Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the PresentHarriet A. Washington. Doubleday, $27.95 (496p) ISBN 978-0-385-50993-0

This groundbreaking study documents that the infamous Tuskegee experiments, in which black syphilitic men were studied but not treated, was simply the most publicized in a long, and continuing, history of the American medical establishment using African-Americans as unwitting or unwilling human guinea pigs. Washington, a journalist and bioethicist who has worked at Harvard Medical School and Tuskegee University, has accumulated a wealth of documentation, beginning with Thomas Jefferson exposing hundreds of slaves to an untried smallpox vaccine before using it on whites, to the 1990s, when the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University ran drug experiments on African-American and black Dominican boys to determine a genetic predisposition for "disruptive behavior." Washington is a great storyteller, and in addition to giving us an abundance of information on "scientific racism," the book, even at its most distressing, is compulsively readable. It covers a wide range of topics—the history of hospitals not charging black patients so that, after death, their bodies could be used for anatomy classes; the exhaustive research done on black prisoners throughout the 20th century—and paints a powerful and disturbing portrait of medicine, race, sex and the abuse of power. (Dec. 26)

Becoming Charlemagne: Europe, Baghdad, and the Empires of A.D. 800Jeff Sypeck. Ecco, $25.95 (304) ISBN 0-06-079706-1

Sypeck affectionately peers behind the legends surrounding Charlemagne and magnificently chronicles four significant years in the emperor's life. From 796 to 800, Charlemagne, the king of the Franks, consolidated his kingdom through military exploits, religious diplomacy and political treaties. His love for order, his respect for education and books, his reverence for his religion and his dealings with Muslims established his reputation as a king to be feared and respected. In 800, Charlemagne's life and the destiny of Europe changed forever when Pope Leo III anointed the Frankish king as the emperor of Rome. Although the new emperor attempted to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western Christianity by marrying Irene, the empress of Constantinople, her subjects so feared the alliance that they kidnapped and exiled Irene, preventing Charlemagne from achieving this aim. Sypeck, who teaches medieval literature at the University of Maryland, paints a splendid portrait of the emperor's various supporters, including Isaac, his Jewish envoy to Baghdad; Harun al-Rashid, the legendary caliph of Baghdad who, though the two never met, believed that he and Charlemagne would be great military and political companions; and the elephant, Abul Abaz, a gift from Harun. Sypeck's history offers dazzling glimpses of Charlemagne's life and times and of his journey to become the legendary emperor. 11 b&w illus., 1 map. (Dec.)

False Self: The Life of Masud KhanLinda Hopkins. Other Press, $35 (568p) ISBN 978-1-59051-069-8

Tall, handsome, rich and eccentric, Masud Khan (1924—1989) was a striking figure in London psychoanalytic circles during the 1960s and '70s. The Muslim Punjabi was, Hopkins says, the "principal disciple" of the great British psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott. "The two men were a study in contrasts," writes Hopkins, a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. She intricately dissects their father-son/analyst-analysand relationship, showing how Winnicott may have failed to address the pathological traits that ultimately destroyed his protégé. Khan flourished in London for many years, socially, personally and professionally, gaining an international reputation as a psychoanalytic theorist. But he ended his life in deep disgrace, a lonely alcoholic who had been ousted by the British Psycho-Analytical Society for inappropriate social relationships with analysands, and he authored an anti-Semitic tract. Hopkins draws on Khan's extensive journals and correspondence, while quoting from fascinating, often paradoxical accounts by Khan's colleagues, patients, friends and former girlfriends. Depicting the complex impact on Khan of his opulent Indian upbringing, of Winnicott's death in 1971 and of Khan's divorce from star ballerina Svetlana Beriosa, whose drinking probably worsened his own alcoholism, Hopkins offers an unnerving and sympathetic portrait of the enfant terrible of postwar British psychoanalysis and convincingly suggests that Khan suffered from undiagnosed bipolar disorder. 8 pages of photos. (Dec.)

Harbor Boys: A MemoirHugo Hamilton. HarperCollins, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 0-06-078467-9

There's no waking from the nightmare of history in this haunting—and sometimes heavy-handed—follow-up to Hamilton's prize-winning memoir, The Speckled People. The author's coming-of-age in 1960s Dublin is dominated by his mother and father, she an anti-Nazi German immigrant, he an ardent Irish nationalist who bans the English language from their home. In this household, every conversation comes shackled to politics and tragedy—Hamilton's parents even compare Beatlemania to Nazism. No wonder the lad develops a Dostoyevskian guilt complex, forever imagining himself complicit in crimes he didn't commit, and longs "to have no past... no conscience and no memory." He escapes to a harbor-front job, but even there the Troubles loom when his Catholic boss feuds with a Protestant fisherman. The story often sags under the author's determination to set everyday happenings in dire historical context: when Hamilton fishes out a pal who fell into the harbor while retrieving a lobster pot, he immediately wishes, "I could bring others back as well... even those who died in Northern Ireland, even those who died in the Irish famine, or those who had been murdered in the Ukraine." But at his best, Hamilton writes with a wonderfully evocative feeling for character and landscape that brings to life the Ireland he grew up in. (Dec.)

