LJ Fiction Reviews: February 15, 2016

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Drake’s gripping domestic thriller, Chevalier’s memorable portrait of American pioneers, award-winning debuter Miské, exceptional military romance from Buchman, Valentine’s Day picks, urban fantasy makes a comeback, sf steams up

Nobel Prize Winner Alexievich, Man Booker Prize Winner Barnes, Singing Black Holes, & More | Last-Minute Spring/Summer Titles

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Alexievich, Svetlana. Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets. Random. May 2016. 560p. ISBN 9780399588808. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780399588815. Downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY/FORMER SOVIET UNION Alexievich here offers remarkable oral history—precisely what made her only the second nonfiction writer (after Winston Churchill) to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She draws on the voices of […]

Nadia Hashimi, Ann Hood, Tom Wolfe, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2016, Pt. 2

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Agee, Jonis. The Bones of Paradise. Morrow. Aug. 2016. 432p. ISBN 9780062413475. $25.99. LITERARY FICTION Ten years after the tragedy at Wounded Knee, where the 7th Calvary slaughtered more than 200 Lakota men, women, and children, white rancher J.B. Bennett and young Native American Star are found murdered on a remote stretch of Bennett’s land. […]

Pop Fiction from Multi-Award-Winner China Miéville to Mega–Best Seller Susan Wiggs| Fiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 2

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–Grant, Mira. Chimera. Orbit: Hachette. Aug. 2016. 496p. ISBN 9780316381000. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316381017; lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316380997. CD/downloadable. Hachette Audio. SF Ew, creepy. In the Hugo-nominated, best-selling Grant’s “Parasitology” trilogy, people become violent sleepwalkers as implanted tapeworms make them run amok. This wrap-up finds heroine Sal and her family contending with the wormy […]

Famous Fossils, Parenting Issues, & the Microbes Within | Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 2

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Gopnik, Alison. The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children. Farrar. Aug. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780374229702. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781429944335. PSYCHOLOGY A professor of psychology and an affiliate professor of philosophy at Berkeley, Gopnik argues that while caring for children is clearly […]

Read-In: African American History Month | Wyatt’s World

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This month, libraries, bookstores, schools, churches, civic groups, and individuals are conducting read-ins to celebrate African American authors. Consider this a virtual invitation to do the same.

A Literary Love Affair: SELF-e Romances | SELF-esteem

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In the afterglow of Valentine’s Day, strive to keep the love alive by carving out a bit of time to share with fictional romantics. Whether you like your courtships with a dash of magic, a historical backdrop, or a contemporary feel, there’s something here for every hopeful heart. All of these stories, and many others, […]

Sage’s Business Researcher | Reference eReviews, February 1, 2016

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Business Researcher is solid overall; however, the searching functionality needs improvement.

Sixties Taiwan, Game of Thrones, The Manchurian Candidate, & More | Trailers: What’s Coming on DVD/Blu-ray, February 1, 2016

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A treatise on the Sixties, Taiwan-style; a man seeks his stolen bicycle; more of Game of Thrones; a Manchurian Candidate viewers never saw coming; BFFs Collette and Barrymore on life; a chronicle of Leon Russell; teen girls find love and encouragement

Kino Goes Classic | LJ Reviews

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Remastered in high-definition, these recommended “KL Studio Classics” greatly improve on prior disc editions.

Collecting Classical | Music Matters, February 1, 2016

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There is an audience out there for classical music, but the excessive number of choices can make buying for the collection daunting. Ultimately, have some fun with your choices. Take some risks. It’s music that’s meant to be explored, discovered, and enjoyed.

Looking Ahead | Games, Gamers, & Gaming, February 15, 2016

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More than any other entertainment industry, games and gaming evolve so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up with innovations. The only way to be aware of what’s fresh and new is to keep an eye on the horizon.

Q&A: Angela Quarles | SELF-e

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In Steam Me Up, Rawley, the first book in her “Mint Julep and Monocle Chronicles” series, Angela Quarles combines steampunk and romance to create an alternate Deep South. Here the author discusses the story’s unique setting, her choice to self-publish, and personal sf favorites. This title is a 2015 LJ Self-Published Ebook Award winner and currently available to […]

Speaking with Ruta Sepetys

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  On January 30, 1945, while evacuating military personnel, German civilians, and refugees from across Europe, the German military transport ship Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk by a Soviet submarine in the Baltic’s frigid waters, resulting in the greatest tragedy in maritime history. Because of a Nazi hush-up, the Soviet captain’s dishonorable discharge, and postwar German […]

Jay McInerney, Eowyn Ivey, Jesmyn Ward, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1

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Donohoe, Kathleen. Ashes of Fiery Weather. Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780544464056. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780544526693. LITERARY FICTION Ranging across six generations, from famine-stalked Ireland to post–9/11 New York, Donohoe’s ambitious debut offers portraits of women in the Keegan/O’Reilly clan, bound together by fire and ash. For a family of firefighters, life is fraught […]

Irish Stars, New York Landscapes, & Colorado Chills | Debut Fiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1

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Leo, Forrest. The Gentleman. Penguin Pr. Aug. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780399562631. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399562648. LITERARY Victorian poet Lionel Savage marries lovely Vivien Lancaster for her money and, in a fit of despondency over his sudden inability to write, accidentally conjures up the Devil, with whom he politely discusses literature. Later, when he realizes that […]

A Celebrity Friendship, a Musician as Healer, & More | Biography/Memoir Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1

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Achon, Julius & John Brant. The Boy Who Runs: The Odyssey of Julius Achon. Ballantine. Aug. 2016. 272p. ISBN 9780553392159. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780553392166. Downloadable: Random Audio.  BIOGRAPHY Born into poverty in Uganda, Achon was forced into the horrific Lord’s Resistance Army at age 12 but escaped to become a gifted local runner. He was […]

Wonderful Returns: Five Novels by Beloved Authors | Wyatt’s World

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If discovering a new author is a pleasure in part because of the promise of many books to come, a new work by a beloved writer whom one has followed for years is equal cause for celebration. Here are five new titles by writers readers likely know well.

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Chaplin, Ikiru, Two from Améris, plus the Quay Brothers | Fast Scans, February 15, 2016

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Century-old testaments to the movie legend Chaplin; a humanist classic that belongs in most foreign-film collections; Marie’s Story and Stations of the Cross, both discretely affecting; 15 oddly surreal films