Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the Table-of-Contents Database.

Subscribers can click the "login" button below to access the Table-of-Contents Database. (If you have not done so already, you will need to set up your digital access by going here.)

Or for immediate access you can click the "subscribe" link below.

PW “All Access” site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. Simply close and relaunch your preferred browser to log-in. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com.

If you have questions or need assistance setting up your account please email pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries) , Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time for assistance.

For any other questions about PublshersWeekly.com, email service@publishersweekly.com.

Login or

The Incest Diary

Anonymous. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $18 (144p) ISBN 978-0-374-17555-9

An anonymous author reveals a lifetime of secrets in this unforgettable memoir as she tells the story of her relationship with her father, who raped her over the course of her childhood, until the author was 21. The result is one of the most frank and cathartic depictions of child abuse ever written. The author recalls abusing her Barbie dolls, her sense of being the “other woman” to her own mother, and the mingling of violence with desire, a tendency so crucial to the author’s development that it continues to govern her adult relationships. This is not a story of things getting better, but an unflinching and staggeringly artful portrait of a shattered life. “Sex with my father made me an orphan,” she writes, and the feeling is underscored, pages later, with a fact: “He threatened to kill himself if I told anyone.” Works of art by Fernando Botero and Frida Kahlo are invoked throughout, as are the fairy tales in which the author searches for analogues to explain her condition. But by the end of the book, she has articulated an experience that for many victims remains unspeakable. (July)

Reviewed on 07/21/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat

Patricia Williams, with Jeannine Amber. Dey St, $25.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-0624-0730-6

In this provocative memoir, popular comedian and podcast celebrity Williams describes coming of age amid poverty, neglect, and racism in 1980s Atlanta. Nicknamed “Rabbit” by her alcoholic mother, she learned to steal at age seven while living in the house of her grandfather, who sold moonshine to his “good-time regulars.” Although Williams’s mother put her five children in constant jeopardy with her boyfriends, one of them sexually assaulted 12-year-old Rabbit and her sister and gave them five dollars and a few pieces of fried chicken to not tell anyone. By 15, Rabbit was a mother of two, seduced by a slick older married man in the drug trade; at 16, she peddled crack to support her babies, got shot by a gang member, and was later sentenced to a year in jail for selling crack. Important revelations about her life goals came during her time in Fulton County Jail, and she eventually finished her educational requirements to become a medical assistant upon her 1991 release. Williams displays self-deprecating humor in her book’s dramatic moments, and she bares her soul throughout this inspiring, page-turning narrative. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 07/14/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Ancient Brews Rediscovered & Re-Created

Patrick McGovern. Norton, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-393-25380-1

Anthropology professor McGovern (Uncorking the Past) continues his exploration of ancient elixirs, taking readers on a global trip through time to discover how various intoxicants were created and imbibed. McGovern and his travel and research partner Sam Calagione, the CEO of Dogfish Brewery, offer recipes for a number of these ancient quaffs. Beginning in the Cretaceous period—when, as McGovern notes, our ancestors likely discovered the wonders of fermentation—their journey takes them to the Middle East to learn about a curious Phrygian cocktail likely composed of wine, beer, and mead—and, later, to China, Egypt, and Scandinavia, among other countries. McGovern’s excitement and passion for his subject shines brightly, but it’s at times slowed by academic passages that read more like lectures than field reporting. Home brew enthusiasts, however, will appreciate that attention to detail, as McGovern offers painstakingly specific recipes for recreating these beverages as well as suggested dishes to complement them. Beer historians and home brewers are sure to find McGovern’s work a worthwhile addition to the brewing canon. (June)

Reviewed on 07/14/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
4th and Goal Every Day: Alabama’s Relentless Pursuit of Perfection

Phil Savage, with Ray Glier. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-13080-8

