Cornwell, Greenberg, Harrison, Leovy, Simsion | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 4

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Cornwell, Bernard. The Empty Throne. Harper. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780062250711. $27.99. HISTORICAL FICTION It’s hard going for Uhtred in this eighth entry in the popular “Saxon Tales” series by New York Times best-selling author Cornwell. First, to heal from wounds he has received in battle, he must find the sword that did the damage. […]

Eric Foner, Seth Grahame-Smith, Edith Pearlman, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 3

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Cohen, Roger. The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family. Knopf. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780307594662. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353137. MEMOIR New York Times columnist Cohen, honored by the Overseas Press Club for his work as the paper’s Balkans bureau chief during the Bosnian War and in charge of the Pulitzer […]

Sarah Addison Allen, Alexandra Fuller, Anthony Horowitz, Tony Judt, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 2

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Allen, Sarah Addison. First Frost. St. Martin’s. Jan. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781250019837. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250019844. WOMEN’S FICTION Continuing the magic she conjured in Garden Spells, New York Times best-selling author Allen opens ten years after the events in that book, when Claire Waverley met Tyler and adjusted to the reappearance of outrageous half-sister Sydney. […]

A Guantánamo Diary, plus Pierce Brown, Miranda July, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 1

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Brown, Pierce. Golden Son. (Red Rising Trilogy, Bk. 2). Del Rey. Jan. 2015. 448p. ISBN 9780345539816. $25; ISBN 9780345539823. SF In Brown’s debut, Red Rising, a rigidly hierarchical society on Mars keeps Reds slaving beneath the soil under the pretense that they are building for a future the dominant Golds already enjoy. But a Red […]

H.G. Adler, Dean Koontz, Phillip Margolin, Wes Moore, & Ludmila Ulitskaya | Barbara’s Picks, Dec. 2014, Pt. 1

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Adler, H.G. The Wall. Random. Dec. 2014. 720p. tr. from German by Peter Filkins. ISBN 9780812993066. $30. LITERARY Born in Prague in the early 1900s, Adler lost most of his family in the Holocaust and himself spent time in the camps; he died in London in 1988. With the 2008 publication of The Journey, his […]

Big Bios (Jerry Lee Lewis, Queen Isabella, & More), Hero Dog Lucca, & Cult Novelist Ellis | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2014, Pt. 3

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Bragg, Rick & Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story. Harper. Nov. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780062078223. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062078230. BIOGRAPHY Having authored All Over but the Shoutin’ and Ava’s Man, two huge New York Times best-selling memoirs about his Southern upbringing, Bragg seems primed to capture the renegade life of quintessentially Southern […]

Stephen King, Lydia Millet, Richard Bernstein, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2014, Pt. 2

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Beckert, Sven. Empire of Cotton: A Global History. Knopf. Nov. 2014. 704p. ISBN 9780375414145. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780385353250. HISTORY Taking an ancient Asian trade, land claimed during the European exploration of the Americas, and forced labor claimed from Africa, European entrepreneurs of the 1700s revolutionized a key manufacturing industry while cementing imperialism and the global […]

Karen Armstrong, Richard Ford, Ha Jin, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2014, Pt. 1

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Armstrong, Karen. Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence. Knopf. Nov. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780307957047. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385353106. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY A best-selling author of insightful books on religion and winner of the 2008 TED Prize, which facilitated her work with TED on the Charter for Compassion, Armstrong here goes beyond […]

Makos on Korean War Heroism, Moynahan on the Siege of Leningrad, Panetta on Government, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Prepub Alert, Oct. 2014, Pt. 5

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Kaplan, Eric. Does Santa Exist?: A Philosophical Investigation. Dutton. Oct. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780525954392. $20. PHILOSOPHY Candidate for a PhD in philosophy at Berkeley, as well as co-executive producer of and writer for the hit TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory, Kaplan has the tools to make accessible some big philosophical questions: how are our […]

James Bradley, Atul Gawande, Paolo Giordano, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 4

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Anderson, Gillian & Jeff Rovin. Vision of Fire. 451: S. & S. Oct. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781476776521. $25. SF/ADVENTURE Noted actor Anderson (e.g., Lady Dedlock in the BBC’s Bleak House, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier in NBC’s new series Hannibal) must be drawing on her important role as Special Agent Dana Scully in the celebrated sf […]

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