Summer reading guide: The reading season is heating up

What novels and biographies are coming? What's quirky? What should the kids be reading? Let our special reading guide of new and forthcoming titles help you decide what to read this summer.

The reading season is heating up
What novels and biographies are coming? What's quirky? What should the kids be reading? Let our special reading guide of new and forthcoming titles help you decide what to read this summer.

Fiction & Poetry

Page Turners


Travel & Outdoors

Current Events




Audio Books

A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion

A Novel
Ron Hansen
Scribner: $25
A woman beseeches her hosiery salesman lover to kill her husband in this Jazz Age tale based on an actual murder case. (June)

Busy Monsters

William Giraldi
W.W. Norton: $24.95
When a mediocre writer's bride-to-be leaves him to search for a legendary giant squid, he treks across the continent seeking counsel from nefarious creatures on how to win back her affections. (August)

Children and Fire

A Novel
Ursula Hegi
Scribner: $25
The lastest from the author of "Stones From the River" tells the story of a teacher in a German town in 1934 who is quickly being seduced by Hitler's propaganda into a reality circumscribed by fear, hatred and murder. (May)

Silver Girl

A Novel
Elin Hilderbrand
Reagan Arthur Books: $26.99
A woman who feels she's lost everything because of her Bernard Madoff-like husband tries to find solace with an old friend -- and an old flame. (June)

Ten Thousand Saints

A Novel
Eleanor Henderson
Ecco: $26.99
In her debut novel, set in the 1980s in New York's Lower East Side, the author takes on the timeless issues of youthful rebellion, family dynamics and coming to terms with one's own identity. (June)

Then Came You

A Novel
Jennifer Weiner
Atria: $26.99
The bestselling author's latest looks at how four women are bound by infertility and a hope for the future. (July)

The Language of the Sea

A Novel
James MacManus
Thomas Dunne Books: $24.99
An outspoken marine biologist loses his job, but not before taking his students on one last field trip to Cape Cod that takes an unexpected, harrowing turn. (available now)

The Land at The End of The World

A Novel
António Lobo Antunes
W.W. Norton: $26.95
An anguished medic, haunted by memories of war in Angola, spends a feverish night wrestling with his demons and recounting his experiences to anyone who will listen. (May)

The Kid

A Novel
Penguin Press: $25.95
The author of "Push" tells the story of Precious' son, Abdul, facing the violence of the world around him and coping with grief as he makes his way to adulthood in the wake of his mother's death. (July)

Three Days Before the Shooting...

The Unfinished Second Novel
Ralph Ellison, edited by John F. Callahan and Adam Bradley
Modern Library: $25 paper
A gathering of the portions of Ellison's planned opus -- a part of which appeared as "Juneteenth" in 1999 -- that he labored over until his death in 1994. (available now)

Double Shadow

Carl Phillips
Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $23
In this 11th collection, the poet delves into the dualities of life -- between our desires and reality -- that cause him to ask, "What am I, that I should stand/so apart from my own happiness?" (now available)

House of Holes

A Book of Raunch
Nicholson Baker
Simon & Schuster: $25
The literary provocateur whose other works include "The Mezzanine" and "The Anthologist" takes on the sex novel. (August)

Bye and Bye

Selected Late Poems
Charles Wright
Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $30
A selection of the prize-winning poet's spare, lyrical observations on life's essential questions, like the conflict between memory and the past: "It may not be written in any book, but it is written -- /You can't go back," he explains in "Littlefoot." (now available)

The Hair of Harold Roux

A Novel
Thomas Williams
Bloomsbury: $15 paper
In 1975, the National Book Award was given to two writers: Robert Stone for "Dog Soldiers" and Williams for this novel, which has been reissued with an introduction by Andre Dubus III. (June)

The GQ Candidate

A Novel
Keli Goff
Atria: $24.99
A scandal puts Luke Cooper, black and Jewish, in the Michigan governor's chair. His decision to then run for president causes turmoil for those close to him. (July)

The Final Storm

A Novel of the War in the Pacific
Jeff Shaara
Random House: $28
In the final book of his World War II series, Shaara tells the story of the struggle for Okinawa and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. (now available)

The Days of The King

A Novel
Filip FlorianHoughton Mifflin Harcourt: $22
It's 1866 and Central Europe is teetering on the brink of war as a bachelor dentist embarks on a dangerous journey to Bucharest with the new prince of Romania. (August)

Once Upon A River

A Novel
Bonnie Jo Campbell
W.W. Norton: $25.95
After the death of her father, 16-year-old Margo Crane sets out by boat on the dangerous Stark River to search for her vanished mother. (July)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

A Novel
Ransom Riggs
Quirk: $17.99
An odd collection of photographs peppers this tale of a teenager who stumbles upon an abandoned children's home on an island off the coast of Wales and discovers that the occupants may have been more than peculiar -- they may have been dangerous too. (June)

Crossing State Lines

An American Renga
Edited by Bob Holman and Carol Muske-Dukes
Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $27
A startling project: A lyrical relay race from coast to coast, linking 54 U.S. poets -- including Robert Pinsky, Heather McHugh and Robert Hass -- inspired by a classical Japanese poetic tradition. (now available)


A Novel
Jennifer HaighHarper: $25.99
Haigh's fourth novel, set in Boston in 2002, examines the effect of sexual abuse allegations on one priest's family. (now available)


A Novel
Esmeralda Santiago
Alfred A. Knopf: $27.50
A tale of love, discovery and adventure in 19th century Spain through the eyes of an indomitable, unforgettable woman; by the author of "When I Was Puerto Rican." (July)

The Chieu Hoi Saloon

A Novel
Michael Harris
PM Press: $19.95 paper
The lives of a Vietnam vet, a bar owner and a prostitute collide in a haunting story set against the backdrop of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. (now available)

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine

A Novel
Alina Bronsky
Europa: $15 paper
Three generations of women living in Soviet Russia in the 1980s are reunited in Germany. (now available)

Millennium People

A Novel
J.G. Ballard
W.W. Norton: $25.95
First U.S. publication of the late author's story of a psychologist who succumbs to a fringe middle-class protest movement in London. (July)

One Summer

A Novel
David Baldacci
Grand Central: $25.99
Baldacci takes leave from the thriller genre to write the story of a terminally ill family man who tries to reclaim his children after the death of his wife in an automobile accident. (June)

A Moment in the Sun

A Novel
John Sayles
McSweeney's: $29
An epic narrative set at the turn of the 20th century against the backdrop of the Spanish American War, the Yukon gold rush and publishers Hearst and Pulitzer's power plays in New York. (available now)

