Battle Aftermath

"The line is paper-thin between audacity, one of the greatest of all military virtues, and recklessness, one of the greatest vices," proclaims Richard S. Wheeler in his foreword to Custer and the Little Bighorn: The Man, the Mystery, the Myth by Jim Donovan. The Dallas literary agent and motivational author (This Is Your Life, Not a Dress Rehearsal) explores possible reasons for Custer's seemingly unnecessary risk and the hundreds of resulting deaths. A plethora of b&w photos, paintings and maps, and prominent endorsement by historical novelists Wheeler and Larry McMurtry (with a quotation on the cover) will attract a large lay audience, though the book has enough spade work to attract scholars. (Voyageur, $35 224p ISBN 0-89658-531-X; June) A reluctant appointee to the Roberts Commission that investigated Pearl Harbor, Maj. Gen. Henry Dozier Russell hoped, when he started out, to disprove suspicions that "the entire truth about Pearl Harbor had never been told." By the end of the investigation in 1944, he'd been disillusioned by the commission's findings and sworn to secrecy by the War Department. In 1946, he dictated his memoir, Pearl Harbor Story, never made public and only recently discovered by WWII veteran David L. Mincey. "Contrary to the general impression, the Japanese were not... attempting to lull us into a sense of security. They were telling us in the very plainest of language that they would fight before they would permit us to dominate the Orient," writes Russell. With compelling firsthand evidence, Russell further dispels the accepted wisdom that the U.S. was surprised by the attack on December 7, 1941. (Mercer Univ., $18 paper 160p ISBN 0-86554-769-6; May)

Eastern Images

Part of the al-Sabah Islamic art collection at the Kuwait National Museum, the hundreds of pieces in Glass from Islamic Lands date from the sixth to the 19th century, originated primarily in the Middle East and Asia and had been exported all over the world before the al-Sabah family assembled them. Stefano Carboni, associate curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has arranged the work chronologically, with 345 color and b&w photographs of lovely glasswork. This catalogue is one of the few U.S. publications devoted to glass from Islamic countries. (Thames & Hudson, $65 414p ISBN 0-500-97606-6; May 28)

Eric Valli filmed Himalaya, a box-office hit in his native France, for nine months in "one of the most isolated and highest areas in the world." Though fictional, the film is closely based on experiences of several of Valli's Tibetan intimates and acquaintances, and performed mostly by nonactors. National Geographic photojournalist Debra Kellner, with Valli, offers a book about the making of the movie, also called Himalaya. Combining stills from the movie with images of the cast and crew in action (200 in total)—a boom operator dangling a mike over a caravan of galloping yaks; crew members lowering a fiberglass yak down a precipice—Kellner also includes her journal entries from the staged salt-delivery trek that is the film's main focus. (Abrams, $24.95 paper 168p ISBN 0-8109-2128-6; June)

"In India images are loaded, they explode with meaning... they have great potential," writes Peter Nagy, former director of New York's Nature Morte gallery, in his introduction to Cock: Indian Firework Art. Firework packaging labels sporting bright, multicolored images of Krishna, Vishnu, Ganesh and other Hindu deities emblazon this concertina picture book for adults. In India, fireworks play a role in the Festival of Lights, a religious holiday illuminated by thousands of candles and fireworks, which has developed also into "frenzied nights of partying and gambling," a suitable starting point for this eye-catching pop-cultural treatment—assembled by packaging expert Luigi Giannuzzi and Gavin Aldred and printed on glossy, thick card stock—of a commercialized religious aesthetic. The title word refers to a popular brand of Indian fireworks. (Westzone [Trafalgar Square, dist.], $45 86p ISBN 0-9537438-1-0; May)

