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 […]

Pop Fiction from Multi-Award-Winner China Miéville to Mega–Best Seller Susan Wiggs| Fiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 2

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–Grant, Mira. Chimera. Orbit: Hachette. Aug. 2016. 496p. ISBN 9780316381000. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316381017; lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316380997. CD/downloadable. Hachette Audio. SF Ew, creepy. In the Hugo-nominated, best-selling Grant’s “Parasitology” trilogy, people become violent sleepwalkers as implanted tapeworms make them run amok. This wrap-up finds heroine Sal and her family contending with the wormy […]

Famous Fossils, Parenting Issues, & the Microbes Within | Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 2

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Gopnik, Alison. The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children. Farrar. Aug. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780374229702. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781429944335. PSYCHOLOGY A professor of psychology and an affiliate professor of philosophy at Berkeley, Gopnik argues that while caring for children is clearly […]

Speaking with Ruta Sepetys

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  On January 30, 1945, while evacuating military personnel, German civilians, and refugees from across Europe, the German military transport ship Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk by a Soviet submarine in the Baltic’s frigid waters, resulting in the greatest tragedy in maritime history. Because of a Nazi hush-up, the Soviet captain’s dishonorable discharge, and postwar German […]

Jay McInerney, Eowyn Ivey, Jesmyn Ward, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1

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Donohoe, Kathleen. Ashes of Fiery Weather. Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780544464056. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780544526693. LITERARY FICTION Ranging across six generations, from famine-stalked Ireland to post–9/11 New York, Donohoe’s ambitious debut offers portraits of women in the Keegan/O’Reilly clan, bound together by fire and ash. For a family of firefighters, life is fraught […]

Irish Stars, New York Landscapes, & Colorado Chills | Debut Fiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1

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Leo, Forrest. The Gentleman. Penguin Pr. Aug. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780399562631. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399562648. LITERARY Victorian poet Lionel Savage marries lovely Vivien Lancaster for her money and, in a fit of despondency over his sudden inability to write, accidentally conjures up the Devil, with whom he politely discusses literature. Later, when he realizes that […]

A Celebrity Friendship, a Musician as Healer, & More | Biography/Memoir Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1

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Achon, Julius & John Brant. The Boy Who Runs: The Odyssey of Julius Achon. Ballantine. Aug. 2016. 272p. ISBN 9780553392159. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780553392166. Downloadable: Random Audio.  BIOGRAPHY Born into poverty in Uganda, Achon was forced into the horrific Lord’s Resistance Army at age 12 but escaped to become a gifted local runner. He was […]