Cunningham, Doerr, Hemmings, Kendal, Levitt/Dubner, McCullough Jr. | Barbara’s Picks, May 2014, Pt. 2

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Cunningham, Michael. The Snow Queen. Farrar. May 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780374266325. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374710347. CD: Macmillan Audio. LITERARY FICTION Lovelorn yet again, Barrett Meeks looks to the sky as he wanders through New York’s Central Park and is transfixed by a luminous white light that beams down on him angelically, inducing a religious conversion […]

Galloway, Heller, Jonasson, Prose; Doll, Dyer, Petit, Todd | Barbara’s Picks, May 2014, Pt. 1

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FICTION Galloway, Steven. The Confabulist. Riverhead. May 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781594631962. $27.95. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Galloway’s poignant, sharp-eyed The Cellist of Sarajevo was both a commercial and a critical success, having sold over 100,000 copies, won multiple awards (e.g., the Evergreen Award), been nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Award and Scotiabank Giller Prize, been featured by […]

Leon & Shipstead in Fiction, Caldwell & Ehrenreich in Nonfiction | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Caldwell, Gail. New Life, No Instructions: A Memoir. Random. Apr. 2014. 176p. ISBN 9781400069545. $22; ebk. ISBN 9780679604426. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR Highly regarded when she served as chief book critic for the Boston Globe—she won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism—Caldwell has since made her mark with the thoughtful and beautifully wrought memoirs Let’s Take […]

Max Brooks on the Harlem Hellfighters, Boston Marathon Victim Jeff Bauman on Hope, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 3

updikejohn

Bauman, Jeff with Bret Witter. Stronger: Fighting Back After the Boston Marathon Bombing. Grand Central. Apr. 2014. 250p. ISBN 9781455584376. $26. MEMOIR Bauman’s life changed dramatically when a bomb exploded at last spring’s Boston Marathon, severing both of his legs. A photograph of his initial agony came to embody the tragedy of the event, and […]

Maeve Binchy, Lydia Davis, Julia Glass, Mo Hayder, Laura Kasischke | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 3

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Binchy, Maeve. Chestnut Street. Knopf. Apr. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780385351850. $26.95. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. POP FICTION Following Binchy’s untimely death in July 2012, this set of previously unpublished linked short stories will warm the hearts of fans everywhere. Binchy wrote these pieces intermittently while producing her big novels and Irish Times columns, hoping someday to […]

Doyle, Figes, McCracken, Simpson, Vaill, Wilson | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 2

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Doyle, Brian. The Plover. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781250034779. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250034786. LITERARY FICTION Editor of Portland Magazine, Doyle has written 13 books of fiction, poetry, and essays but came to my attention only with the original and wittily lyrical 2010 novel Mink River—which actually caught the attention of plenty […]

Chris Pavone, Helen Oyeyemi, & NYU Professor Conley’s Take on Parenting | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2014, Pt. 4

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Conley, Dalton. Parentology: Everything You Wanted To Know About the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted To Ask. S. & S. Mar. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781476712659. $25. PARENTING Conley stars in two disciplines, sociology and biology, and has three appointments at NYU: in the sociology department and at the School of Medicine and […]

Fiction from Kaysen & Benjamin Black, Nonfiction on Edward Snowden | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2014, Pt. 3

CAMBRIDGE

Black, Benjamin. The Black-Eyed Blonde: A Philip Marlowe Novel. Holt. Mar. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780805098143. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780805098150. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY Man Booker prize winner John Banville again changes tack to write as Benjamin Black, and Black changes tack, too, leaving behind series hero Quirke, consultant pathologist at the Dublin morgue, to revive […]

Fiction from Fortier, Moore, & Mosse, a Memoir from Feldman, a Soldier’s Story | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2014, Pt. 2

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Feldman, Deborah. Exodus. Blue Rider. Mar. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780399162770. $26.95. MEMOIR As she recounted in her eye-opening memoir, Unorthodox, a New York Times best seller, Feldman was raised in a strict Satmar Hasidic community in Brooklyn but eventually abandoned her roots and a loveless marriage, attending Sarah Lawrence College and becoming a writer. Here […]

Teju Cole, David Grossman, Dinaw Mengestu, Muslim Youth | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2014, Pt. 1

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Aidi, Hisham. Rebel Music : Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture. Pantheon. Mar. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780375424908. $27.95. SOCIAL SCIENCE/ISLAMIC STUDIES Since 9/11, young Muslims worldwide have worked to forge a distinctively racial, radicalized identity in the face of the West’s War Against Terror, resisting American efforts in particular to subsume Muslims within the […]

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