Books

Summer Books Preview 2014

For some, summer brings long days stretched out by the pool with a hardcover or juicy paperback; for others, an e-book on the phone or audio book in the car can do the trick. Whatever the season has in store, it provides ample opportunities to kick back with a book, and we've got more than enough titles to keep you reading. In our 2014 summer books preview, we highlight 143 books to enjoy over the next few months. From engrossing detective fiction to fantastical young adult novels to a serious analysis of the Supreme Court, there are suggestions here for a wide range of tastes.

For some, summer brings long days stretched out by the pool with a hardcover or juicy paperback; for others, an e-book on the phone or audio book in the car can do the trick. Whatever the season has in store, it provides ample opportunities to kick back with a book, and we've got more than enough titles to keep you reading.

In our 2014 summer books preview, we highlight 143 books to enjoy over the next few months. From engrossing detective fiction to fantastical young adult novels to a serious analysis of the Supreme Court, there are suggestions here for a wide range of tastes.

Fiction

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

Chris Bohjalian

Doubleday, $25.95

A homeless teen wanders through New England in the aftermath of a nuclear plant meltdown that may have been triggered by her alcoholic father. (July)

Brutal Youth

Anthony Breznican

Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's, $25.99

A freshman trio bands together to help one another survive the school year in a working-class Catholic high school filled with bullies and a corrupt faculty. (June)

The Lotus and the Storm

Lan Cao

Viking, $27.95

A former South Vietnamese commander and his daughter, now living in a close-knit immigrant community in Virginia, learn the truth about what really happened to their family during the Vietnam War. (August)

O, Africa!

Andrew Lewis Conn

Hogarth, $25

During the final days of silent film, American twin brothers head for Africa to make a movie in the jungle to pay off a gambling debt — an adventure that changes their lives. (June)

What is Visible

Kimberly Elkins

Twelve, $25

This fictional tale is based on the real 19th century figure Laura Bridgman, who (50 years before Helen Keller) learned to read and write despite the childhood loss of four of her five senses to scarlet fever. (June)

The Sweet Spot

Stephanie Evanovich

William Morrow, $26.99

An unlikely love match between a pro baseball player and an independent-minded entrepreneur causes a media sensation in this spin-off from Evanovich's debut novel, "Big Girl Panties." (July)

A Replacement Life

Boris Fishman

HarperCollins, $25.99

A frustrated writer is asked to forge Holocaust-restitution claims by his grandfather and other Russian Jews from Brooklyn in this debut novel. (June)

In the Wolf's Mouth

Adam Foulds

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26

This novel from a Man Booker Prize finalist tracks the interconnected fates of four men in the North Africa and Sicily campaigns of World War II and its aftermath. (June)

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street

Susan Jane Gilman

Grand Central, $26

Set against the backdrop of 20th century history, a Russian immigrant girl transforms herself into an ice cream mogul — one whose past threatens to trip her up. (June)

Tigerman

Nick Harkaway

Alfred A. Knopf, $26.95

A soldier burnt out after his tour of Afghanistan ends up in a former British colony filled with shady underworld types and strikes up a friendship with a comic-book loving, Internet-addicted street kid. (July)

The Book of Unknown Americans

Cristina Henríquez

Alfred A. Knopf, $24.95

A budding romance between a Mexican girl and Panamanian boy offers a glimpse of the struggles, fears and misunderstandings of Latin American immigrants. (June)

Mambo in Chinatown

Jean Kwok

Riverhead Books, $27.95

A young Chinese-American woman is torn between her family duties and tradition in New York's Chinatown and the contemporary life she discovers through ballroom dancing. (June)

The Hundred-Year House

Rebecca Makkai

Viking, $26.95

The winding history, told in reverse, of the eccentric characters that inhabited a family estate turned artists' colony outside Chicago. (July)

The Last Kind Words Saloon

Larry McMurtry

Liveright, $24.95

Larry McMurtry returns to form tracing the friendship of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday — from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Denver to Tombstone, Ariz., and the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral. (May)

The Arsonist

Sue Miller

Alfred A. Knopf, $25.95

After 15 years in Africa, an aid worker returns to her family's summer home in a small New Hampshire community to find love and an arsonist targeting summer homes. (June)

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

Courtney Maum

Touchstone, $25.99

After basking in the brief glow of a successful solo exhibition in Paris, a British artist continues to pine for his mistress while attempting to reignite his marriage. (June)

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Haruki Murakami, translated by Philip Gabriel

