Henry Louis Gates Jr., Diana Nyad, Patti Smith, Simon Winchester | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 1


Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., & Kevin M. Burke. And Still I Rise: From Black Power to the White House. Ecco. Oct. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780062427007. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780062427014. HISTORY Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, outstanding scholar Gates offers […]

Literary Glitter from Clare Clark, Homer Hickam, & More | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 1


Cantor, Jillian. The Hours Count. Riverhead. Oct. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9781594633188. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698162334. LITERARY Following her LibraryReads pick, Margot, which imagined that Anne Frank’s sister survived the Holocaust, Cantor again vivifies history as she considers the life of the woman who lived next door to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1950. A friend […]

Niall Ferguson, Joan Lunden, David Maraniss, Anne-Marie Slaughter, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2015, Pt. 4


Ferguson, Niall. Kissinger: Vol. I: The Idealist, 1923–1968. Penguin Pr. Sept. 2015. 560p. ISBN 9781594206535. $36. BIOGRAPHY Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard and a senior research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, Ferguson is the author of New York Times best sellers like Civilization and The Ascent of Money. With those credentials and […]

From Sisters in Law O’Connor & Ginsburg to Expanding Children’s Brains | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 4,


Ananthaswamy, Anil. The Man Who Wasn’t There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self. Dutton. Aug.  2015. 320p. ISBN 9780525954194. $26.95. MEDICAL If you like Oliver Sacks, you’ll love this new work by Ananthaswamy, an award-winning science journalist and former deputy news editor and current consultant for New Scientist. His smart approach to […]

Reed Farrel Coleman, Louise Penny, Anne Perry, & More | Mystery Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 3


Beaton, M.C. Dishing the Dirt: An Agatha Raisin Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781250057426. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466861183. MYSTERY New York Times best-selling sleuth Agatha Raisin is used to thwarting murderers, but in her latest case she’s the suspect. New-in-town therapist Jill Davent had snickered about Agatha’s humble origins, pursued her ex-husband, […]

Biography (e.g., J.M. Coetzee, Mary McGrory) & History (e.g., World War II) | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 3


Attwell, David. J.M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing: Face to Face with Time. Viking. Sept. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780525429616. $27.95. LITERARY CRITICISM/BIOGRAPHY Currently a professor at the University of York, Attwell completed an MA in African literary theory and criticism at the University of Cape Town, where his supervisor was Nobel Prize–winning novelist J.M. […]

Margaret Atwood, John Banville, Lauren Groff, Anthony Horowitz | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2015, Pt. 2


Atwood, Margaret. The Heart Goes Last. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Sept. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780385540353. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385540360. lrg prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio LITERARY/DYSTOPIAN Sounds like classic Atwood. In her first stand-alone novel since the Man Booker Prize–winning The Blind Assassin, published in 2000, the Canadian author draws on the same almost-here dystopia as […]

Mary Karr, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joyce Carol Oates | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2015. Pt. 2


Karr, Mary. The Art of Memoir. Harper. Sept. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780062223067. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062223081. WRITING Karr is a Pushcart Prize–winning poet and essayist, but she’s perhaps best known for her New York Times best-selling The Liars’ Club, a National Book Critics Circle finalist and PEN Nonfiction Award nominee that effectively launched the current […]

Coulter, Kadrey, McCall Smith, Silva, & More | Hot Commercial Fiction Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 4


Abercrombie. Joe. Half a War. Del Rey. Jul. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780804178457. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780804178471.  FANTASY First Half a King (July 2014), then Half the World (February 2015), and now the wrap-up to a trilogy featuring Yarvi, unassuming heir to the throne, who avenges his father’s murder and, with a warrior-hopeful young woman named […]

Gaiman, Klaussmann, Kumin, Scottoline/Serritella, Wascom, & Karjel’s Hot New Swedish Thriller | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2015, Pt. 2


Gaiman, Neil. Neverwhere: The Author’s Preferred Edition. Morrow. Jul. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780062371058. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780061793059. FANTASY You know Neverwhere, Gaiman’s first book, the career launcher that told the story of perfectly pleasant London businessman Richard Mayhew’s sudden drop through a crack in reality to the Neverwhere, a shadowy place under siege by some […]