Calling All Bookworms

Its publication coinciding with Gemini, the eighth and final volume in Dunnett's House of Niccolo series, Elspeth Morrison's The Dorothy Dunnett Companion is, literally, an A—Z guide to the prolific historical novelist's extensive references in this and her other Renaissance series, "The Lymond Chronicles." Morrison, a Renaissance historian, identifies hundreds of figures, locales and episodes—from familiar creatures like Homer's Cyclops to more obscure references like "Pisse-pot prophet," the title of Thomas Brian's book about Nostradamus. She also explains meanings and sources for numerous quotations in Dunnett's books, e.g. "He pincheth and spareth and pineth his life," from Thomas Tusser's 16th-century farming guide, Taken from a Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandrie. Dunnett herself contributes a brief foreword. (Vintage, $15 paper 432p ISBN 0-375-72587-3; author tour; July)

A guide to an even more popular author comes from Dick Riley and Pam McAllister (coauthors of The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Sherlock Holmes): The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Shakespeare. Play by play (and covering the sonnets and long poems), the authors provide a plot summary, "Likely Source of Plot," "Notable Features" (Samuel Johnson and others "refused to believe" that the brutal Titus Andronicus was Shakespeare's work), historic productions, etc. With an engaging blend of homage and irreverence, this book renders accessible the Bard's entire dramatic oeuvre. Illus. (Continuum, $22.95 paper 288p ISBN 0-8264-1250-5; July)

In Lost Classics: Writers on Books Loved and Lost, Overlooked, Under-read, Unavailable, Stolen, Extinct, or Otherwise Out of Commission, assembled by Michael Ondaatje, Michael Redhill, Esta Spalding and Linda Spalding (editors of the Canadian literary magazine Brick), 74 writers honor books that hang in the world by a thread, if at all. Contributors include the editors; Margaret Atwood on Hjalmar Söderberg's Doctor Glas, which caused a scandal in Sweden in 1905; Anne Carson on Dhuoda's Handbook for William, dating to the 840s, wherein an exiled wife imparts "[t]actics of survival... in this world and the next" to her hostage son (whom she never saw again); and Robert Creeley on David Rattray's How I Became One of the Invisible, "an extraordinary record of... the last of the fifties." (Anchor, $13 paper 304p ISBN 0-385-72086-6; Aug. 28)

"A classic is a book that doesn't have to be written again," notes Carl Van Doren. A few pages earlier, Chaim Grade quips, "If anyone asks you if you've read all those books, it means you don't have enough books." Robert Kaplan and Harold Rabinowitz (A Passion for Books) quote hundreds of writers and bibliophiles—and a few bibliophobes—in Speaking of Books. Divided into chapters like "What to Read," "The Pleasures of Buying and Owning Books" and "Good Books and Bad," this book is chock-full of witticisms, advice, criticism (Ambrose Bierce's one-sentence review from 1929 goes, "The covers of this book are too far apart"), aphorisms, opinions, etc., by the eminent likes of Emily Dickinson, Walter Benjamin, Italo Calvino, Anna Quindlen and George Bernard Shaw. Ten b&w illus. (Crown, $16 paper 224p ISBN 0-609-60852-5; on-sale: June 26)

Crime Scenes

At 15, Jolene Babyak (Eyewitness on Alcatraz) was living on Alcatraz with her warden father when four prisoners famously attempted escape in 1962, digging through walls and disappearing forever on a homemade raft—all except Allen West, who was caught, and to whom Babyak attributes the initial plan. In Breaking the Rock: The Great Escape from Alcatraz, Babyak recounts factors that made the attempt possible—including crumbling facilities (due in part to salt-water toilets, whose leaking pipes eroded the concrete walls), new four-man dining tables (providing the escapees with privacy), a closed-down armed-guard tower and endless, painstaking planning by the prisoners. Numerous interviews with inmates and guards who knew the escapees, extensive investigation and Babyak's personal interest in and access to the events distinguish this account. Ninety-six b&w photos. (Ariel Vamp [P.O. Box 3496, Berkeley, Calif. 94703], $14.95 paper 288p ISBN 0-9618752-3-2; July)