Alfred A. Knopf, $25.95

The award-winning author follows up "1Q84" with an oblique story of a 36-year-old man who decides to reconnect with high school friends to learn why they rejected him years earlier. (August)

Everything I Never Told You

Celeste Ng

Penguin Press, $26.95

In 1970s Ohio, the death of a Chinese-American teenage girl forces her mixed-race family to confront their secrets and questions of belonging. (June)

Famous Baby

Karen Rizzo

Prospect Park, $15

18-year-old Abbie kidnaps her ailing grandma to save her from being exploited by Abbie's mother, a limelight-seeking mommy blogger. (July)

China Dolls

Lisa See

Random House, $27

Three young women from different backgrounds meet in San Francisco in 1938, forming a bond that will test their friendship after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. (June)

Monster's Chef

Jervey Tervalon

Amistad, $24.99

A former chef, fresh out of rehab, takes a job cooking for a music superstar named Monster — but the Monster's lair turns out to have dark secrets hidden inside. (June)

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

Genevieve Valentine

Atria, $24

A reimagining of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale as flappers during the Roaring 20s in Manhattan. (June)

All Fall Down

Jennifer Weiner

Atria, $26.99

A seemingly idyllic life with a handsome husband, a big house in the suburbs and a perfect job mask a woman's struggle with addiction to prescription medication. (June)

Eyrie

Tim Winton

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27

In this novel by one of Australia's most celebrated writers, an environmental activist is spiraling into midlife crisis until he crosses paths with a struggling woman and her grandson and finds something to believe in. (June)

Mystery & Thriller

The Fever

Megan Abbott

Little, Brown, $26

The outbreak of a mysterious affliction in teenage girls spreads panic through a tight-knit suburban community, unraveling friendships, exposing family secrets and turning girls' lives upside down. (June)

Coldsleep Lullaby

Andrew Brown

Minotaur, $24.99

In this new series, the discovery of a white woman's body in a river sets off an investigation that intertwines ancient prejudice and deceit with contemporary intolerance and hedonism in South Africa. (June)

Cataract City

Craig Davidson

Graywolf, $16 paper

Childhood friends become reluctant adversaries in the gritty underworld of Niagara Falls in this sweeping literary crime novel by the author of "Rust and Bone." (July)

Indefensible

Lee Goodman

Atria/Emily Bestler, $26

A corpse found in a local park is just the first in a series of dead bodies that leads a thoughtful federal prosecutor to pursue a trail of thieves, murderers and child pornographers in this legal thriller. (June)

Herbie's Game

Timothy Hallinan

Soho, $25

When criminals begin to turn up dead in Los Angeles, burglar/private eye Junior Bender is on the case and soon learns disturbing secrets about his mentor in the latest Junior Bender romp.(July)

Land of Shadows

Rachel Howzell Hall

Forge, $24.99

A female homicide detective finds links between the suspicious death of a teen girl on a Los Angeles construction site and her sister, who vanished 30 years earlier. (June)

The Good Suicides

Antonio Hill

Crown, $26

The suspicous suicides of employees of a cosmetic company prompt colleagues to suspect one of their own is killing people to cover up company secrets. (June)

The Kills

Richard House

Picador, $35

Longlisted for the Booker Prize, this ambitious, digitally augmented thriller in four parts follows American contractors in the aftermath of the Iraq conflict. (Aug)

The Director

David Ignatius

W. W. Norton, $26.95

In this post-Edward Snowden thriller from a Washington Post columnist, the new CIA director's attempt to stop a leak lands him in a shadowy world of hackers and murder. (June)

Mr. Mercedes

Stephen King

Scribner, $30

A lone driver plows through a crowd at a job fair in a stolen Mercedes. It's up to retired cop Bill Hodges to track down the sociopath before he kills again in this hardboiled detective novel from King. (June)

Summer House with Swimming Pool

Herman Koch, translated by Sam Garrett

Hogarth, $24

In this follow-up to psychological thriller "The Dinner," clues to the demise of a famous actor who died under the watch of his cynical doctor are traced to a tense summer family vacation on the Mediterranean. (June)

The Good Girl

Mary Kubica

Mira/Harlequin, $24.95

A young art teacher's one-night stand turns into a failed abduction in this twist-filled debut thriller narrated from four perspectives — one of them the kidnapper's. (July)

This Is the Water

Yannick Murphy

Harper Perennial, $14.99 paper

The question in this novel, written in the second person, isn't the identity of a serial killer who is preying on a girls high school swim team but rather which character will solve the crime. (July)

