Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Widows, ex-presidents and Marilyn Monroe's dog: Upcoming books

Posted on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Novels, biographies, mysteries, theology ...

Makeshift Metropolis: Ideas about Cities, by Witold Rybczynski (Simon & Schuster, 250 pages, Nov. 9)
How can we get more green space in our cities? The Univ. of Penn urban thinker surveys the past (the Garden City, the City Beautiful) and then looks toward the future, keeping in mind the tension between the cities we want and the cities we need. By the author of Home and A Clearing in the Distance

Love in Complete Sentences, by Mary E. Mitchell (St.Martin's Griffin/Thomas Dunne, 300 pages, Nov. 23)
A novel about a widow with two rebellious kids; she's a high school guidance counselor. Somehow she can run a touchy-feely support group at school but can't talk to her own daughter without screaming and yelling.

Colonel Roosevelt, by Edmund Morris (Random House, 800 pages, Nov. 23) 
Third book in the monumental three-part biography (after The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex) covers TR's post-presidential years: safaris in Africa, forming a third party, running yet again for president, advocating the U.S. entry into WWI, his death at age 60. 

The Sherlockian, by Graham Moore (Twelve, Dec. 1)
A meta-Sherlock Holmes mystery: What happened to the diary that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle kept during the time when he decided first to kill off his super-sleuth and then revive him? A literary researcher is all happy when he gets to join the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, the Baker Street Irregulars — but then, when another Sherlock Holmes expert is murdered, our hero finds himself thrust into a dual mystery: Where's the diary, and who killed our victim?

Sea Change, by Jeremy Page (Viking, Dec. 2) 
In this novel, a divorced guy sets out to sea on a barge so he can write an imaginary diary about the man he should have been, the family he might have had.

The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe, by Andrew O'Hagan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 290 pages, Dec. 6) 
The dog observes her with Sinatra, JFK, Natalie Wood and Sammy Davis Jr. — suggesting that the way people interact with dogs is analogous to the way we project our fantasies onto celebrities.

Jesus Was a Liberal: Reclaiming Christianity for All, by Scotty MacLennan (Macmillan, 270 pages, Dec. 7) 
Feeling as if conservatives have hijacked your faith?

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