Malevolent Muse: The Life of Alma Mahler by Oliver Hilmes, translated by Donald Arthur (Northeastern, 360, May 5)
Alma Schindler Mahler Gropius Werfel (1879–1964) was both loved and hated by her contemporaries in the cultural circles of 20th-century Europe. As mistress and wife to many famous and brilliant men (including the composer Gustav Mahler), Alma was once called "a cross between a grande dame and a cesspool" by a contemporary. Nonetheless, as Hilmes discovered upon reading many of her previously-unpublished papers, Alma was a force to be reckoned with in European intellectual circles and then in emigre communities in the U.S. after the Nazis swept across Europe. Looks fascinating.
It's a Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson, with David Ritz (Little, Brown and Company, 464 pages, May 5)
I'm sorry, do you even need me to give you a reason to read this book? DIDN'T THINK SO.