Debuts Not To Miss | Fiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 2


Barnett, Lisa. The Versions of Us. Houghton. May 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780544634244. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780544634473. POP FICTION Sparks fly when Eva and Jim meet on a street in Cambridge, England, but what happens next is uncertain; journalist/theater critic Barnett gives us options. Do they kiss or turn away; get together briefly, marry quickly, or […]

Jennifer Weiner, Philippa Gregory, & Lauren Willig’s Last Pink Carnation Novel | Audio in Advance August 2015 | Fiction


Alcott, Kathleen. Infinite Home. Blackstone. ISBN 9781504638944. Reader TBA. Edith is a widow who rents apartments in her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of people: Paulie, an unusually disabled man, and his burdened sister, Claudia; Edward, a misanthropic stand-up comic; Adeleine, a beautiful agoraphobe; Thomas, a young artist recovering from a stroke. Damaged in various […]

Christopher Buckley, James Lee Burke, Paolo Giordano, & Ruth Rendell | Barbara’s Picks, Dec. 2015, Pt. 1


Buckley, Christopher. The Relic Master. S. & S. Dec. 2015. 256p. ISBN 9781501125751. $26.95. HISTORICAL Buckley, who’s been called “the funniest writer in the English language” by Tom Wolfe and has a Thurber Prize for American Humor to prove it, offers a boisterous tale of 16th-century relic hunting that should have broad appeal. It’s 1517, […]

Bagshawe Gets Reckless, Donaldson Does Novellas, Sandford Goes SF, & More | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 4


Bagshawe, Tilly. Sidney Sheldon’s Reckless: A Tracy Whitney Novel. Morrow. Oct. 2015. 400p. ISBN 9780062304056. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062304070. THRILLER New York Times best-selling author Bagshawe has done a half-dozen Sidney Sheldon novels, including Sidney Sheldon’s Chasing Tomorrow, which picked up powerhouse heroine Tracy Whitney from 1985’s If Tomorrow Comes. Here, Tracy is back, having […]

Gregory Maguire, Anthony Marra, David Mitchell, Jane Smiley | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 1


Maguire, Gregory. After Alice. Morrow. Oct. 2015. 256p. ISBN 9780770436445. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062410825. CD: HarperAudio. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Known for his revisionist take on children’s classics, particularly his Wicked-ly good series drawing on The Wizard of Oz, the first of which inspired the hit Broadway musical, Maguire turns his attention to Lewis Carroll’s immortal Alice’s Adventures […]

Ringing in Christmas (Yes, Christmas) with Jennifer Chiaverini, Debbie Macomber, & More | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 1


Chiaverini, Jennifer. Christmas Bells. Dutton. Oct. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780525955245. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698407091. WOMEN’S/HISTORICAL Though she sets her new work partly in present-day Boston, Chiaverini stays in keeping with her recent historical work (e.g., Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule) by referencing Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s rousing “Christmas Bells.” Written as Longfellow mourned the death of […]

Last of the September Pop Fiction, from Paula Daly to Kim Harrison & More | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 4


Block, Sandra. The Girl Without a Name. Grand Central. Sept. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9781455583775. pap. $15. THRILLER Block scored a hit with her debut, Little Black Lies, featuring energized psychiatrist Zoe Goldman. Now the good doctor is back, dealing with an African American girl whose identity is unknown. She’s suffering from amnesia, and evidently wants […]

Kelley Armstrong, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Iceberg Slim Rediscovered, & More | Hot Commercial Fiction Previews, Aug. 2015, Pt. 1


Armstrong, Kelley. Deceptions: A Cainsville Novel. Dutton. Aug. 2015. 480p. ISBN 9780525953067. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698191129. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. FANTASY Having learned that her biological parents are convicted serial killers has sent Olivia Taylor Jones into seclusion in the town of Cainsville, where she’s since been wrestling with some pretty dark forces. In this third […]

Dean Bakopoulos, Vendela Vida, & Nine More Authors You Must Read | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2015, Pt. 3


Bakopoulos, Dean. Summerlong. Ecco. Jun. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062321169. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062321183. LITERARY In Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon, Bakopoulos’s wondrous debut and a New York Times Notable Book, women and children are left scrambling after the men start disappearing from a blue-collar neighborhood. In this third novel (after My American Unhappiness), […]

Butler, Danielewski, Enright, Hemon, Pearl, & Perkins-Valdez | Barbara’s All-Fiction Picks, May 2015, Pt. 2


Butler, Nickolas. Beneath the Bonfire: Stories. St. Martin’s. May 2015. 272p. ISBN 9781250039835. $23.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466875531. CD: Macmillan Audio. SHORT STORIES After receiving some powerful reviews when it appeared last spring (the New York Times called it “an impressively original debut”), Butler’s Wisconsin-set, warmly small-town, big-friendship Shotgun Lovesongs went on to become a national […]