JFK's pardons and the mob; Prohibition, Chicago's crime cadres and the staged kidnapping of " 'Jake the Barber'" Factor, "the black sheep brother of the cosmetics king, Max Factor"; lifetime sentences, attempted jail busts and the perseverance of "a rumpled private detective and an eccentric lawyer"—John W. Tuohy showcases all these and more sensational and shady happenings in When Capone's Mob Murdered Roger Touhy: The Strange Case of Touhy, Jake the Barber and the Kidnapping that Never Happened. The author started investigating Touhy's 1959 murder by Capone's gang in 1975 for an undergrad assignment. He traces the frame-job whereby Touhy was accused of the kidnapping, his decades in jail, his memoirs, his retrial and release and, finally, his murder, 28 days after regaining his freedom. Sixteen pages of photos. (Barricade [Suite 308-A 185 Bridge Plaza North, Fort Lee, N.J. 07024], $24.95 302p ISBN 1-56980-174-6; July)

Helping Hands for Self-Helpers

After nursing her husband through his slow decline from vascular dementia without finding any answers to her practical or emotional issues, Rosette Teitel wrote The Handholder's Handbook: A Guide for Caregivers of People with Alzheimer's or Other Dementias. Many of the 19 million Americans with an afflicted family member will appreciate her guidance, easily digestible with checklists for each chapter: "Be sure there are two railings along any steps the patient will need to use;" "Take fifteen minutes just for yourself every day." This warm, articulate former high-school teacher covers statistics, options and resources, from the patient's complaints (if they are imaginary, lend a sympathetic ear; if they are reality-based, advocate for him or her), to how to shower an adult, to home hospice care. (Rutgers Univ., $17 paper 204p ISBN 0-8135-2940-9; July)

While in an ICU, in rehab and in recovery at his parents' home after an accident left him partially paralyzed with a spinal cord injury, Stephen Thompson often asked himself, "Why did this have to happen to me?" But at the same time, he concluded, "Why not me?" Having survived "fears, anxieties, lack of choices, and humility of dependence," Thompson recounts his experiences with both excellent and incompetent health care professionals, regaining various capabilities (like eating and walking), flirting with nurses, befriending other patients, interacting with his family and old friends and, most of all, his alternating despair, depression, triumph and acceptance. Chatty, honest and inspiring, Genesis: A Portrait of a Spinal Cord Injury will be welcomed by survivors of serious injury and their loved ones. Photos. (Sunstone [], $26.95 288p ISBN 0-86534-318-7; July)

Llewellyn Publications (P.O. Box 64383-0383, St. Paul, Minn. 55164-0383; 800-THE-MOON) presents two new self-help titles in July. Tired of being told to administer sedatives instead of backrubs to save time and weary of participating in "the war against death" in her nursing career, professional tarot consultant Christine Jette turned to alternative treatments that "focus on the mind-body connection, as both a cause and a cure of illness." Tarot for the Healing Heart: Using Inner Wisdom to Heal Body and Mind offers spiritual counseling on meditation, developing psychic ability and holistic wellness practices, and 10 original tarot arrangements for healing. Illus. ($14.95 paper 240p ISBN 0-7387-0043-6) In Astrology & Relationships: Techniques for Harmonious Personal Connections, David Pond (Chakras for Beginners), a professional astrologer and yoga teacher, eschews the notion that certain signs are incompatible and contends that "all relationships can improve... once we learn to accept and compensate for our differences." The "patterns of the planets... through the heavens... just as your life experiences, are ever changing, never to repeat themselves, yet harmony exists." Pond tracks the planets through the zodiac, providing, with exercises, a model for self-exploration and relationship development. ($17.95 paper 368p ISBN -046-0)

