Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 4: English History, World War I, World War II, and a Thatcher Biography

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Ackroyd, Peter. Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I. Thomas Dunne Bks: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 512p. ISBN 9781250003621. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781250037596. HISTORY Ackroyd, who is responsible for books like London: The Biography, offers the second in his “History of England” series. His skills as a novelist will doubtless come […]

Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2013, the Last Roundup: From Mary Beard to Eileen Rockefeller

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Beard, Mary. Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations. Liveright: Norton. Sept. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780871407160. $28.95. HISTORY Described by the New York Times as “the closest thing, if it exists, to a celebrity classics professor” in a story about her having stood up to some naysayers who abused her on the Internet, Cambridge scholar […]

Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2013, Pt. 4: Atwood, Berg, Brook, Gurganus, Lethem, Rush, Shacochis, Vann

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Atwood, Margaret. Maddaddam. Doubleday. Sept. 2013. 416. ISBN 9780385528788. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385537834. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. DYSTOPIAN FICTION In this wrap-up to the magisterial trilogy begun with Oryx & Crake and continued with The Year of the Flood, the waterless flood has indeed descended, wiping out most of humanity. Ren and Toby have rescued poor […]

Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, Pt. 4: Four Commercial Blockbusters from Brown, Gruber, Lindsay, & Sparks

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Brown, Sandra. Deadline. Grand Central. Sept. 2013. 300p. ISBN 9781455501519. $28. CD: Hachette Audio. SUSPENSE War-weary journalist Dawson Scott needs the distraction of the case dropped into his lap by an FBI contact; former U.S. Marine Jeremy Wesson, son of terrorists who have been on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for decades, is missing and […]

Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2013, Pt. 4: Bass, Bohjalian, Dunant, Housh, Mankell, Rakoff, Sapienza

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Bass, Rick. All the Land to Hold Us. Houghton Harcourt. Jul. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780547687124. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780547687438. LITERARY FICTION It’s not surprising that exemplary nature writer Bass’s fourth novel, set in Texas, features salt miners and oil and gas wildcatters. But you’ll also meet Baptists, high school football players, a local beauty, a […]

Fiction Previews, Jul. 2013, Pt. 4: Susan Choi, Matt Haig, Karin Slaughter, & More

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Adler, Elizabeth. Please Don’t Tell. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781250019899. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250019905. WOMEN’S FICTION One stormy night on the California coast, elegant 58-year-old Fenny Dexter opens her door to a blood-soaked man claiming to have been in an accident. He departs after a cozy night (they feel a spark), and […]

Fiction Previews, Jun. 2013, Pt. 2: Great Book Club Books from Upcoming Writers

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Brown, Eli. Cinnamon and Gunpowder. Farrar. Jun. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780374123666. $26. HISTORICAL Evocative title, and the plot sounds like a hoot. In 1819, the pirate Mad Hannah Mabbot kills the lord of a booming tea concern but will spare his chef, the famous Owen Wedgwood, as long as he manages to serve her an […]

Final April 2013 Previews: Rees on Hitler, Meyer on the Borgias, and Best Poetry of 25 Years

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Barnett, Kristine. The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius. Random. Apr. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780812993370. $27; eISBN 9780679645245. CD/Downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR At age 12, Jacob Barnett became a paid researcher in quantum physics, and his IQ is higher than Einstein’s was. But as a distracted toddler, he was diagnosed with autism, and Jacob’s […]

Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2013, Pt. 2: Thirteen Key Memoirs, from “Astor Orphan” Aldrich to Poet Wiman

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Aldrich, Alexandra. The Astor Orphan: A Memoir. Ecco: HarperCollins. Apr. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780062207937. $24.99; eISBN 9780062207968. lrg prnt. MEMOIR The name Astor conjures up the glorious Gilded Age, but by the time Aldrich came along, the Astors were a pretty tarnished bunch. Aldrich lived with her family in the servants’ quarters of Rokeby, the […]

Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2013, Pt. 1: Post-Election Wake-Up Calls from Barbara Garson, Vali Nasr, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and More

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Bagli, Charles V. Other People’s Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made. Dutton. Apr. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780525952657. $27.95. BUSINESS/REAL ESTATE In 2006, real estate behemoth Tishman Speyer and its partner, BlackRock, bought Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, a middle-class housing complex on New York’s […]

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