Eden in Winter

Richard North Patterson

Quercus, $26.99

While the death of his father is being investigated, CIA agent Adam Blaine finds himself increasingly drawn to a possible suspect — his father's mistress — in this conclusion to the Blaine Trilogy. (July)

The Antiquarian

Gustavo Faverón Patriau, translated by Joseph Mulligan

Black Cat/Grove, $16 paper

In this multilayered debut thriller from a Peruvian literary critic, a renowned psycholinguist retraces the past for clues about his old friend Daniel, locked up in a mental institution for murdering his fiancée. (June)

The Farm

Tom Rob Smith

Grand Central, $26

Daniel doesn't know who to trust when his dad calls to say his mother had a breakdown, and then his mother tells him of a crime that implicates his father in this thriller from the author of "Child 44." (June)

Eyes on You

Kate White

Harper, $25.99

This thriller set in the New York media world, from the former editor of Cosmopolitan, features a TV host who must figure out why someone is stalking and undermining her in increasingly dangerous ways. (June)

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Half a King

Joe Abercrombie

Del Rey, $26

Known for his gritty Viking worlds, Abercrombie tones down the violence for this coming-of-age story about an outcast son who must use his wits to avenge the death of his father. George R.R. Martin gives the book high praise. (July)

The Girl in the Road

Monica Byrne

Crown, $26

Two young women fleeing danger walk paths in opposite directions in this vividly imagined debut tale of the future. (May)

The Girl with All the Gifts

M.R. Carey

Orbit, $25

10-year old Melanie is a second-generation "hungry" who is strong, intelligent and a little different than the other zombies in this charming post-apocalyptic thriller endorsed by Joss Whedon. (June)

Written in My Own Heart's Blood

Diana Gabaldon

Delacorte, $35

Gabaldon's Outlander saga began 26 years ago, when a World War II nurse stepped out of 1946 and into 1743. More than 20 million copies and one TV series later, the eighth big book in the time-traveling series picks up in 1778 — and 1973. (June)

The Magician's Land

Lev Grossman

Viking, $27.95

Quentin, the hero of Grossman's series, has been thrown out of the secret world of Fillory, so returns to the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But a new threat (gray magic) paves the way to the bestselling trilogy's conclusion. (August)

The Book of Life

Deborah Harkness

Viking, $28.95

The final book in Harkness' popular All Souls trilogy finds historian (and witch) Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont back in the present to hunt for a bewitched document while facing old and new foes. (July)

The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit

Graham Joyce

Doubleday, $24.95

A plague of ladybugs, eerie visions and other strange occurences are happening when a college student takes a summer job at a run-down English seaside resort where his father disappeared 15 years earlier. (Aug)

The Quick

Lauren Owen

Random House, $27

In this supernatural Victorian Gothic, a young woman journeys from her country estate to find her missing brother in London, where she discovers a hidden city populated by vampires and those who would hunt them. (June)

Lock In

John Scalzi

Tor, $24.99

In the near future a deadly virus leaves 1% of the world population fully awake and aware, but unable to move. A new virtual-reality environment is developed, allowing them to use other people's bodies. (Aug)

World of Trouble

The Last Policeman Book III

Ben H. Winters

Quirk, $14.95 paper

Detective Hank Palace must find his sister and bring her to a safe house in the New England woods before a doomsday asteroid makes landfall in this final installment in the Edgar Award winning Last Policeman series. (July)

A Better World

Book Two of the Brilliance Saga

Marcus Sakey

Amazon/Thomas & Mercer, $14.95 paper

Sakey's Brilliance Saga features a different kind of 1% — an intellectual and paranormal elite. As ill-intentioned "Brilliants" disable cities and try to drive America apart, those fighting for stability confront difficult choices in book two. (June)

The Great Glass Sea

Josh Weil

Grove, $27

In an alternate near future, space mirrors make sure daylight never ends for a glass-encased farming town in Russia. After an encounter with the town's oligarch, two cousins whose paths have diverged become unwilling rivals. (July)

Audio

Lucky Us

A Novel

Amy Bloom, read by Alicyn Packard

Random House, $35

In search of fame and fortune in the 1940s, Iris and her sidekick sister Eva journey from small town Ohio to Hollywood to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island. (July)

Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?

