Let's Pretend This Never Happened

by Jenny Lawson |

bgwhite bgwhite bgwhite  



REVIEWED BY MEREDITH MARAN

MEMOIR

Jenny Lawson says she grew up in a "violently rural" Texas town with a hunter and "lunatic" taxidermist father who stank of urine ("Hunters often use animal pee to cover their scent, and my father splashed it on like other men used Old Spice," she writes) and entertained his daughters with puppets made from freshly killed squirrels. Now 38, Lawson-a.k.a. "the Bloggess," whose blog was named one of Forbes's Top 100 Websites for Women-suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Sounds like the makings of a not-so-cheerful tale, but Lawson's "Mostly True Memoir" is funny, raunchy and unexpectedly uplifting. Lawson writes of moving into a meth-infested neighborhood with the man she later married. "We were young and didn't know how much it hurt to be shot yet," she quips, "so we shrugged off the danger." Studded with black-and-white photos, Let's Pretend will leave you hoping Lawson's next book happens and soon.

Drop Dead Healthy

by A.J. Jacobs |

bgwhite bgwhite bgwhite  



REVIEWED BY JUDITH NEWMAN

MEMOIR

At 41, Jacobs is pudgy, stressed and, by his own admission, prefers the "joy of lounging" to the "joy of running." So when he sets out to become the healthiest man in the world, he's got work to do. Body part by body part, he does it (sort of), synthesizing research from health zealots like extreme Caveman exercisers, who espouse eating and working out like our ancestors. You'll learn fascinating facts, but really this book is a testament to the joys-and benefits-of moderation.

GLENN CLOSE

Reading My Father

By Alexandra Styron

"Her father, the writer William Styron, had severe depression. It was about their family's journey-very moving."

MICHAEL WEATHERLY

Shortcut Man

By P.G. Sturges

"The writer is the son of director Preston Sturges, which is why it caught my eye. It's a terrific P.I. yarn."

NAYA RIVERA

Me Talk Pretty One Day

By David Sedaris

"He's such a hilarious author. There are such funny anecdotes about his childhood, and they're so relatable."

J.K. Rowling obsessives, get ready: Her new book is on the way! The Potter scribe's first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy is set in an idyllic English town called Pagford, which is thrown into turmoil-with "teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils," the publisher said-after the untimely death of a parish councillor. Within 24 hours of its announcement the book shot up Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's sales charts; it arrives Sept. 27. In more Rowling news, Potter-philes can check out the author's new website (jkrowling.com). Happy days!

Got a Kindle or a NOOK? Now you can download the Harry Potter series at shop.pottermore.com.

PHOTOGRAPHER MARY ELLEN MARK GOES TO PROM

Featuring 127 photos from proms across the country, Mary Ellen Mark's Prom offers a breathtaking look at an American rite of passage-"a day in our lives," notes Mark, "that we never forget."