Dallas, November 22, 1963: anyone old enough to remember has a personal story about where they were on this fateful date and now, 40 years later, a plethora of books recall the tragic event that changed America. One of the most personal is by Nellie Connally, widow of Texas governor John Connally, who shares pages from her diary in From Love Field (Rugged Land). The New York Times staff has gone back into the paper's archives to revisit its newspaper coverage in Four Days in November (St. Martin's) and Sourcebooks/MediaFusion reports on the same period in President Kennedy Has Been Shot by the Newseum, which includes an audio CD. Tallfellow Press's We'll Never Be Young Again relives Kennedy's entire last week. The Zapruder Film, referring to the well-known home movie taken at the grassy knoll, analyzes the shooting, frame by frame (UP of Kansas) and WND Books puts forth a new theory in Triangle of Death, implicating a French heroin syndicate, the U.S. mob and the South Vietnamese government. Also among the titles are memorial photobooks, which include Phaidon's John F. Kennedy, A Life in Pictures and Remembering Jack, by JFK's personal photographer, Jacques Lowe (Bulfinch).
With the next presidential election a bit over a year away, pages are starting to heat up with opinions, concerns and rants from just about every political sector. Those worried about George W.'s leadership will want to read Molly Ivins's Bushwhacked (Random House), while criticism of the current administration's foreign policy, empire building and assault on the free press can be found in such tomes as George Soros's The Bubble of American Supremacy (PublicAffairs), The Dynastic Presidency (Viking) and Casualty of War (Prometheus). Conservative voices are loud and clear, too: Bill O'Reilly wonders Who's Looking Out for You? (Broadway); Dick Armey offers counsel in Armey's Axioms from Wiley and conservative talk-radio host Glen Beck discusses The Real America (Pocket).
Big Bios and Major Memoirs
Following Hillary's Living History, many will be curious to compare notes when Nigel Hamilton's Bill Clinton: An American Journey (Random House) hits bookshelves in late September; and another political powerhouse, Madeleine Albright, tells her complex story in Madam Secretary (Miramax). Knopf's bittersweet Brinkley's Beat collects interviews with those whom the much-respected newsman admired and in Every Second Counts (Broadway), Lance Armstrong, five-time Tour de France winner, proves the title's point. Two surprising names jump into the nonfiction fray this fall: Amy Tan ponders the future in The Opposite of Fate (Random House) and Anita Diamant's Pitching My Tent tussles with how to balance life's challenges (Scribner).
Fall's Make-Believe Magic
The new fiction lists bring many familiar names telling tales that range from the mystical to the malevolent. Two of these bestselling returnees—who have already received starred PW reviews—are David Guterson, whose Our Lady of the Forest (Knopf) concerns a girl in a Pacific Northwest logging town who sees visions of the Virgin Mary, and Frederick Forsyth, terrorizing his readers with multiple plot twists in his latest thriller, Avenger (St. Martin's/Thomas Dunne). Tim LaHaye (of Left Behind fame) teams up with a new partner, Greg Dinallo, to kick off an adventure series with Babylon Rising (Bantam), and Mitch Albom shifts from nonfiction (the bestselling Tuesdays with Morrie) to a tale about a new "heavenly" resident in The Five People You Meet in Heaven (Hyperion).
What to do when you're a super-popular author with an equally well-known alter ego? Well, if you're Nora Roberts, you pair the two and create a new writing duo—Remember When (Putnam) is co-authored by Roberts and the equally successful J.D. Robb. And what of the writing life? Martha Grimes takes on the publishing world in Foul Matter (Viking), pitting authors against each other in a duel to the bestselling finish—not so unlike real life, perhaps?