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Books for Grownups: August 2007

What our generation wants to read

AARP The Magazine and Publishers Weekly have teamed up to let you know about the latest fiction, nonfiction, and how-to books 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.

FICTION

Be Near Me

by Andrew O'Hagan (Harcourt, $24)

A fiftysomething Scottish-born, Oxford-educated Catholic priest trades his 1960s ideals to favor the Iraq war, and his young ardor for the life of the cloth, in this affecting novel about the clash between the idealism of youth with the realities of middle age.

Mere Anarchy

by Woody Allen (Random House, $21.95)

To those of us who miss the funny Woody Allen, this collection of 18 sketches, 10 of which appeared in The New Yorker, is part S. J. Perelman and part Borscht Belt. More satisfying than most reunions with the guy you thought was so great in college.

Later, at the Bar: A Novel in Stories

by Rebecca Barry (Simon & Schuster, $22)

The 10 tales in this first-rate debut capture the idiosyncrasies of an upstate New York backwater where social life revolves around Lucy's Tavern, founded by a woman who "loved live music and dancing and understood people who liked longing more than they did love." Sounds like a lot of people we've known and loved. . . .

The Price of Silence

by Camilla Trinchieri (Soho Press, $22)

In this gripping, intelligent psychological thriller, Emma Perotti, an ESL teacher in Manhattan, folds one of her young Chinese students into her family, with dire results. Particularly compelling are the book's subtle insights into the nature of family and foreignness and the lies we tell ourselves and others even when our intentions are good.

Wall Street Noir

by Peter Spiegelman (Akashic Books, $15.95)

Spiegelman assembles a stellar cast of 17 crime-genre luminaries, from Peter Blauner to Twist Phelan, all of whom demonstrate how Wall Street has become more than a street in Manhattan. It's now well established as a state of mind, full of greed, volatility, and crime.

NONFICTION

Ty and the Babe: Baseball's Fiercest Rivals; A Surprising Friendship and the 1941 Has-Beens Golf Championship

by Tom Stanton (Thomas Dunne Books, $23.95)

What grown-up baseball fan wouldn't want to relive the story of the rivalry-turned-friendship of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth? The book is—um—the proverbial home run. Or is that hole-in-one?

Without a Map

by Meredith Hall (Beacon Press, $24.95)

Wherever you stand on Roe v. Wade, you can't help but be moved by this memoir of an unwed pregnant teen forced by her parents to give up her baby in 1965. It will make you think and break your heart.

Read a full review of this book.

Peeling the Onion

by Gunter Grass, trans. from German by Michael Henry Heim (Harcourt, $26)

In this controversial memoir by the Nobel Prize–winning German novelist, Grass's account of his early life, including a stint in the army of the Third Reich, is often spellbinding.

Pop! Why Bubbles are Great for the Economy

by Daniel Gross (HarperBusiness, $22.95)

Three cheers for "exuberant, foolish, mad overinvestment." According to Slate columnist Gross, those once-in-a-generation stock market crazes that everyone knows can't last (and don't) are not to be feared. They're actually a primary engine of "America's remarkable record of economic growth and innovation," he says. So call your broker. . . .

Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond

by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast (Hyperion, $14.95)

Cheadle, actor and star of the film Hotel Rwanda, and Prendergast, senior advisor of the International Crisis Group, look at the attention and help we can and have provided for the Sudan. A pastiche of practical information, instructions, memoir, and history, the book is a handbook for budding activists who want to help and to understand the governmental excuses for inaction.

SELF-HELP/LIFESTYLE

Pork & Sons

by Stephane Reynaud (Phaidon, $39.95)

Politically incorrect though it may be, pork and pigs are paid homage in this delightful, affectionate blend of cookbook and travel guide. So yummy you'll want to read the whooole thing.

How to Pick a Peach: The Search for Flavor from Farm to Table

by Russ Parsons (Houghton Mifflin, $27)

Equal parts cookbook, agricultural history, chemistry text, and produce buying guide, this densely packed work is a delight for foodies whose restaurant-going years are giving way to the joys of cooking at home.

The Velveteen Principles for Women: Shatter the Myth of Perfection and Embrace All That You Really Are

by Toni Raiten-D'Antonio (HCI, $16.95)

Hard to believe, but it is possible to buck our materialist, conformist culture and develop our own set of values and beliefs. In a friendly, never preachy voice, psychotherapist Raiten-D'Antonio explains how.

Why Good Things Happen to Good People

by Stephen Post and Jill Neimark, foreword by Reverend Otis Moss Jr. (Broadway, $23.95)

We know doing good is the right thing to do, for the planet and for our souls, but here bioethicist Post shows how doing good can make you feel well—and live a longer, healthier, and happier life.

Prime: Adventures and Advice on Sex, Love, and the Sensual Years

by Pepper Schwartz (HarperCollins, $24.95)

It's not just you. Even noted sex therapist Schwartz found herself single and sexless in middle age. This book is her memoir about pursuing and finding companionship and sexual pleasure after 50.

Check out all the great content on our Books channel.

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