Category Archives: Books

Explore the legacy of the master’s leading ladies in “Hitchcock’s Heroines”

Whether played by Grace Kelly, Doris Day, or Ingrid Bergman, the heroine of an Alfred Hitchcock picture is always the same: stylish, regal, and elegant.
Explore the legacy of Alfred Hitchcock’s leading ladies—their iconic roles, unforgettable costumes, and timeless style in Hitchcock’s Heroines (Insight Editions, $29.99).

Author Caroline Young chronicles six decades of glamorous style, exploring the fashion legacy of these amazing women. Meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated with studio pictures, film stills and original drawings of the costume designs, each chapter focuses on a specific actress, revealing insights into a fascinating period of movie history.
This deluxe book pays tribute to the women of Hitchcock’s era, who were considered some of the fashion icons of their time and inspired styles that continue to be celebrated and imitated today. These leading ladies broke barriers, made history, and transfixed audiences around the world.

Elizabeth White shares her expertise about overcoming financial struggles in her book

Elizabeth White was once a woman in trouble. Despite her highly educated background and wealth of executive experience, she found herself out of work and out of money. She was in her 50s. White was not alone: After a personal essay went viral, she found herself the unlikely spokesperson for Baby Boomers everywhere who were facing unexpected financial hardship with no retirement to fall back on. She learned and then shared her practical knowledge and her emotional fortitude with those in similar positions.

America is at a crossroads, and elder poverty is a serious issue, with the highest rates since the Great Depression. 40% of older workers and their spouses will be downwardly mobile, falling into poverty (or near-poverty) in old age. And even good news, such as the number of jobs held by older workers has increased by 6.6 million over the last decade, is only part of the truth. In fact over half of those jobs—52 percent or over 3.4 million—paid full-time workers less than $15,000 a year. Women and especially women of color are the worst off. This crisis not only effects Baby Boomers though: Millennials don’t have retirement savings either as they face down education debt, flat wages, uncertain work, plus escalating costs in housing and healthcare.

White self-published her book 55, Underemployed, and Faking NormalSimon & Schuster has now published the book under their imprint.A perfect way to bring her message to a larger audience. This is an important issue and White brings hard data and a comforting shoulder.

Read it!

PETRUCELLI PICKS: 2018 GIFT GUIDE: BEGIN A NEW CHAPTER FOR THE YOUNG (AND YOUNG-AT-HEART) WITH THESE CHILDREN’S BOOK

School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary.

Audrey Penn’s The Kissing Hand 25th Anniversary Family Edition (Tanglewood Publishing , $19.99, tanglewoodbooks.com) has found its way into the hearts of teachers, librarians, parents, and children around the world, especially during times of separation like starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp.

Celebrate the special Kissing Hand anniversary with Chester and his mother in this limited edition family keepsake with a dedication page, Letters to Chester booklet download and, of course, heart stickers.


After witnessing an act of domestic terrorism while training on his bike, Jake is found near death, with a serious head injury and unable to remember the plane crash or the aftermath that landed him in the hospital.Nobody believes Jake. Except the terrorists

A terrorist leader’s teenage daughter, Betsy, is sent to kill Jake and eliminate him as a possible witness. When Jake’s mother blames his head injury for his tales of attempted murder, he has to rely on his girlfriend, Laurissa, to help him escape the killers and the law enforcement agents convinced that Jake himself had a role in the crash.

In Surface Tension (Tanglewood Publishing, $17.99), Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall series, delivers a gripping story with memorable characters and all-too-real scenarios.


Sibling 1 throws blenders and plays guitar. Sibling 2 is allergic to everything and is into magic. Sibling 3 is a varsity swimmer with a group of female fans.  The only thing they have in common is their biological father, and the only thing they can agree on is that they all want to meet him.806: A Novel Hardcover

Welcome to 806: A Novel (Tanglewood Publishing, $16.99). With the help of a broken-down, “borrowed” Jeep, KT, Jesse, and Gabe make their way across the country evading police, trying their luck on the slots, and meeting a life-changing pig, all to track down Donor 806, their father. Any hope of success requires smarts, luck, and ingenuity. Good thing they have each other…even if they don’t see it that way.

The book is written by Cynthia Weil, one of musicdom’s most famous and honored songwriters. We will never lose our lovin’ feeling for her!


Hello There, Do You Still Know Me? (Prospecta Press, $9.99, LaurieArnoldBooks.com), Laurie B. Arnold’s sequel to the popular kids novel, Hello There, We’ve Been Waiting For You!, Madison McGee and her best friends are visiting her old neighbor Rosalie Claire in Costa Rica. Their dreams of lazy summer beach days end quickly when Madison’s wacky grandmother, Florida, shows up on their doorstep dangerously ill with a mysterious ailment. Hello There, Do You Still Know Me? by [Arnold, Laurie B.]When the MegaPix 6000 shows up again, Madison and her friends have to figure out a way to turn the magic TV into a time machine so they can save Florida. Once the intrepid trio hurtles into the past, a dizzying adventure unfolds, filled with heart-filled, unexpected consequences. More news: Coming Spring 2019, the final book in this charming and magical kids’ trilogy.


The weasel and boy are back! Space travel was a breeze compared to their latest challenge: obedience school. But can a weasel be trained? Find out what happens when wild animals go to school, just like kids. Salvo Lavis & James Munn’s Wild Wild Weasel (Spitball Studio, $15.95, WorldOfTheWeasel.com) is a follow-up to Once Upon a Weasel and the second book in the World of the Weasel series.

World of the Weasel presents picture books about a young boy and his pet weasel who injects excitement into the boy’s quiet life and helps stimulate his imagination. Filled with rich illustrations for younger kids and great vocabulary words for budding readers, our books are ideal for kids 4-10 and the adults who read with them.

 

PETRUCELLI PICKS: 2018 GIFT GUIDE: LAST-MINUTE PRESENTS WITH PRESENCE, PART THREE. SANTA, TAKE NOTE.

How we love Stormy weather.
How we hate Adolph Frump.
He fucked Stormy Daniels. And She now fucks him. Hard.
St. Martin’s Press spotlights Stormy with Full Disclosure ($27.99), Stormy Daniels’ memoir. She and the book will really fuck the bastard:  The book will be published simultaneously in the UK, Australia, South Africa and India, and in hardcover, ebook and audio formats.

Now the woman referred to in The New York Times opinion pages as “Stormy Daniels, Feminist Hero” and “Joan of Arc,” and in Rolling Stone as “the hero America needs,” tells her whole story for the first time. In Full Disclosure, she shares everything about how she came to be a leading actress and director in the adult film business, the full truth about her journey from a rough childhood in Louisiana onto the national stage, and the events that led to the nondisclosure agreement and the behind-the-scenes attempts to intimidate her.


Has any president in the history of the United States had a more fraught relationship with women than Adolph Frump? 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, and proclaimed his now-infamous seduction technique: “grab ’em by the pussy.”

Nina Burleigh’s Golden Handcuffs (Gallery Books, $28) is a comprehensive and provocative account of the women who have been closest to Trump—his German-immigrant grandmother, Elizabeth, the uncredited founder of the Trump Organization; his Scottish-immigrant mother, Mary, who acquired a taste for wealth as a maid in the Andrew Carnegie mansion; his wives—Ivana, Marla, and Melania (the first and third of whom are immigrants); and his eldest daughter, Ivanka, groomed to take over the Trump brand from a young age. Also examined are Trump’s two older sisters, one of whom is a prominent federal judge; his often-overlooked younger daughter, Tiffany; his female employees; and those he calls “liars”—the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.


Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign was a beginning, not an end. In his new book, Where Do We Go From Here: Two Years in the Resistance (St. Martin’s Press, $27.99), America’s most popular political figure speaks about what he’s been doing to oppose the Trump agenda and strengthen the progressive movement and how we go forward as a nation.Where We Go from Here: Two Years in the Resistance by [Sanders, Bernie] This is the man who should be handling the US, not the sick lying sex addict, homophobe, racist, xenophobe, misogynistic scumbag with fake orange hair.


Following a series of Top 10 hits that became instant American standards, the Weavers dissolved at the height of their fame. Wasn’t That a Time: The Weavers, the Blacklist, and the Battle for the Soul of America (Da Capo Press, $27) details the remarkable rise of Pete Seeger’s unlikely band of folk heroes, from basement hootenannies to the top of the charts, and the harassment campaign that brought them down.