The Art of Being a Woman: A Simple Guide to Everyday Love and LaughterVéronique Vienne, illus. by Ward Schumaker. Clarkson Potter, $18 (176p) ISBN 0-307-33724-3

To "get the hang of" being a woman, "you have to be willing to get rid of your self-doubts and acknowledge your innate gifts and talents," advises the author of the bestselling The Art of Doing Nothing, in this guide to achieving Gallic-style femininity and sophistication. Advising women to abandon flirtatiousness and, instead, cultivate "mental acuity," to celebrate other women as teacher—soul mates and to adopt her paradoxical interpretation of the sex wars, Vienne describes the sexiness of self-acceptance and of playfulness in bed, cautions against high achievers' obsessive focus on performance, extols the benefits of drifting afternoons spent window shopping and recommends housecleaning in a "nice dress" and heels while regarding the home as "an intimate partner: treat it as you would a lover." Offering similarly whimsical advice on beauty ("become radiant by keeping an incandescent secret smoldering below the surface of all your facial expressions"), she recommends giving in to love as "a prelude to falling in love with life." Divulging the secrets of the classic French woman's wardrobe and how to create a French salon-style soiree, Vienne inhabits a carefully cultivated persona of the cosmopolitan sophisticate. She dispenses advice about success and well-being that will infuriate and titillate in equal measure. (Dec.)

Naked in the Marketplace: The Lives of George SandBenita Eisler. Counterpoint, $26 (288p) ISBN 1-58243-349-6

For all her notorious affairs with men, Sand's passionate and unrequited attachment to her mother is the real love story of her life," writes noted literary biographer Eisler (Chopin's Funeral) in her bustling study of the great French Romantic writer's love life. Capturing the complexity of George Sand's relationship with her adored but largely absent working-class mother, Eisler analyzes the writer's various attitudes to class in light of her childhood, as she rapidly narrates Sand's remarkable transformation from rebellious young wife and mother to cross-dressing, controversial Parisian literary star. Treating Sand's autobiography with skepticism, Eisler emphasizes how Sand (1804—1876) also caused strife for others in her turbulent emotional life. Eisler authoritatively sketches the themes and philosophical preoccupations of Sand's novels in an age of revolutionary ferment, but places Sand's affairs center stage: from Alfred de Musset's "romantic passion run amok" to her political education by radical lawyer Michel de Bourges, and her long relationship with Chopin. Eisler's Sand is doomed to act out the insecurities of her childhood in an ugly, punitive relationship with her own daughter, Solange. As Eisler comments, referring to Sand by her real name, "It was Aurore, the motherless child, who was both the cause and victim of much of George's confusion and suffering." (Nov.)

The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in ArlesMartin Gayford. Little, Brown, $24.99 (352p) ISBN 0-316-76901-0

Van Gogh's reputation in the public imagination has been made as much by his descent into madness as by his art. Detailing the final year of his life and the "Studio of the South" in which Gauguin and Van Gogh painted side by side, Gayford brings the art back into focus. Explications of the works illuminate the collaboration—similar subjects find very different treatment by two entirely different temperaments. Yet their influence on each other is everywhere—a story that Van Gogh recommends to Gauguin finds its way into a painting; Van Gogh uses the jute canvas that is Gauguin's material of choice. While some of this is well-trodden territory, Gayford's narrative is genuinely dramatic as it moves toward Van Gogh's fateful end. Gayford makes exciting new connections between the tone of Van Gogh's correspondence and known scholarship about his probable bipolar disorder. The influences of literature, the news media and so-called "hygienic excursions" (visits to the local brothels) percolate in these letters and under the surfaces of the artists' canvases. So, argues Gayford, were they invading Van Gogh's mind. Though it is impossible to entirely understand what motivated these two great artists during their weeks together in Arles, these pages deliver as close and vivid an image as may be possible. 60 b&w illus. (Nov. 14)

Anne Morrow Lindbergh: First Lady of the AirKathleen C. Winters. Palgrave Macmillan, $24.95 (256p) ISBN 1-4039-6932-9

