Biography from Joan of Arc & George Marshall to Stalin & Goebbels | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 1

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Auricchio, Laura. The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered. Knopf. Oct. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780307267559. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353243. BIOGRAPHY Americans know the Marquis de Lafayette as the French hero of the American Revolution who at age 19 volunteered to fight under George Washington and subsequently negotiated increased French support that went a long way toward winning the […]

The American Library Association Announces the Shortlist for the Andrew Carnegie Medals

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The American Library Association announced its shortlist for the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. Cosponsored by Booklist and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), the awards are drawn from Booklist Editors’ Choice carnegiennonand RUSA Notable Books and made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Top Pop from Richard Paul Evans, Debbie Macomber, & More | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2014, Pt. 1

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Dallas, Sandra. A Quilt for Christmas. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2014. 224p. ISBN 9781250045942. $17.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466846081. HISTORICAL/CHRISTMAS Home alone tending family and farm once husband Will has joined the Kansas volunteers to fight the Confederates, Eliza Spooner works on a quilt to keep Will warm during those long winter months in uniform. Then she […]

Drones, Counterinsurgency, and Coming Home | Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2014, Pt. 1

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Dreazen, Yochi. The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War. Crown. Oct. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780385347839. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780385347846. MILITARY A decorated two-star officer, Maj. Gen. Mark Graham is all too familiar with the suicide epidemic among soldiers—and how it’s shoved under the rug by the military. He and his […]

The Anisfield-Wolf Awards: Celebrate the Past, Look to the Future

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The coincidence couldn’t be more telling. Just as I was writing up Laird Hunt’s eye-opening new novel, Neverhome, as one of my Fiction Picks, I got wind of this year’s winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. Hunt’s Kind One was an Anisfield-Wolf fiction winner last year, and one suspects that the award helped move this […]

Laird Hunt, Laila Lalami, Ben Lerner, Joseph O’Neill, Christos Tsiolkas | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5

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Hunt, Laird. Neverhome. Little, Brown. Sept. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780316370134. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316370127. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316370158. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his previous novel, Kind One, and a two-time finalist for the PEN Center USA Award, Hunt is a real writer’s writer poised for breakout with this […]

Wendy Davis, Dana Goldstein, Steven Pinker, Terry Pratchett, Tavis Smiley | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5

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Davis, Wendy. Untitled Memoir. Blue Rider. Sept. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780399170577. $27.95. MEMOIR/POLITICS A women’s rights heroine for her nearly 11-hour filibuster to block a bill that aimed to close all but five abortion clinics in Texas, Texas state senator Wendy Davis is equally famed for being a single mom who eventually got herself into […]

Literary Gems (e.g., Nancy Huston, Brian Morton) and Some Major Debuts | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5

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Adcock, Siobhan. The Barter. Dutton. Sept. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780525954224. $26.95. LITERARY In present-day Texas, Bridget feels a certain emptiness after giving up her career as an attorney to raise her daughter—and a certain anxiousness because she alone senses that an alien presence has entered the house. A century before, a bride from the city […]

From Lincoln’s Gamble to Eichmann Before Jerusalem | History Previews, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5

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Brewster, Todd. Lincoln’s Gamble: How the Emancipation Proclamation Changed the Course of the Civil War. Scribner. Sept. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781451693867. $27. HISTORY Don E. Ackerman Director of Oral History at the United States Military Academy, West Point, Brewster chronicles the six months from July 12, 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln first asserted that he would […]

Marshmallow Tests and Swimming Puppies | More Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5

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Aptowicz, Cristin O’Keefe. Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine. Gotham. Sept. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781592408702. $27.50. BIOGRAPHY/MEDICINE Whether you know it or not, you are deeply indebted to Thomas Dent Mütter, a plastic surgeon in mid-19th-century Philadelphia who pioneered the use of anesthesia and the sterilization […]

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