Jesse Ball, Jules Feiffer, Ruth Ware, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2016, Pt. 2

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Ball, Jesse. How To Set a Fire and Why. Pantheon. Jul. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781101870570. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101870587. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY FICTION If you didn’t know Ball’s off-kilter, engagingly experimental writing by the time 2014’s Silence Once Begun became a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award and the Los Angeles Times Book […]

Thrillers from Megan Abbott to Stuart Woods | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 2

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Abbott, Megan. You Will Know Me. Little, Brown. Jul. 2016. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316231084. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316365918. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER After murder rips apart the gymnastics community shortly before 15-year-old aspiring Olympian Devon’s big competition, mom Katie attends to escalating rumors and the suddenly revealed allegiances among various parents. She’s also drawing closer […]

Literary Fiction from Prize Winners Hebert, Levy, Nadzam, Pollack, & More | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 2

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de Botton, Alain. The Course of Love. S. & S. Jul. 2016. 240p. ISBN 9781501134258. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501134432. LITERARY Though de Botton is best known for books like The Consolations of Philosophy and How Proust Can Change Your Life, he opened his writing career in 1993 with the novel Essays in Love (called On […]

From the U.S. Post Office to the Fall of the Shah | History Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 2

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Cooper, Andrew Scott. The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran. Holt. Jul. 2016. 624p. ISBN 9780805098976. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780805098983. HISTORY/MIDDLE EAST When it comes to Iran, Cooper knows his stuff; author of The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in […]

The 2015 National Book Critics Circle Awards Finalists

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On January 18, the National Book Critics Circle announced 30 finalists in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—for awards honoring the most distinguished books of 2015. While the inclusion of titles like Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk (Grove) in autobiography, Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies (Riverhead) in fiction, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between […]

Carnegie Medal Winners Announced at ALA Midwinter

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Held Sunday, January 10, at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference, the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Book & Media Awards Ceremony & Reception had a new dimension this year. For the first time since the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012, the winners were announced at […]

Jessie Burton, Julian Fellowes, Hisham Matar, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2016, Pt. 1

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Burton, Jessie. The Muse. Ecco: HarperCollins. Jul. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780062409928. $27.99. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Once again, the author of the New York Times best-selling The Miniaturist unfolds history in an intriguing way. In the late 1930s, Olive Schloss lives with her parents, a Viennese Jewish art dealer and an English heiress, in a hardscrabble Spanish coastal […]

Aquarium Dreams, Sarong Party Girls, & Reality Show Survival | Fiction Debuts, Jul. 2016, Pt. 1

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Angell, Caroline. All the Time in the World. Holt Paperbacks. Jul. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9781627794015. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9781627794022. CD: Macmillan Audio POP FICTION Yet another theater person demonstrates that those who love the spoken word gravitate naturally to the written word. Playwright and director Angell crafts the story of a talented young composer […]

Brazillionaires, Surveillance, & the U.S. Diplomatic Corps | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 1

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Carville, James. We’re Still Right–And They’re Still Wrong. Blue Rider. Jul. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780399576225. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780399576232. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. POLITICAL SCIENCE In his follow-up to the 1996 best seller We’re Right, They’re Wrong, Democratic stalwart Carville argues that the policies initially enacted by President Bill Clinton and continued by President Barack Obama […]

ALA Midwinter Galley Preview

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1731 Simon & Schuster The top pick at this booth is clearly Joshua Hammer’s The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, whose hero, library director Abdel Kader Haidara, countered threats to his collection from al Qaeda militants by deploying a team of librarians to pack up hundreds of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts and sneak […]