DINNER AT THE NEW GENE CAFÉ
How Genetic Engineering Is Changing What We Eat, How We Live, and the Global Politics of Food

By Bill Lambrecht
Thomas Dunne Books, $24.95

More than half of America’s grocery products today contain genetically modified ingredients. Chances are, the bowl of cereal you poured this morning included ingredients derived from science. Lambrecht’s new book takes a look inside the biotech companies altering the genetic building blocks of our food and examines the public concern regarding the safety of this new technology.

THE SWEET SEASON
By Austin Murphy
HarperCollins, $25

Longtime Sports Illustrated writer Murphy needed a break from covering the NFL, so he moved his family to the middle of Minnesota to chronicle a season at St. John’s University, a small Benedictine school. There he finds John “Gags” Gagliardi, the unorthodox coach who shows Murphy a great deal about kindness, humility, life, and, of course, football.

THE GLADIATOR
The Secret History Of Rome’s Warrior Slaves

By Alan Baker
Thomas Dunne Books, $22.95

Gladiator gave us just a glimpse of the violent world of ancient Rome. Baker’s book tells the complete story of the courageous warrior slaves and the Roman society that simultaneously revered and reviled them.

HIPPOLYTE’S ISLAND
By Barbara Hodgson
Chronicle Books, $24.95

Part adventure, part love story, part richly illustrated travel journal, Hippolyte’s Island chronicles the title character’s search for a group of islands last charted nearly two centuries ago and his efforts to convince his skeptical editor that he did indeed find them. A delightfully original tale.