Barbara's Picks

Jonathan Galassi, Lisa Gornick, Suzanne Joinson, Kevin Kwan, Elmore Leonard | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2015, Pt. 3

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Galassi, Jonathan. Muse. Knopf. Jun. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780385353342. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353359. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY FICTION We know Galassi as president and publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, as the author of three collections of poetry, and as an icon in the publishing industry. Now we get to know him as a debut […]

Jami Attenberg, Pratchett/Baxter, Matthew Quick, Kate Walbert | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2015, Pt. 2

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Attenberg, Jami. Saint Mazie. Grand Central. Jun. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9781455599899. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455599882. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455579501. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. LITERARY Attenberg’s New York Times best-selling The Middlesteins, so loved that it sold 100,000 copies across formats, returns with a new work unexpectedly set during Prohibition and inspired by a real-life figure in […]

Kent Haruf, Erika Johansen, Stephen King, Milan Kundera, S.J. Watson | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jun. 2015, Pt. 1

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Haruf, Kent. Our Souls at Night. Knopf. Jun. 2015. 176p. ISBN 9781101875896. $23.95. LITERARY/FAMILY LIFE Haruf, who died Sunday aged 71, laid claim to impressive awards (e.g., Whiting Writers’ Award, the Wallace Stegner Award) and nominations (the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize), and his Plainsong, Eventide, and Benediction have sold 1.4 […]

Brands on Reagan, Laqueur on Putin, plus Kozol, Schickel, & Vargas Llosa | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jun. 2015, Pt. 1

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Brands, H.W. Reagan: The Life. Doubleday. Jun. 2015. 816p. ISBN 9780385536394. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780385536400. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY A New York Times best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize finalist for The First American and Traitor to His Class, Brands is both a serious academic (he holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at […]

Creepy (Barker, Oates), Literary (Bellow, Styron), Political (Lemmon), Epic (Stephenson) & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2015, Pt. 4

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Barker, Clive. The Scarlet Gospels. St. Martin’s. May 2015. 368p. ISBN 9781250055804. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781466859555. CD: Macmillan Audio. HORROR Big news here: Barker’s first adult novel since 2007 brings back Hellraiser icons Harry D’Amour, good-guy investigator of the supernatural, and unimaginably evil Pinhead. It’s their final showdown, and whatever the outcome, Barker has announced […]

David McCullough, Toni Morrison, Jo Nesbo, Jane Smiley, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2015, Pt. 3

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Hillerman, Anne. Rock with Wings. Harper. May 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780062270511. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062270535. MYSTERY With the 2013 publication of Spider Woman’s Daughter, award-winning journalist Hillerman took over the series starring famed tribal officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee that had won raves for her father, the late Tony Hillerman. Good move: the book […]

Time, Quality, and the Shifting Digital Landscape at the Columbia Media Conference

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Conveniently, I live just blocks from Columbia University, which made it easy for me to stumble out of bed on Sunday, November 9, to attend the third annual Columbia Media Conference, sponsored by the Spectator Publishing Company (parent company of the Columbia Daily Spectator, the second-oldest student newspaper in the country) and aimed at encouraging […]

Butler, Danielewski, Enright, Hemon, Pearl, & Perkins-Valdez | Barbara’s All-Fiction Picks, May 2015, Pt. 2

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Butler, Nickolas. Beneath the Bonfire: Stories. St. Martin’s. May 2015. 272p. ISBN 9781250039835. $23.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466875531. CD: Macmillan Audio. SHORT STORIES After receiving some powerful reviews when it appeared last spring (the New York Times called it “an impressively original debut”), Butler’s Wisconsin-set, warmly small-town, big-friendship Shotgun Lovesongs went on to become a national […]

Atkinson, Dubow, Palahniuk, & Shepard | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, May 2015, Pt. 1

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Atkinson, Kate. A God in Ruins. Little, Brown. May 2015. 400p. ISBN 9780316176538. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316341554. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316341530. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. LITERARY Even without its Costa Award and numerous Best Book nods, Atkinson’s remarkably shape-shifting Life After Life would have legions of fans, and they’ll be excited to learn that her next […]

Bloom, Ellis, Shipler, & the Freakonomics Duo | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, May 2015, Pt. 1

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Bloom, Harold. The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime. Spiegel & Grau. May 2015. 528p. ISBN 9780812997828. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780812997835. LITERATURE A Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale, former Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard, and MacArthur Fellow, Bloom at 84 remains one of our best-known and most influential critics. Though he’s […]

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