This biography focuses on Lindbergh's flying career, which she embarked upon after her 1929 marriage to Charles Lindbergh, already a hero for his historic nonstop transatlantic flight two years earlier. Drawing on an admirable array of research, aviation historian Winters documents how Charles trained his young wife to serve as copilot, navigator and radio operator on their long pioneering flights. In their new plane, Sirius, the Lindberghs set a speed record for flying from coast to coast. Winters details their flight to China and a five-month global survey flight that would advance commercial air travel, adventures that Anne (1906—2001) wrote about in North to the Orient and Listen, the Wind. It's clear that Anne fell in love with flying as well as with her husband, a driven, demanding man. Charles insisted that she fly while pregnant and argued for greater aviation challenges as their family grew. Though this is not a comprehensive biography, Winters deals briefly with the well-known aspects of Anne's life including the kidnapping and murder of the Lindberghs' first son and Charles's flirtation with Nazism. Anne's important role in early aviation has not been treated as extensively elsewhere. B&w photos, maps. (Nov.)

All Things Reconsidered: My Birding AdventuresRoger Tory Peterson, edited by Bill Thompson III. Houghton Mifflin, $30 (352p) ISBN 978-0-618-75862-3

Once, when Peterson was in a Nairobi restaurant, the headwaiter addressed him as "Bwana Ndege," or "Mr. Bird." And Mr. Bird he was: naturalist Peterson's 1953 classic, A Field Guide to the Birds, introduced a quick way of identifying live birds that is well known and used today as the Peterson Identification System. The Peterson Field Guide series is used by experts and novices alike. But Peterson also wrote a regular and delightfully personal column for Bird Watcher's Digest from 1984 until his death in 1996. This selection of small gems, carefully collected by current Digest editor Thompson, displays many of Peterson's little-known interests as well as fascinating descriptions of birding adventures in the wilds of Africa, Mexico and New York City. Peterson also displays an elegant and precise writing style. While there's often a certain elegiac quality to Peterson's last essays, in which he recalls some of his naturalist friends and peers who have died, this collection overall stands as a tribute to the joy he experienced through birding: "To take a chance once in a while and to get away with it is to feel alive." 80 color photos. (Nov. 16)

The Turkey: An American StoryAndrew F. Smith. Univ. of Illinois, $29.95 (288p) ISBN 0-252-03163-6

Food historian Smith, editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, discusses both fact and myth in this thorough and multifaceted history of the turkey. Smith believes the quintessentially American bird (we consume 240 million of them a year) can tell us about cultural issues and reveal something about being American. Dividing the book into a section on the turkey's history and another on historical recipes, the author hopes to give a comprehensive accounting of the bird. Beginning with a scientific description, the historical section covers turkey bones found in North America dating to 3700 B.C., then moves on to the introduction of domesticated turkeys into Europe by explorers of the New World. Methods of cooking from the 16th through the 19th centuries and efforts to preserve the disappearing wild turkey in the early 20th century follow. Even the turkey trot gets a mention. Short chapter sections keep the reading flowing, but the eye-glazing number of facts and dry prose can be overwhelming. Still, Smith has produced a well-researched, comprehensive, though somewhat scattered account of the bird most people take for granted. 22 photos. (Nov.)

Cry Rape: The True Story of One Woman's Harrowing Quest for JusticeBill Lueders. Univ. of Wisconsin/Terrace, $29.95 paper (296p) ISBN 0-299-21960-7

Lueders, news editor of a weekly Madison, Wis., paper, opens this real-life drama in the wee hours of Sept. 4, 1997, when Patty, a 38-year-old legally blind single mother sharing an apartment with her pregnant daughter, was raped in her bedroom by an intruder who held a knife to her neck. The rape was the beginning of a seven-year nightmare in which police, saying they couldn't find evidence of the rape, bullied Patty into saying she had lied, and she was charged with obstruction of justice. Patty almost went bankrupt trying to salvage what little was left of her reputation and sanity. Lueders spells out how Patty suffered from incompetence and bias at every level of law enforcement. The DA eventually dropped the charges against her, and DNA evidence helped convict the rapist, but some law enforcement officials continue to insist they did nothing wrong. This account by Lueders (An Enemy of the State: The Life of Erwin Knoll), one of the first people who went to bat for Patty, is a shocking revelation of the abuse rape victims are sometimes subjected to by the very people who should be seeking justice for them. (Nov.)

