Four” digs into
addition to brain
crosswords may be enjoyable, the authors
observe, but they won’t ward off memory
loss; on the other hand, exercise, social
interaction, and lifestyle changes (e.g.,
the Mediterranean diet) are proven ways
brain health can be enhanced. This
primer will be useful to middle-aged
and elderly readers, caregivers, family
members, healthcare professionals, and
others striving to understand the aging
brain or find concrete ways to enhance
brain health. (Aug.)
How Running Makes Us Human
Vybarr Cregan-Reid. St. Martin’s/Dunne,
$26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-12724-2
In this offbeat but entertaining take
on the fitness memoir, Cregan-Reid
(Discovering Gilgamesh) shares his discovery
of and love of running, occasionally adding
intimate details from his personal life and
frequently from his runs. It’s a mashup
that’s equal parts philosophy, neurosci-ence, history, and love note to the author’s
exercise of choice. Cregan-Reid takes
readers on a running tour, stopping off at
Boston’s Spaulding National Running
Center to see an Ironman Triathlete’s running injuries being diagnosed, sharing a
memorable run through the South Harrow
countryside, and finishing the London
Marathon “almost by accident.” A self-described “challenged school student,”
Cregan-Reid eventually went through a
metamorphosis (largely unexplained here)
that took him to graduate school; he discovered running while working on his
doctoral thesis. Today the author is a professor and literary scholar. That explains
why, in addition to finding information
here about running retraining or selecting
the right shoe, readers will also find liberal literary references to such writers as
Austen, Chekhov, Coleridge, and Tolstoy.
The book’s greatest strength, however, is
in its explanation of running’s benefits
(running makes “you smarter,” more
attentive, and even makes you feel “more
attractive,” according to the author) and
in the author’s mystical, Anglicism-sprinkled descriptions of running. (July)
★ The Boy Who Loved Too Much:
A True Story of Pathological
Jennifer Latson. Simon & Schuster, $26
(304p) ISBN 978-1-4767-7404-6
This terrific debut from Latson, a
journalist, takes up the story of Eli and
his mom, Gayle, when Eli is 12 years old.
Any parent will recognize the factors in
play: hormones, parental expectations for
school, concerns about bullying, and so
on. The multiplier effect for Gayle is her
son’s genetic disorder, known as Williams
syndrome. Since Williams amps up the
oxytocin in Eli’s system, making him love
everyone indiscriminately, Gayle has to
teach her son skills that run counter to his
nature—but that may keep him safe. Eli’s
ment and stiff
joints mean that
his mother at
any future point
Gayle, a single
“I want him to
live a long,
happy life. I just want to be there for
him.... If I could live just five minutes
longer than he does, I’d be happy.” The
author skillfully interweaves the science—
what we do and don’t know about genetic
disorders such as Williams—with a powerful story line. Eli and especially Gayle
are beautifully drawn, and their struggles
with an unknown future are both unique
to their situation and universal to all parents. As the book’s perspective deliberately
pans out to include teachers, counselors,
family, friends, and, finally, Eli’s entire
eighth-grade class, Latson delivers some
unforgettable lessons about inclusion and
parenthood. Agent: Brettne Bloom, Kneerim,
Williams & Bloom. (June)
★ The Australian Emma Smith-Stevens.
Dzanc (PGW, dist.), ISBN 978-1-941088-74-6,
Behind the Mask Edited by Tricia Reeks and
Kyle Richardson. Meerkat, ISBN 978-0-9966262-
The Invented Part Rodrigo Fresan, trans. from
the Spanish by Will Vanderhyden. Open Letter,
ISBN 978-1-940953-56-4, May
★ Sealskin Su Bristow. Orenda, ISBN 978-1-
Trying It All Christi Barth. Loveswept, ISBN 978-
The Use of Fame Cornelia Nixon.
Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), ISBN 978-1-61902-949-1,
Village Stanley Crawford. Leaf Storm (PGW,
dist.), ISBN 978-1-9456529-5-0, Apr.
Jazz and Palm Wine Emmanuel Dongala, trans.
from the French by Dominic Thomas. Indiana
Univ., ISBN 978-0-253-02669-9, Mar.
★ Sins of Empire Brian McClellan. Orbit,
ISBN 978-0-316-40721-2, Mar.
★ No Dictionary of a Living Tongue Duriel
E. Harris. Nightboat, ISBN 978-1-937658-64-9,
Odd Bloom Seen from Space Timothy Daniel
Welch. Univ. of Iowa, ISBN 978-1-60938-457-9,
★ Patient Zero Tomás Q. Morín. Copper Canyon, ISBN 978-1-55659-493-9, Apr.
Trophic Cascade Camille T. Dungy. Wesleyan
Univ., ISBN 978-0-8195-7719-1, Mar.
Waiting for the Light Alicia Suskin Ostriker.
Univ. of Pittsburgh, ISBN 978-0-8229-6291-5, Mar.
Skeleton Coast Elizabeth Arnold. Flood,
ISBN 978-0-9903407-9-9, Jan.
Uncountry: A Mythology Yanara Friedland.
Noemi, ISBN 978-1-934819-61-6, Dec. 2016
Run the Red Lights Ed Skoog. Copper Canyon,
ISBN 978-1-55659-503-5, Nov. 2016
Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays Fenton
Johnson. Sarabande, ISBN 978-1-941411-43-8,
Essential Pruning Techniques: Trees,
Shrubs, and Conifers George E. Brown,
revised and expanded by Tony Kirkham. Timber,
ISBN 978-1-60469-288-4, Mar.