LJ’s Reviews of RUSA’s Notable Fiction | ALA Midwinter 2016

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LJ‘s reviews of the 2016 selections of the Notable Books List, an annual best-of list comprised of 26 written for adult readers and published in the U.S., including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Carnegie Medal Winners Announced at ALA Midwinter

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Held Sunday, January 10, at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference, the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Book & Media Awards Ceremony & Reception had a new dimension this year. For the first time since the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction were established in 2012, the winners were announced at […]

Reading About Downton Abbey | Wyatt’s World

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With the first episode of the sixth and final season of the beloved PBS drama series under their belts, readers might start to think of the endgame.

Jessie Burton, Julian Fellowes, Hisham Matar, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2016, Pt. 1

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Burton, Jessie. The Muse. Ecco: HarperCollins. Jul. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780062409928. $27.99. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Once again, the author of the New York Times best-selling The Miniaturist unfolds history in an intriguing way. In the late 1930s, Olive Schloss lives with her parents, a Viennese Jewish art dealer and an English heiress, in a hardscrabble Spanish coastal […]

Aquarium Dreams, Sarong Party Girls, & Reality Show Survival | Fiction Debuts, Jul. 2016, Pt. 1

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Angell, Caroline. All the Time in the World. Holt Paperbacks. Jul. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9781627794015. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9781627794022. CD: Macmillan Audio POP FICTION Yet another theater person demonstrates that those who love the spoken word gravitate naturally to the written word. Playwright and director Angell crafts the story of a talented young composer […]

Brazillionaires, Surveillance, & the U.S. Diplomatic Corps | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 1

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Carville, James. We’re Still Right–And They’re Still Wrong. Blue Rider. Jul. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780399576225. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780399576232. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. POLITICAL SCIENCE In his follow-up to the 1996 best seller We’re Right, They’re Wrong, Democratic stalwart Carville argues that the policies initially enacted by President Bill Clinton and continued by President Barack Obama […]

Fast Five with Robin Miles

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What’s your favorite type of character or accent to narrate? Women warriors and spiritual characters. What was the first audiobook you narrated? This Just In  by Yolanda Joe. About how many audiobooks have you narrated? 350-plus. What is your favorite book/TV show/movie? My favorite book is Personal Recollections of St. Joan by Mark Twain. TV show: Dr. Who (the […]

Star Wars Games | Games, Gamers, & Gaming, January 1, 2016

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Thankfully, Star Wars is one of the richest and most long-standing intellectual properties in pop culture, and its relationship with video games goes almost all the way back to the original 1977 movie.

ALA Midwinter Galley Preview

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1731 Simon & Schuster The top pick at this booth is clearly Joshua Hammer’s The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, whose hero, library director Abdel Kader Haidara, countered threats to his collection from al Qaeda militants by deploying a team of librarians to pack up hundreds of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts and sneak […]

Big Fiction Debuts, Key Current Events Titles, and Do-It-Yourself Shakespeare | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 5

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Cline, Emma. The Girls. Random. Jun. 2016. 368p. ISBN 9780812998603. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780812998610. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/COMING OF AGE Cline gets to prove why she won the 2014 Paris Review Plimpton Prize with this first novel featuring lonesome teen Evie Boyd, who’s drawn to a bunch of louche and daring-looking girls in […]

Nature, Nurture, & Technology | Science Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 5

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Balcombe, Jonathan. What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins. Scientific American: Farrar. Jun. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780374288211. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374714338. NATURE/FISH Admit it; you don’t think a lot about fish. But there are actually 30,000 species of our wet, wriggly brethren, more than all mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian species combined. […]

Anne Tyler Revisits Shakespeare, plus Ausubel, Danielewski, & Newcomer El Rashidi | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jun. 2016. Pt. 4

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Ausubel, Ramona. Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty. Riverhead. Jun. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781616205621. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780698410855. LITERARY Ausubel debuted with No One Is Here Except All of Us, winner of the PEN Center USA Fiction Award and a New York Public Library’s Young Lions finalist that was ambitious, gorgeously written, and occasionally […]

From Palestine to the Supreme Court to Diane Arbus | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 4

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Ehrenreich, Ben. The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine. Penguin Pr. Jun. 2016. 448p. ISBN 9781594205903. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698148192. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. POLITICAL SCIENCE A National Magazine Award winner, Ehrenreich spent time over the last three years living with several Palestinian families in the West Bank; his reporting on what he […]

Fifteen Essential Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 4

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Adler, Elizabeth. The Charmers. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9781250058195. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466862265. THRILLER A villa in the south of France, inherited from an aunt? Sounds great for Mirabella Matthews until she’s nearly run off the road while driving there with the young woman to whom she’s giving a lift. As Mirabella […]

Four Books for Foodies | Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 4

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Behr, Edward. The Food and Wine of France: Eating and Drinking from Champagne to Provence. Penguin Pr. Jun. 2016. 352p. ISBN 9781594204524. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780399564024. COOKING Most people think French food and wine are the world’s best, but what does best mean? Behr, an important food writer who founded the food magazine The Art […]

Pack Your Bags! Travel Books on GVRL | Sponsored Content

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Travel books are popular with those who are actually starting to pack their bags as well as armchair voyagers. Either way, the library’s travel collection has to be kept up to date, and that can be expensive and time consuming. GVRL offers a great alternative: an online selection of travel titles for locations nearby and […]

Cara Black, Walter Mosley, Brian Panowich, & More | Mystery Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 3

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Billingham, Mark. Die of Shame. Atlantic Monthly. Jun. 2016. 448p. ISBN 9780802125255. $26. MYSTERY Twice winner of Theakston’s Old Peculiar Award for Best Crime Novel, 2015 finalist for the Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library (awarded for a body of work), and a 2015 Thrillerfest spotlight guest, Billingham introduces us to six disparate people—from […]

Lydia Millet, Sean Wilentz, & More | Last-Minute May 2016 Previews

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Engel, Patricia. The Veins of the Ocean. Grove. May 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780802124890. $25. LITERARY FICTION Reina Castillo loyally attends a brother sentenced to death after committing a heinous crime for which she feels somehow responsible, then flees to the anonymous peace of the remote Florida Keys when he is executed. There she meets recently […]

Book Club Possibilities: A Selection from 2015 | Wyatt’s World

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Compelling characters, fascinating stories, and themes readers can sink their teeth into are the hallmarks of a good book club pick. Here are five suggestions that are also making many best-of selections and award short lists.

Stephen King, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Lionel Shriver, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 2

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King, Stephen. End of Watch. Scribner. Jun. 2016. 496p. ISBN 9781501129742. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781501134159. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER Brady Hartsfield, responsible for the deaths of eight people and the injury of many others in the infamous Mercedes Massacre, was clobbered over the head by Holly Gibney and now vegetates in Room 217 […]