Survivors of the Shoah

At the outbreak of WWII, Bulgaria, an ally of Germany, issued anti-Semitic legislation that allowed for the deportation of 11,343 Jews from the provinces of Thrace and Macedonia; all but 12 of them died in concentration camps. This action was met with such outrage on the part of Jews and non-Jews, including many political insiders and the Orthodox Church, that the legislation was rescinded and no other Bulgarian Jews were sent to certain death. Although the government appeased Germany by claiming that this measure was merely temporary, shortly thereafter, Bulgaria fell to the Soviet Union, and its remaining Jews, nearly 50,000 strong, were spared. A French intellectual with Bulgarian roots, Tzvetan Todorov (Facing the Extreme: Moral Life in the Concentration Camps) explores the tenuous combination of circumstances that saved Bulgaria's Jews in The Fragility of Goodness: Why Bulgaria's Jews Survived the Holocaust (trans. by Arthur Denner). (Princeton Univ., $26.95 190p ISBN 0-691-08832-2; July)

During his tenure as chaplain at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Remkes Kooistra, a Calvinist, explored the question Where Was God? The Lives and Thoughts of Holocaust and World War II Survivors. Drawing on his own experiences living and working in the Netherlands during the war (his father was imprisoned for "underground" activity and nearly died), other academics' writings and, predominantly, the oral histories of Jewish and non-Jewish survivors of WWII living in the Waterloo area, Kooistra has constructed an eloquent, painful book about persecution and redemption. Although many of these pieces are excerpts from previously published works, Kooistra does provide new information about the treatment of Dutch Jews during the war, including how many were hidden and saved from the Holocaust. (Mosaic [800-387-8992], $20 paper 224p ISBN 0-88962-757-6; July)

Many Paths to Healing

Roughly 200 people are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis each day, explains Margot Russell, who was herself diagnosed in 1998. In When the Road Turns: Inspirational Stories about People with MS, she presents 17 men and women who have committed themselves to persevering and living full lives despite their illness. Among them, Dave Perez, a divorced father who single-handedly cares for his three children, describes how he overcame his sense of despair as a victim of MS by focusing on living for his kids. Inbal Tsur, an Israeli artist, writes about how she has learned to manipulate a paintbrush with her mouth after losing the use of her arms. (Health Communications, $12.95 paper 304p ISBN 1-55874-907-1; Aug.)

"One morning, early in my struggle with AMD [age-related macular degeneration], I looked in the mirror as I was getting ready to shave and realized I wasn't there." Filled with grace and good humor, My Friend, You Are Legally Blind: A Writer's Struggle with Macular Degeneration by Charles Champlin (George Lucas—The Creative Impulse) is a brief foray into the author's lifelong love affair with books and how AMD has provided a detour but not a permanent roadblock in his continuing journey as a writer. Champlin, formerly a writer-correspondent for Time and Life magazines and then arts editor and principal film critic for the Los Angeles Times, is addressing others who have had to make similar adjustments in their lives because of macular degeneration and concludes his book with a list of helpful resources. (John Daniel [SCB, dist.], $8.95 paper 72p ISBN 1-880284-48-0; Aug.)

From his practice of treating severely traumatized Vietnam veterans in the late '70s and '80s, psychotherapist Edward Tick came to believe that traditional Western medicine could not adequately heal deeply wounded souls and he embarked on an exploration of healing practices worldwide. His search brought him to ancient Greece and what he claims are the roots of modern medicine. In The Practice of Dream Healing: Bringing Ancient Greek Mysteries into Modern Medicine, Tick (Sacred Mountain) introduces readers to the Greek mythological figure of Asklepios, who was believed to be the first spiritual healer or psychiatrist and to those today who practice his spiritual healing methodology, including a cardiologist turned psychiatrist and a Christian priest. Tick takes readers along on the healing journeys he has experienced and witnessed in others. Agent, Susan Schulman. 25-city author tour.(Theosophical/Quest, $18.95 paper 300p ISBN 0-8356-0799-2; Aug.)