The Secret History of Costaguana

A Novel
Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Riverhead: $26.95
The confessions of a Colombian-born writer who, after Joseph Conrad's death in 1924, reveals how he shared the details of his turbulent, revolutionary life with the great novelist and gave Conrad the idea for his novel of South American unrest, "Nostromo." (June)

Selected Poems

Robert Pinsky
Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $26
A sampling of poems taken from the former U.S. poet laureate's recent collections, including "Gulf Music" and "Jersey Rain." (available now)

Sisterhood Everlasting

A Novel
Ann Brashares
Random House: $25
In this return of the Traveling Pants sisterhood, a proposed reunion of the far-flung friends in Greece takes an unexpected turn when tragedy strikes one of the quartet. (June)

State of Wonder

A Novel
Ann Patchett
Harper: $26.99
Ann Patchett's novel, set in the Amazon jungle, has a "Heart of Darkness" feel as a research scientist is sent to Brazil to track down a former mentor who disappeared while working on a potentially lucrative new drug. (June)

To Be Sung Underwater

A Novel
Tom McNeal
Little, Brown: $24.99
Twenty years on, a married woman wonders whether she can rekindle the flame with the man she loved in her youth. (June)

Whatever Gets You Through the Night

A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments
Andrei Codrescu
Princeton University Press: $22.95
Codrescu reimagines how Sheherezade saved Baghdad's virgins through a heroic feat of storytelling that lasted for 1,001 nights. (June)

The Year We Left Home

A Novel
Jean Thompson
Simon & Schuster: $25
Feminism, antiwar sentiment and the pull of city life shape this saga of a rural Iowa family spanning the last decades of the 20th century. (available now)

Titus Awakes

A Novel
Maeve Gilmore, based on a fragment by Mervyn Peake
Overlook Press: $25.95
Gilmore finishes her husband's lush, fantastical "Gormenghast" series, drawing on the pages Peake left behind with his death in 1968. (July)

The Tigerlily's Orchids

A Novel
Ruth Rendell
Scribner: $26
An ordinary house-warming party and a not-so-ordinary murder throw the residents of a group of private London flats into chaos.(June)

The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities

Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
Harper Voyager: $22.99
A collection of fantastic tales by today's best fantasy writers--including Holly Black, Cherie Priest and Jeffrey Ford--connected with the strange curios found in the house of an enignmatic doctor after his death. (July)

The Ridge

A Novel
Michael Koryta
Little, Brown: $24.99
The owner of a curiosity -- a land-locked lighthouse in rural Kentucky -- dies, leaving a warning that the light must be kept on to keep something away. Three people are drawn into finding out what this "something" is. (June)

The Most Dangerous Thing

A Novel
Laura Lippman
William Morrow: $25.99
The author of thrillers including "I'd Know You Anywhere" returns with her 16th novel. (August)

The Monkey's Wedding

And Other Stories
Joan Aiken
Small Beer Press: $24
Stories of the gothic and the uncanny, including several published under the pseudonym Nicholas Dee and several never before published. (Now available)

The Magician King

A Novel
Lev Grossman
Viking: $26.95M
The adventures continue for Quentin and his friends in the mystical land of Fillory, begun in the previous novel, "The Magicians." (August)

The Killer Is Dying

A Novel
James Sallis
Walker & Co.: $23
Lives of a killer, a burned-out detective and a young child intersect beneath the scorching sun of Phoenix. (August)

The Jefferson Key

A Novel
Steve Berry
Ballantine: $26
An assassination attempt on the U.S. president's life leads Justice Department operative Cotton Malone into an encounter with a conspiracy dating to the days of the Founding Fathers. (May)


A Novel
Matthew Dunn
William Morrow: $25.99
The author draws on his experience as a British field agent for his debut thriller about counterterrorism and a joint mission between the CIA and MI6 to catch a ruthless Iranian spy. (August)


An Historical Thriller
S.J. Parris
Doubleday: $26.95
Monk and philosopher Giordano Bruno's exploits in Elizabethan England continue -- he was first introduced in the novel "Heresy" -- as he uncovers plans for a foreign invasion that threatens the queen's reign. (May)

Kiss Her Goodbye

The New Mike Hammer Novel
Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Otto Penzler: $25
An aging Mike Hammer returns to his New York City and finds it changed in this unfinished manuscript completed by his friend and colleague Collins, author of the graphic novel "Road to Perdition." (May)

Kill Me If You Can

A Novel
James Patterson and Marshall Karp
Little, Brown: $27.99
The best kind of surprise -- a duffel bag full of diamonds -- falls into a hapless student's life, and he begins to fantasize about a new life … until he discovers that one of the world's greatest assassins wants the diamonds back. (August)

Hit List

An Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Novel
Laurell K. Hamilton
Berkley: $27.95
Anita Blake is called in to investigate a serial murderer in the Pacific Northwest, knowing the real culprits are a shadowy vampire group known as the Harlequin. (June)


A Novel
Karin Slaughter
Delacorte: $26
When police detective Faith Mitchell finds a break-in at her mother's house and blood on the door, she charges in with gun blazing and is suddenly plunged into a world where she becomes a witness … and a suspect. (June)


A Novel
China Miéville
Del Rey: $26
The harmonious society between humans and an enigmatic race of aliens on a distant planet is upset by political machinations in this latest tale by a first-rate builder of imaginary worlds. (May)

A Dance With Dragons

A Novel
George R.R. Martin
Bantam: $35
The fate of the Seven Kingdoms again hangs in the balance in this highly-anticipated novel from the author of "Game of Thrones." (July)

Triple Crossing

A Novel
Sebastian Rotella
Mulholland Books: $24.99
A rookie border patrol agent working the Line in San Diego is recruited to infiltrate a Mexican crime family and soon finds everything -- his career, romance, his life -- in grave peril. (August)

Damage Control

A Novel
Denise Hamilton
Scribner: $26
When her best friend is murdered, high-powered PR exec Maggie Silver handles the spin for her friend's father, a powerful Southern California politician, and gets sucked into family secrets and old tragedies as she manages the scandal. (August)

Clive Barker

The Painter, the Creature, and the Father of Lies
Edited by Phil and Sarah Stokes
Earthling: $35>
A collection of the horror master's nonfiction, including his reflections on creativity, other artists and the roots of fantasy found in our inner desires to answer the "siren song, inviting us to take a ghost ride into nightmare." (July)

Blood Money

A Novel of Espionage
David Ignatius
W.W. Norton: $25.95
The author of "Body of Lies" returns with the story of a young CIA officer charged with finding out who's killing members of an intelligence unit that is trying to broker peace with America's enemies. (June)

