This Old House | The Reader’s Shelf, June 15, 2016

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When you pass an abandoned mansion, are you immediately transported back to a time when people were elegant and skeletons were hidden in every closet? Here are seven books that feature those fascinating edifices, with an atmospheric feel and parallel narratives that switch between time lines.

Gripping Nonfiction To Sweep Readers Away | Wyatt’s World

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Summer reading tends to lean heavily toward fiction, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of engrossing and mind-blowing nonfiction to take to the beach or consume while the air conditioner is blasting away. Here are five examples.

Island Life | Wyatt’s World

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As summer sweeps in with its thunderstorms and heat waves, many readers might find themselves vacationing on an island. Here are five new novels, representing a range of genres, that take place on those most intriguing of destinations.

GPS, Gumshoes, and a Ghost Story | Books for Dudes

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This month I reread Mary Roach’s Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, and damn if I didn’t revisit the whole raison d’être of Books for Dudes, because, jeez, did Roach ever pen the grandmammy of all books for dudes.

All Kinds of Upsets | Wyatt’s World

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Popular novels of psychological suspense, such as Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train, are just one example of the creepy, discomforting yet pleasurable experience of stories situated on the crossroads of horror, thriller, gothic, and historical genres. Here are five new works from across this range of literary styles.

Debuts Beyond Genre | The Reader’s Shelf, June 1, 2016

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It is becoming increasingly clear that trying to fit a book into a narrowly defined box can be a fool’s errand. Blends, crossovers, and mixes quickly muddy the waters, while authors more often resist the constraints of a label. Here are six debuts in that vein.

Self-Help Across Subjects | Wyatt’s World

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The desire to live a more fulfilling life is a perennially favorite subject of many authors, no matter where their books fall on the Dewey decimal range. Below are current examples that illustrate the breadth of the topic—from cookbooks and craft guides to memoirs and scientific studies.

A Voice in the Wilderness | The Reader’s Shelf, May 15, 2016

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The six books below shed light on the forest, highlighting its glory and its shadowy depths, while readers can immerse themselves in those worlds knowing they are safe in their favorite chair.

Joe Hill’s “Fireman,” Apocalyptic Terror | RA Crossroads

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With engrossing, stay-up-all-night pacing, stock characters worth cheering for, spellbinding worldbuilding, and a well-balanced mix of outrage, mourning, and hope, Hill’s novel places his fellowship into one troubling incident after another.

Reflecting on Animals: Five Timely Titles | Wyatt’s World

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It seems that books on the nature, intellect, and soul of animals are on the rise, with several new titles joining hits such as Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus and Virginia Morell’s Animal Wise Here are five suggestions for already published and forthcoming works.