Anne Tyler Revisits Shakespeare, plus Ausubel, Danielewski, & Newcomer El Rashidi | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jun. 2016. Pt. 4

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Ausubel, Ramona. Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty. Riverhead. Jun. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781616205621. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780698410855. LITERARY Ausubel debuted with No One Is Here Except All of Us, winner of the PEN Center USA Fiction Award and a New York Public Library’s Young Lions finalist that was ambitious, gorgeously written, and occasionally […]

From Palestine to the Supreme Court to Diane Arbus | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 4

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Ehrenreich, Ben. The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine. Penguin Pr. Jun. 2016. 448p. ISBN 9781594205903. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698148192. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. POLITICAL SCIENCE A National Magazine Award winner, Ehrenreich spent time over the last three years living with several Palestinian families in the West Bank; his reporting on what he […]

Fifteen Essential Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 4

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Adler, Elizabeth. The Charmers. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9781250058195. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466862265. THRILLER A villa in the south of France, inherited from an aunt? Sounds great for Mirabella Matthews until she’s nearly run off the road while driving there with the young woman to whom she’s giving a lift. As Mirabella […]

Four Books for Foodies | Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 4

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Behr, Edward. The Food and Wine of France: Eating and Drinking from Champagne to Provence. Penguin Pr. Jun. 2016. 352p. ISBN 9781594204524. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780399564024. COOKING Most people think French food and wine are the world’s best, but what does best mean? Behr, an important food writer who founded the food magazine The Art […]

Alan Furst, Mary Roach, Same-Sex Marriage, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 3

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Cenziper, Debbie & Jim Obergefell. Twenty-One Years to Midnight: The Lovers, Lawyers and Activists Who Brought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality. Morrow. Jun. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780062456083. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062456090. MEMOIR/LAW In 2013, when John Arthur was dying from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, he and Obergefell, his partner of two decades, flew to Maryland […]

Cara Black, Walter Mosley, Brian Panowich, & More | Mystery Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 3

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Billingham, Mark. Die of Shame. Atlantic Monthly. Jun. 2016. 448p. ISBN 9780802125255. $26. MYSTERY Twice winner of Theakston’s Old Peculiar Award for Best Crime Novel, 2015 finalist for the Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library (awarded for a body of work), and a 2015 Thrillerfest spotlight guest, Billingham introduces us to six disparate people—from […]

Prison Readers, Women in Combat, Nations on the Rise | Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2015, Pt. 3

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Brottman, Mikita. The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in a Men’s Prison. Harper. Jun. 2016. 272p. ISBN 9780062384331. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062384355. LITERARY CRITICISM Ranging from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness to William Burroughs’s Junkie, the ten morally arresting classics on the syllabus devised by literary scholar Brottman would fire […]

Lydia Millet, Sean Wilentz, & More | Last-Minute May 2016 Previews

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Engel, Patricia. The Veins of the Ocean. Grove. May 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780802124890. $25. LITERARY FICTION Reina Castillo loyally attends a brother sentenced to death after committing a heinous crime for which she feels somehow responsible, then flees to the anonymous peace of the remote Florida Keys when he is executed. There she meets recently […]

Spring 2016 Poetry: Top Picks

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From Frank Bidart’s contained drama and Rita Dove’s blazingly heartfelt exploration of self and history, to the engaging openness of Campbell McGrath and Maureen McLane, to the shape-shifting formal verve of Tyehimba Jess and Brenda Shaughnessy, to the sheer burning wit of Kim Addonizio and Bob Hicok, poetry today is so rich and varied that, […]

Stephen King, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Lionel Shriver, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 2

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King, Stephen. End of Watch. Scribner. Jun. 2016. 496p. ISBN 9781501129742. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781501134159. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER Brady Hartsfield, responsible for the deaths of eight people and the injury of many others in the infamous Mercedes Massacre, was clobbered over the head by Holly Gibney and now vegetates in Room 217 […]