Africa, Open Access, Stefan Zweig, & the Geography of Genius | Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Peters, Justin. The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet. Scribner. Jan. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781476767727. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781476767734. TECHNOLOGY Slate correspondent Peters uses the life and death of Aaron Swartz, founding developer of Reddit and Creative Commons, who committed suicide after being indicted by the government for illegally […]

J. Ryan Stradal | LibraryReads Author, July 2015

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Interview with No. 1 vote getter J. Ryan Stradal

Multiformat Harper Lee Coming This Month

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Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman is scheduled for release by HarperCollins on July 14, with a two-million-copy first printing and, reports the New York Times, the most preorders in the company’s history. The Times has also let us know that after the seesawing excitement and doubt stirred up by the February announcement of the […]

Best-Selling Bohjalian, First Novelists Betancourt & Yapa, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2016, Pt. 1

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Bales, Kevin. Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World. Spiegel & Grau. Jan. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780812995763. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780812995770. SOCIAL SCIENCE Cofounder and past president of Free the Slaves whose crusading has led to his speaking before organizations from the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to the […]

Five Key Literary/Historical Debut Novels | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 1

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Brown, Taylor. Fallen Land. St. Martin’s. Jan. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9781250077974. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466893078. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Montana Prize winner Brown has published short fiction in venues like the Baltimore Review and  storySouth but makes the leap to full-blown novelist with a work set in Georgia in the final years of the Civil War. Callum, a […]

Middle East Fighting and U.S. Government Blues | Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 1

LOFGREN

Chase, Simon & Ralph Pezzullo. Zero Footprint: Leave No Trace, Take No Prisoners: The True Story of a Private Military Contractor in Syria, Libya, And the World’s Most Dangerous Places. Muholland: Little, Brown. Jan. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780316342247. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316342223. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316342230. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORY/MILITARY/IRAQ Private military contractor Chase carries […]

First Thoughts on ALA

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This newsletter saying good-bye to 2015 titles is slim, owing to my work at the American Library Association conference in San Francisco. Some first thoughts, drawn from the panels I have moderated. It’s astonishing how a panel that can seem as disparate as United for Libraries’ “Beyond Genre,” with three memoirs, a book of photographs […]

Last of the December Fiction | Fiction Previews, Dec. 2015, Pt. 1

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Fiorato, Marina. Beatrice and Benedick. St. Martin’s. Dec. 2015. 448p. ISBN 9781476776347. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466888982. HISTORICAL We all know how much Beatrice and Benedick sparred in Much Ado About Nothing, but how did their relationship come about? A Shakespeare scholar whose The Glassblower of Murano won international acclaim, Fiorato reimagines their meeting at her […]

From Occupy Art to Romantic Suspense | Barbara’s Picks, Prepub Alert, Dec. 2015, Pt. 1

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Crabapple, Molly. Drawing Blood. Harper. Dec. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9781476772080. $25.99. MEMOIR Crabapple traveled through Europe and the Near East after high school, then settled in New York and worked at the nightclub The Box. She also witnessed the 9/11 attack. Eventually, the emerging Occupy movement compelled her to artistic talents to serve a new […]

Laura Dave | LibraryReads Author, June 15, 2015

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Interview with No. 1 vote getter Laura Dave, author of Eight Hundred Grapes