by Amy Holman Edelman |

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REVIEWED BY LISA KAY GREISSINGER

NOVEL

Three years ago Edelman, a publicist and widow living with her daughters in Montclair, N.J., made local news after she sent friends an e-mail promising a dream vacation to anyone who found her a husband. It didn't work, but it did give her material for this roman à clef. Trying to refashion a life after her husband's abrupt death, the book's heroine encounters a vastly changed dating landscape. From the vodka-drinking neighbor to the unfortunate online dating prospect who describes his post-prostate surgery issues as "like trying to shove a marshmallow into a piggy bank," her encounters ring awkward and true. Manless lacks the white-clad happy ending Edelman enjoyed earlier this year (she found her photographer husband all on her own), but it deftly chronicles the uncomfortable, funny and hopeful journey from happily married to unexpectedly single.

by Tom Brokaw |

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REVIEWED BY CAROLINE LEAVITT

NONFICTION

Brokaw's verbal scrapbook of the Sixties explores what the times meant to musicians, civil rights leaders, activists and more. Filled with before-and-after shots of Sixties survivors, the book doesn't offer much new perspective, but it does show that the era's core issues–racism, women's rights, a nation-dividing war–remain central today, and that the values boomers championed haven't yet gone bust.

• With a Spice Girls greatest hits album (sold at Victoria's Secret and the store's Web site) just out, a tour launching next month and a U.S. version of her U.K. bestseller That Extra Half an Inch hitting stores, Victoria Beckham is one busy fashion icon. She chatted in L.A. with PEOPLE's Jessica Herndon:

ON COMFORT VS. STYLE So long as it looks good, I will make it work for me. I don't mind being uncomfortable, but that's because I love fashion.

ON HER NEW BROWN HAIR I went back to England and there was a lot of my haircut walking about, so I thought, "Okay, this has got to change now." The haircut with color. It's nice for this time of year.

ON A GIRL'S MOST IMPORTANT WARDROBE ITEM A good pair of jeans.

ON WHY SHE NEVER SMILES Sometimes I look at pictures and go, "You look like a bloody miserable cow." I'm actually a smiler, but years ago I created this character and it's stuck. The ironic thing is I'm so happy!

ON PREPPING FOR THE TOUR It's lovely at rehearsals; we've got our children running around. They all get along well.

ON DRESSING HER KIDS I don't buy expensive clothes–they grow out of them. Cruz is wearing clothes I bought for Brooklyn (below).

ON LIFE IN THE U.S. It's the happiest we've ever been as a family. We feel we've found our home.