Prize-Worthy Aboulela, Screen-Worthy Cornwell & Endo, Thatcher’s Continuing Biography, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 4


Aboulela, Leila. The Kindness of Enemies. Grove. Jan. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780802124487. $26. LITERARY FICTION Sudanese-born, Scotland-based, and relentlessly prize-worthy, Aboulela grabbed the Caine Prize for African Writing with a story from the collection Coloured Lights and the Scottish Book Award for her most recent novel, Lyrics Alley; that novel and her two others, The […]

McLain’s Circling the Sun Soars | RA Crossroads


Welcome to RA Crossroads, where books, movies, music, and other media converge, and whole-collection readers’ advisory (RA) service goes where it may. In this column, Beryl Markham leads me down a winding path.

Benjamin Black, Mark Bowden, Janice Lee, & an Afghan Romeo and Juliet | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2016, Pt. 3


Black, Benjamin. Even the Dead: A Quirke Novel. Holt. Jan. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781627790666. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781627790673. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY In this seventh in a series from Black, the alter ego of Man Booker Prize winner John Banville, Dublin-based pathologist Quirke gets quite a workout. Even as he’s worried that the blackouts and […]

From the Armenian Genocide to the Holocaust to the Dadaab Refugee Camp | History Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 3


Loridan-Ivens, Marceline. But You Did Not Come Back. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2016. 112p. ISBN 978080212450. $22. HISTORY When she was only 15, Loridan-Ivens was sent by the Vichy militia to the Drancy transit camp with her father, who told her that he would not survive the ordeal they were about to face. In fact, he  […]

Elizabeth Gilbert, Mary Karr, & Chrissie Hynde | Audio in Advance September 2015 | Nonfiction


Armstrong, Karen. St. Paul: The Apostle We Love To Hate. Brilliance. ISBN 9781501247804. Reader TBA. St. Paul is known throughout the world as the first Christian writer, authoring 14 of the 27 books in the New Testament. But as Armstrong (Fields of Blood) demonstrates, he also exerted a more significant influence on the spread of Christianity throughout the […]

Memoirs from Mindy Kaling, Ruth Reichl, & the Bloggess | Audio in Advance September 2015 | Stephanie’s Picks


Hirshman, Linda. Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World. Blackstone. ISBN 9781504648806. Reader TBA. The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, Western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl—transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by […]

Inspiration for Entrepreneurs, North Korea Memoir, plus Le Guin and Karr on Writing, Pro Media, & More | Social Sciences Reviews, July 2015


Potential entrepreneurs will find stories From the Other Side encouraging; an emotional and engrossing memoir from Jang; Karr instructs and inspires through example; Le Guin offers a must-read for writers of fiction

Middle East Fighting and U.S. Government Blues | Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 1


Chase, Simon & Ralph Pezzullo. Zero Footprint: Leave No Trace, Take No Prisoners: The True Story of a Private Military Contractor in Syria, Libya, And the World’s Most Dangerous Places. Muholland: Little, Brown. Jan. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780316342247. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316342223. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316342230. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORY/MILITARY/IRAQ Private military contractor Chase carries […]

Gertrude Bell of Arabia, Richard III, Tahrir Square 2011, Gaming Theory, Pro Media, & More | Social Sciences Reviews, June 15, 2015


Excerpts from Bell’s more than 16,000 letters and eight books; a series of daring personal essays on the current state of video game culture and the industry it came from; Patience & Fortitude at the New York Public Library

Five Essential Historical Titles | Nonfiction Previews, Dec. 2015, Pt. 2


Crowley, Roger. Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire. Random. Dec. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9780812994001. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780812994018. HISTORY Crowley spent some of his childhood in Malta, hung around Greece the summer after finishing school, and taught in Istanbul after reading English at Cambridge, and his enduring interest in the history of the […]