History (David O. Stewart), Politics (David Axelrod), Self-Help (Ron Lieber), & More | Social Science Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 4

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Axelrod, David. Believer: My Forty Years in Politics. Penguin Pr. Feb. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9781594205873. $29.95. CD: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR After eight years as a reporter and columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Axelrod switched lanes to become a political consultant, strategizing for over 150 local, state, and national campaigns. His clients have included Barack Obama, […]

A Guantánamo Diary, plus Pierce Brown, Miranda July, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 1

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Brown, Pierce. Golden Son. (Red Rising Trilogy, Bk. 2). Del Rey. Jan. 2015. 448p. ISBN 9780345539816. $25; ISBN 9780345539823. SF In Brown’s debut, Red Rising, a rigidly hierarchical society on Mars keeps Reds slaving beneath the soil under the pretense that they are building for a future the dominant Golds already enjoy. But a Red […]

Makos on Korean War Heroism, Moynahan on the Siege of Leningrad, Panetta on Government, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Prepub Alert, Oct. 2014, Pt. 5

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Kaplan, Eric. Does Santa Exist?: A Philosophical Investigation. Dutton. Oct. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780525954392. $20. PHILOSOPHY Candidate for a PhD in philosophy at Berkeley, as well as co-executive producer of and writer for the hit TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory, Kaplan has the tools to make accessible some big philosophical questions: how are our […]

John Grisham, Joseph Kanon, Val McDermid, Chuck Palahniuk, Jodi Picoult | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 3

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Grisham, John. Untitled Thriller. Doubleday. Oct. 2014. NAp. ISBN 9780385537148. $28.95 CD: Random  Audio. SUSPENSE After Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, so did a number of related law firms and businesses. Here, third-year law associate Samantha Kofer loses her job at the big Manhattan firm Scully & Pershing—and with it goes all her dreams. She […]

Pop Fiction by 24 Best-Selling Authors from Tasha Alexander to Stuart Woods | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2014, Pt. 3

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Alexander, Tasha. The Counterfeit Heiress: A Lady Emily Mystery. Minotaur. Oct. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781250024695. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250024688. CD: Macmillan Audio. SUSPENSE Appropriately, this latest in the New York Times best-selling series starring Lady Emily opens with a murder at a lavish masquerade ball, for the victim is not who she seems to be, […]

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 […]

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