New Releases: Get Ready for Hot Takes

Every now and then, a book drops that dominates the literary landscape. Sometimes they are highly anticipated releases of noteworthy fiction, other times a new book about a life or even cookbooks that highlight a new dietary fad or nutritional-based lifestyle change. This month, the headliner is a sobering account of the capabilities of the leader of the free world.

Warning, by Anonymous has been on booksellers radars for a month or so now. The author, a vetted “senior official” in President Donald Trump’s Whitehouse, first wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in September. Since then, many have tried to figure out the man or woman’s identity. I will be reviewing the book this week – there are dozens and dozens of reviews already out there – but just know this: this reviewer feels this is a necessary read for voters of all stripes before the 2020 election.

Ship of Dreams by Gareth Russell

In April 1912, six notable people were among those privileged to experience the height of luxury—first class passage on “the ship of dreams,” the RMS Titanic: Lucy Leslie, Countess of Rothes; son of the British Empire, Tommy Andrews; American captain of industry John Thayer and his son Jack; Jewish-American immigrant Ida Straus; and American model and movie star Dorothy Gibson. Within a week of setting sail, they were all caught up in the horrifying disaster of the Titanic’s sinking, one of the biggest news stories of the century. Today, we can see their stories and the Titanic’s voyage as the beginning of the end of the established hierarchy of the Edwardian era.

Writing in his elegant signature prose and using previously unpublished sources, deck plans, journal entries, and surviving artifacts, Gareth Russell peers through the portholes of these first-class travelers to immerse us in a time of unprecedented change in British and American history. Through their intertwining lives, he examines social, technological, political, and economic forces such as the nuances of the British class system, the explosion of competition in the shipping trade, the birth of the movie industry, the Irish Home Rule Crisis, and the Jewish-American immigrant experience while also recounting their intimate stories of bravery, tragedy, and selflessness.

Masterful in its superb grasp of the forces of history, gripping in its moment-by-moment account of the sinking, revelatory in discounting long-held myths, and lavishly illustrated with color and black and white photographs, this absorbing, accessible, and authoritative account of the Titanic’s life and death is destined to become the definitive book on the subject. – Simon and Schuster

The Captain and the Glory by Dave Eggers

A savage satire of the United States in the throes of insanity, this blisteringly funny novel tells the story of a noble ship, the Glory, and the loud, clownish, and foul Captain who steers it to the brink of disaster.

When the decorated Captain of a great ship descends the gangplank for the final time, a new leader, a man with a yellow feather in his hair, vows to step forward. Though he has no experience, no knowledge of nautical navigation or maritime law, and though he has often remarked he doesn’t much like boats, he solemnly swears to shake things up. Together with his band of petty thieves and confidence men known as the Upskirt Boys, the Captain thrills his passengers, writing his dreams and notions on the cafeteria wipe-away board, boasting of his exemplary anatomy, devouring cheeseburgers, and tossing overboard anyone who displeases him. Until one day a famous pirate, long feared by passengers of the Glory but revered by the Captain for how phenomenally masculine he looked without a shirt while riding a horse, appears on the horizon . . . Absurd, hilarious, and all too recognizable, The Captain and the Glory is a wicked farce of contemporary America only Dave Eggers could dream up. – Penguin

Yoga For the Inflexible Male by Yoga Matt

A yoga book for the chronically inflexible, with practical, down-to-earth advice for weekend warriors, aging athletes, and anyone else who could benefit from a bit more flexibility in their lives.

The benefits of yoga–greater strength, flexibility, and presence of mind–are for anyone, no matter their skill level. But most classes don’t feel that way if you’re a first-timer–or an inflexible male. Enter Yoga for the Inflexible Male, a welcoming and humorous guide for people of all stripes that gives three vetted hour-long yoga routines, each with roughly a dozen yoga poses. The poses are illustrated and described in depth, and each one contains variations so that they are accessible to anyone, no matter their flexibility. The back of the book also has sequences geared for practitioners of specific sports, like running, biking, climbing, and so on. As more and more men are encouraged to increase their flexibility, the health advantages of yoga are no longer beyond their reach. – Penguin

A Warning by Anonymous

An unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the Trump presidency from the anonymous senior official whose first words of warning about the president rocked the nation’s capital.

