Ball, Forna, Frazier, Mayes, & Nesbø | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Mar./Apr. 2018

Ball, Jesse. Census. Ecco. Mar. 2018. 272p. ISBN 9780062676139. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062676153. LITERARY A Granta Best of Young American Novelists, NYPL Young Lion, and Plimpton Prize winner whose A Cure for Suicide was long-listed for the National Book Award, Ball gets a chance to break out with this affecting story, already getting in-house raves. […]

Winter Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2018

Berenson, Alex. The Deceivers. Putnam. Feb. 2018. 432p. ISBN 9780399176166. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698407534. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER At the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks, a terrorist sting gone intentionally wrong results in puddles of blood. So what’s that got to do with John Wells’s new assignment? That’s for the […]

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 […]

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 […]

From David Abrams to Jenny Zhang | Literary Fiction Previews, Aug. 2017

Abrams, David. Brave Deeds. Black Cat: Grove/Atlantic. Aug. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9780802126863. pap. $16. LITERARY A New York Times Notable Book, Barnes & Noble pick, and finalist for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, Abrams’s Fobbit was among the first—and most sharply satiric—in a long line of fiction by soldier writers of the Middle […]

14 Thrillers from Atkins to Toyne | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2017, Pt. 1

Atkins, Ace. The Fallen. Putnam. Jul. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780399576713. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399576737. lrg. prnt. THRILLER A former army ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan, County Sheriff Quinn Colson suspects that the robbers conducting precision raids on banks in and around his Mississippi base are themselves former rangers. Seventh in an Edgar-nominated series that sells […]

Hot-Button Literary Fiction | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2017, Pt. 1

Atogun, Odafe. Taduno’s Song. Pantheon. Mar. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9781101871454. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871461. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/CULTURAL HERITAGE When Nigerian musician Taduno returns home from exile, he finds himself unrecognized in an unrecognizable land and learns that his girlfriend has been abducted by government agents. He faces a tough choice: to battle the powers […]

17 Key Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 4

Billingham, Mark. Rush of Blood. Atlantic Monthly. Feb. 2017. 480p. ISBN 9780802125910. $25. THRILLER Never before available here in a standard print edition despite its 2012 publication in the UK, this thriller is Billingham’s only novel set partly in America—Florida, to be specific, where the author has a home. Three British couples bond when they […]

Award-Worthy Fiction | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

Danielewski, Mark Z. The Familiar. Vol. 4: Hades. Pantheon. Feb. 2017. 880p. ISBN 9780375715006. pap. $26.95. LITERARY/FANTASY One Rainy Day in May, the first volume of National Book Award finalist Danielewski’s magnum opus, The Familiar, was published in 2015 and quickly hit the New York Times best sellers list, rising to No. 5. The entire […]

Essential Literary Fiction | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2017, Pt. 3

Appelfeld, Aharon. The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping. Schocken. Jan. 2017. 272p. ISBN 9780805243192. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780805243208. LITERARY In this new work from celebrated Israeli author Appelfeld (winner of two National Jewish Book Awards), a young Holocaust survivor barely recalls his journey from Europe to Palestine, where he now works on a kibbutz. But […]