Irish Writers Baume & Binchy, Man Booker Short-lister Sahota, Adam Hochschild, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2016, Pt. 3


Baume, Sara. Spill Simmer Falter Wither. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780544716193. $23; ebk. ISBN 9780544716223. LITERARY FICTION A lonely man and a one-eyed dog form a bond, and the man takes his furry friend into his home. Before, they were treated like outcasts by the villagers, but now they are feared as a […]

From Mischa Berlinski & Helen Simonson to Augusten Burroughs | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2016, Pt. 2


Barker, Pat. Noonday. Doubleday. Mar. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780385537728. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385537735. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Barker’s celebrated “Regeneration Trilogy” boldly took on World War I, as did her recent novels Life Class and Toby’s Room, about Elinor Brooke, Kit Neville, and Paul Tarrant, students at the Slade School of Art when war intervenes. This work wraps […]

Chevalier, Fishman, O’Brien, Oyeyemi, & Spiotta | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Mar. 2016, Pt. 1


Chevalier, Tracy. At the Edge of the Orchard. Viking. Mar. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780525953005. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698404199. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Chevalier is the New York Times best-selling author of numerous audience favorites, notably Girl with a Pearl Earring, and with this book, as a way to introduce her to new readers, her new publisher […]

From Annie Dillard & Edward O. Wilson to Charlotte Brontë’s Fiery Heart | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Mar. 2015, Pt. 1


Dillard, Annie. The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New. Ecco. Mar. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780062432971. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062433015. ESSAYS On September 10, President Barack Obama awarded Dillard the National Humanities Medal “for her profound reflections on human life and nature,” as the White House citation said. “In poetry and prose, Ms. Dillard has invited […]

From Commissario Guido Brunetti to Intrepid Maisie Dobbs | Barbara’s Suspense Picks, Mar. 2015, Pt. 1


Leon, Donna. Waters of Eternal Youth. Atlantic, Mar. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780802124807. $26. MYSTERY Commissario Guido Brunetti’s 25th case has a little twist; there’s no dead body and possibly no crime. Late one night, a teenager splashed into the bottle-green waters of a Venice canal, and the stumbling drunk who pulled her out—not before she […]

Ethan Canin, Kristopher Jansma, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 5


Canin, Ethan. A Doubter’s Almanac. Random. Feb. 2016. 576p. ISBN 9781400068265. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780812996784. LITERARY FICTION Let’s go back to 1970s Berkeley, where math genius and wildly outré Milo Andret pursues a Ph.D., then move forward to Wall Street and Michigan’s quiet, lonely forests, and see whether New York Times best-selling author Canin (The […]

Visiting with Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, Fang Lizhi, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 5


Bell-Scott, Patricia. The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship; Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice. Knopf. Feb. 2016. 464p. ISBN 9780679446521. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781101946923. HISTORY This work from Bell-Scott, professor emerita of women’s studies and family science at the University of Georgia and co-founding editor of SAGE: […]

Yann Martel, Iain Pears, & Jacobson’s Shakespeare Retelling | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 4


Gallagher, Matt. Youngblood. Atria. Feb. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9781501105746. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501105760. LITERARY Never have more veterans expressed the full depth of their war experience by turning to writing, as evidenced by recent stellar fiction from authors like Elliot Ackerman, Michael Pitre, and the National Book Award–winning Phil Klay, who calls this current example […]

Love, History, Language, Tragedy | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 4


Buckley, Gail Lumet. The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights with One African American Family. Atlantic Monthly. Feb. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9780802124548. $26. BIOGRAPHY/CULTURAL HERITAGE The daughter of actress Lena Horne, Buckley traces her roots back to great-great grandfather Moses Calhoun, a house slave given that rare chance to obtain an education who […]

Jo Nesbø Above the Arctic Circle, Irvine Welsh in Edinburgh, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 3


Kang, Han. The Vegetarian. Hogarth: Crown. Feb. 2016. 192p. ISBN 9780553448184. $21; ebk. ISBN 9780553448191. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY Highly regarded internationally, an award winner in her native South Korea, and a former student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Kang is breaking out with this tale of surprising subversion. Haunted by images from a terrible […]