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


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


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


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


  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 […]

Literary Glitter from Kleeman, Livesey, Towles, & More | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 3


Altrad, Mohed. Badawi. Black Cat: Grove Atlantic. Sept. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780802125798. pap. $16. LITERARY Drawing on his own life to craft this first novel, Syrian-born French billionaire Altrad relates the story of Maïouf, a Bedouin boy who resists familial pressure to become a shepherd after his mother dies, abandoned and repudiated. Instead, he sneaks […]

The Idiot Brain, Fashion Photography, the Microbiome, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 3


Burnett, Dean. Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To. Norton. Jul. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780393253788. $26.95. COGNITIVE SCIENCE Ever popular, books about the brain typically extol its wonders, but Burnett lets us in on all the weird things it does, ranging from blackouts to insomnia, and all the mistakes we’ve made in trying […]

Righting Past Wrongs: Alafair Burke’s The Ex


In Burke’s 11th novel, Olivia Randall’s once great love, Jack Harris—whose heart she broke when they were young but old enough for her to carry the guilt all these years later—returns in the most unexpected way.

Stephen King, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Lionel Shriver, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 2


King, Stephen. End of Watch. Scribner. Jun. 2016. 496p. ISBN 9781501129742. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781501134159. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER Brady Hartsfield, responsible for the deaths of eight people and the injury of many others in the infamous Mercedes Massacre, was clobbered over the head by Holly Gibney and now vegetates in Room 217 […]

Erika Johansen, Annie Proulx, A.B. Yehoshua, & Rising Star Alexis M. Smith | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 1


Johansen, Erika. The Fate of the Tearling. Harper. Jun. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780062290427. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062290434. LITERARY FICTION/FANTASY In The Queen of the Tearling, Princess Kelsea returned to the land of her birth to reclaim her throne. In The Invasion of the Tearling, Queen Kelsea faced serious trouble after refusing to send prisoners to […]

Literary Fiction To Grab, from Tahmima Anam, Thomas Christopher Greene, & More | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 1


Alam, Rumaan. Rich and Pretty. Ecco. Jun. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780062429933. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062429957. LITERARY Upper-crust Sarah works at a charity while plotting the perfect wedding. Wayward self-starter Lauren works in publishing (well, she would) and avoids all questions of marriage—and the future in general. Best friends for 20 years, they’ve been distanced by […]