Barbara Hoffert

About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.

Historical Echoes | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 4

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Hunter, Georgia. We Were the Lucky Ones. Viking. Feb. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9780399563089. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399563102. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. HISTORICAL Hunter, who did not know that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors until she was 15, draws on this revelatory history to tell the story of three generations of the Kurc family, […]

Nobel Prize Winner Coetzee & Civil War as Concept | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2017, Pt. 4

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Armitage, David. Civil Wars: A History in Ideas. Knopf. Feb. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780307271136. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353090. PHILOSOPHY/HISTORY The Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History at Harvard University, Armitage considers civil war not as an aggregation of battles but as an idea dating back to republican Rome. That idea really matters, for whether or […]

Building Better Bodies, Protecting Data, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 4

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Buting, Jerome F. Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America’s Broken System. Harper. Feb. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780062569318. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062569332. TRUE CRIME The criminal defense lawyer for Steven Avery in the Teresa Halbach murder trial, chronicled in the headlines-making Netflix original documentary series, Making a Murderer, Buting uses that case and […]

17 Key Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 4

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Billingham, Mark. Rush of Blood. Atlantic Monthly. Feb. 2017. 480p. ISBN 9780802125910. $25. THRILLER Never before available here in a standard print edition despite its 2012 publication in the UK, this thriller is Billingham’s only novel set partly in America—Florida, to be specific, where the author has a home. Three British couples bond when they […]

Sam Shepard’s Spring

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Sam Shepard is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of more than 55 plays and three story collections and is an Academy Award–nominated actor who has appeared in more than 60 films, having also worked as a screenwriter and director. What’s left to do? Write a novel, of course, and he seems to have found the time. […]

Laird Hunt, Yiyun Lee, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2017, Pt. 3

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Dennett, Daniel C. From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. Norton. Feb. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9780393242072. $28.95. PHILOSOPHY/MIND & BODY Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University and winner of the Erasmus Prize, Dennett knows how to talk to lay readers; he’s published numerous books, not just with academic presses […]

Harrison, Kadrey, Kenyon, & More | SF/Fantasy Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 3

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Carey, Jacqueline. Miranda and Caliban. Tor. Feb. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780765386793. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780765386809. FANTASY Carey, who knows fantasy—she’s author of the New York Times best-selling “Kushiel’s Legacy” series—here reimagines the greatest fantasy of them all, Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Taking a different angle, she depicts Miranda as lonely and longing for friendship with the […]

Jio, Kinsella, Lipman, & More | Pop Fiction, Feb. 2017, Pt. 3

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Hepworth, Sally. The Mother’s Promise. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781250077752. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466889927. CD: Macmillan Audio. WOMEN’S Australian author Hepworth splashed down big with her debut, The Secrets of Midwives, and followed up quickly with The Things We Keep. Now she’s back breaking hearts with the story of single mother Alice, her […]

Inkblots, Depression, Relationships, & More | Psychology Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 3

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Bennett, Michael, M.D. F*ck Love: One Shrink’s Sensible Advice for Finding a Lasting Relationship. Touchstone. Feb. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9781501140563. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781501140570. INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS A board-certified psychiatrist educated at Harvard Medical School, Bennett had a New York Times best-selling hit with his first book, the cheerfully in-your-face F*ck Feelings. Here he recommends ditching […]

Looted Books, Librarian Heroes

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Published in spring 2016, Joshua Hammer’s The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu celebrated the librarians who recently rescued hundreds of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts when militants invaded their city. Anders Rydell’s The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race To Return a Literary Inheritance (Viking. Feb. 2017. 384p. tr. […]