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 POP FICTION Following Binchy’s untimely death in July 2012, this set of previously unpublished linked short stories will warm the hearts of fans everywhere.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. […]

Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, Pt. 6: Crime/Adventure/Mystery/Thriller Titles for the Early Fall

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Brandman, Michael. Robert B. Parker’s Damned If You Do. Putnam. Sept. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780399159503. $26.95. CRIME An award-winning producer who collaborated with Robert B. Parker on the television movie adaptations of Parker’s Spenser titles (for A&E) and Jesse Stone titles (for CBS), three of which featured his original screenplays, Brandman seems like the right […]

Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2013, Pt. 3: Of Hamlet, English Spelling, Italy by Rail, and More

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Chopra, Aneesh. Big Small Smart: How American Government Can Accomplish More with Less Through Open Innovation, Collaboration, and Participation. Atlantic Monthly. Jun. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780802121332. $25. POLITICAL SCIENCE As the federal government’s first chief technology officer, Chopra worked hard to help Americans through online means, bringing in everything from electronic records for veterans to […]

Nonfiction Previews, Mar. 2013, Pt. 3: History from Nellie Bly to the Hatfields and McCoys

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Alexandrov, Vladimir. The Black Russian. Atlantic Monthly. Mar. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780802120694. $25. BIOGRAPHY Several years ago, while preparing a course on Russian émigré culture between the wars, Yale professor Alexandrov ran across a reference to “the famous Russian Negro Fyodor Fyodorovich Tomas,” said to have owned an entertainment establishment in Moscow called Maxim’s. A […]

Fiction Previews, Feb. 2013, Pt. 2: Debut Novels, Including Roger Hobbs’s Frankfurt Hit, Ghostman

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Amin, Manisha Jolie. Dancing to the Flute. Atria: S. & S. Feb. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781451672046. pap. $15. CD/downloadable: S. & S. Audio. POP FICTION Born in Kenya to Indian parents, Amin grew up in Australia listening to her mother spin out Indian folktales as her father played the flute. So you can tell what […]

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