Six Award-Winning Novelists, from Peter Behrens to John Wray| Fiction Previews, Feb. 2016, Pt. 1

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Behrens, Peter. Carry Me. Pantheon. Feb. 2016. 464p. ISBN 9781101870495. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101870518. LITERARY/HISTORICAL The author of The Law of Dreams, which received Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction in 2006, and 2012’s The O’Briens, ravishingly reviewed here, returns with another significant historical saga. Set in Europe between the world wars, it is […]

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt | Games, Gamers, & Gaming, August 2015

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The Wild Hunt is one of the richest narrative experiences gamers will ever experience, capped off with challenging, rewarding combat and nearly endless game-play freedom.

Thrillerfest X: What’s Trending in 2015

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Held July 7–11 in New York City and sponsored by International Thriller Writers (ITW), this year’s Thrillerfest—the tenth annual event—really was somewhat more international in flavor than previous years. Authors present included Sara Blaedel, creator of the internationally best-selling series starring Det. Louise Rick and in 2014 voted Denmark’s most popular novelist for the fourth […]

Copper Canyon Announces a New Volume of Pablo Neruda Poems for April 2016

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In June 2014, researchers at the Pablo Neruda Foundation in Santiago, Chile, discovered 20 previously unknown poems by the widely admired poet-diplomat. Poetry lovers here have been waiting impatiently, but finally we have word that Washington State–based Copper Canyon Press has acquired the U.S. rights to the manuscript. We still have to wait some–the book […]

Prize-Worthy Aboulela, Screen-Worthy Cornwell & Endo, Thatcher’s Continuing Biography, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 4

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Aboulela, Leila. The Kindness of Enemies. Grove. Jan. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780802124487. $26. LITERARY FICTION Sudanese-born, Scotland-based, and relentlessly prize-worthy, Aboulela grabbed the Caine Prize for African Writing with a story from the collection Coloured Lights and the Scottish Book Award for her most recent novel, Lyrics Alley; that novel and her two others, The […]

McLain’s Circling the Sun Soars | RA Crossroads

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Welcome to RA Crossroads, where books, movies, music, and other media converge, and whole-collection readers’ advisory (RA) service goes where it may. In this column, Beryl Markham leads me down a winding path.

A Cain Kickback, Patterson in Paris, & the Art of the Thriller | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 4

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Abbott, Jeff. The First Order. Grand Central. Jan. 2016. 480p. ISBN 9780316268424. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781455558407. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455591855. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Three-time Edgar Award nominee Abbott returns with the fifth in his high-octane, newly formatted Sam Capra series. No word on plot yet, but this book is being positioned as a breakout; […]

From Tama Janowitz to Amy Winehouse’s Mom | Memoir Previews, Jan. 2015, Pt. 4,

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Hazzard, Kevin. A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back. Scribner. Jan. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9781501110832. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781501110870. MEMOIR Looking for a way to test himself, Hazzard became a paramedic in 2004 and held the job for nearly a decade, working in some of the toughest parts of Atlanta. […]

Two Across by Jeff Bartsch | LJ Reviews

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Bartsch, Jeff. Two Across. Grand Central. Aug. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781455554621. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455554607. F Bartsch’s first novel opens at a 1960 spelling bee at a Washington, DC hotel, where we meet Vera Baxter and Stanley Owens, brilliantly fierce competitors in the national championship. In a rare occurrence, they tie for the win, a […]

Benjamin Black, Mark Bowden, Janice Lee, & an Afghan Romeo and Juliet | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2016, Pt. 3

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Black, Benjamin. Even the Dead: A Quirke Novel. Holt. Jan. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781627790666. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781627790673. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY In this seventh in a series from Black, the alter ego of Man Booker Prize winner John Banville, Dublin-based pathologist Quirke gets quite a workout. Even as he’s worried that the blackouts and […]

A Fantasy/Romance/Paranormal Romance Mix | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 3

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Armstrong, Kelley. Otherworld Secrets: An Anthology. Plume. Jan. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780452298354. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780698173521. FANTASY Last year, Armstrong published the first of three anthologies featuring the witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, and half-demons from her “Otherworld” series. Otherworld Nights featured only one original piece out of six short stories and two novellas, which […]

From the Armenian Genocide to the Holocaust to the Dadaab Refugee Camp | History Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 3

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Loridan-Ivens, Marceline. But You Did Not Come Back. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2016. 112p. ISBN 978080212450. $22. HISTORY When she was only 15, Loridan-Ivens was sent by the Vichy militia to the Drancy transit camp with her father, who told her that he would not survive the ordeal they were about to face. In fact, he  […]

World War Marriage, Hunter S. Thompson, a Nazi Diary, & Women Changing the Arab World | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Buruma, Ian. Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War. Penguin Pr. Jan. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781594204388. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698410183. HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College and one of our leading public intellectuals (as he was twice voted by the Foreign Policy/Prospect magazines in recent years), Buruma […]

Literary Authors on the Rise, from Carrie Brown to Charles Lambert | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Brown, Carrie. The Stargazer’s Sister. Pantheon. Jan. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9780804197939. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780804197946. LITERARY Brown, who’s claimed the Barnes and Noble Discover Award and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, among other honors, returns with a novel for the 21st century set in 19th-century England. Plucked from sheer misery in Germany and brought to […]

Five Key Mysteries, from Reed Farrel Coleman to Thomas Perry | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Coleman, Reed Farrel. Where It Hurts. Putnam. Jan. 2016. 368p. ISBN 9780399173035. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698184091. MYSTERY Three-time Shamus Award winner Coleman, past executive vice-president of Mystery Writers of America and called the “noir poet laureate” by the Huffington Post, here launches a new series starring a retired Suffolk County cop named Gus Murphy who […]

Africa, Open Access, Stefan Zweig, & the Geography of Genius | Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 2

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Peters, Justin. The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet. Scribner. Jan. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781476767727. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781476767734. TECHNOLOGY Slate correspondent Peters uses the life and death of Aaron Swartz, founding developer of Reddit and Creative Commons, who committed suicide after being indicted by the government for illegally […]

A View from Outside the Box | Music Matters, July 2015

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Denver Public Library’s Volume and Madison Public Library’s Yahara are great pathways to discoverability for local artists and are creating more visibility for musicians who may not get noticed in a physical collection.

A Poetic Journey of Self-Discovery, the Sport of 9-Man, plus Latest Trailers, Fast Scans | Video Reviews, July 2015

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One of the year’s best films, Tracks deserves to be tracked by libraries; a talented new voice in documentary filmmaking captures the nonmainstream sport of 9-Man; Schlöndorff delivers a fascinating rumination on wartime duty and honor

Multiformat Harper Lee Coming This Month

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Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman is scheduled for release by HarperCollins on July 14, with a two-million-copy first printing and, reports the New York Times, the most preorders in the company’s history. The Times has also let us know that after the seesawing excitement and doubt stirred up by the February announcement of the […]

America’s Underground, Comma Queen Norris, a Heartwarming Mother/Son Memoir | Audiobook Reviews, July 2015

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Burrough investigates the six major underground groups in late 20th-century America; a laugh-out-loud narrative from The New Yorker‘s Norris; NPR host Simon’s heartwarming bio