The Big Book of Adventure Stories

Edited and with an introduction by Otto Penzler
Vintage: $25 paper
A mystery editor par excellence provides a summer's worth -- and then some -- of adventures, featuring Zorro, the Cisco Kid, King Kong, the Scarlet Pimpernel, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle and much more. (May)

The Cut

A Novel
George Pelecanos
Little, Brown: $25.99
Spero Lucas has a knack for recovering stolen property since his return to the U.S. after serving in Iraq -- but when a crime boss hires him, Spero plunges into an amoral world that puts everything he holds dear at stake. (August)

The Gentlemen's Hour

A Novel
Don Winslow
Simon & Schuster: $25
Surfer-private eye Boone Daniels angers his fellow wave-catchers when he decides to help someone accused of killing a legendary surfer. (August)

The Astounding, The Amazing, The Unknown

A Novel
Paul Malmont
Simon & Schuster: $26
The time is during World War II, and science fiction writer Robert Heinlein and his "Kamikaze Group" have been enlisted to fight the Nazis. (July)

Portrait of a Spy

Daniel Silva
Harper: $26.99
The CIA enlists anti-terrorist expert Gabriel Allon in tracking down a dangerous American-born cleric with deadly plans. (July)


A Novel
J.P. Manchette
New York Review Books: $12.95 paper
A gorgeous killer travels through a sleepy town in this novel that takes the modern detective story and applies a hearty dose of satire. (available now)

A Drop of the Hard Stuff

Lawrence Block
Little, Brown: $25.99
Out of the NYPD, Matthew Scudder is trying to rebuild his life when the murder of a childhood friend confronts him with a question: Was his friend killed for what he did or for something he witnessed? (May)

The Hypnotist

A Novel
Lars Kepler
Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $27
Detective Inspector Joona Linna uses hypnotism on the sole eyewitness to a savage triple homicide -- the traumatized boy who watched his family murdered before his eyes. (July

Act of Passion

A Novel
Georges Simenon
New York Review Books: $14.95 paper
Though successful at his work and family life, a doctor grows dissatisfied and restless and thinks a casual affair is the perfect answer--until the consequences are far deadlier than he ever expected. (July)

Bad Intentions

An Inspector Sejer Mystery
Karin Fossum
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $24
Why are the corpses of young men being found in lakes? Inspector Konrad Sejer looks for the answer, and the murderer, in this latest in Fossum's popular series. (August)

Before I Go to Sleep

A Novel
S.J. Watson
Harper: $25.99
A chilling debut thriller about Christine Lucas, a woman whose mind is erased of everything about her -- her past, the people she loves, her name -- each time she goes to sleep. (June)

Betrayal of Trust

A Novel
J.A. Jance
William Morrow: $25.99
Jance returns with her latest thriller featuring J.P. Beaumont, a retired Seattle police officer. (July)

The Kingdom

A Fargo Adventure
Clive Cussler with Grant Blackwood
G. P. Putnam's Sons: $27.95
Husband-and-wife treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo are on a missing-persons search that takes them into unexpected corners of the Far East. (June)

The Map of Time

A Novel
Félix J. Palma
Simon & Schuster/Atria: $26
A Victorian-era romp involves H.G. Wells investigating alleged incidents of time travel and the dire consequences they could have upon history. (June)

Monument to Murder

A Capital Crimes Novel
Margaret Truman
Forge: $24.99
A private eye takes on a 20-year-old murder case, thinking he's got nothing to lose. He's wrong. (July).

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Dominion

A New Jason Bourne Novel
Eric Van Lustbader
Grand Central: $27.99
Jason Bourne's the ultimate lone gun, but this time -- in hunting terrorists that want to destroy America's strategic natural resources -- he enlists the help of Boris Karpov, an old friend and the head of a Russian spy agency. (July)

The Warsaw Anagrams

A Novel
Richard Zimler
Overlook: $25.95
An elderly Jewish psychiatrist investigates his grandnephew's murder in the Warsaw ghetto amid the horrors of the Holocaust. (July)

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

A Novel
Megan McDonald
Candlewick Press: $5.99 paper, ages 6-11
All her friends and family are leaving town for summer, and Judy Moody's stuck with boring Aunt Opal -- until she comes up with one of her plans leading to adventures -- and some trouble, of course.(May)

The Watcher

Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps
Jeanette Winter
Schwartz & Wade: $17.99, ages 4-8
The life of the famed English primatologist's studies of chimpanzees is brought to life with vivid colors and a clear, simple overview of her life.(now available)

The Last Apprentice

Rage of the Fallen
Joseph Delaney, illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith
Greenwillow: $17.99 (13 & up)
Tom Ward has battled boggarts, witches and all manner of fiends in previous books in this series. But is he strong enough to handle what awaits him in Ireland, a land he was warned to never set foot on?(now available)

LaRue Across America

Postcards From the Vacation
Mark Teague
Blue Sky Press: $16.99, ages 4-8
Ike the dog's correspondence from his road trip across America on which he is forced to bring two cats along as companions.(now available)

Just Being Audrey

Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos
Balzer & Bray: 32 pp., $16.99
How the ugly duckling that was Audrey Hepburn growing up in Nazi-occupied Holland became the swan that lit up the screen and used her fame to help the world's needy children.(now available)

I'm Not Her

A Novel
Janet Gurtler
Sourcebooks Fire: $9.99 paper, ages 13 and up
Two sisters are different in every way, but when beautiful, sporty Kristina is diagnosed with cancer, everyone turns to brainy Tess, who finds herself bearing responsibilities she's never had before.(now available)


Ethan Long
Little, Brown: $16.99, ages 4-8
A flashy chameleon who likes to stand out learns that joining in can be just as much fun.(now available)

Blueberry Girl

Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess
Harper: $17.99, ages 4-8
The author of "Coraline" pens a blessing for girls as they grow: "Let her tell stories and dance in the rain, somersault, tumble and run," bathed in the swirling illustrations of Charles Vess.(now available)

Arthur Turns Green

Marc Brown
Little, Brown: $16.99, ages 6-9
America's favorite aardvark is trying to save the Earth, but his spunky little sister D.W. can't understand her brother's weird behavior -- or his green hands!(now available)

The Accidental Genius of Weasel High

Rick Detorie
Egmont: $9.99 paper, ages 12 and up
A 14-year-old's quest to become the next great director is stymied by his inability to get his hands on a camcorder in this graphic novel by the creator of the comic strip "One Big Happy." (now available)

We Are America

A Tribute From the Heart
Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers
Collins: $16.99, ages 4-8
Panoramic paintings are paired with free verse and historic sayings in this sweeping look at our nation's history and its people.(now available)

