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


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


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


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


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 […]

Women’s Fiction from Barbara Taylor Bradford to Beatriz Williams | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 2


Adams, Alice. Invincible Summer. Little, Brown. Jun. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780316391177. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316391184. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316268516. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. COMING OF AGE It’s the new millennium, and four friends fresh out of college have a lot of growing up to do. Siblings Sylvie and Lucien enjoy life as an aspiring artist and […]

Dispatches (Mostly) on War and Race | History Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 2


Beck, Joseph Madison. My Father and Atticus Finch: A Lawyer’s Fight for Justice in 1930s Alabama. Norton. Jun. 2016. ISBN 9780393285826. $25.95. MEMOIR In 1930s Alabama, the author’s father, a lawyer named Foster Beck, defended a black man accused of raping a white woman. Though there was no evidence of intercourse or violence, an all-white […]

New York Times 2015 Notable Books Publishers Present Top New Titles


What do Kamel Daoud’s The Mersault Investigation, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, and Eka Kurniawan’s Beauty Is a Wound have in common? They are among only 100 New York Times Notable Books of 2015. And their publishers will all be participating in LJ’s next Editors Picks webcast, coming Thursday, December 3, at 3:00 p.m. EST. […]

#AskaLibrarian Gives Librarians and Readers a New Tool


Librarians are always interested in sharing book recommendations, and now they have a new tool. Each Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. EST, they can turn to #AskaLibrarian, a twitter initiative launched by Penguin Random House and Read It Forward, a reader community program sponsored by Crown Publishing Group’s Community Development department. The initiative brings […]

Erika Johansen, Annie Proulx, A.B. Yehoshua, & Rising Star Alexis M. Smith | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 1


Johansen, Erika. The Fate of the Tearling. Harper. Jun. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780062290427. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062290434. LITERARY FICTION/FANTASY In The Queen of the Tearling, Princess Kelsea returned to the land of her birth to reclaim her throne. In The Invasion of the Tearling, Queen Kelsea faced serious trouble after refusing to send prisoners to […]

Literary Fiction To Grab, from Tahmima Anam, Thomas Christopher Greene, & More | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 1


Alam, Rumaan. Rich and Pretty. Ecco. Jun. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780062429933. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062429957. LITERARY Upper-crust Sarah works at a charity while plotting the perfect wedding. Wayward self-starter Lauren works in publishing (well, she would) and avoids all questions of marriage—and the future in general. Best friends for 20 years, they’ve been distanced by […]