Sing Along with Carrie Brownstein, Elvis Costello, Beyoncé, & More | Music Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 5

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Bareilles, Sara. Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song. S. & S. Oct. 2015. 208p. ISBN 9781476727776. $28. MEMOIR The five-time Grammy Award–nominated American singer-songwriter and musician talks about her craft in that same revelatory style that has made her a big name since her 2007 hit, “Love Song.” The life balance she […]

New Adventures with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kevin Costner | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 5

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Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem & Anna Waterhouse. Mycroft Holmes. Titan. Oct. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9781783291533. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781783291564. MYSTERY Basketball’s all-time leading scorer and a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, among accomplishments on and off the court too numerous to mention, Abdul-Jabbar is also the author of eight books, including On the Shoulders of Giants: […]

From Bernanke on the Fed and Steinem on the Road to the Durable Gass and Winterson Rethinking Shakespeare | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 5

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Bernanke, Ben S. The Courage To Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath. Norton. Oct. 2015. 448p. ISBN 9780393247213. $35. BUSINESS & ECONOMICS Not long after Bernanke’s 2006 appointment to the Federal Reserve, the housing industry collapsed, shoving the global economy into a tailspin. Here Bernanke recounts the Fed’s use of every resource […]

National Book Award Winner McCann, Nobel Prize Winner Oe, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 4

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McCann, Colum. Thirteen Ways of Looking: A Novella and Three Stories. Random. Oct. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780812996722. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812996739. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. SHORT STORIES This is the first story collection in 12 years from McCann, whose multiple awards include the National Book Award (for Let the Great World Spin) and the International Dublin […]

Reich on Capitalism, Schiff on the Salem Witch Trials, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 4

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Hotchner, A.E. Hemingway in Love: A Memoir. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2015. 176p. ISBN 9781250077486. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466889484. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. MEMOIR/LITERATURE Published in 1966, Papa Hemingway offers an affecting personal portrait of Hotchner’s close friend Ernest Hemingway. But there was more to the story. Apparently, in deference to Hemingway’s fourth wife, Mary, and his […]

Bagshawe Gets Reckless, Donaldson Does Novellas, Sandford Goes SF, & More | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 4

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Bagshawe, Tilly. Sidney Sheldon’s Reckless: A Tracy Whitney Novel. Morrow. Oct. 2015. 400p. ISBN 9780062304056. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062304070. THRILLER New York Times best-selling author Bagshawe has done a half-dozen Sidney Sheldon novels, including Sidney Sheldon’s Chasing Tomorrow, which picked up powerhouse heroine Tracy Whitney from 1985’s If Tomorrow Comes. Here, Tracy is back, having […]

Eight Essential Memoirs from Barrymore, Cisneros, Fraser, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 4

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Barrymore, Drew. Wildflower. Dutton. Oct. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781101983799. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101983805. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR While 1990’s Little Girl Lost details Barrymore’s drug and alcohol abuse as a very young actress, this book covers the durable actress’s life since age 14, when she found herself living on her own. How it’s all come […]

Scholarly Metrics | Reference eReviews, April 15, 2015

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THESE DAYS, scholarly metrics are a high-stakes game and a lot of effort is being directed toward finding relevant and credible methods to assess and present scholarship.

Celebrating the 35th Annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes

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Presented Saturday, April 18, 2015, at the University of Southern California’s Bovard Auditorium, the 35th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes revealed the usual satisfying mix of titles that have already deservedly received praise and others that engaged readers will be glad to see get an extra boost. The poetry prize went to Claudia Rankine’s […]

Nobel Prize Winner Pamuk, Game of Thrones Martin, Shocking Houellebecq, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 3

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Campbell, Bonnie Jo. Mothers, Tell Your Daughters: Stories. Norton. Oct. 2015. 256p. ISBN 9780393248456. $25.95. SHORT STORIES Campbell smashed into our consciousness with her terrific 2009 academic-press story collection, American Salvage, a National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her subsequent novel, Once Upon a River, got big praise, too, but it’s […]

The Homesman, a “Polished” Jewel in the Crown, the Adult Film Industry, Fast Scans, & More | Video Reviews, April 15, 2015

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The Homesman is not like any other Western, an Emmy Award winner finally receives the digital makeover not accorded its 25th anniversary edition, first-time director Kezin’s odd but captivating and touching documentary.

