David Brion Davis, Glen Duncan, Anna Quindlen, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4

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Allen, Jonathan & Amie Parnes. HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton. Crown. Feb. 2014. 350p. ISBN 9780804136754. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780804136761. CD: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY/POLITICAL “Will Hillary run again?” There’s the hot question among anyone who cares about U.S. politics. Written by two authors intimately familiar with the political process—Allen is the […]

History from Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte to Kennan’s Diaries | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2014, Pt. 3

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Berkin, Carol. Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte. Knopf. Feb. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780307592781. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385351621. BIOGRAPHY How many readers know that Napoleon’s youngest brother, Jerome, married a Baltimore beauty named Elizabeth Patterson, which so angered Napoleon that he insisted Jerome renounce her or lose all his powers? As […]

Q&A: Brian Jay Jones, Author of Jim Henson: The Biography

Brian Jay Jones

Brian Jay Jones (Washington Irving: An American Original) has written a defining biography on the life of Muppets creator Jim Henson. Jones answered a few questions about working on this stellar book.

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 […]

Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: History from the Tudors to Ariel Sharon

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Chappell, David L. Waking from the Dream: The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr. Random. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781400065462. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780812994667. SOCIAL SCIENCE/AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, this revisionist work has […]

Barbara’s Picks, Dec. 2013, Pt. 2: Data Mining, Gold, Suspense, Fiction in Translation, & a Big Debut Novel

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Aiden, Erez & Jean-Baptiste Michel. Uncharted: Big Data and an Emerging Science of Human History. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). Dec. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9781594487453. $27.95. SCIENCE/HISTORY Harvard Society Fellow Aiden and Harvard University scientist Michel, a 2012 TED Fellow recently named one of Forbes’s “30 under 30,” here address a hot (indeed, controversial) topic: mining […]

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 […]

Nonfiction, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: A Dozen Arts Titles, from Mozart to Norman Rockwell to the Spider-man Musical

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Berger, Glen. The Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History. S. & S. Nov. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781451684568. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781451684582. MUSICALS Chosen by Julie Taymor to collaborate on the book of the Spider-man musical, Emmy Award–winning television and theater writer Berger saw the entire musical unfold […]

Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 2: Jung Chang, Nora Ephron, Wil S. Hylton, Richard Kurin, Ann Patchett, Claudia Roth Pierpont

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Chang, Jung. Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China. Knopf. Nov. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780307271600. $30. BIOGRAPHY First a Red Guard, then the recipient of a doctoral degree in linguistics from England’s Bristol University, then the hugely best-selling author of Wild Swans and Mao, Jung Chang has a remarkable life story. And the […]

Nonfiction Previews, Nov. 2013, Pt. 2: History & Biography, from Red Cloud to JFK to the Warsaw Uprising

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Davis, Wes. The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War To Rescue Crete from the Nazis. Crown. Nov. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780307460134. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780307460158. HISTORY History both crucial and swashbuckling: an odd bunch of British intelligence officers (involved because they made “the obsolete choice of Greek at school”) joined with Cretan resistance fighters and an […]

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