Feature

Also of interest...in shameful secrets

The Steal by Rachel Shteir; The Secret Lives of Hoarders by Matt Paxton; Marriage Confidential by Pamela Haag; The Swinger by Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck

The Steal
by Rachel Shteir
(Penguin, $26)
“Rachel Shteir’s new book is remarkable for the fraught emotional terrain it unveils,” said Laura Miller in Salon.com. By studying the act of shoplifting, she’s lifted a rock “to reveal a squirming array of humanity’s least attractive passions.” Her insightfully reported book features tales of chronic shoplifters who have boosted everything from decorative trees to kayaks. These thieves “offer an unencumbered glimpse of the wet knot of desire, fear, and rage that lies at the heart of the crime.”

The Secret Lives of Hoarders
by Matt Paxton
(Perigee, $15)
“As one reads The Secret Lives of Hoarders, it’s hard not to hear a small voice whispering, ‘There but for the grace of God...’” said Michael Dirda in The Washington Post. Anyone with a cluttered basement will be interested in the words of Matt Paxton, who runs a profitable home-cleanup business. Paxton takes readers deep inside the homes of hoarders while examining why all of us hold on to things we shouldn’t. The short answer: It’s about emotions, not stuff.

Marriage Confidential
by Pamela Haag
(Harper, $26)
This thoughtful book lifts the curtain on a national epidemic of “semi-happy” marriages, said David McMillian in the Shreveport, La., Times. Author Pamela Haag cites studies indicating that most divorces arise from low-conflict relationships, then interviews married couples mired in passionless unions. She might be right in suggesting that the spark dies because too many of us are “marrying ourselves”—depending on shared temperaments and interests to get us through the long haul.

The Swinger
by Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck
(Simon & Schuster, $25)
The Swinger puts the swing back in Tiger Woods’s tale, said Ron Green in the Charlotte, N.C., Observer. With the fictional golfer “Tree” Tremont, Sports Illustrated writers Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck have created a highly believable version of the game’s fallen hero. Tree’s a golf icon with “a smoking-hot wife” but an unbridled libido. This inside chronicle of his fall makes good reading because it’s “written with a smile,” not disdain.

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