Barbara's Picks

Katherine Arden, Ursula Le Guin, Andy Weir | Barbara’s Picks, Nov./Dec. 2017

Arden, Katherine. The Girl in the Tower. Del Rey: Ballantine. Dec. 2017, 384p. ISBN 9781101885963. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101885970. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/FANTASY Following her absorbingly vibrant and highly praised debut, the LibraryReads pick The Bear and the Nightingale, Arden returns with a sequel that continues the story of the brave and impetuous Vasya in […]

Technology, Literature, & Dan Rather | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Nov. 2017

Berlin, Leslie. Troublemakers: The Story of Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age. S. & S. Nov. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9781451651508. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781451651522. TECHNOLOGY Five of the world’s six most valuable companies are high-tech firms, and they were helped to the top by the six innovators profiled here, who broke ground in 1970s and early […]

Allende, Keneally, Sontag, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Nov. 2017

Allende, Isabel. In the Midst of Winter. Atria. Nov. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501178139. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501178153. CD: S. & S. Audio. LITERARY When the personal shades into the political, Allende is there. Her latest novel features 60-year-old human rights scholar Richard Bowmaster, who feels he’s hit the end of the road—and one snow-blown Brooklyn […]

Eco, Erdrich, Khizr Khan, Kevin Young, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2017

Eco, Umberto. Chronicles of a Liquid Society. Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2017. tr. from Italian by Richard Dixon. 272p. ISBN 9780544974487. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780544974579. PHILOSOPHY/ESSAYS Novelist, essayist, literary critic, philosopher, and semiotician nonpareil (see his star turn in Laurent Binet’s sensational The Seventh Function of Language, which supposes that Roland Barthes was murdered), Eco began […]

Gates, Hallberg, Hoffman, Yuknavitch, & More | Last of the Sept./Oct. 2017 Picks

Davis, Lanny J. The Unmaking of the President 2016: The Case Against FBI Director James Comey and How He Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency. Scribner. Oct. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501177729. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781501180408. POLITICAL SCIENCE Yale-trained lawyer Davis, who served in the administrations of both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, offers state-by-state analysis […]

Biography/History/Memoir | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2017

BIOGRAPHY Aldous, Richard. Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian. Norton. Oct. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9780393244700. $29.95. BIOGRAPHY Key adviser and so-called court historian to President John F. Kennedy, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. was a two-time Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner whose work exemplified the presidential biography. He’s getting a biography of his own from Bard historian […]

Alarcón, Boyle, Eugenides, Hill | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2017

Alarcón, Daniel. The King Is Always Above the People: Stories. Riverhead. Oct. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781594631726. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101623077. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SHORT STORIES Alarcón’s novels include the multi-best-booked, multi-award-nominated Lost City Radio and the PEN Faulkner finalist At Night We Walk in Circles, but his reputation was already flaring owing to his first […]

Presidential Portraits | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2017

Baime, A.J. The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World. Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2017. 464p. ISBN 9780544617346. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780544618480. HISTORY Author of the New York Times best-selling The Arsenal of Democracy and Go Like Hell, veteran reporter Baime chronicles the first few months in office of the […]

Dan Brown, Egan, Ide, Maguire, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2017, Pt. 1

Brown, Dan. Origin. Doubleday. Oct. 2017. NAp. ISBN 9780385514231. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385542692. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER What’s Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon up to next? With the felicitous mix of art, religion, science, history, and lots of symbols that made The Da Vinci Code such a craze, he’s investigating the collision of two of humankind’s […]

Clinton, Coates, Taibbi, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2017, Pt. 1

Blakeslee, Nate. American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West. Crown. Oct. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781101902783. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101902790. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. NATURAL HISTORY Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and a New York Times Notable Book, Blakeslee’s Tulia dealt with wrongful conviction in a small Texas town. […]