Simon & Schuster, $25.99

A candid accounting from the actor who reconstructed two Hollywood archetypes in "Maverick" and "The Rockford Files."

George F. Kennan

An American Life

John Lewis Gaddis

Penguin Press, $39.95

The authorized biography of the seminal U.S. Cold War diplomat, 30 years in the making.

Gun Fight

The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America

Adam Winkler

Norton, $27.95

Winkler, a UCLA professor, uses the landmark Columbia vs. Heller case as a springboard for a thorough examination of the gun control debate.

Higher Gossip

Essays and Criticism

John Updike

Alfred A. Knopf, $40

Perhaps best known as a novelist, Updike's essays and criticism show his masterful touch in those forms as well.

Holidays in Heck

P.J. O'Rourke

Grove Atlantic, $24