Fiction from Elizabeth Berg, Alexander McCall Smith, Kimberly McCreight, Per Petterson, & Amanda Quick; Memoirs from Philip Glass & Judith Miller | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2015, Pt. 1

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Berg, Elizabeth. The Dream Lover. Random. Apr. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780812993158. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780679644705. HISTORICAL Berg, a library favorite—her Durable Goods and Joy School were both selected as ALA Best Books of the Year—does something completely different here. She offers a fictionalized account of the famous French novelist George Sand, reimagining her decidedly unconventional […]

Dickey, Dilloway, Macomber, & More | Big Commercial Fiction Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 1

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Brackston, Paula. The Silver Witch. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781250028792. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250028808. HISTORICAL/PARANORMAL In another witchy historical from the New York Times best-selling Brackston (after The Winter Witch), ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells mournfully moves into the little Welsh cottage she was to have shared with husband Mat before his […]

Essential Biographies of Abraham Lincoln, James Merrill, Isamu Noguchi, Joseph Mitchell, & Billy Martin | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 1

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Blumenthal, Sidney. A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1809–1854. S. & S. Apr. 2015. 608p. ISBN 9781476777252. $32.50. BIOGRAPHY A veteran reporter, former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, and senior adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton, Blumenthal offers the first of a three-volume study of President Abraham Lincoln as a […]

Famously Firsts | Fall/Winter 2014/15 First Novels

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Fiction titles don’t come out of nowhere but—if they’re any good—are suffused with an author’s particular background, perspective, experience, and skill. Here are this coming season’s first-time novelists.

Visualizing Books: Video Interviews with Alan Cumming & Katy Simpson Smith, Online Fun with Garth Stein’s A Sudden Light & Eric Kaplan’s Does Santa Exist?

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Given my job, of course I think a book is worth a thousand pictures, but sometimes visuals do help. In the last months, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing celebrated actor Alan Cumming, whose Not My Father’s Son, a wrenching memoir of rediscovering family, is a LibraryReads pick for October, and debut novelist Katy Simpson […]

Saul Bellow, Scott Ellsworth, Caryl Phillips, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2015, Pt. 4

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Bellow, Saul. There Is Simply Too Much To Think About: Collected Nonfiction. Viking. Mar. 2015. 608p. ed. by Benjamin Taylor. ISBN 9780670016693. $35. LITERATURE Issued in time for the centenary of Bellow’s birth and the tenth anniversary of his death, this work collects the Nobel laureate’s nonfiction, including criticism, interviews, speeches, and other pieces ranging […]

Howard Jacobson, Elif Shafak, Yan Lianke, & More | Key Literary Fiction Previews, Mar. 2015, Pt. 4

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Hunter, Aislinn. The World Before Us. Hogarth: Crown. Mar. 2015. 432p. ISBN 9780553418521. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780553418538. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY In a wooded area near a crumbling estate and a Victorian asylum, a little girl named Lily vanishes, leaving her family and 15-year-old babysitter Jane Standen devastated. Two decades later, as an archivist at […]

Mark Adams, Julie Holland, & the Art of Poetry | Nonfiction Previews, Mar. 2015, Pt. 4

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Adams, Mark. Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest To Find the Sunken City. Dutton. Mar. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780525953708. $27.95. TRAVEL The author of the New York Times best seller Turn Right at Machu Picchu can’t visit the subject of his new book: the lost city of Atlantis. But he does talk to the […]

Brooklyn Book Festival 2014 | The Pleasure of Reading To Learn

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On Sunday, September 21, under overcast skies but with undeniably sunny energy, the ninth annual Brooklyn Book Festival took place at New York City’s Brooklyn Borough Hall. The adjacent Columbus Park area played host to over 250 vendors (not just publishers but also literary organizations, sponsors, and more), and the 100-plus panels and presentations featuring […]

ISIS: The State of Terror, plus T.C. Boyle, Abigail Thomas, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2015, Pt. 3

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Stern, Jessica & J.M. Berger. Isis: The State of Terror. Ecco. Jan. 2015. NAp. ISBN 9780062395542. $25.99. CURRENT EVENTS Our head-on engagement with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) requires some fast and furious background reading, and here it is: Ecco has just announced that on January 27, 2015, it will release a […]

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