From Tama Janowitz to Amy Winehouse’s Mom | Memoir Previews, Jan. 2015, Pt. 4,

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Hazzard, Kevin. A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back. Scribner. Jan. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9781501110832. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781501110870. MEMOIR Looking for a way to test himself, Hazzard became a paramedic in 2004 and held the job for nearly a decade, working in some of the toughest parts of Atlanta. […]

Why You Should Read Go Set a Watchman

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Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman brings down an American icon, and some people aren’t taking that very well, though apparently I’m not alone in believing that Atticus Finch needed another good, hard look. (Here’s my full review.) Others have grumbled that the writing is not altogether prize-worthy, but what were they expecting? Kickback against […]

Benjamin Black, Mark Bowden, Janice Lee, & an Afghan Romeo and Juliet | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2016, Pt. 3

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Black, Benjamin. Even the Dead: A Quirke Novel. Holt. Jan. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781627790666. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781627790673. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY In this seventh in a series from Black, the alter ego of Man Booker Prize winner John Banville, Dublin-based pathologist Quirke gets quite a workout. Even as he’s worried that the blackouts and […]

A Fantasy/Romance/Paranormal Romance Mix | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 3

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Armstrong, Kelley. Otherworld Secrets: An Anthology. Plume. Jan. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780452298354. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780698173521. FANTASY Last year, Armstrong published the first of three anthologies featuring the witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, and half-demons from her “Otherworld” series. Otherworld Nights featured only one original piece out of six short stories and two novellas, which […]

From the Armenian Genocide to the Holocaust to the Dadaab Refugee Camp | History Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 3

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Loridan-Ivens, Marceline. But You Did Not Come Back. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2016. 112p. ISBN 978080212450. $22. HISTORY When she was only 15, Loridan-Ivens was sent by the Vichy militia to the Drancy transit camp with her father, who told her that he would not survive the ordeal they were about to face. In fact, he  […]

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee | LJ Review

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As every reader knows, Lee’s second novel, from which her iconic To Kill a Mockingbird was spun 55 years ago, has just been published by Harper with considerable excitement and some still-shifting uncertainty, as reported by the New York Times, about how the manuscript was rediscovered. Lee’s original work has feisty 26-year-old Jean Louise Finch, […]

Pierce Brown, Sebastian Faulks, Elizabeth McKenzie, Lawrence Osborne | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Brown, Pierce. Morning Star: The Red Rising Trilogy, Bk. 3. Del Rey. Jan. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780345539847. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780345539854. SF Brown’s Red Rising, the start of a dystopian trilogy set on Mars, where a rigidly hierarchical society keeps Reds slaving beneath the soil under the pretense that they are building for a future […]

World War Marriage, Hunter S. Thompson, a Nazi Diary, & Women Changing the Arab World | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Buruma, Ian. Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War. Penguin Pr. Jan. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781594204388. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698410183. HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College and one of our leading public intellectuals (as he was twice voted by the Foreign Policy/Prospect magazines in recent years), Buruma […]

Literary Authors on the Rise, from Carrie Brown to Charles Lambert | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Brown, Carrie. The Stargazer’s Sister. Pantheon. Jan. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9780804197939. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780804197946. LITERARY Brown, who’s claimed the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, among other honors, returns with a novel for the 21st century set in 19th-century England. Plucked from sheer misery in Germany and brought to […]

Five Key Mysteries, from Reed Farrel Coleman to Thomas Perry | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Coleman, Reed Farrel. Where It Hurts. Putnam. Jan. 2016. 368p. ISBN 9780399173035. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698184091. MYSTERY Three-time Shamus Award winner Coleman, past executive vice-president of Mystery Writers of America and called the “noir poet laureate” by the Huffington Post, here launches a new series starring a retired Suffolk County cop named Gus Murphy who […]