5 books not to miss: Barack Obama's presidential memoir; more from Dolly Parton, Michael J. Fox
In search of something good to read? USA TODAY's Barbara VanDenburgh scopes out the shelves for this week’s hottest new book releases.
1. “A Promised Land,”by Barack Obama (Crown, nonfiction, on sale Nov. 17)
What it’s about: In the first volume of his presidential memoirs, former President Obama candidly tells the story of his ascent to the White House and pulls back the curtains, political and personal, on his time in office.
The buzz: In an interview with Oprah Winfrey about the book, Obama explained that most of the questions about vanity "had burned off" as he entered his presidency. "What I found was that seeing your name up in lights, being on television, speaking to large crowds, et cetera – after a while, like anything else, you become accustomed to it," he explained. "And what lingers, what lasts, what matters is your own assessment of, 'What good am I doing?'"
2. "No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality," by Michael J. Fox (Flatiron, nonfiction, on sale Nov. 17)
What it’s about: The actor and advocate for Parkinson’s awareness (he was diagnosed with the disease in 1991) shares a moving account of resilience and hope, as well as his hard-earned wisdom about health, illness, aging and mortality.
The buzz: “A heartfelt, unselfish book about never giving up that should serve as good motivational material for readers,” according to Kirkus Reviews.
3. “Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics,” by Dolly Parton with Robert K. Oermann (Chronicle, nonfiction, on sale Nov. 17)
What it’s about: This handsomely rendered celebration of Parton’s storied musical career highlights 175 of her songs and delves into the stories behind them, along with photos and memorabilia from Parton’s archives.
The buzz: “A splashy, entertaining guide to the lyrics of one of the most popular musicians of our time,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.
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4. “Nights When Nothing Happened,”by Simon Han (Riverhead, fiction, on sale Nov. 17)
What it’s about: The Chengs are model immigrants in their wealthy Texas suburb until a sleepwalking child leads to a misunderstanding that threatens to turn their community against them.
The buzz: “An astutely realized portrait of the collateral damage wrought by the pursuit of the American dream,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.
5. “I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are,”by Rachel Bloom (Grand Central, nonfiction, on sale Nov. 17)
What it’s about: A hilarious collection of personal essays, poems and other reflections on fame, insecurity, anxiety from the co-creator and star of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”
The buzz: “Actor and Emmy winner Bloom combines irreverent humor with childhood journal entries in this entertaining essay collection,” says Publishers Weekly.