Science, Knausgaard, & America from Abroad | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jul./Aug. 2017

Davis, Angela J., ed. Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment. Pantheon. Jul. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781101871270. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871287. AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES The recent deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and more bring into ever sharper focus the long, tragic history of the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of African American men. This […]

Books Beyond Our Borders | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2017, Pt. 4

Bassingthwaighte, Ian. Live from Cairo. Scribner. Jul. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501146879. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501146893. LITERARY FICTION A Hopwood Award winner and finalist for the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative, Fulbright grantee Bassingthwaighte worked in Egypt in 2009 to help refugees from Iraq, Sudan, and the Horn of Africa. Thus he brings both writing skills […]

Paris to Palestine to America | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2017, Pt. 4

Begley, Adam. The Great Nadar: The Man Behind the Camera. Tim Duggan: Hogarth. Jul. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101902608. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781101902615. HISTORY Former books editor of the New York Observer, Begley offers the portrait of an artist as both celebrity and entrepreneur. Nadar was famed for iconic photographs of folks like Manet and Sarah […]

Making History | Nonfiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 2

Allison, Graham. Destined for War: America, China, and Thucydides’s Trap. Houghton Harcourt. May 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780544935273. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780544935334. POLITICAL SCIENCE/HISTORY Founding dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, who has served in both the Reagan and the Clinton administrations and twice won the Pentagon’s highest civilian award, Allison coined the term the […]

Literature, Music, TV | Arts Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

Bloom, Harold. Falstaff: Give Me Life. Scribner. Apr. 2017. 176p. ISBN 9781501164132. $22; ebk. ISBN 9781501164156. LITERATURE Distinguished critic Bloom, known especially for his Shakespeare scholarship, shows us why Falstaff—central to the three Henry plays—is considered Shakespeare’s greatest comic character. As Bloom explains, readers experience Falstaff differently as they move through life, which clarifies how […]

Key Literary Fiction | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 1

Bausch, Richard. Living in the Weather of the World: Stories. Knopf. Apr. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9780451494825. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780451494832. SHORT STORIES Recipient of a PEN/Malamud Award, among other honors, Bausch has been called a master of the short story by the New York Times Book Review, and here he gets to strut his stuff. […]

Books for Our Times | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 1

Douthat, Ross. To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism. S. & S. Apr. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501146923. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501146947. RELIGION As conservative New York Times columnist Douthat clarifies, Pope Francis’s stewardship as 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church is not without controversy. His raising issues like communion for […]

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

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

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

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 […]