Allende, Keneally, Sontag, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Nov. 2017

Allende, Isabel. In the Midst of Winter. Atria. Nov. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501178139. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501178153. CD: S. & S. Audio. LITERARY When the personal shades into the political, Allende is there. Her latest novel features 60-year-old human rights scholar Richard Bowmaster, who feels he’s hit the end of the road—and one snow-blown Brooklyn […]

From Baldacci to Patterson | Thriller Previews, Nov. 2017

Baldacci, David. End Game. Grand Central. Nov. 2017. 432p. ISBN 9781455586608. $29; ebk. ISBN 9781455586592. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Will Robie is back, but his boss, codenamed Blue Man, is not, which brings Will to a distant Colorado town with violence creeping along its edge, ready to explode. He’s joined by Jessica Reel, who drops […]

Music, Art, & Literature | Nonfiction Previews, Nov. 2017

A-Trak. When the Needle Dropped: A DJ’s Journey. Scribner. Nov. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781476745497. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781476745510. MEMOIR/MUSIC His full name is Alain Macklovitch, but he’s known worldwide as A-Trak, and through his memoir he traks, er, tracks a huge trend in music: the emergence of the DJ as the star of the show […]

Short Stories for Distracted Minds | Wyatt’s World

A long novel can provide the perfect escape, sometimes a weeks-long fall into story, character, and place. But other times such needed focus is in short supply, and what readers really crave are brief pieces that can recenter their thinking—like boot camp meditation. Here are five collections to do just that.

Eco, Erdrich, Khizr Khan, Kevin Young, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2017

Eco, Umberto. Chronicles of a Liquid Society. Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2017. tr. from Italian by Richard Dixon. 272p. ISBN 9780544974487. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780544974579. PHILOSOPHY/ESSAYS Novelist, essayist, literary critic, philosopher, and semiotician nonpareil (see his star turn in Laurent Binet’s sensational The Seventh Function of Language, which supposes that Roland Barthes was murdered), Eco began […]

Bowen, McCall Smith, Perry, & More | Mystery Previews, Nov. 2017

Bowen, Rhys. The Ghost of Christmas Past. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Nov. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781250125729. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250125736. MYSTERY It’s not the happiest Christmas for private detective Molly Murphy Sullivan, who has just suffered a miscarriage, so spending the holiday at a mansion on the Hudson seems like a good thing. But the household […]

Life After Loss, Intuitive Art, Recovery Memoirs, Building Resiliency | Self-Help Reviews

TAKE A BREAK, BREATHE, AND HELP OTHERS Except for a few books, this column reviews the newest works dealing with the most challenging aspects of life.

Gates, Hallberg, Hoffman, Yuknavitch, & More | Last of the Sept./Oct. 2017 Picks

Davis, Lanny J. The Unmaking of the President 2016: The Case Against FBI Director James Comey and How He Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency. Scribner. Oct. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501177729. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781501180408. POLITICAL SCIENCE Yale-trained lawyer Davis, who served in the administrations of both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, offers state-by-state analysis […]

Last of the October Nonfiction | Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2017

Alpeyrie, Jonathan with Stash Luczkiw: The Shattered Lens: A War Photographer’s 81 Days of Captivity in Syria; a Story of Survival. Atria. Oct. 2017. 272p. ISBN 9781501146503. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781501146541. MEMOIR Having reported from over a dozen conflict zones, French American photojournalist Alpeyrie became news himself in April 2013 when he was betrayed by […]

LJ Fiction Reviews: May 15, 2017

Engrossing erotic crime from Castille, with playful writing, abundant sex, and plenty of melodrama from Wild & Bliss; Binet’s latest is sensational fun for the intellectually astute; genre experts pick the top summer reads; a grim, spare, and fascinating first novel from sf’s Tidbeck

Celebrating National Poetry Month | Wyatt’s World

Close out April, National Poetry Month, by sharing and reading poems new and old. From backlist favorites to debut works to titles not yet on the shelves, here are five books to underscore the vibrant power of the poet and poetry reader.

Judges Needed for Indie Ebook Awards 2017

LJ’s third annual Indie Ebook Awards are almost underway, and we’re looking for voracious readers to serve as judges. Volunteers will be asked to assess books in one of five categories: romance, sf, fantasy, mystery, or YA. This is an amazing opportunity to discover and support local authorship and reward self-published talent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 […]