Bill Clegg, Richard Dawkins, Jonathan Franzen, Elizabeth Gilbert, Erica Jong | Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2015, Pt. 1


Clegg, Bill. Did You Ever Have a Family. Scout: Gallery. Sept. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781476798172. $26. LITERARY FICTION Clegg is a leading literary agent and the author of two well-regarded memoirs, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man and Ninety Days, which detail how he fell into crack addiction and stays sober now. So […]

Patrick deWitt, Lori Ostlund, Edward St. Aubyn, & More Award-Winning Writers | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 1


deWitt, Patrick. Undermajordomo Minor. Ecco. Sept. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062281203. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062281234. LITERARY FICTION If you liked DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers, an edgily funny remake of the classic Western that was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, you’ll probably like his new work, too. Weak and hapless Lucien (Lucy) Minor feels like a […]

Bukowski, Dylan, von Furstenberg, Robots, & the New American Generation | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 2


Bukowski, Charles. On Writing. Ecco. Jul. 2015. 112p. ISBN 9780062396006. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062395986.LITERATURE/LETTERS The great cultural iconoclast Bukowski hasn’t been with us for two decades, but you can still hire him on as a writing teacher by reading this collection of his correspondence with publishers, editors, friends, and fellow writers. Lots of insights into […]

Dean Bakopoulos, Vendela Vida, & Nine More Authors You Must Read | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2015, Pt. 3


Bakopoulos, Dean. Summerlong. Ecco. Jun. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062321169. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062321183. LITERARY In Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon, Bakopoulos’s wondrous debut and a New York Times Notable Book, women and children are left scrambling after the men start disappearing from a blue-collar neighborhood. In this third novel (after My American Unhappiness), […]

The Bill of Rights, Waterloo, & Yoga Queen Indra Devi | History & Biography Previews, May 2015, Pt. 3


Berkin, Carol. The Bill of Rights: James Madison and the Politics of the People’s Parchment Barrier. S. & S. May 2015. 272p. ISBN 9781476743790. $27.50. HISTORY We regard the Bill of Rights as the crowning achievement of the Constitution and indeed central to our definition as Americans, so it’s sobering to learn from Berkin, Presidential […]

Chess at Auschwitz, Balkans War, & Friendship Via Wikipedia | Eleven Big Fiction Debuts, May 2015, Pt.


Acampora, Lauren. The Wonder Garden. Grove. May 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780802123558. $24. SHORT STORIES A real estate agent contemplates yet another tackily enlarged house. A group of suburban women gather to reveal themselves briefly to one another and condescend to the rest of the world. A father-to-be abandons a successful career at the urging of […]

David Baldacci, Larry Kramer, Steven Millhauser, Mary Morris, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2015, Pt. 3


Baldacci, David. Memory Man. Grand Central. Apr. 2015. 432p. ISBN 9781455559824. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781455586387. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455559794. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Important bulletin to all your thriller fans: mega-best-selling author Baldacci hits a milestone with his 30th adult novel and he launches a new series. His hero is Amos Decker, who has hyperthymesia—no, […]

ISIS: The State of Terror, plus T.C. Boyle, Abigail Thomas, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2015, Pt. 3


Stern, Jessica & J.M. Berger. Isis: The State of Terror. Ecco. Jan. 2015. NAp. ISBN 9780062395542. $25.99. CURRENT EVENTS Our head-on engagement with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) requires some fast and furious background reading, and here it is: Ecco has just announced that on January 27, 2015, it will release a […]

From Barney Frank to William Wellman | Biography/Memoir Previews, Mar. 2015, Pt. 3


Frank, Barney. Frank. Farrar. Mar. 2015. 400p. ISBN 9780374280307. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780374711429. CD: Macmillan Audio. BIOGRAPHY Frank has some pretty impressive credentials—as a Democrat, he represented the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts for nearly five decades and chaired the House Financial Services Committee from 2007 to 2013—and one impressive first: he was the first […]

Ten Big Breakout Authors | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 3


Bradford, Arthur. Turtleface and Beyond: Stories. Farrar. Feb. 2015. 208p. ISBN 9780802123190. $25; ebk.ISBN 9780374712846. SHORT STORIES An O. Henry Award–winning writer and Emmy-nominated filmmaker whose work has appeared in places like Esquire and McSweeny’s, Bradford has good connections that are making this book buzz. The stories are funny in a dark and wicked sort […]