Exploring how a pop group’s harmonies might be heard as a threat worthy of decades of investigation by the FBI, Wasn’t That a Time turns the black-and-white ’50s into vivid color, using the Weavers to illuminate a dark and complex period of American history. Using previously unseen journals and letters, unreleased recordings, once-secret government documents, and other archival research, Jesse Jarnow uncovers the immense hopes, incredible pressures, and daily struggles of the four distinct and often unharmonious personalities at the heart of the Weavers.


Before the emergence of prohibition-era gangsters Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, there was the Black Hand: An early twentieth-century Sicilian-American crime ring that preyed on immigrants from the old country. In those days, the FBI was in its infancy, and local law enforcement were clueless against the dangers—most refused to believe that organized crime existed. Terrorized victims rarely spoke out, and the criminals ruled with terror—until Inspector Frank Oldfield came along.

In 1899, Oldfield became America’s 156th Post Office Inspector—joining the ranks of the most powerful federal law enforcement agents in the country. Oldfield was finally able to penetrate the dreaded Black Hand when a tip-off put him onto the most epic investigation of his career, culminating in the 1909 capture of 16 mafiosos in a case that spanned four states, two continents—and ended in the first international organized crime conviction in the country.

Hidden away by the Oldfield family for one hundred years and covered-up by rival factions in the early 20th century Post Office Department, this incredible true story is told in Inspector Oldfield and the Black Hand Society: America’s Original Gangsters and the U.S. Postal Detective who Brought Them to Justice (Touchstone, $26) out of America’s turn-of-the-century heartland will captivate all lovers of history and true crime.


For more than ten 10 years, a mysterious and violent predator committed 50 sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer (Harper,  $27.99)—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle’s dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.


Barking up the right tree: The hilarious, heartwarming and rebarkable true story of Guy the Beagle, Duchess Meghan Markle’s rescue dog, His Royal Dogness, Guy the Beagle: The Rebarkable True Story of Meghan Markle’s Rescue Dog (Simon & Schuster, $17.99).
Like all good stories, Guy the Beagle’s begins lost in the woods of Kentucky. But his fortunes change when he’s rescued by none other than Meghan Markle. Practically overnight, Guy goes from wags to riches. But does this backwoods beagle have what it takes to be welcomed into the royal family? Guy’s story of finding acceptance in an exceptional family will have readers of all ages barking with laughter.


In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, (Harper Design, $40), Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes, this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style. Room by room, Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A removable design template at the back of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave.


Dick Gregory has been an unsparing and incisive cultural force for more than fifty years: A friend of such luminaries as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers, Gregory is an unrelenting, lifelong activist against social injustice, whether he was marching in Selma during the Civil Rights movement or organizing student demonstrations to protest the Vietnam War, participating in rallies for Native American and feminist rights or fighting apartheid in South Africa.Gregory’s Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies (Amistad, $15.99) teaches readers how to laugh . . . and live.


The League of Regrettable Sidekicks: Heroic Helpers from Comic Book History (Quirk Books, $24.95) affectionately spotlights forgotten helpers like Thunderfoot (explosive-soled assistant to the Human Bomb), super-pets like Frosting (polar bear pal of space hero Norge Benson), fan favorites like Rick Jones (sidekick to half of the Marvel Universe), and obscure partners of iconic heroes (Superman Junior’s career barely got off the ground). Included are pernicious profiles of henchmen and minions, the sidekicks of the supervillain world. Casual comics readers and diehard enthusiasts alike will relish the hilarious commentary and vintage art from obscure old comics.


It’s a bit tough to talk (and write) about any Mary Higgins Clark book without spilling the beans. All the murders and mayhem and myriad of mysteries! here’s what we will tell you: You Don’t Own Me (Simon & Schuster, $26.99)is the perfect, exhilarating follow up to the bestselling Every Breath You Take. The “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and her dazzling partner-in-crime Alafair Burke have devised another riveting page-turner.


She is famous throughout the world, but how many know her name? You can admire her figure in Washington, Paris, London, New York, Dresden, or Copenhagen, but where is her grave? We know only her age, fourteen, and the work that she did—because it was already grueling work, at an age when children today are sent to school. In the 1880s, she danced as a “little rat” at the Paris Opera, and what is often a dream for young girls now wasn’t a dream for her. She was fired after several years of intense labor; the director had had enough of her repeated absences. She had been working another job, even two, because the few pennies the Opera paid weren’t enough to keep her and her family fed. She was a model, posing for painters or sculptors—among them Edgar Degas.

Drawing on a wealth of historical material as well as her own love of ballet and personal experiences of loss, Camille Laurens’Little Dancer Aged Fourteen: The True Story Behind Degas’s Masterpiece(Other Press, $22.95) presents a compelling, compassionate portrait of Marie van Goethem and the world she inhabited that shows the importance of those who have traditionally been overlooked in the study of art.


When Marie Colvin was killed in an artillery attack in Homs, Syria, in 2012, at age 56, the world lost a fearless and iconoclastic war correspondent who covered the most significant global calamities of her lifetime. In Extremis (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28), written by her fellow reporter Lindsey Hilsum, is a thrilling investigation into Colvin’s epic life and tragic death based on exclusive access to her intimate diaries from age thirteen to her death, interviews with people from every corner of her life, and impeccable research. A devastating and revelatory biography of one of the greatest war correspondents of her generation that must be read.


When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, David Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself.Calypso by [Sedaris, David]

With Calypso, (Little, Brown & Company, $ 28) Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny–it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

Petrucelli Picks: 2018 Gift Guide: Last-Minute Presents With Presence, Part Two. Santa, Take Note.

The ultimate and timeless Christmas story, with cuddly guinea pigs in the starring roles. Miserable to the core and wholly unwilling to extend a paw to help those in desperate need, the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge says “Bah, Humbug!” to the festive season. But one night he is visited by three Christmas Spirits who take him on a journey through time, so he can see the error of his ways and learn the true meaning of Christmas.

A Guinea Pig Christmas Carol is Charles Dickens’s joyful Christmas tale, retold in an entirely new way.


In 1964, Kathy McKeon was just 19 and newly arrived from Ireland when she was hired as the personal assistant to former First Lady Jackie Kennedy. The next 13 years of her life were spent in Jackie’s service, during which Kathy not only played a crucial role in raising young Caroline and John Jr., but also had a front-row seat to some of the twentieth century’s most significant events.

Kathy called Jackie “Madam,” she considered her employer more like a big sister who, in many ways, mentored her on how to be a lady. Kathy was there during Jackie and Aristotle Onassis’s courtship and marriage and Robert Kennedy’s assassination, dutifully supporting Jackie and the children during these tumultuous times in history.|

McKeon’s Jackie’s Girl (Gallery Books, $16) is a moving personal story of a young woman finding her identity and footing in a new country, along with the help of the most elegant woman in America.


When Tony Kushner’s Angels in America hit Broadway in 1993, it won the Pulitzer Prize, swept the Tonys, launched a score of major careers and changed the way gay lives were represented in popular culture.

Now, on the 25th anniversary of that Broadway premiere, Isaac Butler and Dan Kois offer The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America (Bloomsbury, $30), the definitive account of Angels in America in the most fitting way possible: through oral history, the vibrant conversation and debate of actors, directors, producers, crew and Kushner himself. Their intimate storytelling reveals the on- and offstage turmoil of the play’s birth–a hard-won miracle beset by artistic roadblocks, technical disasters, and disputes both legal and creative.


Everyone [well, almost everyone] is just wild about Harry. Prince Henry of Wales has made headlines all over the world with his unruly antics [think Nazi], but instead of being sidelined as the House of Windsor’s biggest liability,  Harry has emerged as the jewel in the crown of the modern British Monarchy.

Prince Harry: The Inside Story by [Larcombe, Duncan]

Prince Harry: The Inside Story (Harper360, $16.99), Duncan Larcombe’s insightful and entertaining biography of the rebellious royal, recalls Harry’s Eton exploits, his military career and his tempestuous love life, as well as revisiting some events that the prince would probably prefer to forget, such as his notorious Nazi fancy dress which landed him in a global storm of criticism. But despite a string of incidents that would normally destroy the career of any aspiring public figure, Harry has a mysterious gift. The more scrapes Harry gets in, the more the public seem to love him.


Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama team up in Hope never Dies (Quirk Books, $14.99),  high-stakes thriller that combines a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes.

Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted: the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic.Part noir thriller and part bromance, Hope Never Dies is essentially the first published work of Obama/Biden fiction—and a cathartic read for anyone distressed by the current state of affairs.


Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die (Workman, $35) ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation, ‘You have to read this’. But it’s not a proscriptive list of the “great works”—rather, it’s a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage.


In Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood (Metropolitan Books, $30), Rose George takes us from ancient practices of bloodletting to the breakthough of the “liquid biopsy,” which promises to diagnose cancer and other diseases with a simple blood test. She introduces Janet Vaughan, who set up the world’s first system of mass blood donation during the Blitz, and Arunachalam Muruganantham, known as “Menstrual Man” for his work on sanitary pads for developing countries. She probes the lucrative business of plasma transfusions, in which the US is known as the “OPEC of plasma.” And she looks to the future, as researchers Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents (Little, Brown & Company, $30) seek to bring synthetic blood to a hospital near you.

Spanning science and politics, stories and global epidemics, Nine Pints reveals our life’s blood in an entirely new light.


As Chief Official White House Photographer, Pete Souza spent more time alongside President Barack Obama than almost anyone else. His years photographing the President gave him an intimate behind-the-scenes view of the unique gravity of the Office of the Presidency–and the tremendous responsibility that comes with it.

Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents by [Souza, Pete]Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents (Little, Brown & Company, $30) is a portrait in Presidential contrasts, telling the tale of the Obama and Trump administrations through a series of visual juxtapositions. Here, more than one hundred of Souza’s unforgettable images of Obama deliver new power and meaning when framed by the tweets, news headlines, and quotes that defined the first 500 days of the Trump White House. In Shade, Souza’s photographs are more than a rejoinder to the chaos, abuses of power, and destructive policies that now define our nation’s highest office. They are a reminder of a President we could believe in, and a courageous defense of American values.


Drawing on extensive research and reporting, Heidi Waleson, one of the foremost American opera critics, recounts the history of this scrappy company and reveals how, from the beginning, it precariously balanced an ambitious artistic program on fragile financial supports. Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America by [Waleson, Heidi]

Above all, Mad Scenes and Exit Arias (Metropolitan Books, $30) is a story of money, ego, changes in institutional identity, competing forces of populism and elitism, and the ongoing debate about the role of the arts in society. It serves as a detailed case study not only for an American arts organization, but also for the sustainability and management of nonprofit organizations across the country.


PETRUCELLI’S PICKS: 2018 GIFT GUIDE: THE YEAR’S BEST CELEBRITY (AUTO)BIOGRAPHIES, PART FOUR

She was black and a woman and a prosecutor, a graduate of Smith College and the granddaughter of slaves, as dazzlingly unlikely a combination as one could imagine in New York of the 1930s―and without the strategy she devised, Lucky Luciano, the most powerful Mafia boss in history, would never have been convicted. When special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey selected 20 lawyers to help him clean up the city’s underworld, she was the only member of his team who was not a white male.

Her name was Eunice Hunton Carter, the author  Stephen Carter’s grandmother. Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster (Henry Holt, $30) is moving, haunting and as fast-paced as a novel, Invisible tells the true story of a woman who often found her path blocked by the social and political expectations of her time. But Eunice Carter never accepted defeat, and thanks to her grandson’s remarkable book, her long forgotten story is once again visible.


Literary icon Edmund White made his name through his writing but remembers his life through the books he has read. For White, each momentous occasion came with a book to match: Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, which opened up the seemingly closed world of homosexuality while he was at boarding school in Michigan; the Ezra Pound poems adored by a lover he followed to New York; the biography of Stephen Crane that inspired one of White’s novels. But it wasn’t until heart surgery in 2014, when he temporarily lost his desire to read, that White realized the key role that reading played in his life: forming his tastes, shaping his memories, and amusing him through the best and worst life had to offer.

Blending memoir and literary criticism, The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading (Bloomsbury, $28) is a compendium of all the ways reading has shaped White’s life and work. His larger-than-life presence on the literary scene lends itself to fascinating, intimate insights into the lives of some of the world’s best-loved cultural figures. With characteristic wit and candor, he recalls reading Henry James to Peggy Guggenheim in her private gondola in Venice and phone calls at eight o’clock in the morning to Vladimir Nabokov–who once said that White was his favorite American writer.


From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. He often came across as a man possessed, holding forth on culture and politics while mixing in personal revelations – all with mercurial, tongue-twisting intensity as he inhabited and shed one character after another with lightning speed.

But as Dave Itzkoff shows in his revelatory biography, Robin (Henry Holt, $30), Williams’s comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt. Itzkoff shows how Williams struggled mightily with addiction and depression—topics he discussed openly while performing and during interviews—-and with a debilitating condition at the end of his life that affected him in ways his fans never knew. Drawing on more than a hundred original interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as extensive archival research, Robin is a fresh and original look at a man whose work touched so many lives.


Though best known for the fictional cases of his creation Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was involved in dozens of real life cases, solving many, and zealously campaigning for justice in all. In The Man Who Would Be Sherlock: The Real-Life Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle (Thomas Dunne Books, $28.99), author Christopher thoroughly and convincingly makes the case that the details of the many events Doyle was involved in, and caricatures of those involved, would provide Conan Doyle the fodder for many of the adventures of the violin-playing detective. A great read, elementary my dear!


Hunter S. Thompson is often misremembered as a wise-cracking, drug-addled cartoon character. Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson’s Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism (PublicAffairs, $28) reclaims him for what he truly was: a fearless opponent of corruption and fascism, one who sacrificed his future well-being to fight against it, rewriting the rules of journalism and political satire in the process.

This skillfully told and dramatic story shows how Thompson saw through Richard Nixon’s treacherous populism and embarked on a life-defining campaign to stop it. In his fevered effort to expose institutional injustice, Thompson pushed himself far beyond his natural limits, sustained by drugs, mania, and little else. For 10 years, he cast aside his old ambitions, troubled his family, and likely hastened his own decline, along the way producing some of the best political writing in our history.


Who knew? Across almost 50 years, Winston Churchill produced more than 500 paintings. His subjects included his family homes at Blenheim and Chartwell, evocative coastal scenes on the French Riviera, and many sun-drenched depictions of Marrakesh in Morocco, as well as still life pictures and an extraordinarily revealing self-portrait, painted during a particularly troubled time in his life. 

In his introduction to Churchill: The Statesman as Artist (Bloomsbury, $30), David Cannadine provides the most important account yet of Churchill’s life in art, which was not just a private hobby, but also, from 1945 onwards, an essential element of his public fame. The first part of this book brings together for the first time all of Churchill’s writings and speeches on art, not only “Painting as a Pastime,” but his addresses to the Royal Academy, his reviews of two of the Academy’s summer exhibitions, and an important speech he delivered about art and freedom in 1937.

Churchill, The Life (Firefly Books, $29.95) uses his words, personal documents and photographs as well as private and public memorabilia to commemorate the private, military and political man who many consider “the greatest Briton of all time” and the best friend the United States ever had. Many of the items are published here for the first time.


Publishers continue to fill the air (and book shelves) with must-read, must-have books about singers, composers, legends and legacies. Some that hit all the right notes:
The Cake and the Rain: A Memoir (St. Martin’s Griffin, $17.99)
Jimmy Webb’s words have been sung to his music by a roster of pop artists, including Glen Campbell, Art Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer and Linda Ronstadt. He’s the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for music, lyrics and orchestration, and his chart-topping career has, so far, lasted 50 years, most recently with a Kanye West rap hit and a new classical nocturne. Here, Webb delivers a snapshot of his life from 1955 to 1970, from the proverbial humble beginnings into a moneyed and manic international world of beautiful women, drugs, cars and planes. One question remains: What was that cake doing in the rain?

Did you ever wonder what goes into the creation of some of the best music ever recorded? And how someone becomes an iconic music professional who is universally admired? Al Schmitt on the Record: The Magic Behind the Music reveals answers to these questions and more. In this memoir of one of the most respected engineers of all time, you’ll discover how a very young boy mentored by his uncle Harry progressed through the recording world in its infancy and, under the tutelage of legendary engineer and producer Tom Dowd in his heyday, became one of the all-time great recording engineers.

