The 2015 National Book Critics Circle Awards Finalists

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On January 18, the National Book Critics Circle announced 30 finalists in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—for awards honoring the most distinguished books of 2015. While the inclusion of titles like Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk (Grove) in autobiography, Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies (Riverhead) in fiction, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between […]

Carnegie Medal Winners Announced at ALA Midwinter

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Held Sunday, January 10, at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference, the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Book & Media Awards Ceremony & Reception had a new dimension this year. For the first time since the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012, the winners were announced at […]

Jessie Burton, Julian Fellowes, Hisham Matar, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2016, Pt. 1

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Burton, Jessie. The Muse. Ecco: HarperCollins. Jul. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780062409928. $27.99. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Once again, the author of the New York Times best-selling The Miniaturist unfolds history in an intriguing way. In the late 1930s, Olive Schloss lives with her parents, a Viennese Jewish art dealer and an English heiress, in a hardscrabble Spanish coastal […]

Aquarium Dreams, Sarong Party Girls, & Reality Show Survival | Fiction Debuts, Jul. 2016, Pt. 1

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Angell, Caroline. All the Time in the World. Holt Paperbacks. Jul. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9781627794015. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9781627794022. CD: Macmillan Audio POP FICTION Yet another theater person demonstrates that those who love the spoken word gravitate naturally to the written word. Playwright and director Angell crafts the story of a talented young composer […]

Brazillionaires, Surveillance, & the U.S. Diplomatic Corps | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 1

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Carville, James. We’re Still Right–And They’re Still Wrong. Blue Rider. Jul. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780399576225. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780399576232. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. POLITICAL SCIENCE In his follow-up to the 1996 best seller We’re Right, They’re Wrong, Democratic stalwart Carville argues that the policies initially enacted by President Bill Clinton and continued by President Barack Obama […]

ALA Midwinter Galley Preview

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1731 Simon & Schuster The top pick at this booth is clearly Joshua Hammer’s The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, whose hero, library director Abdel Kader Haidara, countered threats to his collection from al Qaeda militants by deploying a team of librarians to pack up hundreds of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts and sneak […]

Big Fiction Debuts, Key Current Events Titles, and Do-It-Yourself Shakespeare | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 5

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Cline, Emma. The Girls. Random. Jun. 2016. 368p. ISBN 9780812998603. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780812998610. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/COMING OF AGE Cline gets to prove why she won the 2014 Paris Review Plimpton Prize with this first novel featuring lonesome teen Evie Boyd, who’s drawn to a bunch of louche and daring-looking girls in […]

Kenyon, McMillan, Schine, & More | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 5

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Beverly-Whittemore, Miranda. June. Crown. Jun. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780553447682. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780553447699. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER/COMING OF AGE How could Cassie Danvers have been named the sole heir of Hollywood movie idol Jack Montgomery, who says she’s his granddaughter? Her grandmother, June, couldn’t have known him, and she was so proper. But it turns […]

Nature, Nurture, & Technology | Science Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 5

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Balcombe, Jonathan. What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins. Scientific American: Farrar. Jun. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780374288211. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374714338. NATURE/FISH Admit it; you don’t think a lot about fish. But there are actually 30,000 species of our wet, wriggly brethren, more than all mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian species combined. […]

On Hemingway, Soccer, New Possibilities, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 5

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Blume, Lesley. Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises. Eamon Dolan: Houghton Harcourt. Jun. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780544276000. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780544237179. LITERARY HISTORY Award-winning journalist and cultural historian Blume takes us back to the summer of 1925, when a struggling newspaper stringer traveled to Pamplona, Spain, with a group […]