THE BETRAYAL OF AMERICAN PROSPERITY: Free Market Delusions, America's Decline, and How We Must Compete in the Post-Dollar Era
Clyde Prestowitz. Free Press, $26 (352) ISBN 9781439119792
High profile Washington economist Prestowitz (Three Billion New Capitalists) finds hope in the present economic collapse, which he believes will spur abandonment (however reluctantly) of "Laissez Faire Gobalization." As a campaign advisor to President Obama and a principal trade negotiator for Reagan, Prestowitz has repeatedly warned against disregarding foreign competition ("thinking of the United States as number one") as the U.S. suffers "a rapid erosion of its productive base." Overreliance upon capital markets that were actually "a corrupt, over-leveraged, house of cards" has shifted the global balance of power to Japan, China and Europe, regions with protectionist policies that the U.S. has failed to counter. The genesis of this downhill slide can be found in Cold War principles—low taxes, deregulation, privatization—necessitated by the times, but which have become enshrined at the expense of the New Deal "private sector-government partnership" that led to America's 20th century prosperity. An important contribution to the political debate, Prestowitz's volume suggests a number of solutions—abolishing the dividend tax, imposing a value-added tax, incentivizing foreign investment in the U.S., and doubling federal support of innovative technologies—all likely to prove controversial on both sides of the political divide. (May)

COMING CLIMATE CRISIS? Consider the Past, Beware the Big Fix
Claire L. Parkinson. Rowman & Littlefield, $24.95 (428p) ISBN 9780742556157
Climatologist Parkinson (Earth From Above), a senior fellow at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, warns against "massive geoengineering schemes," currently under consideration by government and advocacy groups, meant to avert impending climate catastrophe, but which themselves may have disastrous unintended consequences. Looking at past examples—from Egypt's massive Aswan Dam, which has spread parasitic diseases and is eroding the fertile delta, to the addition of lead to internal combustion engines and paint—Parkinson worries that fixes under discussion today, like capturing and storing carbon waste or introducing sulfur into the stratosphere to reflect solar heat, may actually lead to problems "far worse than the damage that we are already causing." Instead, Parkinson recommends a moderate approach—limiting population growth; replacing fossil fuels with solar, nuclear, and wind power; changing consumption patterns—while more ambitious plans are carefully evaluated for safety and feasibility. She also raises the possibility that, despite present scientific consensus, predictions of impending catastrophe rest too heavily on climate models that are "far from perfect." This thoughtful treatment of a highly controversial subject merits careful attention from the powers that be, and those who wish to influence them. (May)

KABOOM: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War
Matt Gallagher. Da Capo, $24.95 (288p) ISBN 9780306818806
In this hauntingly direct war memoir, a cocky West Coast frat boy becomes a reflective leader in the later part of the Iraq conflict. Not long after his 2007 deployment, Lt. Gallagher had become a much-read blogger, but his blunt account ran afoul of the higher-ups. In this blog-like memoir of his year-plus in Iraq, he provides an episodic, day-by-day account of life during wartime, covering everything from the fear of shooting innocent citizens to the impact of a Dear John letter on a unit. Gallagher employs a close eye and enormous compassion when recounting tragedies like a horrible explosive accident and pervasive poverty and despair in an area known as "trash village." Gallagher's vivid, atmospheric descriptions can occasionally get away from him ("It was modern Iraq, permanently soaked in a blood-red-sea past it would never be able to part"), but he provides much canny, moving commentary on the power of war to transform soldiers and civilians: "Suddenly the stare was the norm house by house, block by block, and town by town, and all of the flower petals dried up, and we suddenly recognized that those cheers of gratitude were actually pleas for salvation." (Apr.)

Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner. Harper, $24.99 (560p) ISBN 9780061689062
Friends Pressner, Baggett, and Corbett were all busy climbing the corporate ladder of Manhattan media when they realized that, in their late twenties, they weren't sure they wanted the golden handcuffs of New York success. Reprioritizing, they decide on a rebellious, extreme course of action: quit their jobs, abandon their boyfriends, and take a year-long trip around the world. In this group memoir, the three take turns chronicling a journey from Peru to Kenya to Vietnam to Australia, and everywhere in between. Though they don't always get along, the three learn to rely on each other, keep their minds open and throw themselves enthusiastically after every adventure that comes their way. The three authors, all gifted writers (each has worked as a journalist), provide passionate, vivid descriptions of their far-flung travels, bolstered by thoughtful insights and genuine intentions, making this an intensely enjoyable read for fans of travel writing; their semi-improvisatory experience provides a broader look at travel than either a luxury tour or a backpacking trip would, proving especially resonant. This memoir should also be immediately relatable for any twenty-something unsure of his or her future (i.e., most of them). (May)

MY FAIR LAZY: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover if Not Being a Dumb Ass Is the New Black, or a Culture-Up Manifesto
Jen Lancaster. NAL, $24.95 (384p) ISBN 9780451229861
After embarrassing herself in front of her idol Candace Bushnell, popular memoirist Lancaster (Such a Pretty Fat, Bitter is the New Black) decides she needs more in her life than reality TV and hamburgers; to that end, she sets out on an Eliza Doolittle-esque project of cultural self-improvement to expand her knowledge of art, fine dining, and all the attendant trappings of "high class" life. Lancaster's latest will no doubt appeal to fans of her blog and her other books, but readers unfamiliar with her strident manner will have to get past her abrasive, initially judgmental façade; she puts on a proud display of her ignorance that can be off-putting, especially when couched in her excessively scattered writing style. Though she's unquestionably funny and comfortable in her own skin, for all the joking self-regard there's little actual exploration, and the analysis of what she does find doesn't go far beyond a sassy thumbs-up or thumbs-down. (May)

PIONEER, POLYGAMIST, POLITICIAN: The Life of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon
Mari Graña. Globe Pequot/TwoDot, $16.95 paper (224p) ISBN 9780762752720
Graña, the author of Pioneer Doctor: The Story of a Woman's Work (a biography of her grandmother Mary Babcock Atwater), charts the life of another pioneer woman doctor in the American west, Martha Hughes Cannon (1857–1932), in this insightful study, the first book-length account of this remarkable woman. Born in Llandudno, Wales, "Mattie," as she was known, immigrated with her Mormon convert family to America in 1860. Her ill father died within days of their arrival in Salt Lake City, her baby sister having perished on the trek across the plains. These deaths and the poor health care in general that she observed in Utah helped steer her into medicine, which, as Graña points out in telling detail, was quite primitive at the time, especially on the frontier. After receiving her M.D. from the University of Michigan, Mattie helped establish Salt Lake City's Deseret Hospital, one of whose directors, Angus Cannon, she secretly married in 1884. Since Angus already had three wives and the federal government had outlawed polygamy, Mattie and her first child, a daughter born in 1885, ended up spending two years abroad, mostly in England, in a futile effort to prevent Angus's arrest for unlawful cohabitation. After the LDS church renounced polygamy in 1890, opening the way to Utah statehood, Mattie became active in the women's suffrage movement, though the Utah territory already allowed women to vote. In 1896, Mattie, a Democrat, defeated Angus, a Republican, among other candidates, for a seat in the new Utah state senate, becoming the first woman state senator in the U.S. During the two terms she served, she promoted legislation to improve public health, at the same time tending to her medical practice and raising her children with little financial or emotional support from Angus. The birth of a second daughter in 1899 put an end to her political career and led, once again, to Angus's arrest for unlawful cohabitation. Graña's criticisms—of the hypocrisy of those Mormon leaders who continued to take new wives after 1890, of the trend within the Mormon church in recent decades to limit women to the home—may offend the LDS faithful. Those interested in how a smart, independent woman struggled to balance family and career while remaining true to her religious beliefs will find this an absorbing and moving story. (Mar.)

