of misconduct: James Buchanan was charged with rigging the election of 1856; Ulysses S. Grant was reprimanded for not firing his corrupt staffer, Orville Babcock, in the “Whiskey Ring” bribery scandal; and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration faced repeated charges of malfeasance in the Works Progress Administration.
Now, as the Asshole and his subordinates face an array of charges on a wide range of legal and constitutional offenses, a group of presidential historians has come together under the leadership of James M. Banner, Jr.—one of the historians who contributed to the original report—to bring the 1974 account up to date through Barack Obama’s presidency.
This new edition is designed to serve the same purpose as the original 1974 report: to provide the historical context and metric against which the actions of the current administration may be assessed.


Hands down, Handful of Stars: A Palmistry Guidebook and Hand-Printing Kit (Harper Design , $39.99)  is a beautifully illustrated, step-by-step guide to the ancient art of palmistry with a novel twist. Pre-printed perforated sheets designed by hand analyst Helene Saucedo especially for the book—along with a a nontoxic ink pad, ink roller and gel pen—enable readers to create a palm print and record notations on a single sheet of paper.
This unique volume, housed in a deluxe slipcase box,  appeals to novice hand analysts and makes a great gift for inquisitive minds of all ages.


When you think back to Christmases past, what (if anything) made it magical? Looking towards the future, what would your perfect Christmas be? What would you change? What should we all change?
Last ChristmasLast Christmas (Quercus Publishing, $26.99) is a beautiful, funny and soulful collection of personal essays about the meaning of Christmas,  featuring the writing of such people as Meryl Streep, Bill Bailey, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Caitlin Moran, Richard Ayoade and Emily Watson. This gem of a book, introduced and curated by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise, celebrates the importance of kindness and generosity, acceptance and tolerance, and shows us that these values are not just for Christmas.


Adam Savage—star of Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters and one of the most beloved figures in science and tech—shares his golden rules of creativity, from finding inspiration to following through and successfully making your idea a reality.
Every Tool's a Hammer: Life Is What You Make ItAs he says: “Every Tools a Hammer (Atria Books , $27) is a chronicle of my life as a maker. It’s an exploration of making and of my own productive obsessions, but it’s also a permission slip of sorts from me to you. Permission to grab hold of the things you’re interested in, that fascinate you, and to dive deeper into them to see where they lead you. This book is meant to be a toolbox of problem solving, complete with a shop’s worth of notes on the tools, techniques and materials that I use most often. And if everything goes well, we will hopefully save you a few mistakes (and maybe fingers) as well as help you turn your curiosities into creations.”


For the first time ever, 75 beloved songs from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Children’s Corner are collected in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers (Quirk Books, $19.99), a charmingly illustrated treasury. 
From funny to sweet, silly to sincere, the lyrics of Mister Rogers explore such universal topics as feelings, new siblings, everyday life, imagination, and more.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister RogersThrough these songs—as well as endearing puppets and honest conversations—Mister Rogers instilled in his young viewers the values of kindness, self-awareness, and self-esteem. But most of all, he taught children that they are loved, just as they are.
A second fun book: Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Wonderful Wisdom from Everyone’s Favorite Neighbor (Clarkson Potter, $15) that shows how the wisdom of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is as relevant for adults as it is for children.
Revisit some of Mister Rogers’ greatest guidance that we learned alongside Daniel Tiger, X the Owl, King Friday the XIII and Henrietta Pussycat.


Based on Michelle Obama’s bestselling memoir, the gorgeous Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice (Clarkson Potter, $19.99) features an intimate and inspiring introduction by the former First Lady and more than 150 inspiring questions and quotes to help you discover—and rediscover—your story.
Printed on cream writing paper, with a grosgrain ribbon, foil-stamped cover and removable half-jacket, the journal includes thought-provoking prompts designed to help you reflect on your personal and family history; your goals, challenges, and dreams; what moves you and brings you hope; and what future you imagine for yourself and your community.
Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice
Writes Mrs. Obama in the Introduction to the Becoming journal, “I hope you’ll use this journal to write down your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, in all their imperfections, and without judgment. . . . We don’t have to remember everything. But everything we remember has value.”


Elvis has not left the building. The conventional wisdom is that Las Vegas is what destroyed Elvis Presley, launching him on a downward spiral of drugs, boredom, erratic stage behavior, and eventually his fatal overdose. But in Elvis in Vegas: How the King Reinvented the Las Vegas Show (Simon & Schuster, $28), Richard Zoglin takes an alternate view, arguing that Vegas is where the King resurrected his career, reinvented himself as a performer, and created the most exciting show in Vegas history.
Elvis’ 1969 opening night in Vegas was his first time back on a live stage in more than eight years. His career had gone sour—bad movies, and mediocre pop songs that no longer made the charts. He’d been dismissed by most critics as over the hill. But in Vegas he played the biggest showroom in the biggest hotel in the city, drawing more people for his four-week engagement than any other show in Vegas history. His performance got rave reviews, “Suspicious Minds” gave him his first number-one hit in seven years, and Elvis became Vegas’s biggest star.


 

PETRUCELLI PICKS: GIFT GUIDE 2019: THE BEST CELEBRITY TELL-ALLS OF THE YEAR (PART DEUX)

Oh! We so love tattletales, books that reveal the underbellies of stars and singers and criminals and musicians and authors and politicians . . . even if they are written by the celebs themselves.
Our picks for the best of 2019 continue. . .

Blue: The Color of Noise (St. Martin’s Press, $27.99) is the remarkable story―in pictures and words―of Steve Aoki, the superstar DJ/producer who started his career as a vegan straightedge hardcore music kid hellbent on defying his millionaire father, whose unquenchable thirst to entertain―inherited from his dad, Rocky Aoki, founder of Benihana―led him to global success and two Grammy nominations.
Aoki–also known for his outrageous stage antics (cake throwing, champagne spraying, and the ‘Aoki Jump’) and his endearing personality–recounts the epic highs of music festivals, clubs and pool parties around the world, as well as the lows of friendships lost to drugs and alcohol, and his relationship with his flamboyant father. Illustrated with candid photos gathered throughout his life, the book reveals how Aoki became a force of nature as an early social media adopter, helping to turn dance music into the phenomenon it is today.


Throughout her rise to fame and during some of the most pivotal moments of her life, Demi Moore battled addiction, body image issues and childhood trauma that would follow her for years―all while juggling a skyrocketing career and at times negative public perception.  As her success grew, Demi found herself questioning if she belonged in Hollywood, if she was a good mother, a good actress―and, always, if she was simply good enough.
As much as her story is about adversity, it is also about tremendous resilience. In the deeply candid and reflective memoir Inside Out (Harper, $27.99),  Demi pulls back the curtain and opens up about her career and personal life―laying bare her tumultuous relationship with her mother, her marriages, her struggles balancing stardom with raising a family, and her journey toward open heartedness.


In an arresting mix of visceral, soulful storytelling and stunning visuals, Face It (Dey Street Books, $32.50) upends the standard music memoir while delivering a truly prismatic portrait. With all the grit, grime, and glory recounted in intimate detail, the book re-creates the downtown scene of 1970s New York City,
where Blondie– a band that forged a new sound that brought together the worlds of rock, punk, disco, reggae and hip-hop to create some of the most beloved pop songs of all time– played alongside the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and David Bowie. Aesthetically dazzling, and including never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations and fan art installations, Face It brings Debbie Harry’s world and artistic sensibilities to life.


Rollicking but intimate, Still Here (Farrar, Straus and Giroux , $28) tracks one of Broadway’s more outlandish and direct personalities, Elaine Stritch.  We accompany Stritch through her jagged rise to fame, to Hollywood and London, and across her later years, when she enjoyed a stunning renaissance, punctuated by a turn on the popular television show 30 Rock. We explore the influential―and often fraught―collaborations she developed with Noël Coward, Tennessee Williams and above all Stephen Sondheim, as well as her courageous yet flawed attempts to control a serious drinking problem. And we see the entertainer triumphing over personal turmoil with the development of her Tony –winning one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, which established her as an emblem of spiky independence and Manhattan life for an entirely new generation of admirers. I’ll drink to that, and one for Mahler!


With her second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years (Hachette Books, $30), Julie Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her years in the film industry, from the incredible highs to the challenging lows.
Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. Co-written with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews’s trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.


With candor, humor and warmth, Olivia writes about her life and career and cancer in the must-have Don’t Stop Believin’ (Gallery Books, $28). Available for the first time in the United States, this edition includes a new afterword by Olivia.
She speaks about her childhood, her father’s role in breaking German Enigma codes during World War II,  her feeling about about stardom,her beloved daughter Chloe, meeting the love of her life, and her passion and unwavering advocacy for health and wellness.
“I hope this story of my life from my early years up to today will bring some inspiration and positivity to the reader,” Olivia says. “We all share so many experiences in our own unique way.”
Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992; the diagnosis “came the same weekend my father died of cancer, so you can imagine the shock”, she remembers. Learn more @ onjcancercentre.org.
Olivia has always radiated joy, hope and compassionate.
She continues to be a force for love, for goodness, for strength, throughout the world.
“I also  believe that when you go through something difficult, even something as dramatic as cancer, that something positive will come of it,” she says.
Don’t stop believin’.


