Twitter, Frackers, Apple Inside Tales Revealed: Books

Jony Ive
"Jony Ive", by Leander Kahney. Source: Portfolio via Bloomberg

An inside look at Twitter and advice from Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg will both hit the bookstores this month. Here are some November highlights:

“American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell” by Deborah Solomon (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Nov. 5). Rockwell has long been seen as an illustrator whose work was well outside the fine-art mainstream. Now his life has been written by the biographer of Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollock.

“The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism” by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster, Nov. 5). A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt cultivated the press to get his ideas across -- creating the notion of the presidency as a “bully pulpit.” Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Goodwin explores the Progressive Era, which has so many parallels to our own time.

“Buying In” by Laura Hemphill (New Harvest, Nov. 5). This first novel by a veteran of Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse tells of a small-town girl on Wall Street.

“Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror” by Erik Prince (Portfolio/Penguin, Nov. 18). Blackwater’s founder and former chief executive officer promises a revealing look at the secretive military contractor.

“Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives” by Randi Zuckerberg (HarperOne, Nov. 5). Mark Zuckerberg’s sister -- a former Facebook marketing executive -- gives advice on balancing technology with life.

‘The Frackers’

“The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters” by Gregory Zuckerman (Portfolio/Penguin, Nov. 5). Wall Street Journal writer Zuckerman explores the rapid development of the hydraulic-fracturing method of natural-gas extraction, the fortunes that have been made and lost, and the debate over the environmental impact.

“Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal” by Nick Bilton (Portfolio/Penguin, Nov. 5). Just in time for the IPO, New York Times columnist Bilton recounts the story of Twitter’s four founders and their fight for control of the company.

“Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products” by Leander Kahney (Portfolio/Penguin, Nov. 14). The cover mimics Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography of Steve Jobs -- close-up of a face, all done in black and white. Jony Ive is the designer behind Apple’s distinctive look, and the design of this biography is sure to grab fans’ attention.

“The Mortgage Wars: Inside Fannie Mae, Big-Money Politics and the Collapse of the American Dream” by Timothy Howard (McGraw-Hill, Nov. 29). Howard worked at Fannie Mae for more than 20 years, until 2004, rising to vice chairman and chief financial officer.

Nora Ephron

“The Most of Nora Ephron” (Knopf, Nov. 4). In one big package: Ephron’s novel-with-recipes, “Heartburn”; the screenplay for “When Harry Met Sally”; and her bitingly smart and funny essays on journalism, feminism and her aging neck.

“My Mistake” by Daniel Menaker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Nov. 19). Menaker has spent a life with words as an editor at the New Yorker and Random House. Now he takes us behind the scenes with William Shawn (who didn’t like him), Tina Brown (who gets her husband, Harry Evans, to hire him so she can get rid of him) and a parade of writers.

Long Walk

“The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6000 Miles in the City” by William B. Helmreich (Princeton University Press, out now). City University of New York professor Helmreich walked virtually every block in all five boroughs, talking to people as he went.

“This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage” by Ann Patchett (Harper, Nov. 5). The best-selling author of “Bel Canto” now collects her essays, including a piece about starting up an independent bookstore, Parnassus, in Nashville.

“The Valley of Amazement” by Amy Tan (Ecco, Nov. 5). The author of “The Joy Luck Club” returns with her first novel in eight years -- the story of an American madam in turn-of-the-20th-century Shanghai.

(Laurie Muchnick is the book editor for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Greg Evans and Craig Seligman on movies.

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