In a season of books from big names—note Bruce Springsteen and Amy Schumer—there’s happily room for many more stories: tales of unexpected heroes helping others or bearing misfortune with humor and courage, stories of athletic triumph, bios of intriguing historical figures, and more.
Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend
Deirdre Bair. Doubleday/Talese, Oct. 25
National Book Award–winning biographer Bair gets at the truth behind this eternally fascinating man, who was equal parts charismatic mobster, doting father, calculating monster, and a major player in American gangster mythology.
The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood
Belle Boggs. Graywolf, Sept. 6
An exploration of the natural, medical, psychological, and political facets of fertility, in which Boggs distills her time of waiting into a contemplation of fertility, choice, and the many possible roads to making a life and making a family.
Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen. Simon & Schuster, Sept. 27
The Boss tells the story of his life: “Writing about yourself is a funny business.... But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.”
The Brand New Catastrophe
Mike Scalise. Sarabande, Jan. 31
A raucous family memoir and a funny, moving, and sharply observed exploration of the public and private theaters of illness.
The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes
Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Jeffrey E. Stern. PublicAffairs, Aug. 23
The true story of the attempted terrorist attack on a Brussels train bound for Paris earlier this year, in which tragedy was averted by the heroic actions of three young men.
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
Amy Schumer. S&S/Gallery, Aug. 16
Comedian, writer, producer, and actress Schumer reflects on her childhood antics and her rise to stardom, in a series of very personal essays.
Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy
Mike Love and James S. Hirsch. Penguin/Blue Rider, Sept. 1
Love tells the story of his five-decade career as a member of one of the most popular American bands in history.
Guilty Things: A Life of Thomas DeQuincy
Frances Wilson. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Oct. 4
The riches-to-rags story of the last of the romantics—a 19th-century opium eater, celebrity journalist, and professional doppelgänger.
The Nine of Us: Growing Up Kennedy
Jean Kennedy Smith. Harper, Oct. 25
Joe and Rose Kennedy’s last surviving child takes an intimate look back at the large close-knit family when all the siblings lived under one roof.
When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to Soccer’s Summit
Carli Lloyd and Wayne Coffey. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sept. 27
A U.S. Women’s National Soccer star offers a look inside the team, as well as inside her own head as an athlete.
Memoirs & Biographies Listings
Cockroaches by Scholastique Mukasonga, trans. by Jordan Stump (Oct. 4, trade paper, $18, ISBN 978-0-914671-53-4), is the story of growing up a Tutsi in Hutu-dominated Rwanda, as a happy child in a loving family, all wiped out in the genocide of 1994. The work offers a bittersweet depiction of family life and an unforgettable world of love, grief, and horror.
Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing by Jennifer Weiner (Oct. 11, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-4767-2340-2). A #1 New York Times bestselling author makes her first foray into nonfiction, Weiner takes the raw stuff of her personal life and spins it into a collection of funny and moving essays on modern womanhood.
Freddie Mercury: A Kind of Magic by Mark Blake (Sept. 6, hardcover, $34.99, ISBN 978-1-4950-3011-6). Here is a tribute to one of rock’s most dazzling front men. As the lead singer of Queen, Mercury’s amazing four-octave voice was a distinctive element in the band’s unique sound, resulting in more than a dozen million-selling albums through the 1970s, ’80s, and early ’90s.
The Word Detective: Searching for the Meaning of It All at the Oxford English Dictionary by John Simpson (Oct. 25, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-465-06069-6). The former chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary describes his 37-year journey through words, and how history and culture shape the language we use, and how we cope when words fail us. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Faustian Bargains: Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace in the Robber Baron Culture of Texas by Joan Mellen (Sept. 13, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-62040-806-3). Using Life magazine, Naval Intelligence files, and the unredacted FBI files on Mac Wallace, who crops up in various J.F.K. assassination conspiracy theories, investigative writer Joan Mellen skillfully connects these two disparate Texas lives and lends credence to the dark side of Lyndon Johnson.