Chike and the River

A Novel
Chinua Achebe
Anchor: $10 paper, ages 9-12
A tale of bravery and courage centered on an 11-year-old Nigerian boy's quest to cross the Niger River.(August)

Charlie and the Ranch Dog

Ree Drummond, illustrated by Diane deGroat
Harper: $16.99, ages 4-8
A cute little pooch introduces children--and urban canines--to the chores and challenges facing a dog living in the country, especially when the cows start grazing in Mama's vegetable garden. (now available)

Queen of the Falls

Chris Van Allsburg
Houghton Mifflin: $18.99, ages 6-9
This story of charm school teacher Annie Edson Taylor's attempt to be the first person to ride down Niagara Falls in a barrel deserves a spot on the bookshelf alongside the author's earlier books "The Polar Express" and "Jumanji."(now available)

Catch the Wind Harness the Sun

22 Super-Charged Science Projects for Kids
Michael J. Caduto
Storey: $16.95 paper, $26.95 hardcover, ages 8-13
Activities to get kids excited about renewable energy, such as using a bicycle to power a 12-volt battery or an umbrella cooker that harnesses the sun's energy to cook food.(now available)

The Midnight Palace

Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Little, Brown: $17.99, ages 12 & up
From the author of the blockbuster "The Shadow of the Wind" comes this story following the lives of twin teens born in Kolkata, India and kept hidden from a mysterious evil that hunts for them.(May)

To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays

Gertrude Stein, illustrated by Giselle Potter
Yale University Press: $25, all ages
"Alphabets and names make games," wrote Gertrude Stein -- modernist writer, expat and friend of Hemingway's -- who provides an adventure in language for minds both young and old in the first illustrated edition of the book written more than 70 years ago. (May)

When Bob Met Woody

The Story of the Young Bob Dylan
Gary Golio, illustrated by Marc Burckhardt
Little, Brown: $17.99, ages 9-12
The early days of a young Bob Zimmerman as he follows his dreams from rural Minnesota to New York City, where he meets his idol, Woody Guthrie.(now available)


Tracy C. Read, photographs by Tim Fitzharris
Firefly Books: $9.95 paper
Sharp, vivid images of Old Faithful and other wonders in Yellowstone National Park give young readers a sense of its grandeur whether or not they're planning a visit.(now available)

You Can Count on Monsters

The First 100 Numbers and Their Characters
Richard Evan Schwartz
CRC Press: $24.95, ages 4-8
Math is more fun when monsters are along! This colorful illustrated journey through the factor trees of 1-100 features a different creature for each prime number to help take the scariness out of arithmetic.(now available)


The Collected Traveler
Edited by Barrie Kerper
Vintage: $19
The City of Light shines bright in this collection of pieces on the region, the language and of course the food (including plenty of chocolate and wine). (July)

World Atlas of Golf

The Greatest Courses and How They Are Played
Mark Rowlinson
Hamlyn/Octopus: $24.95
This illustrated guide, now in paperback, explores the links of the world's most stunning and architecturally designed courses. (May)

On the Road to Babadag

Andrzej Stasiuk
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $23
A collection of travel narratives about central and eastern Europe by a man who hitchhiked across the land witnessing the remnants of communism. (June)

The Big Roads

The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways
Earl Swift
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $27
Travelers hitting the highways this summer might better appreciate the asphalt beneath their tires thanks to this engrossing history of the creation of the U.S. interstate system. (June)

Railway Maps of the World

Mark Ovenden
Viking: $35
Whether you're riding the rails this summer or just hitting the beach chair, the author's followup to his bestselling "Transit Maps of the World" shows you the routes people use to get around Argentina, Algeria and other points of the globe. (now available)

Paris to the Past

Traveling Through French History by Train
Ina Caro
W.W. Norton: $27.95
The author mixes her personal impressions with historical perspectives as she discusses Versailles, fortresses, cathedrals and cafes for both the armchair traveler and the casual tourist. (June)

Founding Gardeners

The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation
Andrea Wulf
Alfred A. Knopf: $30
How America's Founding Fathers' enthusiasm for nature and botanicals influenced their ideas about government. (now available)


Walker Evans, with an Introduction by Andrei Codrescu
Getty Publications: $24.95 paper
More than 70 of Evans' photographs from a 1933 trip to Cuba are reprinted in this new paperback edition with a provocative essay by Andrei Codrescu. (May)

Botanical Prints

Henry Evans
Counterpoint Press: $24.95
A vast array of the prolific illustrator's work comprising mainly California flora. Excerpts from Evans' notebook detail his physical process and thoughts behind his creations.

Boltzmann's Tomb

Travels in Search of Science
Bill Green
Bellevue Literary Press: $25
The author makes a pilgrimage around the globe to the places associated with scientific discoveries and the scientists who made them, including Newton, Kepler and Galileo. (June)

Among Giants

A Life With Whales
Charles "Flip" Nicklin
University of Chicago Press: $40
The gentle beasts in the depths of the ocean receive their fair share in this visually stunning tribute. (June)

American Eden

From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards: What Our Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are
Wade Graham
Harper: $35
How the American identity and its contradictions -- democratic ideals and aristocratic pretensions -- are reflected in our gardens, from Jefferson's Monticello to Martha Stewart's Turkey Hill. (now available)

100 Places to Go Before They Disappear

Patrick Drew
Abrams: $24.95
This compendium of travel destinations looks at the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, the tea fields of Sri Lanka and other environmentally fragile places around the world. (May)

The Cloud Collector's Handbook

Gavin Pretor-Pinney
Chronicle Books: $14.95
An illustrated guidebook to cumulus appreciation with scientific explanations to accompany your cloudgazing. (now available)

Hummingbirds and Butterflies

Bill Thompson III and Connie Toops
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $14.95 paper
How to attract, feed and identify all kinds of hummingbirds and butterflies, out in the wild or in your backyard. (now available)

Let There Be Pebble

A Middle-Handicapper's Year in America's Garden of Golf
Zachary Michael Jack
Nebraska: $24.95
An up-close look at every golfer's nirvana: the Pebble Beach Golf course in Carmel, Calif., in the year leading up to the 2010 U.S. Open. (June)

Strawberry Fields

Central Park's Memorial to John Lennon
Sara Cedar Miller
Abrams: $16.95
The images and story behind the 2.5-acre "peace garden," created with donations and contributions of trees, shrubs and stones from 121 countries around the world. (May)

The Tao of Travel

Enlightenments From Lives on the Road
Paul Theroux
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $25
The novelist and premier travel writer culls insights and wisdom from a variety of authors, philosophers and thinkers on the human need for travel and change. (May)