Michael Jackson All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track (Cassell, $50) is the only book that tells the story behind every single song that the King of Pop ever released – from his formative years with the Jackson Five to his incredible and much-loved output as a solo artist. More than 200 songs, videos and revolutionary dance moves are analyzed, uncovering the fascinating stories around their creation and allowing fans the chance to truly understand the artistry behind them.

This is Morrissey as you’ve never seen him before. Featuring many previously unpublished photographs, Morrissey: Alone and Palely Loitering (Cassell, $39.99) is a portrait of Morrissey at his creative peak. Journey through hundreds of Kevin Cummins’ renowned, era-defining images, taken over a ten-year period in locations all over the world, accompanied by recollections from the author on his time with Morrissey and the artistic process of collaborating with him. Intimate, creative and surprising, this is a document of an artist at the height of his powers.

Funny, revealing, self-aware, and deeply moving, Matters of Vital Interest: A Forty-Year Friendship with Leonard Cohen (Da Capo Press, $27) is an insightful memoir about Eric Lerner’s relationship with his friend, whose idiosyncratic style and dignified life was deeply informed by his spiritual practices.

Lerner invites readers to step into the room with them and listen in on a lifetime’s ongoing dialogue, considerations of matters of vital interest, spiritual, mundane, and profane. In telling their story, Lerner depicts Leonard Cohen as a captivating persona, the likes of which we may never see again.

Queen in 3-D (Shelter Harbor Press, $45) is the first book ever to be published about legendary rock band Queen by a member of the band. And certainly the first book of its kind in the world. It s a unique collection of original, highly personal snapshots of Queen in Three Dimensions, from the band s inception in the early ’70s right up to the present day, accompanied by the exclusive recollections of founding member and lead guitarist, Brian May.

The book is illustrated with more than 300 photographs; these shots of Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, Roger Taylor and Brian himself, on and off stage all round the world, spring into life when viewed with Brian’s patent OWL viewer (supplied free with the book). Through the eyes of Brian s camera you are transported back in time to experience Queen’s miraculous 46-year journey as if you were actually there . . . whether in a dressing room, in a car, on a plane, or on stage at Madison Square Garden.

More Queenmania can be found in the rock journalist Martin Popoff’s Queen: Album By Album (Voyageur Pres, $30). He convenes a cast of 19 Queen experts and superfans to discuss all 15 of the band’s studio albums (including their soundtrack for the 1980 film Flash Gordon). Panelists include Queen experts, rock journalists, musicians and record industry figures. The results are freewheeling discussions delving into the individual songs, the circumstances that surrounded the recording of each album, the band and contemporary rock contexts into which they were released, and more.

Petrucelli’s Picks: 2018 Gift Guide: The Year’s Best Celebrity (Auto)Biographies, Part Three

It’s a shame many still don’t know his name. Or his genius.
Nikola Tesla invented the radio, the induction motor, the neon lamp, and the remote control. His scientific discoveries made possible X-ray technology, wireless communications, and radar, and he predicted the Internet and even the smart watch. Today, he is hailed as a visionary by the likes of Elon Musk (whose electronic cars bear his name) and Larry Page, the founder of Google. His image appears on stamps, the Encyclopedia Brittanica ranks him as one of the ten most interesting historical figures, and Life magazine lists him as one of the one hundred most famous people of the last millennium. And yet, his contemporaries and fellow inventors Thomas Edison and Guglielmo Marconi achieved far greater commercial success and popular recognition.

In Tesla: Inventor of the Modern (W. W. Norton & Company, $26.95), Richard Munson asks whether Tesla’s eccentricities eclipsed his genius. Ultimately, he delivers an enthralling biography that illuminates every facet of Tesla’s life while justifying his stature as the most original inventor of the late nineteenth century.


Harvey Sachs’s Toscanini: Musician of Conscience (Liveright, $24.95) recounts the 68-year career of conductor Arturo Toscanini, an artist celebrated for his fierce dedication, photographic memory, explosive temper, impassioned performances and uncompromising work ethic. Toscanini collaborated with Verdi, Puccini, Debussy, and Richard Strauss; undertook major reforms at La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera; and eventually pioneered the radio and television broadcasts of the NBC Symphony.

His monumental achievements inspired generations, while his opposition to Nazism and fascism made him a model for artists of conscience. In this persuasive and compelling new biography, Sachs illuminates the crucial―the central―role Toscanini played in our musical culture. Set against the roiling currents of twentieth-century Europe and the Americas, Toscanini is a “necessary” portrait of this “complex, flawed, but noble human being and towering artist” (Wall Street Journal) whose peerless influence reverberates today.


A book about Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, as a beach read? Absolutely. And much more entertaining than, say, a collection of Peanuts. In President Carter: The White House Years (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, $40) Stuart E. Eizenstat presents a comprehensive history of the Carter Administration, demonstrating that Carter was the most consequential modern-era one-term U.S. President. The book is behind-the-scenes account of a president who always strove to do what he saw as the right thing, while often disregarding the political repercussions.


Adventures of a Young Naturalist–The Zoo Quest Expeditions (Quercus, $26.99) is the story of voyages taken by David Attenborough. Staying with local tribes while trekking in search of giant anteaters in Guyana, Komodo dragons in Indonesia, and armadillos in Paraguay, he and the rest of the team contended with cannibal fish, aggressive tree porcupines, and escape-artist wild pigs, as well as treacherous terrain and unpredictable weather, to record the incredible beauty and biodiversity of these regions. Don’t take our word for it: Says Barack Obama of Attenborough: “A great educator as well as a great naturalist.”


Immortalized by Shakespeare as a hunchbacked murderer, Richard III is one of English history’s best known and least understood monarchs. In 2012 his skeleton was uncovered in a UK parking lot, reigniting debate about this divisive historical figure and sparked numerous articles, television programs and movies about his true character. Richard III: England's Most Controversial King by [Skidmore, Chris]In Richard III: England’s Most Controversial King (St. Martin’s Press, $29.99)  acclaimed historian Chris Skidmore has written the authoritative biography of a man alternately praised as a saint and cursed as a villain. Was he really a power-crazed monster who killed his nephews, or the victim of the first political smear campaign conducted by the Tudors?


In Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History (Liveright, $28.95) Yunte Huang recounts the peculiar, and often ironic, rise of Chang and Eng from sideshow curiosity to Southern gentry—an unlikely story that exposes the foibles of a young republic eager to tyrannize and delight in the abnormal. Famous for their quick wit (they once refunded a one-eyed man half his ticket because he “couldn’t see as much as the others”), Chang and Eng became a nationwide sensation, heralded as living symbols of the humbugged freak.  Their unrivaled success quickened the birth of mass entertainment in America, leading to the minstrel show and the rise of showmen like P.T. Barnum.

And it is here that we encounter a twist. Miraculously, despite the 1790 Naturalization Act which limited citizenship to “free white persons” (until 1952), Chang and Eng became American citizens under the Superior Court of North Carolina. They then went on to marry two white sisters—Sarah and Adelaide Yates—and father 23 children despite the interracial marriage ban (in place until 1967). They owned 18 slaves and became staunch advocates for the Confederacy, so much so that their sons fought for the South during the Civil War. Huang reveals that it was perhaps their very “otherness” that worked for them: they were neither one individual, or quite two.


Forty-five years after Bruce Lee’s sudden death at 32, Matthew Polly has written the definitive account of Lee’s life. Following a decade of research, dozens of rarely seen photographs, and more than one hundred interviews with Lee’s family and friends, Bruce Lee: A Life (Simon & Schuster, $35) breaks down the myths surrounding Bruce Lee and delivers a complex, humane portrait of the icon.

The book  explores Lee’s early years: his career as a child star in Hong Kong cinema; his actor father’s struggles with opium addiction; his troublemaking teen years; and his beginnings as a martial arts instructor. Polly chronicles the trajectory of Lee’s acting career in Hollywood, from his frustration seeing role after role he auditioned for go to a white actors in eye makeup, to his eventual triumph as a leading man, to his challenges juggling a sky-rocketing career with his duties as a father and husband. Polly also sheds light on Bruce Lee’s shocking end—which is to this day is still shrouded in mystery—by offering an alternative theory behind his tragic demise.


