From Boylan to Karen White | Pop Fiction, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Boylan, Jennifer Finney. Long Black Veil. Crown. Apr. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780451496324. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780451496348. Downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER/COMING OF AGE/LGBT LGBT rights advocate, Op-Ed page contributor to the New York Times since 2007, and the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence at Barnard College, Boylan still finds time to write both fiction and […]

Literature, Music, TV | Arts Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Bloom, Harold. Falstaff: Give Me Life. Scribner. Apr. 2017. 176p. ISBN 9781501164132. $22; ebk. ISBN 9781501164156. LITERATURE Distinguished critic Bloom, known especially for his Shakespeare scholarship, shows us why Falstaff—central to the three Henry plays—is considered Shakespeare’s greatest comic character. As Bloom explains, readers experience Falstaff differently as they move through life, which clarifies how […]

Women Composers, Part 2 | Music Matters

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In my previous column, we began a three-part series exploring female composers, beginning with the Medieval through early Romantic period. Here, we’ll look at artists of the 20th ­century.

Last of the April 2017 Nonfiction | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Drezner, Daniel. The Ideas Industry. Oxford Univ. Apr. 2017. 344p. ISBN 9780190264604. $27.95. SOCIAL SCIENCE Professor of International Politics at Tufts University and author of such books as The System Worked, Drezner examines the uncomfortable evolution of the public intellectual, once someone who debated issues in an open forum and now more likely someone with […]

Cookbook Countdown Kickoff | Wyatt’s World

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Back again for 2016 is the great Fall Cookbook Countdown leading to Thanksgiving. For the next three weeks we’ll spotlight a different group of five cookbooks while presenting various themes and ways of highlighting your collection. The kickoff begins with celebrity offerings.

Short List Announced for Andrew Carnegie Medals

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The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the six books short-listed for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, which are given for the previous year’s best adult fiction and nonfiction books published in the United States. The two medal winners will be revealed at the Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) […]

Obituary: Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today Book Critic

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It’s not every nationally known book critic that serves on the board of his local public library, but then Bob Minzesheimer, who died on October 15 after a battle with brain cancer, wasn’t just any book critic. USA Today‘s longtime book reviewer and writer, who was only 66 when he died, Bob earned a master’s […]

Key Poetry Jan.–Apr. 2017

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Bidart, Frank. Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2017. Farrar. Apr. 2017. 624p. ISBN 9780374125950. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780374715182. POETRY Multi-award-winning Bidart (e.g., the Bollingen Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award) represents a high point in contemporary America poetry, with dramatic, focused writing exploring our darkest psychic corners and greatest needs. Including a new collection, Thirst; originally […]

Two Big Fiction Debuts, Gaitskill, Lamott, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 3

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El Akkad, Omar. American War. Knopf. Apr. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780451493583. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780451493590. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/DYSTOPIAN FICTION Having reported on key issues from the war in Afghanistan to the Black Lives Matter movement, Egyptian-born, Canadian-based journalist El Akkad not surprisingly offers a debut novel shaped by current events while pointing […]

15 Key Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 3

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Armstrong, Ross. The Watcher. Mira: Harlequin. Apr. 2017. 302p. ISBN 9780778330721. $26.99. THRILLER Noted actor Armstrong (he’s appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company and in Hamlet on Broadway) launches his writing career with psychological suspense that Harlequin UK is dubbing a lead breakout title. When an elderly neighbor turns up dead shortly after birdwatcher Lily […]

Cooks, Rebel Mothers, & Media Stars | Memoir Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 3

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Andreas, Peter. Rebel Mother: My Childhood Chasing the Revolution. S. & S. Apr. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501124396. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501124457. MEMOIR In the Sixties, conventional housewife Carol Andreas morphed into a radical feminist and Marxist revolutionary, running through numerous husbands and lovers as she sought for and fought for important causes. She took her […]

Getaway Books…About Cats and Dogs | Wyatt’s World

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Need yet another refuge from the anxiety of the election now that the third and final presidential debate is history? Apparently, viewing cat videos is an effective tonic for many. In that vein, here are five books on cats and dogs that provide an escape.

Picturing History, Comics Creators in Conversation | NYCC 2016

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Drawing an exuberant crowd, the panel “Race & Sexuality: A Conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates, Tee “Vixen” Franklin & Steve Orlando,” moderated by comics scholar Jonathan W. Gray, featured veteran comics writers and newcomers alike.

From Ingrid Bergman to Saved! to A Taste of Honey | Fast Scans: Top Foreign & Indie Picks, October 15, 2016

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Stig Björkman’s refreshingly personal portrait chronicles a remarkable life; Eric Barbier takes an unusual approach with his heist picture; a diverse bunch of students at a Christian high school put their faith into practice; an often touching story of disaffected souls looking for love

Witching Hour: Haunting SELF-e Reads | SELF-esteem

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Halloween is quickly approaching, giving way to pumpkin spice, carefully chosen costumes, and a healthy dose of all things spooky. Whether you’re in the mood for full-on terror or just a taste of the supernatural, these SELF-e Select titles, available via LJ‘s SELF-e publishing platform, have got you covered for some late-night chills and thrills.

Q&A: Alexandra Horowitz, Author of Being a Dog

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Conducting research and learning how to rely on her own sense of smell, Alexander Horowitz took a nosedive into the canine domain to ­understand a dog’s point of view in her latest book, Being a Dog.

Fun for the Whole Family | Games, Gamers, & Gaming, October 15, 2016

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Video games are a natural fit for family fun, but it’s not always easy to find games that are both suitable for kids and engaging enough for adults. Still, there are numerous all-ages-appropriate games out there with substantial game play.

New York Comic Con: Top Library Panels

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                      With a record attendance of 180,000, New York Comic Con, October 6-9, 2016, packed several informative panels for librarians and educators into its first full day of programming. Here are some highlights we discovered. Body of Evidence: How We See Ourselves in Comics Attendance: […]

Hard Case Crime Teams with Titan Comics

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Starting this month, Titan Comics joins forces with the iconic crime fiction imprint Hard Case Crime to launch Hard Case Crime Comics. Releasing both original and adapted works by celebrated authors of the crime genre as well as emerging voices in comics, the new line will boast the same gritty, sexy violence for which the mystery publisher is well known.

War, Islam, & Evangelicals | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 2

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Bellaigue, Christopher de. The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times. Liveright: Norton. Apr. 2017. 560p. ISBN 9780871403735. $35. HISTORY Many Westerners see Islam as behind the times, having failed to experience Europe’s Enlightenment. But Bellaigue, an authority on Islam and the Middle East who speaks Turkish, Persian, and Arabic […]