From Attenberg to Lesser to Schlink | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2017, Pt. 4


Attenberg, Jami. All Grown Up. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2017. 208p. ISBN 9780544824249. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780544824263. LITERARY FICTION Author of the New York Times best-selling and Los Angeles Times Book Prize short-listed The Middlesteins and, more recently, of the well-received Saint Mazie, Attenberg again lays bare the soul of a woman. Her heroine here is […]

Last of the Big March 2017 Fiction | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2017, Pt. 4


Alcott, Kate. The Hollywood Daughter. Doubleday. Mar. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780385540636. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385540643. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORICAL A New York Times best-selling author of historical fiction, Alcott returns to the Hollywood setting of her most recent novel, A Touch of Stardust—not surprisingly, since she was raised in Los Angeles and married into a […]

Great Literary Titles & World Politics | Nonfiction Previews, Mar. 2017, Pt. 4


Bellos, David. The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables. Farrar. Mar. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780374223236. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780374716295. LITERARY CRITICISM A prolific translator and Princeton professor of French and comparative literature whose Is That a Fish in Your Ear? was a Los Angeles Book Prize finalist, Bellos discusses not just […]

Kunzru, See, Russian Revolution, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2017, Pt. 3


Dunant, Sarah. In the Name of the Family. Random. Mar. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9780812996975. $28. ebk. ISBN 9780812996982. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORICAL FICTION Renowned for her bright and disciplined way with Renaissance Italy, New York Times best-selling novelist Dunant again visits the Borgias, to whom she recently paid court in Blood and Beauty. Pope Alexander […]

21 Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2017, Pt. 3


Abbott, Jeff. Blame. Grand Central. Mar. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9781455558438. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781455558452. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455595662. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Another Sam Capra thriller from this three-time Edgar nominee? Actually not. Abbott has decided to take a break and write a stand-alone psychological suspense novel, for which there are no plot details but […]

Ancient Egypt, Chinese Aspirations, & More | History Previews, Mar. 2017, Pt. 3


Ellsberg, Daniel. The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Bloomsbury. Mar. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9781608196708. $30. POLITICAL SCIENCE In 1961, when Ellsberg served as a consultant to the Department of Defense and the White House, he helped draft Secretary Robert McNamara’s plans for nuclear war. Then he leaked the Pentagon Papers, and the […]

National Book Foundation Honors Robert A. Caro


The National Book Foundation today announced that it is awarding the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Robert A. Caro, the celebrated author of The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York and the multivolume biography The Years of Lyndon Johnson. He is the 29th recipient of the medal, created […]

National Book Foundation Recognizes African American Poetry Organization Cave Canem


The National Book Foundation today announced that this year’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community will be presented to Cave Canem, an organization that supports African American poetry. In its 12th year, the award has been presented to distinguished individuals from Dr. Maya Angelou and Dave Eggers to Terry Gross and […]

National Book Awards Long Lists


Long lists have the advantage of maximizing excitement not only about the award in question but about books generally, offering a wider range of good titles that are sometimes surprising and other times suddenly obvious. The long lists for the National Book Awards, rolled out last week over four days, are no exception. The nonfiction […]

Four Rising-Star Novelists | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2017, Pt. 2


Butler, Nickolas. The Hearts of Men. Ecco. Mar. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9780062469687. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062469700. LITERARY Butler, who debuted with the heartfelt Shotgun Lovesongs, which won honors ranging from the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award to France’s Prix Page/America, returns after the story collection Beneath the Bonfire with another look at male bonding. At Camp […]