As a young man Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery.
Douglass spoke widely, using his own story to condemn slavery. By the Civil War, Douglass had become the most famed and widely travelled orator in the nation. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot.
In Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Simon & Schuster, $37.5), David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers. This is an important, compelling biography, the winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in history.


Condé Nast’s life and career was as high profile and glamourous as his magazines. Moving to New York in the early 20th century with just the shirt on his back, he soon became the highest paid executive in the United States, acquiring Vogue in 1909 and Vanity Fair in 1913. Alongside his editors, he built the first-ever international magazine empire, introducing European modern art, style, and fashions to an American audience. Conde Nast: The Man and His Empire (St. Martin’s Press, $32.50) was written with the cooperation of his family on both sides of the Atlantic and a dedicated team at Condé Nast Publications; here Susan Ronald reveals the life of an extraordinary American success story.


Recalling pivotal moments from her dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy, Susan E. Rice—National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and US Ambassador to the United Nations—reveals her surprising story with unflinching candor in Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For (Simon & Schuster, $30).
Rice provides an insider’s account of some of the most complex issues confronting the United States over three decades, ranging from “Black Hawk Down” in Somalia to the genocide in Rwanda and the East Africa embassy bombings in the late ’90s, and from conflicts in Libya and Syria to the Ebola epidemic, a secret channel to Iran, and the opening to Cuba during the Obama years.
Intimate, sometimes humorous, but always candid, Tough Love makes an urgent appeal to the American public to bridge our dangerous domestic divides in order to preserve our democracy and sustain our global leadership.


Before he stole our hearts as the grooming and self-care expert on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye, Jonathan Van Ness was growing up in a small Midwestern town that didn’t understand why he was so over the top. From choreographed carpet figure skating routines to the unavoidable fact that he was Just. So. Gay., Jonathan was an easy target and endured years of judgement, ridicule and trauma—yet none of it crushed his uniquely effervescent spirit.
Over the Top: A raw Journey to Self-Love  (HarperOne, $27.99) uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen.


Twyla Tharp is revered not only for the dances she makes—but for her astounding regime of exercise and non-stop engagement. She is famed for religiously hitting the gym each morning at daybreak, and utilizing that energy to propel her breakneck schedule as a teacher, writer, creator and lecturer. This book grew out of the question she was asked most frequently: “How do you keep working?”
Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life (Simon & Schuster,  $27) is a series of no-nonsense mediations on how to live with purpose as time passes.
From the details of how she stays motivated to the stages of her fitness routine, Tharp models how fulfillment depends not on fortune—but on attitude, possible for anyone willing to try and keep trying. Culling anecdotes from her life and the lives of other luminaries, each chapter is accompanied by an exercise that helps anyone develop a more hopeful and energetic approach to the everyday.


Common, the man who owns a Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe, follows up his best-selling memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense with Let Love Have the Last Word (Atria Books, $26), an inspiring exploration of how love and mindfulness can build communities and allow you to take better control of your life through actions and words.
Common believes that the phrase “let love have the last word” is not just a declaration; it is a statement of purpose, a daily promise. Love is the most powerful force on the planet and ultimately, the way you love determines who you are and how you experience life. He explores the core tenets of love to help others understand what it means to receive and, most important, to give love.  He knows there’s no quick remedy for all of the hurt in the world, but love, for yourself and for others, is where the healing begins.


As part of Motown’s legendary songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Lamont Dozier is responsible for such classics as “You Can’t Hurry Love;” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch);” “Stop! In the Name of Love;” “Heat Wave;” “Baby Love;”  “You Keep Me Hanging On;” and on . . . and on.
After leaving Motown, he continued to make his mark as an influential songwriter, artist and producer with hits such as “Give Me Just a Little More Time,” “Band of Gold,” and “Two Hearts,” a chart-topping Phil Collins single that earned the pair a grammy and an Oscar nomination.
In How Sweet It Is: A Songwriter’s Reflections on Music, Motown and the Mystery of the Muse (BMG Books, $27.99) Lamont takes us behind the scenes of the Motown machine, sharing personal stories of his encounters with such icons as Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy. He reveals the moments that inspired some of his timeless songs—and pulls back the curtain on the studio secrets that helped him and his colleagues create “the sound of young America.”


P. T. Barnum is the greatest showman the world has ever seen. As a creator of the Barnum & Baily Circus and a champion of wonder, joy, trickery and “humbug,” he was the founding father of American entertainment—and as Robert Wilson argues in Barnum: An American Life (Simon & Schuster, $28), one of the most important figures in American history.
Wilson’s vivid new biography captures the full genius, infamy and allure of the ebullient showman, who, from birth to death, repeatedly reinvented himself. He learned as a young man how to wow crowds, and built a fortune that placed him among the first millionaires in the United States. He also suffered tragedy, bankruptcy, and fires that destroyed his life’s work, yet willed himself to recover and succeed again. As an entertainer, Barnum courted controversy throughout his life—yet he was also a man of strong convictions, guided in his work not by a desire to deceive, but an eagerness to thrill and bring joy to his audiences. He almost certainly never uttered the infamous line, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” instead taking pride in giving crowds their money’s worth and more.


Why shouldn’t we despise the asshole who’s about to be impeached? Protect your wives and daughters since Frump’s proclaimed his  seduction technique is to “grab ’em by the pussy.”  In Golden Handcuffs: The Secret of Trump’s Women (Gallery Books, $28), Nina Burleigh, explores his attitudes toward women by providing in-depth analysis and background on the women who have had the most profound influence on his life—the mother and grandmother who raised him, the wives who lived with him and the ugly daughter who is poised to inherit it all.
Has any president in the history of the United States had a more fraught relationship with women than Donald Trump? He flagrantly cheated on all three of his wives, brushed off multiple accusations of sexual assault, publicly ogled his eldest daughter, bought the silence of a porn star and a Playmate. The books proves is one sick motherfucker.


Winston Churchill called him World War II’s “organizer of victory.” Harry Truman said he was “the greatest military man that this country ever produced.” George Catlett Marshall was America’s most distinguished soldier-statesman since George Washington, whose selfless leadership and moral character influenced the course of two world wars and helped define the American century.
Long seen as a stoic, almost statuesque figure, he emerges in the pages of George Marshall: Defender of the Republic (Dutton Caliber, $34) as a man both remarkable and deeply human, thanks to newly discovered sources.
Set against the backdrop of five major conflicts—two world wars, Palestine, Korea, and the Cold War—Marshall’s education in military, diplomatic and political power, replete with their nuances and ambiguities, runs parallel with America’s emergence as a global superpower. The result is a defining account of one of our most consequential leaders.


In 1975 Andrew Ridgeley took a shy new boy at school under his wing. They instantly hit it off, and their boyhood escapades at Bushy Meads School built a bond that was never broken. As Wham!, R and George Michael, found themselves riding an astonishing roller coaster of success, taking them all over the world. They made and broke iconic records, they were treated like gods, but they stayed true to their friendship and ultimately to themselves. It was a party that seemed as if it would never end.
Wham!, George Michael and Me: A Memoir Hardcover And then it did, in front of tens of thousands of tearful fans at Wembley Stadium in 1986.
With WHAM!, George Michael and Me, (Dutton, $28), one half of one of the most famous bands in the world, tells the inside story of  his lifelong friendship with George Michael, and the formation of a band that changed the shape of the music scene in the early ’80s. Ridgeley ‘s memoir covers in wonderful detail those years, up until that last iconic concert: the scrapes, the laughs, the relationships, the good, and the bad. It’s a unique and one-and-only time to remember that era, that band, and those boys.


 

PETRUCELLI PICKS: GIFT GUIDE 2019: THE BEST CELEBRITY TELL-ALLS OF THE YEAR (PART ONE)

Oh! We so love tattletales, books that reveal the underbellies of stars and singers and criminals and musicians and authors and politicians . . . even if they are written by the celebs themselves.
Our picks for the best of 2019 . . .


