October 1, 2016 Booklist 5 www.booklistonline.com
rious crime will appeal to true crime and legal
thriller buffs. —Carol Haggas
Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart
of the American Experience.
By Melanie Kirkpatrick.
Oct. 2016. 272p. Encounter, $25.99 (9781594038938).
Everyone thinks they know all about
Thanksgiving, but Kirkpatrick proves otherwise with this well-researched, entertaining
study. Formerly with the Wall Street Journal, Kirkpatrick delves into the origins and
practices of the popular holiday, examining
history, religion, hospitality, football, turkey,
and thanks. She uses excerpts from period
writings to debunk some popular depictions
of the first Thanksgiving, highlights other
early celebrations, and tells the backstory of
the Pilgrims. Although George Washington
read the first Thanksgiving proclamation, it
was Abraham Lincoln (with some prodding
from magazine editor Sara Joseph Hale) who
made it a national holiday celebrated on the
fourth Thursday of November. Kirkpatrick
also illuminates the Native American perspective, documenting the fact that some tribes
consider the holiday a day of mourning rather
than rejoicing. Excerpts from selected readings and traditional menus and recipes round
out the book. In the end, Kirkpatrick presents
Thanksgiving as a day to celebrate gratitude,
generosity, and inclusion. Filled with facts
and fun, this involving exploration of the
holiday will be a welcome addition to library
collections. —Candace Smith
YA: An engaging and distinctive approach
to American history for curious YAs and
for class assignments. CS.
You Will Not Have My Hate.
By Antoine Leiris. Tr. by Sam Taylor.
Oct. 2016. 144p. Penguin, $23 (9780735222113).
Shortly after Leiris’ wife, Hélène, was
killed in the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, he wrote an open letter on
Facebook declaring that he and the couple’s
17-month-old son, Melvil, would not give
those responsible for her death, and that of
so many others, “the satisfaction of [our]
hate.” The moving letter went viral, was
picked up by news outlets, and inspired
strangers far and wide to send their support
to Leiris’ sadly shrunken family. In a different life, journalist Leiris would have chosen
fiction for his first book, he says, but instead
he writes this in the raw days that follow: the
date- and time-stamped goings-on of his and
Melvil’s new life, which feels like another
family’s story. Though fresh realizations of
despair await their every step, Leiris chooses to focus on his wife’s absence, and how
they’ll deal with it: “What would I be telling
[Melvil] if I placed the responsibility for the
circumstances of our life at someone else’s
feet?” This powerful one-sitting read speaks
of a very specific grief to which many in the
world feel connected. —Annie Bostrom
Einstein’s Greatest Mistake.
By David Bodanis.
Oct. 2016. 304p. HMH, $27 (9780544808560). 530.092.
As famous as Einstein is, his purely scien-
tific renown, outside of special and general
relativity, is minimal. According to Bodanis,
author of E = MC2: A Biography of the World’s
Most Famous Equation (2000), that was owing
to Einstein’s rejection of quantum mechan-
ics. Why Einstein refused to be convinced,
leading physicists to ignore him for the last
decades of his life, is the focus of Bodanis’ tour
through Einstein’s intellectual and personal
attitudes. What were strengths of character in
his youth, such as skepticism, intuition, and
great self-confidence, in middle to old age
made him “downright obdurate.” He also,
in Bodanis’ view, held paradoxically to some
beliefs about physics that he otherwise over-
threw with the relativity theories. Einstein felt
deeply that causality and not chance operated
the universe; he could not abide the quantum
mechanics theory that reality at a subatomic
level is unknowable. Bodanis explores Ein-
stein’s all-too-human traits, from inflexibility
to professional frustrations and the complica-
tions of his two marriages. By also explaining
the theories that made Einstein Einstein, Bo-
danis crafts an accessible introduction to this
iconic genius. —Gilbert Taylor
The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy.
By Michael McCarthy.
Oct. 2016. 272p. New York Review, $27.95
Longtime environmental correspondent
McCarthy does a lovely job of infusing his
observations of the world’s struggling ecosys-
As we look ahead to the close of this year and the beginning of the next, we see new installments in long-running, best-selling series on the horizon, along with a staggering exposé by a legendary whistleblower and new and daring works by major literary
figures. —Donna Seaman
A Book of American Martyrs. By Joyce Carol Oates. Ecco, $29.99 (9780062643049).
Oates continues her investigation into polarizing and tragic social conflicts as she dramatizes the assassination of an idealistic abortion provider by an Evangelical Christian and
the complicated aftermath.
The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. By Daniel Ellsberg.
Bloomsburg, $30 (9781608196708). March. 2017.
The Pentagon Papers weren’t the only top-secret materials former presidential advisor
Ellsberg took, and now, decades later, he reveals the harrowing facts about the 1960s
nuclear arms buildup and its ongoing, potentially catastrophic risks.
My Not So Perfect Life. By Sophie Kinsella. Dial, $28 (9780812998269). Feb. 2017.
Best-selling Shopaholic series author Kinsella takes a new direction in this tale about a
London gal trying to make her dreary life seem glamorous on Instagram until she loses
her job and returns to her family’s Somerset farm.
The One Inside. By Sam Shepard. Knopf, $25.95 (9780451494580). Feb. 2017.
In the first novel by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and short story writer Shepard,
the great American landscape fuses with the memories and present-day conflicts of a
Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis. By Anne Rice. Knopf, $28.95
Rice picks up the story of the powerful vampire leader Lestat de Lioncourt as he struggles with a mysterious force and travels to a lost kingdom in fabled Atlantis.
The Refugees. By Viet Thanh Nguyen. Grove, $24 (9780802126399). Feb. 2017.
Carnegie Medal for Excellence winner Nguyen follows his multi-prizewinning novel
The Sympathizer with a collection of short stories about displacement, immigration,
identity, and home.
The Wrong Side of Goodbye. By Michael Connelly. Little, Brown, $29 (9780316225946). Nov.
Best-selling Connelly’s most popular hero, LAPD detective turned private eye Harry
Bosch, searches for a reclusive mogul’s possible heir while also helping his cop buddies
track a serial rapist.
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