New in Hardcover
- Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter
The peanut farmer-turned-author and Nobel Peace Prize winner who technically can run for a second term (hint, hint!) tackles the Israeli-Palestine conflict and offers suggestions based on his intimate knowledge of the region and the people involved in a mess I, frankly, don't even understand. Could Jimmy have a second Peace Prize on the way?
- Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen
Which Florida-based humor writer would win in a fight, Carl Hiaasen or Dave Barry?
And while you ponder that imponderable scenario, consider this: while Barry's off writing Disney sequels and sentimental Christmas stories, Hiaasen is still cranking out his patented brand of lunacy. Nature Girl is the tale of the self-proclaimed "queen of lost causes," Honey Santana, who "has a scheme to help rid the world of irresponsibility, indifference, and dinnertime sales calls." It's probably the best Carl Hiaasen novel since his last one.
- Cross by James Patterson
Remember that Saturday Night Live sketch from the late '80s where someone was interviewing Stephen King (played by an actor I don't recall — Lovitz or Carvey, I think) and King was frantically typing away during the whole interview, then stopped abruptly and announced, "Wait... I think I may have writer's block!" He concentrated for a moment and said, "Nope, false alarm," then resumed typing at incredible speeds.
James Patterson's kind of like that now, except he hands off half his books to a "co-writer" (interpret that as you will). However, it does appear he still writes the Alex Cross books all by himself, and this one should be good news for Cross fans since it delves into the murder of his wife, which is the cross he has to bear... and, hey! His name's Cross! And the book is titled Cross! Coincidence?
- Santa Cruise: A Holiday Mystery at Sea by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark
The venerable mother-daughter mystery writing team offers a "fast-paced novel set on a holiday mystery cruise." The only unbelievable part of this will be if the mystery is solved. Have you seen those 18,000 episodes of Dateline and Primetime Live about all strange deaths on cruise ships that go unsolved and the cruise lines all try to hide or cover them up? I will never set foot on a boat again.
- The Christmas Pig: A Fable by Kinky Friedman
The writer who would have been the next governor of Texas pens a Christmas fable set in a magical kingdom, involving a Christmas miracle and a very special pig. The following line of the publisher's synopsis — "Commissioned by the king to paint the nativity scene to be unveiled at Christmas midnight mass, a ten-year-old autistic boy boy, who has never spoken, befriends a pig who helps him find his voice and his heart" — makes me wish he'd won the election.
- The Long Night of Winchell Dear: A Novel by Robert James Waller
Don't deny it — you totally bought a copy of The Bridges of Madison County in the '90s and you read it and loved it and totally cried at the ending! Whatever, you're living in denial. I know you read it, every single damn person on the planet did, there's no shame in admitting it. Well, there's a little shame... but hey, it made a pretty good movie where Clint Eastwood got it on with Meryl Streep (if you didn't mutter an "Ugh" after reading that line, there's something seriously wrong with you).
Anyway, the Bridges of Madison County guy is still around and getting novels published. This is his latest, a tale about "the shadowy world of high-stakes poker fought in the back rooms of Amarillo and Little Rock."
- The Senator and the Priest by Andrew M. Greeley
My mom used to read Greeley's books when I was a kid, and the cover art always confused me. When did priests get so buff and start taking off their shirts? And what were they doing clutching Bambi-eyed damsels in their sweaty, bare arms — can priests actually do it? Nowadays, Greeley probably realizes we know a lot more about the sex life of priests than we used to, and wisely figures it's a good idea to steer clear of that subject and head into smoother, safer, less controversial waters — like God and politics.
- The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2007
Just in time to prove how much smarter you are than the rest of your family! A whole new book of "updated information on every topic, from the everyday to the obscure" that you can load into your head before marching off to those holiday gatherings. Trust me... everyone loves lots of trivia, all the time!
- Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives by John Edwards
The man who could have been (and, by some counts, actually should be) our vice president steps out of the political arena to present "uplifting, touching, and engaging narratives from all kinds of people across the country" about their childhood homes. Awww. Interviewees includes Benecio del Toro, Bob Dole, Tommy Franks, Steven Spielberg, and George W. Bush. Just kidding about that last one.
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Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the Powells.com blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.
The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.
Books mentioned in this post