Dave Eggers, read by Andrew MacLeod and others

Random House, $35

In a barracks on an abandoned military base along the Pacific Coast, an interrogator seeks answers from a NASA astronaut and other captives in a tale told entirely in dialogue. (June)

Midnight in Europe

Alan Furst, read by Dan Gerroll

Simon & Schuster, $29.99

Edgar finalist Alan Furst's latest spy thriller, set in Paris and Spain in 1938, follows a part-time arms dealer caught in the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War. The outcome of a clandestine mission will determine Europe's fate in the coming world war. (June)

The Silkworm

A Cormoran Strike Novel

Robert Galbraith, read by Robert Glenister

Hachette, $40

J.K. Rowling returns under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. This second in the Cormoran Strike series features the case of a missing novelist whose tell-all manuscript, if published, would ruin lives. (June)

Think Like a Freak

The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain

By Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, read by Stephen J. Dubner

Harper, $29.99

The authors of "Freakonomics" continue their mission of changing the way people solve problems, applying advice to business, politics and personal issues. (May)

Invisible

James Patterson and David Ellis, read by January LaVoy and Kevin T. Collins

Hachette, $35

Everyone thinks FBI researcher Emmy Dockery is crazy when she becomes obsessed with proving that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes and murders are all connected. (June)

Diary of a Mad Diva

Joan Rivers, read by Joan Rivers

Penguin, $29.95

In keeping with her tradition of holding nothing back, the comedian shares her thoughts on a family vacation in Mexico and signature tirades about current events, pop culture and celebrity fashion. (July)

Landline

Rainbow Rowell, read by Rebecca Lowman

Macmillan, $29.99

Bestselling young adult novelist Rainbow Rowell's new story is for grown-ups: A TV writer tries to fix her troubled marriage by means of a magic phone that allows her to speak to her husband — in the past. (July)

Authority

Jeff Vandermeer, read by Bronson Pinchot

Blackstone, $29.95

The first installment of this trilogy focused on an expedition to explore the mysterious Area X; this second volume focuses on the Southern Reach, the dysfunctional secret agency that holds the key to disturbing truths. (May)

Carsick

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America

John Waters, read by John Waters

Macmillan, $29.99

Cult movie icon John Waters hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco in 2012. In two novellas he imagines what wild things might happen on his travels, then tells the true story. (June)

Brown Girl Dreaming

Jacqueline Woodson, read by Jacqueline Woodson

Penguin, $28 (Ages 10 and up)

The celebrated children's writer relays her own childhood in verse: what it was like to grow up as an African American in the South during and after the civil rights movement. (August)

Biography & Memoir

J.D. Salinger

The Escape Artist

Thomas Beller

New Harvest, $20

For the Icons series, Thomas Beller takes a personal look at the life of "Catcher in the Rye" author J.D. Salinger, his self-imposed exile from the public eye and how his reclusiveness made him a near-mythic figure. (June)

Gone Feral

Tracking My Dad Through the Wild

Novella Carpenter

Penguin Press, $26.95

Novella Carpenter's father, a back-to-the-land homesteader and Korean War vet, had always been a troubled absentee father. When he goes missing, Carpenter decides to track him while also examining his past. (June)

Hard Choices

A Memoir

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Simon & Schuster, $35

Hillary Rodham Clinton looks at her four years serving as the U.S. secretary of State under President Obama. Is it a prelude to a 2016 presidential run? (June)

Yours for Eternity

A Love Story on Death Row

Damien Echols and Lorri Davis

Blue Rider, $27.95

When "West Memphis Three" member Damien Echols was on death row after being unjustly convicted for murder, he met Lorri Davis, a New York landscape architect. They recount their romance, which blossomed via a 16-year correspondence. (June)

How the World Was

A California Childhood

Emmanuel Guibert, translated by Kathryn M. Pulver

First Second, $19.99

French cartoonist Emmanuel Guibert movingly portrays his friend Alan Cope's childhood in California during the Great Depression in this prequel to "Alan's War," the illustrated story of one American's World War II experiences. (August)

The Man from Essence

Creating a Magazine for Black Women

Edward Lewis with Audrey Edwards

Atria, $25

Lewis, a cofounder of Essence magazine, explains how he helped grow the magazine from 50,000 subscribers to more than 8 million and become the nation's most influential publication for African-American women. (June)

Margarita Wednesdays

A Memoir

Deborah Rodriguez

Gallery, $26

After publishing her bestselling memoir "Kabul Beauty School," Deborah Rodriguez moved to California and then, with no plan and speaking no Spanish, on to Mexico where she again found herself opening a salon, forging a new community. (June)

