Her Best-Kept Secret

by Gabrielle Glaser |

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REVIEWED BY JUDITH NEWMAN

NON-FICTION

Ladies, put down that glass of Chardonnay and listen up: American women are drinking. A lot. Since World War II there has been a steady rise in female alcohol consumption and problem drinking. Even as alcoholism has come to be viewed as a disease, Glaser reports, the moral taint of the female alcoholic lingers. As a psychiatric expert put it in 1948, "Alcoholic women are much more abnormal than alcoholic men... When alcoholic women go on a tear, it is terrific."

Glaser has written an engaging account of women and drink, citing fascinating studies about modern stressors (the more time women spend with their children, the more they drink!) and evidence that some problem drinkers can learn moderation. She includes material about Alcoholics Anonymous that is bound to stir controversy. By promoting the idea of powerlessness and humility, Glaser claims, AA has inadvertently stymied women's path to recovery—since so many women feel powerless already. AA stalwarts may find this idea maddening, but one can't help but admire Glaser's efforts to find science that will challenge the orthodoxy.

Run, Brother, Run

by David Berg |

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REVIEWED BY ANDREW ABRAHAMS

MEMOIR

In this dark drama, lawyer Berg describes what he believes was the miscarriage of justice following his older brother Alan's brutal 1968 murder. The accused? Actor Woody Harrelson's father, Charles a (now deceased) career criminal convicted of a subsequent murder for hire. Berg's story is compelling—and leaves you convinced that the truth did not prevail.

Killer Ambition

by Marcia Clark |

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REVIEWED BY JOSH EMMONS

THRILLER

When the party girl daughter of bald, blockbuster director Russell Antonovich (think an angry Ron Howard) appears to have been murdered by kidnappers, L.A. Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight has to make the case against the main suspect, Antonovich's trusted manager. Clark's latest legal thriller, though too long, builds real drama out of its tabloid crime and makes Knight a likable crusader for truth in Tinseltown.

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DAMN LOVE

by Jasmine Beach-Ferrara

The characters in these linked stories navigate love and loss with a touching urgency that feels particularly American.

CLAUDIA SILVER TO THE RESCUE

by Kathy Ebel

A sharply drawn debut about a tart- tongued Gen-Xer trying to make it in Manhattan. May remind you of HBO's Girls.

ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS

by Meg Donohue

Life's been throwing them curves, so three old friends head for a New Jersey beach house to rejuvenate and reexamine old choices.

WINONA RYDER RECOMMENDS:

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

by J.D. Salinger

I've read Catcher in the Rye, like, 1,200 times. There's never been anything like it.

MY LIFE SO FAR

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This memoir came out years ago, but as a woman, you'll just love it.

JOE PAPP: AN AMERICAN LIFE

by Helen Epstein

He started the Public Theater and was the first to bring in interracial Shakespeare [in the U.S.] - he was groundbreaking. It's really New York in the '70s and '80s. It's a very interesting story.

SCOUNDREL TIME

by Lillian Hellman

It's about the McCarthy hearings. I'm a big fan of Lillian Hellman, particularly this book. I love books! I'm usually reading, like, four at a time.