American Artists

When photographer Fern Logan was an art student in the 1970s, African-American artists were represented in academia even less well than today. To rectify this blanket omission, Logan embarked in the mid-'80s on The Artist Portrait Series: Images of Contemporary African American Artists. In her introduction, Deborah Willis, curator at the Center for African American History and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution, writes, "Logan's portraits 'unfix' the 'shadows' of photographic construction to reveal... the self-construction of the sitter." Logan's 61 subjects include Alvin Ailey, Maya Angelou and Romare Bearden as well as important, lesser-known artists like sculptor Selma Burke (commissioned to make a plaque with FDR's likeness, which was then used on the dime without her permission or any recompense), sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett and painter Ed Clark. (Southern Illinois Univ., $30 146p ISBN 0-8093-2379-6; May) "[M]y father was trying to build us Eden out of plywood, homemade tools, hard work and an imagination fed by the hand of God," writes Thelma Finster Bradshaw in her biography of her father, Howard Finster: The Early Years: A Private Portrait. Bradshaw is not speaking metaphorically; Finster filled their garden with miniature churches and mansions adorned with onion domes, turrets and spires, a gazebo, a playhouse, a tiny museum and religious iconography. Originally a Baptist preacher, the eminent octogenarian folk artist "now uses paints instead of the pulpit to deliver his sermons." Blending art with function, Finster deploys many media—wood, paint, ceramics—to make kitchenware, toys, clocks, bicycles, buildings and sculptures that incorporate photographs, his primitivist painting style and endless discarded materials. Bradshaw's sentimental, evangelical tone will put off some readers, but her family-eye view gives the book down-home appeal. Photos and illus. (Crane Hill, $24.95 paper 134p ISBN 1-57587-171-8; June)

Showcasing "settings in which daily life and private acts can only be imagined," Roy Lichtenstein: Interiors presents (mostly previously unpublished) work from a 1999 exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art curated by museum director Robert Fitzpatrick and Dorothy Lichtenstein. The book features works from the artist's nudes series of the '90s and other work from the last decade. Continuing to borrow images and ideas from pop culture, Lichtenstein recast them in his inimitable, humorous, comic-strip style characterized by oversize pixels, flat light and primary colors. Also included are sketches, drawings, clippings from his scrapbook and photos of his sculptures. Essays by the two curators, the late Leo Castelli and others cover biography, reception and reminiscence. (Hudson Hills, $45 104p ISBN 1-55595-205-4; May)

Business Bets

Recognizing knowledge as a strategic asset, Corning transformed itself from a maker of kitchen products for more than a century into the inventor of the optical fiber that now supports the Internet. In Corning: The Craft of Innovation, authors Margaret B.W. Graham and Alec T. Shuldiner argue that the company has not only improved its products over the years, it has also improved the processes by which it does business—a distinction that makes Corning an ideal model of a traditional manufacturing company that has kept pace with an ever-changing marketplace. (Oxford Univ., $29.95 448p ISBN 0-19-514097-4; June) "What do I want out of my life's work?" and "What am I willing to do to make it happen?" Glenn Van Ekeren (12 Simple Secrets of Happiness) asks his readers to consider these questions as they read 12 Simple Secrets of Happiness at Work: Finding Fulfillment, Reaping Rewards. Combining anecdotes, time-honored wisdom and contemporary insight, Van Ekeren's casual but earnest approach offers readers food for thought about how—in the midst of our harried, complicated lives—we can get more out of work than a paycheck. With a foreword by Zig Ziglar. (Prentice Hall Press, $11 paper 192p ISBN 0-7352-0255-9; June 5) With quotations that range from the profound to the ridiculous, The Quotable Investor mixes wisdom from such financial figures as Alan Greenspan and J.P. Morgan with the witticisms of Jane Austen and John Lennon. Edited by former Wall Street Journal senior writer Sanford Jacobs and featuring a foreword by the former Fed chairman and undersecretary of the treasury, Paul Volcker, this little book offers opportunity for amusement and reflection, and an opening line the next time a reader has to give a business speech. (Lyons, $20 224p ISBN 1-58574-278-3; June)

Happily Ever After

Psychotherapist Dina Bachelor Evan claims that 98% of the couples who come to her for counseling stay together—giving credence to the advice she offers in Break Up or Break Through: A Spiritual Guide to Richer Relationships. Written specifically for a gay and lesbian audience, its rules for good relationships invoke universal self-help themes such as respecting boundaries, overcoming personal limitations and creating intimacy. With its breathing exercises, "Spiritual Relationship Personal Inventory" tests and upbeat chakra-talk, it should appeal to New Age couples gay and straight. (Alyson, $14.95 paper 380p ISBN 1-55583-639-9; June)

