Histories of Paris & World War II, Biographies of Begin & Chavez | Nonfiction Previews, Mar. 2014, Pt. 1

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DeJean, Joan. How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City. Bloomsbury USA. Mar. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781608195916. $28. HISTORY Everyone thinks of Paris as being remade in the 19th century under the direction of Baron Haussmann, but DeJean argues that its real rebirth occurred as it emerged from the medieval past in the […]

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 […]

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