Since he never wrote his memoirs and seldom appeared on television, most people have little sense of Mike Nichols’ searching intellect or his devastating wit. They don’t know that Nichols, the great American director, was born Mikail Igor Peschkowsky, in Berlin, and came to this country, speaking no English, to escape the Nazis.
Life isn't everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 150 of his closest friends. They don’t know that Nichols was at one time a solitary psychology student, or that a childhood illness caused permanent, life-altering side effects. They don’t know that he withdrew into a debilitating depression before he “finally got it right,” in his words, by marrying Diane Sawyer.
In Life Isn’t Everything: Mike Nichols as Remembered by 150 of His Closest Friends (Henry Holt and Co., $30), Ash Carter and Sam Kashner offer an intimate look behind the scenes of Nichols’ life, as told by the stars, moguls, playwrights, producers, comics and crewmembers who stayed loyal to Nichols for years. This volume is also a snapshot of what it meant to be living, loving, and making art in the 20th century.


Why recommend Free, Melania (Flatiron Books, $27.99) about woman who’s to the most discipicable piece of scum in the world? She’s not stupid. She married the asshole because she got a green card and lots of moolah should he leave her for say, Stormy Daniels.
Free, Melania: The Unauthorized BiographyThis “First Lady” thinks she’s the “new” Jackie Kennedy, mainly because her Sugar Daddy buys her expen$sive duds she could never have afforded if she stayed back in Slovenia. Now that we think about it, use the book for kindling.


A Wild and Precious Life (St. Martin’s Press, $27.99) is remarkable portrait of an iconic woman. Queer Edie Windsor became internationally famous when she sued the U.S. government, seeking federal recognition for her marriage to Thea Spyer, her partner of more than four decades. The Supreme Court ruled in Edie’s favor, a landmark victory that set the stage for full marriage equality in the US. Beloved by the LGBTQ community, Edie embraced her new role as an icon; she had already been living an extraordinary and groundbreaking life for decades.
A Wild and Precious Life: A MemoirIn this memoir, which she began before passing away in 2017 and completed by her co-writer, Edie recounts her childhood in Philadelphia, her realization that she was a lesbian, and her active social life in Greenwich Village’s electrifying underground gay scene during the ’50s. She was also one of a select group of trailblazing women in computing, working her way up the ladder at IBM and achieving their highest technical ranking while developing software.


More notable queer writing: How We Fight for Our Lives (Simon & Schuster, a stunning coming-of-age memoir. Saeed Jones tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears.
How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence—into tumultuous relationships with his family, into passing flings with lovers, friends, and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another—and to one another—as we fight to become ourselves.


Nikki Haley is widely admired for her forthright manner (“With all due respect, I don’t get confused”), her sensitive approach to tragic events and her confident representation of America’s interests as our Ambassador to the United Nations during times of crisis and consequence.
In With All Due Respect (St. Martin’s Press, $29.99), Haley offers a first-hand perspective on major national and international matters, as well as a behind-the-scenes account of her tenure in the Trump administration.
With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and GraceThis book reveals a woman who can hold her own―and better―in domestic and international power politics, a diplomat who is unafraid to take a principled stand even when it is unpopular, and a leader who seeks to bring Americans together in divisive times.


We never liked him when he shackled Princess Di. We never liked him when married a horse named Camilla. But we do like King Charles: The Man, the Monarch, and the Future of Britain (Diversion Books, $27.99). With exclusive interviews and extensive research, Robert Jobson debunks the myths about the man who will be king, going beyond banal, bogus media caricatures of Charles to tell his true story.
King Charles: The Man, the Monarch, and the Future of BritainJobson―who has spent nearly 30 years chronicling the House of Windsor, and has met Prince Charles on countless occasions―received unprecedented cooperation from Clarence House, the Prince’s office, in writing this illuminating biography.


Sir Ian McKellen has starred in more than 400 plays and films; he is that rare character, a celebrity whose distinguished political and social service has transcended his international fame to reach beyond the stage and screen.
Ian McKellen: A BiographyThe breadth of his career―professional, personal and political―has been truly staggering; add his tireless political activism in the cause of gay equality and you have a veritable phenomenon. Garry O’Connor’s Ian McKellen: A Biography (St. Martin’s Press, $29.99) probes the heart of the actor, recreating his greatest stage roles and exploring his personal life.


Stan Lee was the most famous American comic book creator who ever lived. A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee (St. Martin’s Press, $29.99) presents the origin of “Stan the Man,” who spun a storytelling web of comic book heroic adventures into a pop culture phenomenon: the Marvel Universe.
A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan LeeHow he got to that place is a story that has never been fully told―until now. Danny Fingeroth’s  book attempts to answer some of those questions. It is the first comprehensive biography of this powerhouse of ideas who, with his invention of Marvel Comics, changed the world’s ideas of what a hero is and how a story should be told.


Princess Leia is gone, she flew off into the stars in 2016. In Carrie Fisher: A life on the Edge (Sarah Crichton Books , $30) Sheila Weller’s turns her talents to one of the most loved, brilliant, and iconoclastic women of our time: actress, writer, daughter and mother Carrie Fisher.
We follow Fisher’s acting career, from her debut in Shampoo, the hit movie that defined mid-’70s Hollywood, to her seizing of the plum female role in Star Wars, which catapulted her to instant fame. We explore her long, complex relationship with Paul Simon and her relatively peaceful years with the talent agent Bryan Lourd.
Carrie Fisher: A Life on the EdgeWeller sympathetically reveals the conditions that Fisher lived with: serious bipolar disorder and an inherited drug addiction. Still, despite crises and overdoses, her life’s work―as actor, novelist and memoirist, script doctor, hostess and friend―was prodigious and unique. We witness her startling leap―on the heels of a near-fatal overdose―from actress to highly praised, bestselling author, the Dorothy Parker of her place and time.


No one needs to say farewell to Sir Elton John since there are two fascinating book about the original rocket man. In Me (Henry Holt and Co. , $30), his first and only official autobiography, John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his swimming pool to disco-dancing with Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation to conquering Broadway.
Me: Elton John Official Autobiography All the while Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade. In Me, Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing.
An ideal companion: Elton John by Terry O’Neill: The Definitive Portrait, With Unseen Images (Cassell, $34.99). John and O’Neill worked together for many years, taking more than 5,000 photographs.
Elton John by Terry O Neill: The definitive portrait with unseen imagesFrom intimate backstage shots to huge stadium concerts, the photographs in this book represent the very best of this archive, with most of the images being shown here for the first time. O’Neill has drawn on his personal relationship with John to write the book’s introduction and captions.


In The Bourbon King: life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition’s Evil Genius (Diversion Books, $27.99), Bob Batchelor breathes life into theThe Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition's Evil Genius tale of George Remus is a grand spectacle and a lens into the dark heart of Prohibition. That is, before he came crashing down in one of the most sensational murder cases in American history: a cheating wife, the G-man who seduced her and put Remus in jail, and the plunder of a Bourbon Empire. Remus murdered his wife in cold-blood and then shocked a nation winning his freedom based on a condition he invented—temporary maniacal insanity.


JAY-Z: Made in America (St. Martin’s Press, $25.99) is the fruit of Michael Eric Dyson’s decade of teaching the work of one of the greatest poets this nation has produced . . . as gifted a wordsmith as Walt Whitman, Robert Frost and Rita Dove. But as a rapper, he’s sometimes not given the credit he deserves for just how great an artist he’s been for so long.
JAY-Z: Made in AmericaThis book wrestles with the biggest themes of JAY-Z’s career, including hustling, and it recognizes the way that he’s always weaved politics into his music, making important statements about race, criminal justice, black wealth and social injustice. As he enters his fifties, and to mark his thirty years as a recording artist, this is the perfect time to take a look at JAY-Z’s career and his role in making this nation what it is today.


Janis Joplin has passed into legend as a brash, impassioned soul doomed by the pain that produced one of the most extraordinary voices in rock history. But in Janis: Her Life and Music (Simon & Schuster, $28.99), Holly George-Warren provides a revelatory and deeply satisfying portrait of a woman who wasn’t all about suffering. Janis was a perfectionist: a passionate, erudite musician who was born with talent but also worked exceptionally hard to develop it.
Janis: Her Life and MusicShe was a woman who pushed the boundaries of gender and sexuality long before it was socially acceptable. She was a sensitive seeker who wanted to marry and settle down—but couldn’t, or wouldn’t. She was a Texan who yearned to flee Texas but could never quite get away—even after becoming a countercultural icon in San Francisco.


 

PETRUCELLI PICKS: GIFT GUIDE 2019: THE BEST TOYS & GAMES OF THE YEAR

ThinkFun has  perfect name: They are the world’s leader in brain and logic games, wonders that make you think and have fun. Their gems develop critical skills and builds visual perception and reasoning skills through fun game play. This year we relish Heads Talk Tails Walk, a matching game that’s just as fun for parents as it is for kids.
Can you hop like a frog while clucking like a chicken? The hilarious sounds and movements you have to make to pay make this a great game to play together with your toddler, and a great gift for both parents and children.
We heard that Santa, his missus and 99.7 % of his gnomes howled over Invasion of the Cow Snatchers, whose nifty sci-fi cover promises a game in which players “mooove the magnets”.
The game comes with
a game grid, 60 challenge cards with solutions (that become increasingly difficult as you play through them), 6 magnetic tokens including a UFO, 4 cows, a bull, 9 walls, 1 silo, 5 crop circles and instructions. Got milk?

