Buruma, Kaplan, & a Neruda Biography | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Mar. 2018

Buruma, Ian. A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir. Penguin Pr. Mar. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9781101981412. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101981429. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR A leading public intellectual, the author of numerous award-winning titles, and named among 100 top global thinkers of 2010 by Foreign Policy, Buruma has succeeded Robert B. Silvers as the editor of the […]

From Africa to Alaska to Terror in Paris | New Voices in Literary Fiction, Mar. 2018

Benson, Adrienne. The Brightest Sun. Park Row: Harlequin. Mar. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780778331278. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488028090. LITERARY Harlequin’s new literary imprint is feeling radiant about this debut from the African-raised Benson, who returned to work there as a Peace Corps volunteer. Set in the 1990s under Africa’s bright sun, it explores the lives of […]

Berry, Jance, & Some Surprise Authors | Thriller Previews, Mar. 2018

Bell, Natasha. Exhibit Alexandra. Crown. Mar. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781524761073. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781524761097. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER Alexandra Southwood has been imprisoned in a locked room, and husband Marc is increasingly frantic as her bloodied belongings are found. But all is not as it seems in this ramping-up debut, touted for its hairpin twists […]

U.S. Presidents, English Merchants, & a Heroic Bee Keeper | History Previews, Mar. 2018

Bartlett, Karen. Architects of Death: The Family Who Engineered the Death Camps. St. Martin’s. Mar. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781250117700. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250117717. HISTORY It’s wasn’t ideology, just business, but it sure was hell: journalist Bartlett tells the story of Topf and Sons, the small, respected family firm of German engineers that designed and built […]

2017 National Book Award Long-Lists Announced

During the week of September 11, the National Book Foundation rolled out its long lists in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature, revealing its continuing focus on diverse, of-the-moment books while reminding us how rich publishing can be these days. It’s no surprise to see National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing […]

LJ Nonfiction | Review Alert, October 1, 2017

May Morris is an excellent resource for art history students but may be too specific for public libraries; new photography titles explore the essentials of the medium; highly recommended presidential picks; an affecting and personal look into the experiences of minor migrants; chef Waters comes of age in Coming to My Senses

Two by Two: Doubles, Seconds, and Pairs | Wyatt’s World

Be it the fate of twins, an author’s second novel, braided narratives, or literary twosomes, September brings a number of titles concerned with the concept of two.

War, Immigration, & Top-Flight Fiction | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2018

Abouzeid, Rania. No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria. Norton. Mar. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9780393609493. $26.95. CURRENT EVENTS/MIDDLE EAST For her in-depth coverage of the Middle East, Beirut-based Abouzeid has earned numerous honors, from the George Polk Award to the European Commission’s Anna Lindh Journalist Foundation Award. Here she gives a history […]

Gutcheon, Leon, Patterson, Winspear, & More | Mystery Previews, Mar. 2018

Dovalpage, Teresa. Death Comes in Through the Kitchen. Soho Crime. Mar. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9781616958848. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616958855. MYSTERY Winner of Spain’s Rincón de la Victoria Award and the author of both fiction and plays, Cuban-born, New Mexico–based Dovalpage offers a literary mystery set in 2003 Havana. It opens with San Diego journalist Matt […]

From Chief Justice Marshall to Renoir’s Dancer | Biography Previews, Feb. 2018

Heminway, John. In Full Flight: A Story of Africa and Atonement. Knopf. Feb. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781524732974. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781524732981. Downloadable: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY “She probably saved more lives than any other individual in east Africa—if not the whole continent,” said Richard Leakey of Dr. Anne Spoerry, who settled in Kenya after World War […]

Science, Psychology, & Food | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2018

Barth, F. Diane. I Know How You Feel: The Joy and Heartbreak of Friendship in Women’s Lives. Houghton Harcourt. Feb. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9780544870277. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780544870291. PSYCH New York–based psychotherapist Barth, whose Psychology Today blog boasts over 4.5 million views, weaves together stories from a range of women to explain how life affects […]

Tie-Ins: To Buy and DIY | Wyatt’s World

The fall movie and TV season is starting, bringing with it plenty of adaptations and tie-in editions to refresh the collection. Other page-to-screen versions demand that librarians make their own tie-in accompaniments and search for titles that connect to and expand upon the film or show.

For the Sake of Reading | Wyatt’s World

Just as the new school year gets underway, acclaimed author and Princeton University professor John McPhee publishes his latest title on writing nonfiction, Draft No. 4. Use both occasions to gather the most recent wave of books about books into a display highlighting the pure pleasures of reading.

Lez Get Literary | SELF-esteem

While the umbrella term LGBTQ encompasses numerous identities, it only begins to address the diversity among marginalized communities. Fortunately, the rise of self-publishing allows for broader representation, particularly from “own voices.” The three f/f titles reviewed below, available through SELF-e, showcase both the hardships and successes faced by lesbian characters.

From Hannah to Vargas Llosa | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Feb. 2018

Hannah, Kristin. The Great Alone. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2018. 448p. ISBN 9780312577230. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250165619. CD. Macmillan Audio. POP FICTION In 1974, what could be harder for 13-year-old Leni Allbright than having a dangerously unsettled Vietnam vet dad? Having him lose yet another job and decide to move the family to the Alaskan wilderness, […]

Politics, Memoir, Essays | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Feb. 2018

Amis, Martin. The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump: Essays and Reportage, 1986–2017. Knopf. Feb. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9781400044535. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780525520252. LITERARY ESSAYS Smartly acidulous in his nonfiction as in his fiction, celebrated British author Amis (now based in Brooklyn) collects 30 years’ worth of essays ranging from Trump and terrorism […]

Best-Selling Authors & Hot Debuts | Pop Fiction Previews, Feb. 2018

Ackerman, Sara. Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers. Mira: Harlequin. Feb. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9780778319214. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488080456. WOMEN’S FICTION/HISTORICAL In World War II Hawaii, as American troops swoop in and members of the territory’s large Japanese population suffer internment, Violet Iverson decides to open a pie stand with friend Jean to keep […]

What People Aren’t Hiding | Memoir Previews, Feb. 2018

Allen, Tina Alexis. Hiding Out: A Story of Family, Secrecy, and Devotion. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Feb. 2018. 288p. ISBN 9780062565679. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062565709. MEMOIR Raised a devout Catholic in a family of 13 dominated by a strict, British-born father, GLAAD Award–nominated actress/playwright Allen led a wild-hare adolescence and was terrified when her father learned […]

New Writers To Watch | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2018

Andreasen, Michael. The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories. Dutton. Feb. 2018. 240p. ISBN 9781101986615. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781101986622. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SHORT STORIES A little sister born without a head turns out to be quite annoying. A lovelorn kraken pulls a ship into the deep. A man longs for his wife even as his […]

Inequality, Immigration, & Eloquent Rage | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2018

Austen, Ben. High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing. Harper. Feb. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780062235060. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062235084. SOCIAL SCIENCE/POVERTY Built in 1940s Chicago, the Cabrini-Green public housing project eventually encompassed a population of 20,000 shoved into 23 towers on 70 acres near the city’s classiest real estate. Since razed, it became […]