Between 2008 and 2016, University of Alabama’s Nick Saban—one of college football’s winningest coaches—led his team to four national championships. This “textbook on Saban’s way of doing business at Alabama”—when recruiting, for example, he looks for players with the “bubble,” a large rear end that allows for more powerful tackling and blocking—focuses on Alabama’s evolution from a team that had had four coaches in five years before Saban arrived. Savage practically canonizes Saban. Savage was general manager of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns when Saban was that team’s defensive coordinator and is now an analyst for the Crimson Tide Radio Network, working with Saban on a regular basis and emailing the coach scouting reports on upcoming opponents (a role Savage mentions repeatedly). Savage, writing with Glier (How the SEC Became Goliath), tells the story from an insider’s perspective, including details on the recruiting process, skills development, practice sessions, and notable coaching decisions—including the living room chats where Saban encourages prospects to “make a 40-year decision, not a four-year decision,” to the backstory of the Tide’s famous onside kick against Clemson in the 2015 National Championship Game. Although loaded with roster lists and stats that Alabaman fans will devour, the book at times veers toward a catalogue of Savage’s own accomplishments. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 07/14/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Terry Bradshaw: From Super Bowl Champion to Television Personality

Brett L. Abrams. Rowman & Littlefield, $40 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4422-7763-2

Historian and author Abrams (The Bullets, the Wizards, and Washington, D.C., Basketball) carefully details Bradshaw’s long career, from his working-class Louisiana childhood to his current status as a football legend (four-time Super Bowl–winning quarterback), TV sports commentator, and performer in movies and television. Abrams provides an exhaustive look at the highlights of Bradshaw’s career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is especially good in discussing the team’s win over the Dallas Cowboys in 1979’s Super Bowl XIII (“Even today, the NFL lists the game as one of its greatest”). Abrams describes how Bradshaw has carefully crafted his down-home everyman public image—in movies, commercials, and as a sports commentator. Abrams delivers an excellent look at how Bradshaw combined his Southern roots with his extensive knowledge of football to reshape the “stodgy” pregame sports programs of CBS and Fox. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/14/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Policing Ferguson, Policing America: What Really Happened—and What the Country Can Learn from It

Thomas Jackson. Skyhorse, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-5107-1976-7

Former Ferguson police chief Jackson adds little clarity to discourse around the controversial 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American, by Darren Wilson, a white cop, which ultimately led to Jackson’s resignation. He firmly believes that his department was defamed by the unruly media and a biased federal investigation. Although the FBI concluded that the shooting was justified, the Justice Department’s review of the Ferguson police force under Jackson’s leadership found a pattern of unconstitutional conduct aimed at the city’s African-American population. While Jackson acknowledges some mistakes in handling the unrest that followed Brown’s death—for example, when police dogs were deployed as a means of crowd control—he dismisses such choices as bad optics, rather than substantive misjudgments: “Whether or not the canines legitimately or appropriately served the goal of public safety, the simple image... conjured up memories of Selma and Little Rock and Bull Connor, and provided the first piece of ammunition for anyone who wanted to paint the police out to be the dangerous aggressors.” Jackson noticeably passes on an opportunity to specifically rebut the critical report, stating that, while he was familiar with some of the incidents it cited, he did not have the time or space to address any of them in this book. His analysis reads more like a defense of himself and his department than a civic-minded reflection on lessons to be learned from a national tragedy. (July)

Reviewed on 07/14/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Dawnward Spire, Lonely Hill: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith

Edited by David E. Schultz and S.T. Joshi. Hippocampus, $75 (800p) ISBN 978-1-61498-174-9

One of the greatest correspondences in modern weird fiction—that between horror titan H.P. Lovecraft and imaginary-world fantasist Clark Ashton Smith (or, Éch-Pi-El and Klarkash-Ton, as they playfully addressed one another), between 1922 and 1937—is enshrined in this sumptuous volume. Lovecraft wrote first, enthusing over verse and artwork of Smith’s shown to him by a poet friend. Smith’s first response dates to 1925, at which point both were writing for Weird Tales, the pulp magazine that published most of their fiction and whose fortunes and editorial policies provided a substrate for much of their commentary. Their letters abound with their mutual admiration for each other’s work, and in their discussions of each other’s writing one sees the germination of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos and the securing of the literary legacies by which both are known today: Lovecraft used Smith as a sounding board for the philosophy of cosmic indifference that pervades his fiction (“To me all mankind is too local & transitory an incident in the cosmos to take at all seriously”). The letters are also a treasure trove of data about the hard-knock life of the pulp writer, with Smith complaining about the need to write for payment rather than to indulge in painting, and Lovecraft commiserating about the revision work for other Weird Tales writers that kept him from devoting his full attention to his own literary output; the two are at their best dishing on their fellow Weird Tales contributors and lambasting unappreciative editors. Equally interesting is what is not said in the letters: Lovecraft never mentions his marriage in 1924 to Sonia Haft Greene (from whom he separated in 1926), and in his last letter, he says nothing of the health problems he would die from six weeks later. The editors have done exceptional scholarly work, providing annotations that are informative without being overwhelming, as well as an abundant bibliography and appendices. This is an indispensable book for any fan of either author or of the time and literary field in which they wrote. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 07/14/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Black Banners of ISIS: The Roots of the New Caliphate

