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 […]

Award-Worthy Fiction | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

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Danielewski, Mark Z. The Familiar. Vol. 4: Hades. Pantheon. Feb. 2017. 880p. ISBN 9780375715006. pap. $26.95. LITERARY/FANTASY One Rainy Day in May, the first volume of National Book Award finalist Danielewski’s magnum opus, The Familiar, was published in 2015 and quickly hit the New York Times best sellers list, rising to No. 5. The entire […]

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 […]

Megyn Kelly, Trevor Noah, Chait on Obama, & More | Current Interest Previews, Nov. 2016, Pt. 3

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Chait, Jonathan. The Long Game: The Greatness of the Obama Presidency. Custom House: HarperCollins. Nov. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780062426970. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062426994. POLITICAL SCIENCE Author of New York magazine’s “The National Interest” column, which is read by 1.8 million readers weekly, Chait cites President Obama’s record on major policy fronts, from economics to health […]

Michael Chabon, Alice Hoffman, Zadie Smith, John Edgar Wideman | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2016, Pt. 1

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Chabon, Michael. Moonglow. Harper. Nov. 2016. 432p. ISBN 9780062225559. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062225573. CD: HarperAudio. lrg. prnt. LITERARY FICTION Framed as a man’s deathbed confession to his grandson, capturing the seesawing intensity of the American century, ranging from South Philadelphia’s Jewish slums and the invasion of Germany to New York’s Wallkill Prison and a Florida […]

Ninth-Century England, Belle Epoque Paris, Ireland in Rebellion, & More | Historical Fiction, Nov. 2016, Pt. 1

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Benedict, Marie. The Other Einstein. Sourcebooks Landmark. Oct. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781492637257. $25.99. HISTORICAL A brilliant student and the only woman in her class at Zurich Polytechnic in the late 1800s, Mileva Marić fell in love with fellow classmate Albert Einstein and eventually bore him three children, one out of wedlock. She is now suspected […]

Europe 1815–1914, the Pacific War, & More | History Previews, Nov. 2016, Pt. 1

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Evans, Richard J. The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815–1914. Viking. Nov. 2016. 928p. ISBN 9780670024575. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780735221215. HISTORY Winner of Wolfson and Fraenkel honors and twice nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, Evans here sweeps through surging British imperialism, upheaval in Spain, the unification of both Germany and Italy, the decline […]

Anguished Daughters & YouTube Stars | Memoir Previews, Oct. 2016, Pt. 4

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Anderson, Sulome. The Hostage’s Daughter. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Oct. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780062385499. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062385512. MEMOIR The daughter of Terry Anderson, the AP Middle East bureau chief kidnapped in Beirut and held for more than six years by Shiite Muslims, Anderson recalls life with the father she finally met at age seven, after […]

H.W. Brands, Fannie Flagg, Jonathan Lethem, Francine Prose | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2016, Pt. 2

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Brands, H.W. The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War. Doubleday. Oct. 2016. 448p. 9780385540575. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385540582. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY Twice a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin, Brands illuminates the relationship […]

Five Big Debuts | Fiction Previews, Oct. 1, 2016, Pt. 1

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  Bennett, Brit. The Mothers. Riverhead. Oct. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780399184512. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399184536. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. LITERARY/WOMEN’S FICTION In a contemporary black community in Southern California, 17-year-old Nadia Turner and 21-year-old Luke Sheppard launch a soulful affair. She’s lost her mother to suicide, he’s lost a football career to injury, and the decisions […]