Banville, Mamet, Zadie Smith, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2018

Banville, John. Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir. Knopf. Feb. 2018. 224p. ISBN 9781524732837. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781524732844. Downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR/TRAVEL Not just a memoir, this new work by Man Booker Prize winner Banville recounts his relationship with Dublin, a significant force in his life if not in his fiction until the Quirke mystery series […]

Winter with Knausgaard & Ali Smith, Cornwell Revisits Shakespeare, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2018

Benjamin, Melanie. The Girls in the Picture. Delacorte. Jan. 2018. 448p. ISBN 9781101886809. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101886816. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION Mary Pickford was full of the firsts: the first to have her name above the marquee, to win Academy Award for Best Actress in a Talkie, and to place her hand- and footprints […]

Short Fiction to Debut Novel | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jan. 2018

MacArthur, Robin. Heart Spring Mountain. Ecco. Jan. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9780062444424. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062444455. LITERARY Winner of the PEN New England Book Award for Fiction, MacArthur’s Half Wild offered stories both complex and polished about women from the backwoods who want up and out. Her debut novel draws on the same milieu, featuring New […]

From Lampedusa to Black Lives Matter | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jan. 2018

Bartolo, Pietro & Lidia Tilotta. Tears of Salt: A Doctor’s Story. Norton. Jan. 2018. 224p. tr. from Italian by Chenxin Jiang. ISBN 9780393651287. $25.95. MEMOIR Born into a family of fishermen, Bartolo has run the only medical clinic on the Italian island of Lampedusa for 25 years, tending to his fellow islanders while also helping […]

Bradley, Benjamin, Finn, Johnson, Joyce | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2018

Benjamin, Chloe. The Immortalists. Putnam. Jan. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780735213180. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735213197. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. LITERARY FICTION Having won the Edna Ferber Prize for The Anatomy of Dreams, Benjamin came up with a second novel that caught fire at BookExpo—it was, in fact, a BE Buzz Book—and has already been bought by the […]

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 […]