High Strung

Björn Borg, John McEnroe, and the Untold Story of Tennis' Fiercest Rivalry
Stephen Tignor
Harper: $25.99
Along with "Epic," Stephen Tignor celebrates the tennis clash of titans that electrified the sport in the 1970s and early 1980s. (May)

Yoga Bitch

One Woman's Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment
Suzanne Morrison
Three Rivers Press: $15 paper
The author ditched her pack of smokes and headed for Bali to better understand her cravings and search for her higher self. (August)

The Quotable Hitchens

From Alcohol to Zionism, the very best of Christopher Hitchens
Edited by Windsor Mann
Da Capo: $16.95 paper
A collection of gemlike insights pared from the public intellectual and author's many books and other writings. (May)

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary

A True Story of Resilience and Recovery
Andrew Westoll
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $25
Here's a story of a special family recovering from trauma: a group of chimpanzees rescued from a research lab and resettled at a sanctuary in the French Canadian countryside. (May)


Why You Need and Love the Rat Race
Todd G. Buchholz
Hudson Street Press: $25.95
The key to happiness is activity, not a vacation or going to a yoga camp, argues this economist who takes aim at those saying the goal in life is peace and quiet. (May)

Nom de Plume

A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms
Carmela Ciuraru
Harper: $24.99
An exploration of 16 writers who used secret identities to pen their works. It delves into the reasons and rationales of such authors as Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, George Orwell and the Brontë sisters. (June)

La Seduction

How the French Play the Game of Life
Elaine Sciolino
Times Books/Henry Holt: $26
Elaine Sciolino looks at how seduction shapes every aspect of French life, from food and wine to literature and foreign policy. (June)


John McEnroe, Björn Borg and the Greatest Tennis Season Ever
Matthew Cronin
Wiley: $25.95
An account of the thrilling battles between two tennis legends on Wimbledon's Centre Court and at the U.S. Open. (May)

Dog Sense

How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet
John Bradshaw
Basic Books: $25.99
Are dogs furry humans or friendly wolves? They're neither, argues the author, who looks at humanity's effect, for better and for worse, upon its four-legged friends. (June)


Travels in the New Third World
Michael Lewis
W.W. Norton: $26.95
The bestselling author of "The Big Short" returns with another chronicle of contemporary greed, excess and the desires that create speculative bubbles abroad and at home in the U.S. (June)

Bill Moyers Journal

The Conversation Continues
Bill Moyers
New Press: $29.95
Moyers draws from his successful public television series to present this eclectic selection of interviews with Howard Zinn, Jon Stewart, E.O. Wilson, John Grisham and many more. (June)

A Father's Love

One Man's Unrelenting Battle to Bring His Abducted Son Home
David Goldman
Viking: $ 26.95
Goldman describes his highly publicized ordeal to reunite with his young son, Sean, after his wife took the boy on a two-week vacation to her native Brazil and then decided to stay and keep Sean there. (May)

Yossarian Slept Here

When Joseph Heller was Dad, the Apthorp was Home, and Life was a Catch-22
Erica Heller
Simon & Schuster: $25
The intriguing incidents and characters encountered in a house where the father was a big-time novelist. (August)

Those Guys Have All the Fun

Inside the World of ESPN
James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales
Little, Brown: $27.99
How a gamble on a channel devoted solely to sports grew into a television empire. (May)

Rock the Casbah

Rage and Revolution Across the Islamic World
Robin Wright
Simon & Schuster: $26.99
A portrait of the fierce turmoil today among moderates and extremists in the Islamic world. (July)

Ghost in the Wires

My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker
Kevin Mitnick with William L. Simon
Little, Brown: $25.99
No computer system was too formidable -- or impenetrable -- for Mitnick, once a top "cyber criminal" who was on the run from the FBI for several years. (August)

Allah, Liberty and Love

The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom
Irshad Manji
Simon & Schuster: $25
The author looks at the contentious world views sometimes dividing Muslims and non-Muslims and suggests solutions to transcend those differences. (June)

12 Who Don't Agree

Valery Panyushkin
Europa Editions: $15 paper
The author, a journalist in Moscow, profiles a broad range of Russian citizens who, despite their social differences, share a common outrage against government corruption in their country. (July)

The Secret Life of Pronouns

What Our Words Say About Us
James W. Pennebaker
Bloomsbury: $28
Our most forgettable parts of speech -- pronouns and prepositions -- can be the most revealing about our feelings, our self-concepts and social intelligence. (August)

An Anatomy of Addiction

Sigmund Freud, William Halsted and the Miracle Drug Cocaine
Howard Markel
Pantheon: $27.95
Markel recounts the decades-long use of cocaine by Freud, father of modern psychoanalysis, and by Halsted, father of modern surgery. (July)

The Believing Braindiv>

From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies -- How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths
Michael Shermer
Times Books: $28
Is there a God? Are there ghosts? The founding publisher of Skeptic magazine looks at the web of personal, subjective and psychological factors that influence our understanding of reality. (June)

Intern Nation

How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy
Ross Perlin
Verso: $22.95
Are internships a learning experience or a revolving door for menial labor? The author chooses the latter in this exposé of the internship model, starting with the practices that keep the magic of the Walt Disney Co. going in its many ventures. (May)

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Impostor
Mark Seal
Viking: $26.95
Mark Seal unravels the true story of a man known as Clark Rockefeller, who in March was charged with the murder of John Sohus, his landlord in the Los Angeles suburb of San Marino. (June)

The Mirage Man

Bruce Ivins, the Anthrax Attacks, and America's Rush to War
David Willman
Bantam Books: $27
Willman, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, details the anthrax attacks and what they have meant for America. (June)

May Faraway One

Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz
Selected, annotated and edited by Sarah Greenough
Yale University Press: $39.95
Two giants of 20th century American art exchange letters written in very different styles, one spare and vibrant while the other is fervent and lyrical. Guess which is which. (June)

Reasonable Doubt

The Fashion Writer, Cape Cod, and the Trial of Chris McCowen
Peter Manso
Atria Books: $25.99
The murder of 46-year-old fashion writer Christa Worthington on Cape Cod became a media circus with the conviction and life imprisonment of Christopher McCowen. Was justice served? Peter Manso isn't so sure. (July)

Second Reading

Notable and Neglected Books Revisited
Jonathan Yardley
Europa Editions: $15
The Washington Post book critic explores the power and pleasure of literature to inform and entertain by revisiting masterpieces from our youth. (July)

Shock Value

How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood and Invented Modern Horror
Jason Zinoman
Penguin: $25.95
An entertaining account of the gifted, eccentric directors who gave us modern horror in the 1970s, including Wes Craven, Roman Polanski, John Carpenter and Brian De Palma, bringing a new brand of politics and gritty realism to the genre. (July)