Players really think when playing Thinking Putty Puzzle in which you connect the same-colored dots by creating same-colored paths of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty without crossing different colored Thinking Putty paths. It’s unique play experience makes it one of the best gifts for boys and girls ages 8 and older. We promise!


And the Password is . . . “great”.  Based on the famous ’60s TV game show, Endless Games has resurrected and revived the classic TV game show. Teams of two square off to see who can guess the secret password first.
Communicate wisely because players can give only one-word clues . . . the fewer the clues the higher the score.
The game includes 50 Password cards, scoring indicator dial, score pad, 2 “Magic Window” Revealers and Instructions. For game nights, this family friendly game is perfect for kids, teens, and adults.


Get ready to play Endless Games’  AKA, the game that says the things you know but in other words . . . you know, also known as. You’ll guess people, place, and things from words that mean the same thing. Let us tease you: Do you know the Disney movie Also Known As The Tiny Fish Woman or the superhero Also Known As Arachnid Guy? Of course you do: The Little Mermaid and Spider-Man!
The rules are easy to learn and the game is difficult to stop playing. The game is AKA great family fun!


Everyone wishes for the chance to win a bundle on Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. But face it: The odds of being chosen for the Big Time is, well, small. So we’re turning over the cards to show you a different way to enjoy the fun. Endless Games has had the brilliance to turn the game shows into card games.
With the Jeopardy! Card Game, each deck plays out like a full episode, complete with Jeopardy!, Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy! rounds. How much will you bet?
Think of this one as a vowel movement. Shuffle the deck and flip your way through the Wheel of Fortune Card Game; then call out a letter and try to solve the puzzle in the puzzle deck. Just look out for that Bankrupt card.
Both make great
party favors, stocking stuffers and travel buddies.
There are also Junior Editions of each card game, ideal for those ages 8-12.


Forget Barbie. Meet Blaire, the 2019 American Girl of the Year. She’s a chef-in-training, party planner and chicken wrangler at her family’s farm and restaurant. The 18-inch doll has bright green eyes that open and close, curly red hair and movable head and limbs. She’s also a fashion doll: Blaire’s favorite dress features a bumblebee print and gathered tie; she has a sunny yellow bandanna bracelet she wears while gardening and there’s a nifty pair of purple platform sandals.
Want more exciting American Girl news? There are now Smart Girl’s Guide Kits made by American Girl. Each includes an advice book, whimsical extras and a mini American Girl Doll.
AMERICAN-GIRL-DOLL-SMART-GIRL-039-S-GUIDE-KIT-SPORTS-AND-FITNESS-NEW-NEVER-USED Our fave (so far) is Sports & Fitness; this kit features: Smart Girl’s Guide: Sports & Fitness book; American Girl water bottle; purple cinch bag; inspirational bracelets and a mini American Girl doll


 

PETRUCELLI PICKS: 2019 GIFT GUIDE: THE YEAR’S BEST BOOKS FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG-AT-HEART

From Advocate to Feminist, Grassroots to Queens, and Revolutionary to Zeal, The ABCs of AOC (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $13.99) introduces readers to values, places and issues that relate to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s life and platform.
A clear and engaging explanation of each term is paired with a stunning, contemporary illustration that will delight readers. This is an alphabet book, an  empowering and informative book, that’s the perfect conversation starter for young people interested in government and activism.


Oh the joy of Naked Mole Rat Saves the World (Algonquin Young Readers , $16.95)! Twelve-year-old kit-with-a-small-k likes shopping at the flea market with her best friend, Clem, roller-skating, climbing to the roof to look at the stars, and volunteering at an animal shelter. Until suddenly she has a really big, really strange secret that makes life more complicated than she’s prepared for: Sometimes, without warning, she turns into a tiny naked mole rat.

It first happened as kit watched Clem fall and get hurt during a performance with her acrobatic-troupe family on TV. Since then, the transformations keep coming. Kit can’t tell Clem, because Clem hasn’t been herself after the accident. Somehow, kit has to save the day. But she’s no hero, and turning into a naked mole rat isn’t a superpower. Or is it?


Just think! A trip to Down Under without the expenses or passport.  Outback: The Amazing Animals of Australia: A Photoicular Book (Workman Publishing, $26.95) uses Photicular technology that’s like a 3-D movie on the page, this book whisks you to the vast, remote world of wild Australia, where heat waves dance forever and animals, isolated by the vagaries of continental drift, are unlike those found anywhere else on Earth.
Each moving image delivers a rich, immersive visual experience—and the result is breathtaking. The kangaroo hops. A wombat waddles. The frilled lizard races on two legs across the desert floor. A peacock spider dances and shows off its vibrant colors. A superb experience!


Unearth a wealth of weird, wacky and wild facts about dinosaurs, told in Mike Lowery’s signature comic style with bright and energetic artwork, fresh framing devices and hilarious jokes in Everything Awesome about Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Beasts (Orchard Books, $16.99).
This will be the go-to book for dinosaur enthusiasts that kids will put in their backpacks and obsess over, bridging the gap between encyclopedic nonfiction content and lighter picture book fare, filling the need with a one-stop shop for the legions of 6-9 year-olds who want to know absolutely everything there is to know about dinosaurs. Everything.


Are you ready to swing? Discover the wonders of jazz with Welcome to Jazz (Workman Publishing , $24.95), an interactive swing-along picture book whose 12 sound chips will introduce readers to the instruments of jazz—the rhythm section with its banjo, drums, and tuba, and the leads, like the clarinet, trumpet and trombone.
And you’ll hear singers scat, improvising melodies with nonsense syllables like be-bop and doo-we-ah!
Along the way, you’ll learn how this unique African American art form started in New Orleans, and how jazz changed over time as innovative musicians like King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday added their own ideas to it.
Press the buttons to hear the band, the rhythms and the singer calling out: “Oh when the saints—oh when the saints. . . “


The Christina Starspeeder saga continues in Attack of the Furball (Scholastic Inc., $12.99) a laugh-out-loud epic from author Amy Ignatow and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka in the bestselling series, Star Wars: Jedi Academy.
As told through a mix of comics, doodles and journal entries, it’s a new year at Jedi Academy. Christina Starspeeder made it through her first year at the advanced Jedi Academy . . . barely.. And year two isn’t looking any easier.
When working on the planet Cholganna, Christina falls in love with a baby nexu, a cat-like creature who’s fluffiness is impossible to resist. But when she sneaks “Fluffernut” into the dorms, Christina slowly begins to realize why it’s never a good idea to take wild animals for pets.  Fluffernut begins growing and growing . . . she’ll eventually grow to be 14 feet long and 3 feet tall! Will this be the end of Christina’s Jedi Academy career?


The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid (Workman Publishing, $19.95) is a thrilling expedition to 100 of the most surprising, mysterious and weird-but-true places on earth.
For curious kids, this is the chance to embark on the journey of a lifetime—and see how faraway countries have more in common than you might expect.
Hopscotch from country to country in a chain of connecting attractions: Explore Mexico’s glittering cave of crystals, then visit the world’s largest cave in Vietnam. Peer over a 355-foot waterfall in Zambia, then learn how Antarctica’s Blood Falls got their mysterious color. Or see mysterious mummies in Japan and France, then majestic ice caves in both Argentina and Austria.  passports not needed.


Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Wonderful Wisdom From Everyone’s Favorite Neighbor (Clarkson Potter , $15) is for the young . . . and young-at-heart.
With colorful illustrations and quotes that touch on themes of kindness, empathy, self-care, respect and love, this feel-good (re)introduces and reminds us that we are special, we must be generous with our gratitude, remember to have fun and feed the fish and that all kinds of feelings are okay.


He’s hot and hunky and waiting to be your boyfriend. Sort of. If Keanu Were Your Boyfriend: The Man, the Myth, the WHOA! (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $13.00) is  part biography and part dreamlike narrative, an  imagination to dating the Internet’s boyfriend, Keanu Reeves.

Apparently, Keanu’s humility knows no bounds, just like our love for him. After all, the Keanusance didn’t just come out of nowhere. He’s had an epic 40-year career that includes the heart-stopping John Wick, the heart-melting Always Be My Maybe, and the heart-pounding The Matrix. His generosity and kindness are legendary, and he remains an enigmatic mystery we’re dying to solve.


