From J.M.W. Turner to Al Capone | Biography Previews, Oct. 2016, Pt. 1

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Ackroyd, Peter. Alfred Hitchcock. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Oct. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780385537414. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385537421. Downloadable: Random Audio BIOGRAPHY An award winner in both fiction and nonfiction (e.g., he claims the Whitbread Book Award for Biography), Ackroyd here explains how a fearful, chubby little boy became the masterly and iconic director Alfred Hitchcock. […]

From Peter Ho Davies to Rose Tremain | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2016, Pt. 4

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Davies, Peter Ho. Tell It Slant. Houghton Harcourt. Sept. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780544263703. $27. LITERARY The son of a Welsh father and a Chinese mother, Davies won multiple awards for his first story collection and was proclaimed among the Best Young British Novelists by Granta. His first novel, The Welsh Girl, was a Los Angeles […]

Shirley Jackson, 9/11 Hero Welles Crowther, John le Carré, Riad Sattouf, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2016, Pt. 4

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Bergner, Daniel. Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family. Lee Boudreaux: Little, Brown. Sept. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780316300674. $28. BIOGRAPHY Growing up in low-income housing in Virginia, Ryan Speedo Green was placed in a special classroom for unmanageable children and by age 12 was in juvenile detention after threatening to kill […]

Harlan Coben, James Patterson, Anne Perry, & More | Pop Fiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 4

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Coben, Harlan. Home. Dutton. Sept. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780525955108. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698411449. THRILLER Two boys from golden-glazed families are kidnapped and never heard from again—until ten years later, when Myron Bolitar and friend Win apparently find one of them. What can the rescued teenager say about the intervening years and the fate of his […]

Visiting Florida with Barry, the Internet with Levitin, & the Marches with Stewart | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 4

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Alexander, Jane. Wild Things, Wild Places: Adventurous Tales of Wildlife and Conservation on Planet Earth. Knopf. Sept. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9780385354363. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385354370. Downloadable: Random Audio. SCIENCE/MEMOIR A Tony Award–winning and two-time Emmy Award-winning actress, plus a four-time Academy Award nominee and former chair of the National Endowment of the Arts, Alexander is […]

FDR’s Last Months, African American Women Mathematicians, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2016, Pt. 3

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Lelyveld, Joseph. His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt. Knopf. Sept. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780385350792. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385350808. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY A former executive editor of the New York Times and author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Move Your Shadow, Lelyveld doesn’t give us overarching biography but an incisive slice of life […]

Sophie Hannah, Eimear McBride, Ron Rash & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2016. , Pt. 3

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Hannah, Sophie/Agatha Christie. Closed Casket: The New Hercule Poirot Novel. Morrow. Sept. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780062458827. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062458841. CD: HarperAudio. MYSTERY With The Monogram Murders, Hannah gutsily took on the task of bringing back Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, and though some fans sniped, it was a New York Times best seller that got […]

Literary Glitter from Kleeman, Livesey, Towles, & More | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 3

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Altrad, Mohed. Badawi. Black Cat: Grove Atlantic. Sept. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780802125798. pap. $16. LITERARY Drawing on his own life to craft this first novel, Syrian-born French billionaire Altrad relates the story of Maïouf, a Bedouin boy who resists familial pressure to become a shepherd after his mother dies, abandoned and repudiated. Instead, he sneaks […]

Pearl Harbor, Stalin’s Last American Spy, & More | History Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 3

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Clark, Lloyd. Blitzkrieg: Myth, Reality, and Hitler’s Lightning War: France 1940. Atlantic Monthly. Sept. 2016. 384p. ISBN 978-0802125132. $27. HISTORY British historian Clark (The Battle of the Tanks: Kursk, 1943) examines the German army’s swift toppling of France and the Low Countries in spring 1940, arguing that it was not inevitable—the Germans needed the element […]

Alan Bradley, Robert Olen Butler, Emma Donoghue, James Gleick, Robert Gottlieb | Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2016, Pt. 2

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Bradley, Alan. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d: A Flavia de Luce Novel. Delacorte. Sept. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780345539960. $26. CD: Random Audio. MYSTERY Wickedly smart young Flavia de Luce launched her investigative career with The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, which proved its worth by winning the Agatha, Macavity, Barry, Dilys, Arthur […]