David McCullough, Toni Morrison, Jo Nesbo, Jane Smiley, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2015, Pt. 3

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Hillerman, Anne. Rock with Wings. Harper. May 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780062270511. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062270535. MYSTERY With the 2013 publication of Spider Woman’s Daughter, award-winning journalist Hillerman took over the series starring famed tribal officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee that had won raves for her father, the late Tony Hillerman. Good move: the book […]

The Bill of Rights, Waterloo, & Yoga Queen Indra Devi | History & Biography Previews, May 2015, Pt. 3

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Berkin, Carol. The Bill of Rights: James Madison and the Politics of the People’s Parchment Barrier. S. & S. May 2015. 272p. ISBN 9781476743790. $27.50. HISTORY We regard the Bill of Rights as the crowning achievement of the Constitution and indeed central to our definition as Americans, so it’s sobering to learn from Berkin, Presidential […]

Chess at Auschwitz, Balkans War, & Friendship Via Wikipedia | Eleven Big Fiction Debuts, May 2015, Pt.

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Acampora, Lauren. The Wonder Garden. Grove. May 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780802123558. $24. SHORT STORIES A real estate agent contemplates yet another tackily enlarged house. A group of suburban women gather to reveal themselves briefly to one another and condescend to the rest of the world. A father-to-be abandons a successful career at the urging of […]

Essential Chillers from Iles, Indridason, Locke, Scottoline, & More | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 2

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Brennan, Allison. Compulsion. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781250035028. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250035035. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER Probing a retired couple’s disappearance the previous summer, investigative report Maxine (“Max”) Revere is convinced that serial killer Adam Bachman—whose trial she’s currently covering—is somehow connected and that in fact he has an accomplice. She’s even […]

Saul Bellow, Scott Ellsworth, Caryl Phillips, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2015, Pt. 4

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Bellow, Saul. There Is Simply Too Much To Think About: Collected Nonfiction. Viking. Mar. 2015. 608p. ed. by Benjamin Taylor. ISBN 9780670016693. $35. LITERATURE Issued in time for the centenary of Bellow’s birth and the tenth anniversary of his death, this work collects the Nobel laureate’s nonfiction, including criticism, interviews, speeches, and other pieces ranging […]

Howard Jacobson, Elif Shafak, Yan Lianke, & More | Key Literary Fiction Previews, Mar. 2015, Pt. 4

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Hunter, Aislinn. The World Before Us. Hogarth: Crown. Mar. 2015. 432p. ISBN 9780553418521. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780553418538. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY In a wooded area near a crumbling estate and a Victorian asylum, a little girl named Lily vanishes, leaving her family and 15-year-old babysitter Jane Standen devastated. Two decades later, as an archivist at […]

Black, Bowen, Bradley, Evanovich/Sutton, Haynes, Perry, Winspear | Seven Essential Mystery Novels, Mar. 2015, Pt. 1

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Black, Cara. Murder on the Champs de Mars. Soho Crime. Mar. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781616952860. $27.95. MYSTERY Sassy, open-hearted, and one of my favorite characters ever, Aimée Leduc is back for a 15th outing that takes readers to Paris’s elegant, old-gold seventh arrondissement—not her usual stomping ground, because Black’s series typically details Paris’s rougher corners […]

Split-Brain Theory, Evolution, Interstellar Travel, & More | Science Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 3

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Bell, Jim. The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission. Dutton. Feb. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780525954323. $27.95. ASTRONOMY The Voyager spacecraft mission was launched in 1977 with the aim of traveling into interstellar space; Voyager 1 left the solar system in 2013 and sister craft Voyager 2 is expected to do so in 2015. Clipping along […]

China, Russia, Guantánamo Bay, South Africa | Current Events Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 2

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Browder, Bill. Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice. S. & S. Feb. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9781476755717. $28. MEMOIR/POLITICAL Here’s a revealing story of contemporary Russia, featuring American financier Browder, who made a bundle by heading up an investment fund in post-Soviet Russia, then called down certain […]

Cornwell, Greenberg, Harrison, Leovy, Simsion | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 4

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Cornwell, Bernard. The Empty Throne. Harper. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780062250711. $27.99. HISTORICAL FICTION It’s hard going for Uhtred in this eighth entry in the popular “Saxon Tales” series by New York Times best-selling author Cornwell. First, to heal from wounds he has received in battle, he must find the sword that did the damage. […]

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