Paint by Sticker Kids includes everything you need to create twelve vibrant, full-color “paintings.” The images are rendered in “low-poly,” a computer graphics style that creates a 3-D effect.
As in paint-by-number, each template is divided into dozens of spaces, each with a number that corresponds to a particular colored sticker.
Paint by Sticker Kids: Unicorns and MagicFind the sticker, peel it and place it in the right space. Add the next, and the next, and the next—it’s an activity that’s utterly absorbing as you watch a “painting” emerge from a flat black-and-white illustration to a dazzling image with color, body, spirit. The pages are perforated for easy removal, making it simple to frame the completed images. Workman has a slew of such artistic adventures.
Paint by Sticker Kids: Unicorns & Magic (Workman Publishing, $9.95) are recent addition to the bestselling series.  Theses boredom-busting activity books features a dazzling array of magical creatures including an enchanted cottage, a mystical wizard casting a spell, a sparkling mermaid, and more.
Paint by Sticker Kids: ChristmasAnd with Paint by Sticker Kids: Christmas ($9.95) the fun continues. From a sparkling Christmas Tree to a fluffy snowman, this activity book is packed with 10 playful illustrations that will get every kid in the holiday spirit.


How about a wild adventure? Venture around the world with Coyote Peterson with Wildlife Adventure: An Interactive Guide With Facts, Photos, and More! (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $12.99).
Peterson teaches fans how to discover the animals in their own backyard before whisking them away to learn more about the desert, rainforest, savanna, even more epic locations.
Wildlife Adventure: An Interactive Guide with Facts, Photos, and More! (Brave Wilderness)Members of the Coyote Pack will be able to go on endless adventures through 10 photographic scenes that can be decorated with this guide’s hundreds of stickers. Jam-packed with animal facts, gear check-lists, write-in activities, Coyote Pack badges and much more, this guide is the perfect holiday gift for boys and girls of all ages. Be brave and stay wild.
A perfect companion: Epic Encounters in the Animal Kingdom (tk), Coyote Peterson, is back with the sequel to the bestselling Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World. Once again, Coyote and his crew voyage to new environments and encounter an even more eclectic ensemble of the planets’ animals.
From a slimy octopus to elusive tree climbing lizards to nomadic wolverines, this book promises to be another fast-paced, wild experience.

Ugh. The beginning of a new year means planning, rescheduling, cancelling and planning and rescheduling again. And again. And again.  Welcome Beth Evans’ nifty I Can’t Wait to Cancel This: A Planner For People Won’t Don’t Like People (Morrow Gift, $14.99), an undated monthly (un)planner featuring a dozen never-been-seen-before cartoons from the delightfully unconventional Evans.
I Can’t Wait to Cancel This includes 12 month sections that can be started anytime—just circle the appropriate month listed at the top of the section page—each illustrated with a never-been-seen-before cartoon, as well as four- week-long spreads broken down into seven-day slots. It also features a portfolio pocket on the inside back cover, an elastic closure and original cover art created by Evans.


Straight from the mind of New York Times bestselling author Nathan W. Pyle, Strange Planet (Morrow Gift, $14.99) is an adorable and profound universe in pink, blue, green and purple, based on the phenomenally popular Instagram of the same name.
The book covers a full life cycle of the planet’s inhabitants, including milestones such as The Emergence Day,  The Formal Education of a Being, Being Begins a Vocation, The Hobbies of a Being and The Being Reflects on Life While Watching the Planet Rotate.
With dozens of never-before-seen illustrations in addition to old favorites, this book offers a sweet and hilarious look at a distant world not all that unlike our own.


Holidaze cheer pops up with Star Wars: A Merry Sithmas Pop-Up Book (Insight Kids, $15.99). Color and create festive 3D paper models during an enchanting journey through the galaxy. This gem includes removable paper pieces, more than two dozen stickers and step-by-step instructions to construct and color holiday-themed 3D pop-ups.
Each pop-up is easy and fun to build, from Darth Vader and a gingerbread Boba Fett, to Chewbacca and a collection of caroling porgs—plus more—for the ultimate Star Wars holiday celebration.


Hungry for a most appetizing book? A Woman’s Place: The Inventors, Rumrunners, Lawbreakers, Scientists, and Single Moms Who Changed the World with Food  (Little, Brown and Company, $25) sets the record straight, sharing stories of more than 80 hidden figures of food who made a lasting mark on history.
 Discover the stories of:
  • Georgia Gilmore, who fueled the Montgomery Bus Boycott with chicken sandwiches and slices of pie
  • Hattie Burr, who financed the fight for female suffrage by publishing cookbooks
  • Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, who, with just a few grains of salt, inspired a march for the independence of India
  • The inventors of the dishwasher, coffee filter, the first buffalo wings, Veuve Clicquot champagne (the only bubbly I drink!) , the PB&J sandwich, and more
With gorgeous full-color illustrations and 10 recipes that bring the story off of the page and onto your plate, this book reclaims women’s rightful place–in the kitchen, and beyond.

PETRUCELLI PICKS: 2019 GIFT GUIDE: THE BEST FOOD & COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR

Nothing is tastier than serving up out picks for the best books of all things food. We tasted several tomes from several publishers. Here are our choices to eat up. Seconds anyone?

We actually tingle and mingle whenever Ambassador of Americana Charles Phoenix releases a new book.
Such us the wonder with Holiday Jubilee: Classic & Kitschy Festivities & Fun Party Recipes (Prospect Park Books, $29.95) in which Phoenix mixes and mingles spectacular vintage Kodachrome slides of New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas with his eye-popping, original recipes for epic edible centerpieces and party pleasers from his colorful Test Kitchen. Oh! We’d love to move to Phoenix!

It’s a dazzling celebration of Palestinian cuisine (more than 80 recipes), as well as a guide for armchair travelling with captivating stories and stunning travel photography. This is the beauty of Yasmin Khan’s  Zaitoun: Recipes From the Palestinian Kitchen (W. W. Norton & Company, $29.95).
Even the late Anthony Bourdain gushed “Yasmin Khan draws on her vast experience as a storyteller, cook, human rights activist, itinerant traveler and writer to create a moving, empathetic, hugely knowledgeable and utterly delicious book.”


Almost every health study published in recent years has proven that eating a more plant-based diet improves body weight, blood pressure and blood sugar, and shows that having at least one meat-free day a week is essential for anyone wishing to enjoy a healthy life.
The Meat Free Monday Cookbook (Kyle Books, $22.95), based on the trend launched by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney in 2009, shows how simple it is to eat less meat by including irresistible vegetarian menus for every week of the year,  two main dishes, plus four other ideas for each meal of the day.
Packed with recipes such as Fruity Quinoa, Mexican Cornbread, Warm Halloumi, Apple and Radish Salad, Double Choc Crackle Cookies and Gingerbread Cake, as well as vibrant spring soups, inventive summer salads, appetizing autumn bakes and comforting winter stews, the book includes contributions from Paul and Stella, as well as from celebrity and chef supporters, such as Mario Battali, Yotam Ottolenghi, Kevin Spacey, Pink and Woody Harrelson. It really is the perfect recipe book for anyone who cares about their health, the environment and seriously delicious food.


Using easy-to-find ingredients, Indian in 7 (Kyle Books, $24.99) is packed full of dishes that anyone can effortlessly pull together any night of the week.
With years of experience teaching students howto make tasty and authentic Indian food, award-winning chef and food historian Monisha Bharadwaj shows that cooking mouthwatering Indian meals doesn’t require a cupboard stocked full of spices or a long list of obscure and unpronounceable ingredients. The tome is packed with 80 irresistible recipes, including delectable desserts as  Black Rice Pudding and Mango & Pistachio Mug Cake.


Though Foxfire Living: Design, Recipes, and Stories from the Magical Inn in the Catskills (Harper Design, $45) is a gorgeous full-color
field guide to the innovative neo-vintage design style that is the hallmark of Foxfire Mountain House, the magical inn in the Catskills, and not a true cookbook, the 30 recipes are awfully tasty. Have no reservations about making dinner and then make reservations for an overnight stay.


There’s nothing better than peppering your cookies with ginger. The wonders are found in Gingerbread Wonderland: 30 Magical Cookies, Houses & Bakes(Kyle Books, $12.99).
Packed with fun cookies and sticky gingerbread cakes, plus handy tips on how to avoid mistakes, create edible glue and utilize templates that are included, the tasty tome includes all the traditional Christmas favorites; perfect treats to slip into lunch boxes, serve up to friends at tea, give as gifts, or show off as your holiday centerpiece.


Steven Raichlen has a helluva piece of meat. In The Brisket Chronicles: How to Barbecue, Braise, Smoke, and Cure the World’s Most Epic Cut of Meat (Workman Publishing, $19.95),
the grill master shares more than 60 foolproof, mouthwatering recipes for preparing the tastiest, most versatile and most beloved cut of meat in the world—outside on the grill, as well as in the kitchen. The recipes are overwhelming delicious: Raichlen even teaches how to bake brisket into chocolate chip cookies.


