New Books Network

Bob Spitz, “Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child” (Knopf, 2012)
I confess I knew nothing about Julia Child prior to reading Bob Spitz‘s new book. And yet, from the dramatic opening passages through its 500+ pages, Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child (Knopf, 2012) held me captive. How many people, much less women, change our attitudes, beliefs, and culture?... Read More
Jean Zimmerman, “Love, Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012)
The portrait is startling. Painted by John Singer Sargent, “Mr. and Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes” depicts a woman dressed casually, almost masculinely, save a voluminous white skirt. Her hand is held brazenly at her hip as her presence nearly obscures that of her husband, who hovers in the background like... Read More
Cory MacLauchlin, “Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces” (Da Capo, 2012)
If you’ve spent any time in New Orleans, you can appreciate the challenge of putting the city’s joie de vivre into words.However, as a New Orleans native, John Kennedy Toole was steeped in the traditions and flavor of his hometown and, therefore, uniquely qualified to write about it. His novel,... Read More
Paul Gutjahr, “Charles Hodge: Guardian of American Orthodoxy” (Oxford UP, 2011)
When I was in Seminary I was assigned many theological tomes to read and one was especially difficult to get through. It was Systematic Theology by Charles Hodge. This work was dense, long, and I must confess, wound up mostly unread. So when I came across Dr. Paul Gutjahr‘s Charles... Read More
Dave Oliphant, “KD: A Jazz Biography” (Wings Press, 2012)
Texas poet/author/historian Dave Oliphant‘s KD: A Jazz Biography (Wings Press, 2012) is a poetic tribute to the life of Jazz trumpeter and one of the original Jazz Messengers, Kenny Dorham. Dorham, who played with some of the jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Art Blakey, Monk and many, many... Read More
Kate Buford, “Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe” (Bison Books, 2012)
If you watched the U.S. broadcast of the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony, you may have heard Matt Lauer and Bob Costas mention Jim Thorpe during Sweden’s entrance. Thorpe, arguably the best all-around athlete in U.S. history, won Olympic gold in both the pentathlon and the decathlon in the... Read More
Anne Sebba, “That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor” (St. Martin’s Press, 2012)
The story of Wallis Simpson and the Duke of Windsor is more often than not presented as a great love story: she is the woman for whom the King gave up the throne. It’s precisely this oversimplification of the facts that Anne Sebba seeks to correct in her excellent new... Read More