Marion Ross’ warm and candid memoir, My Days: Happy and Otherwise (Kensington, $26), brims with loving recollections from the award-winning Happy Days team—from break-out star Henry Winkler to Cunningham “wild child” Erin Moran. The actress shares what it was like to be a starry-eyed young girl with dreams in poor, rural Minnesota, and the resilience, sacrifices, and determination it took to make them come true. She recalls her early years in the business, being in the company of such luminaries as Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Noel Coward, yet always feeling the Hollywood outsider—a painful invisibility that mirrored her own childhood. She reveals the absolute joys of playing a wife and mother on TV, and the struggles of maintaining those roles in real life. But among Ross’s most heart-rending recollections are those of finally finding a soulmate—another secret hope of hers made true well beyond her expectations.


Writing The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations (Simon & Schuster, $30)  while confronting a mortal illness, John McCain looks back with appreciation on his years in the Senate, his historic 2008 campaign for the presidency against Barack Obama, and his crusades on behalf of democracy and human rights in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Always the fighter, McCain attacks the “spurious nationalism” and political polarization afflicting American policy. He makes an impassioned case for democratic internationalism and bi-partisanship. He tells stories of his most satisfying moments of public service, including his work with another giant of the Senate, Edward M. Kennedy.  McCain recalls his disagreements with several presidents, and minces no words in his objections to some of Frump’s statements and policies. At the same time, he offers a positive vision of America that looks beyond the evil Frump.


Remembered primarily as America’s leading, most influential physician, Benjamin Rush led the Founding Fathers in calling for abolition of slavery, equal rights for women, improved medical care for injured troops, free health care for the poor, slum clearance, citywide sanitation, an end to child labor, free universal public education, humane treatment and therapy for the mentally ill, prison reform and an end to capital punishment. 

Using archival material from Edinburgh, London, Paris, and Philadelphia, as well as significant new materials from Rush’s descendants and historical societies, Harlow Giles Unger’s Dr. Benjamin Rush: The Founding Father Who Healed a Wounded Nation (Da Capo Press, $28) restores Benjamin Rush to his rightful place in American history as the Founding Father of modern American medical care and psychiatry.


In 1929, 30-year-old gangster Al Capone ruled both Chicago’s underworld and its corrupt government. To a public who scorned Prohibition, “Scarface” became a local hero and national celebrity. But after the brutal St. Valentine’s Day Massacre transformed Capone into Public Enemy Number One, the federal government found an unlikely new hero in a 27-year-old Prohibition agent named Eliot Ness. Chosen to head the legendary law enforcement team known as “The Untouchables,” Ness set his sights on crippling Capone’s criminal empire.

Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago (William Morrow, $29.99) draws upon decades of primary source research—including the personal papers of Ness and his associates, newly released federal files, and long-forgotten crime magazines containing interviews with the gangsters and G-men themselves. Authors Max Allan Collins and A. Brad Schwartz have recaptured a bygone bullet-ridden era while uncovering the previously unrevealed truth behind Scarface’s downfall. Together they have crafted the definitive work on Capone, Ness, and the battle for Chicago.


Arthur Fellig’s ability to arrive at a crime scene just as the cops did was so uncanny that he renamed himself “Weegee,” claiming that he functioned as a human Ouija board. Weegee documented better than any other photographer the crime, grit, and complex humanity of mid-century New York City. In Flash, we get a portrait not only of the man (both flawed and deeply talented, with generous appetites for publicity, women, and hot pastrami) but also of the fascinating time and place that he occupied.

So we finally have the first biography of the man with the camera in Christopher Bonanos’Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous (Henry Holt, $32). Weegee lived a life just as worthy of documentation as the scenes he captured. With Flash, we have an unprecedented and ultimately moving view of the man now regarded as an innovator and a pioneer, an artist as well as a newsman, whose photographs are among most powerful images of urban existence ever made.

Petrucelli Picks: 2018 Gift Guide: Last-Minute Presents With Presence, Part One. Santa, Take Note.

In Giant: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Edna Ferber, and the Making of a Legendary American Film  (St. Martin’s Press; $27.99)  Don Grahamoffers a larger-than-life narrative of the making of the classic film based on Edna Ferber’s controversial novel. Taking a wide-angle view of America—and Texas—in the Eisenhower era, Graham reveals how the film and its production mark the rise of America as a superpower, the ascent of Hollywood celebrity, and the flowering of Texas culture as mythology. Featuring James Dean, Rock Hudson, and Elizabeth Taylor, Giant dramatizes a family saga against the background of the oil industry and its impact upon ranching culture—think Spindletop Hill in Beaumont, Texas, and the fabled King Ranch in South Texas. Almost as good as the film.


One of the most delightful books of the season: 100 Christmas Wishes: Vintage Holiday Cards from The New York Public Library (St. Martin’s Griffin, $17.99). Archivists selected some of the best cards from the library’s extensive collection; from the elegant, gilded Santa Clauses and statuesque angels, to yuletide still lifes, tumbling tots and puppies with bows round their necks, each card is a beautiful celebration of the holiday season. The book also includes six perforated postcards with reproductions of the designs so you too can share a vintage Christmas wish with friends and family on your list.


How do you start a fire? Ask for a pay raise (and get it)? Save yourself from choking. The answers (and then some) are found in GQ How to Win at Life: The Expert Guide to Excelling at Everything You Do ( Firefly Books, $19.95).

Based on personal expertise, interviews with foremost authorities and wisdom from GQ‘s editors, Charlie Burton shows men how to win at fashion, sport, food and drink, work, romance, travel  . . . well everything. Eight chapters comprising 75 entries cover life’s must-have skills. Bold illustrations highlight the succinct step-by-step instructions that will guarantee success.


It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here…

The prequel to Dracula, inspired by notes and texts left behind by the author of the classic novel, Dracul is a supernatural thriller that reveals not only Dracula’s true origins but Stoker’s—and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them.


On September 11, 2001, Joe Maio went to work in the north tower of the World Trade Center. He never returned, leaving behind a wife, Sharri, and 15-month old son, Devon. Five years later, Sharri remarried, and Devon welcomed a new dad into his life.

For thousands, the whole country really, 9/11 is a day of grief. For Adam and Sharri Maio Schefter and their family it’s not just a day of grief, but also hope. This is a story of 9/11, but it’s also the story of 9/12 and all the days after. Life moved on. Pieces were picked up. New dreams were dreamed. The Schefters are the embodiment of that.

The Man I Never Met: A Memoir (St. Martin’s Press , $26.99) gives voice to all those who have chosen to keep living. It’s gratifying and beautiful. But also messy and hard. Like most families. Except that one day every year history comes roaring back. How do you embrace that? How do you honor that?


Noted animal photographer Lara Jo Regan combines two universally popular subjects—dogs and beaches—in a fresh, delightful book.  sand in dog, beach, travel and animal photography.

Regan spent three years shooting Dogs on the Beach (Myth and Matter Media, $21.99), traveling to some of the most scenic seascapes in America to capture the primal joy of dogs romping and rolling in the sand, splashing in surf, lounging in the sun and even catching a few waves. A true chronicle of remarkable intimate images of blissed-out dogs in paradise.


Zora Neale Hurston’s genius is woven throughout a major literary event. The newly published work Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” (Amistad, $24.99),with a foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker , brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade—abducted from Africa on the last “Black Cargo” ship to arrive in the United States.

During an intense three-month period, Hurston and Cudjo Lewis communed over her gifts of peaches and watermelon, and gradually Cudjo, a poetic storyteller, began to share heartrending memories of his childhood in Africa; the attack by female warriors who slaughtered his townspeople; the horrors of being captured and held in the barracoons of Ouidah for selection by American traders; the harrowing ordeal of the Middle Passage aboard the Clotilda as “cargo” with more than one hundred other souls; the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War; and finally his role in the founding of Africatown. An important history lesson for ll.


How did grandpa make a spoon cry? How did he make Doris the Dot dance? What’s going on here? From professional magician Allan Zola Kronzek comes Grandpa Magic: 116 Easy Tricks, Amazing Brainteasers, and Simple Stunts to Wow the Grandkids (Workman, $16.95), crammed with 116  tricks, stunts and brainteasers that will engage the grandchildren and provide giggles, jaw-dropping awe, and wonderful memories.