Good-bye to the Mermaids: A Childhood Lost in Hitler's BerlinKarin Finell. Univ. of Missouri, $29.95 (360p) ISBN 0-8262-1690-0

At the opening of this rich, descriptive memoir of WWII Berlin, Finell writes of the mermaids whose souls, according to legend, are the foam of the ocean she loved. Thus, the title evokes the childhood that was lost to the war, and equally the childlike desire to believe, as the author did, in what Hitler was selling. Most of Finell's family failed to share her belief—her divorced mother, an artist, did not, and her half-Jewish relatives certainly did not. Finell, who was six when the war began, lived through many of the quintessential German wartime situations. She participated in the Hitler Youth and fled her home during the bombing campaign, but much of this territory has been mined by previous writers (like Irmgard Hunt in On Hitler's Mountain). More compelling here are Finell's descriptions of the war's end and the immediate postwar years, as she deftly depicts the chaos, poverty and hope that coexisted. She also shows how the truth about the Nazis and their actions slowly seeped into her consciousness. This gracefully written memoir adds to our growing understanding of the German experience of the war. (Nov.)

The Story of FrenchJean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow. St. Martin's, $25.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-312-34183-1

That major historical moments affect a language's development seems to be self-evident. But in the case of French, as Canadian authors Nadeau and Barlow (Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong) exhaustively illustrate, this notion shouldn't be taken for granted, since an insistence on linguistic purity influences how French is taught, spoken and written. What began as a loose confederation of local dialects became mired in a particularly French obsession with linguistic propriety. Despite the natural development of French over time, "[in] the back of any francophone's mind is the idea that an ideal, pure French exists somewhere." Nadeau and Barlow traveled the world to research what they call "the mental universe of French speakers" from its center in France to such places as Canada, Senegal and Israel. "French carries with it a vision of the State and of political values, a particular set of cultural standards," the authors write. They have managed to corral what could be an ungainly subject—both the history and the present day—in a clearly written, well-organized approach to the lingua franca of millions of people. Francophiles will be well-served by the care and detail with which the authors handle their subject, while English speakers will find an illuminating portrait of Gallic sensibility. (Nov.)

Blind Faith: The Unholy Alliance of Religion and MedicineRichard Sloan. St. Martin's, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-34881-6

Thanks to some studies and to accounts by physicians, patients and theologians, it has become popular to believe that prayer can heal the sick and that attending religious services regularly can extend one's life. But does the evidence for a link between religion and health hold up? Sloan, professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia, probes the matter in this sometimes provocative but often prosaic book. Reports of the relationship between religion and medicine, he says, are greatly exaggerated and detrimental to both. He writes that dissatisfaction with contemporary medicine, uncritical media stories about religion and health, and advocacy groups that promote a link between religion and health have encouraged patients to seek alternative treatments that exploit that connection. Sloan examines the thousands of reports that prayer has been the key element in healing and finds many are based on anecdotes rather than systematic data collection. Even scientific studies on the healing capacities of faith and prayer do not always prove what they are purported to prove; some, for instance, touch only peripherally on the role of religion in health. For Sloan, attempts to connect religion and medicine can jeopardize patients' lives by giving false hope. Although repetitious, Sloan's book offers clear challenges to patients and medical professionals who embrace prayer as a means of healing. (Nov.)

Descartes: The Life and Times of a GeniusA.C. Grayling. Walker, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1501-2

A devout Catholic who lived in a time of "miracles, spontaneous generation, and phoenixes rising from the ashes," not to mention the Spanish Inquisition, Descartes (1596—1650) spent most of his life trying to justify to the church a rational approach to studying the natural world. Though he did not succeed during his lifetime, Descartes laid the foundation for future tolerance of scientific and mathematical discoveries. The deceptive simplicity of his writings on age-old problems such as "I think therefore I am," mind-body dualism and his "method of doubt" contribute to his reputation as a genius; however, despite the book's subtitle, proving genius is not Grayling's main concern. Rather, this book of history illuminates the problems of an intellectual during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. In the first half of the book, Grayling proposes that the young Descartes was actually a spy for the Jesuits while living in Paris. Once Descartes leaves Paris for the Netherlands, a more crucial intellectual adventure begins in the conflict between his allegiance to the church and his "Copernican, materialist and mechanistic" scientific method. Unfortunately, this tension doesn't come across with the same vividness as in earlier chapters. 26 color and 11 b&w illus. not seen by PW. (Nov.)

Anzio: Italy and the Battle for Rome—1944Lloyd Clark. Atlantic Monthly, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-0-87113-946-7

After victories in North Africa and Sicily, the Allies invaded Italy in September 1943 and quickly bogged down, as German commander Kesselring fought a brilliant defensive campaign aided by miserable weather and primitive, mountainous terrain. To break the stalemate in January 1944, two Allied divisions landed behind German lines at Anzio, encountering surprisingly little resistance. Within days, German units rushed to the small beachhead for some of the most concentrated, brutal, bloody fighting outside the Russian front. British historian Clark delivers an absorbing account of the terrible battle. Historians criticize the force's commander, Gen. John Lucas, for not pushing inland to cut off the Germans or even capture Rome, though Lucas insisted he had too few men. Clark agrees, but adds that Lucas should have advanced far enough to occupy a stronger defensive position. By February, the Allies had secured the beachhead and the energetic Lucian Truscott took over from Lucas, but it was not until May that troops broke out. Clark does not rock any historical boats, but he tells a relentlessly fascinating story with plenty of asides about individuals' experiences. Carlo D'Este's 1991 history may still be the best on the subject, but no reader will be disappointed with Clark's. (Nov.)

