Talking with Marilyn Johnson, Late Fall with B&N’s Discover Great New Writers, PW’s Top Ten, & Tom Hanks, Author

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Lots of book news this week. Marilyn Johnson, beloved of librarians for This Book Is Overdue!, has been getting raves for Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble (Harper, Nov. 11), including a starred LJ review. It was also No. 3 on this month’s LibraryReads List. When you think about it, […]

Atkinson, Dubow, Palahniuk, & Shepard | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, May 2015, Pt. 1

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Atkinson, Kate. A God in Ruins. Little, Brown. May 2015. 400p. ISBN 9780316176538. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316341554. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316341530. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. LITERARY Even without its Costa Award and numerous Best Book nods, Atkinson’s remarkably shape-shifting Life After Life would have legions of fans, and they’ll be excited to learn that her next […]

Bloom, Ellis, Shipler, & the Freakonomics Duo | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, May 2015, Pt. 1

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Bloom, Harold. The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime. Spiegel & Grau. May 2015. 528p. ISBN 9780812997828. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780812997835. LITERATURE A Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale, former Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard, and MacArthur Fellow, Bloom at 84 remains one of our best-known and most influential critics. Though he’s […]

Child, Deaver, DeMille, Kellerman, Patterson, Thayer | Hot Commercial Fiction Previews, May 2015, Pt. 1

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Child, Lincoln. The Forgotten Room. Doubleday. May 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780385531405. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780385531412. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER Coauthored by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, the Pendergast series has hit the top spot on the New York Times best sellers list, with their Gideon series swiftly on the rise. But Child is […]

Awards, Best Books, & Favorite of Favorites

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There’s so much book news this week I don’t know where to start, but here goes. First, Kirkus Reviews announced the winners of the first-ever Kirkus Prize, established in May 2014 to honor outstanding writing by authors whose books have earned the Kirkus Star in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature. The […]

Donna Leon, Christopher McDougall, Two Big First Novels, & Shakespeare’s Women | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2015, Pt. 4

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Freeman, Anna. The Fair Fight. Riverhead. Apr. 2015. 480p. ISBN 9781594633294. $27.95. HISTORICAL Having had great advance notice, including rave reviews upon its publication in the U.K., this debut novel lands with a punch—quite literally, since its subject is female pugilism in late 18th-century England. Brothel-born Ruth won’t triumph in the demimonde, lacking the beauty […]

Top Debut Novels, with Settings from Africa to Vietnam to the Wild West | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 4

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Eyre, Hermione. Viper Wine. Hogarth: Crown. Apr. 2015. 448p. ISBN 9780553419351. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780553419368. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Muse to Ben Johnson and Van Dyck, Venetia Stanley fears that her celebrated beauty is fading. But though her husband, Sir Kenelm Digby, is an alchemist as well as an explorer and a time traveler, he won’t brew her […]

Business, Science, & Social Science | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 4

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Business Bock, Laszlo. Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead. Twelve. Apr. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9781455554799. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781455554805. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455531455. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. BUSINESS Billed as Lean In for every manager, this is good guidance from the head of Google’s innovative People Operations, who […]

Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying: Another Big Read Opportunity for Libraries

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The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has expanded its Big Read library with the addition of its first nonfiction selection, Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner and National Book Award finalist published in 2007. In this family memoir, Danticat recounts being raised by her uncle Joseph in Haiti […]

An Inaugural Poet’s Rx for Fear of Poetry; American Poets Prizes

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“In America, we don’t have a built-in gene to hate poetry,” proclaimed 2013 inaugural poet Richard Blanco while giving the Blaney Lecture at the eighth annual Poets Forum, an extravaganza of lectures and readings held in New York October 16–18 under the aegis of the Academy of American Poets. But as Blanco pointed out, most […]

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