Hot-Button Literary Fiction | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2017, Pt. 1

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Atogun, Odafe. Taduno’s Song. Pantheon. Mar. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9781101871454. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871461. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/CULTURAL HERITAGE When Nigerian musician Taduno returns home from exile, he finds himself unrecognized in an unrecognizable land and learns that his girlfriend has been abducted by government agents. He faces a tough choice: to battle the powers […]

Inkblots, Depression, Relationships, & More | Psychology Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 3

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Bennett, Michael, M.D. F*ck Love: One Shrink’s Sensible Advice for Finding a Lasting Relationship. Touchstone. Feb. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9781501140563. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781501140570. INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS A board-certified psychiatrist educated at Harvard Medical School, Bennett had a New York Times best-selling hit with his first book, the cheerfully in-your-face F*ck Feelings. Here he recommends ditching […]

Drabble, Nguyen, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

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Drabble, Margaret. The Dark Flood Rises. Farrar. Feb. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780374134952. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374715762. LITERARY FICTION A durable author of contemporary English-language literature named a Dame of the British Empire in 2008, Drabble has plenty of life experience to bring to her portrait of graying if relentlessly busy Francesca Stubbs. Even as she […]

Hot-Button Issues | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

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Alexander, Brian. Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781250085801. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250085818. ECONOMICS In 1947, Forbes magazine declared Lancaster, OH, the quintessential all-American town. Seventy years later, it’s fighting for its life, with its main industry—Anchor Hocking Glass Company, once the world’s […]

From Aciman to Coretta Scott King | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2017, Pt. 3

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Aciman, André. Enigma Variations. Farrar. Jan. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780374148430. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374714772. LITERARY FICTION Aciman made his name with the memoir Out of Egypt and came forth as a novelist with 2007’s Let Me Call Your Name, a New York Times Notable Book that won numerous other honors; 2013’s Harvard Square got raves. […]

Octopuses, Evolution, and the Roosevelts | Nonfiction Previews, Dec. 2016, Pt. 3

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Godfrey-Smith, Peter. Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. Farrar. Dec. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780374227760. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780374712808. SCIENCE A professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and of history and the philosophy of science at the University of Sydney, Godfrey-Smith is also a […]

Thomas Friedman, Robert Littell, Amos Oz | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2016, Pt. 4

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Friedman, Thomas L. Thank You for Being Late: Finding a Job, Running a Country, and Keeping Your Head in an Age of Accelerations. Farrar. Nov. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780374273538. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780374715144. CD: Macmillan Audio. POLITICAL SCIENCE Our world is accelerating in exciting and dangerous ways, with technology allowing for self-driving cars and Wifi-enhanced […]

Queen Victoria, Pixar, Space Travel, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Nov. 2016, Pt. 4

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Alvarez, Walter. A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves. Norton. Nov. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780393292695. $26.95. SCIENCE/COSMOLOGY If you’re familiar with the “Impact Theory,” which blames dinosaur extinction on a crash-landed asteroid, then you’re familiar with Berkeley geologist Alvarez; he originated the idea. Here he argues that Big History, which […]

Atwood, Hajdu, Semple, & Zink | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2016, Pt. 3

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Atwood, Margaret. Hag-Seed. Hogarth: Crown. (Hogarth Shakespeare.) Oct. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780804141291. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780804141307. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY FICTION Now that Jeanette Winterson, Howard Jacobson, and Anne Tyler have all had a go at contemporizing Shakespeare via the “Hogarth Shakespeare” series (purveyed by Penguin Random House companies in eight countries, with rights sold […]

From De Quincey to Abramovic to the Beatles | Arts Previews, Oct. 2016, Pt. 3

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Abramovic, Marina. Walk Through Walls: Becoming Marina Abramovic. Crown Archetype. Oct. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781101905043. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101905050. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. ART/MEMOIR Preeminent performance artist Abramovic has been stripped, burned, and cut and has sat with a loaded gun to her head or simply sat for hours—all in the name of an art that […]