Memoirs from Bergen, Gooch, Julavits, Mulgrew, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 3

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Alexander, Elizabeth. The Light of the World: A Memoir. Grand Central. Apr. 2015. 224p. ISBN 9781455599875. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781455599851. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455579730. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. MEMOIR Expect truth and beauty in this heartrending memoir from poet Alexander, a Pulitzer Prize finalist who recited her “Praise Song for the Day” at President Barack Obama’s […]

Moving On Up: Patrick Modiano, Howard Jacobson, Neel Mukherjee

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It always happens: an author wins an award or award nomination, and his or her forthcoming book gets a big push forward. Patrick Modiano, named recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature last week, isn’t much published in this country, but Yale University Press was planning a February 2015 release of his Suspended Sentences: […]

Brian Doyle, Bruce Holsinger, Ann Packer, & Three Essential World War II Titles | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2015, Pt. 2

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Doyle, Brian. Martin Marten. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781250045201. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466843691. LITERARY Published by an academic press, the luminously written Mink River was a dead giveaway that Doyle had a big literary future ahead of him, and he proved himself nicely with last year’s The Plover. His new novel […]

Essential Chillers from Iles, Indridason, Locke, Scottoline, & More | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 2

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Brennan, Allison. Compulsion. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781250035028. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250035035. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER Probing a retired couple’s disappearance the previous summer, investigative report Maxine (“Max”) Revere is convinced that serial killer Adam Bachman—whose trial she’s currently covering—is somehow connected and that in fact he has an accomplice. She’s even […]

From the Vietnam War to LGBT Rights | History & Current Events Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 2

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Blehm, Eric. Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret’s Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines. Crown. Apr. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780804139519. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780804139526. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY/MILITARY In 2012’s Fearless, Blehm chronicled SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown’s moment of supreme sacrifice […]

Young and Hot: The National Book Foundation’s 2014 5 Under 35 Honorees

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Last week, in a special arrangement with BuzzFeed Books (because why not do something fun and different?), the National Book Foundation announced its 2014 5 Under 35 honorees. Past honorees include Nam Le, Dinaw Mengestu, Téa Obreht, Karen Russell, and Paul Yoon, so it pays to attend carefully to these authors. This year’s group includes […]

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.

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