Take This Man

A Memoir

Brando Skyhorse

Simon & Schuster, $26

Brando Skyhorse was brought up in Echo Park in the 1970s believing he was the son of an incarcerated American Indian activist. This memoir explores his turbulent, five-stepfathered childhood and his discovery, decades later, of his true origins. (June)

Big Little Man

In Search of My Asian Self

Alex Tizon

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27

Alex Tizon frames his look at the modern Asian-American male by contrasting the stereotype of the sexless Asian man with his own experiences and the newfound cultural success of figures such as NBA star Jeremy Lin. (June)

Bulletproof Vest

The Ballad of an Outlaw and His Daughter

Maria Venegas

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26

Brought up in the U.S., Maria Venegas had a tumultuous relationship with her gun-toting father back in Mexico. Expanded from a story first published in Granta Magazine, her debut book explores her relationship with this man and his often violent choices. (June)

History & Current Affairs

The New Arabs

How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East

Juan Cole

Simon & Schuster, $26

Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor with a popular Middle East blog, examines how young people involved in the "Arab Spring" use technology and how their ideals of personal liberties are challenging authoritarian rule. (July)

The Explorers

A Story of Fearless Outcasts, Blundering Geniuses, and Impossible Success

Martin Dugard

Simon & Schuster, $26

In 1856, Richard Francis Burton and John Hanning Speke tried to find the source of the Nile River. Dugard, who has co-written bestselling histories with Bill O'Reilly, enlivens the story of the two explorers and the rivalry that began after the Nile expedition. (June)

The Zhivago Affair

The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book

Peter Finn and Petra Couvée

Pantheon, $26.95

The true story of how Boris Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago" was smuggled out of Russia in 1956 and published abroad, then printed in Russian by the CIA and smuggled back in, causing trouble for Pasternak with the KGB. (June)

Getting Schooled

The Re-education of an American Teacher

Garret Keizer

Metropolitan, $26

Garret Keizer returns to the rural Vermont high school where he taught 14 years ago and finds that much has changed: Standardized testing is now king, and a former student is his principal. (August)

The Secret Club That Runs the World

Inside The Fraternity of Commodity Traders

Kate Kelly

Portfolio, $29.95

CNBC Wall Street reporter Kate Kelly takes an inside look at the commodities boom of the mid-2000s and the under-the-radar world of commodities traders who control the worth of life's essentials. (June)

The Dog Who Could Fly

The Incredible True Story of a WWII Airman and the Four-Legged Hero Who Flew at His Side

Damien Lewis

Atria, $26

The daring wartime adventures of airman Robert Bozdech and his faithful German shepherd companion, Antis, lead to the duo becoming British war heroes, a legacy that continued after the war's conclusion. (June)

The Admiral and the Ambassador

One Man's Obsessive Search for the Body of John Paul Jones

Scott Martelle

Chicago Review, $26.95

American Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones — "I have not yet begun to fight!" — died in Paris in 1792. Generations later, a decorated veteran and diplomat undertook a dogged search for his remains. (May)

Uncertain Justice

The Roberts Court and the Constitution

Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz

Henry Holt, $32

Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe and SCOTUSblog.com contributor Joshua Matz take a hard look at how the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has reinterpreted the Constitution. (June)

Big Money

2.5 Billion Dollars, One Suspicious Vehicle, and a Pimp — On the Trail of the Ultra-Rich Hijacking American Politics

Kenneth P. Vogel

PublicAffairs, $27.99

Politico contributor Kenneth P. Vogel investigates how "super-donors" like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg are using their money to influence politics and policy on both sides of the aisle. (June)

Sports

The Storm and the Tide

Tragedy, Hope and Triumph in Tuscaloosa

Lars Anderson

Sports Illustrated Books, $25.95

53 people died when a tornado struck Tuscaloosa, Ala., in April 2011, including the girlfriend of one of the University of Alabama's football players. He and the rest of his team, the beloved Crimson Tide, helped their community recover. (Aug.)

