Butler, Danielewski, Enright, Hemon, Pearl, & Perkins-Valdez | Barbara’s All-Fiction Picks, May 2015, Pt. 2

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Butler, Nickolas. Beneath the Bonfire: Stories. St. Martin’s. May 2015. 272p. ISBN 9781250039835. $23.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466875531. CD: Macmillan Audio. SHORT STORIES After receiving some powerful reviews when it appeared last spring (the New York Times called it “an impressively original debut”), Butler’s Wisconsin-set, warmly small-town, big-friendship Shotgun Lovesongs went on to become a national […]

Chess at Auschwitz, Balkans War, & Friendship Via Wikipedia | Eleven Big Fiction Debuts, May 2015, Pt.

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Acampora, Lauren. The Wonder Garden. Grove. May 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780802123558. $24. SHORT STORIES A real estate agent contemplates yet another tackily enlarged house. A group of suburban women gather to reveal themselves briefly to one another and condescend to the rest of the world. A father-to-be abandons a successful career at the urging of […]

Taya Kyle, Tavis Smiley, & Four Big Musicians| Memoir Previews, May 2015, Pt. 2

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General Bello, Maria. Love Is Love. Dey Street. May 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780062351838. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062351852. MEMOIR Having sparked a major conversation when “Coming Out as a Modern Family” appeared in the much-read “Modern Love” column in the New York Times, Bello here expands on her story of falling in love with a woman […]

LibraryReads Nominations Now Accepted via NetGalley

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LibraryReads, which offers a monthly list of ten current titles recommended by library staff nationwide as their favorites, has joined with NetGalley to make nominating titles even easier. Previously, library staff who participated voted solely through Edelweiss. Now staffers who use NetGalley, a major software and services company that delivers secure digital galleys to professional […]

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 […]

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