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Books for Grownups February 2008

Online Extra...

AARP The Magazine and Publishers Weekly have teamed up to let you know about the latest fiction, nonfiction, and lifestyle/self-help of interest to you. Once you've checked out the selections below, visit Publishers Weekly's fiction and nonfiction pages for reviews, author Q&As, and more.


Pebble in the Sky
By Isaac Asimov (Tor, $24.95)
Boomer sci-fi fans will be overwhelmed with nostalgia reading this idea-packed precursor to the renowned Foundation series. We will all relate when retired 62-year-old tailor Joseph Schwartz finds himself transported to a crowded, impoverished future Earth where anyone over 60 is executed.

By Zachary Lazar (Little, Brown, $23.99)
Sway follows the rise of the Rolling Stones, the downward spiral of a Manson family member, and the troubles of filmmaker Kenneth Anger in this evocative recasting of an era when "everyone under thirty has decided that they're an exception—a musician, a runaway, an artist, a star."

They Did It With Love
By Kate Morgenroth (Plume, $14)
Agatha Christie meets Desperate Housewives in this mystery about a Manhattan bookshop clerk who inherits a fortune from her late father and moves to Greenwich, Connecticut, where she falls in with a group of smart, bored housewives who gossip, drink too much, and sleep around with each other's husbands. A titillating inside look at one of America's toniest communities.

By Roger Rosenblatt (Ecco, $23.95)
Longtime PBS NewsHour and Time magazine (and AARP Publications) contributor Rosenblatt sets his comic sights on Beet College in this amusing satire of a corporate-minded campus where the president is CEO, the professors dunderheaded grant grubbers, and the students mindless consumers.

All Shall Be Well; and All Shall Be Well; and All Manner of Things Shall Be Well
By Tod Wodicka (Pantheon, $21.95)
New York B&B owner Bert Hecker ditches everything and joins a medieval reenactment troupe in Germany after his wife dies. But the reappearance of his estranged daughter forces him to come back to reality and reconnect with her and his bohemian son. It's witty, intelligent, and full of heart.


Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World
By Eric Weiner (Twelve, $25.99)
Fortified with Eeyoreish fatalism—"I'm already unhappy. I have nothing to lose"—Weiner set out on a yearlong quest to find the world's "unheralded happy places."

Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey
By Perri Knize (Scribner, $27.50)
Embarking on piano lessons in middle age, environmental journalist Knize sets out on an ancillary quest to find the perfect piano on a limited budget. Knize writes in a wonderfully evocative, lushly romantic style, and music lovers will resonate to her mad pursuit of a gorgeous sound.

Delizia! The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food
By John Dickie (Free Press, $26)
In this revelatory history of gourmet Italy from antiquity to today, Dickie (Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia) examines the centuries of religious, political, and sociological events that effectively thrust Italian food into today's global limelight.

For Keeps: Women Tell the Truth About Their Bodies, Growing Older, and Acceptance
Edited by Victoria Zackheim (Seal, $15.95)
These 27 essays—funny, sad, touching—display women (including Books for Grownups columnist Sara Nelson) contemplating not only their bodies but also their families and their lives as they navigate the shoals of middle age.

Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: Tales of the First Amendment
By Anthony Lewis (Basic, $25)
Pulitzer Prize-winning ex-New York Times columnist Lewis offers a lucid, compact look at the legal history of freedom of speech in America, from obscenity to libel to the urging of terrorist violence.



Dr. Nieca Goldberg's Complete Guide to Women's Health
By Nieca Goldberg (Ballantine, $27)
By offering solid, up-to-date medical information in a comforting, woman-to-woman tone of voice, Goldberg delivers just what the patient ordered.

Why We Hurt: A Complete Physical & Spiritual Guide to Healing Your Chronic Pain
By Greg Fors (Llwellyn, $24.95)
This compassionate investigation into the multiple factors leading to pain disorders and the conditions associated with them should be required reading for health care providers, patients with chronic pain, and their families.

Everyday Commitments: Choosing a Life of Love, Realism, and Acceptance
By David Richo (Shambhala, $12.95)
Psychologist Richo proposes 52 commitments, or intentions, as a spiritual yardstick for examining how far we have come, and how far we might still go, in terms of honesty, kindness, and taking responsibility for one's actions and relationships.

Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life
By Sylvia Boorstein (Ballantine, $22.95)
Renowned Buddhist teacher Boorstein offers an intimate, heartfelt guide to happiness, which she identifies as the ability to restore and maintain connectedness through the practice of mindfulness, meditation, and loving kindness.

How Did I Get So Busy? The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule, and Reconnect With What Matters Most
By Valorie Burton (Broadway, $12.95)
Professional coach Burton issues a wake-up call to the overscheduled, along with an effective plan for change to a "self-care" lifestyle that provides well-being and balance.

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