In Cookie Class 120 Irresistible Decorating Ideas For Any Occasion (Harper Design, $24.99), Jenny Keller shares her no-fail, easy tried-and-true recipes for cookies and a basic buttercream icing that can be turned into a variety of different treats with just a few tweaks and adjustments.
Each cookie decoration is easily achievable following Jenny’s simple step-by-step photographs and practical advice. Even the most inexperienced bakers can create cookies that look like they came out of a bakery case.


America’s Test Kitchen once again brings their scientific know-how, rigorous testing and hands-on learning to kids. In The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs (Sourcebooks Explore, $19.99), they will easily learn how to make  soft pretzels, empanadas, brownies and pies. Step-by-step photos of tips and techniques will help young chefs feel like pros in their own kitchen.
By empowering young chefs to make their own choices in the kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen is building a new generation of confident cooks, engaged eaters, and curious experimenters. Bravo!


Gooseberry Patch has released a new must-have for every kitchen: Foolproof Christmas ($17.95). We found the more than 230 recipes shared by home cooks across the country indeed foolproof . . . easy to make dishes such as Mashed Potato Cake, Holly Jolly Party Mix, Chicken Parmesan Soup and Mrs. Claus’ Microwave Fudge.
Readers also share Sweet Christmas Memories, true-life recollections that made us laugh an cry. Simply delicious!


New York Times bestselling author and Food Network star Hannah Hart is back with her biggest book ever: My Drunk Kitchen Holidays! How to Celebrate and Savor the Year: A Cookbook (Plume, $28). In a world where everyone is looking for some good news and something to celebrate, Hart is there with nearly 50 ideas, arranged into 12 months of themes and recipes for how to celebrate with family and friends.
A collection of recipes, activities and suggestions about hilarious and joyous ways to celebrate with family, friends, pets, even your entire community, the book features a fabulous celebration of Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Christmas that is inclusive and incredibly hilarious.


In Creating the Sweet World of White House Desserts (White House Historical Association , $65), Roland Mesnier, pastry chef to five presidents, recalls the stunning desserts he created for White House State Dinners, formal events and family celebrations.
For the first time, he reveals the secrets of mold making and sugar work and shares recipes, all adapted for home kitchens. Of special interest are descriptions and illustrations of the dozens of molds now in the chef’s collection. Here, Mesnier and his assistant Mark Ramsdell help make professional desserts possible for cooks of all abilities and offer insights into the concerns and accomplishments of the White House pastry kitchen.


In Whole in One: Complete, Healthy Meals in a Single Pot, Sheet Pan, or Skillet (Da Capo Lifelong Books, $30), James Beard Award winner and bestselling cookbook author Ellie Krieger shows you how to create a meal in a single pot, sheet pan, baking dish or skillet . . . no additional gadgets or tools required.
Divided by main ingredients (meat, poultry, seafood, vegetarian, dessert) and further separated into sheet pan, baking dish, skillet and pot-cooked meals, the 125 nutritionally complete dinner recipes (plus healthy desserts) can each be prepared simply. Yum!


Michelle Lopez has figured out how to have her cake and eat it too. In Weeknight Baking: Recipes to Fit Your Schedule, (Simon & Schuster, $35), Lopez shares recipes for drool-worthy confections, along with charming stories and time-saving tips and tricks.
From everyday favorites like “Almost No Mess Shortbread” and “Better-Than-Supernatural Fudge Brownies” to showstoppers like “a Modern Red Velvet Cake” and “Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie” (it’s vegan!), she reveals the secrets to baking on a schedule.


 

PETRUCELLI PICKS: 2019 GIFT GUIDE: THE BEST COFFEETABLE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

Don’t have the $62,545 to plop down for a Jaguar Sedan 30T Prestige AWD? The let us steer you to the magnificently large four-pounder Jaguar: The Art of the Automobile (Mitchell Beazley, $50), exploring 100 years of outstanding luxury cars, with never-before-seen images and material from the Jaguar archives.
This official book dives into Jaguar’s archives for stunning photography and detailed reports of its most memorable models – including many never-before-seen images – showcasing celebrated cars such as the E-Type, XK120, XJS and XKR-S.


Lee Krasner, one of the twentieth century’s most inspiring women artists and a pioneer of abstract expressionism,  has for too long been eclipsed by her husband, Jackson Pollock. In fact, his death in 1956 marked her renaissance as an artist.
Coinciding with a major exhibition at London’s Barbican Art Gallery, Lee Krasner (Thames & Hudson, $50) features an outstanding selection of her most important paintings, collages, and works on paper, contextualized by photography from the postwar period, an illustrated chronology, and an unpublished interview with her biographer Gail Levin. Paint this a masterpiece!


From Anything Goes to Kiss Me, Kate, Cole Porter left a lasting legacy of iconic songs including “You’re the Top,” “Love For Sale,” and “Night and Day.” Yet, alongside his professional success, Porter led an eclectic personal life which featured exuberant parties, scandalous affairs and chronic health problems. The Letters of Cole Porter (Yale University Press,  $35) features an extensive collection of letters (most of which are published here for the first time) dates from the first decade of the twentieth century to the early ’60s and features correspondence with stars such as Irving Berlin, Ethel Merman and Orson Welles, as well as his friends and male/female lovers.
Cliff Eisen and Dominic McHugh complement these letters with lively commentaries that draw together the loose threads of Porter’s life and highlight the distinctions between Porter’s public and private existence. This book reveals surprising insights into his attitudes toward Hollywood and Broadway, and toward money, love, and dazzling success.


teNeues continues to publish books so lavish, so brimming with breathtaking photography that they will impress you again and again . . . no matter how many times you pick them up.
Our picks for this year’s best:
Lions ($55)
In this new photo book, French photographer Laurent Baheux journeys across Africa to capture the lion in all its intricate facets. The result is a sensitive and intimate photo portrait that shows the big cat in all its nuance: at once powerful, fragile, and tender. His stunning black-and-white lion photographs show this feline animal with the precision and texture of a studio portrait—its many different movements, postures, behaviors, and expressions captured with startling intimacy.
Playing among the pride, out hunting its prey, or eyeing us directly from the page, Baheux’s lion photography is as much a tribute to the lion’s character, power, and feeling as it is a haunting reminder that this most impressive of animals is also among the most endangered wildlife on earth.

Have you ever wondered what your cat would look like if he or she were human? What clothes would they want to wear? Turn to a most purr-fect gem: Cats ($35).
Cat: Portraits of eighty-eight Cats & one very wise Zebra From simple animal photos, self-styled cat whisperer and graphic Tein Lucasson creates high-quality digital images that capture our feline friends in different outfits: whether an elegant Siamese cat in a cashmere sweater, a proud Persian in an aristocratic uniform, or the characterful house cat in a top hat.

Golf: The Ultimate Book ($65) introduces the most exclusive, sophisticated and spectacular golf resorts in the world. These are golfing holiday destinations that score not only with sophisticated layouts in charming landscapes—whether against alpine mountain scenery or tropical sandy beaches—but also with wonderful rooms, outstanding food and comprehensive wellness offers.
Golf: The Ultimate BookEach prestigious golf resort is presented with an expert review, covering its benefits on and off the fairways and greens. The sections on resorts are interspersed with background information and amusing anecdotes, capturing the history and contemporary world of golfing.  And the color photos! Up to par and then some.

Stefan Rappo’s nude photography strikes an intriguing note between intimacy and distance. At first, the viewer feels a certain distance, and in the next moment they are entangled in the picture’s tangible tensions and emotions.
NudeA longtime assistant to Peter Lindbergh and a renowned portrait photographer, Rappo has found his own nude pictorial language that focuses on the female form—at times drawing on the studio tradition and at others reveling in the body in motion. Nude ($55), Rappo’s first publication, brings together some of his favorite nude photographs, indispensable for those who love nude photography.


Marilyn was right: Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. And oh! How she would have drolled over the baubles and beauties featured in Jewels and Jewelry (Thames & Hudson, tk), an exquisite and accessible history of jewels and jewelry kept safely in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, from the Middle Ages to today.
An impeccably researched and insightful look into the evolution of jewelry through the ages, Jewels and Jewelry is a treasured resource for students, professionals, collectors, and lovers of jewelry alike.


Armchair travelers with savor the 25 great expeditions explorer and survivalist Ed Stafford curates in Expeditions Unpacked: What the Great Explorers Took into the Unknown (White Lion Publishing, $45). Through carefully curated photographs and specially commissioned illustrations we witness the scale, style and complexity of the items taken into the unknown by the greatest explorers of all time, and the impact each item had on their journey.  Conquering fears and mountains, adversity and wild jungles, each item these explorers flew, pulled or hauled played a crucial role in their ambitious and dangerous missions to find out a little more about our world.
Expeditions Unpacked: What the Great Explorers Took into the Unknown Some of the items packed (and unpacked) by the famaous folk include Roald Amundsen who, on his race to the Pol, took snowshoes, a Primus stove, a piano, a violin and a  gramophone; Tim Slessor, on the first overland from London to Singapore, took machetes, a crowbar, z typewriter, a Remington dry shaver and tea); Nellie Bly, who, on her historic trip around the world in 72 days, packed Mumm champagne, an accordion, a silk waterproof wrap and dark gloves).


