Barbara's Picks

From Aciman to Coretta Scott King | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2017, Pt. 3

aciman

Aciman, André. Enigma Variations. Farrar. Jan. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780374148430. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374714772. LITERARY FICTION Aciman made his name with the memoir Out of Egypt and came forth as a novelist with 2007’s Let Me Call Your Name, a New York Times Notable Book that won numerous other honors; 2013’s Harvard Square got raves. […]

Auster, Cusk, Lescroart, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2017, Pt. 2

adiga

Adiga, Aravind. Selection Day. Scribner. Jan. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781501150838. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501150852. LITERARY FICTION As with his Booker Prize–winning The White Tiger, Adiga shows us caste-ridden contemporary India but focuses on something more personal: the heavy burdens parents can place on children and the compelling complexity of sibling relationships. Two brothers in a […]

Eliot Ackerman, Han Kang, Mark Kurlansky, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2017, Pt. 1

hankang

Ackerman, Elliot. Dark at the Crossing. Knopf. Jan. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101947371. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101947388. LITERARY A Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart recipient who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ackerman is among the soldier-writers who have returned home to give us a considered view of the fighting. He’s […]

Missy Franklin, Siri Hustvedt, Dava Sobel | Barbara’s Picks, Dec. 2106, Pt. 3

sobel

Franklin, Missy & others. Relentless Spirit: The Unconventional Raising of a Champion. Dutton. Dec. 2016.320p. ISBN 9781101984925. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101984932. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR Having won five medals—including four golds—at the London Olympics, Franklin will be one of the highest-profile members of the U.S. Olympics team in Rio this summer. Meanwhile, she’s just gone […]

Richard Fortey & Val McDermid | Barbara’s Picks, Dec. 2016, Pt. 2

fortey

Fortey, Richard. The Wood for the Trees: One Man’s Long View of Nature. Knopf. Dec. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781101875759. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101875766. SCIENCE As evidenced by a stack of awards, including the 2002 Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing About Science, Fortey can make science sing, and his books always sell well. His new work […]

Günter Grass’s Last Work, the Nabokov-Wilson Feud, & More | Barbara’s Picks, December 2016, Pt. 1

grassgunter

Beam, Alex. The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson, and the End of a Beautiful Friendship. Pantheon. Dec. 2016. 224p. ISBN 9781101870228. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101870235. LITERATURE/biogr In 1940, leading man of American letters Edmund Wilson helped asylum-seeker Vladimir Nabokov get settled in this country, introducing him to editors and assigning him book reviews for the […]

Benjamin Black, Elena Ferrante, Pulitzer Prize Winner Lowery, George Mitchell | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2016, Pt. 3

blackbenjamin

Black, Benjamin. Golden Lane. Holt. Nov. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781627795173. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781627795180. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL John Banville writes impeccable literary works like the Man Booker Prize–winning The Sea, while as Benjamin Black he writes impeccable crime novels starring Dublin-based pathologist Quirke. Here he assumes his Black persona but travels back to 1599 […]

P.D. James, Javier Marias, the Gelbs on O’Neill, & Pulitzer Prize Winner Wood | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2016, Pt. 2

gelbs

Gelb, Arthur & Barbara Gelb. By Women Possessed: A Life of Eugene O’Neill. Marian Wood: Putnam. Nov. 2016. 896p. ISBN 9780399159114. $50; ebk. ISBN 9780698170681. LITERATURE The Gelbs are already the authors of O’Neill (1962) and O’Neill: Life with Monte Cristo (2000), so they were building on a solid base when they crafted this final […]

Michael Chabon, Alice Hoffman, Zadie Smith, John Edgar Wideman | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2016, Pt. 1

chabonmoonglow

Chabon, Michael. Moonglow. Harper. Nov. 2016. 432p. ISBN 9780062225559. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062225573. CD: HarperAudio. lrg. prnt. LITERARY FICTION Framed as a man’s deathbed confession to his grandson, capturing the seesawing intensity of the American century, ranging from South Philadelphia’s Jewish slums and the invasion of Germany to New York’s Wallkill Prison and a Florida […]

Alameddine, Picoult, & Ali Smith Helping Public Libraries | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2016, Pt. 4

smithali

Alameddine, Rabih. The Angel of History. Atlantic Monthly. Oct. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780802125767. $26. LITERARY FICTION Named a National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and PEN Open Book Award finalist and a best book by over half a dozen venues, Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman features an older Beiruti woman whose life is refracted […]