Starved: A Nutrition Doctor’s Journey from Empty to Full by Anne McTiernan (Nov. 15, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-942094-28-9). One woman’s coming-of-age story relates how she triumphed over emotional and physical deprivation to become a successful doctor who today conducts research on the effects of diet, exercise, and weight loss on cancer and health.
Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield by Todd Mayfield and Travis Atria (Oct. 1, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-61373-679-1) tells the story of the author’s father, Curtis Mayfield, the vocalist and guitarist whose music played a vital role in the civil rights movement. “People Get Ready” was the black anthem of the time.
In the Mountains of Madness: The Life, Death, and Extraordinary Afterlife of H.P. Lovecraft by W. Scott Poole (Sept. 13, trade paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-59376-647-4). In this biography of the legendary writer, Poole reclaims the essence of Lovecraft in relation to the comics of Joe Lansdale, the novels of Stephen King, and some of the biggest blockbuster films in contemporary America.
The Clancys of Queens: A Memoir by Tara Clancy (Oct. 11, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-101-90311-7). A voice-driven memoir from a tough New York City native, her unusual upbringing included the guidance of her Irish cop father, her raucous Italian grandparents, and her vibrant mother’s millionaire boyfriend.
In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett (Sept. 13, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-101-90465-7). Relating the behind-the-scenes story of The Carol Burnett Show, this is Burnett’s love letter to a golden era in television, dissecting the elements that made the show successful for 11 years.
I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir by Brian Wilson and Ben Greenman (Oct. 11, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-306-82306-0). Beach Boy member Brian Wilson says about revisiting his memories: “I’ve had a whole lifetime to take them in. Now I have a whole book to put them out there.” 125,000-copy announced first printing.
Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend by Deirdre Bair (Oct. 25, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-385-53715-5). With exclusive access to Capone’s descendants, National Book Award–winning biographer Bair gets at the truth behind this eternally fascinating man, who was equal parts charismatic mobster, doting father, and calculating monster.
Alfred Hitchcock by Peter Ackroyd (Oct. 25, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-385-53741-4). The acclaimed British author writes a gripping short biography of the master of suspense from his beginnings as a fat, strange, lonely, and fearful child to one of the most respected directors of the 20th century, with cameos from his famous film stars.
Justin Trudeau: The Natural Heir by Huguette Young, trans. by George Tombs (Aug. 16, trade paper, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-4597-3572-9). Journalist Young retraces the steps of one of Canada’s most compelling and enigmatic figures from his early days to the height of power, and gives a rare look at the real Trudeau.
Darling Days: A Memoir by IO Tillett Wright (Sept. 27, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-236820-1) tells of a young woman’s coming of age, a tale of gender and identity, freedom and addiction, rebellion and survival in the 1980s and 1990s, when punk, poverty, heroin, and art collided in the urban bohemia of New York’s Lower East Side. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Avid Reader: A Life by Robert Gottlieb (Sept. 13, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-27992-9) is a spirited and revealing memoir by the celebrated editor of the New Yorker and Knopf, where his list included Toni Morrison, John Cheever, Doris Lessing, John le Carré, and Bill Clinton, among others.
Guilty Thing: A Life of Thomas De Quincey by Frances Wilson (Oct. 4, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-16730-1) is the riches-to-rags story of one of the most mysterious members of Wordsworth’s circle and the last of the Romantics—opium eater, celebrity journalist, and professional doppelgänger.
Remembering Katharine Hepburn: Stories of Wit and Wisdom About America’s Leading Lady by Ann Nyberg (Oct. 1, hardcover, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-4930-2545-9). Journalist and news anchor Nyberg delves into the long, extraordinary life of Katharine Hepburn through the personal stories of those whose lives she influenced, with photographs and quotes from Hepburn.
Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction by Elizabeth Vargas (Sept. 13, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-4555-5963-3). ABC’s 20/20 anchor Vargas addresses her time in rehab, her first year of sobriety, and the guilt she felt as a working mother who could never find the right balance. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood by Belle Boggs (Sept. 6, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-55597-749-8) explores the natural, medical, psychological, and political facets of fertility. Boggs distills her time of waiting into a contemplation of fertility, choice, and the many possible roads to making a life and making a family.