Super Mario

How Nintendo Conquered America
Jeff Ryan
Portfolio/Penguin: $26.95
The rise of a video game giant on the shoulders of an always cheerful, portly little plumber. (August)

The World As It Is

Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress
Chris Hedges
Nation Books: $26.99
"War is always about betrayal," writes the author, a longtime war correspondent and Truthdig columnist, whose new book assesses the condition of life in the American Empire and its effect abroad. (available now)

The President and The Assassin

McKinley, Terror and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century
Scott Miller
Random House: $28
Former Wall Street Journal reporter Miller tells the story of the momentus years in America leading up to the assassination of President McKinley in 1901. (June)

The Golden Empire

Spain, Charles V and the Creation of America
Hugh Thomas
Random House: $35
The second of Hugh Thomas' three-volume history of Spain, this work looks at the years 1522 to 1566, when the country was the greatest power in Europe. (August)

Exorcising Hitler

The Occupation and Denazification of Germany
Frederick Taylor
Bloomsbury: $30
The impact and efforts to purge the specter of Hitler in the immediate months and years after World War II. (May)

The Whites of Their Eyes

Bunker Hill, the First American Army, and the Emergence of George Washington
Paul Lockhart
Harper: $27.99
The story of the first army raised on American soil and the challenges it faced in defending and protecting American interests against a superior opposing force. (June)

The First Detective

The Life and Revolutionary Times of Vidocq -- Criminal, Spy and Private Eye
James Morton
Overlook: $27.95
Was Eugene Vidocq the 18th century's James Bond? The author tracks the shadowy police officer-turned-detective whose exploits inspired novelists and left an indelible mark on crime detection. (June)

On China

Henry Kissinger
Penguin: $36
Drawing on 40 years of intimate acquaintance with the country and its leaders, Henry Kissinger reflects on how China's past relations with the outside world illuminate its 21st century trajectory. (May)


A Portrait
Patrick French
Alfred A. Knopf: $30
The authorized biographer of V.S. Naipaul turns to the subcontinent in this study of the complexities and contradictions that embody modern India. (June)

The Greater Journey

Americans in Paris
David McCullough
Simon & Schuster: $37.50
McCullough looks at the American expatriates -- artists, writers, doctors, architects -- who made Paris their home from 1830 to 1900. (May)


A History of Water and Humankind
Brian Fagan
Bloomsbury: $28
Archaeologist Fagan documents the human historical relationship with water, from sacred gift to exploited resource, and our move back to having reverence for it. (June)

Absolute Monarchs

A History of the Papacy
John Julius Norwich
Random House: $30
The respected historian of the Byzantine Empire and Venice now turns to one of the oldest institutions on Earth and those who have worn the mitred hat during its 2,000-year-old history. (July)

The Wars of Afghanistan

Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts and the Failures of the Great Powers
Peter Tomsen
PublicAffairs: $40
The author, who served as President George H.W. Bush's envoy to Afghanistan, examines how that nation's tribal society has shaped its modern narrative. (July)

The Sea

A Cultural History
John Mack
University of Chicago Press: $35
An inventive look at the oceans and their influence -- as barriers, as sources of commerce, life and cultural inspiration -- on human civilization and the relations among nations. (May)

The Murder of the Century

The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars
Paul Collins
Crown: $26
The author of "The Book of William" looks at the cradle in which 19th century yellow journalism was born: a dismembered corpse and rival newspapers jockeying to cover the grisly case. (June)

Rebels in Paradise

The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s
Hunter Drohojowska-Philp
Henry Holt: $27
Los Angeles was the epicenter of artistic cool in the 1960s, spawning a number of influential artists including Ed Ruscha, David Hockney, Robert Irwin and John Baldessari. (June)

In the Garden of Beasts

Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
Erik Larson
Crown: $26
The American ambassador to Germany during the early 1930s has concerns -- dismissed by the State Department -- about Hitler's ambitions, while his daughter becomes enamored of the Berlin society of the Third Reich. (May)

American Dreamers

How the Left Changed a Nation
Michael Kazin
Alfred A. Knopf: $27.95
From the early anti-slavery movement to Noam Chomsky and filmmaker Michael Moore, the author examines the radical thinkers and reformers who have transformed American politics and culture. (August)

Glen Ford

A Life
Peter Ford
University of Wisconsin Press: $24.95
Who would have a more intimate view of actor Glenn Ford than his son Peter? The author gives readers a glimpse of an actor who, though often playing an approachable Everyman on screen, retreated from the world and was deeply private. (June)

From This Moment On

Shania Twain
Atria: $26.99
The country singer defies her own rule to forget the past and focus on the future to describe her climb to success and the sometimes rocky price one pays for fame. (May)

If You Ask Me

(And of Course You Won't)
Betty White
Putnam: $25.95
The famed television and movie actress shares her wit and no-nonsense insights not only about life in Hollywood but also on friendship, pets, love and what it's like to turn 89. (May)

See a Little Light

The Trail of Rage and Melody
Bob Mould with Michael Azerrad
Little Brown: $24.99
The guitarist and singer describes being at the helm of the influential punk band Hüsker Dü and his life since -- the detours and solo career, and the addictions he's battled. (June)

Nicholas Ray

The Glorious Failure of an American Director
Patrick McGilligan
It Books/HarperCollins: $29.99
Glorious failure? The director of "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Johnny Guitar"? As the author shows in this first full-length biography, Nicholas Ray's genius struggled against his own self-destructive behaviors as he gave unforgettable films to American cinema. (July)

Jane Fonda

The Private Life of a Public Woman
Patricia Bosworth
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $30
The author of biographies of Diane Arbus and Marlon Brando among others, Patricia Bosworth draws on her own experiences with Jane Fonda--dating to their experiences together as students at the Actors Studio--for this intimate portrait of Fonda and the many influences (family, marriages, politics) that have shaped her life and career. (August)

Ethan Allen

His Life and Times
Willard Sterne Randall
W.W. Norton: $29.95
The story of a hero from the New England frontier whose daring attacks during the American Revolution with his Green Mountain Boys nourished the young nation's appetite for mythic tales. (June)

David Bowie

Paul Trynka
Little, Brown: $25.99
This biography tracks the shape-shifting artist's career through countless

Cocktail Hour Under The Tree of Forgetfullness

Alexandra Fuller
Penguin, $25.95
Fuller returns to Africa and the story of her unforgettable family in this sequel to "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight." (August)

Clarence Darrow

American Iconoclast
Andrew E. Kersten
Hill and Wang: $30
The author charts the great progressive attorney's rise from an obscure Midwestern childhood to his role as a defender of the downtrodden, as the "attorney for the damned." (May)