11 Days in December: Christmas at the Bulge, 1944Stanley Weintraub. Free Press, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7432-8710-4

The Battle of the Bulge doesn't quite fit the epic mold it's often cast in—bloody, yes, but lacking in strategic consequence, with no one but Hitler doubting the Allied victory. That the carnage spoiled Christmas time is the slender irony anchoring this aimless retelling by military historian Weintraub (Silent Night: The Story of the 1914 Christmas Truce). Noting American complacency about the German buildup, and strategic and personal squabbles among the Allied commanders, he trumps up Patton's prayer for good killing weather into a dramatic turning point. Mainly, though, the book is a kaleidoscope of anecdotes, combat scenes alternating incoherently with foxhole doldrums and frontline picaresque. There's pluck and defiance—" 'They've got us surrounded, the poor bastards,' " quips a jaunty GI—and death and despair. There are celebrity cameos: correspondent Ernest Hemingway drinks and growls and shoots a few Germans; Marlene Dietrich, on a USO tour, allows a soldier to dust her body with delousing powder. And there are many Christmas celebrations, everywhere from POW camps and Belgian orphanages to Hitler's headquarters. Unfortunately, the reader gleans neither a clear battle narrative nor a sense of pathos—only a period-authentic impatience to get the war over with. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. (Nov. 28)

Latin America After Neoliberalism: Turning the Tide in the 21st Century?Edited by Eric Hershberg and Fred Rosen. New Press, $18.95 paper (368p) ISBN 1-59558-106-5

The recent rise of progressive politicians in Latin America represents a sea change for the continent away from unwavering faith in previous reforms and unfettered United States dominance. This book places itself at the turning point, looking back at the failure of previous reforms and forward to how the new progressive movements might succeed or fail. Written by prominent scholars, analysts and writers covering the region, the 14 essays include well-researched and organized arguments against open-market reforms. The essays show how, even as free trade and economic integration has helped stimulate certain economies, the gap between the rich and poor has grown and stability declined. While the authors largely blame the recommended reforms of the U.S.-influenced World Bank and International Monetary Fund, a few of them also hold the local oligarchies responsible for the concentration of wealth. The essays also emphasize that one of the biggest problems with neoliberal reforms—as well as approaches to violence, multiculturalism, and labor and feminist organizing—is the "one size fits all mentality." In the Latin America "after neoliberalism" presented here, grand ideologies and theories are put aside as the individual needs of countries are considered. (Nov.)

Enriqueta Vasquez and the Chicano Movement: Writings from El Grito del NorteEdited by Lorena Oropeza and Dionne Espinoza. Arte Público, $16.95 paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-55885-479-6

Born during the civil rights era, the Chicano movement fashioned a new, empowered identity for Mexican-Americans. Vasquez was at the center of this movement, and her columns in El Grito del Norte (The Shout from the North) offered a new voice and purpose for those involved. In these essays, collected for the first time, she examines the liberal ideologies of the time—feminism, socialism, environmentalism, pacifism—paving the way for Chicano thought. A central tension lies between putting women's needs and Mexican-American needs first. Though these are difficult questions to answer, Vasquez's writing remains simple and folksy, and she often relies on her personal life to provide examples. By the end, the essays, though often repetitive, offer a great window into both Chicanismo and the development of identity politics in the 20th century. The two essays written by Chicano scholars and the editors of the book, effectively use history and cultural theory to support the columns and bring them to life. (Nov.)

Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle EastBrian Whitaker. Univ. of California, $19.95 paper (264p) ISBN 978-0-520-25017-8

While the mainstream media cover Middle Eastern cultural tensions over the interpretation of Islamic law and the position of women, little attention has been paid to the complicated place of same-sex affection and relationships in these countries. Whitaker, Middle East editor for the Guardian, delivers a modest but informative primer on the complex historical, religious, social and legal status of same-sex acts and identities in the Middle East. Aware of the complexity of this undertaking, he points out that words such as "homosexual," "lesbian," "gay" and "queer" are Western constructs and can be misleading or dangerously inaccurate when applied to non-Western cultures. Whitaker is best when describing the lives of the dozens of women and men, some of whom he interviewed, such as a young Syrian man whose therapist outed him to his family and two Saudi men who killed a third man they feared would report their relationship to authorities. He also offers a larger view of the religious and political implications of homosexuality: there's no uniform Islamic position about the legality of homosexual acts; the Iranian government will frequently use the charge of homosexuality to further stigmatize its Arab Ahwazi minority population. While Whitaker's findings aren't conclusive, this is an illuminating book on an important topic. (Nov.)

Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial AdoptionJane Jeong Trenka, Julia Chinyere Oparah and Sun Yung Shin. South End, $20 paper (336p) ISBN 0-89608-764-6

In 30 personal essays, research-based studies, poems and accompanying artwork, transracial adoptees "challenge the privileging of rational, 'expert' knowledge that excludes so many adoptee voices." Conceived by the editors as "corrective action," the collection offers an eye-opening perspective on both the "the power differences between white people and people of color, the rich and the poor, the more or less empowered in adoption circles" and the sense of loss and limbo that individual adoptees may feel while "living in the borderlands of racial, national, and cultural identities." This provocative, disturbing collection reveals the sociological links between African-American children placed in foster care and El Salvador's "niño desaparecidos (disappeared children), between Christian missions and "the adoption industry," between a transracial adoptee born in Vietnam and raised in Australia and one born in Korea and raised in the U.S. "We must work," the editors urge, "to create and sustain a world in which low-income women of color do not have to send away their children so that the family that remains can survive." Anyone contemplating transracial adoption will find provocative ideas, even as they may quarrel with generalizations that don't fit their own lives. (Nov.)

Portfolio Life: The New Path to Work, Purpose and Passion After 50David Corbett with Richard Higgins. Jossey-Bass, $24.95 (192p) ISBN 0-7879-8356-X

As the boomer generation's hair turns gray, it's not surprising to see retirement advice books like this one, which argues against conventional scenarios. As founder and CEO of New Directions, which coaches older workers on making the transition from working to life after a career, author Corbett points out that boomers' longer life expectancy and better health means that reprioritizing may be more rewarding than simply stopping working. In his first few chapters, Corbett discusses why the concept of retirement needs to be retired, then quickly moves to his central proposal. He encourages readers to focus on building a portfolio of skills, which allows them to shuffle their skills in the same way they would remix a financial portfolio, rather than follow a linear career trajectory. Instead of abandoning work altogether, people can refocus later in life on the preferred skills and meaningful pursuits that suit them best. This insightful and readable book provides not only a convincing argument for the portfolio concept but also concrete instructions on how to get started. If there's a drawback, it's that the subtitle dismisses younger readers who could benefit by putting this plan into action long before reaching age 50. (Nov.)

Death by PowerPoint: A Modern Office Survival GuideMichael Flocker. Da Capo, $12.95 paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-306-81512-6

Flocker brings the mocking humor from his Metrosexual Guide to Style and its follow-ups to the workplace, but the effect is like throwing a fresh coat of paint on a rundown old car. Much of his advice is exactly what you'd find in any other handbook to the corporate environment, like the chestnut about dressing for the job one level higher than your current position, while still maintaining your individual sense of style. Even worse are the passages that haven't been fresh since the mid-1990s, like a list of warning signs for e-mail addiction or making fun of "action item" and other corporate buzzwords. When Flocker does venture into original territory, his anti-corporate humor is stuck on the level of juvenile pranks. He recommends messing with your co-workers' heads by moving things on their desks when they aren't looking or interrupting meetings with silly questions. There's also a slew of wacky new vocabulary terms culled from the Internet, several of which actually have very little to do with the workplace. Marginal illustrations liven things up, but even they aren't as entertaining as reading a Dilbert collection—which would better equip readers for office politics as well. (Nov. 30)

Provence A—ZPeter Mayle. Knopf, $25 (336p) ISBN 1-4000—4442-1

The author of several books set in Provence, including the now classic travel tome A Year in Provence and a more recent novel, A Good Year, Mayle has once again trapped the sunshine, the wind and the very lavender-laden air of the southeastern French countryside in his prose. The reference-desk title is appropriate if the desk in reference is that of a librarian at your favorite getaway inn in Aix or Marseille. This anecdotal encyclopedia may have been written expressly for discovery on the shelf of a rented mas, "a collection of agricultural buildings joined together," and enjoyed over an afternoon repast of Banon, "armed with a fresh baguette and a bottle of local wine." Mayle is the self-appointed pied piper of Provence for Anglophone Francophiles everywhere, and these entries, from "Accent" to "Zingue-Zingue-Zoun," display the same conversational style his fans have come to expect. He includes information about lesser-known sights like the museum of the Foreign Legion and local food like bouillabaisse, but the charm of the book is in unexpected factual gems like "the male goat can copulate up to forty times a day" found in an otherwise straightforward entry about chèvre. Mayle writes beautifully of the seasons—Automne, Été, Hiver and Printemps—which he shares as his own personal Provence with the earnestly planning tourist and the dreamy armchair traveler alike. (Nov.)

