Chevalier, Fishman, O’Brien, Oyeyemi, & Spiotta | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Mar. 2016, Pt. 1


Chevalier, Tracy. At the Edge of the Orchard. Viking. Mar. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780525953005. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698404199. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Chevalier is the New York Times best-selling author of numerous audience favorites, notably Girl with a Pearl Earring, and with this book, as a way to introduce her to new readers, her new publisher […]

From Annie Dillard & Edward O. Wilson to Charlotte Brontë’s Fiery Heart | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Mar. 2015, Pt. 1


Dillard, Annie. The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New. Ecco. Mar. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780062432971. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062433015. ESSAYS On September 10, President Barack Obama awarded Dillard the National Humanities Medal “for her profound reflections on human life and nature,” as the White House citation said. “In poetry and prose, Ms. Dillard has invited […]

From Commissario Guido Brunetti to Intrepid Maisie Dobbs | Barbara’s Suspense Picks, Mar. 2015, Pt. 1


Leon, Donna. Waters of Eternal Youth. Atlantic, Mar. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780802124807. $26. MYSTERY Commissario Guido Brunetti’s 25th case has a little twist; there’s no dead body and possibly no crime. Late one night, a teenager splashed into the bottle-green waters of a Venice canal, and the stumbling drunk who pulled her out—not before she […]

The 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards


On September 10, 2015, before an audience close to 900 strong at Playhouse Square’s Ohio Theater in Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation presented the 80th annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which honor literature that challenges racism and celebrates diversity. The awards were founded by Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf, who, said Cleveland Foundation President Ronald […]

Kelman, Romano-Lax, Warlick, & More | Last of the Literary Fiction in Preview, Feb. 2016, Pt. 5


Kelman, Stephen. Man on Fire. Bloomsbury USA. Feb. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781632864390. $26. LITERARY How would you like to have three 40-pound slabs of concrete smashed over your groin or 31 watermelons dropped nearly simultaneously on your stomach from a height of more than 30 feet? That’s what Bibhuti Nayak does as a specialist in […]

Ethan Canin, Kristopher Jansma, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 5


Canin, Ethan. A Doubter’s Almanac. Random. Feb. 2016. 576p. ISBN 9781400068265. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780812996784. LITERARY FICTION Let’s go back to 1970s Berkeley, where math genius and wildly outré Milo Andret pursues a Ph.D., then move forward to Wall Street and Michigan’s quiet, lonely forests, and see whether New York Times best-selling author Canin (The […]

Visiting with Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, Fang Lizhi, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 5


Bell-Scott, Patricia. The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship; Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice. Knopf. Feb. 2016. 464p. ISBN 9780679446521. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781101946923. HISTORY This work from Bell-Scott, professor emerita of women’s studies and family science at the University of Georgia and co-founding editor of SAGE: […]

From the Silk Roads to Los Angeles | History Previews, Feb. 2105, Pt. 5


Brooks James F. Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat’ovi Massacre. Norton. Feb. 2016. 224p. ISBN 9780393061253. $26.95. HISTORY In 1700, Awat’ovi, a peaceful Hopi community on Arizona’s Antelope Mesa, was set upon by neighboring Hopi Indians and its inhabitants brutally slain. Brooks, professor of history and anthropology at the University of California, Santa […]

Covering the Classics: Q&A with Book Designer Coralie Bickford-Smith | Classic Returns


A Q&A with award-winning book designer Coralie Bickford-Smith.

Yann Martel, Iain Pears, & Jacobson’s Shakespeare Retelling | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 4


Gallagher, Matt. Youngblood. Atria. Feb. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9781501105746. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501105760. LITERARY Never have more veterans expressed the full depth of their war experience by turning to writing, as evidenced by recent stellar fiction from authors like Elliot Ackerman, Michael Pitre, and the National Book Award–winning Phil Klay, who calls this current example […]