AMERICAN MIRROR: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell. By Deborah Solomon. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28.) Solomon pays honest respect to Rockwell for his dedication through periods of self-doubt, depression and marital tumult.
BEING MORTAL: Medicine and What Matters in the End. By Atul Gawande. (Metropolitan/Holt, $26.) A meditation on living better with age-related frailty, serious illness and approaching death.
BUILDING A BETTER TEACHER: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone). By Elizabeth Green. (Norton, $
27.95.) What emerges here is the gaping chasm between what the best teachers do and how they are evaluated.
CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? Written and illustrated by Roz Chast. (Bloomsbury, $28.) This scorchingly honest, achingly wistful graphic memoir looks at the last years of Chast’s nonagenarian parents.
CHINA’S SECOND CONTINENT: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa. By Howard W. French. (Knopf, $27.95.) French delves into the actual lives of the Chinese who have uprooted themselves to live and work in Africa.
CUBED: A Secret History of the Workplace. By Nikil Saval. (Doubleday, $26.95.) This account of office design and technology since the Civil War offers insights into the changing nature of work.
DEEP DOWN DARK: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free. By Héctor Tobar. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) Tobar graphically recounts the quandaries faced by the victims of Chile’s 2010 mine disaster.
DEMON CAMP: A Soldier’s Exorcism. By Jennifer Percy. (Scribner, $26.) Percy’s first book follows an anguished Army veteran who searches for salvation in a Christian exorcism camp.
DUTY: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. By Robert M. Gates. (Knopf, $35.) One of the few Obama administration members who come off well in this frank account — probably one of the best Washington memoirs ever — is Hillary Clinton.
DYING EVERY DAY: Seneca at the Court of Nero. By James Romm. (Knopf, $27.95.) A classicist tries to unravel the enigma of the Stoic philosopher who was the Roman emperor Nero’s adviser.
EICHMANN BEFORE JERUSALEM: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer. By Bettina Stangneth. Translated by Ruth Martin. (Knopf, $35.) The Eichmann of this study is a much more motivated Nazi than in Arendt’s version.
ELEPHANT COMPANY: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II. By Vicki Constantine Croke. (Random House, $28.) A rich portrait of a fascinating Englishman in extraordinary times.
EMBATTLED REBEL: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief. By James M. McPherson. (Penguin Press, $32.95.) The Confederate president as “a product of his time and circumstances.”
THE EMPATHY EXAMS: Essays. By Leslie Jamison. (Graywolf, $15.) Considerations of pain, physical and emotional, and how it affects our relationships with one another and with ourselves.
FACTORY MAN: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local — and Helped Save an American Town. By Beth Macy. (Little, Brown, $28.) Macy’s folksy concentration on her local hero makes complex global issues understandable.