After several false starts, Eric F. Fagan found his soul mate online and now firmly believes in the Internet's viability as a link to finding a life partner. Web savvy or not, readers ready to find companions will benefit from Fagan's organized, results-oriented approach—from suggested sites to instructions on creating an appealing but realistic profile and conversing online (e.g., avoid clichés or platitudes). Filled with useful anecdotes, Cast Your Net: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Your Soul Mate on the Internet approaches online love with dignity. Endorsements by John Gray (Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus) and Mark and Chrissy Donnelly (coauthors of Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul) will help this book stand out. Illus. (Harvard Common, $14.95 paper 288p ISBN 1-55832-189-6; June)

A book called The Ugly Man's Guide to Picking Up Women (and Keeping Them) may not sound promising, but Mark Patton offers some valuable, if humorous, insights (e.g., "to most women looks aren't everything"). Claiming to be living proof that an attractive, loving woman can be within reach, he reminds readers that being sincere, considerate and winning a woman's respect are goals any man can achieve. A clever jacket photograph featuring a lounging man with a paper bag over his head makes this guide a novelty item and enticing impulse purchase. (BRG Publishing [P.O. Box 50693, Minneapolis, Minn. 55405; 612-617-7717;], $12.95 paper 144p ISBN 0-9661144-7-7; June) "If I had to identify the biggest cause of marital unhappiness, I'd say it's the set of expectations we have about marriage in the first place," explains mental health and marriage counselor Lee Schnebly. Breezier than most how-to manuals, Being Happy Being Married: A Guide to Building a Better Relationship encourages readers to understand that making a good marriage requires hard work—and that achieving a perfect marriage may not be possible. Among her recommendations is that both partners set goals and, based on an understanding of their partner's desires, negotiate priorities. (Fisher, $15 paper 240p ISBN 1-55561-322-5; June)

To ensure that one's marriage lasts "as long as we both shall live" as opposed to the increasingly popular "as long as we both shall love," William J. Doherty (Take Back Your Kids) recommends that couples undertake daily "connection rituals" that facilitate "intentional marriage." In Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World That Pulls Us Apart, Doherty, the director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Minnesota, advises couples to avoid family and friends who undermine their marriage and to avoid sacrificing their relationship to their kids. (Guilford Publications [72 Spring St., New York, N.Y. 10012; 212-431-9800], $21.95 192p ISBN 1-57230-459-6; June 12)

Witnesses to Nature

On June 1, the New Press and the American Museum of Natural History present three more titles in their collaborative series of illustrated companions to the museum's exhibits. In Earth: Inside and Out, Edmond A. Mathez, a museum curator, brings together a team of scientists to explore questions such as why the earth, unlike any other planet in our solar system, has continents. ($19.95 paper 240p ISBN 1-56584-595-1) Although it wasn't until the 1960s that scientists realized that the earth is billions of years old, humans have contemplated the heavens since ancient times. Museum scientist Steven Soter and Hayden Planetarium director Neil de Grasse Tyson (The Sky Is Not the Limit) deliver an up-to-date survey of astrophysics (including discoveries by NASA scientists) in Cosmic Horizons: Astronomy at the Cutting Edge. ($24.95 paper 256p -602-8) Meanwhile, editor Michael Novacek, the museum's chief spokesperson on scientific study, attacks head-on what is arguably the most important issue confronting scientists today in The Biodiversity Crisis: Losing What Counts. At the core of the field is the recognition that without biodiversity, Earth as we know it cannot exist; of all the tens of millions of living species on the planet, only humans threaten this precise and precious balance. ($19.95 paper 224p -570-6) In Food Pets Die For, which has sold more than 20,000 copies, Ann N. Martin censured the pet-food industry with meticulous evidence of contaminants in commercial food that can cause degenerative diseases and even death. Now she's back with Protect Your Pet: More Shocking Facts, an exposé of inadequate regulation and unsavory industry practices. With perseverance, she eventually ferreted out the truth—confirmed by the head of one meat-processing company—that the U.S. permits the sale of condemned meat as pet food. Though it may provoke disgust and outrage, pet owners who want the best for their cats and dogs should read this book. (NewSage [PGW, dist.], $13.95 paper 208p ISBN 0-939165-42-2; May 25)

Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger (Animal Miracles) sensitively and enthusiastically champion the unique, spiritual bond between humans and our canine friends in Dog Miracles: Inspirational and Heroic True Stories. Going beyond the expected tales of dogs rescuing humans from danger, this collection of stories also explores the paranormal depths of canine-human communication and provides exercises for people interested in communicating telepathically with their dogs. (Adams Media Corp., $9.95 paper 256p ISBN 1-58062-475-8; May) Entertainment journalist and author Stephen M. Silverman (Funny Ladies: 100 Years of Great Comediennes) brings tongue-in-cheek humor to his scrapbook-style overview of canine celebrities and their human co-stars in Movie Mutts: Hollywood Goes to the Dogs. With the able assistance of his chocolate-colored retriever, Silverman breezily considers such cinematic milestones as Rin Tin Tin's smooth transition from silent films to talkies, Lassie's many reincarnations and Tom Hanks's penchant for canine sidekicks, in text accompanied by 135 funny and poignant illustrations, many in full color. Agent, Martha Kaplan.(Abrams, $19.95 112p ISBN 0-8109-4394-8; May). The creator of the controversial field of cognitive ethology, Donald R. Griffin (The Question of Animal Awareness) has spent more than three decades researching animal cognition. In a completely revised and updated edition of his classic, Animal Minds: Beyond Cognition to Consciousness, Griffin, now an associate of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, discusses his own and others' research findings including those of his critics. Although he admits "it is very difficult to gather convincing evidence about whether conscious experiences may occur in animals," he maintains that scientists like him have "show[n] that many animals behave in ways that strongly indicate that they are aware of their situation and how their behavior can affect it." Intended for others in the field, Griffin's book will enlighten, delight and even ruffle some feathers. (Univ. of Chicago, $27.50 352p ISBN 0-226-30865-0; May) The lively, full-color photos that leap from every page of Kit Coppard's (Big Cats) Africa's Animal Kingdom: A Visual Celebration are stunning, but hold no surprises for readers who enjoy wildlife photography. What distinguishes this book is its exhaustive wealth of information. Coppard presents an excellent encyclopedic guide to Africa and its myriad species. Providing the facts without fuss, his spare writing style underscores the book's visual drama. (PRC Publishing [Sterling, dist.], $24.95 paper 512p ISBN 1-85648-590-0; May)

June Publication

Coauthors of The Grief Recovery Handbook, John W. James and Russell Friedman join with psychotherapist Leslie Landon Matthews to present When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses. This compassionate manual addresses the nature of grief, purges common myths—the worst of which, the authors claim, is that time heals all wounds (only small, positive actions can heal a person, insist James, Friedman and Matthews)—and encourages adults to adopt a more healthy approach to grief themselves, so that they, in turn, can help children. (HarperCollins, $24 288p ISBN 0-06-019613-0)

May Publication

Culled from the photo exhibit Moments of Intimacy, Laughter and Kinship (M.I.L.K.) organized by New Zealand publisher Geoff Blackwell, the 100-plus images in Family: A Celebration of Humanity represent the endless shapes, sizes and colors that families come in. Funny, moving, tragic, surprising and most often joyful, these photos show people at life stages ranging from the newborn to the elderly and the deceased, though the definition of family here seems strictly biological. Contributors include Pulitzer-winner John Kaplan, Anne Bayin (with a photograph of mother Kim Phuc, goodwill ambassador for UNESCO and the napalm victim in Nick Ut's famous 1972 image from Vietnam), UNESCO award-winner Rajib De and Quoc Tuan. The collection introduces the M.I.L.K. trilogy, which will also include Love and Friendship. (Morrow, $50 192p ISBN 0-06-620969-2)