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 […]

Best-Selling Bohjalian, First Novelists Betancourt & Yapa, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2016, Pt. 1


Bales, Kevin. Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World. Spiegel & Grau. Jan. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780812995763. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780812995770. SOCIAL SCIENCE Cofounder and past president of Free the Slaves whose crusading has led to his speaking before organizations from the Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to the […]

Final Summer Sweep: Louis de Bernières, Ernest Cline, & More


This newsletter opens coverage of September titles, before you even have a chance to shimmy into your bathing suit and head to the pool, and it’s the last chance to cite a few big summer titles that have come to my attention late. Note, for instance, Louis de Bernières’s The Dust That Falls from Dreams […]

Quantum Biology, the Neuroscience of Anxiety, & Nobel Prize Winner Wilczek on Beauty | Science Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 4


LeDoux, Joseph. Anxious: Using the Brain To Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety. Viking. Jul. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780670015337. $27.95. PSYCHOLOGY Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science at New York University, where he is a member of the Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology, LeDoux is on the cutting edge in the […]

Five Don’t-Miss Fiction Debuts | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 2


Kirman, Robin. Bradstreet Gate. Crown. Jul. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780804139311. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780804139328. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. PSYCHOLOGICAL Kirman may have a BA in philosophy from Yale College and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University, but she sets her first novel at Harvard, where a senior’s murder profoundly affects Georgia, Charlie, and Alice—three students […]

From Spain’s Golden Age to the Billion-Dollar Spy | History Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 1


Dickey, Christopher. Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South. Crown. Jul. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780307887276. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780307887290. HISTORY As the Civil War commenced, the Confederacy desperately wanted recognition from Great Britain. But that country opposed the slave trade, which the Southern states needed reopened to maintain their economy. […]

Rising Thriller Voices; Terry Hayes, Lori Roy, & More | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2015, Pt. 2


Hayes, Terry. The Year of the Locust: A Thriller. Emily Bestler: Atria. Jun. 2015. 480p. ISBN 9781439177754. $26.95. SUSPENSE Having produced a winner straight out of the gate with last year’s New York Times best-selling I Am Pilgrim, which blended investigation of a scarily clue-free homicide with threats to the United States, Hayes gets techier […]

Hot Book Club Reads for Summer | Fiction Previews, May 2015, Pt. 3


de Rosnay, Tatiana. A Paris Affair. St. Martin’s May 2015. 144p. tr. from French by Sam Taylor. ISBN 9781250068804. $22.99. SHORT STORIES Want a bit of sizzle? This new story collection from the author of the New York Times best-selling Sarah’s Key and, most recently, The Other Story, is reputedly hot, hot, hot. After all, […]

From the Vietnam War to LGBT Rights | History & Current Events Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 2


Blehm, Eric. Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret’s Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines. Crown. Apr. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780804139519. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780804139526. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY/MILITARY In 2012’s Fearless, Blehm chronicled SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown’s moment of supreme sacrifice […]

Ishiguro, Kanon, Larson, Lehane, O’Hagan, Putnam | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2015, Pt. 1


Ishiguro, Kazuo. The Buried Giant. Knopf. Mar. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780307271037. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353229. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY FICTION Discussing a novel in the works during a 2008 interview for the Paris Review, Booker Prize winner Ishiguro explained that while his writing has typically examined how individuals deal with painful memories, “I’d […]