Truffle Boy: My Unexpected Journey Through the Exotic Food Underground by Ian Purkayastha, with Kevin West (Aug. 23, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-316-38395-0), recounts the journey of a young misfit, who, as a purveyor of truffles and other highly desired specialty foods, built a devoted clientele of New York’s chicest chefs and restaurateurs. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Just Getting Started by Tony Bennett (Nov. 15, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-247677-7). The legendary Bennett crafts a personal tribute to the people, places, and things that have inspired, influenced, and shared invaluable life lessons with him over his 80 years in the spotlight. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
The Nine of Us: Growing Up Kennedy by Jean Kennedy Smith (Oct. 25, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-244422-6). The last surviving child of Joe and Rose Kennedy depicts this large, close-knit family with an intimate and illuminating look at a time when she and her siblings laughed and learned under one roof. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Flaubert by Michel Winock, trans. by Nicholas Elliott (Oct. 17, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-674-73795-2). Winock’s biography situates Gustave Flaubert’s life and work in France’s century of great democratic transition, observing that Flaubert’s hatred of the ignorant bourgeoisie, who embodied every vice of the democratic age, became a source of literary inspiration.
The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age by Gino Segrè and Bettina Hoerlin (Oct. 11, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-62779-005-5) is the first full-scale biography of the Nobel Prize–winning physicist and one of the fathers of the atomic age.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to Soccer’s Summit by Carli Lloyd and Wayne Coffey (Sept. 27, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-544-81462-2). The U.S. women’s national soccer team star takes readers inside the women’s national team and inside her head as an athlete who willed herself to perform at the highest levels of competition. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Accidental Life: An Editor’s Notes on Writing and Writers by Terry McDonell (Aug. 2, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-101-94671-8). Editor, journalist, and publishing entrepreneur McDonell offers a memoir about writers, writing, editing—and the fast-paced, high-stakes life in the magazine publishing business, with its pressures, joys, and obsessions.
George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones (Dec. 6, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-316-25744-2) is the definitive biography of one of the most influential filmmakers of the past 50 years, creator of the blockbuster Star Wars and Indiana Jones series. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers by Leslie Bennetts (Nov. 15, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-316-26130-2). Joan Rivers’s tumultuous and fascinating life was a dramatic roller-coaster of triumphant highs and devastating lows: the suicide of her husband and her feud with Johnny Carson among them. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Body of Water: A Sage, a Seeker, and the World’s Most Elusive Fish by Chris Dombrowski (Oct. 11, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-1-57131-352-2). A fly-fishing poet takes an assignment to meet a legendary Bahamian fishing guide in this tribute that is part fishing hagiography, part ecology, and part elegy. 6,000-copy announced first printing.
Forty Autumns: A Family’s Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Iron Curtain by Nina Willner (Oct. 4, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-241031-3). A memoir by a former American military intelligence officer tells the true story of her family—five women separated by the Iron Curtain for more than 40 years, and their reunion after the fall of the Berlin Wall. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Forward: A Memoir by Abby Wambach (Dec. 6, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-246698-3). The U.S. Women’s national soccer team captain—winner of the 2015 World Cup and the highest international goal scorer of all time—shares her story, her struggles, and her worldview: dream big and fight for a better world. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
That Hamilton Woman: Emma and Nelson by Barry Gough (Oct. 15, trade paper, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-59114-613-1). An exploration of the evolving scandal, the high political stakes, and the love affair itself between Adm. Horatio Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton, which influenced England’s fortunes; this is an empathetic portrait of a woman maligned in her times.
Hank: The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams by Mark Ribowsky (Nov. 22, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-63149-157-3). A heartbreaking portrait of country music’s founding father and “Hillbilly King ”who died in the backseat of a Cadillac at the age of 29: Williams was country music’s first real star—and its first tragic martyr.
