Sunday, September 7, 2014

5 Nonfiction titles to look for in September

New month, new books! Here's a selection of new non-fiction titles being released this month.

The Beat of My Own Drum by Shelia E. (September 2)."From the Grammy Award–nominated singer, drummer, and percussionist who has shared the stage with countless musicians and is renowned for her contributions throughout the music industry, a moving memoir about the healing power of music inspired by five decades of life and love on the stage... The Beat of My Own Drum is both a walk through four decades of Latin and pop music—from her tours with Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Prince, and Ringo Starr—to her own solo career. At the same time, it’s also a heartbreaking, ultimately redemptive look at how the sanctity of music can save a person’s life."

Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart by Lisa Rogak (September 9). I love the title of this new biography of Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show and as the description of the books notes "a comedian who has come to wield incredible power in American politics". Angry Optimist seems to perfectly sum up his approach to politics. The author Rogak is a frequent biographer: her past titles includes looks at the lives of authors Stephen King and Shel Silverstein, and a look at the life of another comedian with Daily Show ties, Stephen Colbert.

Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles by Bernard Cornwell (September 16).  "Bestselling author Bernard Cornwall is celebrated for his ability to bring history to life. Here, in his first work of non-fiction, he has written the true story of the epic battle of Waterloo - a momentous turning point in European history - a tale of one campaign, four days and three armies. He focuses on what it was like to be fighting in that long battle, whether officer or private, whether British, Prussian or French; he makes you feel you are present at the scene. It is a magnificent story. There was heroism on both sides, tragedy too and much misery."

A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention by Matt Richtel (September 23). A timely and emotional story about the hazards of texting and driving. "In this ambitious, compelling, and beautifully written book, Matt Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, examines the impact of technology on our lives through the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving. Richtel follows Reggie through the tragedy, the police investigation, his prosecution, and ultimately, his redemption ... A propulsive read filled with fascinating, accessible detail, riveting narrative tension, and emotional depth, A Deadly Wandering explores one of the biggest questions of our time—what is all of our technology doing to us?—and provides unsettling and important answers and information we all need."

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Chris Taylor (September 30). "In 1973, a young filmmaker named George Lucas scribbled some notes for a far-fetched space-fantasy epic. Some forty years and $37 billion later, Star Wars –related products outnumber human beings, a growing stormtrooper army spans the globe, and "Jediism" has become a religion in its own right. Lucas's creation has grown into far more than a cinematic classic; it is, quite simply, one of the most lucrative, influential, and interactive franchises of all time. Yet incredibly, until now the complete history of Star Wars -its influences and impact, the controversies it has spawned, its financial growth and long-term prospects-has never been told."

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