ROCK AND HARD PLACES: Travels to Backstages, Frontlines, and Assorted Sideshows
Andrew Mueller. Counterpoint/Soft Skull, $15.95 paper (350p) ISBN 9781593762681
London-based Aussie Mueller is the kind of adventure journalist who inserts himself into nearly every story; as a rock critic, travel writer and foreign correspondent, Mueller gives equal weight to encounters with customs officials and foreign dining experiences as he does war-zone reporting in Bosnia or buddying up to the Taliban in Afghanistan. In this collection of 28 pieces penned for non-U.S. periodicals, dating from the early 1990s on, Mueller showcases his broad range—everything from The Prodigy in Beirut to Bruce Springsteen in Middle America, from revisiting Chernobyl to his own book tour of Britain. While Mueller's snarky style (think a clean-mouthed Matt Taibbi) tends to marginalize nearly everything his sources say, he pens new introductions to each piece that are at least candid about his shortcomings: he admits that he was "trying rather too hard" to insult L.A. in a 1991 story about Courtney Love, and apologizes to residents of Fredericton, New Brunswick, "for the fusillade of cheap shots taken at their town" in a 1995 piece about Green Day's Canadian tour. Mueller's best stories are the ones in which he stays on topic, including pieces on Woodstock II, The Hold Steady and the Drive-By Truckers. (Apr.)

★ THREE WISHES: Our True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood
Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones, and Pamela Ferdinand. Little Brown, $24.99, (278) ISBN 978031607906
A Moscow correspondent for the L.A. Times and a reporter for the New York Times, Goldberg's life was driven by career deadlines. Yet, like her friends, Jones, a recently divorced writer, and Ferdinand, a single reporter for the Washington Post, Goldberg longed for a child. Having just ended her latest relationship, Goldberg decided to order eight vials of sperm from California Cryobank, a deceptively hopeful maneuver that pushed all three down the path toward motherhood. That they actually make it, and find long-term relationships along the way, makes for a happy journey, but the power of this three-pronged narrative is the trio's candor regarding the compromises and complications that arise in the process of becoming mothers. Ironically, the anonymous vials of sperm never fulfill their intended purpose, but instead become a symbol of empowerment, giving each woman the green light to let go of bad relationships, find fulfilling new connections, and determine their own destinies. This personal, carefully-recounted tale will resonate with any career woman wondering if it's too late to have it all. (Apr.)


MIXT SALADS: A Chef's Bold Creations
Andrew Swallow with Ann Volkwein. Ten Speed, $28 (160p) ISBN 9781580080576
The founder and executive chef of San Francisco's boutique salad joint Mixt Greens, Swallow gives top billing to the humble salad in a collection that is by turns lush, lavish and imaginative, including signature dishes like the Park Ave (grilled chicken, herb-roasted fingerling potatoes, grilled asparagus and Parmesan), its meaty mate the Bachelor (with Yukon Gold potatoes, filet mignon and Roquefort), the Tokyo (Kobe beef carpaccio with fried leeks) and the Grove (Honeycrisp apples, fennel, spiced walnuts and blue cheese). Organized by season, and prefaced with a guide to maximizing on-hand produce, this volume gives salad makers an imaginative push, though they may hit a wall trying to source key ingredients like aged sherry vinegar, sweetbreads, quail eggs, and hedgehog mushrooms. The salad-averse will appreciate the Porky—mixed greens, roasted butternut squash, pork tenderloin and port reduction—and Swallow's bunless Kobe beef cheeseburger, served atop butter lettuce. Though some may be disappointed in the selection of dressings, nearly all of which are vinaigrette variations, this is a vital, inspired and varied collection that even steak-and-potatoes fans can appreciate. (May)

