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Books for Grownups: October 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.


Interred With Their Bones

By Jennifer Lee Carrell (Dutton, $25.95)

Da Vinci Code–worthy plot twists dominate this agile first novel, a thriller involving a lost Shakespeare play and the murder of a flamboyant and eccentric Harvard professor at London's rebuilt Globe Theater. Not quite Agatha Christie of yore, but close.

Vie Française

By Jean-Paul Dubois, translation from the French by Linda Coverdale (Knopf, $24.95)

The '60s, Gallic-style: French Everyman Paul Blick loses his beloved brother in childhood, flirts with revolution, and finally sells out to marry the proud daughter of an aggressively capitalist family (who ends up as—get this!—the CEO of a Jacuzzi company). So far, so universal, but what makes this novel unusual—aside from its venue—is the author's penchant for drawing parallels between his shifting discontent and his country's restlessness.

Trudy Hopedale

By Jeffrey Frank (Simon & Schuster, $24)

As the Clintons make way for the Bushes in 2000–01, the novel follows Trudy Hopedale, local television host of a certain age and D.C. social mainstay, who is fast fading into political and social obsolescence. An inside-the-Beltway sendup from the knowing and very witty longtime New Yorker editor.

Tree of Smoke

By Denis Johnson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27)

You may have heard about this one—and everything you've heard is true: this may join the pantheon of books by Graham Greene and Tim O'Brien when it comes to defining and trying to understand war. A fiery (in all senses of the word) tour de force.

The Long Walk Home

By Will North (Crown/Shaye Areheart, $25)

North, who was a ghostwriter for Bill Clinton and Al Gore, delivers a melancholic and romantic boomer tale about a former speechwriter for Jimmy Carter who is mourning the death of his beloved wife. If Nicholas Sparks set a novel in North Wales, it would read a lot like this.


The House That George Built: With a Little Help from Irving, Cole, and a Crew of about Fifty

By Wilfrid Sheed (Random House, $29.95)

A true music fan, Sheed—who won a 1987 Grammy Award for Best Album Notes (for Sinatra's The Voice)—soars with scintillating, lyrical writing about the Great American Songbook creators and their families. A little like hearing your beloved hipster uncle telling you about his club-going glory days.

Going Gray: What I Learned about Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters

By Anne Kreamer (Little Brown and Company, $23.99)

Forty-nine-year-old Kreamer decided to stop "pretending" to be young and set out to discover how men, potential employers, and the world at large would view her once she stopped dyeing her hair. Her discovery: gray is the new black.

Read a full review of this book.

Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming

By Chris Mooney (Harcourt, $26)

Having witnessed Katrina's devastation of his mother's New Orleans house, science writer Mooney (The Republican War on Science) set out to explore the question of global warming's existence and its relationship to hurricanes. This is serious science made seriously accessible.

Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age

By Matthew Brzezinski (Times Books, $26)

We were the generation raised on Sputnik stories, of which this fast-paced, crisply written version is the very best example.

Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices, and Life Lessons from the White House

By Egil "Bud" Krogh, with Matthew Krogh (PublicAffairs, $25)

If you're still blaming Nixon, consider this analysis of the other folks—E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, to name just two—who contributed to one of the most infamous political crimes (and corrupt administrations) in history.


Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing

By Timothy McCall (Bantam, $20)

Way beyond faddish, yoga has proven its appeal to boomers and beyond. This book by an internist and yoga instructor who's also an editor at Yoga Journal is finely articulated instruction and explanation of yoga's healing potential.

UltraLongevity: The Seven-Step Program for a Younger, Healthier You

By Mark Liponis (Little Brown and Company, $25.99)

It's your immune system, stupid. At least that's the way Liponis, a corporate medical doctor, sees it. So stop fretting about aging and follow his seven steps (breathe, eat, sleep, dance, love, soothe, enhance) to a longer, healthier, happier life.

The Wine Lover's Guide to Auctions: The Art & Science of Buying and Selling Wines

By Ursula Hermacinski (Square One Publishers, $17.95)

If there's one thing boomers know, it's their wines—but even we can learn something from Hermacinski, who's been a wine auctioneer for more than 20 years. She has written a guide to the wine auction experience that is unpretentious but knowing and makes committed and beginner oenophiles alike feel valued.

Your Money and Your Brain: How The New Science Of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich

By Jason Zweig (Simon & Schuster, $26)

Combining concepts in neuroscience, economics, and psychology, finance writer Zweig explains how our biology drives us towards good or bad investment decisions, and how to use that knowledge to get out of our own way.

Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier

By Robert A. Emmons (Houghton Mifflin, $25)

Emmons's advice boils down to what your mother told you 40 years ago: "Stop whining. Count your blessings." What she may not have said—but Emmons does—is that showing gratitude not only makes you nicer, it also makes you happier and healthier. And saner, too.

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