Far Out Isn't Far Enough

Life in the Back of Beyond
Tomi Ungerer
Phaidon Press, $29.95
The famed illustrator and his wife's tale of living off the grid in Nova Scotia in 1971. Revised text and never before seen illustrations included in this new edition. (May)

All In

From Refugee Camp to Poker Champ
Jerry Yang with Mark Tabb
Medallion: $24.95
Yang's memoir of becoming a world-class poker champion starts with his family, along with thousands of other Hmong, fleeing their Laotian homeland during the Vietnam War. (July)

Lady Blue Eyes

My Life With Frank Sinatra
Barbara Sinatra
Crown $24.99
How a self-described "farm girl from Missouri" rose from a hardscrabble life to find romance and enjoy a lively chemistry with Frank Sinatra during their 22-year marriage, the entertainer's fourth, last and longest. (June)

Reagan's Journey

Lessons From a Remarkable Career
Margot Morrell
Threshold Editions $25
The author offers motivational insights on persevering as reflected in the challenges that faced Ronald Reagan during his public career. (May)

Stan Musial

An American Life
George Vecsey
Ballantine Books: $26
Long considered one of baseball's great players, Stan Musial is one of the least-known names in the game. Vecsey sheds new light on the quiet gentleman. (May)

Stories My Father Told Me

Notes From 'The Lyons Den'
Jeffrey Lyons
Abbeville Press: $35
The film critic draws on his father Leonard's popular newspaper column for this collection of anecdotes about New York nightlife and the glitterati from the 1930s through the 1970s. (June)

This is Gonna Hurt

Music, Photography and Life Through the Distorted lens of Nikki Sixx
Nikki Sixx
William Morrow: $29.99
The bass player of Mötley Crüe continues his look at his life that began with his bestselling memoir of addiction, "The Heroin Diaries," in a book that is both a journal and album of Sixx's own photography. (May)

Thoughts Without Cigarettes

A Memoir
Oscar Hijuelos
Gotham Books: $27.50
The prize-winning author of many novels, including "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love," reflects on his childhood in a Cuban household in Harlem and what led him to become a writer. (June)

The Way Of Baseball

Finding Stillness at 95 MPH
Shawn Green with Gordon McAlpine
Simon and Schuster: $24
Green who played for the Dodgers for several seasons, offers thoughts on how to stay focused in physically and mentally demanding sport. (June)

What A Wonderful World

The Magic of Louis Armstrong's Later Years
Ricky Riccardi
Pantheon $28.95
His brilliant early success often causes music critics to cast Satchmo's later years into shadow -- Ricky Riccardi intends to show why this tendency is wrong. (June)

Witness to an Extreme Century

Robert Jay Lifton
Free Press: $30
A psychiatrist immersed in history, Lifton has devoted his life to probing some of the darkest moments of the 20th century. (May)

Wonder Girl

The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Don Van Natta Jr.
Little, Brown: $27.99
The first woman to play in the PGA and a founder of the LPGA, Babe Didrikson was a great all-sport athlete. In addition to golf, she was accomplished in basketball, baseball, diving and boxing. (June)

Wendy and the Lost Boys

The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein
Julie Salamon
Penguin: $29.95
Julie Salamon had exclusive access to the late playwright Wendy Wasserstein's private papers, journals and letters while creating a book that had the full cooperation of the Wasserstein family and literary executors. (August)

All My Life

A Memoir
Susan Lucci with Laura Morgan, read by the author
HarperAudio: $39.99 (12 hours)
What better to fill the coming void of "All My Children" leaving the airwaves? (available now)

The Corner Office

Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed
Adam Bryant, read by Oliver Wyman
Macmillan Audio: $19.99 (5 hours)
The New York Times deputy national editor interviews denizens of the corporate suite to glean the secrets of how to succeed in business by really trying. (available now)

Rawhide Down

The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan
Del Quentin Wilber, read by Jason Culp
Macmillan Audio: $39.99 (8 hours)
After a 1981 lunchtime speech in Washington D.C., President Reagan walked outside to an eruption of gunfire, but no one at the scene had any idea how serious the assassination attempt by John Hinckley was. This account by a Washington Post reporter re-creates that fateful event


How to Defeat Obama and Repeal his Socialist Programs
Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, read by the authors and Pete Larkin
HarperAudio: $39.99 (10 hours)
Political guru Dick Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, draw a blueprint for Republican victory in 2012 with a strategy that upends many of President Obama's reforms. (available now)

The Investment Answer

Learn to Manage Your Money & Protect Your Financial Future
Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. Murray, read by LJ Ganser
Hachette Audio: $18.98 (2 hours)
How to make five key decisions that will help secure your financial future. (available now)

Stories I Only Tell My Friends

An Autobiography
Rob Lowe, read by the author
Macmillan Audio: $29.99 (9 hours)
If you can get past that grizzled gaze on the box to actually open it, Rob Lowe's memoir of a lifetime in Hollywood reveals that he's more than just a pretty face. (available now)

Started Early, Took My Dog

A Novel
Kate Atkinson, read by Graeme Malcolm
Hachette Audio: $34.98 (12.5 hours)
Private eye Jackson Brodie ("Case Histories") is back, investigating a long-ago adoption in Yorkshire while the chief of security at a local shopping mall considers some adopting of her own. (available now)

Twelfth Insight

The Hour of Decision
James Redfield, read by Bruce Thomas
Hachette Audio: $29.98 (7.5 hours)
James Redfield ("The Celestine Prophecy") is back with Wil and his fellow seeker investigating a mysterious and fragmented manuscript that questions the apocalyptic aura of the Mayan calendar. (available now)

The American Heiress

A Novel
Daisy Goodwin, read by Katherine Kellgren
Macmillan Audio: $39.99 (13 hours)
The debut novel from British columnist and television producer Daisy Goodwin has an American heiress marrying England's prime catch in a Gilded Age union that, alas, quickly turns into a gilded cage. (June)

Agonizing Love

The Golden Era of Romance Comics
Michael Barson
Harper Design: $29.99
Forget Spider-Man. Instead, with "Agonizing Love," dip into the adventures of a young lady confronted with the horrible creature known as "Mother's Boy"! Or listen to the inner probings of an anguished woman, at her husband's hospital bedside, asking the burning question, "Was I a wicked wife?" Michael Barson has selected excerpts from the love comics genre that thrived from the 1940s to 1970s. It was a wildly successful genre, although, as Barson points out, it declined after "publishers sowed the seeds of their own undoing, glutting the market to the point where even the assembled legions of female comic-book readers couldn't keep all of these love publications afloat." Barson's book offers a rich, overlooked angle on the comics industry.

