Historical Echoes | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 4

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Hunter, Georgia. We Were the Lucky Ones. Viking. Feb. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9780399563089. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399563102. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. HISTORICAL Hunter, who did not know that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors until she was 15, draws on this revelatory history to tell the story of three generations of the Kurc family, […]

Nobel Prize Winner Coetzee & Civil War as Concept | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2017, Pt. 4

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Armitage, David. Civil Wars: A History in Ideas. Knopf. Feb. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780307271136. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353090. PHILOSOPHY/HISTORY The Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History at Harvard University, Armitage considers civil war not as an aggregation of battles but as an idea dating back to republican Rome. That idea really matters, for whether or […]

Building Better Bodies, Protecting Data, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 4

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Buting, Jerome F. Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America’s Broken System. Harper. Feb. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780062569318. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062569332. TRUE CRIME The criminal defense lawyer for Steven Avery in the Teresa Halbach murder trial, chronicled in the headlines-making Netflix original documentary series, Making a Murderer, Buting uses that case and […]

17 Key Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 4

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Billingham, Mark. Rush of Blood. Atlantic Monthly. Feb. 2017. 480p. ISBN 9780802125910. $25. THRILLER Never before available here in a standard print edition despite its 2012 publication in the UK, this thriller is Billingham’s only novel set partly in America—Florida, to be specific, where the author has a home. Three British couples bond when they […]

Q&A: Amanda DeWees & Rachael Herron | SELF-esteem

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Self-publishing continues to be an enticing option for writers just beginning their careers and traditionally published authors looking to put forth new passion projects. Here, Amanda DeWees, who is featured on SELF-e Select for novels like Sea of Secrets and Nocturne for a Widow, and hybrid author Rachael Herron (the “Darling Bay” and “Cypress Hollow” series) chat about their paths to self-publishing and the future of the industry.

Sam Shepard’s Spring

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Sam Shepard is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of more than 55 plays and three story collections and is an Academy Award–nominated actor who has appeared in more than 60 films, having also worked as a screenwriter and director. What’s left to do? Write a novel, of course, and he seems to have found the time. […]

Laird Hunt, Yiyun Lee, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2017, Pt. 3

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Dennett, Daniel C. From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. Norton. Feb. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9780393242072. $28.95. PHILOSOPHY/MIND & BODY Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University and winner of the Erasmus Prize, Dennett knows how to talk to lay readers; he’s published numerous books, not just with academic presses […]

Harrison, Kadrey, Kenyon, & More | SF/Fantasy Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 3

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Carey, Jacqueline. Miranda and Caliban. Tor. Feb. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780765386793. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780765386809. FANTASY Carey, who knows fantasy—she’s author of the New York Times best-selling “Kushiel’s Legacy” series—here reimagines the greatest fantasy of them all, Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Taking a different angle, she depicts Miranda as lonely and longing for friendship with the […]

Jio, Kinsella, Lipman, & More | Pop Fiction, Feb. 2017, Pt. 3

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Hepworth, Sally. The Mother’s Promise. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781250077752. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466889927. CD: Macmillan Audio. WOMEN’S Australian author Hepworth splashed down big with her debut, The Secrets of Midwives, and followed up quickly with The Things We Keep. Now she’s back breaking hearts with the story of single mother Alice, her […]

Inkblots, Depression, Relationships, & More | Psychology Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 3

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Bennett, Michael, M.D. F*ck Love: One Shrink’s Sensible Advice for Finding a Lasting Relationship. Touchstone. Feb. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9781501140563. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781501140570. INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS A board-certified psychiatrist educated at Harvard Medical School, Bennett had a New York Times best-selling hit with his first book, the cheerfully in-your-face F*ck Feelings. Here he recommends ditching […]

Water Cooler RA 2.0 | Wyatt’s World

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Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad is dominating the book conversation this week (and likely beyond), yet also making headlines at the moment are a wealth of other titles pertaining to the current cultural climate. Here are five to suggest, all fitting nicely into the present dialog.

Coen Bros. Blood Simple, Cap America, Pelé, Valley of the Dolls | Trailers: What’s Coming on DVD/Blu-ray

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All the Way, From Afar, Night Train to Munich

Looted Books, Librarian Heroes

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Published in spring 2016, Joshua Hammer’s The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu celebrated the librarians who recently rescued hundreds of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts when militants invaded their city. Anders Rydell’s The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race To Return a Literary Inheritance (Viking. Feb. 2017. 384p. tr. […]

Jamison, Oates, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2107, Pt. 2

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Darnielle, John. Universal Harvester. Farrar. Feb. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9780374282103. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374714024. CD: Macmillan Audio. LITERARY FICTION Mountain Goats composer/performer Darnielle launched his writing career in a big way with 2014’s Wolf in White Van, a New York Times best seller that was long-listed for the National Book Award, a finalist for the […]

From Armstrong to Todd | Mystery Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 2

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Armstrong, Kelley. A Darkness Absolute. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9781250092175. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250092205. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY In City of the Lost, first in Otherworld creator Armstrong’s more earthly new series, homicide detective Casey Duncan fled to off-the-grid Rockton, a secret town in the Canadian wilderness where you must apply to […]

America, the Soviet Union, World Anger | History Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 2

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Clavin, Tom. Dodge City: Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9781250071484. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466882621. CD: Macmillan Audio. HISTORY Revisiting the territory he trod in The Heart of Everything That Is, his most popular book, New York Times best-selling author Clavin takes us […]

Norse Mythology

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Ancient mythology has inspired plenty of good literature, including the wonderfully tilted worlds of the internationally best-selling and multi-multi-award-winning Neil Gaiman, who draws on the tales of the North Germanic people in his work. Now he’s combined those tales into a single novelistic arc. Titled Norse Mythology (Norton. Feb. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9780393609097. $25.95; ebk. […]

Drabble, Nguyen, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

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Drabble, Margaret. The Dark Flood Rises. Farrar. Feb. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780374134952. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374715762. LITERARY FICTION A durable author of contemporary English-language literature named a Dame of the British Empire in 2008, Drabble has plenty of life experience to bring to her portrait of graying if relentlessly busy Francesca Stubbs. Even as she […]

Award-Worthy Fiction | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

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Danielewski, Mark Z. The Familiar. Vol. 4: Hades. Pantheon. Feb. 2017. 880p. ISBN 9780375715006. pap. $26.95. LITERARY/FANTASY One Rainy Day in May, the first volume of National Book Award finalist Danielewski’s magnum opus, The Familiar, was published in 2015 and quickly hit the New York Times best sellers list, rising to No. 5. The entire […]

Hot-Button Issues | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

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Alexander, Brian. Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781250085801. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250085818. ECONOMICS In 1947, Forbes magazine declared Lancaster, OH, the quintessential all-American town. Seventy years later, it’s fighting for its life, with its main industry—Anchor Hocking Glass Company, once the world’s […]