I Don't Care If We Never Get Back

30 Games in 30 Days on the Best Worst Baseball Road Trip Ever

Ben Blatt and Eric Brewster

Grove, $24

Applying sports analytics to the logistics of a road trip, devoted baseball fan Ben Blatt and his best friend, baseball-hating Eric Brewster, undertake a near-impossible, odd-couple baseball adventure. (May)

Pain Don't Hurt

Fighting Inside and Outside the Ring

Mark "Fightshark" Miller with Shelby Jones

Anthony Bourdain/Ecco, $25.99

Kickboxer Mark Miller left his profession for open heart surgery — and then, astonishingly, went back, but not before the emotional hurdles of addiction and the loss of his parents, brother and best friend. (July)

Race Horse Men

How Slavery and Freedom Were Made at the Racetrack

Katherine C. Mooney

Harvard University Press, $35

In the 19th century, horseracing was a popular spectator sport made possible by African-American jockeys, grooms and trainers. Eventually, wealthy white owners became increasingly resistant to their success. (May)

The Yankee Way

Playing, Coaching, and My Life in Baseball

Willie Randolph

It Books, $26.99

Yankees veteran Willie Randolph shares his stories of the field and dugout, with firsthand insights and a native New Yorker's love of the city and the game. (May)

Pop Culture

I Said Yes to Everything

A Memoir

Lee Grant

Blue Rider Press, $28.95

Academy-Award winning actress Lee Grant writes of her early success on the New York stage, the devastating effects of being blacklisted in the 1950s and her glamorous return to Hollywood. (July)

Stand Up Straight and Sing!

Jessye Norman

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27

Opera singer Jessye Norman chronicles her years in music, the challenges she faced and the strong women who gave her the tools and inspiration to succeed. (May)

Do Not Sell at Any Price

The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78 rpm Records

Amanda Petrusich

Scribner, $25

Music critic Amanda Petrusich explores the oddball world of collectors who scour the planet for the rarest 78rpm recordings, archivists who strive to preserve the music and the lost and forgotten artists who created it. (July)

I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends

Confessions of a Reality Show Villain

Courtney Robertson

It Books, $24.99

"The Bachelor" winner and villain Courtney Robertson gives a firsthand account of how it feels to be one of the most hated faces of unscripted television and what happens when the cameras aren't rolling. (June)

Unruly

The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man

Ja Rule

Amistad, $25.99

Rapper Ja Rule, who grew up without a father, considers the lack of positive male role models for young black men as well as the men who were positive forces in his life, professional and personal. (July)

Twee

The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film

Marc Spitz

It Books, $16.99

Spin and Vanity Fair contributor Marc Spitz examines the twee aesthetic, which encompasses the music of Belle and Sebastian, films by Wes Anderson and crafters of Etsy. (June)

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyoncé

Bob Stanley

W.W. Norton, $29.95

An opinionated survey of 50 years of pop music, from "Rock Around The Clock" to "Crazy In Love." Author Bob Stanley of the band Saint Etienne finds room to discuss both "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" and Bikini Kill. (July)

Not to Be Missed

Fifty-Four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film

Kenneth Turan

PublicAffairs, $ 24.99

The longtime L.A. Times film critic pays tribute to some of the movies that have shaped his life, including Louis Feuillade's 1913 silent film "Fantômas," "The Godfather" and "The Seven Samurai." (June)

Science

The Island of Knowledge

The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning

Marcelo Gleiser

Basic, $29.99

Physicist Marcelo Gleiser, a professor at Dartmouth College, traces the history of science while explaining why research has its limits when it comes to exploring the most fundamental questions of existence. (June)

The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change

Grady Klein and Yoram Bauman

Island Press, $19.95

What's funny about Milankovitch cycles and carbon taxes? Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein find a way to make climate change humorous and comprehensible in this visuals-driven book. (June)

Deep

Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves

James Nestor

Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27

James Nestor looks at unassisted freediving, practiced by daring deep-sea divers who plunge to unheard of depths, and the oceans they explore. (June)

Blue Mind

The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do

Wallace J. Nichols

Little, Brown, $27

Wallace J. Nichols, a biologist and environmental activist, uses neurological research to investigate how humans interact with bodies of water. (July)

Lifestyle

The Third Plate

Field Notes on the Future of Food

Dan Barber

Penguin Press, $29.95

A writer as well as a James Beard Award-winnning chef (at New York's farm-to-table restaurant Blue Hill at the Stone Barns), Dan Barber offers an inspiring vision for a more sustainable way of growing, cooking and eating food. (May)

Only in Spain

A Foot-Stomping, Firecracker of a Memoir about Food, Flamenco, and Falling in Love

Nellie Bennett

Sourcebooks, $14.99

As a single twentysomething working in a shop in Sydney, Bennett felt directionless, until a flamenco class sparked a love for Spanish culture. The memoir follows her as she explores Spanish culture and eventually moves to Spain. (July)

Save the Date

The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest

Jen Doll

Riverhead, $25.95

After attending more than her share of weddings, Jen Doll decides to document them in this debut book that is part memoir and part examination of love, dating and marriage in the 21st century. (May)