David J. Wasserstein. Yale Univ., $26 (280p) ISBN 978-0-300-22835-9

Wasserstein (From Hellenism to Islam) combs through primary documents to present an in-depth analysis of ISIS’s actions and ideals. Beyond its modern political and militaristic manifestations, he writes, ISIS is an explicitly religious movement with an ideology rooted in the restoration of a medieval Muslim caliphate. Drawing on his medieval scholarship, Wasserstein, professor of history and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt University, makes the claim that, to understand ISIS, one has to understand the movement’s reading of Islamic history, theology, and political precedent. Wasserstein does well to assert the primacy of ISIS’s religious ideas; however, he sometimes fails to make crucial distinctions between what is “Islamic” and what has been filtered through ISIS’s particular selection, interpretation, and application of Islamic sources and legal theory. At the same time, Wasserstein is careful to point out how ISIS presents a challenge not only to “the West,” but also to the Islamic world. This book will serve readers wanting to understand more about the broad religious underpinnings of ISIS. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 07/14/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Tamed by a Bear

Priscilla Stuckey. Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), $25 (224p) ISBN 978-1-61902-955-2

When the publicity tour for her previous book leaves religion professor and advocate of nature awareness Stuckey (Kissed by a Fox) feeling unmoored personally and professionally, she embarks on a shamanic guided journey. In these meditations, she encounters a “helper” in the form of a jovial, pleasure-loving bear. She records her disjointed, impressionistic conversations with Bear, structuring them for her reader around small personal crises in her life over the course of a year. Bear advises patience on her housing search and an encouragement to return to cheese after years of lactose intolerance, as part of a general encouragement to pay attention to our bodies, make time for pleasure, and not waste so much time worrying. Stuckey expresses frustration with people who assume Bear is just a projection of her subconscious, arguing instead that he is a force outside of her she has tapped into. While the details of her life will not apply to most, Stuckey’s book is a fine model of the type of knowledge one can gain through a similar process. (July)

Reviewed on 07/14/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Jesus and Muhammad: Commonalities of Two Great Religions

Daniel Hummel. Tughra, $15.95 trade paper (228p) ISBN 978-1-59784-925-8

Hummel, assistant professor in the department of public administration at Bowie State Univ., Md., who focuses on the role of religiosity in public decision-making, starts this work with a simple question: what if there were more Christians and Muslims could do to foster understanding and respect, rather than antagonism and distrust? To achieve this end, the author sets up a comparison of the lives and teachings of Jesus and Muhammad, but told from a Muslim perspective. Hummel attempts to bridge gaps between Christian and Muslim communities by exploring the teachings of Jesus and Muhammad in the Gospels and the Quran, respectively. The result is a text that is one part interreligious dialogue and one part defense of Islam’s teachings and claims concerning Muhammad. As such, the book is part of a lineage of texts by Muslim apologists (for example, Ahmed Deedat and Zaid Shakir), but unlike those writers Hummel strikes a conciliatory tone often missing in other polemics. As he states, Christian readers may find his interpretations uncomfortable; however, many readers will find this book helpful in understanding how to interpret the Quran in the context of Christianity’s core texts and how Muslims view Jesus and his teachings. In a context where the Muslim voice is often muffled, this is a welcome work to help non-Muslims better understand where Islam stands in relation to Jesus and the Gospels. (July)

Reviewed on 07/14/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

Parts of this site are only available to paying PW subscribers. Subscribers: to set up your digital access click here.

To subscribe, click here.

PW “All Access” site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. Simply close and relaunch your preferred browser to log-in. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com.

If you have questions or need assistance setting up your account please email pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time for assistance.

Not Registered? Click here.