Sunday, June 11, 2006

World Cup, Beer, Pirates, New York Real Estate: June Paperbacks

World Cup, Beer, Pirates, New York Real Estate: June Paperbacks

(The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Bloomberg.)

By Edward Nawotka

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- General George Washington, posh Manhattan real estate, the World Cup and pirates are among the topics in June's new paperbacks. Here are some highlights:


``1776'' by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster). The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer's masterful overview of the Revolutionary War's pivotal first year, including biographical sketches of George Washington and the generals he cajoled into fighting with the Continental Army.

``The Sky's the Limit: Passion and Property in Manhattan'' by Steven Gaines (Back Bay). Supercharged New York City realtors show off the apartments of the financial elite. You'll get to meet Betty Sherrill, the decorating doyenne who lords over One Sutton Place South, and Linda Stein, the colorful ``broker to the stars.''

``The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805'' by Richard Zacks (Hyperion). A page- turner on how a mercenary army crossed the Sahara to free 300 U.S. sailors from Barbary pirates.

``The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat'' by Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster). The contributions to the Watergate investigation of Mark Felt, aka Deep Throat, as told by the reporter who kept his identity hidden for almost 33 years.

``The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine'' by Rudolph Chelminski (Gotham). A look behind the 2003 suicide of Chef Bernard Loiseau, who became undone trying to stay at the top of France's fiercely competitive food world.

``Mark Twain: A Life'' by Ron Powers (Free Press). One of the best literary biographies of recent years, this captures the mercurial writer in all phases of his variegated life, from youthful humorous hack to his golden years of global celebrity.

``The Gift of Valor: A War Story'' by Michael M. Phillips (Broadway). A detailed portrait of the life and death of U.S. Marine Corporal Jason Dunham, who threw himself on an Iraqi grenade to save his fellow soldiers.

``A History of the World in Six Glasses'' by Tom Standage (Walker). An Economist writer's history as conveyed by the evolution and consumption of coffee, tea, cola, beer, wine and spirits.

``Your Call Is Important to Us: The Truth About Bullsh**'' by Laura Penny (Three Rivers). A dissection of the way advertisers, politicians, publicists, investment professionals, salesmen and many others obfuscate the truth.

``The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time'' by Michael Craig (Warner). This is an engrossing account of a 2001 poker battle between a self-made Texas billionaire and some of the world's greatest players in a series of matches where the total stakes eventually topped $20 million.

``A Matter of Opinion'' by Victor S. Navasky (Picador). The former editor of the Nation magazine assembles 30 years of anecdotes and opinions to mount a passionate defense of the importance of journalism to a functioning democracy.

``An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It'' by Al Gore (Rodale). This is the paperback companion to Gore's compelling documentary film of the same name on global warming.

``The Last Voyage of Columbus: Being the Epic Tale of the Great Captain's Fourth Expedition, Including Accounts of Swordfight, Mutiny, Shipwreck, Gold, War, Hurricane, and Discovery'' by Martin Dugard (Back Bay). An eventful life's final episodes, from Columbus's fourth attempt in 1502 to find a western passage to India through wild adventures on the high seas that land him in Jamaica.

``Booking Passage: We Irish and Americans'' by Thomas Lynch (Norton). This affecting travelogue traces the author's journey to County Clare, Ireland, and his changing relationship with his Irish relatives since Sept. 11, 2001.

``Comrade Rockstar: The Life and Mystery of Dean Reed, the All-American Boy Who Brought Rock 'n' Roll to the Soviet Union'' by Reggie Nadelson (Walker). Reed was a most unlikely superstar whose popularity in Russia in the 1960s and '70s earned him the nickname ``Red Elvis.''

``Hollywood Jock: 365 Days, Four Screenplays, Three TV Pitches, Two Kids, and One Wife Who's Ready to Pull the Plug'' by Rob Ryder (Harper). The diary of a desperate man whose long- suffering wife grants him one more year to fulfill his dream of making it in Hollywood as a screenwriter.


``The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana'' by Umberto Eco (Harvest). The latest cerebral Eco novel tells of a Milanese antiquarian book dealer who, after losing his memory, finds he can recall only phrases from things he's read and so tries to recover his past by rereading his childhood collection of comics, books and other artifacts.

``Until I Find You'' by John Irving (Ballantine). At 848 pages, this doorstop narrates the autobiographical story of a sexually abused actor searching Europe for his father, a tattoo artist/organist who abandoned him as a boy.

``Death's Little Helpers'' by Peter Spiegelman (Vintage). A corporate-crime novel in which private investigator John March, a retired cop, recovering alcoholic and black-sheep scion of a rich banking family, works his Wall Street connections to investigate the disappearance of a famous stock analyst.

``13 Steps Down'' by Ruth Rendell (Vintage). This is a creepy story that focuses on the nefarious alliance of an exercise-equipment repairman living in a rotting Notting Hill mansion and his octogenarian landlord.

``Rules for Old Men Waiting'' by Peter Pouncey (Random House). A small masterpiece about an elderly war historian living on Cape Cod who creates 10 commandments by which to live out the remainder of his days as he struggles to finish a final story about soldiers gassed during the First World War.

``And the Word Was'' by Bruce Bauman (Other Press). In this portrait of expatriate life in contemporary India, an American doctor falls for the rebellious niece of a powerful industrialist.

``Alibi'' by Joseph Kanon (Picador): A thriller featuring Adam Miller, an American Nazi hunter who stumbles upon murder and political intrigue in postwar Venice (Kanon's ``The Good German'' has just been filmed by Steven Soderbergh and should hit theaters later this year).

``The Pirates!'' by Gideon Defoe (Vintage). Yaaaar! A brace of light, allusive comedies in which a bored pirate captain in Victorian times attacks Charles Darwin's HMS Beagle and then goes hunting for Moby Dick with