Set against the backdrop of the California Gold Rush, this darkly comic novel follows the misadventures of the fabled Sisters brothers, two hired guns who, under the order of the mysterious Commodore, try to kill Hermann Kermit Warm, a man who gives them a run for their money. Think Deadwood, but directed by the Coen brothers — a classic Western with deadpan comic narration that is by turns hilarious, graphic and meditative.
Betty White has been on television — in her words — "forever." Her new memoir, If You Ask Me, focuses on the past 15 years of her life and career, which has been skyrocketing as a new generation discovers a sweet, 89-year-old-lady with a naughty mind. But White doesn't see it that way. "I don't think of it as naughty," she says. "I don't like dirty humor. I like double entendre, because then the people who get it, enjoy it — and the people who don't get it, don't know about it."
Andrew Ferguson, a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, details his sometimes comical efforts at helping his son with college applications in his new book, Crazy U. Starting the process in his son's junior year of high school, he discovered that they were behind the curve compared with some kids and their parents, because his son hadn't yet taken the SAT prep class or done a college tour. But Ferguson resolved not to give up parenthood or all the things that bound his family together.
At age 9, Demetrius Walker was dunking basketballs into a 10-foot hoop. By the time he reached 11, he was signing autographs. And as an eighth-grader, he made the cover of Sports Illustrated. Big shoe companies were clamoring to have Demetrius wear their gear, and much of the hype was generated by Joe Keller, the man who discovered and then later abandoned Walker. Pulitzer Prize-winning sportswriter George Dohrmann spent eight years hanging around Keller, Walker and the cutthroat world of youth basketball, while writing his new book, Play Their Hearts Out.
Charlotte Abbott edits "New in Paperback." A contributing editor for Publishers Weekly, she also leads a weekly chat on books and reading in the digital age every Friday from 4-5 p.m. ET on Twitter. Follow her at @charabbott or check out the #followreader hashtag.