Timely Debut Novels | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2018

Aliu, Xhenet. Brass. Random. Jan. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780399590245. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399590252. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize for her debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things and Other Stories, Aliu draws on her own life to tell the story of teenage Luljeta, in identity crisis and insistent that her […]

Preston/Child, Burke Pere & Fille, & More | Thriller Previews, Jan. 2018

Archer, Ursula & Arno Strobel. Strangers. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2018. 320p. tr. from German. ISBN 9781250113061. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250113078. THRILLER After foul play, a woman doesn’t recognize the man claiming to be her fiancé and not only wonders whether she should trust him but feels the need to attack him. And he begins […]

Cortés vs. Montezuma, Erasmus vs. Luther, & More | History Previews, Jan. 2018

Baatz, Simon. The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Jan. 2018. ISBN 9780316396653. $29; ebk. ISBN 9780316396677. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316510677. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORY/TRUE CRIME The rape of 16-year-old chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit by womanizing architect Stanford White and White’s subsequent […]

Eco, Erdrich, Khizr Khan, Kevin Young, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2017

Eco, Umberto. Chronicles of a Liquid Society. Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2017. tr. from Italian by Richard Dixon. 272p. ISBN 9780544974487. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780544974579. PHILOSOPHY/ESSAYS Novelist, essayist, literary critic, philosopher, and semiotician nonpareil (see his star turn in Laurent Binet’s sensational The Seventh Function of Language, which supposes that Roland Barthes was murdered), Eco began […]

Krauss, le Carré, McDermott, Rushdie, Ward | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2017

Krauss, Nicole. Forest Dark. Harper. Sept. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780062430991. $27.99. LITERARY A National Book Award finalist, Anisfield-Wolf Award winner, Granta Best Young American Novelist, New Yorker Twenty Under Forty, and New York Times best-selling author to boot, Krauss returns with an expectedly rich and inviting new work. Larger-than-life Jules Epstein is now retired, and […]

Politics, Art, & Grief | Memoir Previews, Aug./Sept. 2017

Ausiello, Michael. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies; A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words. Atria. Sept. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781501134968. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501134982. MEMOIR A longtime entertainment journalist, now founder and editor in chief of TVLine.com, Ausiello knows how to write. But here he’s set himself a tough task: discussing what happened […]

Kenyon, Wilson, & a War of the Worlds Sequel | Pop Fiction Previews, Aug. 2017

Baxter, Stephen. The Massacre of Mankind. Crown. Aug. 2017. 480p. ISBN 9781524760120. $27. SF Winner of the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award, Baxter does something daring: he offers a sequel to H.G. Wells’s iconic The War of the Worlds, featuring Wells’s narrator, Walter Jenkins. Fourteen years after the last invasion, humans complacently […]

Paris to Palestine to America | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2017, Pt. 4

Begley, Adam. The Great Nadar: The Man Behind the Camera. Tim Duggan: Hogarth. Jul. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101902608. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781101902615. HISTORY Former books editor of the New York Observer, Begley offers the portrait of an artist as both celebrity and entrepreneur. Nadar was famed for iconic photographs of folks like Manet and Sarah […]

Nobel Prize Winner Alexievich, Dublin Winner Sharma, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2017, Pt. 1

Alexievich, Svetlana. The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II. Random. Jul. 2017. 384p. tr. from Russian by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky. ISBN 9780399588723. $30; ekb. ISBN 9780399588730. Downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY Winner of the Nobel Prize for her rich, incisive oral histories of the Soviet Union, Alexievich […]

Beattie, Gabaldon, Gay, Sullivan, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2017, Pt. 3

Beattie, Ann. The Accomplished Guest: Stories. Scribner. Jun. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501111389. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781501111402. SHORT STORIES Since her 1976 publishing debut with the story collection Distortions and the novel Chilly Scenes of Winter, Beattie has worked in both genres, but her gifts really belong to short fiction. Here’s her 11th story collection, following […]