Getting Wet: Adventures in the Japanese BathEric Talmadge. Kodansha, $22 (256p) ISBN 4-7700-3020-7

Talmadge, the Tokyo news editor for the Associated Press and a resident of Japan for more than 20 years, expands upon the many articles he has written about Japan's obsession with bath houses and delivers an insightful, thoughtful and often hilarious "glimpse into what Japan's bathing scene is all about." He shows the many ways in which the bathhouse is "a place to be openly and unabashedly Japanese." His travels take him to a range of places in what becomes an idiosyncratic yet strikingly insightful tour of Japan: a village in the Izu Islands, a string of volcanoes southeast of Tokyo; neighborhood public bathhouses ranging from the average to a "super bath" called the Hot Water Fun House; the Oedo-Onsen Monogatari, a Disneyesque hot spring theme park built as a "lovingly sentimental, and unabashedly inaccurate" reconstruction of a feudal neighborhood; a secluded village featuring "one of the world's foremost radon hot springs resorts" that annually celebrates Madame Curie; and Yoshiwara, Tokyo's premier red light district featuring "Soapland" brothels offering head-to-toe baths done by just hand and tongue. In each of his adventures, Talmadge shows that, "[l]ike a tea ceremony or a session of Zen meditation, the Japanese bath is, at its best, a celebration of the beauty of the transcendent." 34 illus. (Nov.)

What Did I Do Last Night? A Drunkard's TaleTom Sykes. Rodale, $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-59486-463-6

English journalist Sykes shares a raw, dizzying testimony of his steep, precipitous dive into alcoholism over the course of his young adulthood. With the wounding desertion of his father from their family of six children when Sykes was 14, the boy soon found comfort with his drinking buddies at boarding school in Eton, where they could drink copiously at age 16. Young Tom became a heavy pot smoker and user of Ecstasy and cocaine, eventually fumbling his way into journalism at the Evening Standard, where he fit in winningly among older journalists and prodigious drinkers. His drunken stunts soon grew old at the Standard and at his next gig, GQ, and Sykes gravitated toward New York, where his more enterprising sisters, twins Plum and Lucy, and Alice, enjoyed high-end magazine jobs. Writing features at the New York Post, which segued into a regular bar column, the lucky golden boy landed a lifestyle of the most obsequious entitlement, wooed by every establishment in town—with checks waived and outrageous behavior overlooked for a mere mention on Page Six. Throughout, Sykes's voice is candid and the details gritty. (Oct.)

The Rolling Stones: In the BeginningBent Rej, foreword by Bill Wyman. Firefly, $49.95 (324p) ISBN 978-1-55407-230-9

In 1965, the Rolling Stones released their album Out of Our Heads, which included their hit "Satisfaction." During that time—between spring of 1965 and summer of 1966—when the band had just gained worldwide attention, Danish photographer Rej was on the scene and granted unprecedented access to the band members as no other future photographer would be. In this book, Rej collects the shots he took of the very young, very hot band just as, Bill Wyman writes in his introduction, they "were able to buy good houses, great cars, and as Keith [Richards] said at the time, we were able to eat in places that our fans couldn't afford to." The book is filled with candid and staged photos—both color and b&w—of the band members with all the awkwardness of musicians in their early 20s who are "beginning to appreciate how very big we could become." The captions accompanying the photos—some by Rej, others by the band members—are alternately insightful and mundane. But they, along with the photos, warmly capture the band at this critical moment in their lives. (Oct.)

Correction: The publisher for Mirrors of the Unseen by Jason Elliot (Reviews, Aug. 28) is St. Martin's Press.

LifestyleFood & Entertaining

Michael Mina: The CookbookMichael Mina with JoAnn Cianciulli, foreword by Andre Agassi. Bulfinch, $50 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8212-5753-1

San Francisco chef Mina, who has franchised himself to Las Vegas with the backing of tennis star Agassi, declares that all the recipes in his book have been "designed to be prepared in the home kitchen by a single cook." The home cook with a day job is unlikely to regard this as a practical guide, however, unless similarly driven by Mina's obsession with the core concept: the trio. Each of his New American dishes, from starter to dessert, is presented with three different interpretations of the key ingredient. For instance, his Summer Berry Cobbler, Berry Sundae with Mascarpone Ice Cream, involves creating a raspberry cobbler with vanilla streusel, a blueberry cobbler with lavender scone and a blackberry cobbler with candied ginger shortbread, in hot and cold variations to be eaten in alternating bites. The design alone—with its 100 beautifully crisp photos—will further entice home cooks to try his recipes in their own home. (Nov.)

