We know it’s hard to invest in a story, play, or essay these days. But with Kindles, Nooks, iPads, old fashion print, and audio books, there are convenient ways to keep your brain stimulated and find time to text. Besides, looking like you care about something other than a video game score during your morning commute totally increases your sexy points in the voyeuristic eyes of fellow passenger. Here’s a list of new releases for 2012 that should keep you current, occupied, and slightly out of reach from all your fans.
A well-reviewed biography on artist Amadeo Modigliani written by seasoned biographer Meryle Secrest came out earlier this month. Modigliani: A Life dutifully chronicles the artist’s notoriously tumultuous life, one fraught with poverty and bouts of alcoholism and drug-addiction that quickly worsened his struggle with tubercular meningitis. Of course, none of this drama is relayed in the title, nor is there any evidence of the artist’s misfortunes or madness in the cover, which shows a young Modigliani in a polo and V-neck sweater, looking ready to teach high school economics. There exist several other biographies on the late artist. In fact, five years before Secrest’s Modigliani: A Life was published, Jeffrey Myers wrote the biography Modigliani: A Life.
Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter With Kansas was one of the smartest and most provocative books to appear during the George W. Bush presidency. Kansas, the author’s home state, tended to vote Democratic until a few decades ago, when Republican strategists started figuring out how to exploit social issues for electoral gain. According to Frank,…