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Nonfiction

Looks at Caravaggio, Rin Tin Tin and Ike's White House years are among the top picks.

November 30, 2011

Free Press, $29.99

The world's leading evolutionary biologist explains a wide range of natural phenomena.

The Man Who Couldn't Eat

A Memoir

Jon Reiner

Gallery Books, $25

The author explores our complex and often-contradictory relationship with food as he tells the story of his agonizing battle with Crohn's disease.

Mrs. Nixon

A Novelist Imagines a Life

Ann Beattie

Scribner, $26

The novelist wonders what it was like to be married to a hugely ambitious and flawed man.

My Song

A Memoir

Harry Belafonte with Michael Shnayerson

Alfred A. Knopf, $30.50

A forthright memoir that traces the singer's career and his larger concerns with racial justice.

The New Deal

A Modern History

Michael Hiltzik

Free Press, $30

The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter sheds light on the origins, legacy and genius of Roosevelt's plan to combat the Great Depression.

No Higher Honor

A Memoir of My Years in Washington

Condoleezza Rice

Crown, $35

The former secretary of state tells the story of her time as President George W. Bush's most influential foreign policy advisors.

Norman Granz

The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice

Tad Hershorn

University of California Press, $34.95

A pioneering figure in the music business, Granz defied racial and social prejudice to bring jazz to audiences around the world.

Pauline Kael

A Life in the Dark

Brian Kellow

Viking, $27.95

The first biography of the legendary film critic for the New Yorker.

Physics on the Fringe

Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything

Margaret Wertheim

Walker & Co., $26

Through the story of Jim Carter, a trailer park owner in Washington state, Wertheim examines a group of men without formal scientific training who have tried to change the face of physics.

Plastic Ocean

How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans

Capt. Charles Moore with Cassandra Phillips

Avery, $26

The environmentalist and researcher details his discovery of a great garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean where plastic outweighs zooplankton.

The Puppy Diaries

Raising a Dog Named Scout

Jill Abramson

Times Books / Henry Holt, $22

Part owner's manual, part memoir, the recently appointed executive editor of the New York Times recounts her first year with her golden retriever Scout.

Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin

Forty Years of Funny Stuff

Calvin Trillin

Random House, $26

The best of Trillin's humorous pieces arranged by themes, including "Life Among the Literati" and "English and Some Languages I Don't Speak."

Rin Tin Tin

The Life and the Legend

Susan Orlean

Simon & Schuster, $26.99

The story of a a dog who never died in the public consciousness. At one time, Rin Tin Tin was Hollywood's top-ranking box office star.

The Rogue

Searching for the Real Sarah Palin

Joe McGinniss

Crown, $25

The author presents a scathing chronicle of the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate as an individual, politician and cultural phenomenon.

Rome

A Cultural, Visual and Personal Journey

Robert Hughes

Alfred A. Knopf, $35

Hughes finds God in the details as he traces the city's history through its art.

Shockaholic

Carrie Fisher

Simon & Schuster, $22

The actress explains that even though shock therapy may be wiping out her memory, she's becoming addicted to the treatments.

Seriously … I'm Kidding

Ellen DeGeneres

Grand Central Publishing, $26.99

Another memoir from the comedian and new daytime queen of talk television.

Spencer Tracy

A Life

James Curtis

Alfred A. Knopf, $39.95

A fully formed look at the stage and screen career of one of America's great acting legends.

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson

Simon & Schuster, $35

The authorized biography of the co-founder of Apple who was one the most admired men in America.

Stories I Only Tell My Friends

An Autobiography

Rob Lowe

Henry Holt, $26

A funny, moving account of a Hollywood life—from teen idol to TV and movie star—lived almost entirely in the public eye

Sweet Judy Blue Eyes

My Life in Music

Judy Collins

Crown Archetype, $26

A broad recollection of the singer's life in music in the tumultuous '60s and the high cost it exacted in her personal life.

The Swerve

How the World Became Modern

Stephen Greenblatt

W.W. Norton, $26.95

This year's National Book Award winner in nonfiction describes the world-changing rediscovery of a lost Latin classic.

10 Mindful Minutes

Giving Our Children and Ourselves the Social and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress for Healthier, Happier Lives

Goldie Hawn

Putnam, $24

The actress offers tips on teaching children how to cultivate an attitude of mindfulness in spite of countless daily distractions.

That Used to Be Us

How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28

The authors look at the challenges facing America in globalization, energy consumption, information technology and chronic deficits, and offer a call to action.

Then Again

Diane Keaton

Random House, $26

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