Vogue is still in vogue. Big time, just like the lavish and oversized  (six pounds!) slipcased 1950s in Vogue (Thames & Hudson, $95). Illustrated by fashion’s greatest photographs of the era when the magazine became the cultural force it is today. It’s a stunning tribute to Jessica Daves, one of only seven editors in chief in American Vogue’s history; it is she who first catapulted the magazine into modernity.
1950s in Vogue: The Jessica Daves Years, 1952-1962Organized in multifaceted, thematic chapters, 1950s in Vogue features carefully curated photographs (more than 200), illustrations and page spreads from the Vogue archives (with iconic images as well as lesser-known wonders), and unpublished photographs and letters from Daves’s personal archives. Revealing a fascinating and hitherto little-explored moment in Vogue history, 1950s in Vogue is a must-have reference for lovers of fashion, photography, and style.


Leonardo by Leonardo (Callaway Arts & Entertainment, $125), a landmark publication on Leonardo da Vinci written by Martin J. Kemp, one of the world’s leading authorities on Leonardo da Vinci, presents an astonishing gallery of the master’s 27 existing paintings, as well as the preparatory drawings that formed the basis of his masterpieces. Martin J. Kemp’s narrative is accompanied by extensive written reflections by Leonardo, and is further highlighted by perspectives from his contemporaries.
Leonardo by Leonardo: Leonardo da VinciKemp takes us inside the world of each masterwork: the artist’s relationship to his patrons; how and why the works were commissioned; their iconography and symbology; the experimental painting techniques he applied; stories of how the paintings survived and changed owners across the centuries; restoration and condition; and finally, the unsolved puzzles that remain to this day.
The utmost care and state-of-the-art digital capture technology has been applied to the new photography of the artworks presented in this collection. No expense has been spared to reproduce the artworks with the highest fidelity to color, tone, and surface. The quality of imaging, ultra-fine resolution printing, archival paper, and binding has produced a book like no other. The result is a power and intimacy between artist and viewer that takes us inside the artist’s mind, eye and spirit.
Truly the most lavish and important coffeetable book of the year.


Women (National Geographic , $50), a powerful photography collection, drawn from the celebrated National Geographic archive, reveals the lives of women from around the globe, accompanied by revelatory new interviews and portraits of contemporary trailblazers including Oprah Winfrey, Jane Goodall and Christiane Amanpour.
Women: The National Geographic Image CollectionNow, in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, this bold and inspiring book mines 130 years of photography to showcase their past, their present and their future. With more than 400 stunning images from more than 50 countries, each page of this glorious book offers compelling testimony about what it means to be female, from historic suffragettes to the haunting, green-eyed “Afghan girl.” The ultimate coffee table book, this iconic collection provides definitive proof that the future is female.


What better way to celebrate, on the 20th anniversary of the seven-time Emmy-winning animated TV series, than with Inside Family Guy: An Illustrated History (Dey Street Books, $34.99), a fully illustrated, full-color visual guide honoring its reign. From storyboards to character sketches to script excerpts to cast and crew interviews, tome gives that huge family of fans exclusive access behind the scenes.
Inside Family Guy: An Illustrated HistoryThere are also exclusive interviews with crew and cast members, including Seth MacFarlane (who wrote the book’s intro), Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Alex Borstein, and Mike Henry. The world of Family Guy and its memorable characters has never been revealed in such gorgeous detail before.


Few wine books can be called classic, but the first edition of The World Atlas of Wine (Mitchell Beazley, $65) made publishing history when it appeared in 1971. It was recognized by critics as the essential and most authoritative wine reference work available. Drink in the eighth edition, a guide that brings readers, both old and new, up to date with the world of wine.
The World Atlas of Wine 8th EditionTo reflect all the changes in the global wine scene over the past six years, the Atlas has grown in size to 416 pages and 22 new maps have been added to the wealth of superb cartography in the book. The text has been given a complete overhaul to address the topics of most vital interest to today’s wine-growers and drinkers.


Let us steer you to the perfect companion of all things die-cast and delightful. Hot Wheels: From 0 to 50 at 1:64 Scale (Motorbooks, $24.99) shares the inspiring journey of the teeny vehicles that started out as a new twist on toy cars and became a worldwide phenomenon. Officially licensed with Mattel, this in-depth retrospective reveals what makes these cars unique, how the models are designed, and all the work that goes into the play to ensure Hot Wheels maintain their position as the greatest toy cars ever made.
This special commemorative book is lavishly illustrated with rare design drawings and prototypes from Mattel’s archives, fantastic photos of all of the great Hot Wheels vehicles from across their 50-plus year history, and a feature gatefold illustrated with rare Hot Wheels catalog art. It’s the perfect vehicle for Hot Wheels fans of all ages!


You know his name, proudly listed among film credits for dozens of M-G-M classics. Cedric Gibbons, Hollywood’s most famous art director, was the supervisor in charge of the art department at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios from its inception in 1924 until Gibbons chose to retire in 1956. Lavishly illustrated with over 175 pristine duotone photographs (the vast majority of which have never before been published), MGM Style: Cedric Gibbons and the Art of the Golden Age of Hollywood (Lyons Press, $45) is the first book to trace Gibbons’ career.
MGM Style: Cedric Gibbons and the Art of the Golden Age of HollywoodAt its height in the late ’30s and early ’40s, he was regularly acknowledged by his peers as having shaped the craft of art direction in American film; his work was recognized as representing the finest in motion picture sets and settings. Gibbons championed the notion that movie decor should move beyond the commercial framework of the popular cinema. And he did, brilliantly so, over and over and over . . .


It’s easy to say Supreme Glamour (Thames & Hudson, $40) is a supreme book.  Sumptuously illustrated, engaging and insightful, Mary Wilson charts the glittering story of The Supremes, who became synonymous with glamorous, elegant, coordinated ensembles .
The book presents founding member Mary Wilson’s unparalleled collection, showcasing 32 of the group’s most eye-catching gowns, meticulously reassembled and photographed on the Grammy Museum stage.
Detailed captions accompany each photograph, providing information about the design, fabric, and embellishments of each ensemble, as well as the occasion on which each was first worn. Packed with anecdotes and insights, Wilson also tells the complete story of The Supremes, both on- and off- stage. Wait! Sssh. Listen closely. I think I hear a symphony.


On a Thursday in 2019, a small army of photographers and videographers scattered across the globe to capture what goes on beyond those tantalizing “Cast Members Only” Disney doors. All the photos in One Day at Disney: Meet the People Who Make the Magic Across the Globe (Disney Editions, $50) were taken on that single day, beginning early in Tokyo and following the sun around the world through Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris, Madrid, the Bahamas, Costa Rica and dozens of places throughout the United States. More than 40 hours after it began, the day ended as the sun set on the Aulani resort in Hawaii.
One Day at Disney: Meet the People Who Make the Magic Across the Globe (Disney Editions Deluxe)

On that day, some 80 cast members agreed to open up their workshops, dressing rooms, kitchens, cubicles, TV studios, labs, locomotive engines . . .  and some even more surprising and diverse work spaces. They also shared their stories: childhood dreams and chapters, career pivots and triumphs, workaday hurdles and joys. It was just a day in the life, as extraordinary as any other day at Disney. As any Cast Member can tell you, a Disney job is less a destination than a limitless journey. And for just One Day at Disney, we can all tag along for the ride.


After the release of his acclaimed debut album, Grace, in 1994, Jeff Buckley quickly established himself as one of the decade’s most defining talents in pop music: a singer, guitarist, and songwriter with a multi-octave range whose tastes took in rock, blues, jazz, hardcore, Qawwali music, even show tunes. Hailed by the likes of Bono, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant, Grace showcased Buckley’s voice, passion and influences and pointed to an inordinately promising future. Three short years later, at the age of thirty, he tragically drowned in Memphis.
Jeff Buckley: His Own VoiceFor much of his life, Buckley diligently kept journals recording his goals, inspirations, aspirations, and creative struggles. These diaries amount to one of the most insightful life chronicles any musical artist has left behind. Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice (Da Capo Press, $40) marks the first-ever publication of Buckley’s handwritten account of his journey from his days in Los Angeles in the late ’80s through shortly before his passing. Combined with reproductions of other memorabilia, including letters, notes and unpublished lyrics, the book takes readers and fans deep into Buckley’s mind and life.


