Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2013, Pt. 3: Nonfiction from Christopher Andersen to Brenda Wineapple

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Andersen, Christopher. These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack and Jackie. Gallery: S. & S. Aug. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781476732329. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781476732343. BIOGRAPHY Once senior editor of People magazine, Andersen has a real track record when it comes to celebrity bios; he’s written 15 New York Times best sellers, with subjects […]

Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2013, Pt. 1: Parenting, from Prenatal Nutrition to Education


Beam, Cris. To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care. Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780151014125. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780547999531. FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS Beam should be able to clarify how badly our current foster care system fails the half million children in its charge; she’s not just a Lambda Literary […]

Fiction Previews, Jul. 2013, Pt. 1: Nine Debuts from Butler’s Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love to Zambrano’s Lotería


Butler, Sarah. Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). Jul. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781594205330. $26.95. LITERARY Unconventional Alice, the youngest of three sisters and a frequent traveler to far-off climes, returns home just in time to say good-bye to her dying father, with whom she’s never been close. Daniel, who’s been […]

Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2013, Pt. 2: al-Shaykh, Charleson, Ferguson, Griswold, Shriver, Solnit


al-Shaykh, Hanan. One Thousand and One Nights: A Sparkling Retelling of the Beloved Classic. Pantheon. Jun. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780307958860. $26; eISBN 9780307958877. LITERATURE A crucial and sometimes controversial figure in Middle Eastern literature, Lebanese author al-Shaykh here translates 19 of the stories young queen Shahrazad told her husband each night so that he would […]

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


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 […]

Fiction Previews, May 2013, Pt. 1: 17 Thrillers, from Adler-Olsen to Trussoni


Adler-Olsen, Jussi. A Conspiracy of Faith: A Department Q Novel. Dutton. May 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780525954002. $26.95. CD/Downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER Denmark’s top crime writer and the author of several New York Times best sellers, Adler-Olsen gives the message-in-a-bottle plot a new twist. This message, written in blood by two young brothers imprisoned in a […]

Barbara’s Picks, May 2013, Pt. 1: Allende, Hill, Le Carré, Savage, Strout, and the World’s Strongest Librarian


Allende, Isabel. Maya’s Notebook. Harper: HarperCollins. May 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780062105622. $28.99; eISBN 9780062105646. CD: HarperAudio. LITERARY FICTION Having sold over 57 million copies of her books worldwide, the esteemed author of The House of the Spirits knows what she’s doing. So trust her on this stylistic departure, which borrows from the thriller writer’s toolkit. […]

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


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 […]

Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2013, Pt. 1: Hamid, Hemon, Haruf, Oates, & More


Hamid, Mohsin. How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). Mar. 2013. 240p. ISBN 9781594487293. $26.95. LITERARY FICTION The title could come from one of those get-rich-quick books that the young and ambitious eat up, and in fact Hamid imaginatively uses that genre’s format to shape his narrative. But this is […]

Fiction Previews, Mar. 2013, Pt. 1: Ann Hood, Marisa Silver, Fowler on Zelda Fitzgerald, & More


Fowler, Therese Anne. Z—: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. St. Martin’s. Mar. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781250028655. $24.99. HISTORICAL FICTION Fowler won an LJ star for her 2008 debut, Souvenir, settling comfortably into fraught contemporary relationship territory and finding herself compared to Jodi Picoult. Here she does something entirely different, reimagining the tumultuous life of the […]