Camille Paglia nominates Sylvia Plath as the first female rock star in Break Blow Burn (Pantheon, $20), her analyses of 43 major poems. Corpses were considered fertilizer by the Khmer Rouge who sowed the killing fields, writes Philip Short in his new biography Pol Pot (Holt, $30); foreign-correspondent Short met Pol in '77 and was struck with the dude's charisma. Being brutally raped when she was a young Playboy model set forensic artist Lois Gibson on her career path, as she recounts in Faces of Evil (New Horizon, $24.95). "People can be boring in a number of ways," warn Ann Demarais and Valerie White in First Impressions: What You Don't Know About How Others See You (Bantam, $10), an examination of how you think you seem vs. how you actually seem. Mark Haskell Smith braves pidgin dialogue and X-rated scenes that still somehow seem intimate in his thriller Delicious (Atlantic Monthly, $23), set in Hawaii. When their eightysomething dad weds an undocumented gold-digging bombshell with a pneumatic bust, two estranged sisters reconnect in Marina Lewycka's novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (Penguin, $24.95). Do bees rule the world? Apparently -- why else would there be three brand-new major nonfiction releases, written by beekeepers, about them? Bone up on your busy new masters with Holley Bishop's Robbing the Bees (Free Press, $24), Tammy Horn's Bees in America (University of Kentucky, $27.50), and Stephen Buchmann's Letters from the Hive (Bantam, $24).
What the Fork - January 19, 10:29 AM
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