Laura Trice. Running, $17.95 paper (192p) ISBN 9780762438013
In her collection of crave-worthy junk food—minus the junk—Trice, a medical doctor and CEO of the California-based Laura's Wholesome Junk Food, indulges her followers with recipes for many of her company's products among more than 100 wholesome noshes. However, this is no diet cookbook: what's "wholesome" here are the expeller-pressed oils, evaporated cane juice, unprocessed sea salt and similar products substituted for more-processed (and seemingly ubiquitous) ingredients like saturated fats and corn syrup. Trice's focus is real ingredients, not low-fat or low-calorie variations: chocolate ganache contains chocolate and cream, pie crust recipes call for either butter or oil, ice creams employ coconut milk. Trice also offers welcome everyday treats like 15 simple popsicles free of corn syrup (though Krazy Carrot Pops, made with carrot juice and frozen peas, sound punishing), in addition to expected fare such as granolas, smoothies, and energy-packed baked goods like Cashew Protein Muffins. Anyone favoring salty over sweet will likely be disappointed with a tacked-on chapter of savory snacks. So long as they aren't looking for guilt-free indulgences, fans of sweets looking to reduce their intake of processed foods will benefit from this book. (May)


BONHOEFFER: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Eric Metaxas. Thomas Nelson, $29.99 (608p) ISBN 9781595551382
In this weighty, riveting analysis of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Metaxas (Amazing Grace) offers a comprehensive review of one of history's darkest eras, along with a fascinating exploration of the familial, cultural and religious influences that formed one of the world's greatest contemporary theologians. A passionate narrative voice combines with meticulous research to unpack the confluence of circumstances and personalities that led Germany from the defeat of WWI to the atrocities of WWII. Abundant source documentation (sermons, letters, journal entries, lectures, the Barman Declaration) brings to life the personalities and experiences that shaped Bonhoeffer: his highly intellectual, musical family; theologically liberal professors, pastoral colleagues and students; his extensive study, work, and travel abroad. Tracing Bonhoeffer's developing call to be a Jeremiah-like prophet in his own time and a growing understanding that the church was called "to speak for those who could not speak," Metaxas details Bonhoeffer's role in religious resistance to Nazism, and provides a compelling account of the faith journey that eventually involved the Lutheran pastor in unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Hitler. Insightful and illuminating, this tome makes a powerful contribution to biography, history and theology. (Apr.)

Reza Shah Kazemi. Fons Vitae, $16.95 paper (152p) ISBN 9781891785627
Kazemi, an academic fellow to the Jordanian Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, authors this book, which compares Islamic values and practices with the teachings of the Buddha and Buddhist practices (such as invocatory prayer). In a well-written introduction, H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan explains that, after his leading of a movement to establish common ground between Christians and Muslims in 2007, he and his Muslim colleagues next turned to the Dalai Lama to chart similar territory with him, including the commissioning of this book. The Dalai Lama offers an enthusiastic foreword, but the contents of the book would likely be unsettling to many Muslims and Buddhists. The Prince and the author argue that the Buddha may be one of the Qur'an's unsung prophets, citing Qur'anic passages describing unnamed messengers sent to all of God's people. A core theme of the book is that Buddhists are among the Islamic Ahl al-Kitab, or People of the Book, which is traditionally limited to Christians and Jews. Kazemi boldly expands the category to include Buddhists since they follow a divinely revealed scripture. Sincere Buddhists may, despite the Dalai Lama's endorsement, bristle at Kazemi's disregard for central Buddhist tenets like reincarnation and non-theism. Though flawed, the author, the Prince, and the Dalai Lama are to be commended for this multi-faith resource. (May)

