Monday, April 10, 2006

Poker, Paralegals and Michael Eisner Star in April Paperbacks

Poker, Paralegals and Michael Eisner Star in April Paperbacks

April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Professional poker players, paralegals, Parisians, Persians and Michael Eisner all star in April's new paperbacks. Here is our list of original paperbacks and reprints.

Original Fiction

``The Prop'' by Pete Hautman (Simon & Schuster): Peeky Kane, a professional poker player, tracks down a crew of murderous clown-masked thieves who stole millions from an Indian casino in Arizona.

``Family and Other Accidents'' by Shari Goldhagen (Broadway): This eloquent debut novel tells the tale of two brothers: Jack Reed, who has returned to Cleveland to look after his late father's law firm and its bevy of paralegals, and his younger brother Connor, who wants to get out of Ohio as fast a possible.

``The Nimrod Flipout: Stories'' by Etgar Keret (Farrar, Straus & Giroux): This Israeli writer's surreal short stories portray a motley assortment of oddballs, including a cynical, talking Middle Eastern fish and a man whose girlfriend morphs each night into a overweight soccer thug.

``The Death of Achilles'' by Boris Akunin (Random House): The fourth of Akunin's series of Russian mysteries finds 19th- century diplomat-detective Erast Fandorin holed up in a Moscow hotel and investigating the murder of a war hero.

``Best of Tin House: Stories'' (Tin House Books): These 27 stories, culled from the past four years of the esteemed New York literary magazine Tin House, include selections by Denis Johnson, Deborah Eisenberg and Anthony Swofford.

Notable Fiction Reprints

``The DaVinci Code'' by Dan Brown (Anchor): If you are one of the last people on this planet who haven't yet read Brown's fanciful mystery about Opus Dei and the significance of Mona Lisa's smile, your time is now.

``Saturday'' by Ian McEwan (Vintage): Henry Perowne, a wealthy London neurosurgeon on his way to play squash, clips the rear-view mirror of a passing BMW. When the deranged lout behind the wheel seeks revenge, Perowne makes a personal acquaintance with terror.

``Misfortune'' by Wesley Stace (Little, Brown): A meta-sized comedy in the tradition of Charles Dickens, about a foundling rescued from a London garbage heap in 1820 by the richest man in England, and written by the musician otherwise known as John Wesley Harding.

``Never Let Me Go'' by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage): This finalist for last year's Booker Prize tells the chilling story of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, who met while students at an exclusive English boarding school and discover they are clones being bred for an insidious purpose.

``Before the Frost'' by Henning Mankell (Vintage/Black Lizard): The 10th in this thinking man's mystery series from the Swedish master features detective Kurt Wallander, joined by his daughter Linda, a newly minted police officer, in a hunt for a deadly religious psychopath.

``Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close'' by Jonathan Safran Foer (Mariner): The follow-up to the author's acclaimed ``Everything Is Illuminated'' describes the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks through the eyes of a 9-year-old New Yorker whose father died in the World Trade Center.

``The Hummingbird's Daughter'' by Luis Alberto Urrea (Back Bay): The 2006 Kiriyama Prize for fiction -- a prize usually reserved for Asian books -- went to this 500- page Latino epic about a Mexican peasant woman who becomes a Catholic revolutionary.

``My Uncle Napoleon'' by Iraj Pezeshkzad (Modern Library): This surprisingly funny novel, beloved in Iran, describes a paranoid modern-day Persian society where all earthly troubles are blamed on the British.

``The Mermaid Chair'' by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin): This romantic novel about a love triangle between a woman, her husband and a monk, follows Monk's previous book, ``The Secret Life of Bees,'' which has sold an astonishing 3 million copies since it was published in 2002.

``A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian'' by Marina Lewycka (Penguin): Lewycka's touching comedy-of-errors about an exiled Ukrainian family living in the U.K., whose elderly patriarch intends to marry a voluptuous gold digger.


``Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise'' by Ruth Reichl (Penguin): The editor of Gourmet and former New York Times food critic reveals the myriad of alternate identities that allowed her to dine incognito at restaurants whose fortunes depended on her palette.

``Does Anything Eat Wasps?'' (Free Press): A compendium of articles from the U.K.'s New Scientist magazine promises 101 ``unsettling, witty answers to questions you never thought you wanted to ask,'' such as ``Does beheading hurt?'' and ``Why do people have eyebrows?''

``The Secret Way to War: The Downing Street Memo and the Iraq War's Buried History'' by Mark Danner (New York Review Books): This investigation into collaboration between the Bush and Blair administrations in the planning of the 2003 invasion of Iraq offers further proof clandestine plans were prepared for the war as early as 2002.

``Confidence: How Winning Streaks & Losing Streaks Begin & End'' by Rosabeth Moss Kanter (Three Rivers): Kanter's theoretical look at how winners become winners posits that supreme self-confidence is the ultimate asset in any business situation.

``The Men Who Stare at Goats'' by Jon Ronson (Simon & Schuster): This U.K. journalist's fascinating investigation into the occult practices of the U.S. military uncovers a program that sought to train soldiers how to walk through walls and kill using only their eyes.

``What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Science in the Age of Certainty'' edited by John Brockman (HarperPerennial): More than 100 scientists and thinkers offer brief essays about what their gut tells them is true -- such as the idea that the universe is infinite -- though they have no evidence beyond their own hunches.

``John James Audubon: The Making of an American'' by Richard Rhodes (Vintage): This vivid new biography of the writer and illustrator of ``Birds of America'' by Rhodes, a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, is perfect vacation reading for ``twitchers'' everywhere.

``DisneyWar'' by James B. Stewart (Simon & Schuster): A magisterial 600-page business chronicle charting the Shakespearean rise and fall of former Chief Executive Officer Michael Eisner and his battles with other high-maintenance entertainment personalities including Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Ovitz.

``A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future'' by Daniel Pink (Riverhead): The author of ``Free Agent Nation'' predicts that most jobs requiring left-brain thinking, such as accounting, will be outsourced to India and China.

``The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq'' by John Crawford (Riverhead): Crawford was a weekend warrior in National Guard and a college senior when he was sent to Iraq. His story of mind- numbing patrols punctuated by moments of terror reflects the ordeal of thousands of young soldiers.

``Finding George Orwell in Burma'' by Emma Larkin (Penguin): Larkin documents a year of traveling through the authoritarian police state of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, while tracing the life and legend of writer George Orwell, who served there as an administrator for the British Empire.

``Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown With Iran'' by Kenneth R. Timmerman (Three Rivers): Timmerman offers up a blow-by-blow account of the development of Iran's nuclear weapons program and argues that the Islamic Republic of Iran is preparing for and would welcome a war with the United States.

``Phaic Tan'' by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch (Chronicle): The trio who brought you the amusing travel-guide parody ``Molvania'' follow up with another bogus guide to a nonexistent country, this one in Southeast Asia.

``We'll Always Have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light'' by John Baxter (HarperPerennial): Yet another paean to the world's favorite city, this time by a globe-trotting Australian film critic who recounts his lifelong love affair with his wife and the French capital.