O’Nan in Jerusalem, a Newly Discovered Tolkien, Abu-Jaber’s New Memoir, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2016, Pt. 3

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Abu-Jaber, Diana. Life Without a Recipe: A Memoir of Food and Family. Norton. Apr. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780393249095. $26.95. MEMOIR Abu-Jaber, a fiction writer known for sparkling award winners like Crescent, has also given us the luscious memoir The Language of Baklava. Here she continues wrapping her discussion of love and identity in the sweet […]

New Novels from Divakaruni & Graham Swift, McBride on James Brown, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2016, Pt. 2

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Blum, Howard. The Last Goodnight: A World War II Story of Espionage, Adventure, and Betrayal. Harper. Apr. 2016. 544p. ISBN 9780062307675. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062307798. HISTORY A contributing editor at Vanity Fair and the author of the Edgar Award-winning American Lightning and the New York Times best seller Dark Invasion (hey, Bradley Cooper has optioned […]

Daring Librarians, Hamilton as Musical, Quindlen’s New Novel, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2016, Pt. 1

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Doerries, Bryan. The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan. Pantheon. Apr. 2016. 160p. ISBN 9780375715167. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101870990. GRAPHIC NOVEL/CLASSICS Doerries is the founder of Theater of War, which aims to help service members, veterans, and their families cope with the damage of war, both physical and emotional, by presenting readings of ancient Greek […]

Jane Eyre Reimagined, Novellas from Jim Harrison, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Mar. 2016, Pt. 4

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Carter, M.J. The Infidel Stain. Putnam. Mar. 2016. 432p. ISBN 9780399171680. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698168749. MYSTERY Carter’s first work of fiction, The Strangler Vine, brought together soldier William Avery and secret agent Jeremiah Blake in late 1830s India with triumphant results; it was long-listed for the Baileys Women’s Prize and a finalist for the CWA […]

An Irish Rebel, John Elder Robison’s Brain Change, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Mar. 2016, Pt. 4

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Egan, Timothy. The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2016. 448p. ISBN 9780544272880. HISTORY Even if you don’t know Egan as a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, the National Book Award–winning author of The Worst Hard Time, and the New York Times best-selling author of The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt […]

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]