We were delighted to find and read The Art of Winnie-the-Pooh: How E.H. Shepard Illustrated an Icon (Harper Design, $29.99), in which James Campbell offers a thorough account of the origins and development of the characters who populate the Hundred Acre Wood, complete with more than 125 images, many of which have never been published before—including previously unseen sketches, the first illustrations of Pooh, finished artwork, personal family photographs, and memorabilia.


This book is causing quite the buzz! Flying in for inspection: Turn This Book into a Beehive! And 19 Other Experiments and Activities that Explore the Amazing World of Bees (Workman, $19.95),  an indispensable guide with a removable book jacket and tear-away paper nesting tubes that turn into a home for mason bees, with each “room” providing space for 10 to 12 mason bee babies.Click here to view book cover image.

Packed with 19 sensory-driven experiments and activities that offer a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be a bee, this nifty book provides an early introduction to environmentalism and offers inspiration for burgeoning conservationists. Readers can make a buzzer that replicates the noise made by a bee’s wings, trace back the ingredients and materials in their favorite foods and clothing to see just how closely mason bees influence our daily lives, and create safe sprays that will make everything from urban gardens to open yards a welcome, healthy environments for these super-pollinators.


When news of the Pulse nightclub shooting hit in 2016, several media outlets referred to a devastating predecessor: The Up Stairs Lounge fire of 1973. In Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation (Liveright Publishing , $26.95), Robert Fieseler reveals the true story of the fire that devastated the gay community of New Orleans and ignited a national movement.

In a landmark feat of historical detection undertaken during a year and a half spent in New Orleans, journalist Robert W. Fieseler here recovers the firsthand testimonies of survivors, witnesses, and relatives; through Fieseler’s interviews, it becomes painfully clear that it is only now, decades later, that these survivors feel willing to claim this story—a story that no one dared touch for so long.


Have a knack for mastering Morse code? Want to discover whether your crossword hobby might have seen you recruited into the history books? Think you could have contributed to the effort to crack the Nazis’ infamous Enigma code? Then Bletchley Park Brainteasers: The World War II Codebreakers Who Beat the Enigma Machine–And More Than 100 Puzzles and RiddlesThat Inspired Them (Quercus, $16.99) was made for you.

When scouring the population for codebreakers, Bletchley Park recruiters left no stone unturned. They devised various ingenious mind-twisters to assess the puzzle-solving capacity of these individuals–hidden codes, cryptic crosswords, secret languages, and complex riddles. These puzzles, together with the fascinating recruitment stories that surround them, are contained in this book, endorsed by Bletchley Park itself.


Hidden entrances, dark places, low music, smoke, women, crime and lots of alcohol: In the days of Prohibition (1920-1933), these were the explosive ingredients of the American speakeasy.

Frequented by gangsters such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, these underground bars and nightclubs have become the symbol of an epoch immortalized in cinema and literature. The new speakeasies are inspired by the typical unmistakable atmosphere of the beginning of the 20th century, when it was necessary to speak under your breath to avoid detection by the police. These trendy bars have often been conceived by keen bartenders, who rediscovered the tastes of the mixed drinks of the ’20s and ’30s. Enter the glory of  Speakeasy: Secret Bars Around the World (Shelter Harbor Press , $24.95).


Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Peter Frampton, Joan Jett, Jimmy Page, Dimebag Darrell, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. . .  and the list goes on and on. Guitars and Heroes (Firefly Books, $29.95) is organized by era, from the rockabilly pioneers to the guitar heroes of the future.

Each chapter contains portraits of guitarists (past and present) and their favorite instruments. The authoritative text describes the musician’s favored guitar or guitars and why they prefer them, often revealing a hidden facet of the musician’s artistic approach. Guitars and Heroes is a sensational encyclopedia for all guitarists, guitar geeks, collectors and avid listeners, and an essential purchase for all collections.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A Picture Book (Quirk Books, $18.99) allows  young readers see what the world’s strongest vampire slayer was like back when she was a kid Join not-so-brave little Buffy, Willow and Xander as they investigate strange sounds coming from the closet, seek advice from their school librarian Giles, and encounter everyone’s favorite Buffyverse monsters.

Charmingly illustrated by Pop Classics artist Kim Smith, this sweet, silly, and not-so-scary book borrows Joss Whedon’s beloved characters to tell an endearing bedtime story.


Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s The President Is Missing (Knopf/Little,Brown $30) is a superlative thriller . . . one that can really happen, and one that must not be missed. The mystery confronts a threat so huge that it jeopardizes not just Pennsylvania Avenue and Wall Street, but all of America. Uncertainty and fear grip the nation. There are whispers of cyberterror and espionage and a traitor in the Cabinet. Even the President himself becomes a suspect, and then he disappears from public view.

Set over the course of three days, The President Is Missing sheds a stunning light upon the inner workings and vulnerabilities of our nation. Filled with information that only a former Commander-in-Chief could know, this is the most authentic, terrifying novel to come along in many years. And a timely, historic story that will be read-and talked about-for years to come.


In 1923, Mary Pickford and hubby Douglas Fairbanks, along with the “Beverly Hills Eight” Harold Lloyd, Rudolph Valentino, Will Rogers, Tom Mix, Fred Neblo and Conrad Nagel,  eight stars of the silver screen leveraged their fame to campaign against the annexation of Beverly Hills, the young city they called home, to Los Angeles. Their campaign was a success, and politics in the U.S. would never be the same again.The Battle for Beverly Hills: A City's Independence and the Birth of Celebrity Politics by [Clare, Nancie] For them, Beverly Hills was a refuge from Los Angeles and its relentless press. Instead of the larger, institutionally corrupt police force,

Beverly Hills had a smaller, separate constabulary that was less likely to work hand in glove with the studios and more willing to look the other way at violations of the Prohibition Act.  In The Battle for Beverly Hills (St. Martin’s Press, $27.99) Nancie Clare reveals how the stars battled to keep their city free from the clutches of a rapacious Los Angeles and lay the groundwork for celebrity influence and political power. With a nuanced eye and fantastic storytelling, Clare weaves an irresistible tale of glamour, fame, gossip, and politics.

Petrucelli Picks: 2018 Gift Guide: The Best Coffeetable Books of the Year

The Iconic House (Thames & Hudson, $35) features more than 100 of the most important and influential houses designed and built since 1900. Think seminal works by Le Corbusier, Wright, van der Rohe, Ando, Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron.

Wide-ranging in both geographical scope and artistic style, the houses share an appreciation of local materials and building traditions and a careful understanding of clients’ needs. Each house, however, is the result of a unique approach that makes it groundbreaking for its time. Now, fully updated, the book features iconic houses recently constructed, as well as concise, informative texts, specially commissioned photographs, floor plans, and drawings

You may never live like this, but oh! this book brings to life a stunning array of architectural masterpieces.


Harper Design doesn’t monkey around when it comes to scrumptious coffeetable books. With a foreword by Fraser Heston (Charlton Heston’s son)The Making of Planet of the Apes (HarperDesign, $60)is an entertaining, informative experience that will transport readers back to the strange alternate Earth ruled by apes, and bring to life memorable characters such as Cornelius, Dr. Zira, Dr. Zaius, and Taylor, the human astronaut whose time-traveling sparks an incredible adventure.

Meticulously researched and designed to capture the look and atmosphere of the film, The Making of Planet of the Apes is also packed with a wealth of concept paintings, storyboards, and never-before-seen imagery—including rare journal pages and sketches from Charlton Heston’s private collection—as well as color and black-and-white unit photography, posters and more unique ephemera.


Summer may be winding down, but nothing still sizzling is the delicious and sexy Hollywood Beach Beauties: Sea Sirens, Sun Goddesses, and Summer Style 1930-1970 (Dey Street Books, $30).

Renowned independent curator and photographic preservationist David Wills commemorates the golden age of Hollywood and beloved starlets of the past with a book that must be in every film fan’s library.

Joan Crawford on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, 1949

With more than 100 vibrant color photographs this book commemorates both the allure and joy of the coastline as well as the women of the stage and silver screen who spent time there. Inside the book, you will find candid and stylish photographs of movie star greats such as Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Sharon Tate, Edy Williams, Linda Christian, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Nancy Sinatra.


