Also of interest…
In California dreams and nightmares
by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman (Simon & Schuster, $19)
This “harrowing page-turner” of a young-adult novel should make a great movie, said Jean Westmoore in The Buffalo News. Its authors—a father-son team—have imagined California on the day it runs out of water, and let us follow a 16-year-old and her younger brother as they join a small band of other kids trying to elude riots and wildfires to reach a well-stocked remote shelter. “From the first page, the authors maintain unrelenting suspense” as the book builds toward its “supercharged” climax.
Reagan: An American Journey
by Bob Spitz (Penguin, $35)
A background in entertainment journalism “comes in handy” when assessing Ronald Reagan, said Danny Heitman in CSMonitor.com. This new biography of our 40th president reminds us that Reagan, whatever his other flaws or strengths, had a remarkable ability to play the everyman even when he was America’s most powerful figure. Author Bob Spitz, whose previous best-seller focused on Julia Child, can’t cover everything in 761 pages. “Even so, one marvels at the telling details that Spitz manages to get in.”
by Tyler Green (Univ. of Calif., $35)
The more you learn about photographer Carleton Watkins, “the more you want to see,” said David D’Arcy in SFChronicle.com. Watkins risked his life to create the dramatic images of California that taught America to revere the West, yet his story has challenged biographers because fire destroyed many of his records. Author Tyler Green has overcome the obstacles to deliver a tribute to Watkins’ artistry that also highlights Watkins’ reliance on funding from the state’s timber and mining industries.
by Joe Ide (Mulholland, $27)
Mystery writer Joe Ide has “wizard-like gifts,” said Tom Nolan in The Wall Street Journal. In Ide’s third novel featuring “IQ” Quintabe, a young black private eye from crime-ridden East Long Beach, Calif., our hero searches for the mother of an artist he’s smitten with and winds up trying to sort through two potential international conspiracies. The plot proves pleasingly unpredictable—“full of violent action, hairbreadth escapes, and poignant life lessons.” ■