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I Am Ozzy ( )

New In Paperback: Jan. 3-9

Jan 5, 2011

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The Imperfectionists NurtureShock The Checklist Manifesto The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves Star

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The Imperfectionists

A Novel

by Tom Rachman 

If you still harbor a secret love for the days when news wasn't delivered instantaneously, and also accept the fact that the people who brought it to you were neither villains nor cardboard heroes (but merely flawed humans), then you may find a place in your heart for The Imperfectionists. This kaleidoscopic novel about a Rome-based English language newspaper is both hilarious and surprisingly moving. Through a series of interlocking stories, we glean the life of a newspaper from its heyday to its decline. From the young publisher who inherited his role and has no idea what to do with it, to the obit writer who discovers his own ambition in the worst possible way, to the avid reader who is years behind in keeping up with the news, this cast of characters and the paper that has sustained them make for an absorbing read.

304 pages, $15, Dial Press


NurtureShock

New Thinking About Children

by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman 

The days of the "helicopter parent" are numbered — or they should be, according to authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. Although the impulse to hover over our kids may stem from the best of intentions, Bronson and Merryman argue that overpraising and overnurturing may do more harm than good. Their new book, NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, has been getting a lot of attention for the way it upends conventional wisdom on such issues as how much praise is helpful, and the effect of white parents' failure to talk to their kids about race and other issues. Expanding on a series Bronson and Merryman co-authored for New York Magazine, it also explores how American pop culture has misread the fine print of parental research.

352 pages, $14.99, Twelve


The Checklist Manifesto

How to Get Things Right

by Atul Gawande 

Surgeon and writer Atul Gawande's crusade seems utterly mundane at first: He wants surgeons to use checklists to help them avoid mistakes caused by fatigue, flagging attention and other factors. Using anecdotes from aviation, construction and medicine, Gawande sets out to demonstrate that routine works wonders, even though checklists require the putting aside of pride and of surgeons' mystique of infallibility. Ultimately, he even brings the book back to "Sully" Sullenberger's landing of a plane in the Hudson River, creating a compelling case for an idea so simple that the hardest task Gawande may face is convincing people of its importance.

240 pages, $15, Picador


The Shaking Woman Or A History Of My Nerves

by Siri Hustvedt 

Four violent shaking episodes — along with other unexplainable physical ailments — inspired novelist Siri Hustvedt, author of The Blindfold and The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, to write a memoir. The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves investigates Hustvedt's own symptoms while investigating the murky overlap between psychiatric and neurological disorders. "There are a lot of illnesses that are either misdiagnosed or that seem to fall out of the categories of medicine," Hustvedt tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " I feel that my journey ... was a sense of mastering not the illness — not curing it — but being able to think very clearly about what had happened to me, and also saying to myself, 'This is part of you. This is not only part of your story, but it belongs to your nervous system. It may never go away.' It became very important for me to take it into myself as part of myself and not as an alien invader."

224 pages, $15, Picador


Star

How Warren Beatty Seduced America

by Peter Biskind 

Warren Beatty's greatness as an actor, writer, producer and director rests on more than a half-dozen films, from 1967's revolutionary Bonnie and Clyde to Splendor in the Grass (1961), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Shampoo (1975), Heaven Can Wait (1978), Reds (1981) and Bugsy (1991). What dims Beatty's aura are the things that make Biskind's book such a compulsive and sometimes salacious read: Beatty's unrivaled escapades as a lady killer and his central role in some of the most ignominious and expensive flops in Hollywood history, including Ishtar (1987), Love Affair (1994) and Town & Country (2001). Intriguingly, each of those films was to some extent undermined by the same Beatty neuroses and working methods that sparked his masterpieces: perfectionism, vanity, a theoretically constructive collaborative warfare he liked to call "hostile intelligences," and the need to manipulate and control everything and everyone around him.

640 pages, $16.99, Simon & Schuster


I Am Ozzy

by Ozzy Osbourne 

Ozzy Osbourne is an original member of the heavy metal rock band Black Sabbath. He has staged a successful solo career and starred in The Osbournes, a reality show with his wife, Sharon, and two of their children. But there's one thing Osbourne says he wishes everyone could forget: the incidents involving him biting off the heads of a dove and a bat. Yet in a book that candidly imparts so much about these animal sacrifices and taking one drug after another, the real dirty little secret is that — God bless him — Ozzy loves his wife.

416 pages, $15.99, Grand Central Publishing


Charlotte Abbott edits "New in Paperback." A contributing editor for Publishers Weekly, she also leads a weekly chat on books and reading in the digital age every Friday from 4-5p.m. ET on Twitter. Follow her at @charabbott or check out the #followreader hashtag .
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