In 1971, John Lennon & Yoko Ono conceived and recorded the critically acclaimed album Imagine at their Georgian country home, Tittenhurst Park, in Berkshire, England, in the state-of-the-art studio they built in the grounds, and at the Record Plant in New York.

Imagine John Yoko (Grand Central Publishing, $50), tells the story of John & Yoko’s life, work and relationship during this intensely creative period. It transports readers to home and working environments showcasing Yoko’s closely guarded archive of photos and artifacts, using artfully compiled narrative film stills, and featuring digitally rendered maps, floor plans and panoramas that recreate the interiors in evocative detail. John & Yoko introduce each chapter and song; Yoko also provides invaluable additional commentary and a preface.


This is one book that colors our world. Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color(Thames & Hudson, $50) is beautifully illustrated, with images of stunning pink fashions given context by photographs, advertisements, and works of art.

It features essays by scholars across the disciplines, giving readers access to a wealth of research into subjects as diverse as Hollywood movies and the symbolism of the pink triangle. This book will appeal to those interested in fashion and culture, as well as those who love pink.


Who’d ever think we would rap about punk? The Sex Pistols-1977: The Bollocks Diaries is the official, inside story of the whirlwind year of 1977 (the recording and release of Never Mind the Bollocks) and the year the Sex Pistols changed everything. From God Save the Queen to Holidays in the Sun and everything in between, it was a year of chaos and creation.

Straight from the mouths of the Sex Pistols and their collaborators, with first-hand stories of secret gigs, recording sessions, fights, record label meltdowns and a media storm like nothing ever seen before, this tome is packed with photography and rare items from the Sex Pistols archives.


No Cameras Allowed: My Career as an Outlaw Rock and Roll Photographer (For the Duration Press, $60) tells the story, in words and photos, of how Julian David Stone, entirely by sneaking his equipment into concerts, amassed an incredible archive of over ten thousand rock and roll photos. Starting by simply stashing a camera in his socks, then taping equipment all over his body, to finally customizing a jacket to hide equipment from security guards, he shot dozens of the ’80s greatest acts: Prince, U2, the Police, David Bowie, R.E.M., the Ramones, Elvis Costello, the Talking Heads, the Grateful Dead, Joan Jett.

Culled from this incredible, never-before-seen archive, this book contains more than 250 of his best photos, along with some of the craziest adventures he had as he evaded oversized roadies, aggressive security, and more than a few drunken fans.


The Art of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse (Disney Editions, $40) s a celebration of the true original icon, spanning the 90 years that Mickey has been entertaining audiences with heartfelt performances and humorous antics. The book begins with a comprehensive filmography, listing Mickey’s animated performances in shorts, films, and television shows. This impressive résumé is followed by an analysis of Mickey’s milestones: the firsts he has attained, the achievements he has made, and the recognitions Jewelry for Gentlemenhe has received throughout his life thus far.

A special double gatefold commemorates Mickey and Minnie’s ninetieth anniversary with ninety pieces of artwork depicting the famous pair, from never-before-seen animation drawings to classic comic book covers.


In Jewelry for Gentlemen (Thames & Hudson, $45), men’s style aficionado James Sherwood draws on his style expertise and insider’s knowledge of the industry to tell the story of men’s relationship with jewelry. He presents the contemporary artisans who keep the practice alive and profiles and illustrates works by key jewelers, including Tiffany & Co. and Cartier.

Hundreds of exquisite photographs, many specially commissioned, of rings, cuff links, bracelets, and more, chart changing fashions and evolving attitudes to men’s jewelry over the centuries. Sherwood brings pieces by great craftsmen and the patrons who commissioned them to life through vivid texts and contemporary and archival portraits.


Recovered Memory: New York and Paris 1960-1980 is a meditation on time and place: Before the internet and 24/7 news; when one could visit the Eiffel Tower without seeing police and automatic weapons, when a ride on the New York subway cost 15 cents, when the smell of fresh-baked baguettes wafted over nearly every Parisian neighborhood, and when the Coney Island parachute ride still thrilled thousands.

Frank Van Riper’s striking black and white photographs spanning twenty years, coupled with his eloquent texts, capture the 20th-century romance and grit of New York more than a half century ago, and Paris, some forty years ago. It was a time when the pace of life was slower and somehow less threatening, people talked to each other instead of texting on their iPhones, and you literally had to stop and smell the coffee.


Photographer Vivian Maier’s allure endures even though many details of her life continue to remain a mystery. Her story—the secretive nanny-photographer who became a pioneer photographer—has only been pieced together from the thousands of images she made and the handful of facts that have surfaced about her life. Vivian Maier: The Color Work (Harper Design, $80) is the largest and most highly curated published collection of Maier’s full-color photographs to date.

This definitive volume sheds light on the nature of Maier’s color images, examining them within the context of her black-and-white work as well as the images of street photographers with whom she clearly had kinship. With more than 150 color photographs, most of which have never been published in book form, this collection of images deepens our understanding of Maier, as its immediacy demonstrates how keen she was to record and present her interpretation of the world around her.


The tomb of Tutankhamun, with its breathtaking treasures, remains the most sensational archaeological find of all time. The brilliantly illustrated Tutankhamun: The Treasures of the Tomb (Thames & Hudson, $39.95) takes the reader through Tutankhamun’s tomb room-by-room in the order that it was discovered and excavated by Howard Carter, illuminating the tomb’s most magnificent artifacts and objects.

Leading authority Dr. Zahi Hawass imbues the text with his own inimitable flavor, imagining how the uncovering and opening of the tomb must have felt for Carter, while Sandro Vannini’s extraordinary photographs reproduce the objects in infinitesimal detail.


In this mysterious tie-in to Netflix’s award-winning A Series of Unfortunate EventsCount Olaf’s legal representative, Neil Patrick Harris hares insider secrets about the Baudelaire family and the making of the show.  The book (Hachette Books, $35) brims withnever-before-seen photographs, never-before-told stories and never-before, revealed secrets spanning all three seasons of the hilariously twisted, critically acclaimed hit series.

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61mXXL9tmaL._SY413_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgYou will encounter original concept art, annotated script excerpts, and interviews with the creative team and all-star cast, as well as glossaries, recipes, lyric sheets, hidden Easter eggs, shocking backstories, and suspicious pages from the titular tome, unredacted and revealed here for the first time.


Iconic Magazine Covers (Firefly Books, $49.95) is an oral history of the stories behind the most innovative and controversial magazine covers as told by the people who created them. Ian Birch has worked in the industry since the ’70s and has used a career’s worth of contacts to make this unique social document that a wide variety of readers will find fascinating.

There are more than 65 feature covers and selection criteria was diverse. The book displays the covers on a full page opposite the history of the design as told by the key figures in its making. Editors, photographers, creative directors, illustrators and others describe their roles in bringing the cover to life


Last but never least: National Geographic continues to stay in the spotlight with their bold, lavish, glossy must-have coffeetable books. A few should be on your “Santa, please” list.

Featuring 100 innovative, kitchen-tested recipes, 300 gorgeous color photographs and 30 maps, Tasting Italy ($40) takes you on a captivating journey through the rich history of Italian cuisine, region by region.

Rich excerpts feature the origins of celebrated cheeses, the nuances of different wine growing regions, the best farmer’s markets in Venice, and more. Intriguing prose illuminates key ingredients, from olive oil and how it’s made to the various pasta shapes of Northern Italy. In every region, the food experts at America’s Test Kitchen bring it all home, with foolproof recipes for standout dishes as well as hidden gems.

Spectacle ($40) is an exquisite photo collection showcasing awe-inducing moments from around the world, including the aurora borealis, cities made of neon lights, a great wildebeest migration, a contortionist on display,  a majestic supercell, the secrets of a deep blue ice cave and so much more.

Featuring more than 200 color images, including acclaimed photography from the National Geographic Image Collection, this volume presents a dazzling array of natural and man-made wonders, unusual phenomena, and amusing curiosities. Each page will enlighten and inspire, presenting our world at its best.

Atlas of World War II: History’s Greatest Conflict Revealed Through Rare Wartime Maps and New Cartography($45) is a magnificent atlas delves into the cartographic history of WWII: naval, land, and aerial attacks from the invasion of Poland to Pearl Harbor and the Battle of the Bulge.

