Fiction Previews, Jul. 2014, Pt. 1: Top-Selling Thrillers & SF from Jeff Abbott to Stuart Woods

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Abbott, Jeff. Inside Man. Grand Central. Jul. 2014. 480p. ISBN 9781455528455. $26. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Why would Sam Capra infiltrate one of the most dangerous families in Miami? To find out who killed his best friend. Lots of web marketing for this three-time nominee for the Edgar award. Atkins, Ace. The Forsaken. Putnam. Jul. […]

Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2014, Pt. 2: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Alan Furst, Sue Miller, & More

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Betts, Dwayne. The Circumference of a Prison: Youth, Race, and the Failures of the American Justice System. Avery. Jun. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781583334751. $27. LAW A distinguished poet, Yale law student, and NAACP Image award winner, Betts received a Soros Justice Fellowship to support the writing of this book, which addresses the inequities of a […]

Leon & Shipstead in Fiction, Caldwell & Ehrenreich in Nonfiction | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Caldwell, Gail. New Life, No Instructions: A Memoir. Random. Apr. 2014. 176p. ISBN 9781400069545. $22; ebk. ISBN 9780679604426. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR Highly regarded when she served as chief book critic for the Boston Globe—she won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism—Caldwell has since made her mark with the thoughtful and beautifully wrought memoirs Let’s Take […]

Mystery from Crombie, History from Dunmore, & a Steinbeck Anniversary Edition | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Crombie, Deborah. To Dwell in Darkness. Morrow. Apr. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780062271600. $25.99. lrg. prnt. MYSTERY In the latest Duncan Kincaid–Gemma James outing, Duncan is investigating a lethal bombing in famed St. Pancras Station after having just been transferred to the London borough of Camden from Scotland Yard headquarters. Gemma’s assistant saw it all, but […]

Maeve Binchy, Lydia Davis, Julia Glass, Mo Hayder, Laura Kasischke | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 3

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Binchy, Maeve. Chestnut Street. Knopf. Apr. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780385351850. $26.95. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. POP FICTION Following Binchy’s untimely death in July 2012, this set of previously unpublished linked short stories will warm the hearts of fans everywhere. Binchy wrote these pieces intermittently while producing her big novels and Irish Times columns, hoping someday to […]

Fiction Thrills, Including One-Day Laydowns from Barr, Rollins/Blackwood, & Scottoline | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 3

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Alpert, Mark. The Furies. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781250021359. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250022776. THRILLER A thriller with a fantasy twist from Scientific American contributing editor Alpert. Witches really do dwell among us, owing to a rare genetic flip-flop, something John Rogers learns too well when he’s yanked into the midst of war between […]

Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Humor, Memoir, Sports, & More

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Barry, Dave. You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About. Putnam. Jan. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780399165948. $26.95. CD: Penguin Audio. HUMOR Pulitzer Prize winner Barry is always funny, and here he is being funny about the trials of parenthood, including having to accompany his […]

Fiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 4: 12 Crucial Titles, from Hot International Fiction (Drndic, Yu Hua) to Works by American Prize Winners (Greenway, Martin) to Upscale Thrillers (Billingham, Dolan)

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  Billingham, Mark. From the Dead. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780802122131. $25. THRILLER A top-selling UK crime writer (and, surprisingly, a former stand-up comic who proved how funny he can still be at Grove Atlantic’s ALA dinner), Billingham is making a name for himself here—with the help of his publisher, which has signed […]

Nonfiction Previews, Dec. 2013, Pt. 2: Sports Stars, Classical Music, & Anxiety

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  Bradlee, Ben, Jr. The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams. Little, Brown. Dec. 2013. 784p. ISBN 9780316614351. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780316084482; lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316163712. CD: Hachette Audio. BIOGRAPHY/SPORTS On leave from 25 distinguished years as a reporter and then deputy managing editor at the Boston Globe, Bradlee gives us a biography of […]

Barbara’s Picks, December 2013, Pt. 1: Diana Gabaldon, Mireille Guiliano, Jim Harrison, & Donna Leon

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Gabaldon, Diana. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. Delacorte. Dec. 2013. 1008p. ISBN 9780385344432. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780440246442. TIME TRAVEL In the latest in Gabaldon’s relentlessly seductive series, readers get to time-travel to revolutionary Philadelphia, where Jamie Fraser joins wife Claire Randall as the redcoats march into town—a doubtless unnerving sight for our Scottish hero. […]

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