Sean Carroll, Janine di Giovanni, Roxane Gay, Mark Kurlansky, Nathaniel Philbrick | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, May 2016, Pt. 1


Carroll, Sean. The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. Dutton. May 2016. 464p. ISBN 9780525954828. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698409767. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SCIENCE A theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, Carroll won the Royal Society Winton Prize for The Particle at the End of the Universe, his […]

Award-Worthy Literary Gems | Fiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 1


Amend, Allison. Enchanted Islands. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. May 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780385539067. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385539074. LITERARY Born to immigrant parents in 1882 Minnesota, Frances Frankowski ran away from home as a teenager and on the eve of World War II was working as a secretary for the Office of Naval Intelligence, where she […]

America at War, from the 1800s to Afghanistan | Nonfiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 1


Borneman, Walter R. MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific. Little, Brown. May 2016. 608p. ISBN 9780316405324. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780316405317. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316405300. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORY A best-selling author of books like The Admirals, which has over 75,000 copies in print, Borneman does not offer a biography of Gen. Douglas […]

Top Fall Indie Fiction: Best Bets Beyond the Big-House Titles


Banansky offers a sleekly told puzzle piece that snares readers to the end; Kloss’s epic Revelator has a feel of dark, ferocious beauty; you’ll trust Kid Moses; Glacier is gorgeously and urgently written

Reading the World | Fiction in Translation


New fiction in translation from smaller presses includes literary titles, YA, and more.

Editors’ Picks: Your Next Big Reads from HarperCollins and Penguin Random House


Janice Y.K. Lee returns after her New York Times best-selling The Piano Teacher with The Expatriates, about three American women in Hong Kong. Beloved Miniaturist author Jessie Burton links characters in 1930s Spain and 1960s London. New Yorker contributor Elizabeth McKenzie’s The Portable Veblen, a popular galley at ALA, introduces big-hearted Veblen, her brilliant neurologist […]

O’Nan in Jerusalem, a Newly Discovered Tolkien, Abu-Jaber’s New Memoir, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2016, Pt. 3


Abu-Jaber, Diana. Life Without a Recipe: A Memoir of Food and Family. Norton. Apr. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780393249095. $26.95. MEMOIR Abu-Jaber, a fiction writer known for sparkling award winners like Crescent, has also given us the luscious memoir The Language of Baklava. Here she continues wrapping her discussion of love and identity in the sweet […]

Debut Novels, in Love, War, & More | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2016, Pt. 3


Donovan, Kemper. The Decent Proposal. Harper. Apr. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780062391629. $25.99. POP FICTION At 29, wannabe Hollywood producer Richard Baumbach has little to show for his efforts but remains cockily assured of success, while 33-year-old Elizabeth Santiago will surely make partner at her law firm but barely deviates from her ordered life. (One big […]

British Royals, American Jihadists, Humanitarian Doctors, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2016, Pt. 3


Andersen, Christopher. Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne. Gallery: S. & S. Apr. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781476743950. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781476743974. BIOGRAPHY/ROYALTY Anderson, the author of 16 New York Times best sellers, including William and Kate and The Day Diana Died, has a way with royalty of all sorts. Here he gives […]

2016 Carnegie Medals Short List Announced


The American Library Association (ALA) announced its short list for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, honoring books written for adults and published in the United States in the previous year. In a departure from previous years, the two medal winners will be revealed at the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits […]