Eco, Erdrich, Khizr Khan, Kevin Young, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2017

Eco, Umberto. Chronicles of a Liquid Society. Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2017. tr. from Italian by Richard Dixon. 272p. ISBN 9780544974487. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780544974579. PHILOSOPHY/ESSAYS Novelist, essayist, literary critic, philosopher, and semiotician nonpareil (see his star turn in Laurent Binet’s sensational The Seventh Function of Language, which supposes that Roland Barthes was murdered), Eco began […]

Politics, Art, & Grief | Memoir Previews, Aug./Sept. 2017

Ausiello, Michael. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies; A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words. Atria. Sept. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781501134968. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501134982. MEMOIR A longtime entertainment journalist, now founder and editor in chief of TVLine.com, Ausiello knows how to write. But here he’s set himself a tough task: discussing what happened […]

Last of the April 2017 Nonfiction | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

Drezner, Daniel. The Ideas Industry. Oxford Univ. Apr. 2017. 344p. ISBN 9780190264604. $27.95. SOCIAL SCIENCE Professor of International Politics at Tufts University and author of such books as The System Worked, Drezner examines the uncomfortable evolution of the public intellectual, once someone who debated issues in an open forum and now more likely someone with […]

Award-Worthy Fiction | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

Danielewski, Mark Z. The Familiar. Vol. 4: Hades. Pantheon. Feb. 2017. 880p. ISBN 9780375715006. pap. $26.95. LITERARY/FANTASY One Rainy Day in May, the first volume of National Book Award finalist Danielewski’s magnum opus, The Familiar, was published in 2015 and quickly hit the New York Times best sellers list, rising to No. 5. The entire […]

Last of the Christmas Novels 2016 | Fiction Previews, Nov. 2016, Pt. 2

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol: The Original Manuscript Edition. Norton. Nov. 2016. 160p. ISBN 9780393608649. $21.95. FICTION/CLASSICS Each holiday season, Manhattan’s famed Morgan Library & Museum displays one of its most important documents: the original manuscript of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, with corrections, deletions, and insertions all in Dickens’s own hand. Since I can […]

Anguished Daughters & YouTube Stars | Memoir Previews, Oct. 2016, Pt. 4

Anderson, Sulome. The Hostage’s Daughter. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Oct. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780062385499. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062385512. MEMOIR The daughter of Terry Anderson, the AP Middle East bureau chief kidnapped in Beirut and held for more than six years by Shiite Muslims, Anderson recalls life with the father she finally met at age seven, after […]

Literary Glitter from Kleeman, Livesey, Towles, & More | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 3

Altrad, Mohed. Badawi. Black Cat: Grove Atlantic. Sept. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780802125798. pap. $16. LITERARY Drawing on his own life to craft this first novel, Syrian-born French billionaire Altrad relates the story of Maïouf, a Bedouin boy who resists familial pressure to become a shepherd after his mother dies, abandoned and repudiated. Instead, he sneaks […]

Nicholson Baker, Mike Love, Danielle Trussoni, Jennifer Weiner | Essential Memoirs, Sept. 2016, Pt. 1

Baker, Nicholson. Substitute. Blue Rider. Sept. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780399160981. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780399160981. MEMOIR Mention Baker’s name, and folks will likely think first of his daring and deeply descriptive novels, like Vox and House of Holes. But let’s remember that he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction, namely, Double Fold: Libraries […]

Delia Ephron, Laura McHugh, Cynthia Ozick, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2016, Pt. 3

Bennett, Claire-Louise. Pond. Riverhead. Jul. 2016. 208p. ISBN 9780399575891. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399575914. SHORT STORIES Originally published by the Dublin press Stinging Fly, which has given us the likes of Kevin Barry and Colin Barrett, Bennett’s story collection attracted enough attention to get a book deal in Britain, where the Guardian called it “stunning.” This […]

British Royals, American Jihadists, Humanitarian Doctors, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2016, Pt. 3

Andersen, Christopher. Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne. Gallery: S. & S. Apr. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781476743950. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781476743974. BIOGRAPHY/ROYALTY Anderson, the author of 16 New York Times best sellers, including William and Kate and The Day Diana Died, has a way with royalty of all sorts. Here he gives […]