Psychic Echo Bodine (Echoes of the Soul), who has appeared on Sally Jessy Raphael and other TV shows, offers a light, friendly introduction to the power of intuition in A Still, Small Voice: A Psychic's Guide to Awakening Intuition. Since she was a child, Bodine was encouraged to trust her inner voice: the one, her mother explained, in her gut, not in her mind. But it took years of experience and affirmation to convince Bodine, who considered herself a highly logical person, to follow her intuition. Using anecdotes of her own experiences, Bodine exposes readers to the intuitive power she claims each of them has. 25,000 first printing; $25,000 ad/promo.(New World Library [PGW, dist.], $12.95 paper 144p ISBN 1-57731-136-1; June 24)

Art Sites and Visions

Documenting the painter's London live/ work space as he left it, 7 Reece Mews: Francis Bacon's Studio lovingly takes stock of the late Irish artist's stacked canvases, crushed paint tubes, shelves of books, bust of Blake, on-the-wall color tests and stacks of assorted ephemera as he left them in 1992. Irish photographer Perry Ogden took the 60 carefully framed color photos here, and Bacon's companion John Edwards contributes an introductory essay. The studio has since been painstakingly packed up and shipped to Dublin's Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. (Thames & Hudson, $24.95 120p ISBN 0-500-51034-2; Sept. 1)

What do Gertrude Käsebier's photo "Heritage of Motherhood," Albrecht Dürer's woodcut Life of the Virgin series and Our Lady of Guadalupe spray cans have in common? All reflect Divine Mirrors: The Madonna Unveiled, in which multiple images and essays on the virgin mother attempt to elucidate her hold on world culture. Melissa R. Katz, assistant curator at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College (where the title exhibition is permanently housed) and Robert A. Orsi (The Madonna of 115th Street), a professor of American religious history at Harvard Divinity School, have assembled six essays (the most intriguing being Ifeanyi Anthony Menkiti's "In a Corner of Africa: Reflections on the Virgin Mary") and a plethora of b&w and color images from the exhibit. (Oxford, $50 324p ISBN 0-19514-557-7; $29.95 paper -558-5; Aug 15)

More than 500 million years of the earth's history has been commissioned by Ithaca, New York's Museum of the Earth, set to open next year. The history comes in the form of 544 contiguously painted panels by upstate New York artist Barbara Page, taking observers from the Cambrian to the Creataceous (and beyond), and gathered here in Rock of Ages, Sands of Time. Beautifully printed and bound in a horizontal format and blurbed by Stephen Jay Gould, among others, the book includes commentary by Paleontological Research Institution director Warren Allmon and foreword by photographer Rosamond Wolff Purcell (Crossing Over)—in addition to superb panel-by-panel reproductions of the paintings. (Univ. of Chicago, $45 374p ISBN 0-226-64479-0; July 15)

Waterside Modernism

For a good beach read (or a distraction from traffic on the Long Island Expressway) the coffee table—sized Weekend Utopia: Modern Living in the Hamptons chronicles successive waves of refuge seekers and the architectural innovations they spurred on, culminating in New York's beachfront babylon. After a decade as an East Hampton Star columnist and with his current gig as a House & Garden contributing editor, Alistair Gordon has an insider's knowledge of the area, which he supplements with 75 color and 100 b&w illustrations and photos. From the late-19th-century "Tile Club" to Pollock, De Kooning & Co. to today's moguls, Gordon's eye for the convergence of arts, architecture and commerce is unerring. (Princeton Architectural Press, $45 184p ISBN 1-56898-272-0; July)

A huge influence on big Hamptons builder Charles Gwathmey, not to mention on many others, was Swiss genius Charles Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier (1887—1965). Columbia University architectural historian Kenneth Frampton, author of the standard textbook Modern Architecture, here offers his entry in the T&H World of Art series. The book covers Le Corbusier's life and projects, from blocks of the 1920s Ville Contemporaine to Ronchamp Cathedral in Notre Dame-du-Haut to work in India and for Harvard. As a short introduction, it complements Charles Jenck's massive, opinionated Le Corbusier and the Continual Revolution in Architecture from Marsilio last year. (Thames & Hudson, $14.95 paper 232p ISBN 0-500-20341-5; June 25)

And for a blow-by-blow of two months in the life of the master, there is now Le Corbusier in America: Travels in the Land of the Timid, which chronicles Père Corbu's fruitless 1935 trawl for commissions. Northeastern University professor of art and architecture Mardges Bacon painstakingly (with more than 195 mostly b&w illustrations) but compellingly follows Corb on the trip that would result in his memoir When the Cathedrals Were White: A Journey to the Country of Timid People, from which she cribs her title. Arriving in New York, Le Corbusier made stops at MoMA, Columbia, Yale and Vassar, moving through to Michigan and beyond, lecturing and inciting architectural controversy at every point—yet leading, Bacon argues, to a subsequent "Americanization" of his work. (MIT, $59.95 396p ISBN 0-262-02479-9; June)

