Nonfiction Radar: May 7th – 13th

Arriving next week are a father-son memoir from Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, biographies of Clarence Birdseye by the author of Cod and Salt and foodie Craig Claiborne by Thomas McNamee, plus a wacky self-help book from Augusten Burroughs.

Along the Way: The Journey of Father and Son by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez (S&S/Free Press) is a joint memoir by father and son, both well-known actors. It’s partly set in Hollywood, but its through-line is the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage path across northern Spain, from which Sheen’s father emigrated to the U.S. and to which Estevez’s own son has returned to live. A Today Show interview is scheduled for May 8.

Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man by Mark Kurlansky (RH/Doubleday) is a biography of Clarence Birdseye, the inventor of fast-freezing for food, written by the author of Cod and SaltKirkus says, “Kurlansky tells the exciting tale of Birdseye’s adventures, failures and successes (he became a multi-millionaire) and his family, and he also offers engaging snippets about Velveeta, dehydration and Grape-Nuts. The author notes that Birdseye knew that curiosity is ‘one essential ingredient’ in a fulfilling life; it is a quality that grateful readers also discover in each of Kurlansky’s books.”

The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance by Thomas McNamee (S&S/Free Press; Tantor Media) is an authorized biography of culinary tastemaker Craig Claiborne’s Parisian days, world travels, and influence on American chefs and food culture. Kirkus calls it ”a highly readable, well-researched narrative.”

This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More by Augusten Burroughs (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press; Thorndike Press; Macmillan Audio) is an unconventional self-help book by the bestselling author who chronicled how he overcame an abusive childhood. “Despite pages of platitudes, Burroughs provides plenty of worthy material on the absurdity of the human condition and the unpredictability of contemporary life,” says Kirkus.

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