Baking: From My Home to YoursDorie Greenspan, photos by Alan Richardson. Houghton Mifflin, $40 (528p) ISBN 0-6184-4336-3

Greenspan, coauthor of books with culinary icons such as Julia Child (Baking with Julia), Daniel Boulud and Pierre Hermé, shares her favorite recipes in this tantalizing collection, which covers all the baking bases, from muffins, cookies and brownies to spoon desserts, pies and cobblers. Instructions are clear and easy to follow, and Greenspan uses everyday ingredients readily available to the home chef. Recipes like Perfection Pound Cake and All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie convey a comfortable, almost homey, familiarity that will bring readers back to this collection again and again. In addition, she provides insight into matters many cooks may not often consider, such as leaveners, technique and choosing the right pan. Numerous mouth-watering photos dot the book throughout, making it hard to choose which one to make first. Especially helpful is the Indispensables: Base Recipes section at the end of the book, which includes pointers for making key ingredients such dough, pastry cream, lemon curd and faux crème fraîche. This is baking at its best. Over 100 full-color photos. (Nov.)

Whole Grains Every Day Every WayLorna Sass. Clarkson Potter, $32.50 (336p) ISBN 0-307-33672-7

In this incredibly thorough, A-to-wheat berries guide to whole grains, Sass (Cooking Under Pressure) begins with a thoughtful and extensive primer on whole grains, including detailed profiles and basic cooking instructions for each. She covers no fewer than 20 kinds of rice (Bhutanese red, black Japonica) and just as many types of wheat before launching into recipes for soups and salads, main courses, side dishes, breakfast foods and desserts. The dishes are surprisingly tempting and varied, and the entries are more sophisticated than one might expect in a whole grain book. Thai Chicken Soup with Chinese Black Rice; Quinoa and Calamari Salad; Corn Polenta with Sausage and Peppers; Popcorn-Crusted Catfish; and Wild Rice Medley with Braised Chicken in Balsamic-Fig Sauce. And the sweets and desserts, like Chocolate Chip-Hazelnut Cookies, Popcorn-Almond-Caramel Balls, and Tarragon-Scented Rustic Nectarine Tart, prove that incorporating whole grains into the diet can be downright decadent. (Nov.)

Baking with Love: Over 200 Sweet and Savory RecipesReader's Digest Association. Reader's Digest, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 1-921077-32-8

Bucking the trends of chatty, idiosyncratic writing and unusual dish stylings, this large, well-illustrated volume has a retro feel that's a little too staid to be chic. The sweet side of baking clearly dominates, with cakes, tarts, flans, cookies and pies aplenty. There are far more recipes that call for fruit, like Pear and Red Currant Filo or the simple but heavenly Blueberry Coffee Cake, than there are for anything with chocolate. Later chapters cover yeast and quick breads as well as savory snacks such as tartlets and crackers, and main dishes like Spinach Quiche and the elegant yet hearty Gruyère Gougère. While the lack of lengthy narration about the recipes' origin or the author's family is refreshing at first, the beginner-baker audience (which would benefit most from the book's "essential classics" approach) will wish for more detail in the instructions and descriptions of what to expect. And despite a section of baking tips, less experienced cooks may still be thwarted by certain nuances like measurement, which are in grams (with conversions in parentheses). Though not comprehensive, this book does make for a sturdy all-in-one roadmap to baking basics. Color photos throughout. (Oct.)

Home & Gardening

What Not to Build: Dos and Don'ts of Exterior Home DesignSandra Edelman, Judith Kay Gaman, and Robby Reid. Creative Homeowner, $24.95 (224p) ISBN 1-58011-293-5

In a clever play on the popularity of the television show What Not to Wear, the authors (two designers and an architect) have created a sourcebook to help home builders, designers and buyers learn and apply the principles of good design. After all, the authors point out, "Simply visit most neighborhoods—especially those built within the last 20 years—and you will recognize that many houses need help." Loads of large full-color photos make that point in sections devoted to everything from porches to landscaping. Discussions of proportion, balance, scale and the like are accompanied by before-and-after shots that will help readers train themselves to recognize good (or bad) design. References to da Vinci and Pythagoras add historical heft, and "Architect's Notebook" and "Design 101" lessons illuminate the thought process behind recommended changes. The authors point out the misuse of shutters in neighborhoods nationwide (from incorrect shape to inappropriate size) and suggest how to elegantly remedy these unsightly mistakes. While most of the houses the book covers are large, smaller ones do show up. Regardless of size, the book includes clear, helpful photos to back the authors' arguments. (Nov.)