On the Fly

Nick Lyons presents Traver on Fishing, a treasury of essays and yarns by the author known as Robert Traver (pen name of former Michigan DA and judge John Voelker, who, following the success of Anatomy of a Murder, was able to retire from his legal work to fish full-time). Part personal experience and part fictional musings, Traver's essays (many of them selected from his three previous fishing books: Trout Madness, Anatomy of a Fisherman and Trout Magic) are lyrical, insightful and as enticing as the trout he gamely pursues, most especially at his favorite spot, Frenchman's Pond, with a tin cup of bourbon and a stogie. (Lyons, $29.95 240p ISBN 1-58574-296-1; July)

In the 20 years he has had to fish and write about fishing since releasing What the Trout Said, Datus Proper has written dozens of stories about the palpable magic that occurs when an angler with his fly meets up with a fish in his stream. Collected here and aptly titled Running Waters: Where Angler, Fish, and Fly Are Destined to Meet, these wry and witty essays range through childhood to adulthood, encompassing the waters Proper's fished, the people he's met along the way and the fish—his beloved brook trout, specifically—that have given him a run for his money. (Lyons, $24.95 192p ISBN 1-58574-280-5; July)

Pop Reflections and Mutations

"[F]rom the outer edges of pop" comes 45, a hilarious, self-scrutinizing memoir of sorts by member of British pop-band KLF Bill Drummond (coauthor of Bad Wisdom), writing in his 45th year. Fueled by a blurry but purposeful "love of pop's backwater" (also defined as "unsuccessful... [d]eluded... cheap and nasty and mistaken" pop music), he travels several times to Helsinki—sometimes with his kids, often with heavy metal rocker Mark Manning, aka Zodiac Mindwarp—to record such bands on the label he owns. Mainly, Drummond proffers what every pop-music intellectual and intellectual fan of pop music dreams of—a jaded, devotional, well-wrought tribute to and mockery of his ridiculous and glorious art. (HarperCollins UK [Trafalgar Square, dist.], $22.95 368p ISBN 0-316-85385-2; July 15) The "ever-chimerical... utterly singular sound maelstrom without boundary or inhibition" that is Beck is paid prolix tribute by Nevin Martell (Dave Matthews Band: Music for the People) in Beck: The Art of Mutation. This biography—cum—musicology ranges from his unconventional, artistic family (he grew up watching Truffaut movies; his avant-garde grandfather named The Velvet Underground) to his creative, high school—drop-out L.A. youth to his inchoate neo-folk open-mic East Village days to his continuously rising star, with analyses of his music and milieu throughout. Though slimmer than Rob Jovanonic's Beck!: On a Backwards River (Forecasts, Mar. 12), Martell's hip, intelligent critique and enthusiasm for Beck's "zeitgeist-seizing slice of pop postmodernism" alongside many quotations and photos of "the outside insider" will garner big sales. (Pocket, $14.95 paper 146p ISBN 0-7434-1151-X; July)

Celluloid Pages

The perky, much-loved, faux-Cockney British television star at long last divulges her life story in Wendy Richard... No 'S': My Life Story. With her chin up, Richard recounts her struggles as a single mum putting her son, Richard, through acting classes; the deaths of her parents; her 12-year stint as Shirley Brahms in Are You Being Served? and her 15 years as Pauline on East Enders; an abusive marriage and another failed one; attempted blackmail by an ex-boyfriend; a serious bout with breast cancer; travels with her current partner and many more episodes in this chummy, forthright autobiography. (Simon &Schuster International, $25 292p ISBN 0-7432-1870-1; July)

