Recently-Published Books Are Plentiful To Keep You Entertained During Winter Months

Compiled by Jamie H. Vaught

This is the first of a two-part series about your possible winter readings in nonfiction category, just in time for Christmas shopping season.

--“Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction” by Elizabeth Vargas (Grand Central Publishing, $27) chronicles her lifelong battle with anxiety before turning to alcohol and then recovery. The author is a well-known TV reporter for ABC network, serving as co-anchor of the popular 20/20 program. In 2014, Vargas made national news when she went on record with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s Good Morning America, saying she had been dealing with alcoholism. In the 243-page hardcover, Vargas, whose anxiety problem began at the age of six when her father was fighting during the Vietnam War, also writes about the struggles of being a working mother and primary breadwinner, and how she found herself at a crossword between devoting time to her family (including her two sons) and trying to rise up in her television career.

--“Herbert Hoover: A Life” by Glen Jeansonne (New American Library, $28) is a comprehensive biography of a misunderstood man who was the president during the 1920s. It has been said that Hoover ruined more lives and saved more lives than any person in human history. The 455-page book offers a surprising portrait of Hoover, recasting him from the chief architect of the Great Depression into the humanistic public servant that he really was.

--“True Faith and Allegiance: A Story of Service and Sacrifice in War and Peace” by Alberto R. Gonzales (Thomas Nelson, $26.99) is a personal history about the former U.S. Attorney General and former Counsel to the President. A product of a working-class family in Texas, he grew up with his seven siblings in a two-bedroom home and eventually graduated from Harvard Law School. Gonzales offers his perspective on many issues facing the George W. Bush White House. He is currently the Dean and a professor of law at Belmont University's College of Law in Nashville.

--“Inside the Clinton White House: An Oral History” by Russell L. Riley (Oxford, $29.95) is an authoritative picture of the 42nd presidency during the 1990s as told by those who knew him best. Over 60 of Bill Clinton’s political advisors and appointees, including cabinet officials, recorded oral history interviews with scholars at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. According to publisher’s news release, it's the first time that the contents of those interviews have been published. Wife Hillary Clinton is also a central figure in the book. President Clinton once told the voters in 1992 that they could “buy one, get one free,” meaning that he and his wife came as a team.

--“Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms” by Tim Tebow (Waterbrook, $25.00) is a powerful Christian book about 29-year-old author's journey of staying grounded in the face of disappointment, criticism and heavy media coverage. The former Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida shares stories about what he’s learned along the way, building confidence in his identity in God, not the world. He writes that the Lord has provided guidance for him through good and difficult times. His charity – Tim Tebow Foundation – was established in 2010 to care for the orphans and build hospitals. After his brief NFL career, Tebow, who was born in the Philippines, joined the SEC Network.

--“A Gift from Bob: How a Street Cat Helped One Man Learn the Meaning of Christmas” by James Bowen (Thomas Dunne, $14.99) is now available in paperback. A New York Times bestseller, it is a remarkable story between the author and a cat named Bob who was abandoned and rescued from the street. The author, a street musician in London, recalls the last Christmas when he had no money for food or warmth, and how the alley cat helped him to understand the true meaning of Christmas. The pair is now famous around the world.

--“Alben Barkley: A Life in Politics” by James K. Libbey (University Press of Kentucky, $39.95) is a full-length biography of an important U.S. political figure from Kentucky. Before becoming the vice president under President Harry Truman, Barkley was Kentucky’s U.S. Senator who also served as senate majority leader for nearly 10 years during the President Franklin Roosevelt administration. Born to poor tenant farmers in western Kentucky, Barkley died of massive heart attack during a speech in 1956. Interestingly, he was also related to General Douglas MacArthur by marriage.

--“House of Nails: A Memoir of Life on the Edge” by Lenny Dykstra (William Morrow, $27.99) is a story about the former baseball star’s outrageous rise and spectacular fall. As you may recall, Dykstra played for the New York Mets, including the 1986 World Series-winning team, and Philadelphia Phillies. He also spent time in prison for bankruptcy fraud. In the 340-page hardcover, Dykstra listed several revelations, including the hiring of private investigators to follow umpires so he could blackmail them into preferentia