Gabaldon Goes Outlandish, Joe Klein Returns, a Look at Clementine Churchill, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2015. Pt. 3

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Gabaldon, Diana. The Outlandish Companion Volume Two: The Companion to The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. Delacorte. Oct. 2015. 1008p. ISBN 9780385344449. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780440246459. LITERATURE Expecting that you’ll be in Droughtlander mode after whipping through the latest title […]

Chills from Tess Gerritsen, Lisa Scottoline, Stuart Woods, & More | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2015. Pt. 3

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Belfoure, Charles. House of Thieves. Sourcebooks Landmark. Sept. 2015. 432p. ISBN 9781492617891. $25.99. THRILLER Like its author, whose recent The Paris Architect was a national best seller (catch the starred LJ review), the protagonist of this 1880s New York–set thriller is an architect, though he uses his knowledge in an unusual manner. To pay off […]

Luc Sante’s Paris, Sarah Vowell’s Lafayette, World War II Revisionism, & More | History & Biography Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 3

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Brown, Richard H. & Paul E. Cohen. Revolution: Mapping the Road to American Independence, 1755–1783. Norton. Oct. 2015. 160p. ISBN 9780393060324. $75. HISTORY When war broke out between Britain and its American colonies, surveyors, artists, and engravers rushed to capture the ever-changing topography of the various battlefields, thus providing important visual information for combatants—and an […]

Needle and Thread: Five Books To Refresh Your Collections | Wyatt’s World

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“Sewing” books range from dress patterns to appliqué, from needlepoint to embroidery. Here are five key titles that will update collections and please sewists of all kinds.

Sarah Addison Allen, John Vaillant, with Bios of Stonewall Jackson and the Equal Justice Initiative | Audiobook Reviews, April 15, 2015

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For Allen fans and others appreciative of quirky small towns and character-driven fare; a well-crafted biography canvassing Stonewall Jackson’s life; true stories from New Orleans; Vaillant’s masterly detail of the desperate life in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Get Your Free Ebook Copies of Brian Grazer’s A Curious Mind for National Library Week

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In another example of its expanding ebook outreach to libraries, Simon & Schuster announced that it will donate a free electronic copy of Academy Award–winning producer Brian Grazer’s new book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, to school and public libraries for every ebook or hardcover book sold at retail, up to […]

From Night Vale to Elizabeth George, a Debut Worth $2 Million, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 2

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Fink, Joseph & Jeffrey Cranor. Welcome to Night Vale. HarperPerennial. Oct. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9780062351425. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062351449. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION Surely you’ve heard of Night Vale, that funky little town in the eponymous (and bubbling-over popular) podcast and touring show created by Fink and cowritten by him and Cranor. The library figures […]

Julian Barnes, James Bowen, Roger Lowenstein, David Talbot | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, October 2015, Pt. 2

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Barnes, Julian. Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art. Knopf. Oct. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9781101874783. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781101874790. ART/ESSAYS Winner of a Man Booker Prize (among numerous other honors) and a best-selling author to boot, novelist Barnes here collects 17 of his essays on art. That’s not so unexpected, really, when you consider that […]

Top Mystery from Alexander McCall Smith, Ashley Weaver, & More | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 2

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Alexander, Tasha. The Adventuress: A Lady Emily Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781250058263. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466876071. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY In this latest in the New York Times best-selling series, following The Counterfeit Heiress, Lady Emily Hargreaves heads to the French Riviera (and who wouldn’t?) to attend the nuptials of her […]