Pierce Brown, Sebastian Faulks, Elizabeth McKenzie, Lawrence Osborne | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Brown, Pierce. Morning Star: The Red Rising Trilogy, Bk. 3. Del Rey. Jan. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780345539847. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780345539854. SF Brown’s Red Rising, the start of a dystopian trilogy set on Mars, where a rigidly hierarchical society keeps Reds slaving beneath the soil under the pretense that they are building for a future […]

World War Marriage, Hunter S. Thompson, a Nazi Diary, & Women Changing the Arab World | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Buruma, Ian. Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War. Penguin Pr. Jan. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781594204388. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698410183. HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College and one of our leading public intellectuals (as he was twice voted by the Foreign Policy/Prospect magazines in recent years), Buruma […]

Literary Authors on the Rise, from Carrie Brown to Charles Lambert | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Brown, Carrie. The Stargazer’s Sister. Pantheon. Jan. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9780804197939. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780804197946. LITERARY Brown, who’s claimed the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, among other honors, returns with a novel for the 21st century set in 19th-century England. Plucked from sheer misery in Germany and brought to […]

Five Key Mysteries, from Reed Farrel Coleman to Thomas Perry | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Coleman, Reed Farrel. Where It Hurts. Putnam. Jan. 2016. 368p. ISBN 9780399173035. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698184091. MYSTERY Three-time Shamus Award winner Coleman, past executive vice-president of Mystery Writers of America and called the “noir poet laureate” by the Huffington Post, here launches a new series starring a retired Suffolk County cop named Gus Murphy who […]

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 […]

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

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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 […]