Stress—its origins, effects, and even possible benefits—lies at
the center of several forthcoming health books.
In Anxious (Viking, July), Synaptic Self author Joseph LeDoux
argues that anxiety disorders, rather than being “innate states,”
are “experiences that we assemble cognitively,” according to the
jacket. Executive editor Rick Kot says the book will appeal to
both general readers who are curious about the brain and sufferers
of anxiety looking for answers. “It’s hardcore science, certainly,
but the ramifications for actual treatment are there.”
The Upside of Stress (Avery, May), by Kelly McGonigal, a
Let’s Talk About Me
psychologist and the author of 2011’s The Willpower Instinct,
which sold 54K units in hardcover and paperback according to
Nielsen BookScan, lays out a guide to embracing stress as an
indication of passion, and harnessing it to boost happiness and
intelligence. Avery’s Megan Newman, who
edited the book, says she is drawn to health
titles that take “a philosophical look at the
human condition and aren’t thrashing around
to find another diagnostic label. I think the
crime of modern psychiatry has been turning
away from the humanistic approach.”
Other forthcoming books addressing stress
include The Stress Cure, by health experts
Patrick Holford and Susannah Lawson (Piatkus, Aug.), and Get
Your Life Back, by stress management consultant Mary Heath
While this season’s brain-focused books pursue topics as diverse
as neuroplasticity and gastrointestinal health, traditional
psychology maintains a strong presence.
In Rethinking Narcissism (Harper Wave,
July), psychologist Craig Malkin offers a
contrarian view of self-absorption—namely,
that it’s not so bad—and “debunks the pop
science notion that our culture is suffering
from an epidemic of narcissism,” according
to executive editor Julie Will.
I’m Working on It in Therapy, by psychotherapist Gary Trosclair (Skyhorse, June),
aims to “put the power in the hands of the client,” according to
associate publisher of Abigail Gehring. “It’s the only book I’m
aware of that’s written specifically for the client, and that
describes how you can take an active role in the psychotherapy
Daniel Lefferts is a writer living in New York.
Women’s health remains a robust subject for publishers, with
several forthcoming titles addressing two high-profile topics:
pregnancy and breast cancer.
In May, the Mayo Clinic, whose Guide to a
Healthy Pregnancy has, according to publisher Da
Capo, sold more than half a million copies since
its 2011 publication, will release its Guide to
Fertility and Conception, by reproductive
endocrinologists Jani R. Jensen and Elizabeth A.
Stewart. Da Capo senior editor Dan Ambrosio
says he expects the book to become a staple in pregnancy titles.
“With couples waiting until later in life to start families, fertility
and conception are more and more a vital topic.”
Sarah Pelz, executive editor at Grand Central Life & Style, says
that when families start the conception process later, there can be
“a lot of anxiety around ‘Will I get pregnant?’ and ‘Will I have a
hard time getting pregnant?’” She worked with nutritionist
Christa Orecchio and homeopath Willow Buckley on How to
Conceive Naturally and Have a Healthy Pregnancy After 30 (Oct.).
An alternative spirit drives The Mindful
Mom-to-Be (Rodale, Aug.), by doula and
pregnancy coach Lori Bregman, with Stefani
Newman. The book aims to help women
explore the emotional experience of pregnancy.
Another emotionally fraught subject, breast
cancer, continues to be at the top of many
publishers’ minds, and no wonder: according to the American
Cancer Society, this year will see more than 230,000 new cases
of invasive breast cancer in women.
The sixth edition of Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book (Da Capo),
first published in 1990, will be published in October. Editor
Merloyd Lawrence says the book’s comprehensive nature and
routine “head-to-toe revisions,” completed every five years, help
it retain its status as, in the words of the New York Times, the
“bible for women with breast cancer.” The new edition will
include information about hereditary breast cancer, as well as
“less invasive” diagnostic methods like MRI and liquid biopsy.
Turning Off Breast Cancer (Skyhorse, July), by nutritionist
Daniella Chace, offers a nutritional program aimed at preventing
and healing from breast cancer, outlining 100 foods that combat
the disease, as well as supplement recommendations for pre- and
And Bald Is Better with Earrings (Harper Wave, July), by breast
cancer survivor Andrea Hutton, includes the author’s tips for
women dealing with the disease, based on her own experience.
Karen Rinaldi, senior v-p and publisher at
Harper Wave, says the book spoke to her on a
personal level. “Having just gone through a year
dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis and
subsequent treatment, I found that Andrea’s
sensible advice was exactly the thing I wished
I’d had.” —D.L.