LJ’s Materials Survey | Respond Now

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Librarians, how do thrillers, historicals, biographies, and art books circulate at you library? What’s growing faster, your ebook collection or your audio collection? Is your materials budget booming or heading south, and why? Library Journal wants to know so that we can write our annual materials survey. Please fill out our survey by November 7, […]

Award-Winning Short Fiction, Hamlet Worldwide, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Arimah, Lesley Nneka. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories. Riverhead. Apr. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9780735211025. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735211049. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SHORT STORIES Arimah won the 2015 African Commonwealth Prize for the Granta-published “Light,” was a finalist for the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for the title story, […]

From Boylan to Karen White | Pop Fiction, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Boylan, Jennifer Finney. Long Black Veil. Crown. Apr. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780451496324. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780451496348. Downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER/COMING OF AGE/LGBT LGBT rights advocate, Op-Ed page contributor to the New York Times since 2007, and the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence at Barnard College, Boylan still finds time to write both fiction and […]

Literature, Music, TV | Arts Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Bloom, Harold. Falstaff: Give Me Life. Scribner. Apr. 2017. 176p. ISBN 9781501164132. $22; ebk. ISBN 9781501164156. LITERATURE Distinguished critic Bloom, known especially for his Shakespeare scholarship, shows us why Falstaff—central to the three Henry plays—is considered Shakespeare’s greatest comic character. As Bloom explains, readers experience Falstaff differently as they move through life, which clarifies how […]

Last of the April 2017 Nonfiction | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Drezner, Daniel. The Ideas Industry. Oxford Univ. Apr. 2017. 344p. ISBN 9780190264604. $27.95. SOCIAL SCIENCE Professor of International Politics at Tufts University and author of such books as The System Worked, Drezner examines the uncomfortable evolution of the public intellectual, once someone who debated issues in an open forum and now more likely someone with […]

Short List Announced for Andrew Carnegie Medals

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The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the six books short-listed for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, which are given for the previous year’s best adult fiction and nonfiction books published in the United States. The two medal winners will be revealed at the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) […]

Obituary: Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today Book Critic

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It’s not every nationally known book critic that serves on the board of his local public library, but then Bob Minzesheimer, who died on October 15 after a battle with brain cancer, wasn’t just any book critic. USA Today‘s longtime book reviewer and writer, who was only 66 when he died, Bob earned a master’s […]

Key Poetry Jan.–Apr. 2017

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Bidart, Frank. Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2017. Farrar. Apr. 2017. 624p. ISBN 9780374125950. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780374715182. POETRY Multi-award-winning Bidart (e.g., the Bollingen Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award) represents a high point in contemporary America poetry, with dramatic, focused writing exploring our darkest psychic corners and greatest needs. Including a new collection, Thirst; originally […]

Two Big Fiction Debuts, Gaitskill, Lamott, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 3

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El Akkad, Omar. American War. Knopf. Apr. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780451493583. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780451493590. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/DYSTOPIAN FICTION Having reported on key issues from the war in Afghanistan to the Black Lives Matter movement, Egyptian-born, Canadian-based journalist El Akkad not surprisingly offers a debut novel shaped by current events while pointing […]

15 Key Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 3

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Armstrong, Ross. The Watcher. Mira: Harlequin. Apr. 2017. 302p. ISBN 9780778330721. $26.99. THRILLER Noted actor Armstrong (he’s appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company and in Hamlet on Broadway) launches his writing career with psychological suspense that Harlequin UK is dubbing a lead breakout title. When an elderly neighbor turns up dead shortly after birdwatcher Lily […]