Final Summer Sweep: Louis de Bernières, Ernest Cline, & More

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This newsletter opens coverage of September titles, before you even have a chance to shimmy into your bathing suit and head to the pool, and it’s the last chance to cite a few big summer titles that have come to my attention late. Note, for instance, Louis de Bernières’s The Dust That Falls from Dreams […]

Bill Clegg, Richard Dawkins, Jonathan Franzen, Elizabeth Gilbert, Erica Jong | Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2015, Pt. 1

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Clegg, Bill. Did You Ever Have a Family. Scout: Gallery. Sept. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781476798172. $26. LITERARY FICTION Clegg is a leading literary agent and the author of two well-regarded memoirs, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man and Ninety Days, which detail how he fell into crack addiction and stays sober now. So […]

Patrick deWitt, Lori Ostlund, Edward St. Aubyn, & More Award-Winning Writers | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 1

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deWitt, Patrick. Undermajordomo Minor. Ecco. Sept. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062281203. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062281234. LITERARY FICTION If you liked DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers, an edgily funny remake of the classic Western that was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, you’ll probably like his new work, too. Weak and hapless Lucien (Lucy) Minor feels like a […]

Race, Education, & the Prison System | Social Science Reviews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 1

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Faderman, Lillian. The Gay Revolution:The Story of the Struggle. S. & S. Sept. 2015. 512p. ISBN 9781451694116. $35. SOCIAL HISTORY Winner of six Lambda Literary Awards, two Stonewall Book Awards from the American Library Association, and Yale’s James Robert Brudner Memorial Prize and Lecture for Exemplary Scholarship in Lesbian/Gay Studies, among other honors, Faderman is […]

Early Summer Catch-Up: Annie Barrows’s The Truth According to Us

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Every season, some titles pass me by, usually because they are dropped into the schedule too late for me to feature in a given month. Publishing in June, Annie Barrows’s The Truth According to Us (Dial. 512p. ISBN 9780385342940. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780812997842) is one title I don’t want you to miss. Fans of the […]

Alaa Al Aswany, Adi Alsaid, Belinda Bauer, Jack Canfield, Susan Casey, Amitav Ghosh, Eli Gottlieb, Mary Kubica | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2015, Pt. 4

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Al Aswany, Alaa. The Automobile Club of Egypt. Knopf. Aug. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780373211548. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781460379370. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Published here in 2004, Al Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building was a best seller in the Arab world for five years and was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2006; the Times (London) recently […]

Linda Fairstein, Sophie Hannah, Michael Koryta, & More | Essential Thriller Titles, Aug. 2015, Pt. 4

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Burdett, John. The Asset. Knopf. Aug. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780307272683. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353205. POLICE PROCEDURAL Sonchai Jitpleecheep, a Buddhist detective with the Royal Thai Police Force, returns after Vulture Peak for some seriously techy trouble. With female inspector Krom, as capable socially and technologically as he’s not, Sonchai peers through a raging typhoon at […]

Five Key Memoirs from Felicia Day, Smokejumper Jason Ramos, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2015, Pt. 4

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Badkhen, Anna. Walking with Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savannah. Riverhead. Aug. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781594632488. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698142718. MEMOIR Award-winning reporter Badkhen often reports on war, and even when she’s not she goes to the edge in interesting ways; 2013’s The World Is a Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan […]

An Oprah Pick, an Editors’ Picks Webcast

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In case you missed the news, Cynthia Bond’s lustrous and heart-wrenching debut novel, Ruby, has been selected as the fourth book in Oprah’s Book Club 2.0.Of course, you heard about it in Prepub Alert first, and I hope you’ve also seen LJ‘s starred review. For more insight in this novel, check out “Talking with Cynthia […]

Talking with Cynthia Bond About Her Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 Pick, Ruby

Photo by Jay Harris

When beautiful Ruby Bell returns home to East Texas to wander barefoot along the red dirt roads, her mind seemingly gone and her black skin and lustrous black hair thick with dirt, she is scorned by the townsfolk, who set her up as an example of sinful aspiration to be avoided. But she attracts the […]

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