The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan by Sebastian Mallaby (Oct. 11, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1-59420-484-5). The definitive biography of the major economic statesman of our time based on access to Greenspan and personal and professional contacts is also the story of the making of modern finance, for good and for bad.
Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy by Mike Love and James S. Hirsch (Sept. 13, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-399-17641-8) tells the story of Love’s legendary, raucous, and triumphant five-decade career as a member of the Beach Boys, the most popular American band in history—timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the release of the hit single “Good Vibrations.”
The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Jeffrey E. Stern (Aug. 23, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-61039-733-9) recounts the true story of an attempted terrorist attack on a Brussels train bound for Paris, in which tragedy was averted by the heroic actions of three young men. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis by Mark Shriver (Nov. 29, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-8129-9802-3) offers an intimate portrait of Pope Francis and his faith, based on interviews with the men and women who knew him simply as Jorge Mario Bergoglio in his native Argentina.
Rowman & Littlefield
Joyce Brothers: The Founding Mother of TV Psychology by Kathleen Collins (Sept. 15, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1-4422-6869-2) examines the life and career of the woman who was known primarily as a psychologist, and wrote a daily newspaper advice column for more than five decades until her death in 2013.
The Brand New Catastrophe by Mike Scalise (Jan. 31, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-941411-33-9). A raucous family memoir and medical adventure of sudden and strange medical disasters, this is a funny, moving and sharply observed exploration of the public and private theaters of illness. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity by Ronald Epstein (Jan. 24, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-2171-5). In a book about mindfulness and medical practice, Epstein introduces a revolutionary concept: by looking inward, health care practitioners can improve their capacity to provide high-quality care and the resilience to be there for their patients
The Dead Eye and the Deep Blue Sea: The World of Slavery at Sea—A Graphic Memoir by Vannak Anan Prum and Ben Pederick, text by Jocelyn Pederick (Sept. 20, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-609806-02-6) is the story of a Cambodian who was held hostage on a fishing vessel; a testament to the many fishermen trapped on boats in the Indian Ocean.
Simon & Schuster
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (Sept. 27, hardcover, $32.50, ISBN 978-1-5011-4151-5). Springsteen has been writing the story of his life for seven years: “Writing about yourself is a funny business.... But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.”
Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel by Dan Slater (Sept. 13, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-5011-2654-3). Two American teens recruited as killers for a Mexican cartel are pursued by a Mexican-American detective in this nonfiction thriller of the “lobos”: boys turned into pawns for cartels.
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (Aug. 16, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-5011-3988-8). Comedian, writer, producer, and actress Schumer reflects on her childhood antics and her rise to comedic stardom in this collection of very personal essays.
Confessions of a Wall Street Insider: A Cautionary Tale of Rats, Feds, and Banksters by Michael Kimelman (Jan. 3, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5107-1337-6). The cofounder of a hedge fund, arrested as part of a huge insider trading case, reflects on his path from rubbing elbows with the famous, making and losing hundreds of thousands of dollars daily, to his ultimate downfall. 20,000-copy announced first printing.
Stalin’s Englishman: Guy Burgess, the Cold War, and the Cambridge Spy Ring by Andrew Lownie (Oct. 4, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-250-10099-3) is a biography of Guy Burgess, the Brit who spied for the Russians; he was at the heart of the notorious Cambridge Spy Ring and a linchpin of Cold War espionage.
Univ. of Chicago
Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of Jazz Age America by Althea McDowell Altemus (Nov. 11, trade paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-226-42362-3) offers a peek inside the excitement, extravagances, and difficulties of being a working woman in the 1920s, through glimpses into women’s apartments, their friendships, and the dangers they faced.
Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol. 3: The War Years and After, 1939–1962 by Blanche Wiesen Cook (Oct. 11, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-0-670-02395-0). The third and final volume of the definitive biography of Eleanor Roosevelt takes us through WWII, F.D.R.’s death, the founding of the U.N., and her death in 1962.
Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films by Molly Haskell (Jan. 3, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-300-18693-2). Distinguished critic Haskell offers a film-centric portrait of the gifted movie director who has had a decades-long influence on American popular culture.