Nonfiction

nolead begins True Compass: A Memoir
nolead ends nolead begins By Edward M. Kennedy


(Twelve, September) nolead ends

Long in the gathering and making, and written with the help of Pulitzer-winner Ron Powers, this tells the story of an American life spanning, embracing, and causing some of the formative events of the 20th and 21st centuries.

nolead begins The Greatest Show on Earth
nolead ends nolead begins The Evidence for Evolution
nolead ends nolead begins By Richard Dawkins


(Free Press, September) nolead ends

Forget Dawkins' ill-fated God stuff. This is what he's best at. The news here is that Dawkins, with characteristic brilliance and wit, lays out the proof that evolution exists and is chugging away even now. In the process, he conveys his own wide-eyed wonder at the sheer glory of it.

nolead begins You Were Always Mom's Favorite!
nolead ends nolead begins Sisters in Conversation
Throughout Their Lives
nolead ends nolead begins By Deborah Tannen


(Random House, September) nolead ends

Tannen, renowned sociologist of conversation, studies one of the most intense and burdened relations of all: that between sisters. "Love/hate" doesn't begin to describe the elation and heartbreak, the humor and perplexed contradictions revealed in this delightful book when sisters speak of and to each other.

nolead begins Where Men Win Glory
nolead ends nolead begins By Jonathan Krakauer


(Doubleday, September) nolead ends

Pat Tillman left the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League to sign up for duty in Iraq in 2002, and died in friendly fire in 2004. Krakauer, author of In the Wild and swiftly becoming a poet of mavericks who die in pursuit of a worthy life, tells a tale of heroism, anger, and loss.

nolead begins Manhood for Amateurs
nolead ends nolead begins The Pleasures and Regrets
of a Husband, Father and Son
nolead ends nolead begins By Michael Chabon


(Harper, October) nolead ends

Chabon, a very accomplished fiction writer, turns to this part memoir, part how-to, about how to be a man - and how being a man often entails messing up at being a man. As always in Chabon, it's full of piquant insights and unexpected moments.

nolead begins What the Dog Saw
nolead ends nolead begins And Other Adventures
nolead ends nolead begins By Malcolm Gladwell


(Little, Brown, October) nolead ends

Among the most prominent and controversial of our public thinkers, Gladwell specializes in taking new looks at things we thought we understood: tipping points; first impressions; success, learning and genius. This book collects his lively essays for the New Yorker, on subjects ranging from police profilers to dog whisperer César Millan.

nolead begins Anne Frank
nolead ends nolead begins The Book, the Life, and the Afterlife
nolead ends nolead begins By Francine Prose


(Harper, October) nolead ends

Anne Frank wasn't just an unusually verbal teen: She was a writer who shaped and revised her work as it progressed. It takes another fine writer, like Prose, to help us appreciate and reconsider all the art that went into Frank's heartrending diary.

nolead begins The Book of Genesis Illustrated
nolead ends nolead begins By R. Crumb


(W.W. Norton, October) nolead ends

When Crumb (he of Zap! Comix, Mr. Natural, etc.) announced this project, believers and nonbelievers everywhere trembled. The Bible's first book gets the Crumb treatment, and the surprise is how respectful that treatment is - and how vivid.

nolead begins The Big Burn
nolead ends nolead begins Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire
That Saved America
nolead ends nolead begins By Timothy Egan


(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October) nolead ends

Egan, a Pulitzer-winning historian of the West, tells a true ripsnorter about a huge forest fire, the creation of the U.S. Forest Service against the wishes of Big Business, and the beginning, he argues, of American environmentalism. What a cast: Teddy R., John Muir, and Gifford Pinchot, first Forest Service chief and a future governor of Pennsylvania.

nolead begins The Greek Poets
nolead ends nolead begins Homer to the Present
nolead ends nolead begins Edited by Peter Constantine, Rachel Hadas, Edmund Keeley and Karen Van Dyck


(W.W. Norton, December) nolead ends

You can't do better than this. From Homer (circa 8th century B.C.) to the ironic, contemporary voice of Jenny Mastoraki (born 1949), this book is a rich, long draft of the greatest unbroken poetic tradition in the Western world, in fine translations. The ancients come off as even more brilliant than people say.

   - John Timpane