Biography/History/Memoir | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2017

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BIOGRAPHY Aldous, Richard. Schlesinger: The Imperial Historian. Norton. Oct. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9780393244700. $29.95. BIOGRAPHY Key adviser and so-called court historian to President John F. Kennedy, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. was a two-time Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner whose work exemplified the presidential biography. He’s getting a biography of his own from Bard historian […]

Alarcón, Boyle, Eugenides, Hill | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2017

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Alarcón, Daniel. The King Is Always Above the People: Stories. Riverhead. Oct. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781594631726. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101623077. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SHORT STORIES Alarcón’s novels include the multi-best-booked, multi-award-nominated Lost City Radio and the PEN Faulkner finalist At Night We Walk in Circles, but his reputation was already flaring owing to his first […]

12 Top Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2017

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Bailey, Sarah. The Dark Lake. Grand Central. 448p. ISBN 9781538759905. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781538759912. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER In this big-news debut from Down Under, Det. Sgt. Gemma Woodstock is tasked with figuring out who murdered Rosalind Ryan, once the bright star of their high school and recently returned to town to teach drama. More […]

Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell, Gabrielle Union, & More | Performing Arts Previews, Oct. 2017

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Cummings, Whitney. I’m Fine…And Other Lies. Putnam. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780735212602. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780735212626. CD/Downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR/HUMOR Probably best known for her NBC series Whitney, this multithreat performer (comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director) offers a memoir edged with her famously sharp humor, ranging from her premature botox treatment to the equine therapy […]

Spring Cookbooks | Wyatt’s World

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With holiday feast days, the opening of farmers markets, and longed-for seasonal favorites finally showing up in stores, spring is an excellent time to reevaluate cookbook collections.

Q&A: Catherine Brunelle | SELF-esteem

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In Claire Never Ending, SELF-e author Catherine Brunelle traces a family though generations of captivating women, all of whom share the middle name Claire. Each vignette gives a snapshot of a life in progress—from a hot air balloonist to those with connections to witchcraft to the first-generation Claire sailing to her new life. Here, Brunelle talks about ancestry, pregnancy, and her favorite reads.

Making Libraries Sing | Music Matters

Librarian Sara Peté belts it with books and music

Instead of focusing on a genre of music, or items to add to your collections, this column offers a shout-out to a librarian with a double life, and the work she and others do to bring music to patrons in a variety of ways.

Presidential Portraits | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2017

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Baime, A.J. The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World. Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2017. 464p. ISBN 9780544617346. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780544618480. HISTORY Author of the New York Times best-selling The Arsenal of Democracy and Go Like Hell, veteran reporter Baime chronicles the first few months in office of the […]

Caroline Hart, Darynda Jones, & More | Mystery Previews, Oct. 2017

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Alexander, Tasha. Death in St. Petersburg: A Lady Emily Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781250058287. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250146168. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY In glorious St. Petersburg, where Lady Emily’s husband is carrying out work for the Crown, a ballerina lies blood-spattered in the snow. Lady Emily is on the case, even […]

LJ Nonfiction Reviews: May 1, 2017

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Climbers will inhale Caldwell’s book and want more; poet Kampa’s urge to feel, to will herself into others’ being, is a gift that will carry her far; comedian Boyle’s book is hard to put down and full of solid advice; clear, real-world discussions of issues facing transgender people; perfect for browsing, this work will awaken a desire for questing and adventure

LJ Fiction Reviews: May 1, 2017

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Creech’s vividly descriptive and candid narrative gifts readers a timeless tale; gentle humor and evocative prose illuminate these characters’ need for a Refuge; Elsberg sucks readers into a mind-boggling, all too scary world; Goldberg’s Sherlock Holmes pastiche is pitch-perfect; a suspenseful, original, and confident debut to please fans of the hard-boiled PI genre

Must-Have Books on Syria: Check Your Collection | Wyatt’s World

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The fractured country of Syria is once again front-page news, making this a moment to attend to the collection. Here are five essential titles to help readers understand past and current events in the war-torn region.

Clinton, Coates, Taibbi, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2017, Pt. 1

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Blakeslee, Nate. American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West. Crown. Oct. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781101902783. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101902790. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. NATURAL HISTORY Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and a New York Times Notable Book, Blakeslee’s Tulia dealt with wrongful conviction in a small Texas town. […]

From Buarque to Thien | Literary Fiction Previews, Oct. 2017, Pt. 1

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Buarque, Chico. My German Brother. Farrar. Oct. 2017. 192p. tr. from Portuguese by Alison Entrekin. ISBN 9780374161200. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374715137. LITERARY In this new novel from celebrated Brazilian singer/songwriter Buarque, set in 1960s São Paulo, teenage reprobate Ciccio snitches a book from the extensive library of his icily unobservant scholar father and finds a […]

Pierce Brown, Khan, Steel, & More | Pop Fiction Previews, Oct. 2017, Pt. 1

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Bonansinga, Jay. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead: Return to Woodbury. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781250058522. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466862753. CD: Macmillan Audio. HORROR Lilly Caul has survived the apocalypse and settled her people safely in plague-desecrated Atlanta. But she cannot let go of her dream of returning to home-sweet-home Woodbury and […]

The Dark Is Rising | Wyatt’s World

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Even as daylight lingers longer each evening, many releases of early spring are plenty dark. Here are five examples, ranging from true crime to debut thrillers to the current “it” book.

Present and Future | Social Science Previews, Sept. 2017

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Bruder, Jessica. Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century. Norton. Sept. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780393249316. $26.95. SOCIAL SCIENCE Expanding her eye-opening Harper’s cover story, “The End of Retirement,” which shows that many Americans can no longer afford to quit work during the so-called golden years, Bruder introduces us to an intrepid bunch that give new […]

Taking Care of Body and Soul | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2017

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Brand, Russell. Fix: Freedom from All Your Addictions. Holt. Sept. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781250141927. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781250141934. CD: Macmillan. MEMOIR Once in thrall to heroin, alcohol, sex, food, and more, comedian and movie star Brand helps others recover from addiction as he did by explaining that the real question is not “Why are you […]

LJ Nonfiction Reviews: April 15, 2017

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Otis Redding finally gets the “Respect” he deserves; Alexie’s portrayals of family relationships, identity, and grief have the universality of great literature; this scrumptious entrée into six-legged cuisine is for all general science readers

Gardens Big and Small | Wyatt’s World

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Spring is here, and even if the weather across the country doesn’t prove that point, the focus on gardens and flowers in the bevy of new books on the topic announce that it’s time to get working on our outdoor spaces (or tiny indoor gardens). Here are just a few from the fresh crop of which to choose.