Jonathan Safran Foer, Ann Patchett, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Colson Whitehead | Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2016, Pt. 1

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Foer, Jonathan Safran. Here I Am. Farrar. Sept. 2016. 592p. ISBN 9780374280024. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780374280024. CD: Macmillan Audio. LITERARY FICTION Foer offers his first novel in 11 years, and not unexpectedly he’s thinking big, referencing the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac to clarify how unbearably demanding life can be. Abraham answered “Here I […]

Anderson/Rovin, Jennifer Chiaverini, J.A. Jance, Karin Slaughter | Essential Pop Fiction, Sept. 2016, Pt. 1

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Anderson, Gillian & Jeff Rovin. The Sound of Seas. (The EarthEnd Saga, Bk. 3). Simon451: S. & S. 320p. ISBN 9781476776590. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781476776613. SF Having proven herself as a writer with her well-received “EarthEnd Saga” series, written with New York Times best-selling author Rovin, award-winning actress Anderson wraps up the series with some […]

Nicholson Baker, Mike Love, Danielle Trussoni, Jennifer Weiner | Essential Memoirs, Sept. 2016, Pt. 1

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Baker, Nicholson. Substitute. Blue Rider. Sept. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780399160981. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780399160981. MEMOIR Mention Baker’s name, and folks will likely think first of his daring and deeply descriptive novels, like Vox and House of Holes. But let’s remember that he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction, namely, Double Fold: Libraries […]

Register for Day of Dialog 2016

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Day of Dialog is going back to its original setting this year; it’s in Chicago, at the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum, 725 Roosevelt Road. But it will continue to have the same format: big-name authors, an editors’ picks panel, and a town hall meeting so that attendees can air their concerns. So if […]

From the Rise of Modern Philosophy to the Rise of ISIS | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2016, Pt. 3

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Cole, Teju. Known and Strange Things: Essays. Random House Trade Paperbacks. Aug. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780812989786. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780812989793. POLITICAL SCIENCE After two genre-redefining works of fiction—Open City, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Every Day Is for the Thief, named one […]

Chillers from Sandra Brown, Michael Koryta, Charles Todd, & More | Fiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 3

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Andrews, Donna. Die Like an Eagle: A Meg Langslow Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Aug. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781250078551. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466890879. MYSTERY Andrews launched her career with the Malice Domestic Contest–winning Murder with Peacocks, which grabbed Agatha, Anthony, Barry, and Romantic Times honors for best first novel, and has since gone on to New […]

The Editor’s Life, the Designer’s Life, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 3

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Byatt, A.S. Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano Fortuny. Knopf. Aug. 2016. 192p. ISBN 9781101947470. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101947487. LITERARY/DESIGN Englishman William Morris famously revolutionized design in the second half of the 19th century, while Spanish aristocrat Mariano Fortuny contributed his own radical ideas on everything from women’s fashion to stage lighting. Booker […]

Nobel Prize Winner Alexievich, Man Booker Prize Winner Barnes, Singing Black Holes, & More | Last-Minute Spring/Summer Titles

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Alexievich, Svetlana. Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets. Random. May 2016. 560p. ISBN 9780399588808. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780399588815. Downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY/FORMER SOVIET UNION Alexievich here offers remarkable oral history—precisely what made her only the second nonfiction writer (after Winston Churchill) to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She draws on the voices of […]

Nadia Hashimi, Ann Hood, Tom Wolfe, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2016, Pt. 2

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Agee, Jonis. The Bones of Paradise. Morrow. Aug. 2016. 432p. ISBN 9780062413475. $25.99. LITERARY FICTION Ten years after the tragedy at Wounded Knee, where the 7th Calvary slaughtered more than 200 Lakota men, women, and children, white rancher J.B. Bennett and young Native American Star are found murdered on a remote stretch of Bennett’s land. […]

Literary Fiction from IMPAC Award Winner Barker to Russian American Author Vapnyar | Fiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 2

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Barker, Nicola. The Cauliflower. Holt. Aug. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781627797191. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781627797207. LITERARY Not as well known here as one might expect, edgy, tell-it-slant British author Barker collects prizes and nominations like candy: she’s won the IMPAC, Hawthornden, and PEN/Macmillan awards and been short-listed for the Man Booker and Ondaatje prizes. Her subject […]