Satellite data renders terrain as never before seen, highlighting countries and continents in stunning detail to include the towns, cities, provinces and transportation roads for a pinpoint-accurate depiction of army movements and alliances. Gripping wartime stories from these hallowed fields of battle, along with photographs, sketches, confidential documents, and artifacts color the rest of this timeless and informative book.

Bird, nature and art lovers alike will treasure The Splendor of Birds: Art and Photographs From National Geographic($75), an amazing visual celebration of the colors, forms and behaviors of the winged wonders who share our world as they have been explored, displayed and revealed throughout the years by National Geographic.

The book moves chronologically so readers witness the tremendous growth in our knowledge of birds over the last 130 years, as well as the new frontiers in technology and observation–from luminous vintage paintings and classic black and white photographs to state-of-the art high-speed and telephoto camera shots that reveal moments rarely seen and  sights invisible to the human eye.


 

Petrucelli Picks: 2018 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 Kyle Books. What wonders!
In Five Seasons of Jam ($24.99) Lillie O’Brien proves why jam cannot be rushed. Five Seasons of Jam by [O'Brien, Lillie]These preserving recipes may be short on the page, but they’re designed to stretch time, from when you first find and organize the ingredients, to when you stir the pot slowly and lovingly, then spread it on toast, and take the first magical bite.

Sudie Pigott’s Flipping Good Pancakes: Pancakes From Around the World ($16.99) proves that you don’t have to wait till the weekend to enjoy pancakes. Taking inspiration from countries all over the world, this dynamic collection of recipes shows how versatile and easy pancakes can be.  Chinese Rice Flour Pancakes with Shitake and Sugar Snap Peas anyone?

With step-by-step photography, detailed instructions, specialist advice and Vanessa Kimbell’s indispensable encouragement, The Sourdough School: The Ground-Breaking Guide to Making Gut-Friendly Bread ($24.99) celebrates the timeless craft of artisan baking. Pass the butter. Please.

The Goodness of Honey: 40 Healthy Sweet and Savory Recipes ($12.99) offers vibrant recipes packed full of goodness. From Baked Energy Bars to Honeyed Carrot Cupcakes, and from Foolproof Root Vegetables to a Fig, Nectarine, Burrata & Prosciutto salad, these delicious recipes will allow you to embrace your love for honey without the guilt.


On a 10-year journey to seek the origins of wine,  Kevin Begos unearths a whole world of forgotten grapes, each with distinctive tastes and aromas, as well as the archaeologists, geneticists, chemists—even a paleobotanist—who are deciphering wine down to molecules of flavor.

In Tasting the Past: The Science of Flavor and the Search for the Origins of Wine ( Algonquin Books, $26.95), we meet a young scientist who sets out to decode the DNA of every single wine grape in the world; a researcher who seeks to discover the wines that Caesar and Cleopatra drank; and an academic who has spent decades analyzing wine remains to pinpoint ancient vineyards. Science illuminates wine in ways no critic can, and it has demolished some of the most sacred dogmas of the industry: for example, well-known French grapes aren’t especially noble.

Begos offers readers drinking suggestions that go far beyond the endless bottles of Chardonnay and Merlot found in most stores and restaurants.


Think outside the crust: Slab pie is just like regular pie . . . only better and bigger! Instead of crimping and meticulously rolling out a round crust, slab pies are an unfussy twist that are perfect for a potluck or dinner party or just a family dinner.

Baked on sheet pans, slab pies can easily serve a crowd of people dinner or dessert. Pie Squared: Irresistibly Easy Sweet & Savory Slab Pies (Grand Central Life & Style, $28) includes 75 foolproof recipes, along with inventive decoration tips that will appeal to baking nerds and occasional bakers alike. And this fresh, uncomplicated take on pie will surely pique the interest of those who have previously been reluctant to take out their rolling pin.


Just when you thought you knew everything about a cup o’ Joe… The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing — Coffees Explored, Explained and Enjoyed (Firefly Books, $35)  takes readers on a global tour of coffee-growing countries, presenting the bean in full-color photographs and concise, informative text.

It covers where coffee is grown, the people who grow it and the cultures in which it is a way of life. It also covers the world of consumption—processing, grades, the consumer and the modern culture of coffee. Organized by continent and then country or region, The World Atlas of Coffee presents the world’s favorite brew in color spreads packed with information.


The first official cookbook from the beloved world of Margaritaville features laid-back favorites like the explosively good Volcano Nachos and the heaven-on-earth-with-an-onion-slice Cheeseburger in Paradise, alongside more sophisticated options that will wow your guests. With its combination of recipes, stories, and gorgeous full color food and lifestyle photographs throughout, it is sure to put you in a Margaritaville state of mind!

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere and no vacation is complete without a cocktail―preferably a margarita, of course! Margaritaville: The Cookbook: Relaxed Recipes For a Taste of Paradise (St. Martin’s Press, $32.50) is loaded with drink recipes to inspire your blissful island cocktail hour―from Jimmy’s Perfect Margarita and Paradise Palomas to Cajun Bloody Mary’s and the quintessential Key West Coconut and Lime Frozen Margarita.


With detailed explanations of Middle Eastern foods, and suggestions on the best way to build up a home pantry of staples, you’ll discover a world of flavor. Once you begin cooking from Tahini & Turmeric: 101 Middle Eastern Classics Made Irresistibly Vegan (Da Capo Lifelong Books , $24.99), you’ll find yourself experimenting with pistachios and pomegranate syrup–and, of course, tahini and turmeric.


For this sumptuous cookbook, restaurateur Yann de Rochefort and Executive Chef Marc Vidal tell the story of Boqueria, which has now spread to four New York City locations as well as to Washington, D.C. While the recipes-all deeply rooted in Barcelona’s culinary culture-take center stage with phenomenal food photography, Boqueria: A Cookbook, from Barcelona to New York (Bloomsbury, $35) also swings open the kitchen doors to reveal the bustling life of the restaurant, and offers exciting glimpses of the locales that inspire it: the bars, markets and cervezerias of Barcelona. 

Boqueria’s recipes are delectable variations on authentic Barcelona fare, but more than that; along with their origin stories, these recipes inspire a bit of the Boqueria experience-the cooking, the conversations, and the connections-in your own home.


Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg shocked the baking world when they proved that homemade yeast dough could be stored in the refrigerator to use whenever you need it. Now, they’ve done it again with Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Sweet and Decadent Baking for Every Occasion (St. Martin’s Press, $35), a cookbook with savory, sweet, healthy and decadent recipes for every occasion.

In 100 clear and concise recipes that build on the successful formula of their bestselling series, Holiday and Celebration Bread will adapt their ingenious approach for high-moisture stored dough to a collection of breads from the four corners of the globe.


In Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking (Da Capo Lifelong Books, $30) , Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau share 150 recipes that pay homage to the meals and market produce that have been farmed, sold, and prepared by Caribbean people–particularly the women–for centuries. Caribbean food is often thought of as rustic and unrefined, but these vibrant vegetarian dishes will change the way we think about this diverse, exciting, and nourishing cuisine. The pages are spiced with the sisters’ fond food memories and fascinating glimpses of the islands’ histories, bringing the region’s culinary past together with creative recipes that represent the best of Caribbean food today.


Derived from the Turkish word “keif” meaning “feeling good,” kefir is a tart, tangy cultured milk, low in sugar and lactose free, and an excellent source of protein, calcium, and B vitamins. Originating from a grain that dates back two thousand years to the Caucasus Mountains of Europe, it is also one of the healthiest natural foods available—scientifically shown to help boost immunity, improve gut health, build bone density, fight allergies, and aid the body’s natural detoxification.

The Kefir Cookbook: An Ancient Healing Superfood for Modern Life, Recipes from My Family Table and Around the World (HarperOne, $29.99) offers more than 100 globally-inspired sweet and savory recipes, as well as unique spins on classic recipes, while introducing contemporary flavors and textures to inspire you in the kitchen every day.


We always savor the cookbooks published by Robert Rose.

Since Santa already brought us an Instant Pot, we sampled two delicious treats: The Complete Indiana Instant Pot Cookbook: 130 Traditional & Modern Recipes ($24.95) and 5-Ingredient Instant Pot Cookbook: 150 Easy, Quick & Delicious Recipes ($19.95).

The recipes are as easy as A-B-C, the photos are glorious and, well, we’re getting hungry for another Ham and Cheddar Egg Muffin . . .