Brandilyn Collins. Zondervan, $14.99 paper (320p) ISBN 9780310276449
Fans of Collins and her trademarked "Seatbelt Suspense" will find her usual blend of good storytelling and notable mystery in this standalone tale of murder and suspicion wrapped in a cloak of deceit. Joanne Weeks is a skip tracer—someone who looks for deadbeats, a profession worth reading the book to learn more about—and knows that Baxter Jackson killed his wife, who was Joanne's best friend. The investigation stalls until Jackson's second wife turns up dead and frightening events begin to unfold in Joanne's life. Who is the man who jumps in front of her car on a rainy night? Why is he urging her to find Melissa Harkoff, a foster child long gone from the scene? Did someone break into Joanne's home? What does the Jacksons' foster daughter know about Linda Jackson's murder? Collins provides an enticing read while posing tough questions about truth and lies, power and control, faith and forgiveness. This will cause readers to look for the deceit in their own lives, and give them a fine summer read. (June)

A SAINT FOR ALL REASONS: A Pocket Bible of 100 Saints for Every Situation
Tim Muldoon. QNY (, $12.99 paper (128p) ISBN 9780843713817
Despite the proliferation of books about the saints, there always seems to be room for one more way of organizing and presenting the lives of these exalted beings. Muldoon, a Catholic theologian who teaches at Boston College, has written a welcome addition to the genre in this handy little anthology with brief descriptions of 100 saints accompanied by short prayers and rituals. As indicated by the title, the book is arranged according to the causes each saint is known for advocating. People seeking support for sea travel, for example, can apply to Brendan the Navigator, while those suffering from chronic pain can petition Lydwina of Schiedam. There's even a saint for home décor issues: Catherine of Bologna. Muldoon's collection embraces the familiar (Augustine, Francis of Assisi) and the obscure (Pharaildis, Roch), and includes a list giving a saint for every day of the year as well as Internet links for downloading images of favorite saints. Even devotees of the classic Butler's Lives of the Saints are sure to enjoy this fun, compact guide to some of Christianity's holiest people. (May)


★ DAMAGED GOODS: A Jack McMorrow Mystery
Gerry Boyle. Down East, $24.95 (264p) ISBN 9780892727964
Robert Parker fans who have yet to discover Boyle will be pleasantly surprised by his suspenseful ninth crime novel set in Maine featuring former New York Times reporter Jack McMorrow (after 2004's Home Body). Jack, his social worker wife, Roxanne, and their young daughter, Sophie, become the target of deranged satanist Harland Wilton after Roxanne's inquiry into child abuse leads to the removal of Harland's two boys from his custody. Meanwhile, McMorrow pursues a story involving an enigmatic woman named Mandi, whose ad in the local paper offers companionship for hire. The journalist becomes increasingly curious about her, and having traced where she lives, he finds that she's been assaulted and unable to fend for herself. McMorrow arranges a safe haven for Mandi with a neighbor, even as Roxanne's qualms grow about his blurring his professional and personal lives. Boyle has succeeded in creating a likable lead whose sense of responsibility is reminiscent of Spenser as well as supporting characters with depth. (May)

Thaisa Frank. Phoenix, $22.95 (354p) ISBN 9781607477266
In her debut novel, Frank (A Brief History of Camouflage) presents a slightly fantastic tale of WWII, concerning an underground German bunker where multi-lingual intellectuals, spared the concentration camps, spend the war answering letters sent to concentration camp inmates who are, in all likelihood, already dead; called the Compound of Scribes, its mission is part record-keeping, part supernatural insurance plan, meant to keep the spirits of the dead from tipping off psychics to the Nazi's Final Solution. Despite their absurd (and potentially confusing) orders, the 50-some Scribes live in relative peace under the supervision of Elie and Gerhardt, lovers secretly working for the Resistance. Then a daunting task comes down from Goebbels himself—answer a letter from genius philosopher Martin Heidegger to his friend and optometrist Asher Englehardt, a prisoner in Auschwitz—setting events in motion that will threaten the lives of everyone in the compound. Taking readers to a curiously polyglot netherworld, a population removed from the horrors of the Reich even as it deals in some of its most intimate dispatches, Frank's vision of the Holocaust is original and startling, with compelling characters and a narrative that's both explosive and ponderous. (May)