On September 5, 2018, the New York Times published a bombshell essay and took the rare step of granting its writer anonymity. Described only as “a senior official in the Trump administration,” the author provided eyewitness insight into White House chaos, administration instability, and the people working to keep Donald Trump’s reckless impulses in check.

With the 2020 election on the horizon, Anonymous is speaking out once again. In this book, the original author pulls back the curtain even further, offering a first-of-its-kind look at the president and his record — a must-read before Election Day. It will surprise and challenge both Democrats and Republicans, motivate them to consider how we judge our nation’s leaders, and illuminate the consequences of re-electing a commander in chief unfit for the role.

This book is a sobering assessment of the man in the Oval Office and a warning about something even more important — who we are as a people. – Twelve Books

Great Society: A New History by Amity Shlaes

The New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Man and Coolidge offers a stunning revision of our last great period of idealism, the 1960s, with burning relevance for our contemporary challenges.

Today, a battle rages in our country. Many Americans are attracted to socialism and economic redistribution while opponents of those ideas argue for purer capitalism. In the 1960s, Americans sought the same goals many seek now: an end to poverty, higher standards of living for the middle class, a better environment and more access to health care and education. Then, too, we debated socialism and capitalism, public sector reform versus private sector advancement. Time and again, whether under John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, or Richard Nixon, the country chose the public sector. Yet the targets of our idealism proved elusive. What’s more, Johnson’s and Nixon’s programs shackled millions of families in permanent government dependence. Ironically, Shlaes argues, the costs of entitlement commitments made a half century ago preclude the very reforms that Americans will need in coming decades.

In Great Society, Shlaes offers a powerful companion to her legendary history of the 1930s, The Forgotten Man, and shows that in fact there was scant difference between two presidents we consider opposites: Johnson and Nixon. Just as technocratic military planning by “the Best and the Brightest” made failure in Vietnam inevitable, so planning by a team of the domestic best and brightest guaranteed fiasco at home. At once history and biography, Great Society sketches moving portraits of the characters in this transformative period, from U.S. Presidents to the visionary UAW leader Walter Reuther, the founders of Intel, and Federal Reserve chairmen William McChesney Martin and Arthur Burns. Great Society casts new light on other figures too, from Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, to the socialist Michael Harrington and the protest movement leader Tom Hayden. Drawing on her classic economic expertise and deep historical knowledge, Shlaes upends the traditional narrative of the era, providing a damning indictment of the consequences of thoughtless idealism with striking relevance for today. Great Society captures a dramatic contest with lessons both dark and bright for our own time. – Harper Collins

Science Comics: Skyscrapers by John Kerschbaum

Leave no brick unturned in John Kerschbaum’s Science Comics: Skyscrapers, the latest volume in First Second’s action-packed nonfiction graphic novel series for middle-grade readers!

Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic—dinosaurs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, robots, and more. These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects. Whether you’re a fourth grader doing a natural science unit at school or a thirty-year-old with a secret passion for airplanes, these books are for you!

In this volume, join a pair of superheroes as they uncover the secrets of skyscrapers, from the great Egyptians pyramids to the world’s tallest building. Read along and learn how skyscrapers are a bold combination of applied physics, ingenuity, and a lot of hard work! – Macmillan

Little Legends by Vashti Harrison

New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Vashti Harrison shines a bold, joyous light on black men through history.

An important book for readers of all ages, this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of black men in history.
Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and artists, politicians and pop stars, athletes and activists. The exceptional men featured include artist Aaron Douglas, civil rights leader John Lewis, dancer Alvin Ailey, filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, musician Prince, photographer Gordon Parks, tennis champion Arthur Ashe, and writer James Baldwin.
The legends in this book span centuries and continents, but what they have in common is that each one has blazed a trail for generations to come. – Little, Brown

Author: Rich Collins

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