Aspiring TV writers will find practical insight via studies of Marion Hargrove (Maverick; The Waltons), Joseph Dougherty (thirtysomething) and Michael Kozoll (Hill Street Blues), complete with sample scripts, in Prime-Time Authorship: Works About and by Three TV Dramatists by Douglas Heil (writer and producer of the film The Story of the Cat). Pointing to recent shows like Xena: Warrior Princess, The Sopranos and La Femme Nikita that have revitalized the dramatic genre, he posits that "auterism" as it exists in film—"the notion that a motion picture can embody the intentions and sensibility of a single person"—can likewise surface in TV writing. (Syracuse Univ., $19.95 paper ISBN 0-8156-2879-X; July)

A member of the Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers (Beijing Film Academy class of 1982, the first filmmakers schooled post—Cultural Revolution), Zhang Yimou has earned awards and comparisons to Jean-Luc Goddard and Ingmar Bergman for such films as Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern, both initially banned in China. He operates in a precipitous space between governmental sanction (thanks to his success) and his own opinions on oppression—particularly sexism—in China. In Zhang Yimou: Interviews (part of the University of Mississippi's Conversations with Filmmakers series), edited by assistant professor of film studies at University of Michigan Frances Gateward, Zhang talks with 17 critics about censorship, cinematography and his foreign investors, among other topics. (Univ. of Mississippi, $46 200p ISBN 1-57806-261-6; July)

August Publication

The author of The Myth of Political Correctness: The Conservative Attack on Higher Education and Newt Gingrich: Capitol Crimes and Misdemeanors, John K. Wilson issues a call for "tactical radicalism": the left, which, he avers, suffered mightily under Clinton's centrist leadership, must effectively mobilize itself and become as well-oiled and fully entrenched a political machine as the right. With candor, humor and pith, Wilson's How the Left Can Win Arguments and Influence People: A Tactical Manual for Pragmatic Progressives upholds the premise that, first and foremost, the U.S. is a country founded on progressivism. (New York Univ., $15.95 paper 288p ISBN 0-8147-9363-0; Aug. 15)

July Publications

Una Storia Segreta: The Secret History of Italian American Evacuation and Internment during World War II looks at "both the secret shame of those who suffered the wartime restrictions, and the dirty little secret of those who imposed them." These words, from Lawrence DiStasi's (Dream Streets: The Big Book of Italian American Culture) introduction to his seminal book on the internment of Italian-Americans during WWII (with a foreword by Sandra M. Gilbert), reveal what Japanese-American detainees and their descendants already know too well about the wartime experience. DiStasi has marshaled a group of potent and moving essays—personal narratives of ancestors and others who were detained, arrested, evacuated or who just disappeared and some more scholarly examinations of our government's treatment of the more than half a million Italian immigrants—many of them naturalized U.S. citizens—whose lives were turned upside down. B&w illus. (Heyday, $21.95 paper 352p ISBN 1-890771-40-6; July)

In 1911, at the age of 73 (just three years before he died), John Muir embarked alone on a 40,000-mile journey to South America and Africa, during which he kept extensive journals and wrote considerable correspondence—none of which has been published until now. Edited by Muir scholar Michael P. Branch, associate professor of literature and environment at the University of Nevada, Reno, John Muir's Last Journey: South to the Amazon and East to Africa—Unpublished Journals and Selected Correspondence is a rich and fitting tribute. The revelation of Muir's aspirations as a world traveler and, in particular, his fascination with the Amazon, asserts Branch, completes the understanding of a naturalist best known for his founding of the Sierra Club and his conservation efforts in the American West. B&w illus. (Island/Shearwater, $27.50 330p ISBN 1-55963-640-8; July 24)

In 1968, when Appalachian school teacher and union organizer Memphis Tennessee Garrison was 78 years old, she recounted her life story—reaching back to a time when members of her family were slaves, up through the years when U.S. Steel ran the county (including its schools) and into the "civil rights struggle." Anecdotally rich, Memphis Tennessee Garrison: The Remarkable Story of a Black Appalachian Woman fills the gap in historical accounts of mining, "which have largely ignored black miners," according to editors Ancella R. Bickley and Lynda Ann Ewen. Of particular interest is her work in the NAACP and her recollections of its less-remembered cultural mission in the black community—organizing the Negro Artists Series—as well as its political one. Historical afterword by Joe W. Trotter. Photos. (Ohio Univ., $17.95 paper (274p) ISBN 0-8214-1374-0) -0; Aug. 15)