Fiction Previews, Dec. 2013, Pt. 2: Robards, Wagner, First Novelist Baxter, & More

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Andersen, Laura. The Boleyn Deceit. Ballantine. Dec. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780345534118. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345534125. HISTORICAL Andersen recently launched a Tudor trilogy with The Boleyn King, which imagines that Anne Boleyn gave birth to a lusty baby boy who would become king of England. Here, Henry IX, called William by intimates, has passed through […]

Fiction Previews, December 2013, Pt. 1: Big Commercial Fiction from Connelly to Weldon

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Connelly, Michael. The Gods of Guilt. Little, Brown. Dec. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780316069519. $28. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Defense attorney Mickey Haller is back with a new case—the murder of a prostitute whom he thought he had saved from a life on the streets. Now he learns that he may have instead endangered her and […]

Nonfiction Previews, December 2013, Pt. 1: Six Books for Improved Fitness

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American Heart Association. American Heart Association Go Red for Women Cookbook. Clarkson Potter. Dec. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780385346214. $22.50; ebk. ISBN 9780385346221. COOKBOOK The American Heart Association (AHA) celebrates the tenth anniversary of its Go Red for Women campaign, aimed at improving women’s health, with a cookbook featuring 200 easy-on-time, easy-on-the-heart recipes for everything from […]

Fiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 2: Top Commercial Fiction, Including Christmas Stories from Andrews, Macomber, & Thayer

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Andrews, Mary Kay. Christmas Bliss. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9781250019721. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250019738. CD: Macmillan Audio. CHRISTMAS FICTION New York Times best-selling author Andrews draws characters from her three popular Savannah novels—Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, and Blue Christmas—to craft a blissful Christmas novella. As the holidays loom, so does antiques dealer Weezie […]

Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, the Last Roundup; from Terry McMillan to Debut Novelists Allen, Crawford, Daly, & More

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Allen, Lisa Van. The Wishing Thread. Ballantine. Sept. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780345538550. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345537829. WOMEN’S FICTION Owners of the Stitchery Yarn Shop in Tarrytown, NY, the Van Ripper women can reputedly grant wishes by stitching them into their knitted goods. But the Stitchery’s matriarch has just died, leaving a will that could […]

Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2013, Pt. 3: Barnes, Carroll, Coetzee, Ford, George, Harding, Hastings, Kennedy, Lahiri

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Barnes, Julian. Levels of Life. Knopf. Sept. 2013. 144p. ISBN 9780385350778. $22.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385350785. MEMOIR Not a conventional memoir—did you really expect something so mundane from the multi-award-winning author of Flaubert’s Parrot and The Sense of an Ending?—this book aims to “put together two things that have not been put together before, and the […]

Fiction Previews, Feb. 2013, Pt. 2: Top Commercial Fiction from Cain, Garwood, and More

THE LAST ALIBI

Billingham, Mark. The Dying Hours. Mysterious Pr: Grove Atlantic. Aug. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780802121486. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780802193285. THRILLER Tom Thorne, no longer a detective but back in uniform owing to his headstrong ways, doubts that several deaths among London’s elderly are suicides, as they have been classified. As he investigates, he must go it […]

Fiction Previews, Jul. 2013, Pt. 4: Susan Choi, Matt Haig, Karin Slaughter, & More

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Adler, Elizabeth. Please Don’t Tell. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781250019899. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250019905. WOMEN’S FICTION One stormy night on the California coast, elegant 58-year-old Fenny Dexter opens her door to a blood-soaked man claiming to have been in an accident. He departs after a cozy night (they feel a spark), and […]

Goodbye 2012: Terrific Story Collections and Small-Press Bests

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So many eye-popping short story collections, so many revelatory small-press literary novels, and such little space on those end-of-the-year Best lists. Fortunately, I have a venue for featuring Best Indie Novels and Best Stories Collections of 2012, which you’ll find presented below. In addition, since I get far too much good material throughout the year […]

Fiction Previews, Jun. 2013, Pt. 1: Great Beach Reads from Andrews, Hilderbranch, Weisberger, and More

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Andrews, Mary Kay. Ladies’ Night. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9781250019677. $25.99. CD: Macmillan. POP FICTION When hot new media star Grace Stanton wreaks revenge on her cheating husband by gear-shifting his nifty little sports car into the swimming pool, she loses everything—McMansion, bank account, and even access to her lifestyle blog. But she […]

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