Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam
Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard, made a huge splash with a little article called "Bowling Alone" in the Journal of Democracy. The controversial, landmark article, which noted that although more people are bowling, league membership has fallen by almost half in the last twenty years, explains how social involvement strengthens communities, government, and democracy. "A prodigious achievement," says The Economist.
Slam by Nick Hornby
Bestselling author Nick Hornby is writing his first young adult novel, for his longtime publisher Penguin. Slam, about a boy who survives a teenage crush by hashing out the pangs of love with his idol Tony Hawk (or at least a one-dimensional version of the star, via a poster), will be released by the Penguin Young Readers Group in October, through its G.P.Putnam's Sons imprint. Riverhead (which regularly publishes Hornby's adult fiction) and Penguin Young Readers will follow, in 2008, with simultaneous paperback editions.