From Don DeLillo to Service Dogs to the Baker & Taylor Cats | Barbara’s Picks, May 2016, Pt. 4


Belfer, Lauren. And After the Fire. Harper. May 2016. 464p. ISBN 9780062428516. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062428547. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION In 1796 Berlin, famed musician Sara Itzig Levy hides an anti-Semitic cantata written by Johann Sebastian Bach and given to her by her teacher, one of Bach’s sons. In 1945 Germany, U.S. soldier Henry Sachs snatches a […]

Banks on Travel, Guy on Elizabeth I, Dickey on Pit Bulls, & More | Nonfiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 4


Banks, Russell. Voyager: Travel Writings. Ecco. May 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780061857676. $25.99. ESSAYS/TRAVELOG A Pulitzer Prize and Carnegie Medal finalist, novelist Banks is also an inveterate traveler. Here he offers a collection of essays arching over decades and continents as he interviews Fidel Castro in Cuba, elopes to Edinburgh with his fourth wife, travels along […]

Cleave, Dyer, Junger, Müller, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2016, Pt. 3


Blumenthal, Sidney. A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1809–1849. S. & S. May 2016. 608p. ISBN 9781476777252. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781476777276. BIOGRAPHY A veteran reporter, former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, and senior adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton, Blumenthal offers the first of a three-volume study of President Abraham […]

From Annie Dillard & Edward O. Wilson to Charlotte Brontë’s Fiery Heart | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Mar. 2015, Pt. 1


Dillard, Annie. The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New. Ecco. Mar. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780062432971. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062433015. ESSAYS On September 10, President Barack Obama awarded Dillard the National Humanities Medal “for her profound reflections on human life and nature,” as the White House citation said. “In poetry and prose, Ms. Dillard has invited […]

Stories and Essays from Stephen King, Michael Cunningham, & Roger Angell | Audio in Advance November 2015 | Stephanie’s Picks


Angell, Roger. This Old Man: All in Pieces. Books on Tape. ISBN 9780399565366. Reader TBA. The only writer elected to membership in both the Baseball Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Angell won the 2015 American Society of Magazine Editors’ Best Essay award for “This Old Man,” which forms a […]

From Politics (Dionne, Dyson, & Frank) to the Israeli-Palestinian Life (Kashua) to Raising a Transgender Child | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 1


Dionne, E.J. Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism—From Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond. S. & S. Feb. 2016. 560p. ISBN 9780062250568. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781476763811. POLITICAL SCIENCE A syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the Washington Post and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner for Why Americans Hate Politics, also 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 […]

Lynsey Addario, Mohsin Hamid, Mac McClellan, Richard Rhodes | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Feb. 2015, Pt. 1


Addario, Lynsey. It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. Penguin Pr. Feb. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9781594205378. $29.95. MEMOIR/PHOTOJOURNALISM Addario isn’t just any photojournalist—she’s a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting who came to everyone’s attention when she was kidnapped by pro-Qaddafi forces during Libya’s civil […]

Nonfiction on the Classic Maya and Southern Women Who Sin | Xpress Reviews


Houston stretches his expertise to interest scholars of Mesoamerican culture, Gutkind and Fennelly collect confessions from Southern gals who didn’t always do the right thing

Performing Arts Essentials: Books by Cumming, Dunham, Lear, & Poehler | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 3


Cumming, Alan. Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir. Dey: HarperCollins. Oct. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780062225061. $26.99. MEMOIR A star of stage and screen who broke our hearts with his Tony Award–winning portrayal of the Emcee in 1998’s Cabaret—and is doing so again on Broadway now—Cumming here offers a totally unexpected memoir. At the time he […]