Joe Gould’s Teeth by Jill Lepore | LJ Review

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Lepore (The Secret History of Wonder Woman) tells the story of Joe Gould (1889–1957), a curious footnote of the American modernist literary movement, who long claimed to be working on a nine-million-word text, The Oral History of Our Time.

T.C. Boyle, Ha Jin, & the Conclusion of a Big Biography on Eleanor Roosevelt | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2016, Pt. 1

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Boyle, T.C. The Terranauts. Ecco. Oct. 2016. 528p. ISBN 9780062349408. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062349460. LITERARY FICTION Winner of the Robert Kirsch Award for his entire oeuvre at last year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Boyle returns quickly after the New York Times best-selling The Harder They Come. In this eco-relevant work, set in 1994, […]

From J.M.W. Turner to Al Capone | Biography Previews, Oct. 2016, Pt. 1

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Ackroyd, Peter. Alfred Hitchcock. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Oct. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780385537414. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385537421. Downloadable: Random Audio BIOGRAPHY An award winner in both fiction and nonfiction (e.g., he claims the Whitbread Book Award for Biography), Ackroyd here explains how a fearful, chubby little boy became the masterly and iconic director Alfred Hitchcock. […]

Kill ‘Em and Leave by James McBride | LJ Review

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Accounts of James Brown’s life (1933–2006) have been told many times, in many versions. He has been represented and misrepresented. Yet, there is always room for more. Memoirist (The Color of Water) and novelist (The Good Lord Bird) McBride deftly includes his own life experiences, while digging deep into sources and places that surrounded the Godfather of Soul.

Shirley Jackson, 9/11 Hero Welles Crowther, John le Carré, Riad Sattouf, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2016, Pt. 4

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Bergner, Daniel. Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family. Lee Boudreaux: Little, Brown. Sept. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780316300674. $28. BIOGRAPHY Growing up in low-income housing in Virginia, Ryan Speedo Green was placed in a special classroom for unmanageable children and by age 12 was in juvenile detention after threatening to kill […]

FDR’s Last Months, African American Women Mathematicians, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2016, Pt. 3

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Lelyveld, Joseph. His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt. Knopf. Sept. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780385350792. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385350808. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY A former executive editor of the New York Times and author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Move Your Shadow, Lelyveld doesn’t give us overarching biography but an incisive slice of life […]

Pearl Harbor, Stalin’s Last American Spy, & More | History Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 3

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Clark, Lloyd. Blitzkrieg: Myth, Reality, and Hitler’s Lightning War: France 1940. Atlantic Monthly. Sept. 2016. 384p. ISBN 978-0802125132. $27. HISTORY British historian Clark (The Battle of the Tanks: Kursk, 1943) examines the German army’s swift toppling of France and the Low Countries in spring 1940, arguing that it was not inevitable—the Germans needed the element […]

Eddie Huang, Lindy West, & Russell Banks | May 2016 Audio in Advance | Nonfiction

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Nonfiction audiobooks coming in May 2016

James McBride’s Quest for the Real James Brown | Audio in Advance April 2016 | Nonfiction

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Ackerman, Jennifer. The Genius of Birds. HighBridge. ISBN 9781681681283. Reader TBA. Traveling around the world to the most cutting-edge frontiers of research―the distant laboratories of Barbados and New Caledonia, the bowerbird habitats of Australia, the ravaged mid-Atlantic coast after Hurricane Sandy and the warming mountains of central Virginia and the western states―Ackerman not only tells […]

A Celebrity Friendship, a Musician as Healer, & More | Biography/Memoir Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1

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Achon, Julius & John Brant. The Boy Who Runs: The Odyssey of Julius Achon. Ballantine. Aug. 2016. 272p. ISBN 9780553392159. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780553392166. Downloadable: Random Audio.  BIOGRAPHY Born into poverty in Uganda, Achon was forced into the horrific Lord’s Resistance Army at age 12 but escaped to become a gifted local runner. He was […]