Local

The New Face of Food and Farming in America

Douglas Gayeton

Harper Design, $35

A visual dictionary for the locavore movement, as told by leaders like Alice Waters and everyday fishermen, farmers and educators. (June)

Off the Leash

A Year at the Dog Park

Matthew Gilbert

Thomas Dunne/St Martin's, $24.99

When Boston Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert became a dog owner, he reluctantly joined the group of oddball dog owners who gather at Boston's Amory Park. (July)

White Beech

The Rainforest Years

Germaine Greer

Bloomsbury, $30

Feminist Germaine Greer chronicles her 15-year adventure (begun at the unlikely age of 62) to restore 150 acre of Australian to its original state as a rainforest, before it was ravaged by civilization. (July)

The Meat Hook Meat Book

Buy, Butcher, and Cook Your Way to Better Meat

Tom Mylan

Artisan, $37.50

As executive chef and co-owner of Brooklyn's artisanal butcher shop the Meat Hook, Mylan knows his way around a kitchen. This illustrated handbook, complete with anecdotes and recipes, shows how to chop and cook the best cuts of meats. (May)

Shadows in the Vineyard

The True Story of a Plot to Poison the World’s Greatest Wine

Maximillian Potter

Twelve, $27

Can vines be held hostage? In 2010, someone demanded 1 million Euros to not poison the Domaine de la Romanée Conti vineyard, which makes the world's most expensive wines; a manhunt ensues in this real-life mystery tale. (July)

The Glitter Plan

How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand

Pamela Skaist-Levy, Gela Nash-Taylor and Booth Moore

Gotham Books, $27

The founders of Juicy Couture, with the assistance of L.A. Times fashion critic Booth Moore, reveal how they met in a boutique, began designing fashionable casual wear and eventually created the multi-million dollar clothing label. (May)

The French House

An American Family, A Ruined Mansion and the Village That Restored Them All

Don Wallace

Sourcebooks, $14.99

Don and Mindy Wallace had always been Francophiles, so when they had the opportunity to buy a home on a small French island, they leaped sight unseen — into a crumbling mess that challenged their finances and family. (June)

Bricks & Mortals

Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made

Tom Wilkinson

Bloomsbury, $30

Birth, work, sex, art, war: Tom Wilkinson considers the way buildings influence human history through 10 architectural works, including the biblical Tower of Babel, the Summer Palace in Beijing, and Ford's second auto factory in Detroit. (July)

More Curious

Sean Wilsey

McSweeney’s, $22

Sean Wilsey's witty essays from his cross-country adventures form a portrait of the weird side of contemporary America. Stops along Wilsey's tour include Cape Canaveral and Marfa, Texas. (July)

Picture Books

Gaston

Kelly DiPucchio, illustrations by Christian Robinson

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $16.99, ages 4-8

A bulldog raised by poodles and a poodle brought up with bulldogs meet and realize there's more to family than meets the eye in this book illustrated with vivid, graphic illustrations. (June)

Rupert Can Dance

Jules Feiffer

Michael di Capua/Farrar Straus and Giroux, $17.95, ages 3–6

Rupert the cat loves dancing in the dark — but then his owner catches him in this whimsical tale from the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist. (Aug)

Meaniehead

Bruce Eric Kaplan

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99, ages 4-8

The latest spat between bickering siblings over an action figure causes volcanoes to erupt and near world annihilation in this illustrated comedy of rivalry from the New Yorker cartoonist and author. (June)

Dalia's Wondrous Hair/El Cabello Maravilloso De Dalia

Laura Lacámara, translated by Gabriela Baeza Ventura

Piñata/Arte Público, $17.95, ages 4-9

A bilingual tale of Rapunzel in reverse: a little girl awakens to find her hair reaching straight up to the sky. (May)

I Got the Rhythm

Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrations by Frank Morrison

Bloomsbury Children's, $16.99, ages 3-6

During a joyful walk in the park, a mother and daughter bust impromptu moves to the rhythms and beats of butterflies, street performers and ice cream vendors. (June)

The Tree House That Jack Built

Bonnie Verburg, illustrations by Mark Teague

Orchard/Scholastic, $17.99, ages 3-5

Young Jack transforms an enormous banyan tree into a state-of-the-art treehouse with pulleys, swings and multiple decks for his animal friends in this rhyming picture book. (June)

Middle Grades

Star Wars: Jedi Academy #2

Return of the Padawan!

