Nina George, Joseph Kanon, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2017, Pt. 2

Bialosky, Jill. Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir. Atria. Jun. 2017. 208p. ISBN 9781451693201. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781451693218. MEMOIR An award-winning poet and novelist, Bialosky had a New York Times best seller with her affecting memoir, History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life. Here she returns with another memoir. Treating poems as significant markers […]

Sherman Alexie, Alexandra Fuller, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2017, Pt. 1

Alexie, Sherman. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir. Little, Brown. Jun. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780316270755. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316270762. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316395649. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. MEMOIR Notable for his precise, punch-in-the-gut writing, as evidenced by his PEN/Malamud and PEN/Hemingway honors, and winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s […]

Hawkins, Simsion, Midwinter Keynoter Bell, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2017, Pt. 5

Bell, W. Kamau. The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6′ 4″, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian. Dutton. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781101985878; ebk. ISBN 9781101985892. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR/HUMOR Bell has been called “the most promising new talent in political […]

Caputo, Chevalier, Russo, & Up-and-Coming Segal | May 2017, Pt. 4

Caputo, Philip. Some Rise by Sin. Holt. May 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781627794749. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781627794756. CD: Macmillan Audio. LITERARY A journalist who shared a Pulitzer with a team reporting on election fraud in Chicago and perhaps best known for his memoir A Rumor of War, Caputo also writes sharp, politically informed fiction, and his […]

Librarians, the West Bank, Anxiety, Segregated America | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, May 2017, Pt. 4

Cassidy, Kyle & Ronald Rice, ed. This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information. Black Dog and Leventhal: Hachette. May 2017. 240p. ISBN 9780316393980. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316393997. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316464260. LIBRARY & INFORMATION SCIENCE In 2014, author/photographer Cassidy published a photo essay on Slate called […]

Nesbo, Strout, & Four Big Science Titles | Barbara’s Picks, May 2017, Pt. 3

Nesbø, Jo. The Thirst. Knopf. May 2017. 352p. tr. from Norwegian by Neil Smith. ISBN 9780385352161. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385352178. THRILLER Back in the swing after 2014’s Police, which saw tough Oslo detective Harry Hole battling a killer planning to wreak vengeance on the police, Harry again helps out the force when a serial killer […]

Ford, Murakami, Shreve, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2017, Pt. 2

Bouman, Tom. Darling Cory: A Henry Farrell Novel. Norton. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780393249644. $NA. MYSTERY Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller and the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, as well as LibraryReads honors and a John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, Bouman’s Dry Bones in the Valley featured a rural […]

Backman, Garrow, Gordon, & a Trip to Timbuktu | Barbara’s Picks, May 1, 2017

Backman, Fredrik. Beartown. Atria. May. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501160769. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781501160783. CD: S. & S. Audio. LITERARY FICTION Starting with his breakout debut, A Man Called Ove, Backman became an international sensation and New York Times best-selling author. In its focus on a struggling town seeking redemption through youth sports, his latest echoes […]

Award-Winning Short Fiction, Hamlet Worldwide, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

Arimah, Lesley Nneka. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories. Riverhead. Apr. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9780735211025. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735211049. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SHORT STORIES Arimah won the 2015 African Commonwealth Prize for the Granta-published “Light,” was a finalist for the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for the title story, […]

Two Big Fiction Debuts, Gaitskill, Lamott, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 3

El Akkad, Omar. American War. Knopf. Apr. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780451493583. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780451493590. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/DYSTOPIAN FICTION Having reported on key issues from the war in Afghanistan to the Black Lives Matter movement, Egyptian-born, Canadian-based journalist El Akkad not surprisingly offers a debut novel shaped by current events while pointing […]