Buzz is building for Where Good Ideas Come From by science writer Steven Johnson. The New York Times ran an early review in the Business section, praising Johnson’s storytelling ability in this exploration of innovative environments like the city and the Internet, and how a “series of shared properties and patterns… recur again and again in unusually fertile environments.”
At libraries we checked, current orders are in line with reserves, but this looks like one to watch, since Johnson was also a featured speaker at TED, the elite technology, entertainment and design conference, this summer. And his cool video trailer for the book appears to be going viral.
Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow gets a respectful review from critic Janet Maslin in the New York Times, who finds that this biography is justified by new material unearthed from Washington’s papers at the University of Virginia.
At 900-odd densely packed pages, Washington can be arid at times. But it’s also deeply rewarding as a whole…. [and] offers a fresh sense of what a groundbreaking role Washington played, not only in physically embodying his new nation’s leadership but also in interpreting how its newly articulated constitutional principles would be applied.
Entertainment Weekly gives the book an “A-,” adding that Chernow
…makes excellent use of Washington’s own voice — the man’s angry letters are like thunderbolts — and turns constitutional debates and bureaucratic infighting into riveting reading.
Notable Nonfiction on Sale Next Week
A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson (Random House) is “a wonderfully meandering journey through history, sociology, science, and more. The thread that connects it all is Bryson’s. . . home, a charming former church rectory in a small English village,” according to bookseller Christopher Rose in the October Indie Next Pick citation. NPR’s Morning Edition will feature the book on October 5, followed by the New York Times Book Review on October 10. It is also the Amazon Spotlight Selection for the month of Oct.
Is It Just Me or Is It Nuts Out There? by Whoopi Goldberg (Hyperion) finds the actress and co-host of ABC’s The View sharing stories from her own life, when she’s been forced to deal with tough situations in family, marriage, friendship, and business.
Cesar’s Rules by Cesar Millan & Melissa Jo Peltier (Crown) is the bestselling dog trainer’s primer on establishing the rules of the house.
The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (Harper) considers the far-reaching consequences of the co-evolution of dogs and humans, drawing from recent scientific research.
You: Raising Your Child by Michael F. Roizen & Mehmet C. Oz (Free Press) explores the biology and psychology of raising a child from birth to school age.
Trickle Up Poverty by Michael Savage (Morrow) is the author and conservative talk show host’s attack on President Obama’s agenda and his political tactics.
I’m Not High: (But I’ve Got a Lot of Crazy Stories about Life as a Goat Boy, a Dad, and a Spiritual Warrior) by Jim Breuer (Gotham/Penguin) is a memoir by the comedian and Sirius radio show host best known as “Goat Boy” on Saturday Night Live. He was also featured on the ALTAFF Humor Panel at ALA Annual.