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 […]

War, Islam, & Evangelicals | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 2

Bellaigue, Christopher de. The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times. Liveright: Norton. Apr. 2017. 560p. ISBN 9780871403735. $35. HISTORY Many Westerners see Islam as behind the times, having failed to experience Europe’s Enlightenment. But Bellaigue, an authority on Islam and the Middle East who speaks Turkish, Persian, and Arabic […]

Nadeem Aslam, Elizabeth Kostova, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 2

Aslam, Nadeem. The Golden Legend. Knopf. Apr. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780451493781. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780451493798.LITERARY Winner of the Kiriyama and Windham-Campbell Literature prizes, Aslam has also been short-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and twice long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, honors that don’t begin to sum up the power of his nuanced, […]

Cory Doctorow, Michael Eric Dyson, Roxane Gay, Vaddey Ratner | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 1

Doctorow, Cory. Walkaway. Tor. Apr. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780765392763. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780765392787. SF Cyber-visionary Doctorow, a multi-award-winning and New York Times best-selling author, returns to adult fiction after eight years with a story set in a futuristic dystopia. Life’s necessities, like food, clothing, and shelter, can be printed out via computer, but the world […]

From Attenberg to Lesser to Schlink | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2017, Pt. 4

Attenberg, Jami. All Grown Up. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2017. 208p. ISBN 9780544824249. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780544824263. LITERARY FICTION Author of the New York Times best-selling and Los Angeles Times Book Prize short-listed The Middlesteins and, more recently, of the well-received Saint Mazie, Attenberg again lays bare the soul of a woman. Her heroine here is […]

Kunzru, See, Russian Revolution, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2017, Pt. 3

Dunant, Sarah. In the Name of the Family. Random. Mar. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9780812996975. $28. ebk. ISBN 9780812996982. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORICAL FICTION Renowned for her bright and disciplined way with Renaissance Italy, New York Times best-selling novelist Dunant again visits the Borgias, to whom she recently paid court in Blood and Beauty. Pope Alexander […]

Four Rising-Star Novelists | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2017, Pt. 2

Butler, Nickolas. The Hearts of Men. Ecco. Mar. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9780062469687. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062469700. LITERARY Butler, who debuted with the heartfelt Shotgun Lovesongs, which won honors ranging from the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award to France’s Prix Page/America, returns after the story collection Beneath the Bonfire with another look at male bonding. At Camp […]