Down on Earth, Up in Space | Nonfiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 3

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Al-Khalili, Jim, ed. Aliens: The World’s Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life. Picador. May 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781250109637. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781250109651. SCIENCE/ESSAYS Life on Mars (or anywhere else in the universe)? This book is not a pop-pulp answer to that perennial question. A highly regarded British theoretical physicist with 90,000 Twitter followers […]

National Book Awards Challenge Political Climate with Literature, Celebration

National Book Award Fiction winner with wife Julie Barer

On Wednesday, November 16, following a presidential election that shook the literary community to its roots, the National Book Foundation came back fighting at an awards ceremony where endorsement of a broad view of social justice for America was evident from the moment host Larry Wilmore took the stage. Virtually every speaker expressed strong dismay […]

Ford, Murakami, Shreve, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2017, Pt. 2

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Bouman, Tom. Darling Cory: A Henry Farrell Novel. Norton. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780393249644. $NA. MYSTERY Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller and the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, as well as LibraryReads honors and a John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, Bouman’s Dry Bones in the Valley featured a rural […]

Top Debut Novels | Fiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 2

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Alyan, Hala. Salt Houses. Houghton Harcourt. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780544912588. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780544912380. LITERARY/SAGA This embracing and salt-sharp tale by Palestinian American poet and clinical psychologist Alyan magnifies the problem of displacement in the Middle East by chronicling the fate of one family continually uprooted after the Six-Day War of 1967. After her […]

It’s a Mystery | Fiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 2

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Atherton, Nancy. Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse. Viking. May 2017. 240p. ISBN 9781101981320. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101981337. MYSTERY/COZY Enjoying a break from her husband and sons, who are off camping, Lori Shepherd heads to a quilting bee. There, widowed Annabelle Craven reveals a secret about her first husband’s death that leads Lori to investigate […]

Making History | Nonfiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 2

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Allison, Graham. Destined for War: America, China, and Thucydides’s Trap. Houghton Harcourt. May 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780544935273. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780544935334. POLITICAL SCIENCE/HISTORY Founding dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, who has served in both the Reagan and the Clinton administrations and twice won the Pentagon’s highest civilian award, Allison coined the term the […]

LJ’s Materials Survey | Last Chance!

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Librarians everywhere, I hope that you find Prepub helpful. Now, could you help us by completing our annual materials survey? It’s packed with information about budgets and circulation, and we’d like the broadest range of data possible from the nation’s public libraries. Date of completion has been extended to November 14. Please fill out our […]

Backman, Garrow, Gordon, & a Trip to Timbuktu | Barbara’s Picks, May 1, 2017

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Backman, Fredrik. Beartown. Atria. May. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501160769. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781501160783. CD: S. & S. Audio. LITERARY FICTION Starting with his breakout debut, A Man Called Ove, Backman became an international sensation and New York Times best-selling author. In its focus on a struggling town seeking redemption through youth sports, his latest echoes […]

Four Essential Thrillers | Fiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 1

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Crichton, Michael. Dragon Teeth. Harper. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780062473356. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062473370. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. THRILLER Set in 1876, at the height of the Bone Wars—the frantic competition by paleontologists to find the very best preserved dinosaur fossils—this newly discovered novel should cheer up fans of Crichton, who died in 2008. To […]

Four Key Current Events Titles | Nonfiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 1

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Attkisson, Sharyl. The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote. Harper. May 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780062468161. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062468185. POLITICAL SCIENCE The smear: it’s the concerted effort of those working in opposition to individuals or ideas to bring them down with ugly depiction—hit stories—based on […]