There, I Fixed It! No, You Didn't

Cheezburger Network
Andrews McMeel: $14.99
Some of the quirkiest books this summer are built around a very simple theme: Guys are idiots. "There, I Fixed It" presents some of the goofiest solutions to basic problems. You're out of candles for that birthday cake? Just use the matches instead! Hey, don't throw away that empty plastic soda bottle: Poke holes in it, stick it on the end of the hose and, voilà! a lawn sprinkler! These are ideal gifts to gently jab that particular male in your life who already has one crucial skill: He knows how to laugh at himself.

The Modern Gentleman

A Guide to Essential Manners, Savvy & Vice
Phineas Mollod and Jason Tesauro
Ten Speed Press: $15.99
Thankfully, there's another slate of books to help out the poor, clueless male species to answer timeless questions, such as, what is the proper way to hold an infant? What is the worst time to flirt with someone? Much of the content in these books seems directed at funny, perennial topics like the best pickup lines and how to find the North Star (which suggests that males divide their time between chasing females and spending time in the woods). There are sections, however, devoted to history, literature and the finer points of conversation.

The Meowmorphosis

A Novel
Franz Kafka and Coleridge Cook
Quirk Books: $12.95
"One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that he had been changed into an adorable kitten." The publisher continues its crusade, which started with "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," to digest classic novels and then regurgitate them with unexpected, often bizarre perspectives. You'll have to decide for yourself if the execution of this conceit, in which Kafka's plot is helped by Coleridge Cook (we're told this is the pseudonym of a fantasy writer), is purrrfect.

The Hunting of The Snark

An Agony in Eight Fits
Lewis Carroll
British Library/University of Chicago Press: $19.95
Lewis Carroll's epic nonsense poem was first published in 1876. With the release of this gorgeous facsimile edition, readers today can experience the poem just as Victorian readers did. This story of a chaotic quest is a delight in any format, but here, bound in a vivid red-and-gold cover, the poem isn't the only work of art, the book is too.

The Art of Roughhousing

Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It
Anthony T. DeBenedet and Lawrence J. Cohen
Quirk Books: $14.95
The idea behind this book -- that a good childhood involves some healthy, sometimes reckless play -- isn't what's quirky: The diagrams are! Want to know the proper position for launching your son like a human cannonball? This falls under the "hard" category in the levels of difficulty and requires a crucial item, as illustrated by a diagram: a mattress. The last thing you want is for your 6-year-old to do a face-plant on the family room floor.

Of Course You're Still Cool, Honey

Dan Consiglio
FW Media: $12.95
Some of the quirkiest books this summer are built around a very simple theme: Guys are idiots. "Of Course You're Still Cool, Honey" is a funny look at guys' silly fashion sense, especially when they try rocking styles that went out years ago (get rid of the T-shirt and slip-on shoes á la "Miami Vice," OK?). These are ideal gifts to gently jab that particular male in your life who already has one crucial skill: He knows how to laugh at himself.

Man Up!

367 Classic Skills for the Modern Guy
Paul O'Donnell
Artisan: $14.95
Thankfully, there's another slate of books to help out the poor, clueless male species to answer timeless questions, such as, what is the proper way to hold an infant? ("Man Up!" says to use the crook of the elbow to support the baby's head.) These are fun, interesting books that provide an old-fashioned alternative to the Internet.

A Cookbook for a Knucklehead

Bachelor, New Graduate, Beginner, and Other Spoiled Brats
Harold W. Pearman
Outskirts Press: $29.95
Some of the quirkiest books this summer are built around a very simple theme: Guys are idiots. "A Cookbook for a Knucklehead" not only gives careful step-by-step instructions, it also includes photos of the meals at different stages of completion so you know what to expect!

Wicked Bugs

The Louse that Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects
Amy Stewart
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: $18.95
What would summer be without bugs? Although Amy Stewart's book looks at some fearful creatures, like the scorpion, or those spiders belonging to the Latrodectus genus that everybody knows as the black widow spider, Stewart also ably guides us through what we might find in our gardens or caught in the porch screen on a late afternoon.

The Good Book

A Humanist Bible
A.C. Grayling
Walker & Co.: $35
If you're seeking reading of the more meditative sort, British philosopher A.C. Grayling has drawn on a variety of world traditions to create the prose of "The Good Book." The book is formatted to resemble the traditional categories in the Bible. The similarity, however, ends there. In a section titled "Histories," "offered to preserve remembrance of what mankind has experienced," Grayling draws mostly on ancient Greek and Roman chroniclers; the section "Songs" (passages are drawn from Chinese and Persian poetry) celebrates divinity as we find it in each other: "Do I love you for the fine soft waves of hair/That fall about your neck when you undress?"

3D Art Book

Tristan Eaton, with a foreword by Carlo McCormick
Prestel: $35
Classic works of contemporary art come to life with a little help from an accompanying pair of cheap glasses with red and blue lenses. As founder and creative director of Thunderdog Studios, Eaton gathers a variety of works, including graffiti pieces by Dr. Revolt, Claw Money and others as well as pieces by Todd Schorr and Shepard Fairey that, with this three-dimensional treatment, lift off the page, feeling unexpectedly concrete, almost tangible. (Also new this season is a series of books from Taschen on adult topics that takes a very three-dimensional approach to the human body.)

The Sky over the Louvre

A Graphic Novel
Bernard Yslaire and Jean-Claude Carriere
NBM Publishing: $19.99
Everything, including history, has been touched by the comics/graphic novel world, and that includes one of the most visited places in the world, the Louvre Museum in Paris. This second of two graphic novels about the museum focuses on the tumultuous years of the French Revolution and a painting of the Supreme Being, ordered by Robespierre from the famous painter David.

50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)

Gever Tulley and Julie Spiegler
New American Library: $18
The idea behind this book -- that a good childhood involves some healthy, sometimes reckless play -- isn't what's quirky: The diagrams are! Want to know the proper position for launching your son like a human cannonball? This falls under the "hard" category in the levels of difficulty and requires a crucial item, as illustrated by a diagram: a mattress. The last thing you want is for your 6-year-old to do a face-plant on the family room floor.

Go the F... to Sleep

Adam Mansbach, illustrated by Ricardo Cortés
Akashic Books: $14.95
No matter how many lullabies you sing to them, no matter how much warm milk you pour down their throats, toddlers don't always drift off to sleep like you want. Adam Mansbach's funny, profane sendup to all those cutesy bedtime books that make it all look so easy is perfect for any frustrated parents who have had that 10- or 15-minute bedtime routine go horribly wrong and turn into an insomniac marathon. It's definitely not a book to read to your kids. Read it with your spouse instead and share a few laughs.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times