Jeffrey Brown

Scholastic, $12.99, ages 8-12

Roan's second year of middle school in a galaxy far, far, away proves harder than anticipated, and the pull of the dark side is strong when school bullies take him under their wing in Brown's latest graphic novel. (July)

Absolutely Almost

Lisa Graff

Philomel, $16.99, ages 9-12

After 10-year-old Albie is forced to leave his Manhattan private school, he finds new struggles — but also new friends and new strengths — in public school. (June)

The Great Greene Heist

Varian Johnson

Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, $16.99, ages 10-14

Reformed troublemaker Jackson Green assembles a crack team consisting of a tech genius, science goddess and accountant to ensure an honest run for student council in this fast-moving caper. (May)

How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied

Jess Keating

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $7.99 paper, ages 9-12

Life is literally a zoo for shy 12-year-old Anna, who is trying to avoid seventh-grade bullies while hiding that her family lives among crocodiles and elephants. (June)

Dreamwood

Heather Mackey

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, $16.99, Ages 9-12

When 12-year-old Lucy's scientist father goes missing, she embarks on a supernatural ecological adventure through a fantastical version of the Pacific Northwest. (June)

Steering Toward Normal

Rebecca Petruck

Amulet/Abrams, $16.95, ages 9-13

What starts off to be a good year for eighth-grade 4-H member Diggy Lawson turns bad, then confusing, when a long-lost half-brother moves in and shakes up his idea of a normal family. (May)

Loot

Jude Watson

Scholastic, $16.99, ages 8-12

After his cat burglar father dies, March is reunited with his twin sister. Sent to an orphanage, the two hatch an intricate plan to become jewel thieves themselves. (June)

Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes

Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Raul Colon

Dial Books for Young Readers, $19.99, ages 9-12

Twenty portraits and biographies pay homage to prominent Hispanic Americans, including activist Cesar Chavez, entertainer Desi Arnaz, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and baseball player Roberto Clemente. (Aug)

Young Adult

Ruin and Rising

Leigh Bardugo

Henry Holt, $18.99, ages 12+

In a world of magic and intrigue, a weakened Alina must forge new alliances in her epic quest to save the fate of the nation in this conclusion to the Grisha Trilogy. (June)

Shackleton

Antarctic Odyssey

Nick Bertozzi

First Second, $16.99 paper, ages 12+

This graphic novel details the survival story of the ill-fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-17 led by polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. (June)

Graduation Day

Joelle Charbonneau

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99, ages 12+

In the conclusion of the dystopian Testing trilogy, Cia Vale must find trustworthy allies to help stop the government's lethal scheme. (June)

The Hangman's Revolution

W.A.R.P. Book Two

Eoin Colfer

Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, ages 12+

A young, time-traveling FBI agent returns home to the present to find London run by a Fascist movement and an attack on Europe brewing in this second book in the "W.A.R.P" series by the author of "Artemis Fowl." (June)

Otherbound

Corinne Duyvis

Amulet/Abrams, $17.95, ages 14+

A small-town teen boy has the power to transport into the mind of a mute servant girl from another world tasked with protecting a renegade princess. (June)

Starbird Murphy and the World Outside

Karen Finneyfrock

Viking Children's Books, $17.99, ages 12+

When 16-year-old Starbird leaves the rural commune where she was raised, she is faced with a lot of new experiences: navigating high school, managing money, figuring out who she is. (June)

Conversion

Katherine Howe

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, $18.99, ages 12+

A mysterious illness is spreading though a private girls school in Massachusetts; could it be connected to similarly bizarre events three centuries before in Salem Village? (July)

Like No Other

Una LaMarche

Razorbill, $17.99, ages 12+

Trapped in an elevator during a hurricane in Brooklyn, a Hasidic Jewish girl and a book-smart African American boy make a forbidden love connection that could lead to dire consequences. (July)

Say What You Will

Cammie McGovern

HarperTeen, $17.99, ages 14+

A friendship between a girl with cerebral palsy and a boy with OCD blossoms into something more as they contemplate their future after high school. (June)

The Shadow Hero

Gene Luen Yang, illustrations by Sonny Liew

First Second, $17.99 paper, ages 12+

L.A. Times Book Prize winner Gene Luen Yang creates a comical origin story in this graphic novel about the Green Turtle, the first Asian American superhero. (July)

The Young World

Chris Weitz

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $19, ages 13+

Teenagers immune to a fatal plague search for a cure in a post-apocalyptic New York, battling cannibals, wild animals and other teens in this debut by the film director of "The Golden Compass." (July)

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