King of the Blues: The Rise and Reign of B. B. King(Grove/Atlantic) by Daniel De Vise

Longlisted for the PEN Biography Award, selected as a “a biography of exceptional literary, narrative, and artistic merit, based on scrupulous research.”

A Kirkus 2021 Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

King of the Blues receives four starred reviews:

“Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist De Visé amply demonstrates his masterful storytelling and research skills in this definitive look at legendary blues musician B.B. King . . . An intimate portrait of a cultural luminary . . . Even readers who aren’t fans of the blues will be engrossed by this nuanced look at an American icon.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The definitive biography of blues master Riley ‘B.B.’ King . . . Engaging. The book expertly interweaves King’s music career into the U.S. social fabric, especially the civil rights movement. With this fast-moving, informative, evenhanded, and exhaustive biography, de Visé vividly captures King’s life.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“As blues royalty and one of the 20th century’s most influential musicians, B.B. King has long deserved a well-considered biography that places his achievements in a cultural and historical context. This is it . . . Interweaves tales of American history, pop culture, racial relations, music theory, and much more to fully demonstrate King’s significance . . . Magnificent . . . The thrill is here, as B.B. King finally gets his due in this first meticulous account of his historic life.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“De Visé tells King’s story in the context of his swirling times, intertwined with profiles of historic people and events musical and otherwise. A fine portrait of an iconic musician.”—Booklist (starred review)

 When Evil Lived in Laurel: The “White Knights” and the Murder of Vernon Dahmer (WW Norton) by Curtis Wilkie,

An NPR 2021 Best Book of the Year

A Demon-Haunted Land: Witches, Wonder Doctors, and the Ghosts of the Past in Post-WWII Germany (Metropolitan Books) by Monica Black receives stellar review in December New Republic Magazine by pre-eminent historian Richard J. Evans:

“A Demon-Haunted Land is absorbing, gripping, and utterly fascinating. It kept me enthralled right up to the end. Black certainly knows how to tell a good story. Beautifully written, without even a hint of jargon or pretension, it casts a significant and unexpected new light on the early phase of the Federal Republic of Germany’s history. Black’s analysis of the copious, largely unknown archival sources on which the book is based is unfailingly subtle and intelligent.”

Eat Like a Human: Nourishing Foods and Ancient Ways of Cooking to Revolutionize Your Health (Little, Brown Spark) by Dr. Bill Schindler receives great review in December Shelf Awareness:

“Co-star of the National Geographic television series The Great Human Race, Schindler is an animated storyteller and persuasive advocate for resurrecting ancient technologies for harvesting and preparing food. A realist who appreciates the social value of modern traditions, such as eating cake at birthday parties, Schindler urges readers not to forgo the food rituals that make for a culturally rich life, but instead to adapt the strategies presented in Eat Like a Human to individual circumstances and make incremental, manageable advancements toward improved biological health.”