The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Come From Away tells the remarkable true story of a small town that welcomed the world. On September 11, 2001, 38 planes and 6,579 passengers were forced to land in the provincial town of Gander, Newfoundland. The local residents opened their arms to the displaced visitors, offering food, shelter and friendship. In the days that followed, cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.
Come From Away: Welcome to the Rock: An Inside Look at the Hit MusicalCome From Away: Welcome to the Rock (Hachette Books , $40) is the volume to the musical, featuring the book and lyrics, backstage stories and the real history behind the show’s events, character design sketches, and songs that ended up on the cutting room floor.
The narrative by theater historian Laurence Maslon details the events of that memorable and challenging week and also traces the musical’s development from the ten-year reunion of residents and airline passengers in Gander, where the idea for the musical was born, to the global phenomenon it is today.


Quentin Tarantino: The Iconic Filmmaker and His Work (White Lion Publishing, $35) examines the entirety of Tarantino’s work, including his early writing on screenplays such as True Romance and Natural Born Killers, his break-out directorial debut Reservoir Dogs and the career-defining Pulp Fiction, as well as his later iconic films, such as Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino: The iconic filmmaker and his workYou’ll also go behind the scenes of Tarantino’s latest epic, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. As you make your way through Tarantino’s incredible career, discover what inspired him, his working methods, and the breadth of his talent.


Can’t afford a XKR-S? Opt for the stunning Jaguar: The Art of the Automobile ( Mitchell Beazley , $50). Known for elegant design as much as for pushing the limits of speed, the brand has always been at the cutting edge of mechanics without sacrificing aesthetics.
Jaguar: The Art of the AutomobileThis massive volume celebrates Jaguar’s most legendary models and dives into Jaguar’s archives for stunning photography and detailed reports of its most memorable models, including many never-before-seen images, showcasing celebrated cars such as the E-Type, XK120, XJS and XKR-S.


Bowie by O’Neill: The Definitive Collection With Unseen Images (Cassell, $50) is the breathtaking result of iconic photographer Terry O’Neill’s creative partnership with David Bowie that spanned over many years.
Bowie by O'Neill: The definitive collection with unseen imagesContaining rare and never-before-seen photographs, their work together includes images from the last Ziggy Stardust performance, recording sessions for Young Americans and the renowned studio portraits for Diamond Dogs, plus live shows, film shoots, backstage moments and more. With more than 200 photographs, this is the ultimate portrait of an inspiring and ever-changing artist.


Rodney Hilton Brown’s  Iwo Jima Monuments: The Untold Story (War Museum, $45) is a must for history buffs, a lavish book filled with great photos and published in time for the 75th Anniversary of World War II’s bloody legacy (one third of all Marines who fought on Iwo Jima were killed or wounded on Iwo Jima).
IWO JIMA MONUMENTS: The Untold Story (UNTOLD STORIES)Brown’s homage is the first comprehensive study of all of our nation’s Iwo Jima monuments, beginning with the little-known original 1945 monument (unveiled in front of the old Department of the Navy Building on Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC.); the 1954 Marine Corps War Memorial, those erected at Marine Corps bases and many lesser-known others from coast-to-coast. Of course, the flag raising atop Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima has become one of the most powerful images of the 20th century and is  regarded as one of the most recognizable images in the world.


Interviews, anecdotes and photographs document the seminal magazine “Melody Makers”

Holy high notes! A new bible will be rocking and rolling into musical history when Cleopatra Entertainment release Melody Makers, a chronicle of the birth of music journalism from the world’s oldest and longest standing seminal music magazine. Melody Makers is not just another music documentary; through a series of interviews from artists and journalists of the time, the film tells the true story of the rise and fall of the world’s most influential music publication and uncovers an era of tremendous creative freedom.

The gem is from venerable and respected Canadian award-winning filmmaker (and Female Eye Film Festival founder/director) Leslie Ann Coles. The immensely entertaining and insightful documentary will screen at the Arena Cinelounge on November 29 and run through December 4. There will be a Q&A with Coles on December 2 at 6:30 . . . and she’s bringing along a musician who’s featured in the film. We promised not reveal his/her name, but we will tell you that some of the musicians appearing in Melody Makers include Eric Burdon, Ian Anderson,  Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White, Dave Cousins, Judy Dyble, Pete Agnew, Dan McCafferty and Steve Abbott.
In tandem with the theatrical release of the film is the perfect companion: Melody Makers Companion Apple Book.
This is one helluva immersive experience, an interactive book that takes users from  the rise of Melody Maker magazine through a series of rock trivia games, photo puzzles, embedded interviews.
At the heart of the story is the iconic photographic archive of legendary musicians during the birth of the rock ‘n roll era by the magazine’slong-time main photographer  Barrie Wentzell. Along with his journalist colleagues, Wentzell gained unprecedented access to bands and musicians that would go on to become the legends of rock n’ roll.  His photos are the touchstone of this documentary as the photographer and others recount the many untold stories from behind the pictures. Barrie recalls a Peter Townshend telling him about an idea he had for a rock opera when Tommy was a concept. Journalist Chris Charlesworth recalls when the magazine tried to expand into the U.S. market without paying off the mobsters who controlled magazine distribution; PR Keith Altham shares an anecdotal story about a publicity stunt gone awry involving  notorious drummer, Keith Moon and a hovercraft.   and a photographic gallery full of Barrie Wentzell’s Legends Series culled from his iconic rock photographic archive (1965-1975).
Musical  memories are truly resurrected and relived.

Why “Goodwill Industries” proves they are not good nor have a true will. Read on!

Let me tell you a story that about the stupidity, rudeness and blatant unprofessionalism that Goodwill Enterprises has demonstrated. You will then understand why “Good” is a misnomer. and “will” actually means “indifference”.

I sell on eBay. I have sold, quite successfully, for the past 24 years. I also write books. In-between books and yearning for a good story, I answered a Goodwill ad for a position as an “e-commercer” in their North Versailles, Pennsylvania. I figured that if my eBay store makes me oodles of money, I could help Goodwill make money.

Take note: This was in June.

Right.

On a Friday afternoon, a “man” left a message on my voice machine, asking me in I was “still interested” in the position. I returned his call . . . when his phone answered, he did not identify himself nor state the business.

Weird.

No return call.

Weird. I call several more times, and I kept getting the clandestine message.

What’s a well-known author to do?

I sent an email to David Tobiczyk, who identifies himself as “Vice President, Marketing and Development at Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania”.

This was the email:

As a press member (Google my name if you don’t believe me), I am hoping you give me an honest answer to a perplexing dilemma.
I applied for a part-time e-Commerce position in North Versailles. My cover letter stated that I am quite successful with my eBay shop (I make at least $1,000 a month). I received a phone call from a nameless man. He left a message on my machine asking if I was “still interested” in the job.
This was on a Friday, late afternoon. I called back, and a machine answered, giving no name or company name. I left a message stating that I was still interested in the position.
I call again the next day. Same thing.
I called on Monday. Same thing. This time I said “the position is obviously filled, and if it opens, please have the courtesy to call me.” I mentioned my skills and success with eBay.
Today, I spoke to someone who no longer shops at this store because of its “filth” and “employee rudeness.”
I do not want the job, but I deserve transparency: Was this a legitimate call? Why was the person who called so rude and unprofessional by not returning my calls, even if it was to say, “We found someone.”
I am sure you are aware that the reviews of the store are pretty negative.

Days passed, and he never answered the email. Seems rudeness runs rampant. I sent him a second email.

Instead of answering my email, he forward my email to Keith Magill, the nameless “man” who initially called me. The one with the cryptic message who refuses to return calls.

That email read:

I wanted to reach out to apologize for any breakdown in communication that has occurred. Unfortunately, I did not receive your return calls or voicemail after my call to you on July 19th. The e-commerce associate position is still open and I would gladly schedule an interview with you if you are still interested.
Thank you,
Keith Magill, E-commerce Manager

Yep. I contacted him by phone and email . . . days later he answered an email. We set up an interview.

He was maybe 16 years ago, and offered me a “tour” of the place. He was accompanied by a woman who seemed much more interested in the mucus-encrusted on her nose ring than answering questions.

This “interview” and “tour” tour lasted as long as a hand shake. Magill told me he would “get back” to me.

There was enough material for a story.

I didn’t want the position, especially because of the stupidity, rudeness and blatant unprofessionalism. And I don’t know if I can handle mucus-encrusted nose rings.

But today, November 25, I received this grammatically incorrect email:

6/24/2019
Alan
Thank you for your interest in the E Commerce Sales Associate (Part Time) North Versailles, PA. position with Goodwill.  However, I am sorry to inform you that the job posting is now closed.

Note the last email was sent five months after the ”
interview” and “tour”.

Told you: Stupidity, rudeness and blatant unprofessionalism.