David Brion Davis, Glen Duncan, Anna Quindlen, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4

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Allen, Jonathan & Amie Parnes. HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton. Crown. Feb. 2014. 350p. ISBN 9780804136754. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780804136761. CD: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY/POLITICAL “Will Hillary run again?” There’s the hot question among anyone who cares about U.S. politics. Written by two authors intimately familiar with the political process—Allen is the […]

Big Science Titles from Tim Flannery, Michio Kaku, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4

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Ferreira, Pedro G. The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle Over General Relativity. Houghton Harcourt. Feb. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780547554891. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780547554907. SCIENCE Oxford astrophysicist Ferreira writes for trade as well as academic publications and frequently appears on the BBC, so we can trust him to write limpidly about a […]

Lippman, McCall Smith, Minot, Teicholz, Werth | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 3

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Lippman, Laura. After I’m Gone. Morrow. Feb. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780062083395. $26.99. CD: HarperAudio. lrg. prnt. THRILLER Investigating cold cases for some extra cash, retired Baltimore detective Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez looks into the murder 26 years earlier of Julie, once mistress to rich but shady businessman Felix Brewer, who disappeared ten years before Julie’s death. […]

Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 2: Baggott, Chua/Rubenfeld, Corrigan, Hoffman, Senior, Vanderbes

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Baggott, Julianna. Burn. Grand Central. Feb. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9781455502998. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781455503025;  lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455551651. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. DYSTOPIAN In Baggott’s scarily beautiful Pure, those not safely under the Dome at the moment of the blinding Detonations have been permanently fused to whatever was nearby, object or human, and Partridge defies his […]

Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Feb. 204, Pt. 1: Sarah Addison Allen, Isabel Allende, Wiley Cash, Joyce Carol Oates

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Allen, Sarah Addison. Lost Lake. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781250019806. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250019813. POP FICTION Allen offers her own brand of magic in books like Garden Spells and The Peach Keepers and always gets on the New York Times best sellers list. Here she sends newly widowed Kate to Lost Lake Cottages […]

Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 1: Four Essential Literature Titles, Including Susan Cheever on e.e. cummings

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Cheever, Susan. E.E. Cummings: A Life. Pantheon. Feb. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780307379979. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780307908674. LITERATURE Though Edmund Wilson called his poetry hideous, Malcolm Cowley proclaimed e.e. cummings unsurpassed in his field, and when he died in 1962, he was the most read poet in this country after Robert Frost. There’s still plenty of […]

Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Chiavareni, Cornwell, Johnson, Jungersen, & Sansom, plus Poetry of Witness

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Chiaverini, Jennifer. Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival. Dutton. Jan. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780525954286. $26.95. HISTORICAL Having demonstrated her talent for revivifying real-life women from the Civil War era with Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and The Spymistress, Chiaverini introduces us to Kate Chase Sprague, who helped her much-widowed father get established as secretary of the Treasury in Abraham Lincoln’s […]

Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Dow, Grandin, Moore, & More

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Brewster, Joe & Michèle Stephenson. American Promise: Raising Black Boys To Succeed in School and in Life. Spiegel & Grau. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780812994483. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812994490. EDUCATION The black male achievement gap is a real problem even for successful parents like Harvard-trained psychiatrist Brewster and Columbia Law School graduate Stephenson, who became […]

Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2014, Pt. 4: Elisabeth de Waal, Alan Lightman, Gary Shteyngart, & More

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  de Waal, Elisabeth. The Exiles Return. Picador. Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781250045782. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781250045799. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION Like Irène Némirovsky and Hans Keilson, de Waal bore witness to the tragedy of World War II; as her grandson recounts in his best-selling The Hare with Amber Eyes, their Jewish banking family’s possessions were appropriated […]

Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2014, Pt. 3: Tiffany Baker, Rachel Joyce, Carville/Matalin, & More

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  Baker, Tiffany. Mercy Snow. Grand Central. Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781455512737. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455512744; lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455551675. LITERARY FICTION Baker launched her career smashingly with The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, a New York Times best-selling tale of some originality and spunk; its follow-up, The Gilly Salt Sisters, wasn’t as big a […]

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